Those are the words I wrote last Thursday, mere seconds after sending the ninth out. I had planned to follow those words up with quite a big spiel, but now it’s Thursday afternoon again.
One of my favourite writing adages is “Write drunk, edit sober”, and I doubt this one’s getting much of a second pass. Allons y!
As alluded to last week, I was fairly excited about Edgar Wright‘s Last Night in Soho. Now I’ve seen the trailer, and I am very excited to see it. I do hope that even with the backlog of Super Franchise Blockbusters coming up, that mid-tier original movies like this still find their audience. Sometimes it feels like the SFBs suck the oxygen out of that market, even while those same audiences complain about a lack of originality on the silver screen. I’m hoping that that’s a trend that can be stymied, there’s plenty room, and audiences, for both.
This week’s playlist contains a track by the inimitable Kae Tempest. I was surprised to see that Spotify was still listing their music by their deadname, but it turns out that it’s a technical problem. You might think that changing a name in a database is incredibly simple, but let me tell you the data infrastructure that the music industry is built upon is positively antediluvian.
Everyone is talking about data lakes and NFTs and machine learning, but at its core is a database so creakingly ancient, Indiana Jones once tried to steal it. (Apparently it belonged… ah, you get it.)This data, used across the whole industry, is so enmeshed and embedded, you can’t change or upgrade it without changing thousands of interfaces, across dozens of companies. And, while the music industry appears to be all about the new and fresh, it’s surprisingly conservative. After all, why change anything when you’re making money hand over fist? An attitude that’s bitten them before, but some things never change.
This sixth Sounds From The Engine Room also features the third appearance of Londoner Little Simz. You might recognise her from Netflix‘s Top Boy, Stormzy referred to her as a “legend”, and as far as I can tell she was about to land in UK festivals in a big way last year. Obviously things went a little awry there, pandemically speaking, but I’m hoping the next 18 months are better for her. I don’t have a good track record of calling these things, but I truly think she’s going to go from strength to strength.
Continuing my trend of digging out tasty nuggets from TikTok so you don’t have to, masked DJ Sickick hit it big with his riotous mashup of Linkin Park and DMX. It was so popular, that he expanded it out to a full DMX Tribute Mashup, and I recommend it to you. Obviously, in this year of the great tentacled one, a DJ with a mask is a bit of a sore spot for me, but even I managed to get past that for that immense drop after the breakdown at the 25 second mark.
As restaurants start to slowly pivot back to in-person service, I found this article about Deliveroo’s manipulative tactics quite an interesting long read.
The transition away from delivery aggregators isn’t as fast as I’d expected; rather than there being pent-up demand and mass bookings, it’s been slow and steady. Even in London’s hot spots, during a rare ‘out out’ situation, there were plenty of empty tables, and lots of no-shows for bookings. It seems people aren’t quite as desperate to be out in the world as I thought, which means Deliveroo are still getting plenty of business. If you choose to send it their way.
My restaurant recommendation for this week is Morty & Bobs in London’s Coaldrops Yard; a little place with truly delicious snacks, toasted sandwiches and, importantly, a fantastic espresso martini. And as opposed to a lot of the eateries in Coaldrops, it’s actually quite reasonably priced.
However, other than that one time, my eating out is generally reserved for when I’m Working From Pub, those glorious afternoons when there are no meetings, I can block myself out in the calendar and go and do what Cal Newport talks about in his book Deep Work. There’s no rocket science to this, and all jokes aside, our brains really aren’t as geared for multi-tasking as we might think; especially when it comes to creative work or original thought.
So, not quite the anniversary tour de force, I was hoping for; more of an esprit de l’escalier. And yet, it does what I’ve been assured is the true purpose of this newsletter: To make me engage with the world, process it, remix those pop cultural elements and random thoughts, and broadcast them in an authentic voice. And considering only two words in this entire newsletter were typed when I hadn’t had anything to drink, this is as authentic as it gets.
Have a good weekend people, it’s a long one.
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