There is problem with being freed from tasks, duties and responsibilities, and gifted freedom and space: Who are you when there are no expectations, no productivity guilt, only hours to fill?
Do you fill that space with nothing? Mindful relaxation? Throw yourself into work, if you can? Fill your creative tanks? What kind of person are you when the lights are out, and how do you fill that void?
“Character is what you are in the dark. ” - Dwight L. Moody.
Today I’m filling that dark with voice and word, and preparing to send them out into the ether. Parcelled up for eye and ear. Your eyes. Your ears.
The new release I’m particularly excited by this week is by Yonaka, who have released a new ‘mixtape’ on Blood Records called Seize The Power. Fresh from their appearance at the Download Pilot festival, this power pop EP is a gloriously uplifting riot. Their track Ordinary is on this week’s playlist.
There’s also a new EP by Chvrches called Good Girls, whose eponymous title track isn’t as good as How Not To Drown which features Robert Smith.
Zero spoilers!! Read on!
We’ve had the finale of Loki and the release of Black Widow and I have a great many thoughts about them. Sadly, it leads me to a dilemma: Do I rush to publish, to get my thoughts into your brains while they’re fresh and the topic is newsworthy? Or do I wait, so that everyone has a chance to see it?
Obviously, I chose the latter. Watching stuff isn’t supposed to be a stressful rush to make sure you don’t happen onto a spoiler. And writing about TV and film isn’t supposed to a race for relevancy, to wang out a half-hearted and half-considered fodder for the algorithms.
Next week though! If you haven’t caught up by then, I’m afraid you’ll have to cast your eyes downwards.
In the meantime though, doesn’t the trailer for Marvels Multiversal Magnificence What If look interesting?
In things non-superhero, I’ve started watching X-Men Victoriana, The League of Extraordinary Ladies: Joss Whedon‘s The Nevers. It’s a solid show, but it feels very on-the-nose. Should I have expected better from Whedon? I don’t know, he’s always worn his pop culture influences proudly. But while watchable, this seems heavy-handed and obvious: The early antagonist is old school CrAzY in a way that feels out of place these days. The twisting relationships of allies and betrayers feels predictable.
I’m only a couple of episodes in, so there may be some pleasant surprises to come. But currently, while watchable, it’s mostly still on my watchlist because it’s better than the Terry Pratchett inspired The Watch, which I’ve not been able to bring myself to watch more of.
I’m going to the cinema this week! Not for anything new through; I’m going to the Prince Charles Cinema to see Big Trouble in Little China! I’ve not re-watched this film in years, so I’m looking forward to it. Happily, nobody’s working on a reboot of this 1986 classic.
No. Instead Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is working on a sequel. Make of that what you will.
I only hope that the freeing of Bill Cosby doesn’t discourage women from coming forward.
Doing the podcast last week has been an educational experience. Quite a number of people have told me they preferred the format, and would prefer to listen to my dulcet tones rather than read my honeyed words. Meanwhile many were happy to have a short email to read every week rather than have to listen to me rabbit on. Finally there was a portion of listeners and readers who wanted more podcast episodes with different content, completely divorced from the newsletter; less scripted, more longform.
As I’ve been forced to confess to some people, I don’t really have a strategy for this venture. Somehow I’ve stumbled into writing seventeen newsletters, assembling eight hours of playlists with no repeated songs, and now a podcast.
So what I might have to do is ask you lot, to see if that casts some light into the darkness. I’ll be sending a questionnaire out in the next week for your learned feedback. Help me!
For now though, the second podcast is up now.
I hope when I return to you next week, I’ll be rested and recuperated.
I hope I’ll have rebooted this tired brain, with all its hung processes and memory hogs.
I hope I’ll have refilled my empty tanks and my engine will be revving once more.
I hope you’ll be here to see it.