Week notes 2020-31

  • I didn’t post here last week. I think because of a combination of being too busy with work, plus the added mental load of the US election, the Covid vaccine announcements etc etc. Sometimes even just getting your thoughts down into some kind of readable order can feel weirdly daunting.
  • I’m off work for the next week though, and while Nina and I can’t go anywhere really, we can spend time together, walk the dog, read, listen to music and prepare for the weirdest Christmas on record.
  • I’ve been thinking a lot recently about music, and streaming services, and Spotify and Bandcamp… Of course, when I say ‘thinking’ I really mean ‘circling around the same mental speedbumps’. There’s the nagging feeling that Spotify is not a good service to be giving my money to, the love of Bandcamp’s ethos and breadth mixed with a background frustration at it’s functionality, the annoyance at myself for having been trained by other services to expect certain functionality, and a suspicion that those learned behaviours have made me somewhat culturally lazy.
  • That’s not to say I have any more concrete thoughts to offer than that, but here’s a few things I’ve come across recently that have fed into all those thoughts: Should Spotify Be Responsible for What Joe Rogan Does? from Vulture, Podcast Overlords from The Baffler, and this article on Sleevenote, a “new electronic music player that puts album art first”.
  • This made me laugh this week

  • The image below is an excerpt from a beautiful comic? … visual essay? from The New Yorker about Rediscovering Columbo in 2020. Definitely the most heartwarming thing I’ve read this week.
  • And that incredible image at the top of this post? You can read about that right here.
  • We watched The Trial of the Chicago Seven on Netflix this week. Really enjoyed it. I’m a sucker for some Sorkin, plus this is a great cast and a amazing story I knew nothing about.
  • I’ve known the musician Laura Kidd for far too long now. She’s one of those artists who always seems incredibly open and honest in everything she does, so I was excited when she announced she was starting a podcast earlier this year. And now she’s gone and interviewed one of my favourite musicians of all time: Bernard Butler. You can listen to them chat about creative collaboration, being ‘unsocial’, his new record and a lot of other great stuff here (and yes, I know that’s a Spotify podcast link, I’m aware of the irony):
  • Lets balance the Spotify with a bit of Bandcamp and the great new Fatima Yamaha album:

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