Songs are shelters in time
10 things worth sharing: the denial of death, escaping into music and television, 100 days of practice, and more...
On Tuesday I sent out the first issue of a new zine, all about the creative seasons.
Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
Lee “Scratch” Perry said that “Music is the only comforter,” and it has been truer than ever for me lately. I wrote about David Berman, John Berger, and songs as shelters in time.
I can’t figure out if Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death is the perfect book to have read this week or the worst book to have read this week. (Elisa Gabbert summed it up nicely — I’m excited she has a new book coming soon!)
A thread of lessons I learned from books that didn’t make my year-end list.
So many of us are grieving right now, I asked Twitter for good books on the topic. The top responses were: Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air, Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing With Feathers, and Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse, none of which I have read. (My two personal favorites are Anders Nilsen’s Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow and Tom Hart’s Rosalie Lightning, books I read before getting married and having kids, respectively, which makes me think that the best time to read about grief is before you actually experience it.) You can see more suggestions or leave your own here.
Mo Willems’ paintings of Beethoven symphonies.
News items relevant to my interests: Wordle could’ve been an example in the “Make Gifts” chapter in Keep Going, but Filippo Bernardini, the Italian man who stole unpublished book manuscripts, is a prime example of how not to Steal Like an Artist.
Other than music, my escape this week was “totally watching television.” No show in recent memory has given me more laughs per minute than South Side. If you need pure, escapist, wholesome goodness, I recommend All Creatures Great and Small. If you like the vulgar dynasty dynamics of Succession, but wish it were actually laugh-out-loud funny and set in the South, The Righteous Gemstones is back for a second season. And finally, I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, but if I did, Cobra Kai would be at the top of the list.
RIP comedian Bob Saget. RIP Ronnie Spector. (This encounter with Brian Wilson is so sweet, as is her singing “Be My Baby” with the Ronettes.) RIP jazz and funk musician James Mtume. (The song “Juicy Fruit” is a classic, but so is the whole Juicy Fruit album.) RIP jazz vibraphonist Khan Jamal. (My friend Art Levy tipped me to his album, Drum Dance to the Motherland, which is wild.) RIP drama critic Terry Teachout.
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