Discover more from Austin Kleon
The vibration is the way in
10 things worth sharing this week
I’m headed to Detroit next week to keynote the MACUL conference. If there’s something I shouldn’t miss downtown let me know. It’s been a few years.
Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
My favorite thing I wrote this week was about famous songs built on presets from drum machines and synthesizers and what makes a sample good or not so good. (It basically comes down to good theft vs. bad theft.)
SXSW has started here in Austin, Texas. I have some friends giving talks: Maria Konnikova is talking online cons, John Hendrickson is talking memoir, and Kevin Kelly is talking AI. I’m going to try to see Penny Lane’s new movie on Saturday. Otherwise, I’m clueless. I don’t have a badge this year, so I’ll probably just hop on my bike and cruise around, maybe catch some free shows. If there’s something cool I should know about let me know! (If you need food recommendations in Austin, I would follow @odam and @nadiachaudhury. If you get overwhelmed, just walk the hike and bike trail or head to the roof deck of the library.)
Bernadette Mayer’s writing prompts.
Lots of good stuff in Michiko Kakutani’s “Why we love Flaco The Owl,” from Picasso’s owl to the video of these eagle-owlets in Belgium. (The bit about “baby schema” — “a theory that the features of a human infant (round head, big eyes, roundish body) tend to trigger protective emotions” reminded me of an ancient blog post of mine, “What makes something cute?”)
One of my favorite newsletters is Tom Hodgkinson’s weekly letters from the editor for The Idler. Recent topics covered: being annoying, the uplift of listening to classical music, whatever happened to elevenses, the terror of clown kings, and more. (We had his “Manifesto of the Idle Parent” hanging on our fridge for years.)
RIP Ian Falconer, creator of Olivia. RIP producer Glen “Spot” Lockett. RIP actor Tom Sizemore, who starred in one of my all-time favorite movies, Heat. RIP Judy Heumann, disability rights activist and star of Crip Camp.
Some flowers can grow anywhere, others need the right conditions. So it may be with people: Dandelions and orchids.