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Where you look is where you go
10 things worth sharing this week + upcoming Austin, TX event
Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
As with bicycling, so with life: “Where you look is where you go.”
This week I read John Hendrickson’s new memoir Life On Delay: Making Piece With A Stutter in anticipation of our event at Bookpeople next week. As you may or may not know, I’m the proud papa of two boys who stutter, so this is a subject near and dear to my heart. Meg and I are even in the book! If you’re in town, I hope you will come. (Here is my map of the book.)
More reading: Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others. Really good. (The title story was made into the film, Arrival.) I also devoured John Porcellino’s King-Cat #82 in a single afternoon while lying in the hammock.
“This song sucks.” Many people have linked to Nick Cave’s recent thoughts on ChatGPT’s attempts to write a song like him, but I haven’t seen anyone mention that he also wrote about it in 2019 when asked, “Do you think AI will ever be able to write a good song?” I think it’s interesting to compare the two answers — one’s emphasis is on human limitations and the other is on human suffering. (Another good piece: Frank Pavich, director of Jodorowsky’s Dune, on the mindtrip of seeing AI images of Jodorowsky’s version of Tron.)
Comedy: I laughed so hard at Sheng Wang’s standup special Sweet and Juicy.
Ear Candy: El Bueno Y El Malo (The Good and The Bad) by Hermanos Gutiérrez, two guitar-playing brothers from Switzerland who blend Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti western music with Latin American sounds. (Shoutout to Gus at Waterloo Records who hand-sold me this album.)
Podcast: I loved this interview with Susan Orlean about her classic 1992 Esquire profile, “The American Man at Age Ten.” (My oldest son is 10 and I was about the same age when this piece was published.) You can find various unpaywalled versions online, but I highly recommend flipping through the whole issue because it is quite the time capsule.
Movies: I loved Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse, but for some reason hadn’t watched any of his other films until this week when we watched The Northman and The Witch back-to-back. Consider me a fan. (Supplemental reading: last year’s New Yorker profile and “Watching The Witch With Two Actual Witches.)
Documentaries: Meg makes meatballs every Monday night, so of course we liked Italianamerican, Martin Scorsese’s 1974 interview with his parents about life as Italian immigrants and footage of his mom making “The Sauce.” (A YouTube search for “Catherine Scorsese” yields gold.) I wasn’t as crazy as some about Stutz — actor Jonah Hill’s love letter to his therapist, Phil Stutz — but I was really fascinated by the way he draws on index cards for his clients. (The intro to The Tools gave me a context for his work that I thought the doc lacked.)
RIP musician Yukihiro Takahashi, drummer for Yellow Magic Orchestra. RIP Gary Smith, who owned Fort Apache studios and produced one of my favorite EPs of all-time: The Pixies’ Come On Pilgrim. RIP musician Jeff Beck. RIP musician David Crosby.