18 months after it’s release, Plastic Bouquet by Kacy & Clayton and Marlon Williams is still a regular listen. I like it so much I bought it twice!
Part of my morning routine is reading a letter from the wonderful book Letters of Note. My favourite entry is this exchange between an opponent of paper planes and the General Counsel of the Cleveland Stadium Corporation.
In 2007, Madrid-based artist and illustrator Pep Carrió’s expansive diary project began as a challenge with a simple premise: to draw something every day. No matter what materials were at hand and without any predetermined theme or subject matter, he took a game-like approach to see if he could accomplish filling an entire Moleskine datebook throughout the year. The numerous editions that have followed feature a dazzling array of scenes fashioned from marker, pencil, tempera, pen, ink, collage, and found materials.Figures and Events Are Transfixed by Time in Pep Carrió’s Extensive Daily Visual Diaries – Colossal
That’s How I Remember It is a podcast that examines the connection between memory and creativity. Each episode will feature a discussion between Craig Finn and one creator — a musician, author, filmmaker, etc. — about the role that memory plays in their art.
The episodes with Patterson Hood and Edward Kitsis were good and I’m really looking forward to listening to his conversation with John Darnielle.
The podcast has encouraged me to listen to the album a lot more and I’m really enjoying how Finn has leaned back into characters and storytelling in his lyrics.
Shotgun Willie was one of the first Outlaw Country albums and change in style for Willie Nelson. His previous label wouldn’t let Willie use his touring band in recording sessions, and he had to look and dress in the proper Nashville style. Willie likened this album to a “clearing of the throat”.
“I liked this new world. It fit me to a T. I never did like putting on stage costumes, never did like trim haircuts, never did like worrying about whether I was satisfying the requirements of a showman. It felt good to let my hair grow. Felt good to get on stage in the same jeans I’d been wearing all damn day.”Willie Nelson
Chris Deville at Stereogum has written a nice retrospective on Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots by the Flaming Lips, which was released twenty years ago. I am listening to the CD I bought not long after as I type this.
Yoshimi is the one with Do You Realize??, lovely tune that became a staple at weddings I attended over the next couple of years.
Like DeVille, I think Fight Test is far away the best track, for all the reasons he cites:
Rather than any kind of silly robot situation, “Fight Test” is about real shit: specifically, realizing too late that you should have done something rather than let your lover slip away into someone else’s arms. There’s some loopy stuff about sunbeams on the chorus, but the wonderment works like a charm in the context of the verses, each one more devastating than the next, leading to the dagger: “Cause I’m a man, not a boy/ And there are things you can’t avoid/ You have to face them when you’re not prepared to face them/ If I could, I would/ But you’re with him now, it’d do no good/ I should have fought him, but instead I let him/ I let him take you.” I don’t know whether those lyrics are based on a true story, but within the song’s gorgeous sweep, they never fail to make me verklempt.Chris DeVille
BIKEPACKING.com published a sneak peek at the under-development Sour Mash in April and this week the folks from Tanglefoot posted some more photos and notes on /r/xbiking. Man it is a sweet looking bicycle and that dynamo hub/light combination is something I’d like on my Midnight Special.
The reddit post prompted an enlightening conversation about the cost of making and shipping custom bikes. Shout out to whomever it was at Tanglefoot for laying it out so well.
Its tires were made of wire mesh. Its seats looked like beach chairs. Its four electric motors together managed just one horsepower. Its floorboard was one-fiftieth of an inch thick, about the same as the slimmest wood veneers, and would snap under an astronaut’s weight on Earth. Yet the lunar rover—or, in NASA parlance, the lunar roving vehicle, or LRV—upended all expectations of what was possible in a brief visit to another world.The Off-Roading Astronauts of Apollo – Outside