Friday January 14 2022
I finally cleaned up my Spotify profile. I’ve got ten years of playlists but have never arranged them in any helpful order. Historically, people have chosen Perfect Recordings and the year-end lists. Today, I recommend smaller buddies. Feathers tries to define the kind of emotionally devastating song that does not make its case overly hard. The Codex playlists—jazz kissa or dub or boom bap—are massive link dumps that have been taking shape over time. (These are blankets, not gloves.) Hassell Selected and 1982 Hardbody, like Feathers, begin with a specific idea and move swiftly to a close.
I was inspired, in part, by Teju Cole’s Spotify playlists. He’s been off Twitter for years and is a quiet presence on Instagram but he’s been going ham on the playlists. He, in fact, describes this activity on his own website, and that page is worth bookmarking.
You can go with unfurl for ragas or soledad for something that seems to track with the title. Cole’s lists are generally thematic and most last roughly an hour. One exception is the hundred greatest songs of all time, which he describes as “a riposte to a parochial list by Rolling Stone.” Most of the tracks included are non-Anglo recordings usually left off such lists.
Cole’s entire stack of playlists is worth scrolling through, slowly.
Remember when I mentioned Pretty Sneaky? Friend of the Blog Jack Murphy tells us his name is Alex Dahlmann, and this August 5 2021 mix, done with his colleague Will, is great: older records, wiggly, warm, dusty, and even slightly dorky. A+, especially for Roger Robinson + DJ Plead + Jerry Berkers + Moses Boyd.
This Josey Rebelle mixtape for The Trilogy Tapes goes very hard: knobs full right. 100/100.
This recent Hessle Audio show with Ben UFO and Two Shell is pure beats.
Here is a new piece I wrote about Etel Adnan for 4Columns. Please read it if that name means nothing to you.
Do you need to slow down? Please watch The Lace Makers of Montusclat, a thirteen minute film made in 1978. Here is the description, translated from the French, which is a decidedly boss-friendly take on labor. Labor, in fact, is described as “fun,” twice, and the kicker is especially rich.
In a small village in the Meygal massif (Haute-Loire), three old lacemakers (75, 78, 85 years old) spend their days together making bobbin lace and “square” lace, to have fun and keep busy, chatting in patois and singing. Despite their age and the modesty of their condition, they have kept all their fun and joie de vivre. They evoke some memories of yesteryear and tell the legend of Notre-Dame de la Salette. They had to learn to make lace from an early age, to earn a living when they were still children. The marvels they create are remunerated in the most modest way, but that does not affect their good humor or their pleasure in working.