Hello again 👋
If you read that title and immediately heard Zac Efron and his basketball team clap, congrats, we have the same twisted brain.
Going to start-off by saying thank you for opening another thread! And to those of you who reached out after finding resonance with the music and words I shared last week, just know, I was deeply moved by your responses and plan on circling around to responding shortly. Validation and reciprocation are such powerful forces that we all take for granted (and I feel vilify slightly?) and it makes showing up to write Newsletter #2 all the easier.
I was moved in particular by the shared camaraderie we all have in the pursuit of creative consistency or self actualization. In a "post-COVID" and remote work enabled world it's easier than ever (in the digital age) to forget how shared our struggles and pursuits are, sometimes, its important to remember that if you're struggling with showing up for yourself like a productivity robot, then many others in your network are too, and thats more than ok. Perhaps the secret to consistency lays in community? Perhaps everything just changes in the instant with no rhyme or reason as to why you've hit your stride. These things may just happen. Attack & Flux subscriber, new friend, and wicked cartoonist Ashten Wickham put it like this:
On one side we need to give ourselves enough grace when we don't reach our own, often very ambitious, expectations. On the other side, we also need to continue to be a person that we ourselves can put faith in
I thought that was beautifully put and perfectly sums up the complex dichotomy of being a 21st century creator.
If you haven't gotten around to checking out the recommendations from last week, no worries! The cool part about this is every week is basically contributing to your own personal recommendations playlist! I should actually probably go ahead and build a playlist with all the recs for y'all.
Now for the music!
🎧 A Song to Study
I've had a doozy of a week. I've found myself in a bit of a lull since coming back last week from Berlin, my first ever vacation. I've found myself needing less words and more feelings as I grapple with a disorienting stew of emotions. Halftribe's Concept of Happiness has been the gentle touch I've needed. It's a minimal and quiet ambient piece that has some incredibly sticky elements. The lo-fi background chatter of what sounds like a playground helps transport you to your favorite park bench where you people watch in a melancholic mood while watching the fixations of your week slowly fade out of view as you get pulled ever more into ~ the moment ~. I recently locked my phone away and put this one on loop for an hour. I found myself able to move through a lot of heavy emotions with its help. Give it a try if you're feeling stuck.
🏡 An Album to Live In
There are few things I'm certain of in life, but one thing I do know is that this album will make your day better. Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate are two Malian legends that have collaborated on multiple occasions. This time would be the final before Ali Farke Toure's death in 2006. Pitchfork described these recordings as uncommonly beautiful and it's hard to disagree. My most vivid memory with this album comes from 4 and a half years ago, during one of my final months on the East Coast before moving to Los Angeles with Liza. We were swinging in a back yard hammock listening to the song 56, it was a warm summer day, and I remember distinctly how the air felt - impermanent, fleeting. Realizing my days in this environment were quickly coming to an end I laid back, stared into the blue, and watched the clouds slowly creep across the sky. It was a moment of pure presence, one of the most notable in my life. Let this album bring you some Sunday peace.
If you need an energetic ramp after those last two, look no further. I won't say much besides, I think this is the greatest live vocal performance I've ever witnessed. I've returned to it frequently over the last 6 years or so. Enjoy.
👋 Until next time...
I understand how sacred privacy is in our day and I feel tremendously honored when someone trusts me enough to let me into their inbox week after week. Thanks for being here ❤️.