I don’t know about y’all, but with disasters both natural and manmade hitting from all sides lately, most days I feel like a rabbit in the headlights. This post may be a little more disjointed than usual—certainly more than I’d like. Let’s see what this all looks like by the time we get to the end. But before we get to brass tacks, though: please give your dollars and attention to Unidos por Puerto Rico. Donor fatigue is very real, especially after the past few weeks. I get it.
Fight through that.
This week begins like any week worth its salt: on a Friday.
We squeezed in the Van William live stream first thing in the morning. We were hipped to his music via Laura Burhenn appearing in his video. (As fate would have it, our bud Lindsey Starr was his guitarist on this tour.) Really digging those songs.
Via the power of internet, we had a chat with Jonah at Acid VR to talk turkey on more projects with them this year. Still marveling at how much we’ve gotten into incorporating VR into what we’re doing over here. It has become a hundred times greater than what you call “love”, and a thousand times greater than what you call “fun”.
Friday night, we hung out with Paula Kelley and Aaron Tap. We saw them shortly after we’d arrived in town, but hadn’t had a real chance to hang properly till this past week. We spent most of the evening shooting the shit, as you do, but the true purpose of our confab revealed itself: the brainstorming of a board game called Don’t Tip the Election: The Game! We were only able to really nail the broad strokes, but here are three pillars of gameplay we established: the playing surface must be unstable, the rules Byzantine, and it’s impossible to truly win.
(To pat ourselves on the back, we played an actual game called Wordsy which was very enjoyable.) Getting 25 points playing “longshoreman” could be a high point in my life.
Woke up Saturday morning to news that Charles Bradley passed away. Expected or not, it was a sock to the gut all the same. He was and is one of our favorites, a fellow child of Florida, and a source of inspiration for the past few years—both as a personality and a musical force. Hilary Hughes wrote an amazing piece for Pitchfork which perfectly summed up what made him such a lovely human being.
If there’s a takeaway line in her piece, it’s this:
Bradley didn’t harden in the face of tough times; he embraced the vulnerability of his human condition and relished the joy he could find within it.
We had the privilege of catching him at The Paradise in Boston a few years ago, and I can honestly say, it was one of the most positive, viscerally uplifting, no-bullshit things I’ve ever experienced.
WGBH posted this from that show. Give it a look-see.
Brief band meeting on Saturday. The record’s nearly mixed! I’m still very anxious to get this out to y’all, but there are still boxes several boxes left to check off. The song order’s the next battle; I can already hear the knives sharpening.
While you wait, feel free to give Sleep’s Dopesmoker some light listening.
(Actually, hell, go follow our Song of the Day playlist on Spotify.)
We hung out with Jilly, Danny, and Charles that night to watch three (3) terrible movies.
One is a short film I will not name, as it was written—at least initially—by someone whose feelings I’d rather not ding. This was a second viewing for most of us, and while questions about its time period were answered, it raised several more questions.
At least now we know why MacBooks were present in a therapist’s office in the 1970s. (Or 2009?)
Ante was upped on the second film: Lifetime’s Liz & Dick. Again, a re-watch for most of us. Still entertaining the second time around.
Naturally, we had to go for broke on the third film.
(I shall say no more beyond the following: Thank you, Kris Ehrig, for the birthday gift.)
Been having a difficult time getting back on the reading train (surprise), but I’ve got a few books in the queue: What Happened, The Rest is Noise, and—as soon as I get my library card—Dune. I’ve never read Dune, but through the course of my snail mail correspondence with my pal Beca, we decided to try out a book club type situation and Dune was the first pick. I’ll just have to find some other time to complete my run of every Spider-Man title. (I’m up to #182 of Amazing and #19 of Spectacular—which I am, quite foolishly, reading concurrently.)
Accomplished no museum or artsy-fartsy activities this Sunday. Instead, I played a bunch of Nintendo games. Thinking on it now, that time could have been better spent reading, but here we are. [Cue Zelda fanfare]
Which brings us to last night’s goings-on: eating tacos with Chris Sousa and Jilly, knocking back Modelos, and then taking a late-night tour of Studio One at EastWest Studios.
Who says L.A. ain’t magic?
(PS: Seriously, though, quit fucking about — Unidos por Puerto Rico. Click it, donate, share.)