7 For Seven: The Return of Waluigi

I had a busy few days, so I asked for help.

Brady Gerber’s “7 For Seven”: Seven links on writing and creativity in your inbox by 7 AM EST every Wednesday, as well as Headphone Nation and ARTS & FARTS music reviews. 1st Friday: a new short story. 2nd and 4th Fridays: interviews with writers. Read on your browser.

Photo credit: The Empty Page

It’s Wednesday morning. Oof.

And heads up: Next Wednesday, I’m taking the day off for a mini-vacation. There’ll still be some fiction this Friday, and there will be a new writer interview on the following Friday (it’s a good one), but in-between, enjoy your week. And if you have some time to register to vote, better now than later, right?

I’m also going to take the week of September 21st off for my birthday, so no newsletter on 9/23, though I’ll try to schedule a writer interview for that Friday or the following Monday; September is just one of those months?

I also was moving throughout this past week, so I didn’t have as much time as I thought I would to find links. In that spirit, I’ve asked Waluigi to send me what he’s been checking out lately, so I could focus more on the other sections of this newsletter.

Here are seven wah-links to make your week more interesting:

1. I can’t remember if I’ve shared this before in the newsletter, but I credit Paul Thompson’s 2011 review of The Dismemberment Plan’s Emergency & I reissue as one of my main inspirations for wanting to take music writing more serious.

(AKA, how can you convey the sounds and feelings of an album to someone who’s never heard it before and be so clear that anyone can understand you? That’s the key to writing about music: What are you experiencing?)

2. How Wagner shaped Hollywood.

3. I’ve never had a strong opinion about Senator Chris Murphy, though I do like his recent NYTM interview that includes a refreshingly blunt note on American democracy.

“This job is not a lot of fun right now. You have a chief executive who is an administrative nightmare and intent on dividing us — it is exhausting. I have a real belief that democracy is unnatural. We don’t run anything important in our lives by democratic vote other than our government. Democracy is so unnatural that it’s illogical to think it would be permanent. It will fall apart at some point, and maybe that isn’t now, but maybe it is. So I feel like my job is to hold this together so that it survives to the next administration. That’s not the reason you go into any profession: to keep it from falling apart.”

4. I shared this a few years ago on this newsletter, but it randomly came up again this week and it’s still one of the best dumb things I’ve read: “Critical Perspectives on Waluigi.”

(This 2013 post is a good double-edged sword of how the internet has shaped a generation of writers. On one hand, the sheer thoughtfulness and silliness of this piece is refreshing and could only have been written on an internet platform. On the other hand, I think we’ve lost a lot of great writers who use their education and abilities to focus on writing stuff like …. this … and now they’re freaking out because they can only express their emotions and political beliefs through irony and memes and can’t get a decent paying job because they’ve spent their energy and resources focusing on writing stuff like … this.)

(Then again, I’m spending part of my newsletter writing a critical perspective on a few critical perspectives on Waluigi … and I named this week’s newsletter after Waluigi, knowing that some of you will “get” it … so who’s the actual loser here.)

(Also, like … who is Waluigi.)

5. How to create The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights.”

6. Skeletor says “wat.”

7. And finally, the friend that actually gives you the wifi password.

And so …


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“GIVE A LITTLE, GET A LOT”

Black Lives Matter has a pretty great website that breaks down all the activities that they’re following and want you to know about. You also can set up monthly donations for however much (or little) you’re able to offer. Their newsletter also is great, which gives first notices on new action steps, petitions, partnerships, programs, and local ways to get involved in your community; instead of vague “join the movement” or “start a conversation” grandstanding, it’s where you can get tools and tips to join something already happening in your community.

GIVE: However much money you can, one time or on a monthly basis, to Black Lives Matter.

GET: The quickest updates and announcements on resources and events to keep you connect with other people in your direct area and how you can help.


HEADPHONE NATION

(think global)

PLANISPHERE EDITORIAL (Basel, Switzerland) Another new-to-me Swiss label that channels the kind of headspace that 'Kid A' was probably aiming for. At this point, this sound has become the new timeless?

The Light (Barcelona, Spain) Hazy, shoegazey-like guitar noise that would fit well into any Bill Murray movie.

IX reflections (Moscow, Russia) A cool remix album that I thought was going to be metal but ends up more like Moby?

Yamato-O (Jakarta, Indonesia) Strong Boards of Canada, 'Music Has The Right To Children' vibrations in the air - or, at least what a BoC impression sounds like in my head.

Blank Out (Kolin, Czechia) "Bunch of drunk cucumbers."

… we carry on …


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ARTS & FARTS

Song “reviews”

Power Trip - “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)” (2017)

RIP Riley Gale :(

Radiohead - “Vegetable” (1993)

Amnesiac is fine, and nothing on it is nearly as good as “Vegetable.”

Two Door Cinema Club - “What You Know” (2010)

Well played, Vice UK. I also think this is one of the last music videos that I first saw on MTV, during those few lost years (2005-2011ish) between the debut of YouTube and social media’s genuine take over as the first place to watch new videos. In that sense, I’ll always associate this video, fair or not, as the actual end of MTV’s second golden age. This video also makes no sense. It feels like a production with a budget for TV and not a YouTube debut. This definitely wasn’t made to be turned into a meme or TikTok.

Hey Mercedes - “Eleven to Your Seven” (2001)

My coworker Henry asked if the title of my newsletter was a reference to this song. I wish I was so clever! Also, check out Henry’s newsletter.

Pedro The Lion - “Secret Of The Easy Yoke” (1998)

This is one of my favorite “sounds” when it comes to feels guitar. I could curl up and dream inside this album cover. It’s Hard To Find A Friend still sounds great, though even by emo standards, its lyrics have not aged well. I’m thankful for when I first heard this album, and I’m glad that I can no longer relate to these words. I’ll always have the sound.

Onward!

-Brady


Brady writes about music (and other things) and draws cartoons. You can find him in New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Interview Magazine, McSweeney’s, Electric Literature, Literary Hub, and more. Check out his website, where you’ll find his reading list this year, his latest features, and more ways to connect. Brady is a freelancer for hire who can do interviews, reporting, criticism, and playlists - get in touch if you need a writer.

We’re proud to keep the Wednesday edition of 7 for Seven free. It’s a labor of love. It also takes time and fuel. Coffee, specifically. If you enjoy 7 for Seven, here are some practical ways you can help: Tip Brady for coffeeshare this newsletter, and hire him.

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All cartoons by Brady Gerber. Headphone Nation logo by Sophie Wiener. 7 for Seven was made possible with the help of Simon Morrow, who also designed the “Give A Little, Get A Lot” and ARTS & FARTS logos. Thank you, Simon!