Brady Gerber’s “7 For Seven”: Seven links on writing and creativity in your inbox by 7 AM EST every Wednesday. Headphone Nation and ARTS & FARTS music reviews, too. Interviews with writers every 2nd and 4th Friday. Read on your browser.
It’s Wednesday morning. Oof.
And this week’s going to be a little different: I felt really burnt out these past few days for different reasons (life, right?), so I’m sharing fewer links that are “creative” and more just things that made me laugh, or at least smile. If you’re also having a tough week, I hope these help. I did have time for Headphone Nation and ARTS & FARTS, so more music this week. Because music helps, too.
And away we go: Here are seven links to make your week more … something!
Gotta love the tough love from Scientific American.
(Related: What does the night sky look like on Mars?)
“It is presumptuous to assume that we are worthy of special attention from advanced species in the Milky Way. We may be a phenomenon as uninteresting to them as ants are to us; after all, when we’re walking down the sidewalk we rarely if ever examine every ant along our path.”
2. Larry King: “Hedgehogs are interesting.”
RIP the great and gloriously absurd King.
3. Instead of making a list of albums you like, how about albums you … don’t enjoy.
I enjoy Stephen Thomas Erlewine’s newsletter, and I love this idea of giving serious thought to why you don’t like something, beyond “lol this sucks.” Knowing what turns you off musically, I think, is just as interesting and telling as what connects with you. It’s also good to spot music more in the vein of “I don’t like it, but I don’t think it’s bad.”
“Enjoyment may not be the best metric for rating artwork. It's possible to enjoy bad albums and not enjoy good ones, for one, plus it could be reasonably argued that edification and enlightenment are loftier, richer emotions to seek from art. Transcendence is rare, so I settled for enjoyment—a term malleable enough to cover both deep and shallow pleasures.”
4 New (to me) cartoon punk series: Tiny Concert.
I love the animation and creativity with all these videos. I’d take more videos like this over a live stream any day.
Can’t wait. For the Bowl game.
(This video is like a decade old and you’ve already seen it and I don’t care.)
7. And finally, the acting skills of the wolf of wall street “leonard” dicaprio
Acting is hard!
And so …
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Cha Cha - “Nothing left for me (Letta remix)” (Dalseo Gu, South Korea)
Happy 8th birthday, Cakeshop!
909Distortion - “Find Yo Body” (Trieste, Italy)
This feels like the kind of music U2 would have made instead of War if they were in their teens in 2021. It’s that excellent use of delay that grabbed my attention.
Woody Murder Mystery - “Occupations matinales” (Clermont Ferrand, France)
And now for something completely different.
JAVATO - “Ciutat Vella” (Valencia, Spain)
The kind of rave where you wear this kind of monster costume. The drumming is noticeably good.
… we carry on …
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ARTS & FARTS
Louis & Bebe Barron - “Forbidden Planet: Main Titles Overture” (1956)
The Forbidden Planet soundtrack was the first-ever all-electronic musical score. What could sound cheesy on a screen with a film that probably hasn’t aged that well still sounds interesting on its own. I want to see the looks on the executives’s faces when they first heard that this was going to soundtrack the movie.
Simon & Garfunkel - “Feuilles-O” (1969)
Bridge Over Troubled Water might be the great New York in January album. It’s windy and cold here, but the holidays are over; all we have to look forward to is the end of the cold, which realistically will be April. It’s also surreal listening to beautiful and tender music made by two egomaniacs who absolutely hated each other.
The Bedquilt Ramblers - “Long Journey Home” (2020)
I’ve talked about Kentucky Route Zero, right? I’ve shared Emily Cross’s “I’m Going That Way” before? Ben Babbitt’s “My Light Heaven”? I won’t feel sorry for talking more about this stunning game and its even more amazing soundtrack, both of which I was very late to. The full game was released early last year after being released in installments over the past decade. If I played this game back in January, it would have easily made my 7 favorite things from 2020 list.
Jhove - “What If It All Turned out Fine” (2020)
What if, right?
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 latest features and more ways to connect.
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All cartoons by Brady Gerber. Headphone Nation’s logo was made by Sophie Wiener. 7 for Seven was made possible with the help of Simon Morrow, who also designed the ARTS & FARTS logo. Thank you, Sophie and Simon!