#007 — Self-promo Bouquet

Hi, hello, how are you? It’s me, Adam Wood, writing to you from Oxford where everything that once was solid, has melted. I don’t do well in the heat, and it’s this time of year in particular where I think fondly back on the years we lived in Iceland, where a 14°C / 57°F day was considered balmy. Regardless, I have fought against the heat-induced grouchiness to bring you this newsletter. I had promised last time that it would be a little different, and indeed it is. This is going to be (largely) Tendrils: Misc. Other Projects edition, as I’m going to use some space this week to point you to other things I’ve been tinkering with, elsewhere on the web.

Firstly — when you receive this, I will be on day 19/30 posting a daily photo on my blog. Above is a snapshot of some previous entries; if you’d like to catch the whole set, the photo page is here1.

If you poke around the site whilst you’re over there, you can also find things like the archive of end-of-year favourite albums lists, and a hand-picked collection of blogpost highlights from the last decade-plus.

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Secondly — here’s a playlist idea I’ve been experimenting with, and I invite you to do the same: I call it Finest Hour. It’s as simple as putting together a playlist for a single artist / band, that runs to one hour — as exactly as you can get it. No sneaking in an extra song and saying 1h 4m is good enough; that song has to be cut. In addition — to make it a little more interesting — I tend to approach these a little like a live setlist. Which song makes the best opener? After that, it’s important to consider the ebb & flow of how one song follows another, and then to land on a good closer, plus a three-song encore!

Here’s one of mine — for Taylor Swift — on Apple Music, and Spotify. If you make a Finest Hour for one of your favourite artists, please make sure to send it my way. (As always, you can just hit reply to this email.)

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Thirdly — I finally pulled the trigger on a podcast idea I’ve had for a while. The premise, in short, is that recently I’ve noticed an increased frequency of articles titled something like ‘[album from your teenage years] is turning 25’. So, instead of as well as feeling old about it, I thought I’d do some thinking about how my relationship to some of these cultural artefacts has changed.

The result is Flux Observer. The plan is that each episode I’ll revisit some piece of art or culture that has been in my life for at least a couple of decades, and consider how my thoughts & feelings about it have evolved over time. If that sounds even vaguely interesting to you, search for Flux Observer in your podcast app of choice, or find some links here2. Both a short introductory episode, and the first proper episode — on Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) — are live now.

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OK, that’s enough shameless self-promotion for one email newsletter. On with the bullets:

• My strongest recommendation for this email conversation between Patricia Lockwood & Sally Rooney (which I feel privileged to have been allowed to read!)

I felt like maybe my mission should be to write novels that can be read by frightened people in hospital waiting rooms.

• Look at this beautifully designed personal site, chronicling (in real-time) the author’s hike along the Appalachian Trail.

• Speaking of walking: my friend Simon has just walked his 1,000th mile of the year. He documents his jaunts (predominantly around Herefordshire) on Twitter.

• I enjoyed this piece on ‘The Night When Charlie Parker Played for Igor Stravinsky’.

• As a rule I don’t find much value in book trailers, but I love, love, loved Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation (2018), so I watched this trailer for her next novel, and… whoa.

• Music pick of the week: I’ve really enjoyed my first couple of plays of the new Foals album, Life is Yours

That puts a bow on this issue of Tendrils. Something like normal service might resume next week, or we might try something else again — I hope you’ll stay tuned to find out, but there’s an ‘unsubscribe’ button around here somewhere if you’ve had enough. In the meantime, if there’s anything you can do about this heat, please do it. Thanks in advance.


— Adam

  1. Update: this series has since been archived  ↩︎

  2. Update: the podcast is currently on hiatus, and has also been archived  ↩︎