- Claire Vaye Watkins's essay "On Pandering" (which I encountered via Men Yell at Me). This gets at a lot of reasons I needed to take a break from writing literary fiction (after, like Watkins, being told my prose was "masculine"). And the clarion call at the end made me yell in agreement: "Let us embrace a do-it-yourself canon, wherein we each make our own canon filled with what we love to read, what speaks to us and challenges us and opens us up, wherein we can each determine our artistic lineages for ourselves, with curiosity and vigor, rather than trying to shoehorn ourselves into a canon ready made and gifted us by some white fucks at Oxford."
- Austin Kleon's musing on middle life. I've linked to Kleon plenty before; this piece is especially lovely, and his Substack is very much worth the subscription.
- Van Gogh's advice to a young artist (I think this also came my way via a Substack, though now I am no longer sure which one).
- Ted Gioia's enjoyable, if occasionally inadvertent, resistance to AI.
- For the sake of linking to something that isn't a Substack, I'll note that one of my guitar mentors recommends dipping into Songwriters on Songwriting whenever you need a new way of looking at things.
- The Baguettes have had a few recording sessions lately in which we've referred to Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies. Also of use: the Not So Oblique Strategies. I don't know whether it's the result of any official strategy, but last week saw us discussing whether we could incorporate a typewriter into our live percussion setup.
And it's hot. This room is so humid the trackpad on my geriatric laptop has stopped working. The world is melting, and I hope you're engaging in whatever forms of climate action you can, large and small. That's the real point of all of this: let's get rid of what isn't working, and let's make something better.