Top 10 - October 2020

The intro solo to Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher” – While we all mourn not only the passing of American Democracy writ large this month, we also mourn the passing on to Rock Valhalla of a one Edward van Halen. This intro remains as valid today as the day it was recorded in 1984. It can simultaneously get you stoked beyond belief in the exactly 42 seconds of earth shattering utter joy and happiness and make life on this dying planet liveable for at least another two hours. Why was Eddie always smiling so damn much? So would you if you could channel Heaven into your fretboard like that. Rest in Power.

Song Exploder (Netflix) – You might have thought that a podcast that goes from Converge to Ghostface Killah to Dua Lipa and takes songs apart bit by fleeting bit would be enough, but this dude is now on the tubes and has you watching and falling in love with music you might not even necessarily like otherwise.

The Early 2000’s Internet – Man, oh man, remember when tags just came out and then where things went (nowhere!) wasn’t an issue because you could just tag it? And sharing photos was all innocent and didn’t end in the SWAT team at your door? Do you remember an internet of excitement and enthusiasm for trying to make things better? Do you remember the time before 14 year old nazis took over and people were getting killed over comments? So do I. Barely.

Throughline “Litter” – An absolute mindblower of a podcast on recycling, the environment and the very notion of litter. Most of all, it’s about how we’ve been duped and suckered into feeling bad and doing the work about something industry used to actually handle themsleves. That’s right, manufacturers and producers used to be responsible for the packaging they produced and then made it our fault. It isn’t why the person threw the candy wrapper in the bi, it’s about why is that person’s fault there even is a wrapper? Actually just listen to everything these two put out on this podcast.

Acid Arab “Jdid” – Eastern and southern Mediterranean electro vibes will get your house pumping

“Range” by David Epstein – Polymaths and generalists win in the long term is the gist of this book. This is what I tell myself over and over again, like a mantra, to make myself feel better about not really going that far in my field of work. Too few people are saying this as we all get rammed further and further into holes that never fit.

“Raised in Captivity” by Chuck Klosterman – Short story compendium ranging from slightly disturbing to hilarious. Concise and ultra-readable.

Two Minutes to Late Night Bedroom Sessions – This is probably one of the more interesting ways that music has changed from the stadium and the tour back to actually where it all started, in various famous in underground circles people’s bedrooms across the world. As if it wasn’t amazing enough there was a heavy music late night talk show, they’ve reinvented formats again and decentralised performance bar none.

Dixie Witch “Smoke and Mirrors” – Sloshing around from slide guitar twang to proper Hellacopters riff-rock, these Texans lay on the southern rock with heaps of smoke drenched groove.

Lexicon Valley podcast – People have issues with this host. My biggest is easily show tunes which are harder to handle than his politics. BUT, he is a obviously talented Columbia linguist who seems to know about a million languages and explain in precise detail with a chuckle and a smile the difference between a creole and a pidgin.