1. Ukraine’s landslide victory at Eurovision 2022, because yes, music hits hard when it’s political, and yes this is by a band who’s country they are representing is currently at war by another country who just so happened to bow out of Eurovision this year. While at first it looks like one of the classic Eurovision melanges of folk/ethno-linguist and some form of “modern” music together, it is actually a tune that gets stuck in your head, especially the flute chorus bit. Yes, it’s also a song about a mother protecting her children from war, you know, like the hundreds of kids who died for no fucking reason in the Ukraine. But to dig into the song itself it stands out in terms of the Ukrainian (old school eastern Slavic maybe) four part harmony singing, some Cossack retro outfits but mixed with hip-hop. You could pull that string even further and make connections to hip-hop’s role as a political instrument of protest all the way from Chuck D to the amazing hip-hop scene in Bosnia just after they suffered a mindless war. The East is Europe’s ghetto and this just might be their “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.”
  2. Jimmy McGriff and Groove Holmes’s “Giants of the Organ in Concert”
  3. Damn fascinating interview between two economists (Noah Smith and Rohit Krishnan) ranging from everything from Genghis Khan, Japanese cultural imports to the short-sightedness of Silicon Valley, particularly this, “I know some Thiel fellows, and I like them and I hope they do great things. But at the same time, I feel that the Thiel Fellows program isn’t the kind of thing that can scale up – it’s not a call for the average person to eschew college to be an engineer or technician, it’s a call for a tiny thin sliver of the ultra-elite to eschew college so they can get a head start on amassing vast wealth in winner-take-all markets. And on some level, that still assumes that we live in an Atlas Shrugged world, where a tiny number of geniuses produce the value and everyone is still along for the ride. Maybe it really is that way, but I don’t think so..”
  4. Buddy Rich in general
  5. Ice cream – Yes, it’s back in force. Oh, Jim, you say, it’s only May, it’s not really summer and you don’t deserve that delicious treat do you? Yes damnit, I do, because I’m worth it.
  6. Speaking of the former Soviet Union and the music industry, so the Scorpion whistling intro ballad for the ages was part of a CIA plot? Winds of Change is a damn well put together podcast serial exploring just that, at turns hard hitting journalism and whimsical but not really sure how at the same time.
  7. Rupa “Disco Jazz” is one of those massively obscure gems that rocks the house and makes the sun shine. You know what, it will make birds sing. Hindi/Bengali disco/rock/jazz from 1982 that you need in your life likely.
  8. Not doing a Top 10 for once
  9. Yes, there is hope for academia, and that is Dean Vuletić, the world’s premier researcher on Eurovision.
  10. If you like just walking around sort of doing nothing in places you’ve never been or don’t live in, check out Virtual Vacation