A tough month for rock ‘n’roll, with the passing of both Dusty Hill and Charlie Watts. Both guys knew how to get the funk and grind into their music, and both understood the essential ridiculousness of the life. Charlie in particular offered up a ‘don’t give a fuck’ attitude that was no affectation. For the most part, he knew there were better things to be doing. We could all use a little more of that perspective on the life/work balance.
Anyhoo. Join us this week as we thumb through cookbooks, consider the most influential band ever and yes alright talk a bit more about Ted Lasso.
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
Both the Book and Food Desk here at The Cut have an obsession with cookbooks. There are piles of the things cluttering up the limited space we have available, to the despair of our office manager. They can be beautiful objects in their own right, but the best ones don’t just offer aspirational recipes that take up a whole weekend to create. No, a really good cookbook will offer a view on life which is as much philosophical as culinary. Alicia Kennedy (you subscribe to her newsletter, right?) talks about some of her favourites. We are pleased to see some connections with our list.
We’ve all put on some lockdown poundage. Stuck at home, box sets hosed, internet finished, it seems like there’s nothing left to do but eat. Usefully, the Japanese have a term for this phenomenon, which also helps explain why we do it in the first place…
Big fans of Laurie Penny here at the Cut. Her latest piece on how society deals with the uncomfortable reminders of an unequal society is clear-eyed, merciless and compassionate in all the right places. You may not agree with her but she will make you think.
It Was That or Starve
Right, less seriousness for a mo. Let’s have a little dance. This independent project seeks nothing less than a major overview of the dance music scene. It seems pretty comprehensive to us, but we don’t pretend to be experts. If your heart beats four-to-the-floor, then be prepared to get lost down a rabbit hole…
Big fans of Jeff Noon here at The Cut. Ever since his first acid-spiked dispatches from the underground sent rainbow-ringed ripples through the SF world in the early 90s, he has been an author unafraid of experimentation and the joy of randomness. For his latest book, he has chosen to allow the plot to be guided by tarot. Sounds like a fun idea to try on our next long-form project…
They were the first manufactured band designed for TV. They sold millions of records and their show won two Emmys for its first season. They starred in a movie written by Jack Nicholson who used the money from it to kickstart the American New Wave of cinema. They have influenced hundreds of bands and pioneered music video. You know more of their songs than you think they do. Hey hey…
If you live on the socials you have probably come across the work of Cold War Steve. He’s a British satirical collagist whose art mashes up influences as diverse as Hogarth, Bosch and the Mitchell brothers from Eastenders. He works digitally, but has come up with an epic wheeze for what he calls his International Exhibition Of The People. If you have a space available for people to come and check out the work (for free of course) Steve gives permission for you to print out and exhibit a selection of his pieces. We are proud to note that the first show is currently taking place in Reading at Tutu’s Ethiopian Kitchen. Feel free to follow her good example!
YOU, ME & COLD WAR STEVE – THE INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION OF THE PEOPLE 2021!
Vauhini Vara couldn’t find a way into writing about her sister’s tragic death. In a move that would have been purely SFnal even a decade ago, she pointed an AI network at the task. The results were as odd as you’d expect, yet also strangely moving…
The long read this week looks at Jesse Armstrong, writer and show-runner for Succession. The show is currently in post for its third season. Reports are it’s as sharp and vicious as ever. This New Yorker profile digs deep into the art and craft of writing a show like Succession, and the particular challenges around shooting during a global pandemic.
And finally, still on the subject of writing for TV, LA Times talks to Brett Goldstein and Juno Temple, the power couple of Ted Lasso. Lots of fascinating insight here on the intersection between writer and actor. Goldstein is of course both, scripting and delivering a great performance as AFC Richmond hard-man Roy Kent. But it’s Juno Temple who shows us how her performance has informed the arc of her character, Keeley. Great stuff. Have we mentioned how much we love this show recently?
Back to Charlie Watts, whose passing was a big part of the news cycle this week. As with Dusty Hill his death was unexpected, coming quickly after having to drop out of a tour due to illness. Watts was no battering ram—he had a delicate touch and knew how to swing. He was the gentleman who held the Stones groove in place and he will be missed.
See you next Saturday folks, a moonlight mile down the road.