Letter #51

Good morning / afternoon / evening,

I hope you’ve had a lovely week. It’s been a euphoric week for me, and there’s been lots of music.

A few months ago, one of my oldest and bestest friends (hi Adam!) asked me to buy a ticket to All Points East. I said ‘yeah, will do’, and subsquently forgot / flaked out. I’m a moron. I’ve spent the whole of this week being told about how amazing LCD Soundsystem were, and worse still, how brilliant Despacio was. So this week is themed on regret. Kidding, but it does start with classic James Murphy, and cranks it up from there.

🌪 TL;DR section 🌪
Stuff to do: get booked in to go and see Tim Lawrence’s excellent new exhibition on NY party culture (hosted at Red Gallery in Shoreditch); read this brilliant piece on four women who are changing jazz’s gender bias; learn more about Despacio and its soundsystem (if you don’t know already); follow Patti Smith on Instagram; read this Pusha T interview on his new album; watch (one of my personal heroes) David Lynch talk about the connections between meditation, creativity, and consciousness; and listen to and learn more about Batu’s new compilation of killer techno.
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📚 The notes 📚

This week it’s a slightly shorter set of rambling notes. This is because I’ve spent a lot of time this week writing next week’s letter. It’s a very special one (our year anniversary), and I want to make sure it’s exceptional. As such, I’m putting a lot of energy into ensuring it’s suitably celebratory 🎉.

This week is also a milestone week, as I FINALLY finished that bloody Rickey Vincent book. I expect a certificate to be posted to my house within one to two weeks. Pretty much the second that I put it down, I picked up my next book. Something I’ve been excited about reading for a while now, Rave On, by Matthew Collin. I’m already about a third of the way through, and I can’t put it down. If you’ve any interest in the development of dance music, or culture (which I know you have), then go buy it.

The book opens with Collin’s taking a tour of Detroit with ‘Mad” Mike Banks, and Collin’s goes on to chart the rise (or birth, depending on your view) of techno in motor city. There are, of course, lots and lots of similarities between what Vincent described in Funk, and what Collin’s is describing in the early chapters of Rave On. Collins draws the link when he refutes the idea that Kraftwerk single-handedly invented techno; “The sonic Afro-futurism of musicians like Herbie Hancock, George Clinton, Stevie Wonder and all the others who pioneered the use of electronic textures, synthesized basslines and rhythmic technologies in the seventies and eighties was equally vital in terms of laying out a palette of possibilities for the electronic dance music that followed”.

It feels poignant that last week was Movement in Detroit, because what we celebrate now emerging from Detroit then, very nearly wasn’t anything at all (RA has a great oral history of Detroit from a few years ago). In a city that was on it’s knees, people like Derrick May and Jeff Mills (who, incidentally, gave a great interview recently) created something from nothing as a protest. They had hunger, and belief. One of the important collectives that emerged from Detroit (Underground Resistance) became a powerful driving force for change. They spoke of riots, and overthrowing governments and the establishment, and Collin’s reminded me of a brilliant Martin Luther King quote; “a riot is the language of the unheard”. The echoes to jazz, soul, and funk are strong, and in fact, it was Sun Ra’s birthday this week, and I remembered a quote from him; “if you’re not mad at the world, you don’t have what it takes”.

So I’ve spend a lot of time thinking about those two quotes and their relation to culture, as well as the idea that hunger and belief are all we need to do something new, something challenging, and something important. Also, it feels like in drill music we may have another example, after the government demanded that YouTube remove a number of drill songs this week for ‘promoting violence and creating social unrest’.

The thought around hunger and belief has been rattling around my head for a while now, and I think I’m maybe suffering from a little Baader-Meinhof bias. I’m most certainly susceptible to it, whether it’s spotting the same three stars I swear I’ve seen since I was a child, my current obsession with Magpies, or my new obsession with hearing saxophone in techno. I think that last point has definitely had a big impact on this week’s playlist, and after hearing the latest Ben Vince album, I’ve gone out and bought anything that he’s ever done. There’s also a great interview with Vince and Joy O here.

If you’ve got this far, then you deserve a treat. Have a read about the impact that Ken Collier had on the emerging scene in Detroit, in this excellent profile RBMA recently published.

As always, if you’ve read to here, thanks for indulging me ♥️.

See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #50

Good morning / afternoon / evening,

This week has been a barnstormer! Hope you’ve had a good one too 😊. It’s a long Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK, and my Dad is coming to visit, so should be filled with fam adventures and lots of music  ❤️.

Massive thanks to Mark for his brilliant guest letter last week, it was without a doubt one of our most popular letters, and a solid validation that there’s no such thing as obvious music. Just good music, worth sharing. On that note, this week is a bumper edition. After the themed letter, and Mark guest editing last week, I have three weeks worth of music and interesting stuff to share with you all. It’s a vintage week!

I hope you love it 🙏🏼.

🌪 TL;DR section 🌪
Stuff to do: you must read this absolutely staggering John Crace piece on addiction in the Guardian; look over a few of a teenage Stanley Kubrick’s photos from New York; celebrate the work of my favourite harpist Dorothy Ashby; book into Brilliant Corners’ new Giant Steps residency in East London; read an excerpt from Dan Hancox’s new book on grime, Inner City Pressure; listen to Ley Lines, the new album from Emma-Jean Thackray (I also can’t stop watching this new video too); back a new photobook celebrating UK club culture on Kickstarter; listen to a new Marcus Marr mix for The Ransom Note; read this great interview with Medhi, who founded boutique audio company Condesa; and finally, get hyped – Dali’s surrealist cookbook, Les Diners de Gala, is getting re-released 🍡.
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📚 The notes 📚

As I mentioned above, this week is a bumper week for new (new, but not necessarily new new) music, and I’ve been thinking a lot about genres. As I finally get towards the end of the great Rickey Vincent book on funk (I’m enjoying it, but I’m reading more slowly than usual, and it’s long), I keep coming back to the idea of what a genre is, and what it means. In the book, Vincent is pretty scathing about disco. His belief is that disco is just the appropriation and subsequent commercialisation of funk and soul. His argument is pretty convincing, but what I thought was most interesting was the idea that certain music could be classified and declassified as disco. According to Vincent, for example, certain Earth, Wind, and Fire tracks are undoubtedly funk, but on the songs where there’s any sense of repetition or a drum machine, then they’re disco (and therefore sell-outs). I don’t think I agree, but I like that it started me thinking about what makes (and who classifies music in) genres.

This thought has helped picked a lot of music out this week that’s quite genre-bending, and took me back to that idea I discussed in Letter 36 from the book Hit Makers on the importance of familiarity and surprise; we’re most susceptible to new ideas when they come in familiar packages. So Emma-Jean Thackray’s blindingly good new album (Ley Lines) fits the mould as it bridges the worlds of jazz and instrumental hip-hop – in fact Thackray’s inspiration for Ley Lines was growing up with Madlib’s music playing alongside Fela, and Miles. Then there’s the new Joy Orbison collaboration with avant garde jazz artist Ben Vince (if you find a copy of this on record, please buy it for me!). The new DJ Koze album is (as you’d expect) wonderful and almost impossible to pigeonhole into a single genre. There’s a new track from Anderson .Paak that feels like techno. A Jonwayne track that unexpectedly samples a Radiohead classic, and techno producer Szare borrows liberally from gabber and Hudson Mohawke’s TNGHT project. This level of genre-bleed is so exciting. It keeps music moving, and interesting. And it’s obviously not new. Even when we go way back we see this happening – the best example probably being the Parliament / Funkadelic explosion of the 70s (I stupidly hadn’t realised that they were basically the same band, just on different labels)

What unites the music I’ve mentioned above and most of what I’ve chosen to include this week is that along with a lot of genre-blurring, there’s a sense of being ‘locked in’ to a groove. If you listen to the Motor City Drum Ensemble’s track ‘Prayer’, you’ll notice it uses a simply drum pattern, a looped soul sample, but then plays with different brass instruments over the top. Listening to it, you get locked in to the rhythm, and then 64 bars in over the top comes this rush of new (unexpected) sounds. I found it exhilarating. It’s been on repeat. The Szare track is similar, but flipped – the bass rumbles along, but the asymmetry of the rhythm section really played around with my expectations.

This all became more pertinent this week, as I started to pull out records for the impending visit of my dad. It’s a ritual pull out new things he might not have heard (a tough task), but my record collection has become a mess. About a year ago I tried to catalogue most of my records with a simple system of; genre, tempo, phase (Mancuso’s bardos), and key instruments. This was fine a year ago, but as I’ve carried on learning more about music (and buying a lot, with a lot more variation), I’ve realised a lot for the genres are wrong. I’ve also realised that I was thinking about matching records based on pretty arbitrary principles – instead of really listening to them, and understanding how they make me feel. I can’t deny that I think that’s happened a bit with Love Will Save the Daymixtapes too. I think (up until this week) I’d become increasingly focused on grouping tracks in the same genre together. It’s happened totally unconsciously, but when I look back at early letters it’s a right old mess of genres. However, those early mixtapes have more feeling and less structureI think it shows, too.

So, more listening, less notes.

Which bought me right back to Rickey Vincent, and a quote that felt really pertinent; “Once again the corporate mentality had overtaken racial consciousness to the point where music was product rather than culture.”

The second we become obsessed with categorising something, it becomes a ‘product’. It loses it’s true value, and feels like a commodity. That’s not to say that products can’t have cultural value, but there’s a difference between someone trying to sell a ‘product’ back to a culture (EDM) and an organic product that’s part of a culture (grime). I think a lot of that comes down to intentions – and if you start by thinking about you can build / create something of value to culture, that’s a great start.

As always, if you’ve read to here, thanks for indulging me ♥️.

See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #49

Good morning / afternoon / evening,

I hope you’ve had a wonderful week. Feels like summer is on its way 🌞. I was really nervous about last week, it’s been a while since I’d put together a themed letter, and the letter itself was a bit more indepth than usual, but the feedback has been really positive – and thank you to everyone that got in touch!

This week we have something really special. When this whole thing started (nearly a year ago), I tweeted a link to the sign up page and gave a pretty shoddy articulation of what this was all going to be about. One of the first people to sign up was Mark Pinsent. He’s been a friend for years, but I had no idea about his love for music. This week Mark’s put together a guest letter, and like those before him, he’s captured the essence of what Love Will Save the Day is all about, while putting together a mixtape that I never would’ve done (in a good way). He’s raised a few concerns that the songs were all a bit obvious, but obscurity has never been the point – the point has always been about sharing music and ideas on culture with people who love it as much as I do. You.

I hope you enjoy Mark’s guest letter as much as I have, thanks Mark.

🌪 TL;DR section 🌪
Stuff to do: cover the new Grandmother synth from Moog; read this amazing interview with Margo Jefferson on criticism and culture; learn more about Carla Bley; celebrate Eno’s 70th by reading this piece on him and the birth of ambient; prepare yourself for the upcoming film about Wiley; listen to every song from Donald Glover’s Atlanta; read more about the solo album from BadBadNotGood’s Matty Tavares; learn about the horrific treatment of (and subsequent protests from) Tbilisi’s underground club culture.
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📚 The notes 📚

Jed asked me if I’d like to guest edit a Love Will Save the Day letter.

Honestly, I shat myself.

I adore Love Will Save the Day. I’ve been in since week one. Jed’s even been kind enough to feature a track I suggested (Letter #7, if you’re interested). It’s helped me discover so much great music, and genuinely has been the soundtrack to the start of my family’s weekend. I live in France, but I’m in London most weeks for work. I’m almost always home by Friday lunchtime, and when the kids are back from school and my wife Michelle has a much-needed glass of wine in her hand, it’s the latest Love Will Save the Day playlist on in the kitchen and the weekend officially kicks off. Magic.

I love music, but I’m no aficionado. So, when Jed asked me to put a list together I had an immediate crisis of confidence. But he convinced me, so here we are. Apologies in advance. If you’re a genuine music buff, this might be the time for a week off. Treat it as an anomaly. It’s unashamedly mainstream. It’s a bit like the Now That’s What I Call Music of Love Will Save The Day (#NTWICMLWSTD?)

Here are some notes to accompany the playlist.

Some sentimental old guff to kick things off. As mentioned by Jed in the notes to Letter #7, much of the music of my early childhood was influenced by my mum. Blues, jazz…there was always something on. My Sunday mornings were waking up to both the smell of bacon and the sound of music wafting up the stairs. Pretty idyllic to be honest.

My Dad died in January this year, but unless I fancied including a bit of Status Quo or Jools Holland and his Big Boogie Bollocks Band on the playlist, Dad wouldn’t feature. So, the first track’s for my Mum. Two of her favourites, Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie, with You’ve Got a Friend. Because if I’ve learnt anything since January, friends and family are everything (and love will save the day).

The music you hear when you’re tiny still penetrates. Even though I wasn’t making my own choices, the next few tracks on the list washed over me then and have stayed with me since. Well, apart from Edwin Starr’s Twenty Five Miles, that is. That’s there because it featured on the brilliant soundtrack to the amazing film, I Believe In Miracles (slightly biased, because I’m a Nottingham Forest fan, but it really is an incredible movie).

Quick note on Fleetwood Mac. Rumours is an phenomenal album, and if you’ve never heard the backstory to the making of it (of course you have, you musos) you really should. It’s a lesson in the best art being created through pain and turmoil (blah, blah, blah) though this track’s an uplifter (not a real word).

On that note, I have disco lights in my kitchen. Everyone should. When most parties end in the kitchen anyway, why not bring the party to the kitchen? Seriously, pick one of these up on Amazon. It’s life changing.

There’ll be rolled eyes at having Michael Jackson’s P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) on the playlist. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink…”we all know the pretty young things Wacko Jacko was interested in, don’t we?” Whatever. It’s a great skipping track.

Skipping?

Yes, skipping. Not with a rope. Just, you know, skipping. It’s impossible to skip without smiling (really, try it) and some tunes are just made for skipping. With P.Y.T skipping starts at precisely 14 seconds in. You’re welcome.

Nile Rodgers is great, obviously. But the bassline in Everybody Dance is the star of that track. And Luther Vandross sang backing vocals! Who knew?

First single bought? The Buggles, Video Killed the Radio Star.

Quite proud of that.

First album bought? Grease soundtrack.

Less so.

Moving on.

The 80s. My teenage years. Smash Hits, Wham!, Howard Jones, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet…the list goes on. I liked a fair bit of it all but ended up gravitating towards guitars. Hence, The Cult. An obvious track (“aren’t they all?” I hear you cry) but a great one.

Right, now, the 90s (this wasn’t meant to be chronological but…). It was perfect. I graduated in 1992, got a job and moved into London in ’93, single, living with mates and then…Britpop! Football in Regent’s Park, wearing too much adidas, Oasis at Earl’s Court, Blur at Mile End, Shed Seven in Shepherd’s Bush, bumping into Brett out of Suede in a Notting Hill pub…Halcyon days.

Really though, they were. I went to see The Bluetones the other night and they were truly excellent. But for all the energy, I’ve always preferred slow songs from Oasis and Blur to the fast ones. Talk Tonight is a gem, and finishing the list with a live version of The Universal allows me to say goodnight to you all and give myself a round of applause.

But not before, in true village hall disco fashion, I’ve inserted an Erection Section.

Sorry.

I’ve gone on enough. I’ve loved doing this (thanks Jed) and if you get anything at all out of this all-too-predictable collection of tunes, then that’ll do me.

As always, if you’ve read to here, thanks for indulging me ♥️.

See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #48

Good morning / afternoon / evening,

I hope you’ve all had a glorious week. I’m back in London, I’ve shaken off jet lag, and I’m PUMPED 💪🏼. Apologies for last week’s letter – it was both a bit short, and (looking back) I think the music was right, but the order was wrong. I’ve corrected this this week. This week is themed around Africa, and I’m not going to lie, it’s been really difficult to put together, but I think / hope you’ll love both the mixtape and the letter this week. More below ❤️.

🌪 TL;DR section 🌪
Stuff to do: watch the excellent documentary from Resident Advisor on Larry Heard and the idea of ‘deepness’ in house music; listen to endless recordingsof Jack Kerouac reading his poetry; learn more about South Korean label Beatball; listen to this brilliant Ariane Grande cover of HUMBLE. from Kendrick (and a weird ska rendition of Shape of You); read this great review of a new book on the story of Can; and finally, give this brilliant Spiritland set from one of our crew (Black Wax Solution) a listen.
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📚 The notes 📚
So, before I get into anything this week, I need to explain a few things. The first is that I usually steer well clear of anything to do with politics – both in this letter, and in life (it’s easier). The second is that I know that what I’m about to write below, I write from a point of privilege, and that I am far from being either an expert on, nor really qualified to properly talk about in its broadest sense. So I’m going to try and stick to the two things that I do know well (music and culture), and lightly reference the political and racial contexts. Also, if I’m clumsy with language, then forgive me…This week felt like a watershed moment. A few people have messaged me this week to ask if I’m including a certain song, and lots of people have been talking about the cultural impact of a certain video. Childish Gambino dropped new track This Is America this week, and the video (directed by Hiro Murai) is earth-shatteringly important. If you haven’t seen it, then please watch it here. It’s ok, don’t worry, I’ll wait.

It’s amazing, isn’t it? I think I’ve watched it at least ten times, and each time I find something new. Whether it’s spotting the SZA cameo, understanding the reference of a police car behind a white horse, or matching the lyrics to what’s happening on screen – it’s packed so densely with references that it’s blown my mind. There are a whole host of articles breaking down the references (this HighSnobiety one is good, as are the comments, the Guardian covered it well, and Pigeons and Planes’ piece was good too), and it reminded me of the excellent New Yorker piece on Glover from a few months back (worth another read).

The overriding thought that I took from This Is America was that of  appropriation of culture, yet continued denial of persecution (and continued persecution itself). Why I felt so urged to bring this up, is because history is repeating itself. In Rickey Vincent’s excellent book Funk: The Music, The People, and the Rhythm of the One, he talks about funk as worth studying because “it has a place in popular culture as one more in a long line of black musical styles—ragtime, swing, blues, and rock—that are often borrowed but not acknowledged. One purpose of this book is to acknowledge The Funk as another chapter in America’s legacy of acquisition and assimilation of black music and culture.”

This Is America is our generation’s equivalent to James Brown’s Say it Loud, or Gil-Scott Heron’s The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. It is a cultural call to arms, through the medium of music, that will hopefully drive conversation to make societal (and political) changes. At the very least, it should drive understanding. This feels like a very 21st century version of James Brown’s call that he was “ready to die on his feet rather than be livin’ on his knees”. Brown kicked off a revolution in the late 60s in America – acting as a nexus between radical politics, black culture, and the mainstream popular culture. He was able to reflect what was happening to black people, while also shaping the future of black culture. This role is a once-in-a-lifetime role that comes to so few people, and there have been few over time who’ve been able to both reflect and shape something for the better. It feels like Glover is picking up where James Brown and NWA left off…

Vincent also believes that hip-hop is the new jazz, and that jazz (along with funk) is pure protest music. It’s a “deliberate reaction to—and a rejection of—the traditional Western world’s predilection for formality, pretense, and self-repression.” When we trace back from hip-hop to funk, you can see that funk was the cultural cumulation of soul, jazz, blues, gospel, and slave songs. This isn’t to say that these existed in a cultural silo – there were endless influences from lots of different cultures – but you can trace a direct line from hip-hop back to West African music. This FADER piece does a brilliant job of drawing the lines between Congo Square in New Orleans, Miles Davis, funk, and Flying Lotus.

What I find personally amazing is that throughout my own journey of musical and cultural discovery I’ve struggled to articulate what it is that I look for in music, and struggled to understand why my tastes have always had a jazz, soul, of funk edge to them. About halfway through reading his book, I saw that Vincent had done the work for me when he spoke about the thread that runs deeply from West African music to modern hip-hop; “perhaps the most important retention from Africa has been the spiritual element of music-making, the necessity to bring about trance, to raise rhythm to a cosmic level. African music, gospel music, and jazz were designed to accomplish this, and with The Funk the tradition has continued […] In the African musical experience, everyone is included, for everyone’s individual rhythms are essential to the total vibe. Thus, all participate as part of a greater whole. A locked, happening rhythm brings everybody together grooving as one.”

This idea that music was designed to create a sense of cosmic togetherness, and elevate people to a feeling of spiritual ‘oneness’, through rhythm resonated with me with a real intensity.

Tracing this back to Africa though, comes with challenges. Since the 1970s western artists have been accused of ‘stealing’ and appropriating African musical culture. This argument was stoked further a few years ago when David Byrne launched Luaka Bop, and the quest to find William Onyeabour became a thing for people like me. There are so many different sides to this argument, Abigail Gardner wrote a great piece late last year (here), and QZ covered the issue of ‘digging’ culture brilliantly (here), but there are people who are digging with the intention of unearthing brilliant (but overlooked) music. People like Antal, or David Buttle. Personally, I agree with Zaf from Love Vinyl – finding new records (whether from Africa or Accrington) is about finding something and sharing it with people who might love it as much as you do. It shouldn’t be about elitism or ‘flipping’ records, it should be about creating a sense of togetherness, and making people dance. Dizzy Gillespie nailed it; “jazz was invented for people to dance. So when you play jazz and people don’t feel like dancing or moving the feet, you’re getting away from the idea of music.… You want to dance when you listen to our music because it transmits that feeling of rhythm”.

What’s really interesting looking into African musical culture is learning more about artists like Fela Kuti and Ebo Taylor. Both drew inspiration from traditional African music, but combined it with Miles Davis and funk. They studied together in London, and would spend hours together in Taylor’s flat listening to jazz, James Brown, and funk. This WIRE piece on Kuti from 1998 is great at outlining his life, the culture he built, and the fine line between creating culture and cultivating a cult. From my understanding, both artists felt instrumental to the development of modern African music – but it’s also evident that both artists drew inspiration from, and gave inspiration to western artists – what connected them all was the view that music and rhythm could elevate us all to a cosmic state, and give us a sense of togetherness that’s often missing in society.

Ultimately, I ascribe to Vincent’s view that funk (and jazz) “is deeply rooted in African cosmology—the idea that people are created in harmony with the rhythms of nature and that free expression is tantamount to spiritual and mental health”. So that’s why this week’s mixtape is an exploration of music either from Africa, or directly inspired by African rhythms, culture, and artists. Sure, there are highlife and afrobeat songs, but hopefully the mixtape shows the insane richness of modern African music, while dropping in some stone cold classics too.

As always, if you’ve read to here, thanks for indulging me ♥️.

See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #47

Good morning / afternoon / evening,

I hope you’ve all had a brilliant week! I’m still in New York, and it’s been a crazy week. It’s been a great week, but I’m really looking forward to getting home and seeing my girls ❤️. This week’s mixtape is inspired by New York, the people I’ve been working with, and the disorientating feeling of jet lag 😂. It’s also a shorter letter this week, as I’ve so insanely busy (normal, lengthy letter service will be resumed next week).

🌪 TL;DR section 🌪
Stuff to do: watch Donald Glover recreate TLC’c Creep video; listen to the new J. Cole album it is fire; watch this insanely good video from Kelsey Lu; listen to the story of feminist punk in 33 songs; marvel at these amazing recently found photos of ’78 NYC; watch this two hour interview with Kanye; read this great interview with Olafur Arnalds; and last but not least, get hyped that ABBA are making a comeback!
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📚 The notes 📚

This week, like last week, has involved a lot of travel. Right now as I write this I’m working my way back from Boston. I took the train, to try and see a little of America outside of the main cities and the train ran along the coast. It was nice. While I was staring out of the window, I thought back to the early Love Will Save the Day letters. I realised that this letter has changed quite a lot over time, and whereas it used to be about the stories behind where I found music, with some culture stuff, now it feels a bit more symmetrical.

I’ve always used music as my way of understanding culture, but increasingly that’s becoming a bit more two way – in my pursuit for understanding culture through music, I’m finding out more about culture, which in turn is helping me to find more music. Not that weird, I suppose. Also, as I get deeper and deeper into my (not so new) life at Initiative, my every day is now dedicated to culture. So I’m consuming more information about it than ever before. This means I’ve started to change the way that I talk to people about Love Will Save the Day.

Anyway, I’ve done almost no reading this week (I know, I know), but here’s what I’ll be reading on my flight home to London:

If you’ve read to here, you don’t get any rewards – it was the shortest letter yet ♥️.

See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #46

Good morning / afternoon / evening,

I hope you’re well, and I hope you’ve had a lovely week. This week, I’d like to start the letter with an apology. I was a bit unnecessarily grumpy about Record Store Day last week, and I shouldn’t have been. There’s enough cynicism in this world without me adding to it. Sorry, I’ll keep it in check ❤️ .

Now, onto this week. This week has been really busy with work, so the music I’ve been listening to is pure POWER music. You’ll see. It’s a belter, and has some twists and turns in it (latin vibes, Talking Heads, classic dubstep, Prince – what’s not to love). Also, this letter is coming to you all the way from NYC, so there’s a CBGB’s influence too (hat tip, Richard!).

🌪 TL;DR section 🌪
Stuff to do: get excited about the prospect of a new album of previously unheard Prince music; read this related Carl Crag interview on Prince’s enduring appeal and influence; pre-order Questlove’s new book on creativity (the man has 16 jobs); read about the influence Miles Davis had on these artists; listen along with Hunter S. Thompson, turns out he was down with funk; the New Yorker has a good piece on Jon Hopkins (who I think might end up being our generation’s Eno); there’s a great piece on Noisey about the soundtrack to Aronofsky’s Pi, one of my favourite films (and soundtracks); some of the best Guardian writers did a tour of UK record shops to celebrate RSD; and finally, watch this documentary on the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop.
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📚 The notes 📚

As I mentioned above, it’s been really busy at work so this has shaped my listening habits. I’ve also had something playing on my mind for ages now, and it intensified this week. I read an interview with Tenderlonious (of 22a fame) a few months ago, where he spoke about another jazz player (a mentor) explaining to him that for him to make progress and make the impact he desires, ‘commitment has to be on extreme’. At the time, I wrote it down on a scrap of paper and taped it to my laptop, it’s pretty basic phrase, but for some reason it felt powerful. I’ve been looking at that scrap of paper for weeks now. I know it must sound like a sort of affirmation etched into some pine and hung above a kitchen door (and bought from Not on the High Street), but it’s really stuck with me.

The thought has come up a few times in the Funk book I mentioned last week (specifically in relation to James Brown and Sly Stone, too artists renowned for insanely high standards and commitment to their art). Then, after having a bunch of different people recommend it, I watched The Defiant Ones on Netflix last weekend, and I was struck by the sheer forces of nature that are Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. If you haven’t seen it before, I’d highly recommend it (especially if you enjoy these rambling notes). I’m only a few episodes in, but it’s an excellent breakdown of how people can achieve so much, if they have an insane level of commitment, a deep understanding of culture, and an unrelenting drive to create something of value. They seem to embody this idea of extreme commitment. Watching the first episode, reading about James Brown and Sly Stone, seeing that scrap of paper, and listening to some really punchy music this week… It was like spinach for Popeye. Although commitment must surely always come with sacrifice…

It’s always interesting to see what sacrifices people make in pursuit of culture though, and there was a great piece on Peter Bowles in the New Yorker last week (I’d never heard of him before either, but trust me). Bowles was a writer, well, I suppose he could be described as a polymath, and I’d definitely describe him as a man in pursuit of understanding culture. He made a decision to live a life everywhere but his home town, and this made me think about travel and being exposed to different types of people, and different ideas. Some people spend their whole life travelling, exploring both physically and mentally, trying to find who they are. For me, finding purpose in life is about finding where we want to belong, how we want to live, what we want to contribute, and who we want to surround ourselves with. It’s about culture. Everything comes back to culture.

The author, Amanda Petrusich, calls him a nihilist, but I think his view aligns more with that of Western Buddhism; “The only thing that makes life worth living is the possibility of experiencing now and then a perfect moment.” When culture is constantly evolving, developing beyond the contribution of just a few people, but being the sum of everyone’s constantly changing ideas and thoughts, that Western Buddhist philosophy feels like an interesting place to be… Bowles ended up in Morocco, charting Moroccan culture through recordings of local artists and musicians, and I suppose that’s one of his biggest contributions to his culture. In many ways, he was part cultural explorer, part DJ. His story isn’t all that dissimilar to that of Larry Heard, who’s interviewed in WIRE this month. It’s great interview, and definitely worth finding a copy. One part that stuck me in particular was Heard talking about slowly realising he’s an introvert, who needed to cut most the clutter from his life and process in order to work at a better pace. This is a man who, between 94’ and 04’ published ten albums. Commitment on extreme for sure. In the interview, he also talks about submerging himself in music and his work in order to create something truly representative of what his vision was. This sense of submerging, almost gorging yourself, is interesting. The sacrifices you have to make, to turn commitment to extreme, must involve cutting as much brain clutter away as possible, in order to submerge in something. This needs work and thinking, but I think there’s something interesting in there…

Anyway, I’m writing this on my way to New York, and I really should have a little nap before I land.

As always, if you’ve read to here, thanks for indulging me ♥️.

See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #45

Good morning / afternoon / evening,

I hope you’re having a brilliant and sunkissed week. I make no apologies for the first song on the mixtape this week. If the sun is going to come out, I’m going to play Mungo Jerry. It should be law, really. This week’s mixtape is filled with funk, jazzy hip-hop, great pop music, African boogie, disco, classic house music, some heavy tracks, and some blissed out ambient bits to close. This week’s mixtape has shot into my top five. I think you’re going to love it  ❤️.

🌪 TL;DR section 🌪
Stuff to do: listen to anything on The Lot Radio; read about Nicki Minaj’s return(one of her new tracks is on the tape); watch the trailer for the upcoming Alexander McQueen documentary; buy the new edition of Love Injection; mess about with 16,000 sounds FX samples from the BBC; learn why music has been slowly getting louder over the last two decades; and watch a series of animations from the BBC on different philosophers and their ideas.

Thank you: this week I’m recording a new podcast, and massive thank you to everyone who sent in thoughts and feedback last week, it was mega helpful 😊.

PLAY
📚 The notes 📚

Now, before I get into this week’s rambling notes, I have a confession. I have a new obsession. Well, I say new, it’s been for a month or so now, but I’ve only just decided to come clean. Jimothy Lacoste. I first heard about him through a friend sending me a link to his video for Getting Busy, and then a few weeks ago I heard his single Future Bae (which is on this week’s mixtape). I don’t understand it, I don’t know if it’s a parody (there’s a connection to poundlandbandit), if it’s beautifully innocent, or something in between, but I don’t care. Future Bae is amazing. Follow him on Insta here.

Following on from Jimothy and his lo-fi production, there seems to be a slew of brilliant lo-fi pop music emerging at the moment (well, enough for Pigeons and Planes to call it a scene already). This doesn’t feel confined to pop and singer-songwriters though, and the volume of artists that are now self-releasing, and self-promoting music seems higher than it’s been for a while. To celebrate this, Rye Wax is throwing The Run Out again this year, at the Bussey Building in Peckham (tickets). It’s a mini-festival celebrating independent labels, and self-published music. It also provides respite for those looking to escape Record Store Day…

Why would you want to escape Record Store Day? And why would I be telling you to? I have a weird relationship with RSD. I haven’t taken part for years, and while I recognise that it’s most definitely a good thing for record stores, it feels a bit like an excuse for lots of labels to churn out either unnecessary ‘special editions’ (Aladdin Sane grey vinyl?), represses that get overly hyped but are under-pressed, or worse, it’s an opportunity for certain artists to co-opt the culture. Artists that wouldn’t usually have music out on vinyl, but want to be seen to be part of the culture and hype of RSD (such as, maybe Niall Horan?). Now, please don’t mistake this as me being a bit snobby – anyone that’s been here a while will no I have no issue with pop music – but RSD feels like it has become an opportunity for certain artists (and labels) to buy into the culture.

Maybe I’m being overly sensitive, and this is no bad thing (although Numeroagree with me). Maybe it’s a little more like the Vetements’ DHL t-shirt, and this is labels (and maybe artists) commenting on the insanity of record collecting. Maybe it doesn’t matter, and more artists pressing records means more revenue for artists. Maybe it will increase the volume of people listening to albums. Or maybe it’s co-opting culture, and it’s about hooking onto people desperate to buy into record collecting, but too nervous to do it anywhere but Sainsbury’s. Now I am being mean. I’ll stop.

In BRILLIANT news this week, Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer Prize for music! He’s not only the first hip-hop artist to win, but he’s the first non-classical or jazz musician to win, and it marks a huge achievement in the increasingly narrow gap between what people perceive as ‘high culture’ and ‘low culture’. A construct that I genuinely don’t believe exists, but for many it does, and this feels like another brick to close the gap. Another huge moment this week was Beyonce’s Coachella performance. Both artists have a brilliant ability to advance and evolve culture, broadening their work enough to make it accessible, but not too broad that it loses meaning. They’re what Rickey Vincent would call torchbearers of The Funk. More on The Funk next week, it’s a fascinating book, and it’s filling my head with ideas.

As always, if you’ve read to here, thanks for indulging me ♥️.

See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #44

Good morning / afternoon / evening,

It’s the dreaded Friday the 13th! But also, the sun is out and it’s hotting up, so it doesn’t count. I hope you’ve had a brilliant week – I’ve been exploring Amsterdam all week with my partners in crime ❤️. This week’s mixtape is a proper heater – to match the incoming sunshine 🌞 .

The letter this week is a little shorter than usual on account of being away most of this week, but don’t worry, I’m going to make up for it, because while this week has the usual mixtape (big red button below), TLDR section, and a short(er) note, it also has…

*Drum roll please*
The first ever Love Will Save the Day podcast 😊. More on it below in the notes, but have a listen, and let me know what you (honestly) think, I would really appreciate your feedback.
🌪 TL;DR section 🌪
Stuff to do: read this brilliant piece on the UK jazz scene in last weekend’s Guardian; listen to Lauren Martin’s excellent chat with Peter Zummo on Red Bull Radio; celebrate Herbie Hancock’s birthday by listening to a one hour Worldwide.fm special; read these brilliant scans of Langston Hughes’ amazing book The First Book of Jazz, written for children (but great for adults); read this Bandcamp piece on New York’s The Bunker;  buy Rickey Vincent’s book Funk: The Music, The People, and The Rhythm of the Oneand finally, have a look over this year’s RSD release list (it’s not all unnecessary reissues and picture discs, honest).

BIG REQUEST: If you enjoy this letter, I have a favour to beg of you… Would you reply and let me know two things; 1) what do you like, and 2) what would you change? I’m trying to improve the letter, and figure out the structure of the podcasts going forwards. It doesn’t have to be an essay, just a few words would be helpful.

Thank you ❤️

PLAY
📚 The notes 📚

 

This week’s mixtape has been heavily influenced by record shopping in Amsterdam (my first visit to Rush Hour – what an exceptional shop), the sounds of the city itself (lots of jazz and hip-hop), and spending a lot of time thinking about the connections between funk and jazz, how culture works (still), and the links between science and art. It’s been a very mentally stimulating week 😊, although a lot of these thoughts are half-thoughts that I’d like to keep coming back to after more reading and listening.

I finished reading the Mark Radcliffe book this week (after skipping quite a bit of the lads lads lads stuff), and in one of the final chapters there’s a really interesting point when Radcliffe is interviewing Kate Bush. I’ve never been a massive fan (lack of knowledge, rather than dislike), but after reading about Bush’s comments, I’m going to listen to everything she’s ever done. The interview is to promote Aerial, which came after a 12 year break in recording, and Radcliffe notes Bush’s “attitude to the notion of celebrity was bewilderment. She expressed astonishment that we have come to invest so much attention on something so shallow. To her, it was the work that was important, not the notoriety that resulted from it.” It’s all about the work. Show, don’t tell. Focus on what matters. It’s very work-related, but this echoes the thoughts of Adam Morgan in his book Eating The Big Fish, where he talks about the risk of the ‘Mephisto Waltz’, where two black holes are so attracted to each other, that they create a single black hole. Everything merges into one, and nothing new, or of value is created, and all because of a lack of focus on actual output. It’s all about what we create.

While the output should be single-minded, the inputs should be numerous. I’ve talked before about Steven Johnson’s idea the adjacent possiblethe more we expose ourselves to, the stronger our ideas become. This seems to be where emergent cultures properly accelerate – if you’re part of a culture that is full of brilliant and innovative ideas, then that has a knock on effect on the output of that whole culture. Listening to this recording of Antonio Russolo’s 1921 composition is a good example – it was born from the Dada movement, an avant-garde art movement that was (at the time) a weird phenomena, but a culture that has had long lasting effects across modern culture (I’d say there would be no Velvet Underground without Dada). The output was single-minded (as detailed in Tristan Tzara’s manifesto), but the inputs were numerous.

This level of creativity is hard to generate though. We can’t just flick a switch – we have to constantly expose ourselves to new material, and new thoughts. Also, it turns out, we need to move more. Sadly, Cecil Taylor passed away. Taylor was famous for being a brilliant, incredibly creative, and challenging jazz musician. He also wore sportswear on stage to help him move as freely as possible, because he was incredibly active musician. In fact, a lot of jazz players were/are very active on stage. I started reading Rickey Vincent’s Funk: The Music, The People, and The Rhythm of the One this week, and noticed that a recurring behaviour of funk musicians is physicality on stage too. The best jazz and funk players are renowned for their ability to lock into a groove, but then create brilliantly creative flushes of improvisation as if from nowhere. But it would seem that there’s a strong connection between physical activity and creativity…

This link between science and art is something that I’m finding myself increasing drawn towards, whether in Brian Eno’s view that “there is a deep connection between art and science: each is a highly organised form of pretending; of saying “let’s see what would happen if the world was like this.”, or looking at the more pragmatic connections between the two with someone like Daphne Oram, and her brilliant work as part of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Lots to think about.

I’ve also spent a boat-load of time thinking about what ‘the mainstream’ actually means. Does it mean something is globally popular? Has anything since the Beatles been truly globally popular? Or does it mean popular within a broad network of people? Who defines what is and isn’t mainstream? Is it the people who’s ideas have passed from the edges to the mainstream? Or are there mainstream ‘gatekeepers’, who nurse things from the edges to the mainstream? Can an idea go mainstream, or does it need better definition than that? To help me structure some of these (frankly) half-baked thoughts, I’ve got some reading to do. Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene, and the idea of memes.

Finally, I’m guessing that if you’ve read to here, then you’re part of the Love Will Save the Day hardcore, so I can bore you to tears about recording the first podcast. The actual experience itself was much nicer the second time around (and the first botched podcast actually helped a lot, bizarrely). It runs to just under two hours, and I got through 32 songs (including doing a ‘John Peel’ and playing something meant for 45 on 33). I was using Mixlr to record it live, which I prefer as quite a few people listened in which made it feel a bit less weird. However, turns out Mixlr is pretty unstable (or was at least last Saturday evening), and crashed a few times. From now on, I think I’ll record a safety file too. As such, if you’d like to get notifications when each podcast goes live, then follow me here on Mixcloud. I’m going to try and record one every couple of weeks.

I’m going to play around a lot with the format, and hopefully my confidence will grow a bit too I remember writing the first Love Will Save the Day letter and being insanely nervous sending it out. Now when I look back at those early letters I cringe a bit, but I can see how it’s developed. Hopefully the same will come of the podcast too. After asking a few people for their candid feedback, I know I need to; be a little less afraid to give the raw, and sometimes personal anecdotes that show why I care so much about culture; I need to get a bit more organised with thinking about what it is that I want to talk about, and have some notes to prompt me; but most of all, I think I need to remember why I’m doing this all in the first place – to share music, and thoughts on culture, with a bunch of people that I know love it in the same way that I do 🙏🏼 . Oh, and talk louder. Which is a problem I’ve literally never encountered before…

As always, if you’ve read to here, thanks for indulging me ♥️.

See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #43

Good morning / afternoon / evening,

I hope you’ve had a belting week! This week in London it’s felt like spring has sprung. I hope I’m not jinxing it by saying that 🌂. I’ve listened to some brilliant music this week and the mixtape came together really quickly, but I must warn you, listening back to the mixtape earlier, it goes off like a bottle rocket!

Enjoy ❤️

🌪 TL;DR section 🌪
Stuff to do: listen to the superb new album from Sons of Kemet; visit 50 of the worlds greatest record shops; listen to Kendrick’s vocals from DAMN. played over The Chronic; preorder the repress of Captain Beefheart classic Trout Mask Replica; read the back story of the Mick Rock photobook on Bowie, The Rise of David Bowie: 1972-1973learn more about how sound can be used as a weapon (and hear the ‘death whistle’) in this great piece from FACT.

Bonus: listen to Marvin Gaye’s classic I Heard It Through The Grapevinein stunning a cappella (big thanks to Louise!).

PLAY
📚 The notes 📚
Since starting this letter, quite a few people have asked why I chose to Spotify as the base for the playlists, rather than Apple Music or another service. I’ve used Spotify for years, and always been a huge fan of the ethos and purpose behind the platform. From the early days, it’s always been about music, rather than using music to sell something else, and for that reason, I will always stay loyal. This week was a huge week, as it went public in a typically Spotify way (not overly vain IPO, but rather straight up listing). There’s loads of coverage on the news, but this piece from MIDIA felt like the best to share. Big love to everyone I know at Spotify (some of which are here with us), huge week for you! 🎉

In more personal news, I broadcast the first ever Love Will Save the Day podcast this week! You’ll notice my very careful use of language. Broadcast. Not recorded. Not saved. Not published. I’m an idiot. Somehow, I managed to broadcast a three hour ‘show’ on my Mixlr page without actually recording or saving the broadcast.

Now, in retrospect, this is most likely a good thing. In those three hours, I learnt a lot. First of all, for my first run, I shouldn’t have promoted that I was doing it, as knowing I had an audience (even a small one) made me feel immediately more self-conscious and really nervous! It was far more technically challenging than I was expecting – learning to talk over the intro’s and outro’s of songs is harder than I’d imagined. Choosing what music to play takes a bit more thinking through than I’d done before, as I got through less music, and it was far too easy to revert to my comfort zone and turn it into a bit of a DJ set (which can be part of it, but I don’t want it to be the whole thing). I probably need to do a bit more preparation on stuff to talk about. Writing is a really natural medium for me, but talking to an empty room is definitely not.

I finished the John Peel book this week, and in the back there were a few people paying homage to his style and passion, and something that stuck out was that everyone commented on how whenever they heard Peel’s shows, it always felt like he was talking to only them. This is my dream.

I’ve had 40+ letters to work on this, and editing a letter is a lot more forgiving than broadcasting a live podcast / radio show. Practice, practice, practice it is!

After finished the Peel book, I pretty much dived straight into Mark Radcliffe’s Thank You for the Days: A Boy’s Own Adventures in Radio and BeyondI’m about a third the way through, and I’ve skipped a few bits as it can get a bit lads lads lads in places (football etc), but I’ve always really like Radcliffe’s style, and his passion for music is wonderful. Early in the book, he talks about being quite shy and needing space to himself, but also having this never-ending passion to share good music with people. Definite Peel parallels, and he summed up the tension nicely here;

“The truth is that you can’t really go on air and front a radio programme unless you’ve got a relatively high opinion of yourself, a basic belief that what you are going to say is worth hearing. This is an entirely different personality trait than being a well-adjusted social animal, however. I know national radio presenters who are almost painfully shy, and I personally find walking into a room of about twenty people to be far more nerve-racking than doing a live show to several million.”

I find the contrast pretty fascinating, and can definitely relate. Faith and trust in your own ability to find good music, but a tendency to be a bit shy sometimes. I read a good article this week on being ‘the quiet type‘. For those that have two sides to them (extroverted and introverted), it’s definitely worth a read, and I found it really relatable. The Radcliffe quote, coupled with knowing more about John Peel, and the article above has helped me to rationalise the tension of being a bit shy sometimes, but having a desire to share stuff that I love, with people that I think will also love it.

If you’d like to follow the live broadcasts for Love Will Save the Day, click here. I’ll link to them here when they’ve been published, but signing up will alert you (I think) when they’re being broadcast live.

In the Radcliffe book, there was also a brilliant quote that I wanted to share that I thought explained the difference between the ‘Great Rock and Roll Swindle’ of the Sex Pistols, and Syco’s X-Factor (which are often compared and suggested as being similar, just of different generations);

“Where McLaren wins out of course is that his aim was to impose change, whereas Cowell’s master plan is to prevent it. McLaren was a true revolutionary in that he didn’t care whether he benefited from the new order, he just wanted to clear the space so that things could grow. It was a kind of benevolent nihilism. In my opinion, Cowell wants us to buy the processed schlock he peddles to make himself ever richer.”

This felt like a really interesting way of breaking down the differences between someone who was after change, and someone who was after money. More to follow on this in the future…

Also this week, there was a brilliant interview with Dave Okumu (from The Invisible) on Vinyl Factory, talking about his love of Gil-Scott Heron (and his upcoming tribute show). There was a lovely quote that caught my eye;  “I’m one of the proponents of the idea that rhythm is the foundation of everything, we all have an innate sense of rhythm that is integral to how we walk and how we breathe and how we speak.” Which reminded me of Letter #21 from last November, which was dedicated to my everlasting obsession with rhythm. I’m so annoyed there isn’t a drum emoji on the Mac keyboard 😫.

As always, if you’ve read to here, thanks for indulging me ♥️.

See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

Letter #42

Buenos días,

I hope you’ve had a good week! It’s a double bank holiday here in the UK, so it’s an extra long weekend. Where ever you are in the world, I hope this soundtrack lifts you up, makes you dance, and then pops you back down gently again.

There’s a whole load of new people this week, so here’s a quick tour; this bit is the intro, the link to the mixtape is below (big red button), there’s a collection of music and culture stuff that I found interesting this week (TL:DR), and then below that there’s some rambling notes on the letter.

A friend (hi James!) recently joined us and told me that the last three mixtape’s had been really varied, which was nice to hear. I’m always self-conscious people might think it’s becoming a bit ‘colour by numbers’. I hope not. Well, anyway, this week’s mixtape is, I think, different again. Putting it together this week has been more fun than usual (and it’s usually a lot of fun). I’ve found / re-found some brilliant music this week ❤️.

I hope you enjoy it.

🌪 TL;DR section 🌪
Stuff to do: listen to Gabriel (one of us!) be interviewed on Nemone’s Electric Ladylandread about the mastering genius behind some of the world’s greatest albums; watch the brilliant artist behind Aphex Twin’s artwork discuss his work; read a brilliant NPR piece about how Dilla was a modern Miles, or Herbie; read about why Questlove needs to join Love Will Save the Day; and watch an amazing film from RA exploring the links between post-punk and no-wave, and electronica (hopefully demonstrated in last week’s letter).

Bonus: after my introvert / extrovert comments last week, here’s a good piece on why making friends as an adult is terrifying but also brilliant (honestly).

Request: if you’re female and you’d like to write a guest letter – please get in touch!

PLAY
📚 The notes 📚
Writing this letter each week is a pretty cathartic act. If I’ve had a tough week, I think you can probably hear it (and usually, I’d imagine you can guess it from the letter). A good week, and I think you’ll notice too. This week was a great week 😊. I consider myself incredibly lucky to do something everyday that I really, properly love. My day is spent trying to understand, analyse, and explain culture. Along with my obsession with finding music and sharing it with people I love, this letter acts as a sort of exhaust to everything I do. This week’s letter and mixtape has been shaped by a week of highs, and there are a number of songs that have soundtracked my week.

It’s rare for me to build a playlist around a handful of songs. Usually I’ve got maybe 15-20 must-play songs, I string them together and then as I’m putting them all together I remember other songs that I feel fit right alongside them. This week, there are six stand out songs for me. Each song represents a different part of my week, and each is a brilliant song that I’ve tried to build the mixtape around.

Saturday: listening to The Cure on Huey Morgan’s show on 6 Music with Effie (my daughter).
Monday: watching the sun rise above the sea on the train into work listening to Morcheeba.
Tuesday: walking into a massive client meeting (I work in advertising) on hearing a Gil-Scott Heron track right before I opened the door.
Wednesday: sitting in the back of a cab as I arrive at another big client meeting listening to the amazing Marcus Marr track.
Thursday: thinking about our global agency conference in Edinburgh a few weeks ago and remembering asking someone for a track ID for this Dark Sky track playing behind a mood film 😂.

And finally, listening to Caribou’s Can’t Do Without You as I write this letter. I must’ve heard this song a hundred times, but its impact never lessens. For me, this song represents everything that is brilliant about music. I always get goosebumps, but if I’m being honest, I almost always have a little happy cry. (Like right now.)

As I come to the end of the John Peel book I’m reading, I realise more and more why trying to be ‘cool’ matters so little. I’ve never really been bothered by it (as my friends will attest!), but I’ve always been weary of being too cheesy. I’m now declaring bankruptcy on anything cool. If I want to show the similarities between The Cure and George Michael, I will 😂. Good music is good music (as long as it’s not ‘comedy music’ or country and western 😫).

A lot of what I’m trying to do with this letter is explore different cultures, feelings, and thoughts. That might sound a bit deep, but let me ask you a question: do certain songs give you goosebumps? I’m going to (safely) presume that was a yes. Next question: have you danced with other people before? Again, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to assume a yes. Finally, there is evidence to show that the ‘collective feeling’, or ‘universal vibration’ that people feel on dance floors (usually exemplified by goosebumps) is an actual scientific fact. When we experience something that moves us at the same time, our heartbeats synchronise. David Mancuso was right…

This is all about finding your centre. I found mine on a sweaty dance floor. You might’ve found yours in a moshpit, at a gig, or sat in a concert hall. The most important thing is that you’ve found it. There’s a gentleman called Umair Haque who wrote a lovely article this week on finding your centre. I’d implore you to read it. He believes that;

“The center is the place we that we find it all. Happiness, meaning, purpose, because we are at the center of ourselves. That place, the center, is where we come home, at last. It cost me fifty cents to get there. It took me a lifetime to learn how. That it is only reached with the strength of mercy, the might of gentleness, and the freedom of abandoning all that one never was at all.”

Hopefully this sounds familiar.

On a final note, I’m recording the first Love Will Save the Day show this weekend – I’ll send out a little note when I do, as I’m going to record it live.

As always, if you’ve read to here, thanks for indulging me ♥️.

See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day