The Art of Curation: Remembering John Peel

Curation is the difference between what you think people will like versus what you know they’ll like. John Peel said something like this once. It’s one skill to discover art, another to educate people about it. Peel mastered curation by using his radio shows to expose the world to all forms of music, including reggae … Continue reading The Art of Curation: Remembering John Peel

Digitizing John Peel’s Record Collection

John Peel was the greatest DJ of all time. He introduced reggae to the UK and tempted his listeners with what he thought people would like rather than playing the sure hits. The BBC and the English Arts council announced that they are digitizing his record collection, spanning 40,000 vinyl singles and 25,000 vinyl LPs. … Continue reading Digitizing John Peel’s Record Collection

The Fab Five, John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, the epidemic of worry, new tunes and more

Arts & Culture Twenty-five years after the Fab Five, big-time colleges still short-change their stars They never won anything but the Fab Five – the so-called greatest recruiting class of all time — broke fashion trends. They took after Michael Jordan and wore baggy shorts, shaved their heads, and replaced their white socks with black. … Continue reading The Fab Five, John Berger’s Ways of Seeing, the epidemic of worry, new tunes and more

Liam Bailey – When Will They Learn

Liam Bailey is a soul and reggae artist from Nottingham, England. He’s collaborated with drum n bass producers Chase and Status and Shy FX, as well as Amy Winehouse and more recently, Gorillaz. The reggae-infused track ‘When Will They Learn’ originally released on vinyl in 2011 but got a rerelease in 2013 on Magic Records. An … Continue reading Liam Bailey – When Will They Learn

Rough around the edges

Things are more interesting and potentially more truthful around the edges. This applies to anyone, from politicians to musicians. Politicians that speak the truth become outsiders. But politicians who abuse the ‘outsider’ status to pander to populist voters squander their authenticity. They can be as thoughtful as Bernie Sanders or as morally corrupt and downright offensive as Trump. Truth is in … Continue reading Rough around the edges

Christoph de Babalon – Could We Be?

The greatest DJ of all time John Peel played his music before ‘breakcore’ existed as a recognized genre. Thom Yorke of Radiohead once called his music ‘menacing.’ He opened for Radiohead in 2001. Christoph de Babalon AKA Jan-Christoph Wolter is an electronic music producer from Hamburg, Germany. His discography is exhaustive, but he hasn’t always … Continue reading Christoph de Babalon – Could We Be?

One infinite loop

Smart watches Kindle books Spotify streams The newest technologies erode their physical counterparts, but they also revitalize interest in the old stuff. The sensory, tactile experience of analog items as those listed above literally feel more special. They are stimulants: the subtle noise of a telltale “tick-tock,” the fresh smell of an unopened book, or … Continue reading One infinite loop

Newsletter: Continuous partial attention

web gems More than a hundred years ago, the father of modern neuroscience, Santiago Ramón y Cajal used his skills as an artist to illustrate the neuron doctrine, proving that information is the output of messy internal wiring provided by the brain’s chemical synchronicity. Posted three years ago but this is still one of my favorite John … Continue reading Newsletter: Continuous partial attention

Losing our edge

Being weird used to be lonely. But then the Internet happened. It connected the vinyl collectors, the sneakerheads, and the want-to-be Romance novelists. They came together, competed, collaborated, cheered each other on while a select few took their micro, macro until their weird became the new standard. “Success blurs. It rounds off the rough edges.” … Continue reading Losing our edge