lightning bolts, vol. 3

Quick memoranda from the executive editor.

  • Some important breakfast albums:
    1. Cocteau Twins, Blue Bell Knoll: a good record for Saturday mornings that require optimism without categorization or qualification, inspiring you to tackle some baking, maybe a nice decadent cakey quickbread that fills your domicile with pacifying brown sugary aromatherapy; how can a day go so wrong if the angelic voice of Elizabeth Fraser carries you into it on golden wings?  
    2. Fleet Foxes, Crack-Up: a good record for easing yourself into a Sunday, safely touches the shores of melancholy but remains melodically pure enough to avoid becoming depressing, caresses reality like a beautiful Instagram filter, affirms that everything you feel about this time we’re living in—even the dark and ugly stuff—is important and what great art is made of, and that you will live to remember this time with a stronger heart. 
    3. Beck, Morning Phase: a good record for weekday mornings in which you will probably be reading the news and need to remember you are more than a tickable hashmark on a Johns Hopkins data map; sonically follows the early blue pre-dawn glow all the way to its bright, blazoning 9 AM fruition, gets appropriately moody when it needs to but recovers majestically. 
    4. Rod Stewart, Every Picture Tells A Story: a good record for waking up mildly hungover, a reminder of a time when things didn’t suck by reminding you there was a time (albeit brief as an actual lightning bolt) when Rod Stewart didn’t suck, ideal for cigarettes on the porch before the sun gets too hot, ideal for just launching into the day without a shower and yesterday’s eyeliner still on. 
    5. La Luz, Weirdo Shrine: a good record for morning coffee before or after surfing, for days when you wish you could go surfing but can’t, for specific Pynchon-esque coastal daydreaming, for the plaintive harmonies of beautiful sea sirens who will lure you enticingly to your mescaline-soaked afterlife on the roiling waves at Point Dume, best enjoyed while mainlining a couple of Twinkies with a Tang chaser wearing nothing but your bathing suit. 
  • Two interesting finds from NPR: beautiful photos from a road trip through Azerbaijan, and tips for dealing with grief and anxiety about climate change from KQED. 
  • Speaking of a nice decadent cakey quickbread, this dope-ass Bon Appetit banana bread will not disappoint, and since nobody has fucking mascarpone in their quarantine kitchen, you can find lots of great suggestions for substitutes in the comments (greek yogurt, softened cream cheese, mayo, cottage cheese and even peach Yoplait all make appearances in successful loaves). 
  • Out of work? Coursera is rolling out tons of relevant skill-building courses for free, ideal for improving your digital chops and big data know-how so you can gun for a better gig on the other side of your unemployment period. 
  • This bio of Ruth Asawa looks wonderful. 
  • I cannot wait for one of my favorite movies to join the Criterion Collection next month. I will write about it when my copy comes.
  • Just a reminder that everything you feel right now is okay. You do not have to be perfect or productive. You just have to survive.

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