Here in Berlin, the international film festival Berlinale just finished up on Sunday. And, in the last eight days, I’ve played seven shows. Suffice it to say, things have been busy.

Fortunately, this kind of busyness means that I have plenty of interesting things to show you. Here’s FIVE things that caught my eye this past week:

  1. LaVern Baker & Jackie Wilson. I may well have posted this before, but every so often, this song rolls up on me. In 1965, Baker and Wilson recorded one of my favourite ever duet performances — the song was called Think Twice.
    Fortunately for me (and you) they also decided to record a Version X, which basically consists of them cursing each other out over the same music.

2. Aretha Franklin. As well as being busy this week, I was also sick. The particular nature of my sickness meant that I couldn’t sleep, and had a mind-bending fever. Lucky for me, this also meant that it was easier than usual to reduce me to tears — this performance had me weeping by the first chorus.
Aretha Franklin only becomes more incredible the more I listen to her.

3. How Music Elevates A Story. One of the most interesting things I saw at this year’s Berlinale was a discussion about video-essays between two masters of the form, kogonada and Kevin B. Lee. If you’ve been following this series for a while, you may have seen me reference some of their work, and other video-essays in general. I think it’s a fascinating form.
YouTube user Nerdwriter1 has put together this lovely piece about how music helps develop mood, story, etc., in a film — it’s giving me some interesting thoughts about how I want to see music-discussion happen in the future.

4. Miles Ahead. OK, this is the last music-related thing this week. On the last day of Berlinale (last Sunday) I saw the new biopic about Miles Davis called Miles Ahead, starring (and directed by) Don Cheadle.
It’s not widely available yet, but all I can say is that the music in it (both Miles’ own, and the film-original stuff) is just gorgeous. As soon as it comes out, make sure to go see it — especially if you’re into music. No, it’s not a revolutionary movie for the history of cinema, but it’s a very watchable piece with word-class musicianship.

5. The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens. In case you’re wondering what goes on over there on tumblr, this article should provide some insight.

Until next time… ❤


WUNDERKAMMER!’ is the German word for that great 16th / 17th century European idea of the ‘Cabinet of Curiousities’: a collection of interesting / rare things that the rich would display to their guests as a sort of conversation piece.

That’s what I want this to be, too: A conversation piece. I’ll happily show you mine, but I’d also love to see what interests / provokes your imagination & intellect. If you’d like to share something interesting / unusual with me, you can write a response directly, below — or, hmu on one of the other places I hang out (also below).

Ask me unreasonably personal questions here:

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