Album covers from Benjamin Clementine’s “At Least For Now” and SOAK’s “Before We Forgot How To Dream” — both nominated for the 2015 Mercury Prize for Best Album.

WUNDERKAMMER! #26

Hey there.

So here it is. The first little milestone of this series — six months of uninterrupted posting. Perhaps I’ll get around to writing one those ‘what I’ve learned…’-type articles; I’ll probably wait until our first anniversary.

Keeping a timely record — of any kind — always provides some interesting material to look back on. Even though this list-type format lacks the personal detail of something like a diary, it still manages to generate some of the same calming, stock-taking elements that make diary-keeping so attractive.

Anyway, enough with the reminiscing. Let’s get on with what’s been on my mind this week:


  1. Mercury Prize (Part 1). Well, since the nominees for the Mercury Prize were announced today, it seems as good a time as any to draw some attention to two of the acts I’m most pleased for.
    The first is SOAK. I’m a little biased here, since we share the same producer (her nominated LP, my almost-out EP). Bias aside, she’s definitely worth a listen:

2. Mercury Prize (Part 2). One of my favourite music discoveries of the last 2 years is Benjamin Clementine — his album At Least For Now is nominated. Here’s the video that I caught him in first:


3. T.S. Eliot. Where else on the internet does a weekly Top 5 contain a recommendation of a critical essay? Hmmm? There’s probably good reason for that — because no-one is actually going to click this link — but it’s one of the best things I’ve read in a long while. If reading something so abstract feels a little much for you just now, feel free to watch this BBC documentary on the man, instead.
Here, Eliot talks about how criticism is often done, and what the ideal type of critic looks like.


4. Beckett. Clearly, I was in something of a mood this week. Not alone am I recommending a piece of criticism about criticism, but I’m also going to recommend you read (or at least look at) some passages of ‘conceptual writing’.
If you’re at least curious as to what that might mean, then take a look.


5. Joanna Newsom. I’d like to leave you with — if not a happier note, then at least something more easily palatable. This is the second song released from Newsom’s upcoming album Divers. It’s been a while since I’ve been looking forward to an album so intensely.
This is some of the best songwriting (think words, structure, dynamic) and musical arrangement I’ve heard in a long time.
Enjoy :)

Have a good weekend! ❤

CROOK

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, hit me up on one of the online places I hang out on (also below).

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