Well, we did it. I think. We made it to the end of the year, which is actually like 2 weeks away but calling it now, this year is done and dusted. This is going to be my last newsletter of the year! Going to take some time off to finish these books, to spend time with people offline, and to listen to the Herb Alpert holiday record.
There’s a new podcast episode today, with my friend Shelli Nicole!
We really get into it on this one, talking a lot about culture writing, crying and our emotions, the ways we hide and shield ourselves, and so much more. Shelli tells me a story that involves an artists I had not heard of until she requested this track, and holy hell I love it. Take a listen
I didn’t write a Top 100 list of my favourite things, or whatever. I’m saving that for the opening of the new year, as a twist. Early January I’ll write a bit about the year that was, the things that shaped it, the hearts the bled through it. But I’m honestly just very burnt out and tired and there is only so much left in the machine at this point. And I feel like we made it, together. We did it.
Did you know that Harvey Danger made a holiday EP?
Sean Nelson, Harvey Danger frontman and one of the all-time great songwriters, posted about it on Instagram last night and sometimes the best gifts are the little surprises friends post on the internet to remind you of all the beautiful things we have built in the one life we are afforded on this earth.
Take a listen, you will never regret it, build a life around these moments and create memories you can share with friends every year until all the years are done.
Thinking a lot about holiday music lately as I write something about Shane MacGowan that will appear in print somewhere next week.
For my money, and if you’re at all interested, you can’t beat the holiday album from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings:
Before I go, if you’ve never read my piece in SPIN about “A Long December”, it’s seasonally appropriate.
Last year I got a lovely email from someone who worked on the video for this song, who shared some unseen photos from the shoot and they’re not mine to share, but they are mine to cherish. Little things just for me, photos and songs and stories.
I turned 41 this year, and at every pass I age a little more in surprising ways. This morning when Bowie and I were out for a walk I thought about how I’m taken by all the things I look forward to still, the little surprises and the twists of the world. The sharp edges and the soft corners of debris that build a life. I have never been one for the future, this year my hair finally made good on it’s longstanding threat and went mostly grey. My back hurts, my chest hurts, my hips and my arches and my heart. But every day little secrets reveal themselves, and if we were never here to find them what stories would we even have to tell when we finally prepare to leave it all behind.
If I’ve learned anything at all in the days and weeks that turned my hair grey, finely aged my bones and muscles, it’s the value in finding new stories to tell from the secrets that still remain.
Happy holidays, may we all be blessed with new secrets and stories to tell in all the years we are granted after this one has put itself to sleep at last.
Love to you all,