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In this week’s newsletter: staying alive, writing with kids, and lots of music...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon
stay alive get weird

Hey y’all,

Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week: 

  1. Stay alive, get weird.
     
  2. I’m reading Hanif Abdurraqib’s They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us (it’s been a good year for music books) and John Gall’s book of his collage work from 2008-2018.  
     
  3. Writing with kids. (Related: how being a parent is like being an artist.)
     
  4. What if we paid attention to “late bloomers” more than prodigies? (This is a theme in Keep Going — and certainly nothing new.)
     
  5. I snatched up this glow-in-the-dark print from Olimpia Zagnoli so quick. (I love her.) I might hang it next to my glow-in-the-dark lunar calendar.
     
  6. Worth following: music writer @TedGioia. In true Show Your Work! fashion, his terrific twitter feed makes me want to read his books on jazz
     
  7. Ear candy: 'tis the season for the year-end playlist. I’m dipping into Fluxblog’s, although half of it is reminding me why I ignore most contemporary pop music. (Snobby, but true.) What I really love is when people like the Ross Brothers make a yearly jukebox of new and old stuff they listened to throughout the year. (This is what I do with my musical diaries. Here’s my 2018 playlist so far.) I also dig a good old-fashioned thematic playlist, like this one called “Mapping The Moon.”
     
  8. How stereo was first sold to a skeptical public. (I love old ads for music equipment.)
     
  9. Eye (and ear) candy: I saw Roma at the Capitol Theater in Cleveland. I can’t say I enjoyed it, but it is beautiful, and disturbing, and downright gut-wrenching at times. (My favorite film critic, Stephanie Zacharek, put it at the top of her 2018 list.) If you’ve seen it, here’s some essential historical context. The picture was striking on the big screen, but I thought the sound was actually what made it worth seeing in the theater. (Lighter than Roma, but still disturbing: Three Identical Strangers.)
     
  10. RIP Penny Marshall and Nancy Wilson.
Thanks for reading. If you like this newsletter and want to support it, buy a few of my books as gifts — to yourself or others! — they’re cheap and they fit in most stockings. 

If you’re seeing this newsletter for the first time, you can subscribe here.

Happy holidays, y’all. Take care of yourselves and stay light. Be the light or reflect it. I’m grateful for every one of you!

xoxo, 

Austin

PS. Remember the icy Lake Erie photo in last week’s newsletter? Here are my sons checking out that same dock a few days later:
lake erie
Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon is the author of Steal Like An Artist and other books.

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