Welcome to this week’s edition of our Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.
🌗🔭😯: We’re only one week into 2021 and everything has already been insane so far — at least here in the US anyway, maybe elsewhere too but I honestly don’t have the bandwidth to pay attention to anything else — so let’s take a moment to ponder somethi- no, anything else.
▶️: Somewhat sadly, Brian David Gilbert has produced his last Unraveled video for Polygon:
The short reason I’m leaving is because it feels like the right time! The slightly-longer-but-still-short reason is that I want to help make bigger, stranger, less referential projects. I’d like to make the stuff that, in 10 years, someone else could make an Unraveled about.
I’m reminded of something said by John Roderick — I know, I know, please don’t @ me about “Bean Dad,” I’m not interested — back in 2014:
You know, if you’re making a song, or if you’re writing a story, that is source material. It’s primary. It’s the thing that did not exist before. You’re not commenting. Presumably, your song is not commenting on some earlier song, or if it is, it’s doing it in an inventive way. It isn’t this chattering sort of criticism and culture digestion that is so much of I guess what we call content—internet content, which is just like, “Oh, this just came out and now I’m talking about it and now I’m talking about this other guy who was talking about it.”
You know, there’s a great wind that comes through that just blows all that stuff out to sea, and all that’s left is that primary stuff. There were probably a million words written about the Beatles’ first few records when they came out, and none of that early criticism survives or matters. Nobody reads it.
The records are still there.
Try it for yourself, it’s crazy how well it works. Hardly any latency at all.
If you wanna go next-level with the idea, you could pick up this mount thing.
☕️: Those of you who watch Andrew Rea’s Babish Culinary Universe channel may remember a certain coffee basics video he did with certified coffee master Erika Vonie a while back. You know, the one where the entire comment section was devoted to discussing the hosts’ chemistry, despite the fact that at least one of them is already in a relationship?
🍔👀: In the latest example of “Yet Another Big Company Rebrands with ’70s-Style Typography and Iconography” — joining the likes of Chobani, Dunkin’, every brand that advertises on podcasts, and seemingly every other company too — Burger King has unveiled their new visual identity:
Honestly, they should’ve gone even bolder and used the new monogram as their actual logo — but hey, I’m kinda craving BK now (which I almost never do), so I guess they did something right.
📀 Music recommendation/nerd-out time: I’ve been listening to Silverchair’s Diorama album for nearly twenty years now, and I still feel like it’s one of the most underrated releases of all time. You probably know of them as the “Tomorrow” song guys, back when they were teenagers doing “Nirvana-lite” music. Or maybe you heard their “Freak” song from the second (still grunge-y, though heavier) album.
Personally, I fell in love with the band’s music after hearing “Ana’s Song (Open Fire)” (from their 1999 Neon Ballroom album) at a friend’s house, then going to Walmart as soon as I could to buy the CD. This was where they departed from their pure grunge roots and started coming into their own, musically speaking. It’s still a dark and angsty album for sure, but they were obviously headed in a more mature direction.
But then Diorama came out, and it was like entering a parallel universe. This album was cinematic, with catchy melodies, soaring vocals, and lush orchestral arrangements courtesy of Van Dyke Parks. Gone was the darkness, replaced by so much light and color.
Listening to it in a vacuum, you would never believe this was the same band that had recorded all that angry stuff before. However, if you listen to all their albums in order, the progression they made in that decade (give or take) is astounding.
Highlights in particular include “Across the Night”, “Tuna in the Brine”, “Without You”, “Luv Your Life”, and “After All These Years”.
Neat Stuff We’ve Published Recently
- Tough yet cool, this steel-bodied tool box features two levels of storage and a number of compartments to easily organize and carry your tools.
- Made by hand using 100-year-old methods, these enamel-coated mugs are genuine and useful, and will outlast all of us.
- The “RØDECaster Pro” Podcast Production Studio is designed to simplify podcast production whilst delivering superb audio quality.
- Katie Mack’s The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking) is a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride through five plausible ways the universe might meet its ultimate demise. 💫👻
- The Chef’s Press is a vented grill press that you can layer multiple of together whenever you need more weight.
- The Folio Society’s lovingly crafted illustrated edition of Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle breathes new life into a modern classic.
- You’re not gonna find much nicer-looking or comfier hand protection in cold weather than Hestra’s “UTSJÖ” elk leather gloves.
Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.