Motivation During Lockdown

New Brains for Old? | The awesome David Byrne (one of my all… | Flickr

We’re going through a time with the coronavirus pandemic, most of us are on lockdown, some people have lost loved ones and others have lost their jobs. Finding the motivation to create during turbulent times can be difficult, but it’s your duty to do right with the gift of creativity you’ve been given. So here’s a quote is taken from How Music Works by David Byrne, enjoy.

2.03.0

Surface Attraction

Q&A With John Waters: Hairspray, This Filthy World, Crybaby ...

Like most humans, I’m not ashamed to say I’m prone to snap-surface-level judgments when it comes to people I don’t know. There’s no better example than my infatuation with American filmmaker, writer, actor, and artist John Waters who just so happens to love legendary Japenese fashion label Comme des Garçons (please read his immense tribute to Rei Kawakubo here it’s a fascinating read) as much as I do! And the other day I happened to stumbled across this video on YouTube below from a talk he did at ‘Talks at Google’ to help promote his new book Mr. Know-It-All so I decided to pick up and add it to my list of books I’m going to read during the coronavirus lockdown here in London.

IMG_2984

And lastly, I’m still mulling over whether I should try my hand at standup comedy. In the hopes of pushing me over the edge, I also picked up a copy of I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America’s Top Comics by Ritch Shydner and Mark Schiff.

IMG_2985

#296: New Normal

AZSHOW-296

Podcast Topics: Joe Exotic, David Hockney shares new art, missing raving but not missing people, Jack Grealish crashing his car during coronavirus lockdown, Mike Skinner announces Tame Impala collaboration, Rihanna covers British Vogue’s May issue and more…

Links mentioned

How To Be An Enigma

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 12.32.45.png

The Weeknd is one of my favourite artists. I’ve been a fan of his ever since his early mixtape days. My memory isn’t great but I like to think I stumbled across his work at the same time as I discovered the likes of Frank Ocean and PARTYNEXTDOOR. I love that they each have their own distinctive sound and artistic expression. And considering how similar some R&B artists can be I think it’s to their credit they push themselves out of their comfort zones on each project or constantly evolved their sound, none more so than The Weeknd himself with his latest project After Hours. It’s the perfect embodiment of his sound. And, in my opinion, his best album to date, right up there with House of Balloons (yes I know it’s a mixtape).

I also appreciate the lengths at which The Weeknd goes to maintain his privacy, which I’m sure is incredibly difficult to do given that he’s bonafide pop star. But he does so without coming across overly pretentious yet somehow still managing to connect with his fans on a personal level. You only have to look at the way he responded to the news of the passing of an avid fan and former XOPODOCAST host during the release. He’s a class act. We’re probably not going to get an in-depth interview with him anytime soon, he hates interviews, but I enjoyed reading these tidbits for a recent feature he did with King Kong magazine and I’ve attached a few of my favourites below but you can read the full feature here.

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 12.33.11Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 12.33.50Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 12.34.36

Expression of Self

7795045A-74EE-4156-B285-61F7E0511473

I’ve admired Eddie Izzard for years. Growing up in a conservative-somewhat religious-African household the mere sight of Eddie Izzard was so far removed from what I grew up around I had to dig a bit deeper and find out what made him tick. Eddie Izzard is many things but conventional is not one of them, from his acting credentials to his standup comedy and most recently his work in activism and politics, he defies all conventions. But the part that intrigued me the most was his decision to run 27 marathons in 27 days throughout South Africa as a tribute to the late great Nelson Mandela who was held in prison for 27 years. Even for the most experienced runner, it’s a mean fete, but to embark on such an ordeal being an “average guy” with only 5 weeks training was Herculean, to say the least. And without even trying to do so he immediately demanded my attention and ultimately my respect. People far more successful than me usually say the best way to reach your goals is to closely follow what others in your field of interest have done and follow suit. There’s no better way to do so than reading an autobiography by said which is why I decided to pick up Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard the other day, hopefully, I take something away from his story that can positively impact my life! If you’re not a fan of reading I highly recommend checking his appearance on the Joe Rogan Podcast which you can find here.

Books I’m Reading During the Coronavirus Pandemic

IMG_2682

I have to be honest with you, I’ve slacked off from reading the last few weeks. My usual routine consisted of 1 hour of reading a day, which allowed me to finish around 3-4 books per month, not bad. But as with most hobbies, I let things slip by the wayside and I’ve only managed to finish 2 books in the last couple of months, not good enough for me. But redemption comes in different forms and seeing as we’re going through a difficult time in the world right now with the coronavirus pandemic (COVID 19) it feels like there’s no better time to pick up reading again during the self-isolation period. If you’re interested I’m going to share some of the books I intended to read over the next few months. This will include a mixture of fiction and non-fiction, coffee table books and audiobooks. First, on the list, I have Margrave of the Marshes by Alexandra Ravenscroft and John Peel and Made In Cassina by Giampiero Bosoni.

IMG_2683

IMG_2687

The Old Man and the Sea

IMG_2062

I recently finished reading The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. It’s a short but confusing read and I’m not sure I entirely understood everything, maybe that’s a good thing. But it also got me thinking about the TV series Westworld. A lot of the criticism aimed at that show came down to people not understanding what was going, but after reading this book I think that’s quite refreshing. In a world where things get dumbed down and presented in an overly simplistic manner, I like having to wrestle with stuff. Not knowing what to make of something and meditating on it a bit isn’t a bad thing and I actually got more from this through this experience.