Things I’m Verbing: Selkie singers, one-page novels and $1M worth of eels

The news is loud and horrible, everyone is stressed out and “Noise Is a Drug and New York Is Full of Addicts,” from Nautilus, pretty much says it all. As I type this, I hear my next-door neighbor’s incessant addiction to reggaeton loud and clear through my paper-thin walls; later this afternoon will come the Mr. Softee ice cream truck, which both circles the neighborhood and lurks right under my window, seemingly. Not to get sentimental, but honestly, my best moments sometimes are just getting to listen to the wind in the trees.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though! I promise there’s still good stuff out there, even if we still have, what, 10 weeks of election left and whatever else is coming our way in 2016. (If nothing else, at least we probably won’t have the collapse of a major political party on our hands. Probably. If that’s really a good thing.)

  • All Songs Considered spent 20 minutes recently talking with the lovely, lilting Lisa Hannigan, who has a new album out for the first time in five years. The music sounds great, but her interview is also not only a pleasure for the ears, but touches on some good thoughts about unexpected collaboration and letting yourself experiment freely.
  • Shaun Tan is one of my favorite illustrators/storytellers (that’s his work in the featured image up top, from the great Tales From Outer Suburbia), and the Financial Times has a wonderful deep-dive look at his Oscar- and other-things-winning work. Definitely check out his weird, surreal, gorgeous interpretation of the world — he has a lot to say about immigration, dislocation and identity.
  • Art Spiegelman, whom you’ve heard of as the creator of the seminal Maus, collected what he considers a number of one-page graphic novels for The New Yorker, spanning a number of decades and styles and surprises.
  • In this week of yet again blaming millennials for any number of unconnected societal ills, Pacific Standard investigates whether, on the charge of my generation not having enough sex, the Baby Boomers are really the baseline we want to use.
  • The world is still strange enough for glorious headlines like this one from the New York Daily News: “Three men caught in Brooklyn with $1M worth of stolen barbecued eels.” True crime really is something else.
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