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w/e 2023-07-02

I watched some more Glastonbury on iPlayer this week and Young Fathers is still my favourite. I’ve listened to them before a few times but I bounced off them, as we say these days. Live though, they sound much more interesting to me – simpler, clearer, more energetic, more exciting. Here’s one track on YouTube which (who knows) might be more viewable to some of you than the set on iPlayer:

I don’t think it’s solely seeing them perform that makes it more exciting than the studio version. It sounds more like they mean it.

Some of the other acts I enjoyed were Gabriels, The Comet is Coming, Loyle Carner, Caroline Polachek, and Ezra Collective. Christine and the Queens’ music isn’t quite my cup of tea but I think it was the best performance I saw. (I’d link to all of those but our internet is currently painfully slow.)

Black Country, New Road are a band I’ve heard the name of loads but know nothing about and have barely heard anything by them. I feel like I – as a unit of a certain demographic – is supposed to like them but watching their performance didn’t clear up what I think about them at all. I’m baffled.

§ This week I lost a couple of weekdays to feeling too mopey to do anything useful, and another to a migraine, but in between I did a little bit of fun, satisfying coding. I got each category page on to generate an image based on its emoji, to display on the very rare occasion that anyone shares such its URL on social media.

Unfortunately, a couple of days later, I realised that this was only working for simple emojis and any multi-character ones were being output as several separate icons. e.g. a family like 👩‍👩‍👧‍👦 is rendered something like 👩 👩 👧 👦.


§ Talking of, it’s made the list of nominees for The Tiny Awards so feel free to vote for it if you feel so inclined. I thank you.

Let’s not ask why an awards site about “the idea of a small, playful and heartfelt web” requires JavaScript to render all of its text, and even then doesn’t make it clear which bits of text are clickable.

§ I just about managed to finish Monday’s Guardian cryptic crossword but am still, er, clueless about a few of the clues, not helped by Fifteensquared apparently being down for most of the week.

After reading this article about the Everyman crossword, in which the current setter, Alan Connor, says it “might be solved by the beginner,” I thought I’d give that a go too. But I only managed to solve a handful of clues. Alan, who I’m honoured to say I worked with very briefly years ago, obviously hasn’t reckoned with how beginner I still am at these things.

§ I finished reading James’s book Ways of Being which came out in paperback fairly recently. It was interesting and thinky, and encourages you to re-evaluate what you think of as “intelligence”. Well done James, you’re very good!

§ We finished watching season three of Ted Lasso which was… a bit of a mess, which is a shame. Characters who appeared for a few episodes then left with little ongoing impact. Characters with next to no actual character. Characters behaving oddly, as if solely serving the plot. Scenes that could have been stripped out to keep the whole thing tighter, given the episodes’ ever-growing lengths.

There was still plenty of charm, even if you’re someone who finds Ted himself pretty annoying (Hi!), and some good lines and performances. But it felt like they skipped a step or two of whatever writing process made the first two seasons work.

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