Just quick musical heads-up for Human Errors by Many Elephants. It’s a bit of an odd one in that it’s not exactly an album, more an OST for an imagined TV show. The tracks are short and unpronounced with nothing you’d point to and say ‘this is the one to listen to’ but together they create a nicely ambient whole. A little trip into a near future dystopia is where I’d place it, but that may just be down to where my head is at.
Good to stick on in the background on a dark night or, I reckon, a long journey looking out at the rain. Anyway, worth a listen.
You can find Many Elephants here and on Twitter.
Another quick artist recommendation today – Najimir, a Lebanese artist whose forte is despair. Only a handful of lines and he does a great job of capturing a heavy-weight air of misery. Beautiful, but it’ll get under your skin.
Anyway, you can find a load of his work on Instagram and you can buy from him over on Etsy. Plus you can follow him on Facebook.
I love Guilherme Kramer’s work. He was the first artist to actually stick in my culturally ignorant mind and his pictures inspired my biggest (and still growing) tattoo. Even my own idle attempts at drawing were triggered by a desire to match his stuff, although hopefully I’ve moved on a bit from mimicry since then.
I love the freedom of his work, the strangeness, the intricacy, the weight it all holds despite the seeming lack of carefully planned force. So, as an introduction, here are a few randomly picked pieces of his to have a glance at. You can find more of his work here in far higher quality.
Probably not much of a revelation to most this one. Mike Duncan’s excellent ‘History of Rome’ podcast has been around for years now, long enough for me to have run through it two or three times at least. The first time out of pure interest in the history but with subsequent listens as much to relax into the stories of Rome as anything.
All through the 180 or so episodes Mike does a brilliant job of tracing the lines of Rome’s rise and fall with just the right balance between interesting detail and a coherent, listenable flow. And it’s all rich enough to be immersive, drawing you into the ancient world just as well as any fictional effort can.
It’s not a course in academic history, so if you’re already an expert don’t expect revelations, but for the more casual historians amongst us, or those who just enjoy the story it’s perfect.
Mike’s also gone on to do other historical podcasts, all of which are, I’m willing to bet, very good although I haven’t gotten around to them myself yet.
You can find the History of Rome here on the blog, and I believe there’s also a full YouTube playlist which’ll save you from having to pick each new episode.
My recommendation for the day is the Athletico Mince podcast with Bob Mortimer and Andy Dawson. Mostly it’s two blokes talking absurd bollocks for a bit and then stopping, which is great really. If you’ve seen Bob doing stuff like Would I Lie To You? then you’ll know he can spin a ridiculous yarn even when he’s not going full, prop heavy surreal. And without even saying much he can crack you up with nonsense. Andy Dawson’s a bit more sane but he’s got plenty to offer and makes a perfect foil – and break – from the weirdness. Even if ‘break’ is a relative term given his own fine line in bollocks talking. It does (very, very) vaguely circle around football but really, even if you’re not a fan, that shouldn’t put you off because Gangs of the EPL and the adventures of Steve McClaren and his snake are something the whole family can enjoy.
Not every character/sketch works for me but you can always recognise what you might want to skip and the stuff that’s good is great, so you never need to skip far.
I finished binging it over the course of a week and even paid a couple of quid for the recording of one of the live shows they did, well worth it and a show I’m happy to support. Anyway, if you like nonsense, tall tales and the idea of Steve McClaren’s snake throwing up a lot give it a go.
You can find Athletico Mince here.