André 3000's Vibes and John Mayer's G-Shock
Diamond Concierge Service #007
The surprise new age album is the new all-acoustic record. Sufjan Stevens did it with the 49-track Convocations collection in 2021, and Devendra Banhart teamed up with Noah Georgeson that same year to produce the lovely Refuge. But since Stevents and Banhart put out music fairly often, the records felt like slight detours before getting back on the main road, a different approach to making music, less song-focused and more meditative. André 3000 popping up and saying he’s putting out any recorded music, now that’s a thing. When he told the world it’s “flute music,” it almost felt as if he was playing around with people who had hoped they’d have Dookie Blossom Gain the 3rd dipping his toes back into the rap game. But no, he wasn’t. And thank goodness.
24 hours later, and I’m still wrapping my head around New Blue Sun as an idea. It’s almost too good to be true that one of the most successful recording artists of my lifetime would just up and say he’s making music again…and it’s chill, ambient vibes. Nothing that could end up on pop radio or whatever people use to hear new music. It is what it is, and it’s beautiful. Given the state of the world, it also could not have dropped at a better time.
I’ve been making the case for ambient, new age, chill vibes music, whatever you want to call it for a long time. Along with the comparisons to Alice Coltrane and Laraaji that have been floating around and hopefully influencing people who weren’t familiar with them before yesterday, I’ve been looking at this as my moment to shine, to spread the gospel, and maybe convert a few more people to the side of quiet in hopes that maybe we’ll all learn to chill out just a tiny bit during the day. There are a few reissues I’d especially suggest looking at, Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990 on Light in the Attic and Valley of the Sun on Numero Group—but to help with your quest, I put together this little playlist of some of my favorites. Think of it as a 2023 version of Pure Moods.
I’ll be honest, when I saw the headline, “A Hot-Dog Competitor Moves In Next to Crif Dogs,” my first thought was “How DARE they.” But after reading the article, I think there’s more than enough room for another place that takes hot dogs seriously and I can’t wait to try Glizzy’s.
Read: “A Hot-Dog Competitor Moves In Next to Crif Dogs” by Chris Crowley at Grub Street
I don’t normally go for Royal family stuff, but when it involves Cecil Beaton, then that’s an entirely different matter.
Read: “How Cecil Beaton Helped Invent Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret” by Claudia Acott Williams at Vanity Fair
I’m very pro-carrying cash at all times. Mostly because it’s good to have so you can tip people. But I guess in our Venmo and Apple Pay age, other people don’t feel the same way. But Cory Ohlendorf makes a case that it’s good to have a little wad on you at all times, and I thought I’d share it so the youth could understand that cash will always be king.
Read: “I Hate Cash, but I Carry It Anyway” by Cory Ohlendorf at Valet
When I got the press release for the John Mayer x Online Ceramics G-Shock, I wondered if I really needed another G-Shock. I probably don’t, but I’d consider offloading one of mine to make room for this one.
AWMS has done it again. This time, it’s the Sculptors Smock. It’s sort of Klimt painting some stuff, but with a twist: “The inspiration for the handle and colourways of the garment comes from the classic LL Bean Chamois overshirts.”