Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Weaknotes for m/e 30 November 2019

Technically it’s four weeks since my last one of these, not quite a month, but there’s no shorthand for ‘four weeks’ so m/e it is.

Between the ebbs and flows of work, and the fog of still being vaguely ill, I put together two new episodes of Enlarged Heart Radio, my streaming radio hour. You can listen to episodes 26 and 27, and check out my previous shows.

These ones took a while. Recent iTunes updates caused me to lose a playlist of tracks I’d been building, which had me fed up for a few months. But the itch returned, prompting me to rebuild my workflow from scratch. Now I’m dumping everything straight into Audacity and working up from there. I can drag in MP3s, record links with my mic and pull in other bits and pieces via Soundflower so it should work out easier in the long run, using a single workstation. And so it should probably be less than 10 months before the next episode, ahem.

I had a good run of movie-watching earlier in the month, followed by a pair of press screenings a few days ago which I’ve yet to review. Letterboxd has the relevant diary.

On Netflix I watched the second series of The End of the Fucking World, which is definitely a story that benefits from watching more than one episode on the go. I’m not sure it needed a second series, but this doesn’t do the first any harm.

I also flew through the fourth and final season of The Man in the High Castle, which I thought I was enjoying immensely until the closing scenes of the last episode, which (as I said on Twitter) felt like they were in such a hurry to wrap things up, they left half the important stuff behind. Indeed, it pulled on the threads of those little inconsistencies that began to unravel the fabric of the whole season. A shame. However, I did appreciate that Chelah Horsdal got to shine as opposed to merely being a foil for Rufus Sewell’s complicated monster, even if her road-to-Damascus conversion was contrived.

Roll on The Expanse s04!

On the 21st I was in Dublin to see woodwind improviser (and SST alum) Ned Rothenberg with pianist Paul G Smyth at the National Concert Hall’s Studio room. Mesmerising is the word; that kind of musical interplay is a mystery to me, not having or even grasping that kind of intimate mastery of an instrument. But I can enjoy listening to those who do. Hopefully the show will see the light of day on Smyth’s Weekertoft label like his performance with Chris Corsano that I was also lucky enough to attend a few years ago. (I reviewed that one for Thumped.)

No thoughts on wrestling come to mind. Nothing I feel the urge to elaborate upon beyond my occasional Twitter comments, at least. I watched Survivor Series last weekend and I didn’t hate it? TakeOver: WarGames the night before was better, but that’s almost always the case. AEW had a PPV earlier in the month but I barely remember it. I’m sure it was technically great but that’s a problem with them: they’re booking matches, not angles, as they think that’s enough. And what angles they do have aren’t properly expatiated to the audience. Maybe I have enough for a longer essay on this at some point.

About that ‘being vaguely ill’ thing: I feel like I’ve had a cold, or the makings of one, for nearly two months straight. Which would’ve been unusual when I got sick all the time, but I’ve had a relatively illness-free year until now, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little worried it’s symptomatic of something else. If that thing is stress, it would actually make me feel a lot better, as backwards as that sounds. Anyway, I’m off to the doctor after the weekend to take care of myself. You should do the same. Take care of yourself, I mean. But if you need to see a doctor, do that too.