The wrap is all about Wales
National anthems, perfect free kicks, The Smell, Blood Orange, Brexit, sleep, food heists etc
(1) The Brexit effect: lots and lots of interesting reading out there about the possible impact of a British exit from the European Union. From the Irish Times, what it may mean for Irish musicians and film-makers, plus an excellent piece by Fintan O’Toole on the whole shebang and the politics of the fake orgasm. Meanwhile, some insights from how live music and festival promoters regard Brexit. A stockpiling of dollars means this year is OK, though questions hang over 2017 and beyond due to that dollar/sterling exchange when it comes to US bands’ fees. And, a contrary view on why elections are bad for democracy plus a superb long read from Gary Younge on the roots of Brexit and the current discombobulation across the Irish Sea.
(2) Inside the world of large-scale food heists: “there’s a black market for everything,” said New Jersey state police detective Oliver Sissman. “We’ve seen everything stolen. We’ve found stolen beer, stolen food, stolen machine parts, but this is the first time we’ve found stolen cheese.”
(3) More evidence that sleep is the new rock’n'roll: how basketball teams and superstars are dealing with the issue of sleep. Plus, bonus free throw, why US basketball players get paid more than American football stars.
(4) Music venues re-up: why the ongoing battle to save Los Angeles club The Smell is so important and a new movie Goodnight Brooklyn: The Story of Death by Audio, documenting the rise and fall of a storied Brooklyn venue from a Domino Sugar Factory reception area to one of the city’s great DIY performance spaces.
(5) Football department: the physics of the perfect free kick.
(6) In praise of Shonda Rhimes: Alison P Davis for The Ringer makes the case for Rhimes as the supreme TV show rainmaker of this age.
(7) The new Blood Orange album is truly one of the albums of the season (one of the albums on this list will definitely be making room for it). Here’s a great piece on Dev Hynes at large in New York – and here’s the album for your Monday morning activities.
(8) Meet the advantage players, the blackjack and poker players who are skinning the casinos and, naturally, the casinos are not happy.
(9) How to write the perfect national anthem: “the greatest number of anthems celebrate the nation as a physical entity, focusing on the national landscape. Croatians celebrate their “beautiful homeland”, Danes their “lovely land” and Swedes the “loveliest land on earth”. Even at a sub-national level, the anthem of Cape Breton in Canada is a paean to landscape, identifying both the land itself and also its people as “an island, a rock in the stream”. But even if they stay on these relatively reliable themes, some countries’ anthems struggle either to accommodate or ignore their countries’ struggles with language and identity politics.”
(10) I subscribe to the New Yorker because there’s always some powerful writing every single week. This, though, may well be the best – and most harrowing – piece I’ve read in ages: the story of London surgeon David Nott and his work with Médecins Sans Frontières in Syria.