Weekly Roundup: October 25 – 31, 2020 (or, “Passions”)

It’s only been two months since I’ve lasted posted a “weekly” roundup and, hey, that’s better than five. In a year where one day seems to go on for three eternities and three seconds all at once, I’m cutting myself some slack—and crossing my fingers that we’ll all survive this dystopian nightmare long enough to make making them actually be weekly into a New Year’s resolution.

In the meantime—and in spite of still being in the thick of Hell Week the tense lead-up towards Election Day here in the States—there’s actually been some positive movement on this end! My family and I have moved into a new home that is treating us very well, and certainly more-so than our previous accommodations. Part of the upgrade is having kick-ass office space to dish out my journalistic, musical, and podcasting ventures. I can’t wait to show it off, but wait I shall—kellyjelly and I are collaborating on a little something to jazz up the official reveal!

We also have a precious new pup named Xander, a standard poodle who is presently three-months-old. He’s no Twinkie, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s a different experience from raising and living with any of our old dogs, but it’s still a positive one. He’s a rowdy ball of fluff that I’m looking forward to taking out to play with and explore nature one day, once he’s a bit more grown. In the meantime, the name of the game is getting him to teethe on anything but our bodies—or our clothes, our furniture, various rocks and sticks in the backyard…

Having a puppy is the kind of content that anyone can be here for. I promise that I’ll give the people what they want. For whatever reason, I can’t embed anything from Facebook or Instagram right now (and will update this post when that changes). So, follow this link to check out the new kid in the meantime! – https://www.instagram.com/p/CGgtB_Qh-pi/

Now that the storm of activity that comes with a sudden move has calmed, my time now is divvied out between my day job and self-reflecting on how I can better organize my schedule. Thankfully, Lister and I are still a bit ahead of schedule on Super Cast Bros., but my presence elsewhere has been lacking.

Outside of these Weekly Roundups being anything but weekly, I also need to begin reintegrating music writing more firmly into my schedule. There are some good For Folk’s Sake tidbits to share this week, though, and I’m looking forward to working with PopMatters again once their CMS transition is complete. So, there’s positive movement!

I also fully intend to get onto the NaNoWriMo train this month and begin S-O-M-E-T-H-I-N-G!!!! along the lines of what I know is still my greatest creative passion, with fiction writing. It’s been seven years since I’ve last finished anything resembling a fantastical story, and I really want to shift gears and show that I can still do it. I don’t intend for my music writing to “slow down” in any firmly tangible way amidst it all. Although, I do plan on writing more reviews, interviews, and feature pieces, and to focus on being a more mindful and diversified writer and curator in general.

I was this big, the last time that I had a book published.

Shifting into a new era here, I find it important to shake things up and not grow stagnant. I also find it important to cultivate art and work that I am passionate about, and hope that that passion resonates with you, rather than approaching my work with the cold, mechanical, quota-filling precision that I had honestly felt looming over me over the last few months prior to my month-long break. My passion needs to stay my passion, and I’m looking forward to putting my heart back into it with a re-energized approach as November leads way into the rest of it all.

Speaking of passions, and making something new, that’s exactly what my pal Lister is doing with his new video game series, Zantok Plays. (Coincidentally, this roundup blog is being posted on his 30th birthday—so, happy birthday, Lister!) Just like when we first embarked on this whole jfrahm.com project together, I’ve produced a cool interview with Lister that gives us a better look at the mentality being put into his new forthcoming project. Give that a read, if you’d like. It’s a fun little precursor to the main event, when Zantok Plays debuts next week!

Speaking of, Super Cast Bros. has been going at a cool, even pace for Year Two. I can’t believe that it’s already been 15 months since the fun began! Our latest episode is a look at Steve, the infamous Minecraft guy who’s the newest to hit the fray in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. This was one of those episodes that felt like it just came out right, with a wonderful conversational pace that the gamers reading this should enjoy. As usual, you can find us in video form on YouTube, or wherever you enjoy listening to your audio podcasts.

Also in the birthday realm, it was another dear friend’s latest turn around the sun, too, just over a week ago. Don Armstrong is a Tucson-based singer-songwriter who makes some of my very favorite music in (and out of) town, and one of the kindest hearts that I know. We will be chatting soon about some of his passions. This includes his 2020 LP, Mother Don’t Give Up On Me Now, and much more. The couple of pieces that we procure from that chat should most certainly be ones to remember. I’m looking forward to producing them not quite like much anything else that I’ve put out there. I know you’ll love it, too.

Don recently performed at Monterey Court for the Tucson Folk Festival’s latest benefit, which had a great, socially-distanced, masked, sanitary turnout. If you’re reading this and were involved, thank you for making our festival season a success, so far! It has been a joy to be a part of the TKMA Board this year, even in the face of such uncertainty as per how our big event will carry on this coming April. Either way, the spirit of our community is present, and it is reinvigorating.

…and that’s what’s going on in my world! Hopefully, things are going by at least as positively, if not inconsistently, for you as they are for me. There’s a bright horizon ahead (well, at least on the level of personal, artistic cultivation) that I’m looking forward to sharing further with you all. As far as all of the bad stuff going on in the world—and there’s plenty of it—perhaps we’ll face it in a future roundup. Or, like, on Twitter or something.


For Folk’s Sake

Words by: Jonathan Frahm

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