Discover more from ROCK PAPER RADIO
Savings account transparency for all
complicated creativity, elephant rollerskating, Diplo's bank balance
SOMETHING TO LISTEN TO
If you think Kimbra is just somebody you used to know with cool bangs, you’re in for an excellent surprise. In this 19-minute Song Exploder show, Episode 133: KIMBRA, listeners take a ride through her 2018 collaboration with Skrillex and Diplo, Top of the World.
I wasn’t familiar with this song before I listened to this episode, but I became an enthusiastic fan even before Hrishikesh Hirway shared the piece in its entirety at the end. As Kimbra explains how the final version of the song came to life, its journey becomes increasingly astonishing. The production is complicated, overthought, and collaborative to the extreme, exactly the way I love to make things too.
Like always in a great Song Exploder episode, it turns out Top of the World is about more than just fun music. As she unpacks the lyrics, Kimbra explores ambition, power, and how paths to making dreams come true can start in innocence and end in delusion if we’re not vigilant. Bonus: I could listen to Kimbra’s speaking voice all day. Enjoy!
SOMETHING TO READ
Have you ever buckled a poodle into the passenger seat of your car or gently crammed a cat into a baby onesie? If so, this remarkable feature by Shannon McCaffrey for Atavist Magazine is for you: Sanctuary: A woman, an elephant, and an uncommon love story spanning nearly half a century.
Sure, there’s a rollerskating elephant, a tire salesman with a safari in his parking lot, and a custody battle unlike one I’ve ever considered, but the two standout things I couldn’t stop thinking about long after I read the last word were Carol Buckley, the spitfire woman-of-a-certain-age at the heart of this story; and the absolutely extraordinary scene of Buckley’s elephant Tarra giving birth.
Spoiler alert to spare the hearts of RPR readers who Just Can’t Right Now: The calf doesn’t make it. Tarra’s animal grief and efforts to save her baby are gutting.
Ultimately, Buckley and Tarra’s story turns out to be a hopeful one, even if it’s not necessarily happily ever after. By the end, it’s so clear why the editors called this one a love story. Read it with your emotional support animal close by.
SOMETHING TO HOLD ON TO
While the threat of a recession looms over the stock market and every soon-to-be-swept urban encampment in America, let’s not forget that Diplo—a 44-year-old male DJ whose stage name was inspired by his love of dinosaurs (and who worked with Kimbra on Top of the World)—has $3 million dollars in his bank account. Or, at least he did a few months ago when he dipped his bank card in the ATM Leaderboad at Art Basel in Miami.
The project, perhaps not surprisingly, is from the good folks of MSCHF (who also brought us the Cease and Desist Grand Prix, which was RPR’s SHOT in this issue). How it works is simple: Put your card in the ATM, and your photo and bank balance is instantly projected on a large screen above you for all to see. Savings account transparency for all!
Vittoria Benzine with Brooklyn Magazine has the story: Art Basel’s ATM Leaderboard ‘winner’ has $9.5M in the bank—and isn’t Diplo. Congrats(?) to all who played!
OUR MISFIT CREW IS GROWING
That’s a wrap on issue 96, friends. Thanks for listening, reading, holding on. And thank you for spreading the word about our misfit dispatch! Welcome to our new subscribers and a huge high-five to our new paid supporters.
If you’re new here and want to get caught up, you can find everything ROCK PAPER RADIO has ever shared here.
See you all next week.