HIGHLY RECOMMENDED W/ JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON
#1 - WHAT IS THE ONE ALBUM (OR EP OR SONG) THAT YOU THINK SHOULD BE THE VERY NEXT MUSICAL THING THAT EVERYONE PRESSES PLAY ON THE NEXT TIME THEY FIND THEMSELVES THINKING “WHAT SHOULD I LISTEN TO NOW”?
There's so much new music that's been blowing my mind of late. Sister Grotto's minimalist masterpiece You Don't Need to Be a House to Be Haunted has been flipping in my tape player and the perfect pop of Frankie Cosmos' Next Thing is shaping up to be my summer 2016 soundtrack.
But my big, listen-to-this-before-anything-else recommendation is David Thomas Broughton's Crippling Lack album. It's a triple LP that came out in parts--each LP put out by a different label in a different country--so clearly isn't a casual listen kind of album. But it's jaw-dropping. Beautiful, wandering, discordant experimental folk. Everything DTB does is gold to me, but this is above and beyond anything he's done before. Just thinking about it makes my heart hurt in all the right ways.
#2 - WHAT IS THE ONE MOVIE OR TV SHOW THAT YOU THINK SHOULD BE NEXT IN EVERYBODY’S NETFLIX QUEUE (OK, DOESN’T HAVE TO BE NETFLIX, WE’RE ALL INTERNET ADULTS HERE AND KNOW HOW TO FIND ANYTHING ONLINE, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER)?
Oddball director Guy Maddin was recently in Portland for Mississippi Records' Music & Film series, and since then I've been trying to watch the films of his I haven't seen.
My Winnipeg is probably my favorite so far. He's really great at walking the lines between absurdity and sincerity, art film and comedy, and he hits the beguiling middle ground perfectly in this one.
3. I (AND BY “I” I MEAN “THE PERSON THAT IS READING THIS”) AM GOING TO THE BOOK STORE (OK, PROBABLY AMAZON) TO FIND THE VERY NEXT BOOK THAT I WILL BE PUTTING SOME EXTREMELY VALUABLE ‘ME-TIME' ASIDE FOR. WHICH BOOK WOULD YOU GET, IF YOU WERE ME (AND, I SUPPOSE, YOU HADN’T ALREADY READ WHAT YOU’RE ABOUT TO SUGGEST)?
Popular Music by Kelly Schirmann, which is a book of poems and essays that are only peripherally about music. Schirmann's work makes me so excited, so happy to be alive, and I recommend her to everyone (especially people who claim to not like poetry).
Popular Music definitely won't be in every bookstore, though, so in case you're facing the stacks and wondering what to get: Patti Smith's M Train is a perfect book about a life lived outside of time. So casual and unassuming. You don't need to be a fan or even know anything about her to enjoy the book.
#4 - WHAT IS THE ONE WEBSITE (OR JUST ANY OLD INTERNET THING: APP, GIF, SERVICE, WHATEVER) THAT YOU WOULD GET REALLY DOWN IN THE DUMPS ABOUT IF IT WERE TO SUDDENLY GO AWAY?
Since I'm both a freelance writer and the owner of an online store, most of what I do online is work. I enjoy a lot of that work, but it usually leaves me with little interest in doing extensive reading online. So most of what I read is in print. But there are definitely sites that I read sometimes and if I ever stopped doing so much work online, I would read them daily. (At least that's what I tell myself.)
The one that perhaps tops this list is the long-running literary music blog Said the Gramophone. Their writers post a wide mix of songs and then either write about them in strange and interesting ways or (most often) use a song as a writing prompt; a jumping point into personal essays and micro fiction pieces. They also have Jeff Miller writing for them now--who writes the excellent, long-running zine Ghost Pine--so that makes me love the site even more.
#5 - AND FINALLY… PLEASE GIVE ONE COMPLETELY UNAIDED RECOMMENDATION THAT YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD START DOING / USING / WATCHING / EATING / THINKING / QUITING / ETC-ING TO MAKE THEIR LIVES A LITTLE BIT MORE BETTER AND/OR BEARABLE.
I teach community education creative writing classes here in Portland, and the wonderfully odd assortment of people who register remind me time and time again how many stories there are in the world. And how often the way a person presents on the outside doesn't tell you much about what he or she has experienced or has in his or her head.
So I suppose my recommendation is just a reminder (to myself as much as others) that the world is so big and has so many different kinds of people, and we shouldn't let our eyes get in the way of being open to it.
OK folks, there you have it. Things that Joshua thinks you should consider incorporating into your day/life. Before you go run out the door to start a conversation with a stranger, go follow Joshua on Twitter and follow Antiquated Future on there as well… and then go check out Antiquated Future's site & bandcamp. Then go talk to that stranger.