#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”?
Awfully hard question. I'm in a writing phase that has me hitting old favorites with frequency. Everything I consume is done in phases. So right now I'd say Nina Simone's To Love Somebody. Also: Arthur Russell Love Is Overtaking Me and Fahey's Blind Joe Death Vol 1. Just pure enjoyment.
#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)?
I recommend a blend of Archer (show) and Cassavetes' Husbands. Also Wetlands. Those last two are on Netflix.
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)?
Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon. I was recently recommended this book by a friend (Gabe of Wilder Maker) and, while the design makes it look like a cheap porny road novel, it's just perfect. It's a memoir about a road trip Heat-Moon took in the late 70's that spanned the country. His wife has just left him, he has a van named Ghost Dancing, and he's taking the roads truly less traveled, small highways.
He writes sentences you can't forget. He's a generous narrator who takes it all in and passes very little judgement, except for his still-resonant complaints against the corporatization and homogenization of American culture.
Tangentially, I've been reading a lot about this subject in other 20th century focused non-fiction like PR! A Social History of Spin and The Image: A Guide to Pseudoevents in America. All good shit.
#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?
Before I succumbed to a mind-numbing use of personal devices, I would have mentioned something cool and off kilter. My internet reliance is pretty typical: Netflix, Venmo, Gmail, Reverb, Etsy, Instagram...
Voice Memos are of course necessary and excellent and I feel no remorse for using them. So I choose Voice Memo.
There are also apps that I have to do without, namely games. I could shoot zombies all hours of the day, really.
#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 recommend two related practices, which are
A) finding a person whose company you enjoy and reading a play together. It's great for two, even though you might have to read multiple parts. Chekhov would be fun. As someone who doesn't act, I get to approach this with no stylistic urges or whatever preconceptions an actor might have.
And B) making an audiobook, or basically just recording yourself reading. Musician or not, there's a magic to hitting 'record' that puts you in deep focus mode. Maybe poems? Essays? Comedy?
Also everyone should work on the standup set they'll never do.