#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”?
Totally knocked me out, the best thing I've heard in a long, long time, released in February 2018. It's stunning, lyrics that hit a rare mark of being stand-alone poetry and also functioning as they need to, her voice is timeless. The production by Peter Broderick is elegant and spare, but warm. Love, Death and the Lady by Shirley and Dolly Collins comes to mind as a reference point for the kind of sheer force and aesthetic heights. It's very good.
#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)?
There was a BBC crime series I saw years ago called The Shadow Line, created by Hugo Blick. Had a bit of a mixed response and got weird distribution in the USA. But I really enjoyed it, very stylized and dark, took some risks, a subdued theatricality with a great cast including Chiwetel Ejiofor & Christopher Eccleston.
Worth tracking down, good cops, bad cops, the mob and the flower business.
#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)?
I read Tehanu by Ursula K. Le Guin not too long ago. I guess the move would be to recommend the whole Earthsea series.
The first one was published in 1968, A Wizard of Earthsea, so start there. I had kind of avoided the fourth book Tehanu (1990) for a while because of the whole artists-not-being-able-to-maintain-quality-throughout-their-careers thing, but I shouldn't have worried about Le Guin. She was every bit as masterful in her later writing, and her age informs Tehanu in a very specific, beautiful way. The story is reflective, meditative, but still has adventure.
#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?
There's a video of Lou Reed & Pavarotti singing "Perfect Day" that I think about in life fairly regularly, it's incredible on so many levels. I almost don't believe it's real. It would be a shame if it disappeared.
#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.
Cold barley tea (mugicha) from Japan. It's the best thing to drink in the summer. You steep it for a while in the fridge, it's forgiving and flexible and has a refreshing effect.
Actually, cold brewing green teas like sencha is maybe an underrated move, too. Richmond, VA is humidity city so we gotta get through somehow.