#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”?.
Back before I completely failed out, I was a DJ at my university's radio station. Almost every day we got boxes of CD's from PR agencies and distributors with mostly garbage. Every damn thing they sent was marketed as "the next big thing" or "the saviours of rock n' roll." Those of us diligent or high enough to wade through the shit actually got to hear some gems.
I found this dude Chad VanGaalen. It wasn't the fact he was on Subpop that caught me either. Lord knows they put out some turds. No, it was a song title that seemed delightfully distasteful: "J.C.'s Head on the Cross".
Since hating religion was a big part of my M.O. at the time, I had to give this fucker a listen. I still have no clue if it is anti-religious or not. I like to think so. Who gives a shit really. I spun that CD over and over. It was beautiful. It was honest.
The clincher though was it sounded like he made it at home in his tiny, dirty apartment. I hadn't really heard music that sounded like that. It made it all the more real. No producers. No million dollar mixing console. No backing band. Just a dude and some cheap equipment pumping out a big sound.
Fast forward to 2014. I hadn't listened to Chad VanGallen in years for some reason or other. I wanted to relive that feeling. I searched and found something even better than before.
The sound of a man wearing his heart on his sleeve.
#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 want say my favorite movie Zardoz. I won't though. It rules hard though.
Instead try Father's Day. A completely bonkers slasher by Winnipegian nut job film collective Astron 6. Every penny, every drop of sweat, and every ounce of talent is squeezed to the absolute limit and it shows. These dudes had a budget of something like 15,000 bucks but you would never know. They wrote, directed, shot, starred, gaffed, gripped, scored, catered, edited, colored, designed every damn thing by themselves.
This is fucking DIY.
A quick warning: Father's Day is a comedy/horror film about dad rape. Sure that isn't exactly the greatest selling point but if you can push past that you are in for a faux 80's direct-to-vhs B-movie exploitation masterpiece.
Oh and there are plenty of dicks.
#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 worked in restaurants for years and my boss once told me "books are for prisoners." Now I have no clue if that is a quote from some movie and I don't ever really want to find out either. This year I reread George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London. His other works have almost completely overshadowed this fucker.
If you have spent any time in the service industry this novel will crush you. Orwell's time in those Parisian kitchens might have been almost 100 years ago but it is relevant and awful. The book covers it all: the yelling, the terrible working conditions, inevitable hangovers. Fucking hell does it destroy. Read it.
#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?
I can't get enough of Pico-8. It is an online-based video game console. It is freaking cute and incredible.
The system is designed to have some pretty extreme limitations to spark more creativity. There is no financial incentive either. You can't sell your game. They are free to the world. I really like the indie spirit that these guys have. Strange and ballsy games that probably wouldn't be able to find a home anywhere else.
Plus the fake cartridge design is stupid cute.
#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.
The next time you travel, don't stay in a hotel, hostel, Air BNB, or whatever. Just see what happens. Yeah this might seem silly since you can book a cheap place in minutes now. Fuck that. The stories you'll come home and the people you'll meet will be well worth it.
I'm definitely not saying put your life in danger. Use some goddamn common cents after all. I'm just saying I've managed to find a place to crash almost every time. More than that, I've made really strong, long lasting friendships with people the world over.
See where the night takes you. Find the place you think that nice people congregate, have some drinks, and make some friends. That is why you went there anyway right? To meet interesting people and have drinks. Somebody there will probably put you up for the night because hopefully you are a nice person too. Plus they probably know where to get the best music/whiskey/pizza the town has to offer. People like to do favors for others.
Try that shit sucka. Bonus points if you put people up at your place too.
OK folks, there you have it. Things that Henry Demos thinks you should consider incorporating into your day/life. Before you start deleting your Airbnb account & head outside to find some tourists to invite over for a sleepover, go follow Henry Demos / Mark on Twitter and go get this really nice Nice Legs EP.
Also, peep this highly exclusive, highly collectable Microsoft Painting Mark sent with his life tips.