#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”?
I would say Leif Vollebekk ‘Twin Solitudes’. I think it is a special album, with seriousness, playfulness, groove, and beauty. The performances and writing are strong throughout the album.
#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 don’t have Netflix so I don’t know the catalogue so well. Nevertheless, I logged onto someone else’s to see ‘Quincy’ and I think it is powerful and important in so many ways, both inside and outside the musical context.
Also, I would recommend a new Danish/Swedish film called ‘The Guilty.’ I think this film embodies ‘artistic risk’, from its conception to its execution. A simple and powerful film.
#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 would suggest Karl Ove Knausgård ‘Autumn’ for its direct, clear honesty and its calm humour. Ian McEwan’s ‘Nutshell’ is stunning, modern, yet classical, and funny, and George Saunders ‘Lincoln In The Bardo’, is blowing my mind at the moment. Finally, ‘Cat’s Cradle’ by Kurt Vonnegut is so thought-provoking and entertaining, it needs to make the list.
#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?
Stand-Up comedy in general. It is so hard to do well that it is hard to find live, so I think it’s the most valuable leisure activity thing on YouTube.
#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.
‘Bearability’ is increased for me with using free time for reading, writing and meditation. Choosing these things when free time is on offer draws the external world in and draws calmness out.
Also, I have been starting my day by making breakfast and coffee with my eyes closed to offer some trust to my body and calm my movements. It’s really ‘eye-opening’ for me, so I would recommend it.
OK folks, there you have it. Things that Of The Valley thinks you should consider incorporating into your day/life. Before you log off and go burn your blindfolded breakfast, make sure to follow Of The Valley on the Facebook / Twitter / Instagram and give a little blindfolded coffee drinking time to Of The Valley’s album on Spotify.