#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”?
The only album released so far this year that has truly blown me away has been Mothers' debut full-length, When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired.
I was so initially captivated by this record's raw, surface-level emotions that I probably listened to it close to a dozen times before beginning to actively seek out context from reviews and features on the band, which is completely out of character for me.
Most of the music I listen to can be easily relegated into task-based categories (ie. driving music, dishwashing music, staring-into-the-void music,) but When You Walk A Long Distance You Are Tired is one of those rare universal works, equally-applicable to driving through rural, Midwestern farmland as it is to sweating on this strange, quasi-elliptical machine I have in my living room.
This feature describes Mothers as "singer-songwriter prog rock for grown up emo kids," a tag that reads as god-awful upon first glance yet strangely - and positively - does Mothers accurate justice once the album has been thoroughly digested.
#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)?
First, I feel it is my civic duty to inform everyone I meet that Short Term 12 is on Netflix, it has been for a long time, and you are doing a disservice to yourself by not watching one of the most quaint, heartbreaking films made this decade.
Now that that public service announcement is out of the way, I feel comfortable moving on and addressing the brilliance that is Fargo, specifically, the television series currently on FX.
I was initially skeptical about the lack of the Coen brothers' involvement, but have been proven wrong time and again over the past two years. The second season is even more impressionable than the first, mainly due to a spectacular ensemble cast and a recurring UFO subplot that the audience is all but forced to accept.
This one's not on Netflix, but it's probably on some version of Hulu or Amazon; I spent the $25 to get it on Blu-ray because cinematography that gorgeous is worth my money.
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 suppose this may only appear to a narrow demographic, but The Rap Year Book by Shea Serrano is imperative reading for the burgeoning hip-hop fan, and maybe even for the seasoned veteran as well. There are nice graphics, which distracts from the fact that it is essentially a reference book that happens to read nicely from cover to cover, and Serrano's voice isn't authoritative.
Each year also has a counter-argument or two supplied by an equally-strong voice in journalism (think Rembert Browne, Meaghan Garvey, Craig Jenkins, Jessica Hopper, etc.) that gives the book a broader scope, and has led me to a handful of new voices and perspectives on hip-hop that I may not have found so easily otherwise.
#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'd probably quit the internet if Twitter went away. It's how I find new music on a daily basis; it's how I connect with like-minded people who are time zones away; it's how I found this website and it's why I'm currently banging out answers to these questions. Twitter seems to be in a fragile state these days, too, so I'm mentally preparing for the worst.
#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.
Go outside more. Basically, forego recommendations two through four for a stretch (but bring number one, as it is very good walking-around-outside music) and spend some time out of the house each day. Though absorbing insane amounts of information can be rewarding and beneficial, I've also found that absorbing crucial things like fresh oxygen and vitamin D is vital to survival and general well-being; even going for a half-hour walk has the power to completely turn a day around.
OK folks, there you have it. 5 things that Sam thinks you should consider incorporating into your day/life. Before you turn off your computer and venture out into this "outside" that Sam mentions, go follow him on Twitter and listen to some hand picked tunes on dimestore saints. And if you still want to go "outside" after all that, go on… the door is right over there (note: I'm assuming there is a door over there .