#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”?
Dirty Mind by Prince. Prince was the first concert I ever went to, but I don’t think I even knew this album existed before a couple of years ago, so every time I need a pick-me-up now, this is my go to.
Super fun, short pop songs, with wicked early 80s production and clangy new-wave guitars and synths. And Prince! Singing about Prince things! It’s so great.
#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)?
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I love this show. I shouldn’t. On paper, the premise sounds a bit hokey - rom-com with showtunes from the CW channel - but it’s the best thing ever.
I’m a bit sad that they’ve re-cast Greg for the final season, as I was a big Rebecca/Greg shipper, but I’m looking forward to it and I’ll be sad to see it go.
#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)?
Saga by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan. If you like comics, you are probably sick to death of people gushing over this book, but I’m going to pull up a chair and gush anyway.
The art is beautiful, the writing is beautiful and the characters are BE-YEWTIFUL. I’ve cried so many times to this book and I hope it continues forever.
#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?
Those amazing people who upload and stream Pro Wrestling events, day in, day out. You are doing the Lord’s work.
Also, I know it doesn’t need any help, but I think I really like Reddit. It gets a bad rap, cos of all the douchebags, but once you find the right places to go, it’s like an encyclopedia of support groups helping each other out. It can be really cool.
#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’ve been reading your Highly Recommended interviews since the beginning (I don’t have much going on in my life, ok?) and every time someone would say “Go for walks in nature!!” I would roll my eyes and think “Pfft, hippy”. But since quitting our full-time jobs and getting part-time jobs, my other half and I have had much more time (and energy, oh man) to just “go for walks in nature” and it’s super nice.
We are completely broke and careening towards bankruptcy, but NATURE DON’T CARE. So I guess my recommendation is quit your job.
OK folks, there you have it. Things that Benjamin Shaw thinks you should consider incorporating into your day/life. Before you log off and go tell your boss to take a hike with you, make sure to follow Ben on the Facebook / Twitter / Instagram and then go pop over to his Bandcamp and fill your boots with the entire Benjamin Shaw discography (which you can actually get digitally in one go for $5, which is like a steal and half time 2).