#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”?
Good Bye Folk Boy is an album by Luke De-Sciscio and, as I am him, I’d be lying if I was to truly recommend any album over it. I was living in a darkness and thus it has darkness. I was searching for light and thus it has desire. I was existing in and being the storm, recording in the eye and thus it’s a refuge. It has light because we were brave enough to keep pushing on. It has the extremes of myself and from both ends of love.
It has the spontaneity and unguardedness that I adore in my favourite records, literally every song being the first time the song was sung. The ‘demo’ that was the benchmark to beat…without fail, every song, I failed to beat the demo, the first is the one. Always. It dares to be imperfect and does so with a confidence that says ‘at peace.’
It wasn’t worked for or chipped away at. It wasn’t done. It happened because I was overflowing with life and catching it when the World aligned. I was hitting record and listening with no will to impose and only bold enough to let it go and forgive the imperfections that are rapidly become my favourite parts of every song.
It has inexplicable serendipity, instances of pure happenstance that could never be replicated: ‘what does this song mean to you?’ she says, not realising I was rolling a take. In headphones at the tail of end of the most defeated track you can hear her in the left ear.
It has the conflict I was waging both sides of. It has the bloodiest battle. It has a dream and the waking up, it has the drowning and the air. It has the aftermath, the in-between and the morning after.
The following weeks and the short period from November to January, ’18 to ’19.
#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 am, I’m afraid to say, a total philistine when it comes to Film and TV. I think the last movie I saw was ‘Three Billboards…’ and it kept me going the whole way through, which is no small feat considering the soup of attention span and I-should-be-elsewhere guilt complexes any visual media has to negotiate upon beaming into my head.
I felt the humanity in that film. As I did with American Beauty. As I did with The Assassination of Richard Nixon.There Will Be Blood and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Moulin Rouge is a classic…I’ve not seen it in years, but to the dude’s out there who’ve a preconception about musicals, eschew them, it’s visceral in multiple senses, the atmosphere is beautiful and beautifully scaring and it’s a spectacular example of visual and sonic poetry amplifying one another.
My real Film/TV recommendation though is to be conscious of the value of your time…as with anything, it’s healthy when you’re knowingly choosing these things but I could get really freaked out by the idea that there’s people who’ve so ingrained the TV into their routine they can’t even recognise it has co-opted their creativity. It’s definitely more difficult to find your own creativity but it’s also the most rewarding thing in the World.
#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 go through phases with reading. I’m not exactly what you’d call a fanatic reader but there are times when I get a lot from it. I love Milan Kundera and very occasionally Bukowski…just for his low-key depravity BUT if I was to suggest a single book to read it would have to be ‘Conversations with God: Book 3’.
People can flinch at the title and, rightly so. Ultimately though, it’s a book that purports to be an extended conversation between a man and his envisioned highest self.
It’s a back and forth, essentially, between the inquisitive and prying void of a man looking for answers and the inspiration which flooded to fill the gap.
It’s a trilogy, which is slightly strange because you have to ask yourself what kind of God would divide his legacy into such a uniquely human marketing format BUT there is value to be garnered from going through, particularly, the final instalment. You need not have read the others.
It’s a grounding read. A meditation and the only book I’ve ever read that froze me in place and put all the time before me and all the time to follow neither before or after but at the singular instance I still remain.
Some might call it Witchcraft…and it does get kind of weird in places BUT it will also stay with you and give you a motivation to reach for the version of you, you perhaps prior, didn’t know you had a responsibility to achieve.
#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?
Well, this can only be Spotify. Not only has it put just about every song (come on Johanna Newsom!) I could ever want to find immediately at my fingertips but it has totally opened up the playing field when it comes to music distribution. Literally everyone and their cat has some kind of music on Spotify nowadays and, speaking purely from my perspective, it’s become this totally effortless way to chronicle my own history. Whereas artists years ago used to think in album cycles that spanned a year or two, it’s possible now to soundtrack every phase in your life. Immediately. And move on.
That’s a legacy. And, whilst I have absolutely no idea where I’ll be in a year or two, I do know that being able to instantly share the sound of the journey has totally changed the way I think about my own evolution and music in general. I can think about smaller things. And really understand them. I can write and release and write and release and simply, do me for my own historical prosperity. For safekeeping. To get my future kids up to scratch on what their dad was like. If they are so inclined (hello).
Music is a fluid and ephemeral gift, to try and hammer that breadth into the hangover of a dead industry model is to only offer a fraction of the picture.
To offer anything but the whole is marketing. Which is in turn control. Music, really, is relinquishing control.
Being okay being on that wind.
#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.
Nothing makes the outside World so obviously ineffective and inconsequential or more rapidly renders ideas of separation delusional as having the courage to really look into someone else’s eyes. So my recommendation, amongst the pantheon of ‘anything’, has to be eye contact.
In it’s most fundamental sense; unguarded looks into someone’s eyes are a single bridge in time between two points of existence. The coalescence of two histories at a singular instance. When it’s vivid and gentle and effortless and thoughtless it becomes impossible to see anything but the incredible beauty that everyone has on their skin and beneath it. It becomes impossible to see anything but yourself staring back at you.
That’s why dogs hate it. If you stare a dog in the eyes it freaks out, but our potential is in every direction greater than that of a dog.
A shortcut to reality. To melting away all the non-sense. To feeling and experiencing the fundamental binding that you are, and that everyone is, literally the centre of the same Universe experiencing itself. Is to dare, not to look, but to be seen in someone’s eyes.
It becomes impossible to be cruel. To have anything but compassion. To live in that space, would be heaven, but to start training yourself to feel that space and know yourself, is to have the courage to see and be seen.
OK folks, there you have it. Things that Luke De-Sciscio thinks you should consider incorporating into your day/life. Before you log off and go start staring in people’s eyes, make sure to follow Luke on the Facebook / Instagram / Twitter and then give a listen to my fave track on the new album, ‘R.O.B.Y.N.’, b.e.l.o.w…