Welcome to the 5th edition of this totally re-occurring feature of the blog. Y'know, the one where I ask an internet acquaintance to give us all some recommendations off their top shelf in 5 important categories: Music. TV/Film. Books. Internet-ing. And the last one: ANYTHING (to make sure all bases are completely covered).
This time around we are joined by Lauren Rearick (aka 'The Pumpkin Cookie Queen') the lovely lady behind the always chock-full with ear candy blog The Grey Estates, who just turned 3 years old (which is like 33 in blog years) so make sure you follow her on Twitter & like her on Facebook if you don't already. She's a busy lady, but somewhere inbetween running a blog and putting out a very wicked cassette compilation called 'Sugar Rush' with Negative Fun Records, she has managed to find some time to leave us a few recommendations.
So let's scroll downwards for that! Also, hello Lauren's mom :)
#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 was super late to the Julien Baker party, but I feel like t's better late than never. Her album Sprained Ankle is the kind of deeply confessional stuff that I keep hidden in journals. If you're ready for a good cry or just have some feels this is the kind of album to put on and just get sad to.
Plus, if you read up on her history, Julien has gone through some seriously dark and heavy shit, and she came out this beautiful songbird from it. I think it's good to realize that like everyone has shitty days, some people are just more vocal about the terrible things - she's one of them.
#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)?
This is a horrible thing to ask me because I love teen dramas and reality television shows. My first answer would be Kid Nation. It's all on YouTube and basically, CBS left a group of kids out in the wild wild west with only their host Jonathan, and it's like Survivor, but with children. It's hilarious and also sad.
If you don't like kids though maybe just watch The O.C. That show is the only reason I discovered music - then Chuck Klosterman - then music writing. Now I'm poor and unhappy, so thanks The O.C.
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)?
The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic - No explanation needed for this one really. Everyone should just 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?
GoldFlakePaint for music stuff but for when I'm feeling sad, just King Curtis videos 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.
I'm a big proponent of reaching out to people you admire and saying hey, you do great work. Do that more. You make a lot of friends that way, hi everyone on the music blogsphere and bands, and you never know what can happen as a result. The worst that can happen is you find out someone is a total jerk or you can make a new best friend.
If you don't want to do that just eat more bagels
OK folks, there you have it. 5 things that Lauren thinks you should consider incorporating into your day/life. Since asking these questions was as much for my benefit as yours, here are my initial thoughts on his recommendations…
1. Julien Baker is magic and one of my favourite musical discoveries of last year. If you haven't already, you need to go put Sprained Ankle in your headphones and pull the covers over your face for awhile.
2. I think I have seen some of Kid Nation before, but what I really took from Lauren's recommendation was “hey, a new season of Survivor must have started by now!”. And it has. I like Survivor. And other reality shows. And there is no shame in that. In fact, I remember reading the book 'Everything Bad Is Good For You' and it saying how reality tv is actually more of an intelligent viewing choice than people give it credit for. Something about how it makes you think about how you would act in certain situations in a much more engaging way than if you were to watch an episode of Leave It To Beaver. Or something like that, IDK my brain is all bit mush from watching too match reality tv.
3. I have not read this book yet, but I do follow Jessica Hopper on Twitter… so you might say that I have read lots of random sentences from her (and I've added her collection of criticism's to my ever-growing Amazon basket).
4. I also think Goldflakepaint is great place to visit often, but I was unfamiliar with King Curtis. I was actually expecting to find an old soul singer, so I was a bit surprised when my googling turned out this boy version of Honey Boo Boo. Actually, it turns out that King Curtis was an old saxaphonist… but that little future Trump supporter has over taken him on google. Which I guess means he's more culturally important.
5. Perhaps we can all start trying Lauren's 5th recommendation by telling me how great you think I am. And then move on to the next person that comes to mind. For example, Lauren. Or maybe you can just go stick a bagel in your mouth. Whatever. Related: pretty great how I found an O.C. gif with bagels, hey?
Well, those are my first thoughts on Lauren's recommendations, feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments section below. Or on Twitter, Or facebook. Or don't. It's your call. But at the very least, you should go follow Lauren on Twitter and Facebook because doing so will improve your time on either.
And finally, how about we all agree to meet back here in 2 weeks time for some more things of high recommend from someone else, ok? OK.