Welcome to another HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, that re-occurring feature where I ask a person of the internet to give us all some recommendations from their top shelf of life's 5 most important categories: Music, TV/Film, Books, Internet-ing, and ANYTHING (to make sure all bases are completely covered).
Today we're joined by Sam Moss, a hugely talented songwriter from the hugely difficult to spell state of Massachusetts. If you're not already familiar with Sam's music, you should pop open his Bandcamp page in another tab and either go do a deep dive right now, or immediately after checking out his recommendations below. And make sure to give him a follow on Twitter and a like on Facebook too.
Now, onwards with the recommendations…
#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 think the new record Emotions and Math from Margaret Glaspy is excellent start to finish. There's no filler. The sound is incredibly lean and focused and gives room for her voice and guitar, which are both so cutting, to fully sink in.
#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)?
Bob from Bob's Burgers may be my favorite fictional fatherly role model. I find the show quite comforting, which is something we all need and deserve from TV sometimes.
#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 get a lot of mileage out of Denis Johnson's work. Jesus' Son is exhilarating and exhausting. I admire his poetry and efficiency.
"How about you?" I asked McInnes. "Are you comfortable?" "What do you think?" McInnes said. It was a long straight road through dry fields as far as a person could see. You'd think the sky didn't have any air in it, and the earth was made of paper. Rather than moving, we were just getting smaller and smaller. -- from "Jesus' Son" by Denis Johnson
A friend recently gave me a book of poems called Praise by Robert Hass. I inhaled it pretty quickly and am currently rereading.
ten bundles and four great piles of fragrant wood, moons and quarter moons and half moons ridged by the saw's tooth -from "Heroic Simile" by Robert Hass
I have little interest in writers that don't explore the beauty of language, and I don't mean that I need the writing to be pretty. I want it to move me with both what is happening and how it is written. I'll take a stunningly written mundane moment over a satisfactorily written exciting plot-driven moment any day.
#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 discovered his art through album designs he did for Vetiver and was lucky enough to get him on board to do the artwork for Imaginational Anthem 5, an instrumental guitar compilation that I curated a few years ago. His work is at times lighthearted or playful and at others heavy and lonesome. My favorite work of his is the stuff that combines those feelings.
And it's been awhile but Garfield Minus Garfield got me through some tough times in the past.
#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.
Starting the day without looking at a screen. When possible, don't look at your phone or computer until after breakfast. I have never regretted this decision.
OK folks, there you have it. Things that Sam thinks you should consider incorporating into your day/life. Before you go look away from your screen and finish your breakfast undistracted, go check out Sam's bandcamp page (all great music to listen to while not staring at a screen) and give a follow / like on his Twitter / Facebook / Instagram.
And maybe we'll see you back here next week for some more recommendations from someone else?