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 Tom Johnson from Gold Flake Paint (y'know, the best music blog on the internets). As I always do in these introductions, I will now tell you to go follow/like today's guest on the ol' Twitter / Facebook / Instagram… although I highly doubt that you are not already doing so (unless you are one of those people that don't like discovering great music and reading beautifully written words about said great music). Anyways, Tom is a champ and because he is a champ he was nice enough to drop off some ace recommendations below…
#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”?
As a ~musical person~ I feel like I should list some things that nobody has EVER HEARD OF but will instant CHANGE YOUR LIFE, so I could tell you to listen to the beautiful chamber-pop of Choir Boy or the dazzling pop music of NYC newcomers Poppies but really you should just be listening to Mitski on repeat for ever and ever because she's incredibly powerful and important and brilliant.
#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 just watched the new BBC sitcom called Fleabag, which I think came out in the summer. I had it on in the background because I was half expecting to hate it, and because I'd started Episode One a couple of times without getting through it, but soon enough I was hooked and the next thing I knew I had cried actual tears to it.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge is brilliant in it and it just has that great balance between light and dark that always makes for the most rewarding kind of art, whether it's television, or film, or music, or whatever. It's certainly what I'm always drawn to; a big thwack of Pathos when you're least expecting it.
#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'm just about to finish a book for the first time in ages, so I feel like I should recommend that. It's called "Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall" by Anna Funder and, as the title suggests, it's about life in East Berlin and the people who lived through it. It features a lot of interviews with people who had prominent roles in the Stasi and also with people who were victims of the regime. It's really fascinating, and a very personal reflection of the time.
#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 that's easy: www.watchtheofficeonline.com
#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 usually hate being on the receiving end of advice from someone who is going through any kind of fad but I just bought a bike a month ago and started cycling to the office every day and it's my new favourite thing in the world. Probably, partly, because I don't drive so there's a little bit of untapped exultation that comes with flying past people and places at a reasonable speed, but also because it's now super quick to get to places. Seriously, so quick! Especially when going through the middle of town and you can just fly past all the cars trying to work their way around one-way systems and bus lanes etc.
Then there's the fitness side of things, which I certainly needed to address. I am now sleeping resoundingly better. So yeah, buy a bike. Ride it through the city at night, for an even bigger kick. Oh and eat whatever the hell you want to eat, you're wonderful.
OK folks, there you have it. Things that Tom thinks you should consider incorporating into your day/life. Before you go hop on your bike and head off into the city, make sure you're following Gold Flake Paint on the Twitter / Facebook / Instagram and go swing by GFP headquarters to find some tunes to put in your headphones while you're sailing around the city.
And maybe we'll see you back here next week for some more recommendations from someone else?