Posted on Wednesday 6th May 2020 at 10:00
Each week we’ll be sharing the alt. tickets Social Distancing Survival Guide.
The concept is simple: we choose three records, three movies, a boxset to binge and a podcast.
We all have our favourites that we always go back to, but it is always a good idea to try something new – especially right now – so be sure to keep up to date with our choices and let us know via Twitter which albums, movies, series and podcasts you recommend.
This week DHP's Concerts Assistant, Beth Maples, discusses her choices!
Deaf Havana - Fools and Worthless Liars
Fools and Worthless Liars is introspective and candid, holding up well even 9 years after it's release with honest tales of youth, regret, love, loss and anxiety. You'd think all that emotion would make it a bit of a downer but this album is well balanced with plenty of soaring guitar driven choruses and on the deluxe version, where they re-recorded the whole album as "alternative versions", some experimentation with more folk and electronic influences. I Will Try and the alternative version of Fifty Four are personal favourites and firmly part of my family's beach road trip playlist.
Sam Hunt - Montevallo
I was really excited when I first heard this album, it took the mainstream country music that was everywhere in 2014 and infused it with unexpected R&B, pop and EDM sounds. The general country themes of tailgates, pickup trucks and small town life are present but the delivery makes it less aggressively bro country (sorry, Florida Georgia Line) and more like a grown up and less misogynistic continuation of it. Break Up In A Small Town will connect with anyone who grew up, like me, in a town where you knew everyone and House Party is just a straight up bop. It's certainly not for everyone but, if nothing else, it's a fun experiment in how far you can push the definition of "country".
Greenday - American Idiot
Shout out to my grandparents for not understanding parental advisory warnings and allowing 11 year old me to buy one of the albums that changed how I felt about music. This one will already be familiar to a lot of people, even if you didn't own the album I've never met anyone who hadn't at least heard the title track American Idiot and let's not forget this album also gave us Holiday, Boulevard of Broken Dreams and Wake Me Up When September Ends - all anthems in their own right. 16 years later this album still punches hard and I love how, even though it has a generally chaotic energy, each of the tracks perfectly follows the one before like one long song with a few quiet dips. It's 57 minutes and 24 seconds of pure angst set to a glorious power chord soundtrack - it was brilliant then and it's still brilliant now.
Now I don't normally like 'space films', too much can go wrong and they put me on edge. In this film, pretty much everything that can go wrong in space does go wrong and you know what? I'm sort of fine with it. The intensity and drama is punctured by moments of beautifully timed comedy and whether you're a fan of Matt Damon or not, he was the perfect choice for the lead role of stranded astronaut Mark Watney. I worked at a cinema when this first came out and seeing the same film 11 times in one week is a sure fire way to ruin it for life but no matter how many times I saw it, I still felt like cheering when *spoiler alert* they brought him home (many people actually did). The score and soundtrack for this film is phenomenal and up there with one of my all time favourites, and if there's one positive of being in isolation right now, at least we're not having to eat potatoes farmed in human poop.
This film came free with the very first DVD player my family bought in 2002 and stayed unopened and unwatched for literally years until rebellious 13 year old me (the film is rated 15) stumbled across it and decided to give it a go. Julia Roberts plays a sassy single parent turned legal clerk in a David vs Goliath story about a small town taking on a huge corporation and she does the whole thing in the most outrageous outfits (think Vivian in Pretty Woman if Richard Gere never picked her up on Hollywood Boulevard). Probably not the most appropriate role model for a 13 year old but I just love her ballsy, get stuff done attitude and every one of her quips and comebacks is pure gold. Knowing that there's truth in the story means its not an easy watch but it got the seal of approval from the real life Erin so definitely worth a look.
Sandra Bullock, in true Sandra Bullock style, plays standoffish editor Margaret who, when faced with deportation, somehow convinces her weary and overworked assistant into fake proposing so she can stay. In a bid to convince the government they're a serious couple, they pay a visit to his family home where inevitable hilarity ensues. Me and my mum must've seen this film a dozen times (much to my Dad's annoyance - not his thing at all) and its always the perfect, easy to watch pick me up. Yes, it's another quirky rom-com with impossibly beautiful characters and a predictable plot but sometimes that's exactly what you need, especially in times like this. Bullock and fake fiance Ryan Reynolds have great chemistry, even if it is a slightly odd pairing, but Betty White steals the show as the adorable but strange grandma Annie. Bonus points awarded for a very cute dog named Kevin.
I've watched my way through this show so many times and I still love it. Set in the eccentric (and sadly fictional) Connecticut town of Stars Hollow, it's a brilliantly written exploration of female relationships as we see mother Lorelai and daughter Rory navigate their way through all of life's ups and downs. Often verging on the downright ridiculous, which is all part of it's charm, there's a parade of colourful supporting characters too - a few of whom you might recognise (Melissa Mccarthy, Jared Padalecki, Nick Offerman). Game of Thrones it is not, there's no murders or plot twists but it's perfect comfort TV and with 154 episodes over 7 seasons, plus four more recent 90 minute episodes, there's plenty to keep you going through the lock down (and possibly beyond). Fun fact: the town troubadour is played by none other than DHP artist Grant Lee Phillips who's on tour in October (tickets here if you want to check that out, and I recommend you do!).
Shagged, Married, Annoyed
Geordie comedian Chris Ramsey and his equally brilliant wife Rosie spend an hour talking absolute nonsense about literally anything and everything. It might not sound like much and it probably won't teach you anything new but it's silly and lighthearted and never fails to make me laugh. Mini features include what's your beef where they lovingly (I think) bitch about each others annoying habits, and stories/questions from the public with ridiculous topics such as unfortunate cheese incidents, naked neighbours and (a personal favourite) "what did I lick?". It frequently has adult language /conversations so if you're social distancing with little ones or parents, I'd recommend listening with headphones.