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Social Distancing Survival Guide

By alt.tickets

Posted on Wednesday 27th May 2020 at 17:57

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 Venue Programmer Joe Patten gives us his picks!


3 records

New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies (1983)

Always been my favourite New Order album, for some reason it feels quite understated. There are undoubtedly albums with bigger singles and more important milestones in New Order discography, but it feels like the band have found their feet after suffering the loss of Ian Curtis. 5-8-6 opens and could be from any Joy Division album, a few minutes in it shrugs that off into a more familiar proto-Blue Monday. Listening back there are little flourishes that can be heard in later (and more popular) releases Republic and Technique. It is a great starting point if you have never listened to them.

Favourite Song – Your Silent Face


Freddie Gibbs and Madlib – Bandana (2019)

This album blew me away when it came out, I enjoyed the some of the previous release (Pinata) but I just keep coming back to Bandana after nearly a year. Apparently Madlib had sent Gibbs hundreds of beats he had made on an iPad too see if he wanted to use any, within 48 hours Gibbs had already recorded 100 raps – from then on, they picked what to keep and what to discard. I think because of that the album is quite varied, spacey, cinematic with 70’s off kilter RnB samples on some then more direct and dramatic rhythm on others. Guests like Pusha-T, Anderson Paak and Killer Mike make this a proper blockbuster Rap album.

There is also an instrument only album which is fantastic.

Favourite Song – Crime Pays


Caribou – Our Love (2014)

I don’t want to be too nostalgic on these recommends but this album to me is being abroad and drinking heavily in the sun. Worth a listen if you have not before, I sometimes find that world of Four Tet, Floating Points and Gold Panda quite samey, but this album just cuts through it all for me.

Favourite Song – Can’t Do Without You


3 films

The Post (2017)

This one initially passed me by when it was released which is surprising as it has a lot to like (Spielberg, Hanks, Streep) set at The Washington Post and the backdrop of the Vietnam war. After a leak of government papers the Post is faced with a dilemma, publish the papers and walk into a legal battle with the government or do nothing and sit on damning evidence that stretches all the way back to the end of WW2. Streep plays Kay Graham who has inherited The Post from her late husband, she now must navigate the waters of being a powerful woman in the 70’s, the future of The Post and freedom of the press.



First Man (2018)

An introspective re-telling of The Apollo 11 mission to land a man on the moon. Gosling gives us a quiet thoughtful Armstrong, meaning the rest of the cast and his crew come to the fore, Claire Foy plays Janet Armstrong who is taking care of their kids as well as supporting her emotionally stunted husband. She is also coming to terms with the very real threat that she might be widowed in the name of twentieth century manifest destiny.

The visuals are stunning, and the historical set design and costume is slick without being too in your face or gauche. Also, for a film about arguably the most celebrated episode in American history the mood is quite nuanced, it’s not the big shouty jingoistic flag waving film you might expect.



Uncut Gems (2019)

Probably a weird film to recommend at a time when anxiety is running at an all-time high. But if you want to divert your unease to something other than Covid-19 this would be a good distraction. Adam Sandler plays the part of his life, he fully lives the role of Howard Ratner the kind of well-intentioned anti-anti-hero, diamond dealer, gambling addict and depraved optimist. The film starts in frantic chaos and does not let up until the last shot.

I probably aged 5 years in the two hours or so but its better than watching the news. Score and soundtrack is fantastic too – Rain by Madonna playing in the Manhattan apartment scene is so well done.


1 boxset

The Sopranos (1999-2007)

Essential stuff, 20 years old and still holds its own. Made before the Netflix model of dropping an entire season in one go and consuming it in a day.

The story demands that you do not binge on it, the pacing and narrative is so fulfilling, you can’t really watch more than one at a time. Its like eating a Christmas dinner, enjoyable but not something you want to do twice a day.

I started watching when we went into lockdown and without knowing much I was surprised how much warmth and love there is in it, there isn’t just the cold ruthlessness of other gangster films that you would expect, its like Everybody Loves Raymond but the dad is a mob boss.


1 podcast

Desert Island Discs

It’s strange when something has been around since 1942 but is seemingly made for the podcast format. The guests include anyone that is anyone, Lauren Laverne is great at hosting, very relaxed and informative. Due to rights they can’t play full songs which actually works out well if their picks are a bit meat and potatoes (Marcus Wareing) – otherwise the sounds app has the full versions.

Some of my favourite episodes - John Cooper Clarke, Emily Eavis, Tracy Emmin, Martin Freeman, Ruth Jones, Bob Mortimer, Jeremy Deller.

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