Welcome to Syllabus – a new column where we ask our favorite artists to recommend a book, an album, a movie, and a restaurant. This week: Tanner Jones of Florida emo greats You Blew It!, who just released an excellent EP, Pioneer Of Nothing, through legendary punk label Jade Tree Records.
Syllabus: Tanner Jones (You Blew It!)
I’ve never seen Vanilla Sky. I don’t watch movies a lot. If I do, I’ll usually watch it over a couple of days. I’m a slave to my impetuousness, too, so naturally I tend to watch 3-4 at a time and almost never finish them. Just now I scrolled through Netflix and Vanilla Sky was the first one that I saw.
The summary is as follows: “A man who has everything – money, good looks and a gorgeous woman – seemingly loses it all when his face is horribly disfigured in a car accident.” Sounds pretty tight. It’s directed by Cameron Crowe and rated R…starting to sound even tighter. It’s categorized as a Thriller and a Romantic Movie. I love both those things. It’s made in 2001 – one whole year after Kid A came out. Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz are in it. Wow. I mean, Tom Cruise is too, but we all knew that. I’d probably assume that all of those people are attractive in this movie regardless of their (Tom’s) fictional disfigurements.
Overall, I’d give this movie a 9/10. I’ve still never seen it, but it probably can’t be bad.
Radiohead – Kid A
Someone punch in my dumb fucking face. It’s 2015 and I’ve only just heard this record for the first time. Admittedly, around 2012 I put myself into a self-induced aural daze where only Pedro the Lion and Death Cab for Cutie records played, but that still leaves more than a decade that I could have been listening to this record.
It’s wild how many chances this record takes; how many things it pulls off; the atmospheres it creates. My girlfriend went out of town last week, and I listened to Kid A while I made tacos and dude I swear to gods those were the most transcendental tacos I’ve ever had in my short, pathetic life. I’m embarrassed that it took me this long. I’m so fucking embarrassed.
Travels With Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck
I read this book for the first time when I was 14 and I couldn’t give two fucks about it. I found it tedious, boring, and far too longwinded. That was when I was 14. I picked it up again on You Blew It’s first overseas tour, and it highlighted and complimented that trip in a way nothing else could have.
Travels With Charley is about a man, a dog, and his thoughts. Its enduring relevance is absolutely astounding. The books’s first sentences summate as follows: “When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch…Nothing has worked.” Steinbeck buys a prehistoric version of the modern day Bandwagon (“Rocinante”), and plans a course that most closely resembles any band’s full US tour. He kept a journal, which I can only imagine turned into Travels With Charley.
It’s hard to describe without sounding a little bit like a moron. I tried explaining it to my friends in their van and they laughed at me. No lie. They did. Anyway, here goes: Travels With Charley helped me see beauty in the world that I never realized existed. Beauty I never realized I had never been looking for. It was like realizing the difference between hearing and listening. Landscapes seemed wider. Skies seemed bluer. I figured out a way to define feelings that I never knew had a definition. Essentially, Travels is a magical book. It’s easy to say that a book changed my life, but I had never felt it until Steinbeck and Charley.
Lazy Moon Pizza (Orlando)
I’m real big on instincts, and this was the first restaurant I thought of. Lazy Moon is a pizza place near the UCF campus in Orlando, and it’s got slices the size of my dang apartment. If normal-sized slices were DVDs, these puppies would be laser discs. Their staff is the truest, most down-to-earth, genuine group of homies of all time, and their pitchers of beer are four dollars. The entire pitcher is four dollars. It’s absolutely wild. Just, completely insane.