A mix of old(ish) and new in here but all songs I’ve been enjoying in one way or another in August.
Have a Listen
- Dive/Beach House
- Bow Shock/Ben Chatwin
- Money Folder (Four Tet Remix – Instrumental)/Madvillain
- I Have Been To The Mountain/Kevin Morby
- Sentient Oona/Oh Sees
- Sunrise/New Order
- Staring at the Sun/Wooden Shjips
- Here with the Hawk/Dead Meadow
- Fists of Fury/Kamasi Washington
- Solid Silk/Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
- Out the Window (Greg Wilson & Che Wilson Mix)/Confidence Man
I’m a big fan of Spotify. I’m a big fan of their Discover Weekly playlist. I’m a big fan of Searching for the young soul rebels by Dexy’s Midnight Runners.
This track popped up on my discover weekly playlist. It’s an absolute gem. I’m leaving it here.
For those of you using the Discover Weekly playlist. Here’s a link to a very handy IFTTT recipe for archiving your playlists.
I’ve been thinking about storytelling lately. More specifically, I’ve been thinking about how the company I work for might be able to better tell stories.
So I started researching into how other industries and brands tell their stories. The following three videos are all ones I’ve found this week. Each with very different narratives but each one contains the key elements of a great story: a setting, a plot, a conflict and a resolution.
I’ve talked about Dicks Sporting Goods before.
Drink Better Beer – Matt Lane
This is a fantastic story about how BeerBods came to be. Very funny, very honest.
A film about Vitra
I recently treated myself to an Eames DSW chair for my home office. I love the mixture of history, ethos and tone in this video. I now feel part fo the club. Not part of the furniture, that wouldn’t be very Vitra I don’t think.
A simple list of some of the things I enjoyed in 2014:
If i had to pick a top 5 is would most probably be these:
Honourable mentions to: Burial, Angel Olsen, Sharron Van Etten, Clark, Francois & the Atlas Mountains and Mogwai
Shamefully, I only got to one. Kurt Vile in Brighton. Which was excellent, if a little stripped back. I did get tickets to two other gigs. However, Francois and the Atlas Mountains got cancelled and we clean forgot about Teleman (still kicking myself about this).
With out doubt Interstellar is my film of 2014. I simply loved it. The driving away scene is one of the best pieces of cinema I’ve seen for a long while. Wonderful.
Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood, Guardians of the Galaxy, Pride and Paddington are the honourable mentions. I should also add Godzilla, purely for the Halo Skydive scene.
Serial is the podcast of 2014. A factual whodunnit detective story. The Kermode/Mayo Wittertainment podacst was still excellent in 2014 and it’s the first podcast I listen to each week. Honorourable mentions should also go to Six Pixels of Separation, Marketing over Coffee and a relative newcomer, to me at least, Slate’s Working.
I have a huge backlog on my Kindle. However, the three listed below are the ones that immediately spring to mind:
Longform have compiled their best of 2014 list if you want more of the same.
I targeted myself with reading 24 books in 2014. I managed 14. None of which were published in 2014. However, I really enjoyed The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle, Predatory Thinking by Dave Trott and Galveston by Nick Pizzolatto was a great accompaniment to True Detective.
Sonos: It’s everything I expected it would be. The only real drawback is that I think the Sonos contoller app on both iPhone and Android is very poor. No Spotify Radio? C’mon.
Gramofon: my first kickstarter. It’s a great piece of kit. Whilst it’s now largely obsolete thanks to Sonos, it’s smaller than the Sonos which means it will travel well and I suspect it will accompany us on holidays.
Chromecast: Makes your TV smart. Makes your smart TV even smarter. And the kids can use it. Love it.
Grid-it: Phones, pens, chargers, security keys and even chewing gum all held in place by interwoven elastic straps. It’s the simple things that make the difference.
I was reading an article the other day about how to stand out in business and in your workplace, a kind of manifesto on being remarkable. One of the many suggested ways was to not reference TED talks. The justification was that anyone can do it, it’s not clever and in many ways it’s myopic. I didn’t agree with much of the article but that comment stuck. Primarily because I wholeheartedly disagreed with it.
It got me thinking about TED. It’s a much discussed topic. It’s also one of the ultimate pieces of content marketing. And let’s face it, despite what that blog post said, it’s a great way of finding common ground with people you know and don’t know as it did with me when meeting new colleagues at the end of last year. There was an immediate common ground and in a way a common goal. We want to learn more, know more, investigate more, sate our curious minds. Ideas Worth Spreading as it says on the tin.
There are around 2000 of these talks. I’ve not watched all of them (obviously), however, those that I’ve listed below are the ones that immediately came to mind. And are the ones that I’ve often shared.
Ken Robinson – Are schools killing creativity?
I first watched this many years ago, and I suspect it was probably the first TED talk I watched and the first time I became aware of TED. Since then I’ve become a Governor at a local school, and I’ve revisited this talk several times. However, the message isn’t just about the education system, it also applies to parenting and to business: Are the systems we have in place the most appropriate for nurturing creativity in the modern world?
Jason Fried – Why work doesn’t happen at work.
I mentioned this talk in a previous post and with good reason. Jason talks a lot of sense.
Rodney Mullen – Pop an ollie and innovate
Rodney Mullen is one of my sporting heroes. Skateboarding was my first real passion. As an 8 year old in a leafy English commuter town, skate videos (yep, VHS) from the States where our escape and inspiration. Rodney talks about creating content through context. Essentially, there’s an obstacle, what can I do with this board to overcome or make the most of the situation. Test, fail, learn and adapt.
Photo Credit: Gisela Giardino via flickr
My first go at summing up my 2013 in beer:
Best UK cask beer: Oakham 20 years. The tap takeover at Craft Beer Co Brighton was great.
Best UK keg beer: Kernal 4C or the increasingly go to Chiron by Thornbridge.
Best UK bottles or Canned Beer: Oakham Citra
Best Overseas bottled or canned beer: Either Racer 5 by Bear Republic or Nebuchadnezzar by Omnipolo
Best collaboration brew: Thornygoat was the only one that stands out.
Best Overall beer: Best by Marble Beers. I didn’t have it too often but it always hit the mark and completely surprised me about how good it was.
Best branding pumpclip or label:
Marble have the best pumpclips, simple and clean. Partizan have the best labels, illustrated by Alec Doherty
Best UK Brewery: Kernel, for being so consistent
Best overseas brewery: Pass
Pub/Bar of the year: Craft Beer Co, Brighton (It’s my local)
Best New Pub/beer opening: No idea
Best city for beer in the UK: No idea
Beer festival of the year: didn’t get to one
Supermarket of the year: Waitrose. Always has Thornbridge Jaipur and should get points for introducing Westmalle Dubbel earlier this year.
Best Beer Blog: I don’t read enough of them to be honest.
Best beer app: Untappd
Best brewery website/social media:
Not a brewery, however I really like what Beerbods
are doing through twitter.
I can’t remember when I first become aware of the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology but suffice to say I’m a fan. Below are three books (with affiliate links) that are in my opinion the best sources for adopting and learning the GTD methodology.
1. Getting Things Done by David Allen
Yes, it’s obvious and it’s the benchmark. As David Ogilvy said about Roman-Raphaelson’s book ‘Writing that works‘, “Read it three times”.
Here is David Allen’s TEDx talk on the subject of getting things done. Interesting to hear him say that the GTD concept is not so much about getting things done, rather its doing things with focus.
2. The Productivity Ninja by Graham Alcott
Graham Alcott takes the GTD methodology and brings its bang up to date. The principles of productivity are the same, however, Alcott specifically argues that productivity is not time management, rather its attention management that is the problem for the modern worker. The GTD methodology primarily works on the basis of context so that you can quickly decide how and what you work on i.e. at the office, at the computer, calls to make. Context is an underlying principle of productivity, and Alcott builds on this by asking you to look at your levels of attention and matching your actions with those of three levels of attention: proactive, active and inactive. Read ‘Work based on your attention levels’ to find out more on the topic.
If you’re inclined to the buy the book, I would recommend the hard copy. I have the kindle version and whilst it’s perfectly fine, The Productivity Ninja is essentially a reference book and the one thing I think the Kindle falls down on is being able to quickly look for sections and passages.
3. Re:work by Jason Fried
This is now a modern business classic. You can breeze through it in an hour or two and whilst not a productivity guide in the true sense, it still has some wonderful insights in how to run a business in a lean and scalable manner. To get a taste, here is Jason Fried talking about how work doesn’t get done at work:
What productivity books do you recommend?
1. I’m still here: back online after a year without the internet via @verge
2. Europe’s Bee Rescue via Bloomberg
3. Time and Space > Incredible timelapse videos of our changing earth. All from satellite images.
4. Why Beer Matters by @evanrail. An impassioned appraisal of why beer is important in our age, an age of generic lager and mass brewed beers.
5. The most toxic words in marketing by Michael Brenner. Are you selling stuff? Read on.
6. Competitive analysis: Stepping outside the industry and ahead of the competition via marketing sherpa
7. Leading, with the help of humour via The New York Times. “In my view, if you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough”
8. How high’s the water, mama? A tribute to De La Soul’s seminal ‘Three Feet High and Rising”. Album tracks, sampled tracks and commentary all in one sublime 1 hour mix. Listen!
9. The Buffer Culture via JChernov
1. B2B Digital Marketing by Rene Power > Great framework for B2B marketing beginners and practitioners alike
2. The Inferior Brand via Mitch Joel
3. 11 things I’ve learned from writing 1000 blog posts via econsultancy
4. How to find your purpose and do what you love via Brain Pickings
5. f.lux. Adapt the brightness of your computer screen to the time of day. A revelation.
6. The origin of the 8 hour day and why we need to rethink it via buffer. Reminded me that I need to start practising pomodoro again.
7. Dear Leader dreams of sushi via GQ. The story of Kim Jong-Il’s personal chef.
8. 1password. A weight off my mind. I literally, only need to remember 1 password.