- This month’s theme was motivation, or how to get it back or track. After weeks of eye complaints and restraints, and back-to-back travel from Nashville to Edinburgh, it was a challenge to rediscover my productivity mojo. I spent way too much time rearranging my Omnifocus set-up, thinking about morning routines, and optimizing for capturing a deep work mindset. The first couple weeks felt like slo-mo, a lot of running in place, not getting much accomplished. Of course, the secret is to dive in — perfect Omnifocus set-up be damned — and start. I’m finally at a solid daily clip, which is good as I’ve decided on some ambitious goals over the next few months.
- Related to my motivation pit, current events (especially here in the US) have me down. I know I’m not alone in how this affects the work mood. Some of my peers talk about moving to another country, but I think a better solution is to create my own (mental) country. Distance me from the news, outside influences, current events — build a creative utopia of my mind. Focus on making things to make the world better. I can’t do my best work and be helpful if I’m curled up in a ball worrying about the state of things. I had already done this to a degree (this article by Ryan Holiday is an inspiration) but there was some leakage, especially from Twitter. David Moldawer says Twitter turned his phone into a ‘depression machine’ and I can relate. Though I’m not leaving social media (but tempted, see Jaron Lanier), I’ve decided to treat it as a one-way street. I’m posting, but I’m not reading. If you @ me, I’ll look and probably reply, but that’s as far as my interaction goes. And no more social media apps on my phone or tablet. Not in my country.
- On the other hand, I’ve rediscovered Day One and Pocket and have enrolled in the subscription plans offered by both. Pocket has added highlighting on mobile devices (please add this to the browser version soon!) which makes noting and cataloging sections of interest in articles a breeze. Then I can shoot those articles into Day One, add the highlighted text and appropriate tags, and I’ve got fodder for blog posts or future reference material. I’ve also started journaling daily in Day One as paper journaling was a personal bust. I really wanted to make a paper journal work, but I find more inspiration in an electronic platform (and I start each entry with a photograph of that morning’s sunrise over our lake, which motivates) and writing by hand only reminds me how awful my handwriting is. Even I have problems deciphering my scrawl. I’m happy with this set-up, and am even moving my digital commonplace book out of DEVONthink and into Day One (no slight intended on DEVONthink … it’s a terrific Evernote alternative that I’ll use primarily for business purposes here on out).
- The Timucua Arts Foundation and its White House concert venue are Orlando treasures, and I wish your town had them, too. Combine with local arts collective Civic Minded 5 and our city is regularly treated to mind-expanding music in a beautiful live setting. The Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Zeena Parkins performances were recent, legendary treats — and this month brought the Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit all the way from Scandinavia to deliver an incredibly intense set of explorer jazz. The stage at the White House is small and intimate, which made this unit seem larger than it already was: two drummers (creating a lovely stereo field), two bass players (alternating between stand-up and electric bass), an accordionist, a brass section that included tuba, trumpet, trombone, and three saxophones (with occasional switches to clarinet and flute), a guitarist (percussive, noisy, great), and an electronics/laptop dude who stepped in front to manically conduct the band at one point. It was as impressive as it sounds. Any time there’s a Civic Minded 5 promoted show at the Timucua White House, it’s a mandatory event.
- I reconnected with Dave Tomaselli, whose Statra label I used to promote at 8DPromo. He’s now working with Paperchain, a technology company worth checking out. There’s a promise in their model of tracking and advancing royalties, and I’m even more intrigued by an imagined future of automated royalty calculation and payout to artists, creating a solution for labels that are allergic to and unreliable with accounting (which is like 98% of them).
- My client Buddhist Army released the vinyl 12” version of Arthur Landing’s Spring Collection EP this month and it’s making some waves. Gilles Peterson played a track on his 6Music show, and Test Pressing published a quick interview with Arthur’s Landing founder Steven Hall.
- What I Read This Month:
- What I Watched This Month:
- What I Listened To This Month:
IF Music Presents You Need This: An Introduction To Black Saint & Soul Note
Arp – Zebra
King Tubby & Prince Jammy – Ghetto Dub
Kamasi Washington – Heaven & Earth
Agitation Free – 2nd
SQÜRL – Paterson (Original Score)
Alessandro Cortini – AVANTI
Melody’s Echo Chamber – Bon Voyage
Skee Mask – Compro
Technicolor Paradise: Rhum Rhapsodies & Other Exotic Delights
- A Few Other Things I Enjoyed This Month:
Poppinuts 001 – Eno
Synthedelia: Psychedelic Electronic Music in the 1960s
Djs Having Assistants Picking Tracks For Them Is A Dangerous Move
Inside Vaporwave’s Floppy Disk Micro-Boom
How Did A Major Label Manage To Lose A John Coltrane Record?
A Brief History Of Our Addiction To Loudness
Detroit is Techno City, and Techno is Black
Robert Fripp’s Frippertronics Explained
Speak & Spell: The Toy That Talked Back
Legendary Experimental Composer Jon Hassell Is Still Dreaming Up New Worlds
The Futuro House: Spaceship Living On Earth
The Legacy of Conny Plank
Has 2018 Killed The Pop Star?
How Headphones Changed the World
Remembering The Engineer Who Created Rock’s Unmistakable Fuzz
Why No One Answers Their Phone Anymore
How David Bowie Invented Ziggy Stardust
No Hope, No Fear: Industrial Music In Zagreb