Listened Little Man in my Head EP – Cheeky Chalk from cheekychalkmusic.com
I am fascinated by the influence of space. It can be considered as a non-actor, an influence without agency. I often stop and listen to buskers with my daughters when we go into the city. In this circumstance, what is the influence of the open street on the music being played? This is something David Byrne touches upon in his TEDTalk:

This weekend we happened to stumble upon a performance from Cheeky Chalk.

Cheeky Chalk are a two piece, with Mark Chapman on vocals and Mitch Hudson on guitar. Their sound is a cross between folk, reggae and rock. Their EP Little Man in my Head is a mixture of stripped back tunes and full band treatments. What stood out was the sameness to it all. Even with the variance in instrumentation, the songs seemed the same. A good ‘same’, but same none the less.

I was left wonder whether this ‘sameness’ was in fact a product of the space? Even when Chapman sings about lose it is still optimistic. In contrast, when I think of lose and breaking up, I think of The Cure’s “Apart”. This is a song whose lyrics and music drives a harrowing message. The thing is, maybe such messages don’t have a place on Bourke Street? The audience, the space, the dancing, the instruments.

It was ironic that when we stumbled upon the duo they were pumping out a cover of OutKast’s “Hey Yeah”, a song with all its subtle messages still always leaves you tapping your feet.

I would file Little Man in My Head somewhere between Jack Johnson and Pete Murray.

Listened The fascist movement that has brought Mussolini back to the mainstream – podcast by Tobias Jones from the Guardian
Italy’s CasaPound has been essential to the normalisation of fascism again in the country of its birth
We live in interesting times, especially in light of the recent EngageMOOC exploring the topic of polarisation.

You can read the text version here

Listened IRL Podcast Episode 12: Algorisky from irlpodcast.org
On this week's episode of IRL, we sit down with Luke Dormehl, author of Thinking Machines and The Formula, to explore the impact of algorithms, on and offline. Staci Burns and James Bridle , author of "Something is wrong on the internet," investigate the human cost of gaming YouTube recommendations. Anthropologist Nick Seaver talks about the danger of automating the status quo. And researcher Safiya Noble looks at how to prevent racial bias from seeping into code
Listened Ep. 76 Live From Gray Area Foundation for the Arts Pt.2: Howard Rheingold by Douglas Rushkoff from teamhuman.fm
This week we continue with part two of our special live recording of Team Human at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts in San Fransisco. Joining Douglas on stage is cyberculture pioneer, educator, artist, author, visionary, and shoe painter, Howard Rheingold.
Howard Rheingold and Douglas Rushkoff discuss the evolution of technology from a collision between military and psychedelic culture. Rheingold discusses his optimism and belief in technology to amplify possibilities. In particular, he shares his interest in Patreon to develop shared publics. Rheingold’s ethos is captured by the following quote:

The secret to happiness is having appropriate expectations.

We still have some painful contradictions that we need to work out. The question is not about how good the technology is, but how it is distributed.

Listened Revolutionizing Education Through Student Empowerment + Student Centered Learning with Peter Hutton from Modern Learners
Templestowe College, or TC as we call it in Victoria, Australia, was built to accommodate 1,000 students. At the start of 2010, those numbers had dwindled down to just over 200. Peter Hutton took on the challenge of rebuilding the school, despite severe challenges. Today, you will get to hear the story of the past 7 years, and how Peter revolutionized one school by testing assumptions and changing the way they thought about education.
Bruce Dixon and Peter Hutton discuss the story of Templestowe College (or TC) and the new step in extending the ‘revolution’.


Image via The Age

Listened Double Allergic - 1996 - Powderfinger from Powderfinger
Double Allergic was Powderfinger's second full-length album, released in 1996. It featured the singles Pick You Up, D.A.F. Living Type, & Take Me In.

I remember when I purchased Double Allergic. My step sister, who was visiting from Perth, was looking at purchasing a mobile phone (a rare commodity back then), so we went to JB Hi-Fi before seeing baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet at the cinemas. She looked at my oddly with no idea who the band was. It stands out now because of where they went after this album.

I remember seeing the band live during this period too. Daniel Pilkington and I went to Storey Hall for an underage concert. It was nearly cancelled as Bernard Fanning could barely sing due to a throat infection. This led to Darren Middleton taking the mic and singing quite a few of the songs.

The album was interesting as it had a mixture of genres. Although the pop-sensibilities were there in the singles, Pick You Up and DAF:

There was a real edge to some of the other tracks, like Boing Boing and Take Me In. I am not sure if this was a certain phase or something that Tim Whitten brought out in his production. Although there are times when the later work breaks out, it never seems to return to the same intensity of this early sound. Although the same could be said about many artists, including Radiohead.

I would file this album between Soundgarden’s Superunknown and Something For Kate’s Elsewhere for 8 Minutes.

Listened Architecture in Helsinki: Moment Bends from Pitchfork
Australian indie-pop band continues to move away from the precocious and cute toward a more streamlined, highly polished sound.

I think that Architecture in Helsinki are one of those bands divides people. Similar in a way to Sparkadia, people either gel to the sugary synth-pop or are put off. Personally, Moments Bend is one of those albums that feels like a bodily album, in that I often catch myself tapping away to the beat.

For a different take on their music, they also demonstrate the ability to re-imagine things more acoustically:

I would file this album somewhere between Talking Heads and Hot Chips.

Listened No such thing (as writer's block) by Seth Godin from Akimbo
We merely have to write, we merely have to create, have to be generous enough to show up with the best work we have right now. Once the immigular, the resistance realises that you are going to ship it anyway, it will get its act together and your work will get better. Don't say you don't have enough good ideas, say you don't have enough bad ideas.
Listened I see you by Seth Godin from Akimbo #003
Isn’t this what we truly want? To be seen, to be heard, to be understood…
This episode is about going beyond the industrial system to see people in all their jagged individuality. The phrase “I see you” is derived from the Zulu phrase, which talks about seeing someone for who they are, including their history and concerns. Where this is important the most is at school. The episode touches on many of the points covered by Todd Rose in The End of Average.
Listened ‘I could hear things, and I could feel terrible pain’: when anaesthesia fails – podcast by Kate Cole-Adams from the Guardian
if you have an operation, although it is your surgeon who manages the moist, intricate mechanics of the matter, it is your anaesthetist who keeps you alive.
Kate Cole-Adams explains that anaesthesia remains a mysterious and inexact science, with thousands of patients still waking up on the operating table every year.

Figures vary (sometimes wildly, depending in part on how they are gathered) but big American and European studies using structured post-operative interviews have shown that one to two patients in 1,000 report waking under anaesthesia. More, it seems, in China. More again in Spain. Twenty to forty thousand people are estimated to remember waking each year in the US alone. Of these, only a small proportion are likely to feel pain, let alone the sort of agonies described above. But the impact can be devastating.

Cole-Adams suggests that the answer maybe a personal touch:

So if you were my anaesthetist and I your patient, there are some other things I’d hope you would do in the operating theatre. Things that many already do. Be kind. Talk to me. Just a bit of information and reassurance. Use my name.

For some argue that there should be care that goes beyond consciousness:

Japanese anaesthetist Jiro Kurata calls this “care of the soul”. In an unusual and rather lovely paper delivered at the Ninth International Symposium on Memory and Awareness in Anaesthesia in 2015, he wondered if there might be “part of our existence that cannot ever be shut down, which we cannot even conceive by ourselves” – a “subconscious self” that might be resistant to even high doses of anaesthetics. He called this the hard problem of anaesthesia awareness.

You can read the text version here.