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 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 Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life by The Wombats from thewombats.lnk.to
Although the catchy synth hooks may have gone, the infectious tunes still remain. Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life reminded me of early Blur, but maybe The Strokes is a better comparison.

Frontman Matthew Murphy told triple j Breakfast that his grand vision:

was to keep it organic and not use too many synths or whatever, like we had done on the last couple of albums… In terms of songwriting, I think it’s a bit of a bangin’ album to be honest.

In his review for NME, Thomas Smith suggests:

There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but little to be ashamed of either.

I think though that Mac McNaughton captures it best in The Music when wonders:

Was that it.

There are some albums that are instantly irresistible, then there are those that are unexpected, taking a bit more time to make sense of. This has been my experience with some of the latter Radiohead albums. Maybe Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life will be the same, but right now. It is not standing up against past albums.

Listened All Melody by Nils Frahm - Releases - Erased Tapes from Erased Tapes
For the past two years, Nils Frahm has been building a brand new studio in Berlin to make his 7th studio album titled All Melody, which will be released on January 26th, 2018 via Erased Tapes, before Nils embarks on his first world tour since 2015.
I can’t remember when I first came across Nils Frahm, it was probably during my dive into Minimalism – Glass, Nyman, Part – but might have been when I stumbled upon a reworking of the Presets track Promises. His latest album is different from the solo work that I had grown akin to. I think that Philip Sherburne In Pitchfork captures it best:

Across 12 songs and 74 minutes, All Melody functions as a single, cohesive piece of music, with recurring themes interwoven throughout. It’s easy to get lost in the album and then, hearing a familiar motif, come up short, as if turning a corner in a long hallway and wondering if you hadn’t passed the same spot just a moment ago. It’s a pleasantly disorienting sensation.

What stands out is the blend of acoustic and synthetic sounds. This in part reminds me of Nicolas Jaar.

In the Studio: Nils Frahm (BBC)

Bookmarked The Reputation Game by Ian Leslie (New Statesman)
Today, everyone’s second self is encoded in contrails of data: pictures, ratings, clicks, tweets, searches and purchases. Corporations and governments rake over this information and fix us in it: we are subjected to the scrutiny applied to celebrities but without the fame or the free stuff. In one possible future, everyone will be ranked like hotels on TripAdvisor. In one possible present, in fact: the Chinese government is implementing a scheme that will give each of its 1.4 billion citizens a score for trustworthiness, with the stated aim of building a culture of “sincerity”.
Ian Leslie looks into the question of reputation through the review of two books: Reputation: What It Is and Why It Matters by Gloria Origgi and The Reputation Game: The Art of Changing How People See You by David Waller and Rupert Younger. It is an interesting read, especially in light of everything about Harvey Weinstein and the media men list.
Listened Oz (Missy Higgins album) from en.wikipedia.org
Oz is the fourth studio album by Australian singer-songwriter Missy Higgins, and was released by Eleven on 19 September 2014. It is Higgins' first cover album, which is accompanied by a book of the same name that collects a series of essays by Higgins; using each song title as a jumping off point. The album's title refers to each of the artists covered being from Australia, as well as being a reference to the land of Oz as established in The Wizard of Oz.
Oz
I am always intrigued by cover versions. Missy Higgins’ album of covers is intriguing listening. She provides her own twist on a number of classic and contemporary Australian artists.
Replied to Issue #119 of the TL;DR Newsletter - rethinking the simple bare necessities. by Ian O'Byrne (mailchi.mp)
Over the past week, you've most likely either developed your own resolutions for the new year...or heard many others sharing what they'll change over the next 360 days. Tim Ferriss suggests, and I agree, that these resolutions are mostly a waste of your time. I try to focus on building (or breaking habits) throughout the year as indicated in this episode of the Tim Ferriss podcast. But, in thinking about the start of a new year, it is human nature to think about new beginnings. In light of that, I've been working on developing an annual review for myself as Tim discusses in this post. I'll post my review once I've completed it. I'm currently using this model to develop my assessment. Once I've developed my metrics, I'll perform an 80/20 analysis of my effort and time during the year...and make the appropriate changes.
Interesting newsletter as always Ian. I was particularly taken by the discussion of reviewed.

In regards to your point about ‘yearly’ reviews, I added to my yearly review of newsletter posts to also include a personal reflection.

I still think that I need to develop this and that is why I chose ‘intent‘ as my one word this year (another alternative to new year resolutions)

I will have to look through the various links for more tips and get back to your discussion of routine and maintaining a positive mindset. The