Are you suffering from FOMO? Want to cut down your time in Purgatory? And a Gmail tool that will suck you in for hours. And lots of good news.
MIT’s fascinating Gmail visualization tool will delight/scare you. Have a Gmail account? Have several hours to kill? MIT’s Media Lab have developed a tool called Immersion that will allow you to view the history of your digital life. Enter your details and after some minutes, a delightful interactive graphic will appear showing you who you communicate most often with, who introduced you to who and how your email habits changed as people come and go in your life.
They say Immersion is “not about one thing. It’s about four. It’s about self-reflection, art, privacy and strategy. It’s about providing users with a number of different perspectives by leveraging on the fact that the web, and emails, are now an important part of our past”. I say, there goes the afternoon.
Do you suffer from FOMO? Are you one of the 27% of people who check their social media accounts first thing in the morning? Would you, like 26% of people, be prepared to give up cigarettes or TV rather than lose access to social networks? If so, you could be one of the 56% of people who suffer from Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO).
MyLife.com’s recent survey [infographic] suggests that social media addiction is creeping steadily upwards with over half of respondents expressing a desire to take a break from their online activities, but only 24% of those reporting that would be able to follow though.
Are you similarly overwhelmed? Funny or Die have a solution (click on the image).
Follow Pope Francis @pontifex on Twitter and get time off in Purgatory. From the UK Independent: ‘Salvation – or at least a shorter stay in Purgatory – might now be only a tweet away with news that Pope Francis is to offer “indulgences” – remissions for temporary punishment – to the faithful who follow him on the social media site.’
No word on what an RT is worth. Perhaps it’s like a third class relic or something.
And in other happy news: The UK heatwave scorches onwards (but we will find things to grumble about anyway); Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing is to be pardoned; Equal Marriage finally arrived in England and Wales; and Pet Shop Boys have a glorious new album out (85% on Metacritic!).
Enjoy the sun!
Enda Guinan is a consultant and trainer offering advice on social media and product delivery for individuals and small businesses. Get in touch to see how you can make the best use of your time and energy as you put together your social media plans.
My Daddy or Chips? Facebook Page finally hit the magic 200 fans*.
200 is a great number and (apart from the emotional blackmail that snared friends and family), it’s a group which has grown entirely organically since Lakegan first suggested that I create a space on Facebook for the mixes.
I don’t recommend that anyone buy Facebook ‘likes’ or Twitter followers. Apart from violating the Terms & Conditions of these services, these fake followers add nothing to your community/business. By contrast, the Daddy or Chips? page is a place where people recommend music, share and comment. There are a few regulars and a few exclusives (once a discussion about whether a vocal sound on the last Kate Bush was real or Autotune; the chap who engineered the album popped by to tell us that the sound was very real indeed!). So, click like and join us (or lurk).
Thank you very much, and, as well as scheduling notifications of blog entries here, I’ll keep posting (mostly) music related titbits for your delectation.
A warning: Things get busy when Pet Shop Boys have new product to shift.
* Now none of you smarties ‘unlike’ this and spoil everything!
UPDATE: One of you did. *shakes fist*
A few snippets:
On the Olympics Closing Ceremony experience. “I’m an Olympic performer now”
On Elysium: “Age is a taboo subject. Pop music is meant to be young… It’s a a beautiful album… quite optimistic..” “The name suggests that it’s a different, more dreamy sound…”
On motivation? Have you contemplated retirement? “No. We have a creative urge. … The songs keep coming…”
On that Xmas battle between PSB vs Pogues: “The battle was actually between Pet Shop Boys and Rick Astley”.
On X Factor: “It promotes professionalism over ideas… people will get bored of it soon.” “It’s like the weather; it happens”
On what’s he listening to: “‘Bon Iver’ and “96.3, a Spanglish radio station in LA playing very up remixes of Adele…”
On the Dusty collaboration: She did the last bit “We don’t have to fall apart..” in two takes.
On their legacy: “We’re not politicians; we don’t think about legacies…”
The John Murray Show (Podcasts)
I’ll let my iTunes speak for itself. These figures represent 6 days of listening (apart from Winner and Invisible of course).
(i.e. It’s an utter triumph)
This is mix 49! Most of the other 48 are also available.
I’ll save the nostalgia and drunken speechs until 50 gets published, but in the meantime here’s Ellie Goulding reminding us why the US currently love her, Pet Shop Boys getting a makeover from Niki & The Dove, Bright Light Bright Light getting pummeled by Vinny Vero and all sorts of musical sport designed to make you pump iron or have breakfast or whatever it is you most like to do with a continuous house mix.
- Lights (RAC Mix) * Ellie Goulding
- Winner (Niki & The Dove Remix) * Pet Shop Boys
- Dancing In My Head (Avicii’s Been Cursed Remix) * Eric Turner Vs. Avicii
- The Noyz * Tomcraft feat. Sam Obernik
- How Can I Live Without You (Make It Right) (Club Mix) * Hervé
- Waiting for the Feeling (Vinny Vero & Steve Migliore Single Mix) * Bright Light Bright Light
- Something For Certain (Wize Remix) * Moussa Clarke & Plastic Disco feat. Susie Ledge
- The Poem (Original Mix) * Maetrik
- Sad (Seamus Haji Club Mix) * Elton John vs Pnau
- Spectrum (Say My Name) (Maya Jane Coles Remix) * Florence + The Machine
- Years * Alesso fea. Matthew Koma
- True Faith * Serge Devant
- Love Is Gonna Lift You Up (Exemen Remix) * Bobby Womack
- Snakes Crawl (East Village Mix) * Phil Kieran and Bush Tetras
- Home Is Where It Hurts * Solo feat. Syron
- Curling (Database Remix) * Sykur
Download neunundvierzig (65 mins continuous mix 129 MB)
And do buy the music when possible. I get stuff from iTunes, Beatport and DJ Download.
Someone has put together snippets from the tracks we haven’t yet heard from forthcoming Pet Shop Boys’ album, Elysium.
Producer Andrew Dawson (Kanye West, Drake, fun.) has sprinkled some proper magic dust and the album sounds like Behaviour Part II i.e. superb.
‘Memory of the Future’ sounds particularly epic.
I think the director wanted to make a short film about a transgendered person in a women’s Roller Derby which just happened to be the length of the Pet Shop Boys new single. It’s a good short film, but not a very good Pet Shop Boys video.
sorry but i don’t see how some people get jobs. If whoever classes themselves as a director having put out that effort, there is hope for everyone. There is nothing good about it at all. Nothing fits. Nothing makes sense. I can’t believe EMI have accepted that.
People expect to see some fit rollergirls and instead we get this?! No real action, no real bruises, just some roller girls pussyfooting around each other and a ropey transvestite in the middle. Not to mention you can barely hear the song. Okay, I give up
I may have to pull a StevePSB and distance myself from the boys unless I get too emotionally upset in a very whateverman way about the dilution of the back catalogue.
Just saw this Winner video – it made me physically ill.
Nonsense. It’s superb.
Saint Etienne‘s latest album campaign has been taking full advantage of social media. The video for second single ‘I’ve Got Your Music’ takes on the tricky user-generated content approach with charming results.
A while back, they asked fans to submit video clips of themselves with their favourite pieces of music (a touching tribute to vinyl).
Have a look and count how many Pet Shop Boys and KLF records appear.
1. The Piper’s Song (Dublin Aunts Remix)– Gypsy & The Cat
I first rattled on about these chaps back in July last year. Since then, they’ve released one fantastic album, generated ‘buzz’ and are currently supporting Kylie on tour! Here is one of the standout tracks on Gilgamesh remixed by Melbourne outfit, the misleadingly-titled Dublin Aunts.
2. The Brother (Uphill Racer Remix)– Susanne Sundfør
I think I heard the haunting original version of this on Dermot O’Leary’s Radio 2 show a few months ago. It froze me to the spot. For some perverse reason it’s not available in the UK to download (yet?) but she’s had a remix competition and here is the winner.
3. Colour Of A Man (Pet Shop Boys Remix) – The Hidden Cameras
One of the best live acts I’ve ever seen remixed by, well, you know how I feel about PSB. That said, I do think that PSB make for slightly anaemic remixes and this is a bit wispy. The thinness allows the poppy hooks of the track to emerge a little more clearly than the original version which
is a tad cluttered takes a while to reveal itself.
The ballet is a 15th century invention which has meant very little to me other than strange stirrings as a youth when some tights-wearing dancer threatened to take someone’s eye out with his manbits as he leapt about to Tchaikovsky. To paraphrase Moz, I had to say that ballet said nothing to me about my life so I settled for the cheap pop thrills that later lead to more complex pop thrills. Dance does not figure.
Pet Shop Boys are no strangers to either cheap or complex pop thrills which is why they continue to reward attention some 25 years after West End Girls hit no. 1. As pop’s brainy elder statesmen, they’ve been sticking their fingers into all sorts of cultural pies with varying results. Their core characteristics remain consistent throughout: electronic dance pop with aspiration: “Che Guevara and Debussy to a disco beat”.
Their clumsy musical Closer to Heaven was a rare stinker but their 2004 soundtrack to 1925 silent film Battleship Potemkin was rather better executed and received. Still, I learned of their foray into the ballet with a mixture of apathy and dread. I booked tickets anyway. Sadler’s Wells is a delightful place and a mere 15 mins walk. What the hell.
I need not mention that I am an avid fan of the PSB. A friend described me as follows in an email this morning: “I suspect that if they sat there throwing toddlers at a cheese grate you would still love it, you PSB whore you.” I agree (but then again what artist could fail to impress with such a routine?)
The Most Incredible Thing is a piece based on a late short story by Hans Christian Anderson, scored by Tennant & Lowe with choreography by Javier De Frutos (who said in a post show Q&A last night that it was the first time he had worked with composers who were not dead).
The thing works very very well. PSB play to their strengths – pulsing beats, synths and proper melodic hooks. The choreography (not that I know anything about it) seemed emotional and often mesmerising. The special effects (most notably the astonishing clock sequence in Act II) were beautiful and, yes, incredible. It wasn’t all perfect: at times I had no idea what was going on (and I had read the story), there is no need for two intervals, and the ending was a little anticlimactic.
So, I was exhilarated by a ballet after all these years. How did that happen? My theory is that at least part of it wasn’t alien allowing me to more easily appreciate the unfamiliar. After 25 years of PSB soundtracking my life, the 4/4 electronics are signifiers I don’t need to work hard on to understand (unlike, say, classical music). I could pay more attention to the dance; I had an ‘in’.
The previous show I saw at Sadler’s Wells was Rufus Wainwright’s opera Prima Donna. Rufus would be up there with PSB as one of my more cherished artists and I think he is ridiculously talented, but his opera wasn’t great. Unlike PSB, Rufus seemed to sacrifice his stellar abilities as a producer of huge, melodic ‘Baroque’ pop and instead wrote a fiddly, stilted ‘traditional’ opera. (Quite how he could write an opera about a fading diva and not include at least four outrageously epic arias is beyond me.)
Pet Shop Boys remembered their core competencies of dance and ambition and have opened a very enjoyable gateway the ballet for anyone else who needs an introduction. It’s sold out at Sadler’s Wells but I suspect it will be back.
(Oh and while there’s no ‘hamster-stuffed-down-tights’ bouncing about, there are plenty of attractive men – and women- with tight clothing should you need further enticing).