Handsome Boy Modelling School – The Truth Featuring Roisin Murphy – Galt MacDermot #coverversion

“The Truth” has been on rotation in my collection for about 10 years now, and it’s a track I can keep going back to and find something new every so often – the hallmark of a classic.

“The Truth” is a cover of Galt MacDermot’s seminal piano soul composition “Coffee Cold” (which was featured on the 1968 version of The Thomas Crown Affair). Initially it was Roisin Murphy’s voice that drew me in to the track, but the tone, texture and musically of the music soon took the focus. It was while hunting down the samples used that I discovered “Coffee Cold.”

Handsome Boy Modelling School – The Truth

“The Truth” is taken off the 1999 album “So… How’s Your Girl?” which features performances from Roisin Murphy, Del The Funky Homosapien, Gran Puba, Biz Markie and others. If you’re in to breakbeak hip hop, it’s worth a listen.

“Handsome Boy Modelling School” was made up of Dan The Automator and (the legendary) Prince Paul (De La Soul. Wu Tang Clan, Fat Joe)
.

Galt MacDermot – Coffee Cold

This is one of the rare instances where I have an equal amount of love for the original and the rework. I want both of these on vinyl, baldy.

Handsome Boy Modelling School

Nicolas Jaar Live At The Boiler Room, NYC – Mix Of The Week

Since being introduced to the music of Nicolas Jaar some months back off the coast of Nicaragua, I’ve been listening to his releases fairly steadily.

Recently, he performed at a Reb Bull Music Academy party in New York City, where he laid down a live performance made up of (what sounds to be) all new material.

The set lasts about 47 minutes and is a bit of a slow starter, but once Mr. Jaar gets some momentum, it’s an absolute stomper.

Also, the entire time I was listening to this set, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like if James Blake had crashed the party…

This set made me homesick, missing the Cape Town music scene.

Umami – Sunny – Bobby Hebb cover version #coverversion Friday

This week’s cover is technically more of a remix, but it was so artfully and respectfully handled, that I just has to post it.

Umami is comprised of German Duo of Sam and Robert who put together a cracking rework of Bobby Hebb’s beautful acoustic soul record ‘Sunny’ which ranks very highly on my list of all time feel-good pop songs.

Umami – Sunny

“Sunny” has been covered by everyone from Jamiroqui and Marvin Gaye to Frank Sinatra (even a surprisingly tender version by Leonard Nimoy aka Mr Spock), and I’ve posted some of my favourite versions down below the original.

It’s always great to hear a classic rework make its way to the dancefloor.

Bobby Hebb – “Sunny” (1966)

Jamiroquai – Sunny cover version

Frank Sinatra – Sunny cover version

Marvin Gaye – Sunny cover version

Leonard Nimoy – Sunny cover version

Bobby Hebby Sunny album cover

Bonobo – First Fires – Tune Of The Week by @sibonobo

When The North Borders first dropped, I was instantly taken in by Bonobo’s lead single – Circus

Now that I’ve had some time to take the album in, one of the stand out records is “First Fire” featuring Grey Reverend. Now Bonobo has released the official music video for First Fire.

My favourite element of Bonobo’s First Fire is the slow, rolling bassline sidechained to a deep, mellow kick drum.

The North Borders is out now at http://bonobomusic.com/

Bonobo North Borders Cover Art

What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work

Dan Ariely gave a TED talk on the effects of motivation and rejection and the effect that this has on how we feel about the work we do.

It turns out that people feel a sense of ownership over pretty much anything they do, regardless of how menial the task is. Using some interesting experiments, Ariely is able to provide some very easy to understand insight on how people work and the value they assign to the things they do.

Here is the Youtube link to the talk:

Dan Ariely – What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work

Another interesting take-away is that when something is too simple or easy, people have no sense of ownership. An example he provides dates back to the invention of cake mix, or what he calls the Ikea Effect.

“It turns out, they were very unpopular.[…] What they figured out was there was not enough effort involved. It was so easy nobody could serve cake to their guest and say ‘here is my cake.’ […] It didn’t really feel like their own.

So they took out the eggs and the milk. Now it was their cake.”

If you enjoy this talk, you should read Predictably Irrational, a book by Dan Ariely.

Gandhi on the power of positive thinking

I’m fascinated by habits and how to build them and break them. The most interesting books I’ve read on the subject (so far) are “The Power Of Habit” by Charles Duhig and “Your Brain At Work” by David Rock.

Below is a timeless quotes on the power that our thoughts and habits have in our lives.

Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits.
Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.

– Mahatma Gandhi

ghandi-habit

Keeping busy keeps you from being bored and makes you happier

I found this interesting post on the topic of personal happiness. It turns out the happiest people are those people who are busy but not rushed.

A study published last year entitled “Social Indications Research” has this to say in the subject of being bored:

Who among us are the most happy? Newly published research suggests it is those fortunate folks who have little or no excess time, and yet seldom feel rushed.

The kicker

So, feeling less rushed does not automatically increase happiness; if it did, those numbers would be moving in tandem, rather than in opposite directions. Rather, Robinson writes, surveys “continue to show the least happy group to be those who quite often have excess time.”

You can read the full study here:
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11205-012-0133-6

Source: Farmam Street

bored

There Are Different Ways To Pay Attention

It turns out there are different ways to pay attention. Like me, you probably knew this all along, based on your own anecdotal evidence.

Last week,a paper released by a researcher at Duke University posited two different kinds of attention (amongst other things)- Deep Attention and Hyper Attention.

Deep Attention and Hyper Attention

Deep attention … is characterized by concentrating on a single object for long periods (say, a novel by Dickens), ignoring outside stimuli while so engaged, preferring a single information stream, and having a high tolerance for long focus times. Hyper attention is characterized by switching focus rapidly among different tasks, preferring multiple information streams, seeking a high level of stimulation, and having a low tolerance for boredom.

Deep attention is superb for solving complex problems represented in a single medium, but it comes at the price of environmental alertness and flexibility of response. Hyper attention excels at negotiating rapidly changing environments in which multiple foci compete for attention; its disadvantage is impatience with focusing for long periods on a noninteractive object such as a Victorian novel or complicated math problem.

In an evolutionary context, hyper attention no doubt developed first; deep attention is a relative luxury, requiring group cooperation to create a secure environment in which one does not have to be constantly alert to danger. Developed societies, of course, have long been able to create the kind of environments conducive to deep attention.

Educational institutions have specialized in these environments, combining such resources as quiet with an assigned task that demands deep attention to complete successfully. So standard has deep attention become in educational settings that it is the de facto norm, with hyper attention regarded as defective behavior that scarcely qualifies as a cognitive mode at all.

Source= http://engl449_spring2010_01.commons.yale.edu/files/2009/11/hayles.pdf

calvin-hobbes-pay-attention

Risk/ Reward

Being risk averse to avoid finite problems means losing out on infinite possibilities.

Not taking a chance to jump in and do something comes at the cost of not reaping the rewards that the doing would bring.

Fink – Warm Shadow – Tune Of The Week by @finkmusic

This installment of Tune Of The Week is a new piece by an old favourite. I heard Fink’s “Warm Shadow” while watching AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ and it reminded me that I forgot to buy Fink’s fourth album Perfect Darkness, a situation which has since been remedied.

Fink – Warm Shadow

It’s quite fitting for Warm Shadow to be featured as this week’s selection; Fink’s emotionally raw “This is the thing” was the first record chosen as the Tune Of The Week when I started this segment in 2010, and I still consider ‘Pretty Little Thing’ one of the sexiest songs in my collection.

‘Perfect Darkness’ is available to buy on Ninja tune
http://ninjatune.net/release/fink/perfect-darkness

Fink Perfect Darkness Album Artwork

Create A Personal Knowledge Base To Save Time When Solving Problems

I love to tinker with my tech, and many times I’ll end up either breaking something or setting it up incorrectly. At this point it’s usually off to Google to find a solution to my problem.

Some problems I run in to repeatedly and I have to dig around to find the results again which is a waste of time. Problems I run in to repeatedly include trouble when rooting an Android phone, how to fix a WordPress site that fails an update, installing php on a new server and how to reboot my Cisco Router; to name but a few.

With this in mind, I started a personal knowledge base to store all of the solutions I’ve found. So far, it’s been very useful and saved me lots of time. The internet is great for looking up things – it has all sorts of information available. The problem is often sifting through the tons of crap in order to find the one quality solution that actually works. This is where a Knowledge Base is very useful – you can save the information that is valuable to you in a way that is easily accessible.

Create a Personal Knowledge base in Bento

Right now my KB is stored inside Bento, but I’ve also tried a WordPress wiki and some free knowledge base software. I switched over to Bento because the others seemed like more work to maintain that in was worth. I can also easily access Bento on my iPad. In addition to this, I also have a bunch of text files with step by step instructions for complex tasks that I need to repeat often. I usually keep this on my desktop for the sake of easy access.

Personal Knowledge Base

It doesn’t matter how simple or complex your system is, having information you use often easily at hand is a great time-saver. Keeping a personal Knowledge Base is a good way to not only store your solutions, but also to understand them better; after all, when you write/ type something you have a better shot at retaining the information you’re dealing with.

Tune Of The Week now available on YouTube

Every Thursday I post a clip or video of a track that I’ve been playing on repeat for that week. These are not necessarily new songs or the latest chart topper, just music I’ve been feeling over the last couple of days – my Tune Of The Week.

I’ve created a YouTube Playlist which has all the tracks from the Tune Of The Week Collection.

You can access the playlist here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPCeA5Vl29k&list=PL3lIU1-I3bxrFZKbp7azc3GqLkvROEfK6

Make sure you subscribe to the playlist or my channel to get all of the Tune Of The Week additions

Here’s what has been added to the Tune Of The Week YouTube playlist so far:

  • Fink – This Is The Thing
  • Marvin Gaye – I Want You (David Panda’s Wanted Version)
  • Amy Winehouse – You Know I’m No Good
  • Kinky Movement – Clowing Around
  • Nostalgia 77 ft Josa Peit – Blue Shadow
  • RJD2 – A Beautiful Mine
  • Portishead – Half Day Closing
  • John Martyn – Glory Box
  • Kaskade & Skrillex – Lick It
  • Electric Guest – This Head I Hold
  • Fat Feddy’s Drop – Wanderin’ Eye
  • Smoove & Turrell – Without You
  • Wolfmeyer Orchestra – Soulgate
  • Jamiroquai – White Knuckle Ride
  • Joe Dukie – Venom (Dr Rubberfunk Remix)
  • Jason Mraz – Coyotes
  • Jason Mraz – Dyanamo of Volition
  • Jason Mraz – Mudhouse Gyspy (Live Version)
  • The Jungle Book song
  • The Roots – The Next Movement
  • Kennedy – Karate
  • Finnebassen – If You Only Knew
  • The XX – Infinity
  • Natalie Imbruglia & Portishead – Leave Me Alone
  • Cody ChestNuTT – What Kind Of Cool
  • Sneaky Sound System – Big (Nicolas Jaar Remix)
  • Lana Del Rey – Summertime Sadness (Monsieur Adi Remix)
  • SBTRKT – Wildfire
  • RZA ft the Black Keys – The Baddest Man Alive
  • James Blake – Retrograde
  • Usher & Diplo – Go Missin
  • Bonobo – Circus
  • Juicy J ft The Weeknd – One Of Those Nights

 

 

Juicy J – One Of Those Nights featuring The Weeknd – Tune Of The Week

Every now and then I can go for a li’l slice of RnB cheese (not too cheesy, mind you).

This week’s Tune Of The Week is by Juicy and features the talents of none other than The Weeknd. Everything about this record feels like a Timbaland record from 10 years ago, and that’s a good thing in my books. If you listen closely, I think you could agree that this may as well have been Usher and T.I on a Timbaland track.

Juicy J – One Of Those Nights featuring The Weeknd

As usual, the Weeknd is mellow and mourful about the deranged and depraved behaviour depicted in the lyrics. I get the impression he wants to find a way to stop the late nights drinking and partying. Juicy J on the other hand sounds like he can’t get enough of the crazy lifestyle. I guess this is a case of opposites attract because somehow the combination works.

One Of Those Nights is taken of the Juicy J’s album ‘Stay Trippy’ and if you ask me, if this is just one of them nights, he’ll soon be the late Juicy J

Juicy J featuring the Weeknd - One Of Those Nights