New Music – September 2016

September is always a busy month for me. It’s also a month where a lot of my favourite artists released records. This is just as well as I didn’t really have time to find much else to listen to.

Teenage Fanclub – Here
Wilco – Schmilco
Angel Olsen – My Woman
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
De La Soul – And the Anonymous Nobody
Ryley Walker – Golden Sings That Have Been Sung
Okkervil River – Away
Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley – Sketches for the Musical JIB
Hannah Peel – Awake But Always Dreaming
Bon Ivor – 22, A Million
Pixies – Head Carrier

New Music – August 2016

I think I spent most of this month listening to a playlist of most of the recorded output of The Fall. This experiment may spawn a blog post at some point, but in the meantime here is a list of everything I listened to when I needed a break from the wonderful and frightening world of Mark E Smith.

Dinosaur Jr. – Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not
Wild Beasts – Boy King
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – Blind Worms, Pious Swine
David Konopnicki, Bertrand Delorme & Cyril Grimaud – Book of Angels vol. 29
Blixa Bargeld, Teho Teardo – Nerissimo
Peter Broderick – Partners
John Paul White – Beulah
The Album Leaf – Between Waves
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – AraƱas en La Sombra

Experiments with PDF files

I’ve been experimenting a lot with combining PDF files in interesting ways (largely to make a recipe book from all sorts of different sources). I’ve used Preview on my Mac for a lot of this, but have also done a fair bit of work in Ubuntu recently which required a slightly different approach.

The best graphical PDF merging tool for Linux is probably pdfmod. It’s in the Ubuntu repositories, and can do anything Preview can do as far as merging/exporting PDF files from multiple sources.

For command line merging, pdftk does the job well. The syntax would be something like:

pdftk *.pdf cat output combined.pdf

Which would merge all PDF files in the current directory, or:

pdftk file1.pdf file2.pdf cat output combined.pdf

Which would merge two specific files.

If you need to convert Word documents to PDF prior to doing this, there is a command line tool called lowriter which is part of the libreoffice suite. The syntax would be:

lowriter --convert-to pdf *.docx

It works with .doc and .docx files.