This week’s free music

As I did last week, I’ve written a few notes on things I’ve downloaded this week. All are rated on the Sound Opinions “Buy it/Burn it/Trash it” scale.

Dirty Wings by Josh Woodward – I downloaded this on the back of listening to his most recent album last week. “Dirty Wings” is less acoustic, rockier, and gets downright political in places, but is still obviously by the same person who recorded “The Simple Life”. I really like this record, have played it on several occasions over the last few days, and would recommend it as a good starting point. I’d give this a “Buy it”, but if you are burning selected tracks then go for “Gallows Hill” first.

Orgamilk and Make This End by Fresh Body Shop – I’ve only had these a couple of days, but felt they were worth a mention. “Orgamilk” is a totally acoustic record, with quite delicate melodies and some fine songwriting. “Make This End” wants to be Nine Inch Nails, and almost manages it on a couple of tracks. I’m not sure if these guys have a career plan, or are even still together, but they are certainly worth checking out in a “Burn it” kind of way.

The Intimate Stranger by Curious – This band want to be The Cure. A lot. I really wanted to like this, but I actually couldn’t make it all the way through to the end. The songwriting is ok, but the singer’s voice really grates, and they are not doing anything I’ve not heard a thousand times before. Trash this, or better still accept that I’ve suffered so you don’t have to.

Take it or Leave it by Terremoto – Great songwriting, which reminds me of the Go Betweens (who I adore). Unfortunately, the sound quality is dreadful, and some songs are almost unlistenable because of this. I really hope someone pays for them to record these songs in a proper studio, because if they did then this would be a “Buy it” record.

Taking mobile computing to a new level?

Over the last few weeks I’ve not had an office, or even a proper place where I could set up a computer and work. As a result of this, I’ve been exploring the concept of mobile computing (using laptops for everything, and working wherever I could get a wireless signal). It’s been quite eye opening; and has actually made me more productive because it was meant if I am working on something that requires tranquillity I can move somewhere quiet, whilst if I need collaboration and input I can move my laptop to where the people I need to talk to are working.

As a result of this, I’ve got used to carrying a laptop with me wherever I go. This has lead to increased shoulder muscles (both laptops I’ve been using are on the heavy side), but has also lead to me being able to write a quick blog post, check email, or work on the fly wherever I am. At the end of each day I’ve synced all my data back to a central server, so that everything I write on any computer is all stored in the same place (and is the most recent version thanks to the wonders of rscyc). This also ensures that if a laptop I’m working on gets lost or broken then I don’t lose too much in the way of data.

My new office is finished now, but since I have just bought an EeePC I still plan on using the mobile computing model on occasion, because I think it really does work.