Has it really been 20 years since 1993?

It’s just struck me that none of the 5 records that totally blew my mind during the grunge era could actually be classified as grunge.

The list would have to be (in no particular order):

  • Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (1993)
  • Mr Bungle – Disco Volante (1995)
  • Faith No More – Angel Dust (1992)
  • Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine (1992)
  • R.E.M. – Automatic For The People (1992)

I lost 3 of these 5 in a burglary in 1995, but have since replaced them all. I’m not sure that Rage Against the Machine had much influence on me past the 12 months this record was released, but I still listen to the other 4 records to this day.

The start of something new

Today I started using my new iPad mini to do as much of my writing as possible. I wanted to see if it could replace my laptop for short non-work trips, and was interested to see if writing on this device would seem natural, or if the user interface would get in the way of my creativity.

So far I have found it a pleasant experience. I can’t type quite as quickly yet, but I am sure that will come in time, and it already feels quite natural to type on the built in keyboard. I would certainly consider using this as my only device on short trips, and whilst it is hardly a great effort to carry around my MacBook Air, it would also be nice to travel supremely light on occasion, and the iPad mini fits the bill perfectly.

Other things I’ve been impressed with so far are the streaming capacities when I am connected to my home network. I can stream music and movies to and from the iPad, and can also use it to get music from Amazon cloud player to my Apple TV. Web browsing is also a delight, and I think this device could easily replace my laptop for the sort of casual browsing that I generally engage in after a busy day at work.

There are still things I need a laptop for, but I can see myself using this iPad a lot over the next few months – especially as I am travelling so much.

Albums of the first 6 months of 2013

Last.fm says these are the twenty 2013 releases I’ve listened to the most this year.

  1. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
  2. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
  3. Tomahawk – Oddfellows
  4. Joseph Arthur – Redemption City
  5. Primal Scream – More Light
  6. The Indelicates – Diseases of England
  7. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Push the Sky Away
  8. British Sea Power – Machineries Of Joy
  9. Bill Ryder-Jones – A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart
  10. Ed Harcourt – Back Into The Woods
  11. !!! – THR!!!ER
  12. Mark Mulcahy – Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You
  13. Phoenix – Bankrupt!
  14. Dutch Uncles – Out Of Touch In The Wild
  15. These New Puritans – Field of Reeds
  16. Ghostpoet – Some Say I So I Say Light
  17. Daughter – If You Leave
  18. Steve Mason – Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time
  19. Editors – The Weight of Your Love
  20. The Knife – Shaking the Habitual

All in all, it’s not a bad snapshot of the first 6 months of 2013.

What I did on my holidays – part 1

This weekend I am being organised and productive, but only with things that don’t involve going outside (or moving much). The heat and my general allergy to summer are knocking me out a bit, but I’ve still managed to get up to date with backups, testing, organising music and movies, and other computer related tasks.

The vague idea for my week off was always to have a nice relaxing break, so I’ve not really planned a great deal. I do have a have a long list of admin tasks to do, as well as a whole load more CDs and DVDs to digitise. I also should get round to thinking up ideas for food that are suitable for this weather. I made burgers, salad, spicy relish and iced cider last night, which hit the spot perfectly, but I don’t really feel like too much heavy or spicy food, so may have to explore new and unusual ways to serve salad.

I am also finding that the weather is making me musically nostalgic, and I am currently listening to pretty much the whole Cardiacs back catalogue, which I am surprised to find I could sell for quite a lot of money should I wish to (but which I equally don’t wish to because there are far too many memories there).