Record Store Day 2015 Top Ten #RSD

WARNING: Frivolous non-work related post

I don’t know why this passed me by until now but tomorrow is World Record Store Day (RSD)! The short film above will give you a sense of the anticipation that is building for some music fans.

The 18th April is also my birthday (which hadn’t passed me by). I decided at the end of last year that I should finally invest in a turntable on my birthday to justify hoarding a whole stack of records – I haven’t had a record player since 2002 (?) – so it would seem that the ‘vinyl’ stars had aligned!

As is now tradition, there are dozens of RSD related special releases on vinyl that will not be available until Saturday 18th April – and even then, some of them will only be available through participating stores. So if you like your music served up on black (and various other coloured and pictured) plastic then there’s plenty to get excited about.

For more info, including finding participating stores near you, you can visit the official website.

On the official site you will also find a list of the RSD releases, however (and this is why we are here) I have already done some of the dirty work for you…

This is my Top Ten of what to look out for – I’ve listed the format and by clicking on ‘More RSD information’ you’ll find more info on that product. What are you waiting for Pop-pickers!?

– Number 10

False Hope – Laura Marling [7″ Vinyl] [NEW release]

Limited edition from Laura Marling’s new album Short Movie. I lost track of her a little after her first album but I’m loving the sound of her new stuff and so this would be a good place to get back in… More RSD information

– Number 9

Siouxsie and the Banshees – Join Hands [12″ Vinyl Album] [reissue]

This one is going in for sheer effort alone – restored track listing, artwork that was originally rejected (but preferred) and heavy weight vinyl. This looks like a very nice gift for any SatB fan. More RSD information

– Number 8

No life ’til leather – Metallica [music cassette] [new format]

Early Metallica demos (featuring Dave Mustane) reissued on a music cassette – you may never get to ‘play’ it but how could you resist? More RSD information

– Number 7

You Really Got Me – The Kinks [7″ Vinyl] [reissue]

One of three exclusive 7″ reissues from The Kinks for RSD. The grandaddy tune of heavy metal – I’d be tempted to buy this for the cover alone. More RSD information

– Number 6

Kings of the Wild Frontier/Ant Music – Adam and the Ants [7″ Vinyl] [reissue]

At the time Stand and Deliver was the AatA track for me – these days it’s Ant Music. It’d be great to hear the faint crackle of the turntable over the drum sticks intro… More RSD information

– Number 5

Detroit – Gaz Coombes [10″ Vinyl] [NEW release]

This is the latest single from Gaz Coombes (formerly of Supergrass) and while I’ve only heard it the once on YouTube it’s stayed with me. RSD is not all about reissues, it’s about new music too so this isn’t a bad start. More RSD information

– Number 4

Alone + Easy Target – Foo Fighters [10″ Vinyl] [new format]

I’m not the biggest Foo Fighters fan but Dave Grohl is the official RSD ambassador for 2015 and this looks a nice little EP of demos (including a classic Kim Wilde cover) to coincide with Foo Fighters 20 years anniversary. More RSD information

Number 3

Walk On By – Dionne Warwick/The Stranglers [7″ Vinyl] [new format]

The Stranglers deliver a great cover version. This special edition 7″ has the Dionne Warwick classic on the flip side. Neither is better than the other – just different – highly recommended! I’ve included the Top of the Pops version below but the full version runs for much longer with a classic Dave Greenfield keyboard solo. More RSD information

 Number 2

More Roar – Robert Plant [10″ Vinyl] [new release]

A life EP of from Percy’s recent tour – featuring a reworking of Whole Lotta Love – what more could you want?! More RSD information

Number 1

Now That’s What I Call Music Volume 1 – Various Artists [Double Vinyl Album] [reissue]

This one is a pure indulgence. Ordinarily buying a reissue on vinyl is less satisfying than tracking down an original (unless the original is prohibitively expensive). In this case however, owning a bright and shiny indulgent reissue of the 80s classic somehow seems more appropriate. If you were around the first time then, like me, you might be tempted – if you weren’t then you really should get this – watch the original TV add below for proof!! More RSD information

And bubbling under the Top Ten…

Take On Me – Aha 7″ picture disc (another eighties indulgence)

Bernard Herrmann – Psycho Original Score (Great for scaring the neighbours)


Chime in and let me know what you would (will, or do) chose..!


AudioBoo. AudioBoooom.


Before and after with AudioBoom. My frustrations with a great platform.audioboo-audioboom

Less than two months ago you could have been listening to this Boo on AudioBoom via a Twitter share or an email link. Uninterupted. Today you would need to log into your account or create one if you don’t already have one.

“Would you like an AudioBoo account?”
“Well, I don’t know – maybe I’ll have a listen first.”
“I’m afraid not sir – you’ll need an account…”

Etcetera, etcetera, ecetera…

This may seem of no consequence but what does it mean to the communities of online broadcasters who have invested in this once great platform?

AudioBoo. AudioBooooom.
Is the change of name to AudioBoom simply masking the company’s self destruction?

Have a listen and tell me what you think…

(All is not entirely lost because, as you can see, embedded Boos dodge this problem…)

Welcome to the Real World

Matrix Agents in the code

Morpheus said it best when he first met Neo in person!

However, Neo’s alter ego, Mr Anderson, had previously been living life as a Duracell for deluded A.I. machines who had taken over the World and was getting out even less than the geeky-recluse had realised! Clearly not a real life!

So it nips my head to see “IRL” (in real life) used in reference to off-line activity, as if on-line activity is unrelated to anything real or valid. Like taking the blue pill!

And while it’s mostly well intentioned internet speak there’s a valid point here…

My social media activity is mostly limited to my this blog, Twitter, and Instagram. Occasionally I dip my toe elsewhere but these are my regulars. And I’m quite certain that what I post is real life.

below – Instagram post from July 2013

Instagram post july 2013Instagram for example: My tendency to take ‘snaps’ pre-dates digital capturing, let alone digital networks! It’s something that I’ve always done – an enthusiasm that was elevated by digital – first by the cameras and now by mobile and the ability to share on the spot!

What about Twitter? Well Twitter provides the ability to share widely what I do for a living; as often as not while I’m in the middle of doing it. But more than that it allows me to pepper that feed of activity with other stuff like, personality, links and likes, recommendations, etc. – it’s not all about me!
But if you need tangible evidence of its value then let me tell you that Twitter has brought me a lot of work over the years by making me visible to the people that matter.

Twitter Feed July 2013right – a snap shot of Twitter posts from July 2013

Collectively my blog posts, tweets and Instagrams’ all reflect real-life; as real as delivering a presentation; as real as bus-stop banter; as real as water cooler conversations! Not all of those conversations would I rate as valuable in themselves, but building real-life relationships is complex – it’s over time that the value emerges.

We also need to be careful of the message that we send to young people about how they use their time – a lot is invested through on-line communication and to demonise it as the root of all modern day social deficiencies understates the real issues (see update below).

Characterising off-line as real-life and on-line as meaningless un-reality is just daft. It suggests that our life on-line is always irrelevant and has no value and that all real-life (off-line) activity is implicitly genuine, relevant and valuable. No one can assume either of those states, off-line or on-line can be inherently genuine or in-genuine!

And of course, to drive the point home, those of us who have experienced the cross-over between on and off-line worlds will recognise the buzz from meeting an on-line contact in person. And that’s great because, clearly (as we’ve already learned from “The Matrix”), the combination of genuine relationship and in person is near impossible to beat.

But for as long as we’ve been sending letters, crafting smoke signals or banging on drums, the world simply hasn’t existed exclusively in in-person relationships. And while it’s not all good, my positive on-line experiences have resulted in: learning new skills; online collaborations; (and most significantly) food on the table!

So to underestimate the potential of connecting on-line is foolish; and tagging it IRL only perpetuates the myth.

Its 2013. We know better. Or do we?

UPDATE: Since writing this I saw a post relating to the tragic suicide of teenager Hannah Smith in the UK. It presents a balanced view on the relationship between the internet and bullying and, as someone who endured a (relatively short) stint of bullying at school, to me it rang true.

Included in the piece is a similar point regarding “IRL” and, in this context, adds significant weight to the argument for acknowledging on-line activity as ‘real life.

Note to self…

Kids playing video games

Guest post today! It’s me… but me two years ago..!

Do you or your kids play video/computer games?

I wrote this during my Masters year (on ‘Mysteryboxes’, my Masters blog) when I was looking into video games and what we can learn from them about learning and engagement. At the same time I was a concerned parent… What should my kids play? How long should they play them?

Over the course of a year, by paying a little attention, I learned a few things that I felt were worth remembering – so I wrote a ‘note to self’! Having just read it for the first time in a couple of years I stand by it… especially the stuff about “better than TV” and “tantrums”!

I think games can be valuable in learning, but like everything else there needs to be a balance! But I feel as a parent I need to have some control, or sense, of what that balance should be.

So, if any of this sounds familiar please, click here, have a read, and let me know what you think!


Share and share alike…

First rule of social media..?!Share and share alike


I’m thinking that this might make a good Tshirt design along the lines of the mock-up below… any comments or interest?

Have your say…


Digital Imaging on iPad (via AudioBoo)


The images above are on display at Perth Museum and Art Gallery. From left to right, the second, fourth and fifth displays were completed as part of an iPad workshop I led in November 2012 and are exhibited until the end of March.

This week some of the young people who took part in the project, (as part of the Living Communities programme) came back to view their exhibited work and I was able to talk to them about their experience and share those thoughts via AudioBoo which will also be tagged to the work on display via a QR Code.

The interesting thing for me is that the young people are enjoying using the touch screen for the same reasons as I do – immediate, responsive (interactive) and an enjoyable way of working – as opposed to a mouse and multiple clicks. Given the immediate responsive nature of the touch screen I would suggest that it holds more creative potential – see here.

In one of his last keynotes Steve Jobs talked about how the iPad was “people’s favourite device” – backed up only last month by this report. They were enjoying the experience of the web, gaming and even productivity much more on the iPad than they were on desktops or laptops. I’d already had that experience myself but noticed that my son losing interest in his Nintendo DS if the iPad was an option.

So, as exciting as it was to see this work on display it was equally as rewarding to hear that a new found interest was being kindled (no pun intended) through me introducing a touch screen in this context. And, you can hear for yourself in the clips below…


Some of the images in their native form back in November.


Playful Competition – RARA Showrooms

I received this Tweet a few hours ago:


Power of social media, blah, blah, blah…

Basically, as you can see from the thread above, I saw RARA’s add on Twitter for their new series of Valentine cards and it struck me that they could turn it into a little competition. To their credit, (I mean the effort put in as opposed to listening to me…) they liked it, ran with it and turned the idea around in a couple of days!

It’s what Playful Communications are all about!

So, what are you waiting for..?! Get over to their Facebook page and join in!