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Robert Rackley
The Bright Star is coming to meet the needful.
The Bright Star is coming to meet the needful.

Robert's posts

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"Doesn't matter what's tripping you out, there's ways to go" begins the chorus of the song 'Way to Go' by Australian band Empire of the Sun. It's an acknowledgement that while there are difficulties of getting through daily life, there are almost always options around us. While the message is simplistic, it offers a certain amount of comfort. The song is from the recent album Two Vines, which had a number of high-profile contributors. The track seems to benefit from the touch of one of the album's contributors, Lindsay Buckingham, in that it has a very strong Fleetwood Mac vibe.

#fleetwoodmac #empireofthesun

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Apple Music was thoughtful enough (algorithmically speaking) to include 'Blue Boredom' from the most recent DIIV album on My Favorites Mix this week. The song features vocals by Sky Ferreira that sound a lot like Kim Gordon, with whom she recently collaborated on the gritty, bottom-heavy single 'Murdered Out'. The vocals by Ferreira on the DIIV song remind me most of Gordon's breathy treatment of the cruel taunts that Karen Carpenter endured from her family on the Sonic Youth song 'Tunic'. Though that song has always made me sad for Karen, it's a powerful piece of music that should continue to inspire a new generation of musicians.

#diiv #sonicyouth

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Every year i find myself unsure about whether I want to do #Movember. Invariably, I get emails from the Movember Foundation about all of the great work they are doing for men's health and I decide I've got to sign up. I know a guy younger than myself who has already battled testicular cancer. I have known several men affected by mental health issues. I want to be able to do something to help. If you can donate, that's great. If not, just enjoy the mustache and keep a focus on men's health.

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I’ve loved just about every project in which Kurt Feldman has been involved. He’s done an unlikely but very compelling blend of shoegaze and chiptune with the Depreciation Guild, recalled 80’s pop with Roman à Clef, added a backbeat to the Pains of Being Pure at Heart and even made sounds for the Tinder app (???!!!). Kurt’s main project these last few years has been the Ice Choir, which just released Designs in Rhythm a couple of weeks ago on Shelflife Records. It’s only been out a short time, but I would describe the album as infinitely listenable. You might say I suspect it will have a very long shelf life (pun intended). I’ve played it over and over, through all kinds of situations and moods.

RIYL Gangway, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Sophie And Peter Johnston, Scritti Politti, Cocteau Twins


So, those of you who love the RSS, what are you switching to when Google Reader shuts down in a week?  I just read that an AOL Reader service has gone into private beta.  Digg Reader should be available as a beta in the next week.

Personally, I've gone with Feedbin.  I'm not overly fond of the web interface, but it syncs with Reeder on iOS and soon on the Mac.  I also like the business model ($2 a month).

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I've had a lot of similar thoughts. Even though I don't have as many active followers on G+ as I do on Twitter, I really enjoy the experience of using G+, and a lot of that does come down to design (and the granular group sharing options). 
How important is design to your use of a product? 

Just when my G+ use had started to decline in favor of Twitter, G+ pulled me back in with the redesign. Though the communities of both didn't change, G+ became a more pleasant experience again. That, despite the fact that those whose updates I consider imperative (@craigmod, @brainpicker, @mariakonnikova, @jamesshelley, and a few more) come through Twitter. 

My Twitter feed is, from a strictly informational point of view, more valuable than my G+ feed. I spent years pruning and cultivating that feed; it will take some time to do the same in G+ and cultivate the same value. 

So how did G+ pull me back in, even though Twitter seems to have it beat in terms of community? All that's really left is design. 

So I wonder: how important is design to the products you use?

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I recently wrote a blog post (sort of) response to the "Fellow Googleholics, Beware." piece from +Rob Boone.

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What I (and others) have been thinking about post-Google I/O.
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