2011: That was a year that was

[NB: If you're on the iPhone I recommend the Mixcloud mobile app. Not sure if it's available for other smartphones.]

I’ve been incredibly slothful in getting my year-end thoughts together. Here we are 6 days into the New Year and I’m just starting to think about it. There have been hundreds of “Best of” music lists and no doubt you’ve seen them all so I’ll spare you mine. Instead I thought I’d share a few things that rocked my world in 2011. It’s worth pointing out that I despaired of the state of rock music in 2011 (if rock music can be described as sad folks in a band that is the classic vocalist, bass guitar, lead guitar, drummer line-up.) Jon Caramanica puts it best in his NY Times 2011 wrap up – The Year That Rock Just Spun Its Wheels.

Film:
Mesrine – Part 1 and Part 2, Carlos (watching Mesrine and Carlos is the best way to spend about 7 hours of your life..,) The Tree of Life, Melancholia, Red Riding Trilogy. Now I think about it, if one was to spend an entire weekend watching all those films in a row you’d need about 18 hours, but I’d suggest that you’d get as close to the meaning of life as possible.

Music:
I spent hours with Mixcloud last year. It became by far the best tool for discovering new artists and the mobile App works really well. Here’s my collection.
Favorite discoveries: Blawan and Author.
Most listened: Radiohead, especially TKOL Remixes
Best music suggestions from @IAmEwald that I played a lot: A Winged Victory For The Sullen and Stars of the Lid.
Best free album downloads: The Weeknd and Iggy Azalea.
Best Collection: Bleep 100 for 2011.

Here’s a song each from the artists mentioned above:

Blawan – What You Do With What You Have
Author – Mothership
Radiohead – Separator (Four Tet Remix)
Burial – Street Halo
The Weeknd – High For This
Iggy Azalea – My World
A Winged Victory For The Sullen – Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears
Stars Of The Lid – Requiem For Dying Mothers Pt. 1

Books:
Huge list here. Grows by the week..
Two splendid new friends, both authors: John Jeremiah Sullivan and Rick Moody.

What I read everyday.

Technology:
I took stock of what I use the most when it comes to a mix of business and pleasure when considering technology tools. Here’s a list of the most used hardware in 2011: Macbook Pro (work, mobile,) iPhone4 (work, mobile,) 27″ iMac (home study.) Entertainment hardware: Roku and Apple TV. Most used Apps across iPhone and iPad: Instagram, Twitter for iOS, Instapaper, Safari, Gmail, Music, Evernote, Dropbox, Keynote, Pages, iZip, Messages, Skype, Mixcloud, WordPress, Netflix, iA Writer, PBS, Maps, NetNewsWire, Shine, Fora.tv, Morningstar, Gas Buddy. I have many, many more but they tend to languish unused.

Since January 2nd I have been using only the iPad2 for my work, in effort to break away from using a ‘computer,’ or laptop, in the classic sense. It has been a lot easier to make the transition than I expected it to be. Having the iMac in the study at home helps with the transition, especially when it comes to Flash of course. I can safely say that I am currently using the iPad2 for at least 90% of my working hours. I’ll be posting up feedback, a sort of report, on how the switch went and if it’s a sustainable way to keep getting my work done. Of course, as we begin to approach mobile ubiquity, it makes sense to be actually working with mobile devices all the time, rather than merely commenting on their usage uptake.

If anyone has any tips for transitioning to full-time use of the iPad2 and/or the best Apps that I currently don’t have, please let me know in the comments section.

Thanks for reading. @DaveAtNorth

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