The Great Unknown by Mighty Oaks To Kickstart My Week

I started earlyish today and this track "The Great Unknown" by Mighty Oaks is setting the tone for my morning

I started earlyish today and this track “The Great Unknown” by Mighty Oaks is setting the tone for my morning:

It’s on this “Relax & Rewind” playlist that’s become one of my go-to work playlists.

When kids start treating the staff poorly

Reconcilable Differences #66, titled "Inherent Injustice", is both hilarious and cringeworthy for parents. The hosts, Merlin Mann and John Siracusa, were talking about raising young kids, setting examples for them, and issuing parental edicts.

Reconcilable Differences #66, titled “Inherent Injustice”, is both hilarious and cringeworthy for parents. The hosts, Merlin Mann and John Siracusa, were talking about raising young kids, setting examples for them, and issuing parental edicts.

I started giggling at around 31 minutes when they were discussing how kids seem to struggle with this idea that their parents are not servants who exist to cater for their every whim. I had to share this:

I had another laugh at about 1:01:30 when Mann and Siracusa started talking about resolving inconsistencies in rules that parents make for kids. I definitely have a preference for Siracusa’s approach. As with terrorists, there are times when you just don’t negotiate with kids about rules.

This was probably one of the funniest discussions I’ve heard for a while on this show. Even if you don’t listen to the show (and it can be an acquired taste), definitely spend a few minutes listening to these discussions.

What “content marketing” really is

The term "content marketing" has been heavily abused. I found this discussion about what it really is to be well worth listening to.

I started listening to the “This Old Marketing” podcast recently thanks to a recommendation on Facebook. The latest episode, episode 162, has a terrific segment about what content marketing really is and where brands and advertisers tend to go wrong.

The episode begins with a discussion about fake news (also worth listening to) and transitions into the content marketing segment at about 20 minutes in (this link will take you to this point in the discussion on an Overcast.fm player page).

I don’t usually post a lot of marketing related stuff on my site but given that this is my day job and how worthwhile this discussion is, it is well worth sharing with you.

If you are in the marketing business, do yourself a favour and listen to this segment, at the very least. It is entertaining and tackles some of the sillier approaches to content marketing.

Image credit: Pexels

How the Batman v Superman soundtrack was created

Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL spoke to DC's All Access about how they approached the Batman v Superman soundtrack. Really interesting for movie soundtrack fans.

Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL’s Batman v Superman soundtrack was released last Friday. I pre-ordered it from iTunes and woke up to find it already in my library. I am a huge fan of movie soundtracks and Hans Zimmer is one of my favourite composers (his Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises soundtracks are among my favourites).

I’ve been looking forward to this soundtrack for a while now. I just watched an interesting interview with Zimmer and Junkie XL about their approaches to the soundtrack. It is a fascinating interview largely because of the little insights into how some composers approach their work:

WaterTower Music has published some of the tracks from the soundtrack online. I created a quick Batman v Superman playlist for you so you can listen to the tracks:

If you remember the Man of Steel soundtrack, you’ll definitely pick up on some of the themes from that album in the Batman v Superman soundtrack. Here is the preview of the Man of Steel soundtrack that was published about 2 years ago:

I’m really excited about the movie and to hearing these tracks in context in the action. As much as I love the movies, the soundtracks are often even more exciting to me (especially when the soundtracks are really good in themselves) because I listen to them for years afterwards.

I’ve been listening to the Batman v Superman soundtrack on and off over the last few days and it’s growing on me. The different themes to each of the major characters make for a bit of a jarring listen because they don’t all flow into each other but I’m enjoying it nevertheless.

WaterTower Music has a couple different format options if you want the album (including a 3 LP deluxe vinyl version for you comics hipsters) on its site.

Image credits:

Today is powered by Sam Feldt

My work day is powered by my SoundCloud mix, "Music to smooth my work days" and one mix by Sam Feldt, in particular, works well for me today.

My work day is powered by my SoundCloud mix, “Music to smooth my work days” and one mix by Sam Feldt, in particular, works well for me today:

I really like the change around 20:40 or so but this is the sort of track you can just run for the hour or so it lasts and focus on some work. I like Sam Feldt’s mixes on SoundCloud, really good for those times I don’t want to mess with playlists and let something different run while I work. He often includes quotes in the beginning of these long mixes. I wrote about another one I like a while ago:

Steve Jobs just makes this mix for me

One thing I would love to see is SoundCloud’s playback controls integrated into my Mac’s music playback controls when I am listening to SoundCloud. I keep hitting the “play/pause” button when someone wants to speak to me and it launches iTunes or continues a track in an open iTunes playlist by mistake.

I also just found a playlist with all of Feldt’s “mixtapes” (very retro) on SoundCloud which I am going to dive into one day when I have a big writing project:

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Update (2016-01-26): Sam Feldt replied to my post tweet on Twitter a few minutes after it was published. I get a kick out of quick feedback like this!

Image credit: “Record Player” from Unsplash, released under a CC0 dedication

Steve Jobs just makes this mix for me

This Sam Feldt mix is one of my current favourites and primarily because of the first minute or so which includes a sound-bite from Steve Jobs about passion and persistence. The mix itself is great but starting with his words adds that much more inspiration to my work day.

Image credit: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates by Joi Ito, licensed CC BY 2.0

A perfect track for introspection

Captain America: The Winter Soldier preview through its soundtrack

I am a bit of a music soundtrack nut (the instrumental soundtracks, not the pop music compilations) so I am frequently more excited about the soundtracks for upcoming movies than I am about the movies themselves. Soundtracks usually give me a great feel for the movie itself before I watch the movie and, this afternoon, I’m listening to Henry Jackman’s soundtrack for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

I’m still working through it for the first time and it hasn’t really grabbed me yet. The title track, “Captain America”, is probably a nice representation of what I have heard so far:

I think I prefer this to Alan Silvestri’s score for the first Captain America movie but neither are as stirring as my current surprise favourite: Steve Jablonsky’s soundtrack for Ender’s Game which has been on repeat for about a week and I still love it. Jablonsky also did the Transformers soundtracks which are also better than their movies. One of my favourites from the Ender’s Game soundtrack is “Dragon Army” (difficult to pick a favourite, they are almost all fantastic):