Friday, March 26, 2010

Song of the Week - Episode 83

Yesterday afternoon I took Angus to Brumbies Rugby HQ so that both of us could learn about refereeing for juniors. It was a hoot. There were probably about 20 kids and 5 adults doing the training. Every second question from the kids was, “but can I send them off for that?” We have to now pass a written test before we get our refereeing ticket, whistle, uniform, white cane and guide dog. Alison, Angus and I are off to watch the Brumbies play tonight so I’m sure the refereeing will be under close scrutiny. On a side note, a young man that I used to teach is making his debut at Super 14 Rugby level – all the best Colby!!

Ironman Australia is on Sunday at Port Macquarie. There are 8 people from the Tridents club getting ready for a long day. 3.8km swim, 180km ride and 42km run. For all of you, I hope the journey is everything you want it to be.

I went back to an old Guns n’ Roses album this week. Great band, but unable to keep it together for a variety of reasons. I’d forgotten how much I liked this cover version. It is true to the energy of the original while injecting some serious hard rock attitude. Listen to whichever you like – or try both. This version has Matt Sorum on drums – he was previously in British goth-rockers The Cult. Do you think that the current trend for short shorts was influenced by Axl Rose?

Paul McCartney – Live and Let Die: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK2hKzZss5Y

Guns n’ Roses – Live and Let Die: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDA2QpY6jUU

Enough of the metal flashbacks for this week. Here’s a really, really, really cool punk rock song. I like a lot of punk rock. In essence it is just folk music that is louder and faster! Punk was hijacked at one time by various white supremacist groups but, for the most part, the lyrics are related to social and political issues. I got into this next band as a result of television. They had a really good video for their song “21st Century Digital Boy” and that piqued my interest. You should be able to make out the lyrics on this great track:

Bad Religion – Punk Rock Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuAaPKF1eAU (bit of a language warning)

Bit of a switch now, how about these two awesome guitarists side by side? It must be great to be that laid back and sound so good!

Mark Knopfler and Eric Clapton – Layla: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQVvF0AeRLI

Unless you’ve been living under a rock in Canberra you can’t have missed the fact that there was a car crash that occurred just after a Police chase was called off that resulted in the deaths of three innocent people as well as the driver of the car being chased. Probably 15 minutes after the crash (well maybe a bit longer) we had the civil libertarians telling us that the Police shouldn’t chase anyone. Then we had the family and friends of the driver blaming the Police and painting a picture of “young blokes” as larrikins. Seriously, if you steal a car and then flee from the Police you have to know it isn’t going to end well. 24 is more than old enough to know better. Sigh. As for the civil libertarians – get a grip. The Police have a job to do. Would you rather no-one came if your car was stolen or your house burgled?

On a much happier note, here’s the song of the week. It’s cheesy and you may even cringe but it is such a catchy tune. I first remember hearing it in one of my favourite movies and I’ll include that clip first in case anyone out there hasn’t been bored to death by me with it yet! But then the song. Angus and I have been annoying the rest of the household by dancing around to this most mornings this week – doing our best impressions of Mike Myers. The dog gets very excited and does laps of the kitchen but then again his brain is about the size of a pea!

Movie clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItJ0V0YrWEE

Saturday Night – Bay City Rollers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rK6BjJaAjY (mp3 attached)

Bye for now,

DJ Rob

Friday, March 19, 2010

Song of the Week - Episode 82

Barack Obama you are a right royal pain in the rear end. First you’re coming to Australia with your family, then its only you, then the date might change, roads will or won’t close, the police are in uproar and it goes on. I’m glad you FINALLY made up your mind to stay at home to watch the NCAA and maybe sort out health care in your country at last. America may be a super power but really, stop treating one of your allies like a second class citizen, make a date and stick to it. We’re happy to see you but stay more than 24 hours – otherwise a video conference with KRudd should suffice and we can spend the millions of dollars saved on something worthwhile.

After that little rant we need a song. A loud song. I’m sure you can work out why I chose this one (language warning):

Green Day – The Grouch (live on Australian TV): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI2bIghoXdA

This week I’ve managed to drive to work almost in tandem with one of my very good friends a couple of times. A minor note to myself though, waving with one’s right hand whilst riding a motor scooter isn’t recommended! Anyway, DJ CoJ wanted me to know that he was listening to the Divinyls. What a GREAT Australian band. Tons of attitude, great songs and a guitar sound that is just overdriven enough to be cool without turning into noise. I chose this Divinyls song mainly because I really, really thought those headless guitars were super. I’ll get one someday…

Divinyls – Hey Little Boy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28_tDCbPhW4

I’ve got my final race of the season on Sunday. Dodgy blue-green algae means that the lake is still closed here in Canberra. As a result the Aquathon is being held in the pool at the Institute of Sport. It should be a mad splash and dash with 3km run / 400m swim / 1.5km run. After that there’s a break in training for a while. I have to plan something for that time otherwise I’ll go nuts as will my family. I’m thinking that some mountain biking and geocahing will make a good start. After all, when training goes back I’ll have just over 6 months until Ironman. Whilst I didn’t do a lot of racing this season I managed to get a lot more consistency into my training (my main goal) and I reckon that’ll serve me well on the road to Busselton Dec 2010.

I mentioned Alicia Keys in last week’s episode. I’ll happily admit that until the last couple of weeks I hadn’t listened to any of her songs at all. But I’m all about trying out new music. This next track is from her current album. I put it through the wringer on the iPod this week whilst running and this is the stand out in my opinion. Whilst the lyrics aren’t all that crash hot, it is a great sounding track with an almost industrial feel to the instrumentation. Do you think she’s channeling the Phantom in that purple suit?

Alicia Keys – Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRMOvWYwQuU

In choosing a song to feature every week I aim for variety and to encourage people to listen beyond their favourite artists and songs. I will admit that I have refrained from featuring some tracks that are obviously offensive and that might never have any kind of general appeal. But then, some tracks that are less than accessible are my favourites. One of my all time top bands are Canberra Death Metal band, “Armoured Angel”. Their particular brand of very loud and aggressive music dealt with such themes as religion and genetic engineering. Intelligent and well thought out lyrics in the main backed up with a powerful musical style but you have to look past the leather, long hair and ammo belt guitar straps. I like folk music too, often you get similar themes. Country and Western, when not clich├ęd, has some great tracks – you could spend a lifetime with Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson.

So, a track that might confront and one that I know not all of you will like, but that’s sort of the point.

Tom Paxton - George W. Told The Nation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ft36GQMmvXs
If you want to bear arms then wear a short sleeve shirt.

DJ Rob

Friday, March 12, 2010

Song of the Week - Episode 81

For a short week here in Canberra (Monday was a public holiday) it seems to have taken forever to get to Friday!

The triathlon club had a 3 day bike camp over the weekend. Pretty challenging for all involved on a number of levels. I have to look after my knees so I went out for the Sunday ride which everyone says is the hardest. Basically it is a 43km climb from Jindabyne to Charlotte’s Pass. A 21km run around the top there and a 43km descent back home. Well, it wasn’t the best day in terms of weather but apart from that it was a lot of fun. Driving rain and wind made the whole day ‘interesting’. The climb was fine for me. I stopped three times on the way up for a quick stretch and that seemed to keep everyone entertained. 2hrs and 25 minutes (900m of elevation) of climbing got me to the start of the run. Unfortunately the weather was pretty foul so the run had to be cut short – I was sent for a 40 minute trot – wearing as many clothes as I could! After that, and a honey sandwich (secret nutritional weapon!) I headed back down the hill wearing even more gear. It was still raining and the roads were slippery so I will admit I was very conservative. However, there were a few climbs on the way home that I truly don’t remember from going the opposite way! My only bad moment was a puncture about 1500m from the end. After a couple of swear words I changed the tube and got home in time for a coffee and a jam donut! Great fun really, I’m hoping I can convince my knees to do two days next time. The social aspect of riding and training with a large group made that ride a lot easier and I’m thankful for the support of those organising the weekend as well as those cycling with me.

I took the opportunity on the drive to and from Jindabyne to check out some new tunes (well they were new to me) and a couple rate a mention in this week’s missive.

Bob Marley – I’m not really sure why I chose to listen to him but I’m glad I did. I put on the album “Uprising” which is from 1980. For me it is a pretty consistent LP and the production is great. The classic Marley drum introductions are crisp and clear. My favourite Bon Marley song of all time is on this LP – “Redemption Song”. This version is just Bob and a guitar. I admit that I hadn’t paid too much attention to the lyrics before but my interpretation is that Bob wants people to realise that freedom and happiness are perhaps looking forward more than redemption songs which look to the past. Of course, I could be totally wrong. Decide for yourself:

Bob Marley – Redemption Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-wyPaS6bZc

I also took time to listen to a band called Muse. They have a new album out called “The Resistance” and I read somewhere that they were a great rock band so I took a chance on them. Wow. I really, really like this LP. People compare them to Radiohead but I can’t see why. Radiohead never fail to annoy me with their constant droning or to put me to sleep. The first song on the Muse album was like a double shot espresso – kaboom. I reckon it sounds like a magnificent mutant mix of Marilyn Manson, Blondie and the theme from the Dr. Who TV show. It is a pretty groovy clip as well – love the teddy bears at the end.

Muse – Uprising: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8KQmps-Sog

DJ GarE sent me some tunes to check out last week and I’m working my way through them. Here’s a gem from times past that I’m glad he reminded me of. There’s a version of Tori Amos doing this song too – best avoided in my opinion – cringeworthy.

Joe Jackson – Real Men: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41FNXkY9VZY

I listened the new album by Alicia Keys as well. I only chose that because in one of his songs, Bob Dylan sings about looking for her. The jury is out on whether it is worth the purchase price so I’ll get back to you on that one. There is no doubt that she can sing and the album is very polished….but is there any substance to it? Dunno yet.

Some of my favourite sayings come from songs. For example, I often describe things as being “super fab and groovy” which is straight from a Nik Kershaw song. Or “that isn’t phat, it’s morbidly obese” from The Twelfth Man. This week’s song has a line that I often find myself thinking if not saying: “well I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you get nothin’ for nothin’ expecting win”. Rock on.

Judas Priest – Heading Out To The Highway: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54FrsBA1ki8

How absolutely fabulous were the hairstyles and costumes in that blast from 1982!!? Red leather pants – hooray! If you need a laugh then just look on YouTube for the original video for that song.

In about 1986 or 1987 I was in K-Mart with my Mum. Back in the day, K-Mart was a good place to go to buy music – a solid selection and usually the best prices. On this particular day there was a 2 for 1 deal on certain cassettes. I picked up “British Steel” and “Killing Machine” both by Judas Priest probably for about $10. A bargain indeed – they both turned out to be great albums. I always thought the album covers were pretty cool as well. Here they are: British Steel: http://www.metalkingdom.net/album/img/d37/386.jpg and Killing Machine: http://www.progboard.com/graphx/covers/7114.jpg

There is a movie with Mark Wahlberg in it (Rock Star) that is apparently based on Judas Priest and some of the stories are very Spinal Tap-esque. But JP are a great band, and one that has endured some interesting times including the whole PMRC/Tipper Gore mess of the 80s/90s. A lot of my friends were metal and hard rock fans. I’m pretty sure that none of us were or became Satan worshipping, blood drinking, misogynists. Of course, I liked Judas Priest as well because they were a metal band whose singer had short hair! He now has very little – not unlike your truly!

On a parting note – on Sunday I’m participating in “Amy’s Ride”. Amy Gillett was an Australian cyclist killed whilst training in Europe. The foundation set up in her name does great work in promoting safe cycling and understanding between motorists and cyclists. Please check out the information at http://www.amygillett.org.au/ . The ride is a fundraiser and to raise awareness of the cause. I know that at least 600 riders will be out there at this stage.

Ride clean, ride safe, ride often, ride with a helmet on, ride with friends, just ride….

DJ Rob

Friday, March 5, 2010

Song of the Week - Episode 80

I was in the CD shop the other day (well I still call it a record shop) and I saw that there is yet another version of Queen’s greatest hits available. Who is buying this? Some bands just seem to get away with repackaging their “Best Of” over and over. KISS is guilty of this as well. I think Queen were an awesome band but who are they kidding?

Thanks to DJ Jo-T I can’t get this next song out of my head. A band I was in back in the day used to do a decent cover version of it and I always liked the lyrics as well. Maybe this week’s songs should be about boats even if this song isn’t really very nautical.

Nick Cave – The Ship Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKlaV-9Vzsk

And I can’t really tell you why but Nick Cave led me this Paul Kelly track. (there’s a language warning for the following song)

Paul Kelly – Every F****** City: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwl7tthqzkA

Well it seems like this is turning to an all Australian affair on Song of the Week but the boats have sailed away. I’m pretty sure that I haven’t claimed any New Zealanders as our own yet although that it not unusual. In that case then I better play something a bit more obscure.

The Candy Harlots were a glam/sleaze metal rock from Sydney. I saw them once or twice in the 90’s and they had almost everything going for them at that stage. Good songs, record deal, fans…. However, it didn’t last. This is one of the singles from their album and, like many bands of this genre, they seem to be able to look into the kind of problems they have but in the end can’t overcome them.

The Candy Harlots – Sister’s Crazy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyZa0aC1Jqk

Time to steal from NZ now. Dragon were a band from both sides of the Tasman. I don’t really care where they are from but they were classic. Alison and I got prepaid tickets to see them years ago at the Yass Soldiers Club. We were worried we might not get in. I think there were more people in the band and crew that night than were in the crowd a huge shame as it was a great show. This was not long before Marc Hunter died from cancer – a big loss to rock ‘n’ roll. Here’s a version of Dragon’s “Dreams of Ordinary Men” with Peter Garrett and Jimmy Barnes singing. Turn this one up (I reckon Peter was pretty pleased when Jimmy turned up to give him a hand!) For you overseas readers, Peter sang for Midnight Oil and is now a government minister (well – for the moment at least).

Peter Garrett and Jimmy Barnes – Dreams of Ordinary Men: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klM5ERfTwz8

It’s a long weekend here and I plan to spend some time finishing a song I’ve been working on. If I’m feeling brave it might get an airing here for your comments. I’m also heading to the high country for a hell of a ride/run session on Sunday. Ride from Jindabyne to Charlotte’s Pass, run 21km around the Pass and then ride back. I imagine this will take pretty much all day and the weather forecast is average at best!

Eat less, move more…

DJ Rob