This week I could continue to regale you with my displeasure at the insurance company but I won't. The upside of being scooter-less is that I've been doing some cycle commuting. Road works have meant that any semblance of a direct route continues to be either impossible or dangerous. As a result the mountain bike is getting a workout. Rain and mud haven't stopped me, in fact they've probably added to my enjoyment!
Alison ended up on crutches this week after some cartilage decided it would take a holiday around her knee instead of staying where it is meant to be. Between us we have two good knees. Fingers crossed that it all gets better soon.
Big news for me was the arrival of my new guitar. And what a journey it was. I placed an order for it in January and it was delivered this week. Before I could lay my hands on it, my new axe travelled from London UK to Auckland NZ. In New Zealand it then went to my Mum's house in Wellington and then onto my brother. My Dad picked it up and brought it back to Australia (Geelong) and then my friend Beck picked it up and brought it back to me with some assistance from Dom. The guitar in question is a "Burns Steer". Burns are an English company probably most famous for their guitars being used by Hank Marvin from The Shadows. The Steer's most prominent player is one of my heroes, Billy Bragg. Strange looking guitar but then who wants to be the same as everyone else? Here's a pic of Billy with one: http://www.incredibid.co.uk/acatalog/billybragg.jpg
And now, to quote my good friend DJ Rickers, "I feel a song coming on".
Recently, Slash (former guitarist for Guns N Roses) released a self titled solo album. It isn't his first and previous efforts have been pretty good. On this one he has recruited a heap of well known artists to help him out. You get Ian Astbury from The Cult, Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop and a heap of others. There are different "bonus" tracks on the album depending on which country you buy the album in. I found this one, the Brazilian track, on YouTube initally. Feedback from a couple of friends is quite disparate but I like it a lot so here we go. Slash with Cypress Hill and Fergie from the Blackeyed Peas doing Paradise City: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yH3542oMTwE
A while back I was introduced to a guitarist called Bob Brozman. He may have featured in the past but 92 episodes in my memory gets a bit hazy. Bob is a phenomenal musician, performer and also lectures at university level. He has a few albums but seeing him live is a real treat. He really "plays" the guitar. Bob plays a range of steel guitars, ukuleles and a myriad of other stringed instruments. Check this excerpt from him on TV for a taster and watch closely as he moves in and out from the microphone to vary the sound you hear: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2p52JNcbDc
DJ TrayC pointed out to me after last week's episode that I could do with highlighting a few more female musicians. Fair call. Here are a couple of great songs...
First up we have Concrete Blonde. They are famous for the overplayed and quite frankly boring song "Joey". This is a much better effort that predates all the Twilight nonsense by a number of years:
Concrete Blonde - Bloodletting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOn1037ZLwA
Secondly, The Dixie Chicks. I "discovered" their music a few years back. I will admit that I had them written off as derivative, boring and redneck. WRONG. They are great musicians and sing with attitude passion. Here they are covering a Dylan tune.
Dixie Chicks - Mississippi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J28N3R5NTDM
And finally, The Donnas. Hilarious. Great rock and roll. Here the band completely take the piss out of male dominated cock rock. I can heartily recommend the whole album that this track is from as a great soundtrack to any road trip.
The Donnas - 40 Boys in 40 Nights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyhzBEOIuKA
In fab and groovy news, Angus has been selected for some representative level rugby. If he performs well at the carnival then he gets to try out for the ACT.
I was also lucky enough to go to see Zoë play in the concert and jazz bands at her school's music faculty concert. I am constantly amazed at the quality that such young children can produce. I expected her bands to be pretty good but I was blown away. She's playing in an Eisteddfod this weekend. Quick update - they got a Gold Medal for jazz band tonight!
So, I should finish off here because I'd like to avoid getting wet on the ride home. The song of the week comes from English band, The Cult. I really, really, really liked their album "Electric" when it was released in about 1987. It had everything I liked: a rock swagger and loud guitars. Maybe a bit like the Rolling Stones with some added grit and volume. The Cult have had a patchy career and possibly the worst guitar solo ever is on "Electric" but in general they are great. This song is from that album and was the first 45 single I bought of theirs. I'm sure it is the best Stones riff that Keith Richards didn't write! The film clip was a lot of fun back in MTV days. All they've done is mime the song twice in different clothes and mix the two up! And if anyone ever offered me any type of guitar gratis then a Gretsch White Falcon like the one in the clip would be at the top of my list.
The Cult - Love Removal Machine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vneFS48Z4Ws
That's it. Gotta ride.