A late issue this week. I'm on school holidays and somehow it slipped my mind that it was Friday. Oops!
When it comes to inventions, I have an open mind. That is apart from vocal autotune technology, boy bands and Lady Gaga! But the trackpad that sits on a laptop for us to use instead of a mouse does my head in. I hate those things. Give me more keyboard space and I'll plug a mouse in – anytime.
That brings me briefly to Apple. You can read in my previous blog post about me and computers but let me say this. If you're an Apple hater or a PC derider then get over yourself. For most of us they do exactly the same thing. I'm a big fan of my iPhone but all my computers are PC based. Who cares?
I finally got around to purchasing one of the Cold Chisel remaster CDs. "You're Thirteen, You're Beautiful and You're Mine" was a limited edition vinyl live EP back in the day. It has been out of print for a very long time and something of a holy grail for record collectors and fans. I tried to buy one on eBay a few years ago but I'm not that rich! The title is a reference to Jerry Lee Lewis marrying his cousin.
This week, being holidays and all, I picked up some CDs to immerse myself in. One was "The Promise" from Bruce Springsteen. It's a double CD of tracks that weren't released for one reason or another when he recorded "Darkness On The Edge Of Town". It's a killer set. There is a fair proportion of Bruce's work that leaves me cold but this certainly does not. After my first listen I penned an email to a friend I know is a huge fan of The Boss. I told him that listening to these CDs made me feel like I was standing in middle America in the snow with my workboots and a heavy coat on waiting to go to work. The songs draw you in and make you a part of them. That's a rare talent for a songwriter. Here's disc 1, track 1 – what an awesome starting point. If someone played this to all those poor kids learning scales on the piano they might stick at it longer...
I also picked up the new Kasabian album on the strength of the song "Re-wired" that I played a while ago. If you mashed up The Beatles, Supergrass, Herman's Hermits, Oasis, Blur and any other English pop band you can think of you'd approximate their sound. But it works. I've run the CD through a few times and I think it was money well spent. I keep hearing bits of other songs mixed in to Kasabian's work and trying to pick their influences is half the fun. Here's the first track and I think the melody line from about 48s in is a dead ringer for that from the vocal in "Rising Force" by Yngwie J Malmsteen – you be the judge!
Right, a quick political rant. Surely everyone knows who Desmond Tutu is. And the Dalai Lama as well. If you don't then Google is your friend and you should be ashamed. And did you realise that Dr Hibberd on "The Simpsons" has the same laugh as the Dalai Lama? Check it out, I'm serious. But what is important is that the Dalai Lama was invited to speak in South Africa and attend Tutu's 80th birthday. But the government there refused him a visa. Wow. That just blows me away.
At one place I worked the students weren't allowed to wear heaps of jewellery which is fair enough. But they were allowed to wear "a small religious icon". I always wondered what would happen if someone turned up wearing Archbishop Tutu. That's a joke folks.
Bert Jansch died this week. He was a sublime guitarist and this is probably his most well known piece. Crank it up, it doesn't get much better.
There have been a few jokes about Steve Jobs potentially rising from the dead in three days. Tasteless yet amusing to a point. There's no doubt that he was a very successful visionary whose impact is huge. But have you read about the $35 computer tablet being rolled out to kids in India? Now THAT is visionary.
And that's about it from me. I'm off to the Australian 24hr Mountain Biking Championships to be the support crew for Team WMGS (AB and Shelley) who are racing the whole thing as a pair. Ouch, ouch, ouch. It would be awesome if it doesn't rain.
I'll leave you with a track from an album I expected to be a load of drivel. Anthrax have been around for ages. They ditched their singer, got a great one called John Bush and then got the old one back. It shouldn't be allowed. Watching him on DVD at "The Big 4" concert was just cringeworthy. But then they released this album and it is just great. The guitars are driven hard without being harsh and the vocals, well, I'm impressed! Perhaps the metal release of the year.