A warm and hearty welcome to you all. I don't feel like DJ Rob this week, I feel like taxi driver and driving instructor Rob!
Yep, I took Zoë to the Motor Registry and after filling out forms, standing in lines and avoiding the Group W bench we left after an hour with her licence. So far I've taken her out driving three times and really, she's not bad. I'm a little surprised at how calm I have been (at least inwardly). I will freely admit that I hated learning to drive. I only got around to it when I was in my first band here in Canberra and decided I needed some wheels!
This week has also marked Angus ensuring that any company making rugby gear for boys will remain in business. Who would've have thought that a simple sport needed so much gear? I shouldn't really complain though, he wears all the protective gear without complaint and that is something to be thankful for. Given that Angus weighs about 40kg if he has rocks in his pockets it is probably natural for Alison and I to be concerned about the 14 year old forwards who weigh in excess of 80kg!! Lucky he's fearless.
Ralph McTell is an English singer-songwriter who is in the country at the moment. I'm guessing that even if you don't know his name that you know one of his songs – "Streets of London". You can jump on YouTube and see him performing it on Top of the Pops! However, give this a spin...
During the week I picked up a copy of a magazine called "Classic Rock". It wasn't bad with a reasonable balance between old bands and new ones in the old style! Joe Bonamassa was on the cover. He's a blues guitarist that I've always avoided for some reason. Any review I've read has said something like, "yeah, well, um, good guitarist but no soul". With the magazine was a free CD of his best work. Apart from the fact that only half the tracks would actually play I was pleasantly surprised. He plays very well and does a wide range of tunes. On the strength of the sampler CD I could see myself purchasing one of his LPs. That's if they weren't quite so expensive here. Here's Joe with his band.
I'd seen pictures of this next band and made an assumption that, combined with their name, that were a pretend Goth/trash/noise band. So I ignored them. That was silly. To quote one of the most important philosophers of modern times, "D'oh!!" Then I read a few articles that kept dropping their name in here and there so I steeled myself and checked out some tunes. Well, they're more New Order than Neubaten. Very 80's influenced and worth a listen.
DJ FatBoy put me onto a TV show called "In Gordon Street Tonight". It's a chat show I guess. I think it's a bit lightweight at times and tries too hard to be funny but there have been some good moments. This week Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) was on. He's here in Australia for a while and there's also a stage show called "Moonshadow" featuring his songs. What impressed me about him was that he spoke about optimism in music and in life. Often I think that optimism (especially at work) is my fatal flaw. But seriously, wouldn't you rather think the best of people than being negative the whole time?
When I sat down to write this episode I had considered just including one song – the next one. I discovered it during the week and I've been playing it (and the album) over and over. I think the track is great and the video clip is a helluva lot of fun. I've listened to a few tracks from these guys in the past and they were pretty good but this is taking things to another level. The musicianship, the songwriting and the production are just stellar. I wonder how they'll go pulling this one off live? And do you reckon the drummer is trying to look like Johnny Depp in the Pirates films??