It's hot. Summer has finally arrived in Australia after being suspiciously absent for a couple of years. Air conditioning is a blessing, bushfires are raging and we've been to the beach – pretty standard.
This week's episode will be short and sharp. Frankly, I've been to busy doing other stuff to write a long entry this week. I've been riding my bike (and my legs) into the ground while I wait for various medicos to work out what to do about my foot. The MRI results seem to confirm arthritis and other damage. We had to laugh when it was discovered that I have a broken toe and that it isn't causing any problems at all! I've been doing heaps of hill climbing which I love (being over 11kg lighter helps!) but I'll head out on Sunday for about 100km – a while since I've ridden that far and it's a good feeling to get it done.
DJ Al-E has been quite unwell with a very bad back. I'm sad that it's ruined her holidays and that there isn't much that Angus and I can do to help. We've tried to keep her mind off it though while the drugs and exercises do their thing. Al-E and I have started watching the US TV series "Once Upon A Time". I really thought it would suck and have been quite shocked at how cool it is. If you liked Shrek and maybe a good dose of crime fiction then you might enjoy it. After all the reports about "The Hobbit" at the movies we'll definitely be giving it a miss.
All the tracks this week come from music that I have purchased recently from two of my favourite places. First up is Landspeed Records in Garema Place – a great range of CDs and a smattering of vinyl too. This is the place to go if you fancy a good poke around, a bargain and good music on their shop system. Today they were playing Bowie's album "Hunky Dory" and I almost bought a copy as a result. The other place I went was Beyond Q Bookstore at the Curtin Shops. It's a bit of a Mecca for second hand books and they have a few records as well. I've heard that some good bands play there occasionally...
Here's the music.
Gov't Mule are an American band who to me sound like all the good bits from Hendrix, Cream and Led Zep with more of a blues bent as opposed to classic rock. I've found their stuff hard to buy anywhere here so I resorted to the internet to check them out. Very cool indeed. This one really hammers home the Led Zep influence in my opinion.
Gov't Mule – Lola Leave Your Light On - http://youtu.be/f5jGzv6yCf0
I treated myself to two albums on vinyl this week – both second hand and in great condition. The sound is fantastic and I reckon different to CD – not better, not worse, just different. And there's something cool about the artwork, lyric sheets and all that. I picked up "Rattle and Hum" and "Live Under A Blood Red Sky" both from U2. The former is my favourite U2 record for a number of reasons. One being that I saw the movie in the cinema and was blown away by it. U2 have changed a lot now but this album stands up well. I got "Live Under A Blood Red Sky" because I think it's U2 at their best in a live situation – they are still raw, hungry and intense in all the right ways. Also, the re-mastered version which is all that is available now has had some stuff taken out.
U2 – I Will Follow (live at Red Rocks) - http://youtu.be/jv51LO7NOTo
U2 – Love Rescue Me (live) - http://youtu.be/QMN49l9H3Bc
Skunk Anansie were pretty big in the 90's. I was unsure how to describe their music but a cursory glance through some search engine entries revealed this gem; "an amalgam of heavy metal and black feminist rage" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skunk_Anansie ). Personally I think it's more punk than metal but it's pretty good stuff. I picked up their first album "Paranoid and Sunburnt" for $8 and it's a bargain!
Skunk Anansie – Intellectualise My Blackness - http://youtu.be/W-UPYJ7ugBM
I thought that The Black Crowes were an excellent band. Rambling blues with a nods to country and soul. Chris Robinson, the singer from the band, has a new group called the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. I took a chance on their album, "Big Moon Ritual", on the strength of a track on a sampler CD. Let's hope it was worth it. For fans of the Grateful Dead and Neil Young I reckon.
Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Rosalee - http://youtu.be/_7LzsO2DRC8
The Gaslight Anthem are a band that have been on my radar for a while now and I've finally put my money across the counter to try an album after my YouTube research. They are described as a punk band with a New Jersey edge. In plain English that seems to mean that they are a louder, more raw version of Springsteen. I can hear bits of the Pogues, Dropkick Murphys and The Clash in there as well. I like it.
The Gaslight Anthem – The '59 Sound - http://youtu.be/kJbYaV3KP7Y
That's it folks. Watch out on the blog next week at http://www.robwoozle.blogspot.com as I'll finally review the Mark of Cain album as well as publish another instalment in my look at various musical genres.