Here we go with the last episode for 2013. Thanks to everyone who has commented on this meandering blog, suggested tunes, engaged me in robust discussion or just quietly enjoyed the tunes. I rarely have trouble coming up with something to write but I will admit that sometimes I consider the wide demographic of the audience and leave some comments and songs out. It's not censorship; it's just common sense.
Christmas Day was pretty good here at HQ Woozle apart from the strange requirement for dodgy Christmas music to be played. Thankfully the Elvis Christmas LP and Bad Religion's new Christmas CD were on high rotation. That coupled with the realisation that any movie with snow in it qualifies as a Christmas movie improved the ambience no end.
Elvis Presley - Winter Wonderland (1957) - http://youtu.be/MR4Ik4RflVU
Bad Religion - Hark The Herald Angels Sing (2013) - http://youtu.be/Uc4AdrA7QdE
Stryper - Winter Wonderland (live)(2007) - http://youtu.be/FwD57Y58s4E
We headed to the movies yesterday to see "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty". For someone who usually stars in fairly lightweight movies (I'd say dumb but it's the season to be nice to people) Ben Stiller does a great job. I'll admit that I didn't pick that Sean Penn was in the film too. However, it's another one of those "seize the day" films which is all well and good for people without kids, mortgages and other responsibilities. I did like that the lead female wasn't all airbrushed and made up, she was just normal and therefore very beautiful. Don't miss this on the big screen though. It doesn't matter how big your TV is, this movie needs plenty of screen space!
The Godfathers - Birth, School, Work, Death (1987) - http://youtu.be/QO5dcW0P75M
My family knows me well and gave me the latest Cold Chisel live CD/DVD combo. Imaginatively titled, "The Live Tapes vol. 1", it's a recording of a show played at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney on my birthday last year. Chisel are underrated. It's too easy to write them off as just another Aussie pub rock group. If you listen a little more closely you'll hear a band who are very good musicians and lyricists. This live album suffers from some issues with the speed of some songs - too slow, which I will admit is unusual for a live outing. But it's a solid reminder of a band that really should've been international superstars. Given that drummer Steve Prestwich died in 2011, Chisel play this show (and others) with Charlie Drayton. He's a fantastic drummer having played with the Stones, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Herbie Hancock and of course The Divinyls.
Cold Chisel - My Baby (live)(2012) - http://youtu.be/dgKYjN_hm7s
In 2014 I'm trying something new. Teaching Geography. And I can't wait. A long time ago I studied "geoggers" in my degree and I really enjoyed it after a little false start. I'm not much for rocks and soil but I am interested in why people live where they do and the effect that place has on them. But of course, every Geography teacher needs a healthy supply of coloured pencils and so I was pretty chuffed to get a whole heap for Christmas. I'm set for life in terms of diagrams and maps. Here's a song from a fantastic LP about a place and its people...
Redgum - Gladstone Pier (1984) - http://youtu.be/rSS9N-JEzH8
There are plenty of songs about places and the people who live there. They always seem cool. I tried to write songs about where I live a few times but comparing "Garema Place" with "Taylor Square" or "Barry Drive" with "Gunbarrel Highway" never seem to work. Here are a couple more that are worth more than a cursory listen...
The Men They Couldn't Hang - Industrial Town (1990) - http://youtu.be/Q4o_GVEtXXM
Billy Joel - Allentown (live)(2011) - http://youtu.be/c3bcBBA9_68
Check out the lyrics for "Industrial Town" sometime. It's original release was by Weddings, Parties, Anything and the song is about the town of Yallourn which is right beside where I used to live in Victoria. Yallourn was removed on trucks and relocated to make way for an open cut brown coal mine. When I was a kid you could go to the town and the streets were all still there but no houses - spooky.
Last night we introduced Grandma to one of the best movies of all time. Given that we'd already subjected her to "Up" and "Walter Mitty" these holidays she coped very well. To be fair, she laughed along with the rest of us at "So I Married An Axe Murderer". The need to watch this film was brought on by me receiving an "orange on a toothpick" in my dessert at our favourite restaurant. Very, very funny.
Scene from "So I Married an Axe Murderer" (1993) - http://youtu.be/CdxDjJNsnv0
I'm about to start in on Bob Mould's autobigraphy which H gave me for Christmas - cool! Even the title has me excited, "The Trail of Rage and Melody" sums up his music so well. And that really speaks to me...volume, melody and anger...that's what so much music I like is all about. Without melody it's just noise.
Bob Mould - Star Machine (live 2013) - http://youtu.be/h8ChiDRUDW0
That'll do. I've got a Christmas gift voucher that I need to go and turn into LEGO. Let's sign off with a cover that no-one except me seems to like...
Guns N' Roses - Raw Power (1993) - http://youtu.be/OvSId5xqP2I
Enjoy 2014. Things can only get better.
"Singing hey, we're all just earrings to the left of our parents
They're all just haircuts to the left of theirs
And we all wonder
Why do Nazis grow like wildflowers?" - Things of Stone and Wood, Wildflowers, 1994.