Another week and another guitar shop. This one was better. Great guitar selection and no hassles about letting me try anything and everything. Then when I'd decided on a really, really nice amplifier I was told that the guy who does all the deals on trade ins is away until February. That's just great. There's still one more guitar place left in town so maybe I'll be brave and go there next week. Just in case anyone is interested in the guitar that both Zoë and I fell in love with and managed to walk away from click here!
Manowar - All Men Play On Ten (live 2008) - http://youtu.be/lGBxXOQ6EEY
Of course we all know that Spinal Tap famously played on 11 but that's music for another day.
DJ Pastry Chef very kindly gave me an iTunes voucher recently. The process of choosing something to buy was agonising and fun all at once. I selected an album that I'm extremely unlikely to ever see in a record shop; Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes live in 1978. The band are contemporaries of Springsteen and you can hear clear influences both ways. It's a raucous and fun live album full of what others call "blue eyed soul" but I just think of as good, honest rock 'n' roll.
Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes - Without Love (1977) - http://youtu.be/ks7FLXKozj8
Springsteen has a new LP out right now called "High Hopes". The reviews are very, very mixed. Check back in a couple of weeks and I'll let you know what I think.
With the vagaries of iTunes pricing I had enough credit left over to buy a single song. I chose this next one from Nightwish. I love the studio version and I've also very much enjoyed their recently released live DVD. You need to see the keyboards setup to believe it! Also, the bass player has a rather special bass guitar; points to anyone who knows who made that particular style of guitar famous.
Nightwish - Storytime (live 2013) - http://youtu.be/pvkYwOJZONU
Lemmy from Motorhead is an interesting character. In a magazine I was reading this week he selected a whole lot of tunes that come on the "free" CD. And they are great - classic rock and roll from the earliest days when life was apparently much simpler. Here's a couple that he chose that really made my toes tap. Listen for the chika-chika guitar in this one - you'll also hear that style in many of Johnny Cash's tracks.
Eddie Cochran - C'mon Everybody (1958) - http://youtu.be/-BjOenH8lJw
And then there was this classic. I enjoyed it so much that I dragged out the greatest hits LP that I got for Christmas in maybe 1986!
Buddy Holly - That'll Be The Day (1957) - http://youtu.be/WvJXCNwzBq4
All you listeners out there should've twigged by now that I enjoy a fair amount of heavy rock and metal. But the genre known as "Black Metal" never interested me. I tried and just never really got it. Maybe it's the shrieked vocals or the low quality recordings or just the whole idea but it isn't for me. Darkthrone are one of the most influential bands of this type. If you try their albums such as "A Blaze in the Northern Sky" or "Transilvanian Hunger" you might, like me be turned off the band. But, they are interesting in that their sound develops and changes over time. They aren't stuck wailing the same thing now that they were in the 90's. I was convinced to listen to their latest album on the strength of a review and I'm glad I did. Darkthrone have evolved into a band that sound like a mix of Slayer, Motorhead, King Diamond and perhaps Duran Duran. OK, one of those is not quite true. Their album "The Underground Resistance" is 42 minutes and 6 tracks of really, really good metal. If you like the aforementioned bands or those that came out of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal such as Iron Maiden, Saxon, Judas Priest and Venom then this is worth a listen. It's also scary to me how close a lot of the LP is to sounding like Australia's own Armoured Angel. All in all, an album that is a huge surprise to me. It's quite a while since I've wanted to listen over and over to an entire LP.
Darkthrone - Lesser Men (2013) - http://youtu.be/zWZfOeMmrM0
Finally, Green Day. I chanced upon a live CD/DVD set of theirs for $12. Given that I think that they are a good fun band who write punk style songs with great hooks I was parted from my money. Great record, great concert (live in Tokyo). I wouldn't mind going to see them one day. Not everything needs to be hipster cool or serious.
Green Day - My Generation (live 2011) - http://youtu.be/caY686De03M
Mega bonus points if you can work out why I chose that song instead of a Green Day original. Surely someone is paying close attention this week...
The guitar that Billie Joe Armstrong is playing in that clip is a Fernandes Strat copy that his Mum bought him when he was 11. That's cool.
That's all for this week. Yeah, it's been hot, I've been cycling and I've been trying to liquidate my action figure collection but that's not all that interesting.