Song of the Week comes to you on this auspicious occasion from Port Macquarie on the New South Wales coast. It's a top spot for a bit of a break. DJ Al-ee-sun and I were here in 1993 on our honeymoon. This time it's most likely our last family holiday before DJ Z-boots leaves home.
Let's get the occasion out of the way first. It's my birthday. That's 43 laps around the sun completed. Frankly I feel a lot younger than I did a few years ago and that's a good thing. I think the upside of giving away triathlon and especially running in favour of so much cycling is that my back is a lot happier. I had a running battle (good pun there folks) with my knees and back for years and it really ground me down. Cycling seems to have been the answer.
Speaking of riding, let me just say again that although Port Macquarie has roads deader than a dodo, the drivers here are fantastic. So many of them have given me heaps of room as well as a smile and a wave. The beat up about cyclists vs motorists is nearly all down to the media in my opinion. There are stupid drivers and stupid cyclists too but they are the minority.
H-Block 101 - Group Dynamics - http://youtu.be/t1q4tu1zZ48
On Wednesday DJ Ali-G and I took a drive out to Laurieton, visited the bike shop (well worth a look) and scoped out North Brother Mountain. It's a 5 km climb that just doesn't let up. DJ Ali-G did the sensible thing and drove home the next morning...early. I was less sensible and rode the 33km into a headwind on harsh roads to the base of the climb. And then after a deep breath I rode up. And up. And still up. It was a cracker of a hill and I almost didn't make it. However, after 29 mins I was there - but only just. Coming down was insanely scary and I'd rather climb the hill again than repeat the descent.
In groovy birthday news the family got me an iRig HD. What? It's a connector for a guitar that allows connection to an iPhone/iPad or computer. Once you download the app that goes with it you get access to tons of different amplifier and effects simulators. The free downloads that I have here sound pretty authentic. When I get to a better internet connection I'll look at some more. I've only played with it for a little while but I can see some excellent rehearsal, recording and performance applications for the iRig.
H has reported in from Canberra that ticket sales for both Oils shows are solid. If you're thinking of coming along then book NOW by giving Teatro Vivaldi's a call. Also have a look out in the current issue of "Canberra Weekly" for a full page spread about the band and shows. Don't miss out this time as the only other way to see this show will be to come to Tingha in the middle of the year.
There was a lot of speculation during the week about the health of AC/DC founding member and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young. It took a while but the word from the band is that he is unwell and would appreciate some privacy. They also said that the band would make music again so that's a good thing. I wonder if they were thinking of this song when they thanked their "legion of fans"...
AC/DC - For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) - http://youtu.be/8fPf6L0XNvM
Tomorrow is Record Store Day here in Australia. Can I encourage you to get out and support your local independent store? Mine is Landspeed Records in Canberra and they are great. Sadly I'll miss out this year being away but they get enough of my money anyway! There are some cool special discs to be had and tons of good deals. If you're an NPR listener then check them out online for some unreleased gems from artists like The Pogues, Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen.
When my family asked me what I wanted for my birthday I threw together a list of options to give them some clues. One thing on that list was a rock t-shirt. After all, one can never have too many. Well, the really hit the nail on the head with a Bruce Springsteen shirt - too cool!
Bruce Springsteen - I'm On Fire - http://youtu.be/lrpXArn3hII
That'll do this week.
And for those that know me very well...yes; I HAVE been to the beach. Sand has not touched my feet but I was there.
"If you don't like Hank Williams buddy, you can kiss my..." - Kris Kristofferson - http://youtu.be/HHyVnhYJagg