My new office is interesting. Not the inside, it's just another office. I'm not saying that it isn't well appointed but it's the surrounds I want to talk about. Out the window and across the road is a huge, brand new government office complex. It's empty. From what I can gather, the sneaky peeky folks who will eventually occupy it aren't moving in anytime soon. Until then I think they should at least let people use the outside car parking! There are plenty of workers dressed in high-vis doing any number of activities inside and out though. Or are they in disguise?! Maybe I should stand out the front with binoculars and see what happens...
The Fugs - CIA Man - http://youtu.be/hW9cCWm53H4
Next door is a building site. There is a massive hole in the ground that about a million concrete trucks a day roll up to to deposit their loads. It's noisy but amusing to watch every now and then. If there was a TV reality show called Canberra's worst reversing then filming it from my window would ensure more than one series.
James Reyne - Some People - http://youtu.be/qYD-2a1Vykc
In terms of this week's listening I've been checking out some live music podcasts. Both NPR and KEXP radio have excellent archives of just about all types of music. There's also a song of the day which is worth subscribing to. I'll admit that I was a bit predictable in my initial choices with Steve Earle live at the Newport Folk Festival, Jason Isbell live in the studio and Billy Bragg also at Newport getting an airing. But there really is so much on offer that you'd never get bored. Podcasts are easy to use on any kind of device and you can save them to listen to later offline if you like. One cool feature is that if you subscribe to something like song of the day it can be set to delete after listening to save your storage (if that's an issue).
Weird Al Yankovic - You Don't Love Me Anymore (live at KEXP) - http://youtu.be/RVvcGurG6dk
I also listened to Paul Kelly from a couple of years ago. He was on his A-Z concert tour and was just finishing up in the USA. What I liked, apart from Dan Kelly's tasteful guitar work, was that Paul chose songs that related to Seattle (where he was). It was a thoughtful few songs that finished with one of Chief's faves, "How To Make Gravy". A classic Christmas song that Paul tells us is about prison and doesn't have a chorus! Look for it sometime.
Paul and Dan Kelly - Dumb Things (live on a tram) - http://youtu.be/B5oQv2F8Ia8
In a few rather frantic moments (never sell your house folks, it sucks) I turned to some classic comedy to ease the pain. I'm sure most of you, with a little effort, will be able to decipher Max Boyce's Welsh accent. He's funny, screamingly funny. I like the way his voice has an almost sing song quality to it. He never fails to lighten the mood. Ah, memories from car trips as a wee boy!
Max Boyce - The Incredible Plan - http://youtu.be/hEjGFQ7-23g
Thanks to the magic of TV on demand (thank you ABC, my tax dollars doing something worthwhile) I've been watching the series ANZAC Girls which is about Army Nurses in WWI. I missed the first few episodes so streaming (legally) is great. The show, while a little bit soap opera once in a while, is really well made. You get a good feeling for what they went through and achieved. If you're at all interested in history you'll like this show. Personally I get bored very quickly with history (I failed first year History at university because it was interminably dull) but this show, which is essentially true stories dramatised, flows well and remains engaging. I enjoyed the banter from the Australians and New Zealanders as their Imperial bosses gave them a hard time. It reminded me of the Bodyline TV series where the Australian cricket Captain Bill Woodfull, talking to his players about England's Douglas Jardine, asks, "which one of you bastards called this bastard a bastard?"
The Pogues - And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda - http://youtu.be/cZqN1glz4JY
You might've read about the comments Henry Rollins made about the death Robin Williams. If you did and we disappointed in him, like me, then his response to the criticism was pretty good. As DJ Fatboy said to me anyone can run off at the mouth but being big enough to admit you're wrong is what's important.
I read an article this morning about "Team Australia". Leaving aside the unfortunate mental picture of Prime Minister Abbott as a South Park style character, the piece had some really good points about who should be Australian and what it means. You can read the article here. Personally I think that this is a pretty good place to live. Nowhere's perfect but our issues seem relatively small compared to plenty of other countries. My favourite bit of the article is that Team Australia is about what unites us, not what divides us. Worth thinking about.
Lenny Kravitz - Mr Cab Driver - http://youtu.be/Lq6rEPBN7aA
That'll do. Have a great weekend.
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