The truth is that I'd hoped to be coming to you from a freshly installed internet connection in our new house. But, even having requested that the phone carrier do the transfer with a few weeks' notice, here I am with no landline and using my mobile phone as a hotspot. It's hardly an ideal situation to facilitate writing about music. If anyone feels like saying, "first world problem", then get a grip; I live in the first world. A quick update after over an hour on the phone with our provider last night is that they have no idea why it all doesn't work...but they're working on it.
Def Leppard - Hanging On The Telephone - http://youtu.be/npNmAnZTrHc
On Saturday I managed to get the garage to a state where I could unpack my guitars, get cracking with my new pedal power supply and start rehearsing some new songs. DJ Guz gave me some help with the pedals and we debated the merits of simulating battery "sag". Apparently some guitar pedals sound different as your 9 volt battery ages. The power supply can simulate that. Pretty cool. Hats off to "Pedal Empire" in Brisbane who spent a lot of time with me via email getting my power supply choice right.
You'll know from past episodes that nothing annoys me more than hum and hiss in a guitar signal and whilst it's a fact of life with valve amps and electronics, the solution provided by Matt means that there is absolutely no noise from my pedal board. Guitar rigs are always a work in progress and there's more to come with mine but just being able to plug in and play for an hour or so was great fun.
Motley Crue - Home Sweet Home - http://youtu.be/3WAZ60xA9wo
This week I've been listening almost exclusively to some classic metal. As mentioned last time, I can listen to cassettes again and I've had a good laugh at some of the old tunes. I did take delivery of the album by Sweetapple which is one of J. Mascis' side projects. It's a melodic stoner rock stomp and a lot of fun. If you like Dinosaur Jr. or even Red Kross it's an album you should spin a few times. The cover is a hoot as well, a copy of a rather famous and risque one from Roxy Music. Red Kross I hear you ask? They're a band you should turn to if you like KISS, the Beatles, great harmonies and a healthy attitude to just having a good time.
Red Kross - Stay Away From Downtown - http://youtu.be/6teoeHq6pig
I also found a tape from Rose Tattoo guitarist Peter Wells. If you watch any of the Tatt's videos Pete is the really tall guitarist playing slide. The album is one that I haven't listened to more than a couple of times ever even though I've probably owned the cassette since the early 90s. That's a shame really because there are some great tracks on it and some fine, if understated guitar playing. For you antipodean music afficionados, the album is produced in part by Jon Stevens of Noiseworks fame.
Pete Wells - Between The Saddle & The Ground - http://youtu.be/7qngOPOrHKc
With no internet my TV watching habits have had to change this week. I've gone back through my archive drives looking for stuff I haven't watched in a while. Arnie's excellent movie "The Running Man" got an airing. Regardless of what Jesse Ventura has or hasn't done lately he's hilarious as Captain Freedom alongside Arnie. Probably the best thing about the film was Zoë's comment, "hey, this is different to the book!" I think I was about 18 when I first read "The Bachman Books" as well. It could be the only work by Steven King that I've managed to read all the way through. But then perhaps I have a short attention span.
AC/DC - Who Made Who - http://youtu.be/PiZHNw1MtzI
I also started watchiing Oliver Stone's biopic "The Doors". It's a long movie and I do remember seeing it at the cinema when it was released. After a while I got a little bored with the whole thing but it did remind me that the Doors, despite having their music ruined for me by radio overplay, were a great band. I didn't realise that this next track was released 7 years after Jim Morrison died but it captures the essence of the group really well in my opinion.
The Doors - The Ghost Song - http://youtu.be/pgj6AIpImUA
Whilst cleaning out the garage I played the entire Judas Priest album "British Steel" and guess what, it's still great! As a teenager my Mum took me to K-Mart and I came home with a two pack of Priest cassettes, the aforementioned album and "Killing Machine". At the time I knew nothing of the band but the cover art of both albums made the sale. "British Steel" was (is) the instant classic whilst "Killing Machine", released in the USA as "Hell Bent For Leather" is a darker, more menacing album. The covers of each album are in the videos below.
Judas Priest - Rapid Fire - http://youtu.be/zhXUutpELRA
Judas Priest - Delivering The Goods - http://youtu.be/soNcOfRvOtg
Let me finish with a quick word about customer service. It could apply to any industry or workplace really. If you tell someone you'll call them back or keep them in the loop then do it. Even if there isn't anything to report a quick note or call to say that you haven't been forgotten is appreciated. Bike shops and telcos would benefit from this advice.
This week's final track is one we played out at the mountain biking last weekend. I wasn't sure that anyone would remember it but the toe tapping and head nodding I observed would suggest otherwise!
Vic Reeves & The Wonderstuff - Dizzy - http://youtu.be/DOlG92rb2Zg
Rock on brothers and sisters,
"The eternal Thompson Gunner,
Still wanderin through the night.
Now it's ten years later,
But he still keeps up the fight" - Warren Zevon - http://youtu.be/WhRRWwH3Fro