Hello there listeners, and a special shout out to those of you who are back at work this week. This is the first time since 2001 that I've been back at work this early (not a teacher anymore) and it's a bit odd. The long Summer holiday is the only thing I've missed so far.
In exactly one month from today Zoe will be winging her way to Vanuatu. She's got her village and school assigned as well as the buddy she'll go with. It's all VERY exciting and she'll be gone before we know it. I reckon it's a great way to leave home and infinitely more appealing than what I did at 17 which was joining the Army! Lots of people have asked when Zoe will be back and the truth is that we don't really know. We might see her in 6 months before she heads to the UK and Europe but we might not. She tells me that the Post Office is 9 hours away in Vanuatu. That's a long way to go for stamp.
Joe Cocker – The Letter - http://youtu.be/VFHA15B8iNI
Rehearsals started this week for the band's next show. Coming up soon we'll be playing Jason Isbell's album "Southeastern" from start to finish. We need a drummer though so if you're in Canberra and keen to help out for a bit just drop me a line. Playing what are mainly acoustic songs is a great change up from the Oz Rock of the NYE show. We're also working on a setlist for two shows in May at Vivaldi's as well as working up some of H's original tunes to record. Watch this space as we'll have some more intimate lounge room, bookshop and café shows in the near future.
Motley Crue – Rock 'n' Roll Junkie - http://youtu.be/fkuqkKmsomQ
A few years ago I read MOJO magazine almost religiously. It had (and still has) a good range of music reviews and articles and always comes with a cool sampler CD of new or re-imagined tunes. After a while I drifted away from the mad but sometime in 2014 I picked a copy up that had "The Best of Third Man Records" as the free CD. It sort of sat around for a while unplayed until fairly recently. Wow! Third Man is owned by Jack White (White Stripes) and publishes music mainly on vinyl. The majority of the content is bluesy, rootsy rock and roll and it sounds great. There are 14 tracks and I've found them all worth more than a few listens. Here's the one I liked the most...
The Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldier – http://youtu.be/-x5skzfGp-s
This week I was turned onto a website/app called "Pocket" (www.getpocket.com). Essentially you can use Pocket like a scrapbook where you save online articles and posts to read later at your leisure. So, if someone sends you a link, or you see a story you want to read later you just "pocket" it. Given that I forget more stuff that I want to read than I ever remember it's a cool little programme. So far I have articles about Robert Plant, Learning Styles, The Clash, future of mobile phones and Rush saved in there to read late. Oh, you can then read the articles offline; that's cool.
I've written too many times about religious intolerance. It sucks. Seriously, if you think that pleasing your God means that you have to shoot people then I suggest that your spin on things is a little out of whack. Also, just because you might live somewhere that guarantees you freedom of expression doesn't mean that you need to be an arse about it.
Discharge - Free Speech For The Dumb - http://youtu.be/T-tLEpT_6-E
In really cool news Jesus Jones are coming to Australia in March. I saw them here in Canberra at the ANU in 1991 (I think it was '91). At the time I just went because I thought it might be interesting; I knew nothing of the band. Well, I loved the show, the album and I wore the t-shirt until it was threadbare! Sadly they aren't coming to the national capital this time around but I'm still hoping to see them. For 90s Australian music fans; the support acts in 1991 were Caligula and The Pheromones.
Jesus Jones - Real, Real, Real - http://youtu.be/-BETKnn7Dxw
I enjoyed the "outrage" from various keyboard commandos regarding Kanye West fans being unaware of who Paul McCartney is. For all you Beatles/Wings/McCartney fans just name three Kanye West songs…yeah, I thought not. If kids don't know who Paul McCartney is, or Buddy Holly, Del Shannon, Janis Joplin or Joan Jett then is it their fault? Step up parents.
Kanye West – Can't Tell Me Nothing - http://youtu.be/E58qLXBfLrs
Wings – Band On The Run - http://youtu.be/t8dQwP80uNQ
H has convinced me that I should give the latest Robert Plant album a try. The reviews (which I have 'pocketed' for later) are pretty good. My personal opinion is that Mr Plant has more than paid his dues and can play and sing what he likes. But don't expect me to listen to monotonous wailing over a Moroccan backing track as, for me, it gets old very, very quickly. I don't want him to re-hash Led Zep (as Jimmy Page does) but I do want to hear him sing rather than chant. I always liked the lighter Led Zep stuff. It's my folk music heritage rearing its head…
Led Zeppelin – The Battle of Evermore (live unplugged) - http://youtu.be/7jvATYNxkRs
The final song this week is from Black Sabbath. The only reason I'm playing it is that I've had the riff in my head all week and I just can't shift it. This is probably my favourite song by Osborne, Iommi, Ward and Butler. The driving rhythm is relentless, the guitar is heavy without being sludgy and Ozzy is on song (ha ha).
Black Sabbath – Children of the Grave – http://youtu.be/9rihpED_obk
That's it folks, I've got a weekend of music, guitars and family coming up; that'll do me just fine.
"We can take our thoughts
So many ways
If your thoughts are different
Well, I think that's okay" – John Mellencamp, Freedom of Speech (2014)