Music means different things to everyone. Some people seem content to have mindless commercial radio playing in the background whilst others insist that only "credible" artists are worth their time. I think I'm in the middle somewhere. There's no doubt that I am passionate about what I choose to listen to but then I'm not overly discriminating. I can find merit and/or enjoyment in most recorded material. I also think that we're spoiled for choice. As a kid living in the country the radio had a very narrow focus. It wasn't until I discovered a community FM station and shortwave broadcasters that I heard much more than the same old playlists over and over. Of course we didn't have the internet bombarding us with new tunes every day. We relied on someone lending us an LP or taping a few songs for us. Today I can press a button and have a couple of albums downloaded instantly. I can click through the tracks if I don't instantly enjoy them. With tapes, LPs and the radio you were forced to listen longer. Limited finances and access to music meant that I knew my collection and every song in it back to front. For younger listeners today the experience is totally different. Not worse or better, just different.
I read in Keith Richards' book about him using a letterbox style record player for 45s in a car. Now THAT'S one way to mix it up. I wondered to myself, why doesn't the record just jump all over the place? YouTube to the rescue. Check this out!
Courtney Barnett has released her debut album. We saw her play last year supporting Billy Bragg. Personally I thought that her songs were quirky in a good way with unexpectedly personal lyrics. She makes a great racket on a guitar as well. I was appearing on video I'd have clean fingernails though. One live clip she has really turns my stomach!
Courtney Barnett - Pedestrian At Best - http://youtu.be/o-nr1nNC3ds
Justin Townes Earle has a new album out as well. It's called "Absent Fathers".Last year he released one entitled "Single Mothers". Next year we can probably expect "Grandmas who bring up kids". Anyway, he's not a bad songwriter and always worth a listen. A quick read of his bio will reveal to you the fact that he has a heap of interesting life experiences to draw on. From being hooked on drugs at 12, playing and being kicked out of his Dad's band, to thirteen stints in rehab and now finally being sober. The album is a good mix of quiet songs, folky moments and bluesy tunes.
Justin Townes Earle - Round The Bend - http://youtu.be/sUZ8m_i9HLA
I've listened to a lot of Pink Floyd this week (thanks to my music pusher-man H). Floyd fans are a funny bunch. I think it really depends upon when you started listening to them as to your take on the band. My first album was the 1988 double LP "Delicate Sound of Thunder". As a result I'm pretty much at home with the much derided material that comes after that. Even "Dark Side of the Moon", a recognised classic, doesn't do that much for me. I like the big stadium rock Floyd sound on this live album. So sue me!
Pink Floyd - Learning To Fly (live) - http://youtu.be/PKgKX_pQlvw
I haven't written too much about cycling lately. I've just been racking up the kilometres getting to and from work the long way. With a few longer rides thrown in, some rain and a lot of wind I found myself with one day left in the month. I also found myself reasonably close to my all time monthly record of 1289km. So, this morning I loaded up on breakfast and headed out for the 87km I needed to break that mark. My legs were tired, my mind wandered and I had to make sure I didn't ride anywhere near our house during the effort or I'm sure I would've given up. Madness prevailed and I made it. Ouch. That's a record that'll stand for a while. At least a month anyway as February is short!
Psychotherapy - The Ramones - http://youtu.be/3VRiTUyQiQk
Yesterday, in a search for music to make me feel good I cued up Thin Lizzy's "Live and Dangerous". The swagger, twin guitar leads and vocal delivery never fail to get my toes tapping and my head nodding. Every time I listen to Thin Lizzy I like them even more. You should too.
Thin Lizzy - Are You Ready? (live) - http://youtu.be/j6t6zhpDpPs
Thin Lizzy - Don't Believe A Word (live) - http://youtu.be/KFuvRIirNPg
No-one came to the party with an answer to last week's quiz question. The answer was that all the guitar players were playing V shaped guitars. You might see me playing one too in the near future. V's are fun to play and always guaranteed to turn a few heads!
Right then, almost at the end. As our political system descends into chaos and mayhem I watch in abject misery as we're forced to vote for the least worst candidate. It's just a joke folks. We need an alternative. A "common sense" party rather than the current mob of self serving egomaniacs.
Redgum - The Long Run - http://youtu.be/FLrJa-fKIvw
Keep the faith brothers and sisters,
"I just wanna know, which way do I go to get to your America..." - Living Colour, Which Way To America (1988)