Friday, September 25, 2009

Song of the week - Episode 57

Woo hoo! School holidays are here. And for all of you who delight in letting me know just how many weeks’ holidays we teachers get…feel free to join in – plenty of jobs available!

Anyway, a few tracks this week for you to hopefully enjoy. Unless you’ve been off-world then the dust storms around here have been hard to miss. The red “end of the world sky” and the crud all over the car are dead giveaways! I heard a radio report mention that the snowfields in New Zealand have been turned pink in the past when there have been dust storms here in Australia. Probably an urban myth but the image of pink snow is rather amusing.

A few tracks with a weather theme therefore seems appropriate.

First up, and don’t laugh, here’s Billy Joel. I actually saw him in Sydney on tour in the 90’s. Much, much better than I expected:
Stormfront (Billy Joel)

Now here’s one from the greatest Beatles tribute band ever – Crowded House:
Weather With You (Crowded House)

Now, those two songs were fairly obvious. When I was a kid (only yesterday) my parents had a cassette that had some country and western tracks on it. This one was a real toe-tapper and I must admit I hadn’t thought about it until yesterday! The original version has a cracking guitar solo as well. This is a live version (best I could find) and for all you guitar heads check out the Steinberger headless guitar that the soloist plays.

I Love A Rainy Night (Eddie Rabbit)

When I first became a Johnny Cash fan, and I admit I came to it a bit late, there was a song called “Lucky Old Sun” on the first album I got. His version is fabulous, but this one by Louis Armstrong is sublime:

Now, we could go on forever with songs about the weather. Riders on the Storm, Rock You Like A Hurricane, Raining Men, The Wind Cries Mary and Who’ll Stop The Rain to name but a few. But I’m in a rock ’n’ roll mood so indulge me.

It is no secret which band is my favourite of all time and this week’s song is from them. Now, it isn’t their greatest ever song but it starts with a great guitar riff and I love the camera strapped to the guitar neck that gives us the angle on Angus’ hands. Of course, it is AC/DC and Thunderstruck. In about 1986 I was given a cassette that had two AC/DC songs on it – Back In Black and TNT. Loud guitars have been a passion ever since. Many other artists inspire me and make me sing along. But, very, very few rock as hard as AC/DC. Angus Young, their lead guitarist, once described their music as Chuck Berry but much, much louder. Fair enough.

Hey, you’ve been Thunderstruck! (video clip) (live version)

DJ Rob

Friday, September 18, 2009

Song of the Week - Episode 56

Ahoy there me hearties!

Tomorrow (Saturday 19th September) is international “Talk Like A Pirate” day and we’re celebrating it here today at work. Some “interesting” interpretations on pirate garb!

I could’ve made a sea shanty this week’s song but something else jumped out. So, if songs about the sea pique your interest then try this:

Thousands Are Sailing (The Pogues) -

The World Triathlon Championships were held at the Gold Coast in Queensland last weekend. Quite a number of people from the club I train with pulled on the green and gold to represent Australia (as well as one for Singapore and one for the USA) – this is an awesome achievement and their efforts, especially training through a cold Canberra winter are just awesome!

I would mention Australian Football finals at this point but it might be bad luck so I’ll shut up about that!

I have less to say this week so on to the music.

As I said, we’ve been dressed up as pirates today. I am amused at some of the takes on what a pirate might wear. But, just getting into the theme is important. Next year I’ll be more organized and surely Captain Feathersword can make an appearance. This song is a summery one and it seems to fit with the costumes around the place! “Girls In Their Summer Clothes” by Bruce Springsteen. I love the way he can write a song that is a story. Much the same way artists like Wedding, Parties, Anything or Steve Earle can. Anything I try and write like that just sounds dumb!!

Here’s a YouTube link:

ManD mentioned some misheard lyrics today so I’ll put some together for a future episode. Feel free to send me any amusing ones you have heard.

DJ Rob

Monday, September 14, 2009

“The Irate Intern” – 50km mountain bike race

Mogo, NSW 13 September 2009

It seemed like such a good idea all those months and months ago when AB and I entered this race. In retrospect, it probably was, but a range of circumstances made this race less than perfect for me.

I’m not whinging but a week off with the flu followed closely by almost 2 weeks of constant physio as the result of a crook back was hardly ideal preparation.

Anyway, on Saturday we headed down to the coast. After registering for the race we headed back to our hotel and did not too much. Bateman’s Bay Soldiers Club provided an excellent pre-race meal although we will never return there again. Their failure to agree to show the Collingwood vs. Adelaide match on any of their one million TV sets did not endear them to quite a few people!

Race Day – an easy wake up as we didn’t have to be there until about 9am. Great coffee and raisin toast at the only cafĂ© that we could find open on a Sunday morning.

And then it was off to the race. AB started in the second group due to his time estimate – and he did well – a very good result.

My race (ride) was less than spectacular. I was quite worried about my back and to tell the truth, if I hadn’t paid the entry previously I may have pulled out. Anyway, I started towards the back and steadily picked my way through struggling riders. I have NEVER ridden such a hilly course. I reckon they looked at a map and made us go up every hill possible!! My pre-race plan of having a good stretch every 5km was working well and I was enjoying the scenery and chatting to other riders. After about 15km of feeling great my back started to niggle. More stretching helped but the ache was constant. I was NOT happy but after about 5 more kilometres I decided that it was time to stop. One of the course marshals directed me down a fire trail and I did the lonely and grumpy ride back to the event centre. What they didn’t tell me was that is was almost 10km on the road…

Do I regret my decision? No, I am still walking and my back isn’t sore this morning. Will I go back better prepared and ride again? Definitely.

Thanks to my supporters, “AB transport and motivation” and the "WMGS".

At least Collingwood won!!

Pictured: AB hydrating pre-race!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Song of the Week - Episode 55

Hi, and welcome back.

What a treat – the Beatles remasters set (all 16 CDs worth) has been released. I can’t say that I’ve had a chance to listen to more than a couple of tracks so look out for an opinion in the next few weeks.

There was much excitement at our place as Angus’ rugby team played in the Grand Final on Saturday. Although Angus has been out injured for quite a while now, his team asked him to kick off in the game. He also got a Premiers Medal as the team won 17-5 over Wests. It was a special day and with 15 tries for the season he can be proud of his efforts. Here’s hoping he’ll be back next season as neither Alison or I can take much more of him being banned from sport whilst his shoulder recovers!

If I had to have a rant about something this week it would be manners. Given that I work in a school, having students shut up and listen is fairly important to me. Adults are often complaining that kids these days never listen and are rude. Well, HELLO, time to take a good look in the mirror. Not long ago I was at a performance here at school. At the back of the venue, one parent took a call on her phone, for 5 minutes and then proceeded to have a conversation with the parent next to her. All of this whilst the performance (which was awesome) carried on! No amount of glaring made them stop. I had the misfortune of catching Parliament on the radio on the way home the other day. Can we really expect our kids to be polite and well mannered when those running the country act like they are in a chimps tea party. OK, I’ll take a deep breath now.

Here’s a new innovation that I’m going to include sometimes in my weekly diatribe….”word of the week”. I loved English at High School but by the time university study came around I couldn’t stand the thought of dissecting another good book. Foolishly I didn’t ever study English again. I was in Borders (aka Satan’s Book Supermarket) on the weekend when I saw a book by one of my favourite artists – Henry Rollins. Henry, as you may know, sang for seminal hardcore band “Black Flag” before going out on his own and becoming a writer, public speaker, publisher and actor. This book is called “Solipsist” – and this is our word of the week. Solipsism is the theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified – or that the self is the only reality. Chew on that. I just thought the word sounded good. The book, 5 pages in, is weird…yet strangely compelling.

On to this week’s song. I was going to wait until I’d had a good listen but I can’t resist. Here’s The Beatles from the remastered version of the “White Album”. This is the track “Glass Onion”. Why? Why not. It rocks.
DJ Rob

Strap yourselves in.... we go.

Why? Well, in 2008 I started sending out a weekly email to a few friends at work. It was simply a "song of the week" and some random thoughts. Fast forward to Sep 2009 and we're up to episode 55, quite a few "listeners". So, time to put it out there on the web....

Are you sitting comfortably?