Friday, October 30, 2009

Song of the week - Episode 62

What a weird week – almost everyone I speak to agrees. I really would like to put a big line through it and start again. Somehow we made it to the end though.

Michael Jackson fans rejoice, you can purchase this for only US$190. At this price it will need to sing, dance AND do the dishes in my opinion.

Facebook followers may have noticed that I posted “just because I dress like this doesn’t mean I’m a communist”. Setting aside my political leanings for now, it really was a reaction to far too many people I encountered this week judging others by the way they first appear without looking any deeper. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try and “look the part” but it isn’t everything. I always thought that most “radical” groups would have a lot better chance of getting their message into the consciousness of the general public if they had a wash and wore clean clothes now and then. “Needlessly alternative” is so boring. Oh yeah, the lyric is from an ace Billy Bragg song – check it out here:

Fans of harder music will no doubt be aware that Slayer’s new album is due out next week. Thanks to the magic of technology I have had a quick listen to it. A couple of points: if you don’t like their older stuff, you won’t like this. If you think America is a flawless world power, you won’t like this. Great songs, great production. Listen with an open mind.

Not too much else to report except that I am completely gobsmacked by my son. A while ago he dislocated his right shoulder playing rugby. He was told that he would miss a season of rugby and probably two summers of cricket. Wrong. Rather than sit out, he’s been relearning all the skills he needs for cricket – left handed. That’s perseverance for you. He’s also playing tennis left handed. No swimming though which may remain a challenge in summer!

The scooter riding continues to cut into my music time but I have my hard drive playing on shuffle at work and I’m coping. This week’s song comes from a band that I have never been overly enamoured with. Sure, they have some good tracks and their frontman’s mastery of the guitar is without question but as a package I find Dire Straits patchy. Not that they would care about my opinion!! I do, however, really like this song. Great dynamics, it features a resonator guitar and of course a timeless story. – Romeo and Juliet.

In addition, here’s a great version from 2007 from The Killers:

DJ Rob

Friday, October 23, 2009

Song of the week - Episode 61

Hi there. To quote Ozzy Osbourne, “let the madness begin” !

As most of you know I did the course so that I could learn to ride a scooter (Vespa, stepthrough) on the weekend. Tons of fun and I would highly recommend it. Since getting the license squared away on Tuesday I’ve been scooting here and there. A nifty way to get around. Someone asked me if this meant I was in touch with my feminine side? I think more my “mod” side. I will make a soundtrack including The Who, The Move, Pink Floyd and The Jam!

On Monday I braved a small prop plane for a trip to Sydney to participate in a roundtable providing advice to government on legislation regarding equal employment opportunities for women. Interesting, challenging and reasonably productive in the end. Some women, and only a few, need to remember that not all men are the enemy. Enough said.

The only down side I can see to riding the scooter apart from when it rains is that I can’t listen to music. So, I loaded up the iPod and wore it around a bit as well as when I was out running.

This song came around on Wednesday night on the iPod (which was filled randomly and playing on shuffle). American metal band, Anthrax, doing an excellent cover of Joe Jackson’s “Got The Time”:

Anthrax, “Got The Time” :

Look, pretty much I have had a great week. I was watching the following clip on DVD and Iggy Pop introduced it by saying, “my life’s had some ups and downs, right now I’m on an up baby”. Me too, Iggy. It is a great song too.

Iggy Pop, “Candy”

This week’s featured song is probably influenced by my experiences on Monday. A while ago I started some tertiary qualifications in Industrial Relations and I wrote quite a bit about gender equity in the workplace. Initially I was astounded that in a fairly enlightened and wealthy nation that the gender pay gap was quite severe. This was in the 90’s and it still is a real issue.

The Dixie Chicks haven’t featured here before which shocks me because I get a kick out of a number of their songs. Good musicians who perform well live and lately write some catchy tunes. This one is all about having your own point of view and sticking to it in the face of criticism.

Dixie Chicks, “Not Ready To Make Nice” :

Fight the good fight.

DJ Rob

Friday, October 16, 2009

Song of the week - Episode 60

Weather – rain, rain and more rain. We shouldn’t complain being in a drought and all but really, it would be so much better if it only rained at night. Rain means no cycling and that means riding inside on the home trainer. This is possibly even more boring than gardening in my opinion. Of course, the dog chasing me whilst I was riding in the lounge room was quite amusing for about 30 seconds. Apparently, 1 hour of riding at a reasonable pace burns the equivalent amount of energy as is contained in eight chocolate biscuits. So if I ride for a bit longer I can finish off the packet guilt free!

Also, it needs to dry up for me to enjoy my course this weekend. I’m off to learn how to ride a scooter so that I can get my learners license!

Words – we haven’t had a word of the week for a while. My individual lexicon has obviously been stagnating. So, two words would seem to be in order this time. The first is “wean” – nothing to do with feeding babies either. Pronounced like the name Wayne, wean is a Scots word for a child. It means the same as bairn really. Wean comes from “wee ane” – small one. I’m really not sure why this word popped into my head – maybe a subconscious flashback to the “Oor Wullie” cartoons.

Read this for more, it’ll help if you read it out loud or find a Scotsman to help:

The second word is “sanguineous”. I heard this in a song and for a long time it didn’t click that this was what was actually being sung. The lyric was “sanguineous hands of death” – cheery eh? Sanguineous means relating to blood or bloodshed. I guess the hands in the song were bloody then!

The song with sanguineous in it is from a great band that I saw live a LOT a few years ago. Armoured Angel were from Canberra and were purveyors of very, very heavy metal. My good friend Sutto introduced me to them when we drove to Sydney to see them play. I was asked to run the lighting panel that night never even having seen one! Over the next few years I saw Armoured Angel play in a number of cities – they were a great band although they aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. This song is about the possible effects of science on humanity:

Armoured Angel – Castration:

But the song of the week is something a little lighter! Well lighter in terms of musical style rather than lyrical content.

Glasvegas are, surprisingly, a Scots band! I hadn’t heard of them until I heard their singer being interviewed on radio. He was really boring but I thought but the songs they played were interesting. After a read of the lyrics to this one I felt that it was a good one for this blog. Thought provoking for those interested in thinking and a good tune if that is your bag. What attracted me to Glasvegas initially was, again, the fact that they sing in their own accent, as well as their sound which has an 80’s flavour to it in a good way. This one is called “Flowers & Football Tops”

You can read a bit about the song here:

This week’s song is not attached – the file is too big so you’ll have to listen online:

Glasvegas – Flowers & Football Tops:

Drive safely,
DJ Rob

Friday, October 9, 2009

Song of the Week Fri 9 October '09 - Ep 59

Sometimes you just get music, sometimes I have other things to get off my chest. This week my chest is burdened by a couple of issues. These are only my opinions and I understand that your mileage may vary!

Roman Polanski - all those people supporting him, please organise yourselves to be drugged and then abused against your will. Then see how you feel. He admitted it. It is wrong. He should receive the appropriate punishment.

Cycling dope cheats. I hate them. All the cyclists I know think that they are a blight on a fantastic sport. Well done to the UCI for catching another cycling doping cheat. Can I also say that there is a penalty that they have to serve. I won't comment on whether or not I think it is severe enough. The point is that there is a process in place and when they've done their time then they are afforded the chance to return to the sport. Fair enough. Second offences should mean a lifetime ban I reckon. Maybe it is that way - I'll read up later.

Blatant profiteering. My favourite band, AC/DC, are about to release a CD/DVD box set. No problem with that. About $45 gets you some music videos, live tracks and "rare" tracks. Right up my alley. However, the "deluxe" version includes an extra disc, an LP, memorobilia and, get this, the box is a working amplifier. To me, as a fan, this sounded almost too cool for school. I expected the price tag of just over $200. What really annoys me though is the fact that you can only purchase this "deluxe" set from AC/DC's website. So...postage ends up being about $60. You have to be kidding. Can anyone say ripoff. Hopefully this is sorted out soon.

Music time. Have you ever had a song in your head that just won't go away. I have. And at 3am last night I really wished I hadn't watched all that Wombles stuff on YouTube. Not quite sure how it happened. One moment I was listening to Bob Dylan and the next minute there we were, on Wimbledon Common! Watch this at your own peril.

Remember You're A Womble:

In 2005 my mate Chris talked me into playing the guitar for a musical. The songs I had to learn were way, way, way out of my comfort zone. ABBA, Tina Turner, REM and Dolly Parton weren't really in my hard rock repetiore! This one slipped back into my consciousness this week. I hadn't heard it before the show and really, it is a great tune. Very catchy and fun to rock out on the guitar.

Me, Myself, I - Joan Armatrading:

This week's main song was playing in the supermarket tonight when Alison and I were trying to work out what to have for dinner. Funnily enough, the singer of this one was the mystery guy introducing Stryper the other week. No-one picked Dee Snider - shame on you all!! This song was funny - I remember when I thought it was so heavy! It was also the first guitar solo I ever learned note for note! This song takes me back to before I had an electric guitar and trying to be oh so cool. My showpieces were Bon Jovi's "Dead Or Alive" and this solo. Fun times and a really funny video from the time when MTV ruled! This song really just highlights the fact that every generation has a different take on almost everything. Did my Grandpa like my Dad's music? Probably not. Did my Dad like mine? Certainly not always although to his credit, he was a lot more open minded musically once he understood how much I loved my electric guitar! He'll be reading this and will no doubt enjoy the Wombles more than Twisted Sister!

We're Not Gonna Take It - Twisted Sister:

See you next week. Be nice to each other.

DJ Rob

Friday, October 2, 2009

Song of the Week - Fri 2 Oct 09 - Episode 58 aka Special School Holiday Edition #1

Welcome to a World Premiere - the first ever school holidays installment of "Song of the Week". When I started on this musical journey (to paraphrase Larry Mullen Jr!) I only wrote these in the school terms. Now that the Woozle has gone "World Wide" however, it seems only fair to my dedicated audience to carry on the madness.

First up - huge congratulations to WORLD CYCLING CHAMPION Cadel Evans. So many people cut him down after Le Tour, well, time to eat their words.

School holidays are great - if in fact you can get any time away. This week has been rather average in that respect. But, I have managed to check out a few new tunes.

Landspeed Records in Canberra provided me with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's "Deja Vu - Live". Worth a listen if you like Neil Young. Basically it is his "Living With War" album plus a couple of others live. Neil doesn't hold back on his political views and his bandmates obviously share his ideas. I reckon that if you listen to this and are shocked by the fact that he doesn't much like George W then you should probably ask yourself why you listened in the first place. If you were to listen with an open mind I am sure that he has something of value to say in there even if you didn't agree with the whole lot. Here's the trailer for the DVD version: (CSNY Deja Vu Live - trailer)

I also picked up Lou Reed's "Berlin" which is also live. The price was right and the few words on the CD sleeve were enough to interest me. I'm listening to it now and will report back.

There were rumours this week that David Bowie would be headlining the "Big Day Out" festival here in Australia. Seems that they are not true. This is a shame - but apparently he wanted a LOT of money just to play a 45 minute greatest hits set. Surely we could've counter offered with some money and a guest spot judging Australian Idol!! If Bowie was to play then this song would be my first choice: (David Bowie - Suffragette City)

There are some U2 remasters floating around now. One has to wonder if there is any good new music out there some days. What disappointed me was finding out that some of the ad lib bits in their "Live Under A Blood Red Sky" have been edited out of the remaster. Personally I'll be heading to the second hand CD place to pick up an old copy. Now this isn't from that concert but it is always a treat in my opinion to watch U2 at their best - young and hungry: (U2 - Gloria - live)

I'm choosing to refrain from a debate about religion on this blog. But, one of my favourite metal bands of all time are US rockers Stryper. Their lyrical content isn't a big deal to me. I am happy for them to sing about God just as much as I am OK with Slayer going on about dismembered bodies or Billy Bragg about socialism. Stryper just hit a chord with me as a young man. They could write a good hook and they could sing too. They have a new album out called "Murder By Pride" and this song (which is a cover of a Boston tune) is worth a listen. Bonus points if you can identify the person who introduces it! (Stryper - Peace of Mind live)

And now, onto the song of the week. For a while now I have been interested in what actually happened to the Beach Boys. It is a twisted tale and as you probably know, not all of them have made it through unscarred. While listening to some Beach Boys stuff I stumbled across a reference to an album made by Dennis Wilson. Probably common knowledge to many but it was news to me. "Pacific Ocean Blue" didn't last long in print until it was reissued recently. At the moment I've only had the album in my possession for a day or so but I think this song is worthy of your attention: (Dennis Wilson - River Song)

Just one look at Dennis' face on the album cover made me feel like this album would have something to say. That doesn't happen often. Reminded me a lot of Kris Kristofferson. The Beach Boys influence is obvious but this is a more organic, maybe rougher sound - I like it.

DJ Rob

River Song (Dennis Wilson)

Walkin' down by the river
Water running through my knees
River, oh river moves so free
Oh mighty river endlessly

Oo mighty river
I would love to be like you
Oo lonely river
Has not got the time to say

I was born into the city life
It's all that I've ever known
You know it's rough gettin' round this place
So crowded I can hardly breathe

You can only see about a block or two
In L. A. that's the truth
I'm lookin' for some country life
Some kickin' room no more city life
I want the river

Rollin' rollin' rollin' on river
(I got to get away I got to get away I got to get away)
Rollin' rollin' rollin' on river
(I got to get away I got to get away I got to get away)
Rollin' rollin' rollin' on river
(I got to get away I got to get away I got to get away)
Rollin' rollin' rollin' on river
(I got to get away I got to get away I got to get away)
Rollin' rollin' rollin' on

It breaks my heart to see the city
I wonder why it ain't pretty
Oh I want to cry, want to cry
Come on you've got to do it do it do it

You got to run away you got to run away
You got to do it do it do it
You got to run away
You got to run away