Friday, December 31, 2010

Song of the Week #123

Happy New Year folks. Thanks for taking the time to read some of my random ramblings throughout 2010.

I had a big episode planned but being on holiday got the better of me.

Here's a few tunes I wanted to play. There's no real rhyme or reason and I'm happy to admit that it is a fairly eclectic selection. But that's the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it!

First up we've got Fini Scad. An Australian band that didn't last a long time. I saw them support Midnight Oil at an excruciatingly hot and humid indoor show in Brisbane. This was their hit. Pretty cool indy rock.

Doug Fieger just died. Who? Well he's singing this next classic. RIP Doug.

Every now and then obscure songs trigger memories from my childhood. Mostly tunes I would've heard on AM radio in NZ or Australia. This next one reminds me of when I was about 11. An excellent voice and a cool tune.

And here's one of the coolest guitarists around with a classic. His version on the La Bamba soundtrack is magic. This is a live cut.

And I have no idea why I sought out this song. Maybe it's the great vocals, the fact that it is an awesome pop song, or perhaps I'm not sure that Barry Gibb isn't closely related to the Hoff.

Just quickly, here's something new. Surprisingly, this is out of East London, not the Deep South. Pretty neat really. Dan Michaelson and The Coastguards channel Tom Waits, Muddy Waters and maybe Alabama3.

Just before I sign off for 2010, here's a great fun tune. We played this a LOT in one band I was in. An Aussie classic now I guess (not because of us!)

STOP PRESS: Bobby Farrell from Boney M has died. Only 62 years old and he was still performing. This is essential listening:

I was going to make some grandiose statement about 2010 but I'm out of time. For me personally it was very much the year of Ironman. A selfish pursuit that I was fortunate enough to be able to indulge in with the support of family, friends and colleagues.

I said a final goodbye to a number of friends in 2010 and I'm hoping that 2011 won't be at all like that.

But I'll leave it to Johnny Cash to close out the year for me. Whether you believe in God or not this song has something to say.

See you all next year.

DJ Rob

Friday, December 24, 2010

Song of the Week #122 - Xmas!

Ho, ho, ho! It must be Xmas Eve. I can deduce this because there is a tree up in the lounge room with presents under it and also because my family is subjecting me to Carols by Candlelight on the TV! There must be some good Xmas songs out there but so far Anthony Calea and The McClymonts have murdered a couple. It will be SO much better when Humphrey B. Bear arrives...because he doesn't speak! Ha ha!

Frankly, it would be so much better if the whole thing was like this...

And, Bruce knows all about the man with the reindeer and the sleigh...

Bruce Springsteen - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - make sure you hang on for the sax solo, well worth it!

So, don't be a Scrooge or a Grinch on December 25th. Sing some songs, give someone a present and think about all the people in the world who don't live in the fairly groovy circumstances that most readers of this blog find themselves in. Maybe this song will help. It's a cover of a song written by one of my favourite singers, Steve Earle. This version is by folk music legend, Joan Baez.

Joan Baez - Christmas in Washington - I chose this version because it is pretty neat but also because you've all had way too much of me playing Steve for a while!!

Here's a very special Xmas cover version. Bragg and Florence do justice to The Pogues.

Billy and Florence - Fairytale of New York - how cool is the harp? Dunno about Billy's hat however.

So there you have it, a quick Song of the Week Xmas special. Tune in next week for the year in review done in a way the commercial networks wouldn't dare do!

But here's a tune to finish off with. One of the best rock singers ever turns his hand to Xmas.

Rock on.

Ho, ho, ho,

DJ Rob

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Browser wars

Argh! Sometimes it is all too hard. Internet Explorer is a pain, it is slow and clunky. But it comes with Windoze so I guess most people use it as a default. "Enlightened" folks may choose Mozilla Firefox and it isn't half bad, but lately it has been throwing up a lot of errors for me especially when accessing YouTube and even my Outlook Web Access.

We won't talk about Safari, it is better than it was but still lacking. It seems OK on my iPod though.

So, I thought I'd try Google Chrome which, in general, works a treat. Fast, easy, unobtrusive - all the things a browser should be.

But then my bro suggested SWR Iron. Iron is Google Chrome with none of the tracking built in! It is super fast and stable and I can't fault it. I'd recommend anyone give it a go. The download is small and free. I'll stick with it for a while.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Song of the week #121

If you haven't done your Xmas shopping or given Santa your list then you need to get a move on! After a series of "interesting" events, we'll be having Xmas Day at home here in Canberra by ourselves. Not to worry, we have plenty of exciting things planned for a little later on! And of course it means that Santa can find us easily.

Angus finished primary school today. I reckon he's pretty pleased with himself. He'd really had enough with about 5 weeks to go but we did a deal for him to keep trying his best and I'm pretty proud that he made a good fist of it. His graduation ceremony reminded me that I really don't need to hear Green Day's "Time of your life" ever again.

Alison and I have been watching the TV series "Heroes" on DVD. I was pretty sceptical at first but it turned out to be a lot of fun. Well written and acted and full of cool cameos and references for sci-fi and superhero fans. We're into Season 3 so I guess you could say we're hooked!

Today I had my first run since Ironman. A gentle 8km (5 miles). And I really enjoyed it. The weather now is glorious and I enjoyed jogging along listening to some tunes and watching out for snakes!!

This is a song that came around with the iPod on shuffle...great one from American rockers Monster Magnet. I'm sure they stole the keyboard line from a scary movie soundtrack!

Monster Magnet - See You In Hell

I've been doing some cycling and I've been back in the pool as well. It has been great return to training and feel strong. I'm racing at the coast in February and I'll need to get some speed to go along with the endurance.

Clever Zoë picked up three awards at her school presentation evening. I'm very proud of her as well. She works so hard (too hard sometimes) and is very, very determined to do well.

Again I feel the need to bemoan the state of local music retailers. Way too many greatest hits compilations and "new releases" that are months old and overpriced. I'm really not a fan of greatest hits albums. I understand their place in the world but I like to listen to an album the way it was put together by the artist. After finding that Cheap Trick had done the theme song for "That 70's Show" for a couple of seasons I wanted to check them out. Looks like I'll have to look further afield or hit the iTunes store which I despise. I like the CD in my hand. I'll be in Sydney sometime in January though and I know a couple of awesome record stores there.

Here's Cheap Trick doing justice to a Beatles song. That's something not many bands can do. Do you think that Rik from "The Young Ones" modelled his look on guitarist Rick Nielsen? You be the judge.

Cheap Trick - Day Tripper(live)

From the world of 80s rock I found this little treasure. The original version of a Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again". The lyrics are slightly different to the version that is on the radio all the time but what makes this version much better in my opinion is the fact that there are real dynamics throughout the song whereas the re-recorded version is just a bit too "balls to the wall" for my liking.

Whitesnake - Here I Go Again

Speaking of balls to the wall, DJ Fatboy sent me this one recently. A real blast from the 80s metal past and probably only for the true believers out there. From Germany.....

Accept - Balls To The Wall

Here's a change of pace. I've always really liked the intro to this song. Funnily enough it is really good to play on guitar - sounds good chugging away on a heavily distorted open E string! That little rhythm was something I threw into a lot of songs when I was playing in bands. No-one ever picked it in any band but every now and then someone in the crowd would have a good laugh!

ABBA - Does Your Mother Know

A lot of bands are said to have that quintessentially Australian "sound". I guess if you're overseas then maybe it is Midnight Oil who would have that moniker and I'd understand that. For me, it is these guys.

VSPYVSPY - Clarity of Mind

I've thought more about last week's ramblings about the cost of higher education in the UK. While I can see that society cannot continue to fund every man and his dog to study advanced basket weaving, I am worried. How many awesome bands would we be without if artistic types didn't go to things like art school? I'm pretty sure Pink Floyd and The Who just to name a couple started in and around such institutions. It is important that different points of view and ways of thinking are developed in my opinion. Think for yourself.

And hey, congtratulations to my "little" brother on scoring a choice new job. I guess I won't see him on the TV anymore or pictured with the PM but I know he'll be pretty pleased to be able to spend more time at home. This song always reminds me of my brother. Perhaps only he will understand why!

Spice Girls - Wannabe

That's a funny story but it isn't mine to tell!!

And don't laugh, that song leads to this one...cracks me up but it is a cool tune. I tried to record it myself a few years back. And while I can sing better than the girl from the audience and better than Mel C did that night, it was best left alone. My Steve Earle effort was better. I think I'll stick to typing though until someone else volunteers to sing!

Bryan Adams - When You're Gone (live)

But wer're going to finish with something almost brand new this week. I heard this on the radio yesterday. Sometimes a song just clicks on the first listen and this is one of those cases. They are and out of Melbourne (but I detect some Kiwi influence!) and are channeling The Clash in the best possible way. Their first EP is on vinyl and I have ordered it already! Support local music and give this one a go, you won't be disappointed. They're on iTunes as well but I only found that out after ordering the vinyl. Who cares? Vinyl is king.

King Cannons - Take The Rock

Have a great weekend! Rock on!

DJ Rob

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Song of the Week #120

Welcome to the late edition. It's Saturday afternoon so I'm only a day late in getting this out. My humblest apologies if you've already gone into withdrawal!

I'm back home now in sunny Canberra! Of course if you've seen the news you'll know that the place has been pretty much underwater the whole time I was in Busselton. I like to think that I brought some good weather back!

Going back to work was a challenge. I was more tired out than I realised but I managed to keep my eyes open in public at least! School holidays have started for us and apart from a couple of jobs I don't plan to see my office until January sometime. Hooray!

I'm not going to go on about Ironman except to say that I did it. There is a full report on the blog so just scroll down!

But, out on the course there were a heap of people with boomboxes blaring or the locals playing music off their balconies. This was fantastic and a huge source of motivation as well as distraction from the pain. I think I'll play a few of those songs this week.

This one was playing just past the jetty maybe 4km into the run course. Great song from a few years ago with a great earthy vocal style and a solid beat.

Further on up the road there was a couple blasting a range of tunes out from their balcony. They were both really getting into some dancing too. Bear in mind that they were out there the whole time I was on the run....and it took me 5hrs 43mins! This track is a fave of mine and I was pretty stoked to hear it! Horns up.

The same house was responsible for playing this little gem...

Songs with a good beat were like gold out there for me!

I found out recently that The Chieftains had recorded an LP with slide guitar legend Ry Cooder. It took me a while to track it down to pass on to my Dad for his birthday. I'll have to check the album out myself. The tracks I've heard on YouTube are excellent. The Chieftains seem to have a knack of playing well with a large range of guests. Here's Ry Cooder by himself doing a classic:

If you want to hear more of Ry Cooder then check out the movie "Crossroads" with a soundtrack featuring him as well as Steve Vai. Cool film with some good sounds.

Angus has just come in from cricket with the stellar bowling figure of 2 wickets for 1 run from just 2 overs! Here's one for him...

On Monday night we're off to see Zoë pick up some awards at her school speech night. Clever clogs indeed! She puts the rest of us to shame in that department. And to make it better she really seems to enjoy school even though it can be a pretty serious business at times.

We're almost at the end of this week's installment now. I'm sure that as I return to the real world there will be more political and social outrage in the following weeks. Don't worry, I haven't gone soft. I was interested to hear on the radio last night an academic who was saying that university students in England will now have to pay pretty much the same in fees as we've been paying here in Australia since the late 80's. But what is interesting in England is that some degrees will attract more public funding that others - those deemed 'useful' will be interesting to see what happens. I bet the government in London wasn't expecting riots! I'll have to see if the same deal applies in Scotland.

Education is a right, but only to a point now I guess. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Fees, even those that can be deferred, are a deterrent for a lot of people considering tertiary study. And I'm sure that a society with people qualified and learned in a wide range of disciplines is better than a nation full of doctors, lawyers and accountants!

This isn't the best quality video but it fits nicely.

To finish off, this is the song that made me laugh the most last Sunday when I was out for a quick 42.2km run following a brisk swim and a roll around the countryside! There was a group of young guys and girls in deck chairs on their front lawn cheering us on. They had a microphone to call out our names and numbers and played an interesting range of tunes. This one even made me sing out loud, I should have saved my energy I guess but I just came out.

Have a great week. I know I will!

DJ Rob

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ironman Race Report (long)

For those of you not keen on reading the minute details I present the Craig Simonetto Tinman Memorial 3 Dot Point Summary:

• The Ironman race was hard
• The Ironman training was really, really hard.
• I finished in 13hrs 37mins.

For the rest of you, read on!

Sunday December 5th

3am – why was I awake? My alarm was set for 3.45am. Regardless I got up and went down for breakfast. It was dark but it wasn’t raining. A good start given that the day before had been wet and windy.

A bit later, Craig and AB surfaced and we all went through our own pre-race routines.

At 4.30am Roger took us down to the race site and we checked our bikes were still there then pumped up the tyres before getting into wetsuits ready for the swim. With 1201 people racing it was a bit busy down there!

The pros started at 5.30am and then we moved into the water for a 5.45am start.

The majority of the field was on the right hand side of the beach so I headed to the left in an attempt to guarantee myself some clear water at the start. It worked.
Thankfully the rifle that the police had arrived with earlier was for starting the race rather than picking off sharks in the water.

After the national anthem we were off!

3.8km swim: up one side of the Busselton Jetty, across the end and back down the other. It wasn’t bad and it wasn’t good. I got smacked up going around the buoys at half way and was again glad of my water polo experience. I’d felt a bit average on the way out to sea but it all came together heading back in. There was a bit of chop and swell which of course I am not used to. 1hr and 8mins later I was out of the water and running through the showers on the beach and through to transition. That was the easy bit of the day done.

Transition 1 Swim – Bike: An Ironman is a bit different to a regular triathlon. A lot of people (myself included) do a full clothing change for each leg. Rookie mistake number one was putting the towel in my run transition bag instead of the swim-bike one. Luckily there are volunteers to help you out and they helped me get my cycling shirt on! 10 minutes all up including putting sunscreen on and getting my bike. Not to mention listening to the guy beside me who had been terrified the whole way!

180km cycle: That’s a long way. 3x 60km laps of pretty much dead flat riding. There were aid stations every 15km which were magnificent. You could pick up water, Gatorade, flat cola, food, bananas, sunscreen etc. Not to mention the very popular portaloos! My first lap was excellent. There was very little wind and everything felt good. I was aiming to average around 30km/hr and when I got to the turnaround in under 2hrs I was ecstatic. Unfortunately the majority of my second lap was a debacle. The wind came up, my back got sore and if I tried to get onto my tri bars I felt queasy. The only thing to do was keep riding. I broke the lap down into the 15km sections between aid stations having to stop at each one for a stretch. Eventually I came good but the damage was done to my overall cycle time. The third lap was OK but I was pretty happy to ride back into Busselton to start running. That ride took me 6hrs 29mins; half an hour slower than I had aimed for. The good point was that I had been eating and drinking almost non-stop and felt pretty energetic as a result. I’d seen my Tridents team mates out there and they were all looking good. I was also really grateful to see our support crew a few times on the ride. I made sure I was smiling when I saw them!

Transition 2 – Bike to Run: This was another full clothing change but I decided to keep the white arm sun protectors on that I had worn on the bike. They kept my arms cool and given my fair complexion, it meant I wouldn’t need sunscreen at every aid station! 7mins 30s was how long I spent in the tent. Most of it was stretching my back out in preparation for the last little bit of the race.

42.2km Run: That’s right, just a quick marathon to finish up the day. The course was 4 laps along the beachfront. It was pretty picturesque and sheltered from the wind. But there was no shade at all. I started out walking the first few hundred metres, then shuffling, then jogging until I felt good enough to run. Having had a torn Achilles tendon during training I was paranoid about it. I really did NOT want to walk the whole way. It turned out pretty well. There was a huge crowd around the course and with all competitors having their name on their race number it was non-stop cheers and encouragement. There was such a party atmosphere on the run that it was hard not to smile and enjoy yourself. It also took my mind off the pain for a while at least! There were loads of people playing music which was cool as well. I saw most of the Tridents team on the run looking strong and all still ahead of me! And our support crew was there as well yelling, encouraging and taking photos. My first lap was great, I felt strong and was running pretty well. Even the second lap, whilst slower obviously, was pretty good. But lap 3 got tough. At about the 30km mark my body didn’t want to run anymore. I set myself small targets ahead to shuffle to and kept that up for a while. It wasn’t pretty but I was moving forward.

The end of each lap was parallel to the race finish. As I came into town for my last turnaround I was in a world of pain. But everyone says you have to look good in public so I made myself run the kilometre in and out of town before disappearing around a corner and having to walk for quite a while. In the end I walked most of the final lap but I knew it was almost over. The soles of my feet hurt like hell but apart from that I was just tired. Having been eating and drinking all through the run as well I wasn’t shocked that towards the end all I could stomach was water. I tried to shovel down some jelly beans and pretzels but it wasn’t a great idea in the end! At the 38km mark I made the decision that I would run the whole final kilometre. I upped my walking pace up until that point – I had to beat 14 hours.

Well the last kilometre was a dream. I ran the whole way. The finishers chute was a wall of sound that I imagine only professional sports people usually get to experience. I crossed the finish line feeling great in a time of 13hrs and 37min. Slower than I had wanted but still under the 14hr mark.

After you finish and get the medal and towel they take your official photo. AB was there to meet me at the end having finished 2hrs earlier. I was glad as he took me to the massage tent where I went through more pain than in the entire race. But it was worth it. Then a quick feed before collecting our gear and heading home.

I really don’t think I want to do another Ironman. The race day was good fun really and an awesome experience but you have to put in so much time to get to that point. Someone had written in chalk on the run course something like, “the miracle isn’t that you will finish Ironman, it is that you made it to the start”. And I agree.

There is no way that I could have done this without the support of Alison, Zoë and Angus. I’m sure I’ve put them through way too much since I started targeted Ironman training when the rest of the club were on a rest break back in April! My parents were pretty awesome as well, interested in different ways but very supportive of my goal.

My Coach, Ben Gathercole, is a master. He knows what to do and how to motivate his athletes. All I had to do to end up an Ironman was to do exactly what I was told. It was hard, tiring and at times infuriating but he is the man.

And the guys I trained with; Craig, AB, Seppo and Pete were magnificent. Although it is a solo race the bulk of training, especially those 6hr rides, are team efforts especially in terms of support and motivation. It was like being part of a brotherhood. Not to mention all the other Tridents who came out riding with us or were kind to us in the pool when we were struggling with major fatigue.

Being in the Tridents Triathlon Club has been fantastic. The number of messages we all received during training and while in Western Australia was astounding.

I’m going to single out a couple of people here who provided support and motivation above and beyond. First of all Steve. Steve has done 10 Ironman distance races. He and his family are having a tough time at the moment but he’s been with me in spirit through my sessions. His advice about looking good in the finishing chute was invaluable!

My Ironman family in WA; Roger, Margaret and Shelley. What a great support crew. You guys were amazing, kind and so supportive.

Then there’s Jo. Jo did her first Ironman early in the year. She came out on long rides with us, baked us muffins for the end of long Saturday swims and provided a constant torrent of supportive emails and text messages. That was awesome.

Al, who loaned me his tri bars and bike bag - thanks mate!

And Retlaw. From washing our hair in the showers at the pool (seriously) to dragging me around on the bike and in the pool, Ironman Retlaw was nothing but positive. He told me it was OK to fall asleep at work on a Wednesday between the 3hr ride in the morning and the afternoon run session!

My colleagues have also been very supportive. They no doubt mostly think I am insane but they have smiled politely as I had trouble walking up stairs or finding enough food to shovel in!

So, that’s it. Mission accomplished. What next??

Ironman Rob

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

On the road again!!

Here we go. I'll be home in about 17 hours!!

I'm going to head up the highway in the Wicked Camper with Seppo and then catch a later plane to sunny Canberra. What fun.

Luckily I have an awesome family who gave me this iPod Touch to keep me amused!!

DJ Rob

Monday, December 6, 2010

I am an Ironman!!

Yes, it is all over. I made it in about 13 hours 40 mins. I had a great day but even with all that training I had to walk the last 8km of the marathon.

I hurt everywhere and I'm not ever doing this again but I can't believe I've pulled it off.

All the crew finished well. More later. I need to convince my legs that they can get me downstairs!!

Ironman Rob :-)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Super Satuday?

Saturday has come and gone. After a short ride and run this morning we
headed into town to Fat Duck Cycles and Espresso. It rained a bit but
the coffee and the company was great.

Later on we took our bikes and gear bags into transistion. I never like
leaving my bike overnight but I am sure the security is top notch. It
would want to be...if there are 1400 competitors and an average bike
might be $5k then that's $6.5m woth of bikes sitting in the compound.

Margeret cooked us a wonderful pre race meal with Craig keeping a close
watch on the ingredients and time. At about 5pm I suddenly felt very
nervous and rattled. I headed out for a 30 min walk with the iPod. I
laughed at some of the messages already chalked on the run course. Head
to my facebook page if you want to see some pictures.

We've all received a heap of emails and text messages supporting us -
thanks to you all. I can tell you that it is very much appreciated even
if a bit overwhelming.

Well, that's it I guess. We leave the house at 4.25am to head to the
start and we race at 5.45am. It will all be over sometime in the late
afternoon or early evening for me at least - AB and Craig will be faster
and I look forward to seeing them out on the course and the when I get
to the finish! Training with such good friends has been absolutely awesome.

I'll report back with results as soon as I'm up to it.

Rob #577

Friday, December 3, 2010

Song of the Week #119

Here we are coming to you direct from Busselton in Western Australia. The weather is pretty good and the town if full of skinny, shaved down men and women eating like horses! Racing is on Sunday from 7am. You can follow all the action at

Life is slow in the Ironman Big Brother House today. Our instructions are to do pretty much nothing apart from resting up. Facebook, the Cricket and some race preparations are keeping us occupied.

My iPod has been getting a good workout as well. Here's a few tunes I've been enjoying.

That one came tome via free CD with MOJO magazine a while back. I think it is a great version of a classic.

Here's one that came out quite a while ago now. It was from an album I really didn't expect to like but was pleasantly surprised. Great upbeat sound and a strong vocal in my opinion. It came on the other day when I was running and gave me a cheesy grin for some reason.

This next track has been a regular on mix tapes, CDs and playlists with me for over 20 yeas abd I never tire of it. But please, the German lyrics are so much better.

So, Australia missed out on the football (soccer) World Cup. Oh boo hoo. Did we really think that as a nation that has soccer as the #4 football code we had a chance? But Qatar? Really? What were FIFA smoking last night? With an average temperature of 41 degrees during the World Cup months I'm sure the players just can't wait. Well, the government could now probably spend the money on something useful. Like cricket - our team needs help and now.

Well I'm going back to lying on the lounge now. But not before the Song of the Week. This is a cover of a tune used for one of my favourite TV shows. It rocks and the show is hilarious so I hope you enjoy it.

Stay tuned here on the blog as Ironman approaches. Just 2 sleeps to go!

Too much exposure is never enough,
DJ Rob

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday in Busselton

Western Australia is 3 hours behind the eastern seaboard. And this didn't really hit me until about 4.30am this morning! A little bit of jetlag!!

Seppo, Craig and I cut a quick lap of town this morning on our bikes. A little bit windy and COLD!! But not raining at least! There were loads of people out doing the same and therefore a heap of interesting bikes to look at.

Straight after that we headed to the beach for an easy swim with AB as well. The water was warm and clear. It was, however, at this point, that I remembered that all my triathlon swimming ever had been in fresh water - the salt water taste was terrible!!

We've also been to the official and the renegade triathlon expos. The official gear was rather underwhelming. Maybe I'll need a bigger tattoo!

We've also had a drive around the bike course and been to register for the race. I now have a heap of gear with 577 written all over it.

Tomorow we probably won't do much except lie around and watch the cricket. It is a hard life I can tell you!

DJ Rob #577

Way out west

Well we made it! After two plane flights and then a bus ride we're here in Busselton.

It was good to get the bikes built and then fall into bed after Roger had BBQd dinner to perfection.

The three hour time difference means I'm awake early. We'll get a short ride in soon.

It looks like there are a couple of triathlon expos in town so we'll be checking them out too.

More from the Big Brother Ironman house later.

DJ Rob #577

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ironman Countdown - 5 sleeps to go

This morning was my last run before heading to the west. It has been raining non-stop here in Canberra so I was rather amazed that I had a dry run with even some blue sky. I'm pretty sure my achilles has sorted itself out at last so that is an added bonus.

I really like running. As much as I enjoy time on my bike or in the pool, running gives me the most pleasure (and pain!) Running with an iPod is a relatively new thing for me. In the past I couldn't do it because I tried to run to the beat! But it has been my friend for a while now.

I tracked down some statistics via iTunes and here are 10 of my top rating running songs!!

I'm on the plane tomorrow so updates may not be forthcoming for a little while!

DJ Rob

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ironman Countdown - 6 sleeps to go

That's the final weekend of training done. The weather held on Saturday so we got a 3hr ride done in the morning followed up by 30mins swimming in the lake. AB and Craig disappeared but the Seppo and I sat on a bench surveying the world while we indulged in the important nutritional supplement known as ice cream!

The weather on Sunday was foul, there is no other word for it. Rain, rain and more rain. At some stage in the afternoon it eased off a bit and I was lucky enough to get a 45 min run in with my friend Al. He was kind enough to give me a loan of his bike bag. All I need to do now is get my bike into it before I have to leave for the airport on Wednesday.

Tonight I'm meant to have an easyish ride but with the rain I think I will be in the garage on the much hated home trainer. Oh well.

AB is already in Busselton making sure he gets the ensuite and checking out coffee shops for us. Hard life but someone has to do it I guess. Fingers crossed that QANTAS deliver his front wheel before too long!

And for no other reason than I totally embarrassed Zoe by knowing all the words to this's a tune for you all.

More later,
DJ Rob

Friday, November 26, 2010

Song of the Week #118

Who out there knows who Lemmy is? If you don't then get to Wikipedia right now, shame, shame, shame! Lemmy is the singer, bass player and founder of English hard rocking legends, Motorhead. A band I like a lot. But then I heard this:

Motorhead - The Ace of Spades (slow version):

All I can say is that I hope they got paid truckloads of money for doing this. It's for a beer commercial. There is a short documentary about the making of the song which is hilarious. Lemmy says at one stage, "I don't want it faster, I just don't want it as slow!" Watch that. Having said all that, the slow version does grow on the warts on Lemmy's face (are they real!!??)

The original version is a classic...required listening for any guitar player.

Motorhead - The Ace of Spades:

And here's something completely different...a tune that I have loved since a young age done a little differently.

Epica - In The Hall Of The Mountain King:

Well it seems we've moved into cover versions. Fair enough. Here's one that DJ Fatboy sent through. This is a case where I think the cover is about a million times better than the original.

Disturbed - Land of Confusion:

And now we have the opposite. The original of a song I first heard as a cover version. Anthrax did this song and I liked it. But the original is just amazing, here you go;

The Temptations - Ball Of Confusion:

Pretty funky? And so we move on. Maybe not too far though. My brother gave me the CD this next song is on years ago. I didn't really get into it for about a year, it just took time to grow on me I suppose. Extreme is the band and they fuse together a whole lot of styles. Sometimes they are a bit sickly sweet for my liking but this next track is just right. Gary Cherone sang briefly with Van Halen and Nuno Bettencourt is simply an amazing guitar player. For lovers of Queen, Hendrix and the Everly Brothers.

Extreme - Rest In Peace:

It isn't a far stretch from Extreme to KISS. This week I found a number of young people who had no idea who KISS were. This next clip sorted that out. Check the make up on the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra!!

KISS - Rock And Roll All Nite (live):

That looks like the party to end ALL parties! The DVD of the show is fantastic.

OK, so we've moved into the tapering section of training for Ironman. Basically sessions that are shorter but maintain intensity. Only one week and a day until the race. Wow, can't quite believe I've made it this far. I fly out for Western Australia on Weds morning with DJ Prez and then we go to the Ironman Big Brother House in Busselton with MC AB and the rest of the entourage. I will admit that I feel pretty fit and ready mentally for the big day but I am a bit nervous. The gun goes off at about 7am and the course closes 17hrs later. Who knows what will happen in that time! The 3.8km swim is up one side of the Busso Pier and back down the other. After that there is 180km of flat riding (3 x 60km loops) and I'm really hoping the wind stays away. The good thing is that the ride is like a rolling buffet - you have to eat and drink quite a bit to keep your body going. After that, let's say 6.5 hours of riding if I'm lucky, it is only a short matter of a 42km run to the finish and the medal.

This song isn't really about anything to do with Ironman but I am going out west, even if it is a different west. This is a great song from two great Australian singers. Any, yes, it is a cover!

Blundell and Reyne - Way Out West:

Next week I'll be coming to you from Busselton I hope. You can keep up with all the pre-Ironman exploits including the goings on in the Big Brother Ironman House on the blog if you are interested.

Hoo Roo,

DJ Rob

Friday, November 19, 2010

Song of the Week #117

Another Royal Wedding? Oh whoop de do. Who cares? Nice for the happy couple I guess. It really would be a step forward get the monarchy out of our country and our political system. We don't need them and they most certainly don't need us. Change the flag at the same time. Australia's flag makes us look like Great Britain at night (Ben Elton said that). Let's not deny our heritage here in Australia but recognise that we've moved on. At least they're not inbreeding this time.

I'm glad that the weather here in Canberra has finally warmed up. It is really, really groovy to get out of bed in the morning and not have to put on thirteen layers of clothes to go cycling! Speaking of cycling and all things Ironman, this is the last big weekend of training, and probably not before time! The race numbers were published during the week and I'm #577 - everyone will need that to track my progress online during the race - ha ha!

The race is in Busselton in Western Australia and the temperature there has been in the 30s recently. Hot, hot, hot! Being wonderfully fair skinned I've bought some arm coolers (the opposite of arm warmers) which provide UV protection. And having little or no hair I'll be needing to wear something under my helmet as well. The next big trick is going to be packing up the bike for air travel! Luckily I have some experienced friends to help me out.

I had the pleasure of seeing Zoë playing in a jazz band last week. Pretty fantastic. And she danced as well which was a surprise. She seems to have avoided inheriting my lack of natural dance talent...luckily! Here's a version of one of the tunes they did:

The Ventures - Secret Agent Man:

And, there was another band that attempted this song. They were only kids and I reckon they did a pretty good job of a tough tune...

Muse - Knights of Cydonia:

I've been watching a bit of this next show on TV. It seems to be one of the few shows from my youth that stands up today. Still amusing to watch. And this is a KILLER theme tune. Great guitar work.

Theme from Magnum PI:

And then this is just plain weird...I found a whole lot of TV themes that had been redone with pretty cool loud guitars. Here's a taster.

Sylvain Cloux - Theme from Knight Rider:

This week I was talking to some people about humour in music. Of course this next artist came up, how could he not...

Weird Al Yankovic - Gump:

That video is awesome as well - a great rip off of the original as well as the Forrest Gump movie. Sam Kinison sprung to mind but I couldn't find anything appropriate for my wide audience...

I went to a funeral yesterday for a colleague. Funerals are never easy but I remain astounded at how well some people hold it together. Chris' 84 year old Father spoke at the service and was just amazing. This song was played before it all started. It has been a favourite of mine for years and I guess it will have special meaning from now on. Au Revoir Chris.

The Beatles - Here Comes The Sun:

But after all that we get to the song of the week. I'm not a huge fan of eletronica, house music, techno or whatever you want to call it. But this version of a New Order song was great. I was reminded of it the other day when someone described an event as bizarre. Interesting how the brain links words, thoughts and music.

Frente - Bizarre Love Triangle - makes a man go.

DJ Rob

Friday, November 12, 2010

Song of the Week #116

Are you sitting comfortably? No? Too bad. Here we go.

Ronnie James Dio died a while back and this week a double live CD from him was released. The CDs cover two shows at Donington in England, one in '83 and one in '87. I've had a preview listen and they are just great. Any fan of good rock music would do well to shell out some cash for this release.

Dio - Heaven and Hell(live):

Also recently released is a new CD from hardcore legends Suicidal Tendencies. I may have told the story before but, in my final year of school a friend loaned me their first album. It was on red vinyl which I thought was beyond cool! But, 22 years later, I'm still addicted to it! I wore out a cassette copy years ago and now it plays regularly on my iPod or on CD. The latest CD, "No Mercy Fool/TheSuicidal Family" is well worth a listen. Great production, great sounds and attitude to spare. This song is from their first album. It always reminds me of the Dead Kennedy's song, Police Truck.

Suicidal Tendencies - Fascist Pig:

If, like me, you're subjected to Glee on TV on a weekly basis you've probably heard a version of this song recently. They didn't butcher it too badly but the original is just awesome. Listen to the lyrics. They matter.

En Vogue - Free Your Mind:

Apparently, the Miles Davis album "Bitches Brew" is to jazz what Sgt Pepper's was to rock and roll. Well the 40th Anniversary Edition has just come out so you can all make up your own mind. Have a listen, I'm still not sure about it myself!

Miles Davis - Bitches Brew:

I'm not really sure where my head is after that tune. Somewhere else.

DJ WatzOn impressed on me the need to play a certain song by The Chieftans to mark Remembrance Day. But in looking for it I found this. My favourite Bob Marley song redone...WOW!

Ziggy Marley & The Chieftans - Redemption Song:

This week I was interviewed by MC HB for an online triathlon magazine. It was all about Ironman and you can read it here if you like:

One question asked about my favourite training song. This is it. Again, lyrics and attitude are everything.

Rollins Band - Shine:

I've copped a small amount of flak for my comments about Lionel Richie in last week's ramblings. I love the internet. Anonymous keyboard commandos are everywhere. Anyway, for the record, Lionel is cool, The Commodores are cool, and this is the best ever version of one of their songs.

Faith No More - Easy (Like Sunday Morning):

That is an AWESOME guitar solo!

Here comes Summer!!

DJ Rob

Friday, November 5, 2010

Song of the Week #115

This is a pretty cool edition as we have a couple of guest presenters. Anyone out there is welcome to contribute. Instead of sending me jokes and Nigerian money scams feel free to suggest a song along with your reason for its selection.

DJ Randwick sent me an article this week about Ironman. It was a good read and it also quoted this song. He's probably never heard it but it is a bona fide Motown classic and a tribute to Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson. Betcha Lionel Richie wishes he was still in the band when they did this one! This song reminds me of a pool room at the house next door in NZ. It must've been big on the radio when I was spending some time there.

Commodores - Nightshift:


MC HB suggested this next track. She's a runner, triathlete and cyclist and has used this in the past as her "pump-up song". The original version was a favourite at the roller disco when I was at high school (and MC HB was in nappies I guess!!)

Unique II - Break My Stride:

And the original....

Matthew Wilder - Break My Stride:

This one isn't really a request, but some of my students thought it was pretty cool and I have to agree. Great video clip - looks like they put on one helluva live performance. And there are so many obvious links to 80's rock!

30 Seconds To Mars - Closer To The Edge:

I have no idea why I thought of this next artist. I was listening to a Redgum LP that my brother had bought second hand and posted to me when Kutcha Edwards popped into my sphere of consciousness. Kutcha is a great singer with an amazing voice. This is a great rendition of a Paul Simon song.

Kutcha Edwards - Mother & Child Reunion:

Only 4 weeks now until Ironman. I was asked today why I was doing it. One reason is that in the past I have been guilty of opting out when things got really tough. Ironman is as much a mental battle as it is a physical one. I did a swim last week in foul conditions. After 200m I had been kicked, swallowed some lake water and was seasick. I wanted to turn around, go back to shore and slink home quietly. But I sat up in the water, swore at the wind and rain, vomited and then swam the next 2km feeling awesome. Am I insane? Probably. Will I give up? No.

This morning I got some very sad news. A close friend of mine has been battling cancer. Last I heard it was all good and she had sent me a text from a holiday she was on. Today I got a call telling me she has a couple of days to live. Of course I went to see her right away. There's not much I could say but we chatted away while she had some energy. It was a very sobering and distressing experience. Cancer is such an unfair and indiscriminate killer. I had other songs planned this week but they can wait. This one's for you Chris. Thanks for being my friend.

Queen - Friends Will Be Friends:

See you next week folks.

DJ Rob

Friday, October 29, 2010

Song of the Week #114

Before we start, there is some difficult listening ahead so make like a Scout and "Be Prepared".

Some weeks music just flows over me and some weeks I feel like I am searching for tracks to challenge, inspire, outrage and potentially offend. This week is the latter so hold on to your hat.

I chose this first one because I heard the artist's name somewhere and just had to check him out. I was pretty surprised. As DJ Hopper will know, I know little or nothing about jazz! But, I do know what I like and I like this.

Thelonious Monk - Epistrophy:

Nice hat. Cool tune. I'm on the lookout for some more Monk!

Now we'll go to the other extreme. One review described the album this song came from as painting America as a "cesspool of corruption and cruelty". For all the people that deride metal bands as being one dimensional it is worth fighting your way through the aggression and noise to get to the lyrics. This one is unashamedly brutal both lyrically and sonically.

Slayer - War Ensemble:

And if you think that was hardcore then you're going to love this...a song with pain, a song with a story, a song with a message or two. This one might not be quite what you're expecting.

Battlefield Band - The Dear Green Place:

In 1989 I found an old cassette in the bottom of a cupboard. It had this next band on it. Some of their songs were funny and crude so I turned them up. This one is probably as good a reflection on the mess that Britain was as anything by The Clash or Billy Bragg. The sentiment is the same as the original but the delivery just brought it to a different audience (and in my case back to the original as well).

Anti-Nowhere League - Streets of London:

Back in the early days of "Song of the Week" I reminisced about discovering the Pogues. For me they were, and still are, the ultimate mix of punk rock and traditional Celtic music. If you're not listening carefully it is so easy to think that they are just another band with a fiddle and a tin whistle. But, lyrically they are so strong.

The Pogues - The Old Main Drag:

The Pogues - Fairytale of New York:

Obviously you can't say "cheap lousy faggot" on the BBC. That's a weird version of censorship if ever I saw one.

This last song is a classic. It still makes me uncomfortable and I guess that's the point.

U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday:

Have a good weekend and remember the sunscreen.

DJ Rob

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

6 weeks to go

Not long now, the countdown to Ironman (Dec 5th) continues.

The training has really ramped up now. 9 sessions a week plus stretching and yoga. The rides are longer with Saturday being 5 or 6 hours backed up with around 4km in the pool. And it is starting to hurt. It's a good hurt but tough nonetheless.

Alison and the kids are being just awesome as they only see me fleetingly on weekends and in the evenings. My colleagues only laugh a little as I struggle up the three flights of stairs to my classroom.

This morning I was out of the house at 5.30am on the bike and I rolled into work a sweaty mess at 8.30am. Somehow I have to fit in an hour of running this evening as well.

The other guys doing Ironman with me are suffering as well but all in different ways.

On Monday night our club does a hard 30km time trial on the bike. Plenty of hills and a dead road add to the challenge. As did the four sessions over the weekend. Coach asks us to let him know what we're concentrating on for the time trial. Things like cadence, aero position, hill climbing and even remembering to drink. This week my two goals were ignoring my screaming legs and avoiding vomiting at all costs. It seemed to work.

You couldn't do this race without a Coach who knows his stuff and I am lucky in that respect. I just turn up to my sessions and do what I'm told. There's no point spending all this time and money to ignore the professionals!

You also couldn't do this easily on your own. The long rides and swims are made easier as our clubmates understand what we are doing. They understand why sometimes I need to swim at the back of the lane and simply hang on for a few hundred metres. They also understand that sometimes I need a tow on the bike! Last Saturday I had a nasty 30km section where two guys stayed with me and got me through it until my body decided to cooperate again. People will tell you that Ironman is selfish and it is. But it isn't something you can do on your own in my opinion.

Once I make it through tonight's run I get Thursday and Friday to recover for the weekend. %hr ride on Saturday morning, run in the afternoon. long course race on Sunday morning just as a long training session, easy run and an ice bath in the afternoon. Ouch.

And by the way, a Mars Bar has about 525 calories in it. My long ride last Saturday burned off 6 Mars Bars worth of calories!!

Bye for now,
DJ Rob

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Two chickens...

A while ago I visited my good friends "The Duck" and "The Chicken" who live on the Gold Coast. Check out the picture on the right of screen. That's "The Chicken" in the picture with me. He reckons it is a top photo for a caption contest. And he's correct.

Bear in mind that we'd just been a bit shocked by the plates of chips and calamari delivered to the hugely overweight folks at the table near us. That and the delivery of tomato sauce to a Chinese restaurant!!

We've both been "chickens" since 1994. An old joke but one that is all Al Bundy's fault.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Song of the Week #113

Another week has just flown by and here we are again.

Thanks for the comments on last week’s selection. I was amused that a couple of people didn’t realise that “From Little Things (Big Things Grow)” was anything more than the jingle from an insurance TV ad!

I took delivery of two VERY exciting parcels this week. The first was the shirt I have had printed up to wear on the run leg (42km) of Ironman. I contacted the Amy Gillett Foundation, who I support, to see if I could put their logo on the shirt and they agreed which was cool. Please check out their work at .

The second package was just fantastic. AC/DC released a boxset a while ago called “Backtracks”. But there is a special deluxe collector’s edition that I was really keen on. Unfortunately I wasn’t keen on the price. So I was pretty pleased when I got an email offering it at almost half-price and with free shipping from the USA. I pounced and it has arrived. So, there are 3 CDs of rare stuff, b-sides and live tracks. 2 DVDs, an LP (remember them?), a huge coffee table book of photos and posters, stickers, badges and flyers. To top it off, the whole lot comes boxed in a working guitar amplifier. Fabulous.

I will admit that I hadn’t paid much attention to the actual track listing as I thought it was always going to be too expensive. So I was pretty impressed to see this song live on one of the DVDs. It was quite a shock as AC/DC’s live sets tend to be pretty static and I didn’t know they were playing this one. Brian is singing and his voice is shot but this is the best track from the best AC/DC album. From 1978’s Powerage album….

AC/DC – Next To The Moon (live):

I guess there weren’t many other surprises in the set, it is all great stuff, but I had never seen this version of this clip. Everyone has seen the one on the back of the truck and this is obviously filmed in the same session. Anyway, I’ll play it because it is a bit of a curio, and because it rocks! How cool are Mal’s jeans??

AC/DC – Long Way To The Top (alternate clip):

Is that enough hard rock for y’all yet? OK, fair enough.

In other happenings, the scooter is finally all fixed up. And to top it all off the insurance company rang today to advise us that we don’t have to pay a cent. Pretty happy with that long and protracted outcome. Luckily the weather is great for scooter riding just now although a magpie did swoop and hit me this morning. With that big orange helmet on all I could do was giggle.

The good thing about finally getting into my new office is that my toys have come out of boxes and are now back on display. There’s only a few (4 shelves worth!) but I reckon it is fair enough given the amount of time I spend there. And usually they are great conversation pieces. If I could work out how to get the 250 odd GI Joes and Action Men that are in boxes in the garage to fit in here that would be great. I think I’ll need a rotation system! One of my favourites is an Action Man West Ham Footballer. I don’t support them but my good mate DJ LarryTLemur does. Here’s a song I know he’d like to hear:

ZZ Top – I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide:

I’ll admit that I heard this song on a TV advertisement for “Glee”. But it is a cool song so I’ll play the original.

Billy Joel – Only The Good Die Young:

I know a lot of people who sneer and /or smirk when Billy Joel is played. In my opinion he has written some great songs, has a great voice and is a great live entertainer. Can he help it if he is popular?

My good friend MC Randwick is having a significant birthday today. This next song is for him…

This week’s featured song is a follow on sort of. “From Little Things (Big Things Grow)” made me think of this next track. In about 1993 I bought a really, really nice Washburn copy of a Gibson ES335 guitar (like Chuck Berry plays). It was fantastic and I am sad to this day that I sold it later on. At about the same time I got a copy of the album that this song is on. The guitar suited this song perfectly. Of course, I’ve never seen or played another similar guitar that was any good. I’ll keep looking. But the song is a beauty. The singing, lyrics and guitar work are sublime. Now, I can only find a live version on YouTube but it is OK, it’s pretty good too.

Archie Roach – From Paradise:

Sleep is the key to most things.

DJ Rob

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Jet rocks Canberra

Last Tuesday Alison and I were lucky enough to score tickets to see Jet at the University of Canberra. These tickets were very generously organised for us by a friend of my Dad's. This friend, Deb, is Mark's (Jet bass player) Mum. It was a long time since my name had been "on the door"!!

Anyway, Jet were supporting Powderfinger on their farewell tour. The venue was a massive outdoor big top.

After parking nearby (the parking instructions on the Powderfinger website were wrong) we got to the gig. After bypassing the huge queues and picking up our tickets we headed in.

Paul Dempsey was first on. This was a solo gig for Paul who is normally seen out playing with Triple J darlings, "Something For Kate". Apart from the sound level being way too high for an opening act he wasn't half bad and the crowd appreciated his efforts. Here's a clip I found of one of the songs he did. In the end I thought he was a bit downbeat for this particular show but I'll still be checking out his album.

Paul Dempsey - Time To Pretend:

Jet were next up and that's who we were there to see. I remember hearing Jet's first single and getting the album as soon as it came out. In amongst angst filled shoe gazers and electronic mind numbing dance music they were a reminder of what rock and roll should be about.

Well, they didn't disappoint and there were only two negatives to their whole show. One was that, as a support act, they didn't really get to play for that long (40-45 minutes). The other was that the event crew didn't use the big screens when they were playing. Now, there were a LOT of people in that massive tent and even tall people like me had trouble seeing much.

Musically, Jet were awesome. This track certainly got everyone energised!

Jet - Cold Hard Bitch:

Canberra crowds in my experience are pretty reserved. But maybe the only reaction to a first song I have seen that was as energetic was a small gig at Exhibition Park by four unknowns calling themselves AC/DC !

The rest of the gig was pretty much the same with the crowd lapping up Jet's hits as well as some newer tunes. There was the obligatory sing along with "Look What You've Done" that just went to show that Jet know how to play to a big, enthusiastic crowd.

AC/DC have a song called "If You Want Blood (You've Got It). My understanding is that the song is about giving crowds what they want all in the name of rock'n'roll. And I think Jet understand this. This next song probably isn't about that at all but that's what the chorus makes me think of. Another great crowd sing along song.

Jet - Get What You Need:

So, I've been a Jet fan for quite a while now. Mainly because they play good honest rock and roll. Also I like nothing better than seeing a band who understand how a guitar is meant to sound. Not over processed, not driven so hard that it is mush, just right. Jet's combination of classic guitars and amplifiers never fails to make me smile. And that drum doesn't have to be HUGE to sound big.

I guess if I had to describe Jet to someone who hadn't heard them before I would tell them that it is like listening to the Easybeats crossed with the Beatles, soaked in the classic Melbourne pub rock scene and then injected with the essence of the Energizer Bunny. And all of those things are meant to be nothing but positive. I know that they say they are heavily influenced by You Am I. I like that band as well, but Jet slay them live.

Anyhow, that's it. Great band, great show. Powderfinger...I'm going to admit now that I don't like them, I never have and probably never will. They forgot what rock'n'roll was years ago. So I was home early with Jet ringing in my ears.

Jet - Black Hearts (On Fire):

Rock on.

DJ Rob

Friday, October 15, 2010

Song of the Week #112

Far out, have I only been back at work for a week?? It feels like a lot longer! I was so used to getting up and clothed to train that getting back into the swing of wearing work clothes has been a challenge! Also, my nanna naps in the middle of the day have gone by the wayside!

Firstly, if you (on the blogsite) scroll down to episode 110, you may notice that the YouTube links are gone. Someone, somewhere complained to the good folks at blogspot that something in my post was infringing someone's copyright. And that is all the data I have. I removed the links. What a farce. In the end I'm providing a little free advertising for the artists I plug here. Anyway, on with the show.

I've started running this week. It beats walking by a long way but who knows what my achilles will cope with. Fingers crossed that I get to run at least some of the time prior to Ironman!

DJ KelC recommended a couple of tunes. This one is pretty cool and I already had this band on my list to check out. So here we go:

Old Crow Medicine Show - Wagon Wheel:

She also recommended this next one which I cannot believe I haven't featured yet. Previewing it here both of my kids are singing along - pretty neat. If you walk through Reconciliation Place in Canberra this song plays quietly. One of my favourite public places. The lyrics are important, and this link has them for you to read if you have a minute.

The Waifs and John Butler - From Little Things Big Things Grow:

After last week's post I reflected on what makes a successful songwriter. For me it is really the ability to put thoughts into a song that makes people feel the way you want them to. This track always makes me want to jump around the house and play air guitar as well as singing along with my "angry young man" face on. Guess old Neil got it right. Thanks to MC Fatboy for reminding me what a great tune it is.

Neil Young and Pearl Jam - Rockin' In The Free World:

Last week's Daniel Johnston track led me to thinking about Spike Milligan for some reason. I love that it apparently has "I told you I was ill" written on his grave. If you have kids then "Badjelly The Witch" by Spike is one of the best books ever. And the CD of him reading it is hilarious. I did NOT like him in The Goons...I tried but I just have too much trouble working out what the hell he is saying! But, if you pick up one of his books about his time in WWII you will not be disappointed. They are a complete riot. Mental health issues are the link between Daniel and Spike if you hadn't worked that out.

I read a comment this morning laughing at Al Gore's claim to have invented the internet. It reminded me that his wife Tipper Gore and her organisation the PMRC made sure in the 80's that hard rock and metal was the musical diet of choice for so many teenagers. After all, if adults hated it that much....! This track has one of my favourite lines, "Tipper led the war against the record industry, she said she saw the devil on the MTV". Rock on.

Cinderella - Shelter Me:

How many other musicians did you pick in that clip? Hopefully a few including Dweezil Zappa and Little Richard.

So, Little Richard...what a voice. I'll close this week with him doing a great cover along with the American band Fishbone. I first heard this version on the Folkways tribute album to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. If I could only keep one album from my whole collection that would be it.

Little Richard - Rock Island Line:

Eat your greens.

DJ Rob

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Song of the Week #111

OK, OK, so this is a bit late. It's true. I am on holidays and I kind of forgot that it was Friday until quite late at night. Thanks to all that reminded me. Obviously a number of you are more than addicted to my ramblings. Or maybe you were just bored on a Friday evening.

Anyway, let's get into it.

I'd vaguely heard of Daniel Johnston in the past. A quirky guy releasing lo-fi cassettes of fairly out there tunes that had gained a kind of cult following. My interest was piqued. He has battled through his life with bi-polar disorder and gained notoriety by handing out cassettes to anyone that would take one. So, I found an album of his going for a song and bought it. Wow. The sound quality goes from woeful to OK. He often can't hold a tune and the instrumentation can be out of time and tune. But, after a couple of listens, what shines through is heartfelt songs that ache in a way that Emo kids only dream of. It is often difficult listening but quite rewarding. If you liked the Violent Femmes then you might like this. Might...

Daniel Johnston - True Love Will Find You In The End:

Today I rode 160km with some friends as part of my Ironman training. We travelled along some country roads, and apart from the magpie attack it was a great ride. Even getting stopped by a mob of sheep crossing the road didn't faze up - it was a laugh. But the countryside reminded me a lot of where I grew up in Victoria. And those memories involve long bus rides to and from school every day. Probably about 40km each way. This was a song that we played on boomboxes and walkmen (walkmans?) on a regular basis. To my reckoning it is a quintessentially Australian song from one of our best bands. I've chosen the studio version of this song because it has everything. A quiet opening, great warm up and then some full throttle rock in the middle.

Cold Chisel - Bow River:

And because I forgot to write this blog entry this song came to mind. It comes from a very successful Scots band that I really cannot get into - and I've tried over and over again. They have some great songs but something doesn't quite do it for me. Regardless, this is an awesome track.

Simple Minds - Don't You Forget About Me:

Now, for those of you who don't know, the Commonwealth Games are on - just! DJ AB requested this next tune because really, nothing matters as long as we beat New Zealand!

Andrew Denton - As Long As We Beat New Zealand:

And that reminds me of this little ditty from another one of Denton's shows. For those not in the know, the guest artist had to do a version of Stairway to Heaven. This was possibly my favourite version from Australian Beatles tribute band, The Beatnix.

The Beatnix - Stairway to Heaven:

DJ Fatboy sent me a link that was an article telling the world about the release of remastered John Lennon CD's. Seriously, how much more money can be sucked out of the Beatles and their members? Who knows though. Maybe it will be really good and all the profits will go to charity. Not that I am cynical or anything.

Finally, the World Cycling Championships that were held in Geelong have wrapped up. Again, the TV coverage was great and Geelong looked a treat. Cadel Evans proved himself a true champion. In the road race he never gave up even though he could have at a number of points. I've never seen him look like he is suffering so much, he really gave it his all and I hope the Australian media and public were suitably impressed.

I had a listen to an old Soundgarden CD this week. Mainly because I really like the title of the album - "Badmotorfinger". Chris Cornell has a great voice and Kim Thayil's guitars always sounded great to me. This song is from a later album but is one of their best.

Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun:

That's it. I'm off to fall asleep on the lounge.

DJ Rob

Friday, October 1, 2010

song of the week #110

NEWSFLASH: The links in this blog post have been removed. I have received an email telling me that I am infringing on someone's copyright although I have no idea which link it was. If you want the songs just put their titles into a search engine. Sorry. And there was me thinking I was giving away some free recommendations and publicity!!

Oh wow, how much better my outlook on life is after a week of school holidays! Everyone needs some sort of break and it must've been that time for me.

I haven't really done all that much in the last week apart from training, spend time with the kids (when they will let me), training, the odd household chore (I need to improve on those next week), training, reading, listening to music and watching the cycling. Oh yeah, and some more training!

Today Alison and I took Angus to see "Tomorrow, when the war began". Great film, great book. They are a bit different but we heard John Marsden (author) being interviewed on the radio and if he is happy then it seems all good. Zoe had already seen the movie so it isn't like we were excluding her! The movie could've been set anywhere but it is very obviously Australian. And set in country Australia, some of which reminded me of bits of my childhood. When they were getting ready to blow up the bridge all I could think of was the Moondarrah Dam and my Dad giving me driving lessons out there. I totally sucked at using the clutch!

We also headed out today to take a look at the Cotter Dam being made a helluva lot bigger. Wow. If you're here in Canberra then it is well worth a look.

Politically, Australia is sitting on a knife edge with a minority government. So much so that any time a vote is taken the members can't afford to be out of the chamber. That should make life interesting! My bet is that we'll be back at the polls before too long.

Tomorrow I'm heading out with the Tri Club for a bit of a long ride. Out the highway to Goulburn and back. I should be in the saddle for 6 hours. There's no getting past having to do a few rides this long before Ironman. I am looking forward to it. There's a good bunch of us going and the forecast isn't too bad. My only worry is how I am going to carry all this food that is piled up beside my bike!

I will admit that my training has been a lot easier this week because I've been able to fall asleep at a number of times throughout the day. I think that it would be pretty hard to do that at work. Zoe and Angus think it is pretty funny.

And, to coincide nicely with the holidays, the World Cycling Champs are on here in Australia - in Geelong to be exact. The TV coverage is fantastic and I have also been lucky enough to get some updates and pics from friends who are at the event. about we all let the investigation take its course before screaming "guilty".

What? You want some tunes? Well OK then.

Here's one from Angus...since he's discovered iTunes this has been pumping out non-stop. Catchy I guess.

Taio Cruz - Dynamite:

And Zoe is a complete Glee addict. I guess it could be a lot worse.

Glee Cast - Total Eclipse Of The Heart:

I liked the original version of that I am happy to admit. I always thought it was a pretty gutsy vocal performance but I WAS young at the time!

But down to something a bit more meaty. Green Day have made a couple of appearances here. But I heard this song today for the first time in ages, and then I remembered how cool the clip was. See for yourself.

Green Day - Basket Case:

DJ Hopper was telling me about a Willie Nelson concert he'd been to see. It sounded pretty damned fine so here's a tune for him. If anyone can guess why I chose this particular tune then they've obviously been paying close attention to my ramblings for a while!

Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard - Pancho and Lefty:

And finally, after waiting a month for an eBay purchase to arrive, I have a legal copy of Serena Ryder's awesome album. Remember her? If you don't click this next one. In my opinion she has a great voice that suits her style of music perfectly. I hope she visits Australia again soon so I can try and make it to a gig.

Serena Ryder - All For Love:

And on the theme of love I'll play my last song. A couple of weeks ago I read an article about a guy called Roky Erickson. As a result I listened to his latest LP and was completely blown away. Roky fronted an American psychedelic rock band called the 13th Floor Elevators. The story goes that he'd done quite a lot of mind altering drugs in his time before being busted for possession. He was committed to a mental asylum and subjected to drug and electro-shock treatment over a period of a few years. And as a result, when he got out, his brain was fried. And it still is to a point. But he still writes and performs. I read that at one stage he would have a couple of TVs playing and a radio to try and drown out the noises in his head. That kind of noise appears at places in the album and I guess I get it after finding out about him. I really would recommend the whole album which is called "True Love Cast Out All Evil". In terms of style I would say it is bluesy, country rock. If you like Wilco or Neil Young it might do something for you. So here's a track.

Roky Erickson - Goodbye Sweet Dreams:

Finally, October 2nd is LIVESTRONG day. Support the fight against cancer.

DJ Rob

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Credit where credit is due

Dear Channel 10 - today was Day 1 of the World Cycling Championships. Your coverage via the One HD channel was fantastic. Commentary from Phil and Paul amusing and informative as always. Geelong was looking a treat (someone scrubbed it I guess) and the camera work helped show that as well as tons of rider footage. Keep it up!!

DJ Rob

Monday, September 27, 2010

Big weekend...

Friday, as you can probably guess by Song of the Week, was the end of a busy week. I'm not complaining mind you, but everything seemed to come at once and I was also doing my best not to get a cold!

I was pretty happy when Coach told me to take Saturday morning off. So I missed the morning ride. In the afternoon I chose to forego the AFL Grand Final and hit the pool for a long aerobic session. Well the football was a joke in the end but the pool session was awesome. We finished off with 1100m pool buoy and my body just started ticking over really well.

Sunday saw me out near Queanbeyan (and me without my Passport!) before riding around Sutton Rd. A great couple of hours in the sun with good company meant a pretty fab ride.

But today (Monday) was a tad harder. Ride from Tharwa to the Corin Dam wall and back. You can check out all the details here courtesy of my Garmin:

71km in 3 hours is certainly not fast but make sure you check the hill profile before you get too smart!

Angus is off to Sydney tomorrow at some foul early hour. He's representing the ACT in a carnival for the "future stars" of Australian Football. Personally I hope he goes for it but I know his passion is rugby.

Zoe and I are going clothes shopping (for her) - that should rate a blog entry later on I imagine.

And because I just finished reading his biography here's Steve Earle. It would be great if they could update the book though as a fair bit has happened since it was released. Great read if you're interested, it is called "Hardcore Troubador". has it and that is a great site and they are NOT paying me to say that!!

Steve Earle - Pancho & Lefty:

DJ Rob

Friday, September 24, 2010

Song of the week #109

If you don’t like LOUD music then I’m afraid this is not going to be the week for you. Turn off now and switch on the Disney Channel.

For those of you game enough to hang around, well, let’s get started.

Rollins Band, fronted by Henry Rollins. We’ve played this artist before, and I’ll play him again. Pure aggression with lyrics that bite and bite hard. I’m in the mood for this one. A song about being true to yourself. This is a song I think about a LOT when training for Ironman. As you may or may not know I suffered a small tear in my Achilles Tendon. That has made running impossible but I am riding and swimming like a madman. Listen to the lyrics.

Rollins Band – Shine:

Loud enough? I don’t think so. This one is from one of the best…Ozzy can’t talk coherently anymore but singing is not an issue.

Black Sabbath – Children of the grave:

You still with me? Here’s the heaviest song of all time. Lyrics, guitars, the works. Turn it up as loud as possible.

Faith No More – War Pigs:

Loud music, heavy music, hard rock – sometimes it is just great to get in the car, crank the stereo and sing along to some rock! And here is the perfect song.

Motley Crue – Kickstart My Heart:

Anyway, I’m signing off. I hope you enjoyed a few loud tunes. And I hope I am a lot calmer after listening to them. If you’re in a bad mood get outside, play music, walk your dog or do whatever.

This last song is from a great Victorian band. Painters & Dockers are just too cool for words. Loud guitars, brass section, mega-energy and a good range of lyrical content. I wore out a cassette copy of their live album "Bucket" when I was in high school. This song is about the scourge of the late 80’s and early 90’s….

Painters and Dockers – Die Yuppie Die:

I’ll be calmer next week. Maybe some Sinatra and Michael Buble…

Blow your mind, smoke dynamite,
DJ Rob

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cool and not cool

A random list of some stuff.

  • iPod Touch - a lot cooler than I had imagined
  • Roky Erickson's album - so cool it is unimaginable
  • Garmin 310XT GPS super sports watch - cool but a bit addictive
  • Swooping magpies - not cool, not cool at all
  • Collingwood making the Grand Final - more than cool
  • Peter Garrett becoming the Minister for Education - judgement reserved on that one
  • Parents living through their children's sporting achievements - not cool
  • French toast with banana, maple syrup and bacon @ Carlos - cool
  • The Commonwealth Games pre-event coverage on ABC Radio - long, boring and not cool

That is all!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Song of the Week #108

Hooray, another week done and only one to go until school holidays!! 12 weeks until Ironman.

I'm in my new office with the million dollar view and stacks of work to be getting on with as usual. That's all good.

Today Alison's car had to go in for some work. They gave me a loaner to get around in and oh my goodness was it gutless. I'm used to putting my foot down and the car going somewhere fast (well at least in a hurry) but this particular Merc B180 was about as exciting as my old Toyota! And it was brown too....very 70's.

Speaking of the 70's, here's a singer who is often derided unfairly. In this clip he has stolen Hank Marvin's glasses but I've always found his voice a treat to listen to.

John Denver - Rocky Mountain High:

And speaking of Hank Marvin, here's a classic...

The Shadows - Apache:

We've got new neighbours. Here's a wishlist. I hope they can park straight. And I hope they don't smoke. It isn't really that hard is it!! There was bike racks on their car so that is a positive thing I reckon.

Last week I parted with ten bucks and bought Rush's greatest hits. Why? Well they featured on a couple of TV shows I saw as well as a movie and I'd never really listened to them. Not bad, not bad at all. I'll need to spend some time working through their discography over time. For only three guys their sound is full, complex and hard hitting.

Rush - Working Man (live):

It seems pretty obvious that a lot of bands are heavily influenced by Rush. None more so perhaps than one of my personal favourites, Coheed & Cambria.

Coheed & Cambria - Ten Speed (of God's Blood & Burial):

I had to laugh. Coheed & Cambria are a very successful band. In the liner notes for one of their CDs, one of the band members makes mention of his High School Careers Teacher who said he'd never amount to anything!

A few weeks ago I featured Chet Atkins. This week I want you to listen to this song before you find out who is playin it so click the link and close your eyes:

Unbelievably that's John5. For those of you unfamiliar with the name, he was the guitar player in Marilyn Manson's band. Bit of a change of pace. DJ McG loaned me his John5 CD and it is seriously wide ranging in terms of style but all killer guitar work.

I saw video of Henry Rollins interviewing Marilyn Manson. Seems to me that Manson thinks he is a lot smarter than he is. But then again, he's the international rock star and I'm blogging on a Friday night!

Time to close off. But as always there is a feature tune. Remember Charles Manson stealing from The Beatles and U2 stealing back? ( ) Well, even if you don't, here's a tune that Eminem stole from Martika and ruined. The original is a great song and the whole album isn't half bad.

Martika - Toy Soldiers:

Rock, rock, till you drop!

DJ Rob

Friday, September 10, 2010

Song of the Week #107

I’ll be brief this week. It has been hectic at work, with training and also we’re packing up to move offices which is almost as good as root canal work I imagine!

The Darkness were a UK rock band. They didn’t last all that long (two albums) as the group disintegrated in a clichéd mess of drugs and musical differences. The two albums are quite different but both worth a listen if you like Queen, AC/DC and have a good sense of humour. We all now know that Justin Hawkins managed to fit into that hilarious suit by existing on a steady diet of illicit drugs but he’s managed to get the monkey off his back. His latest band, Hot Leg, were a bit too far into left field even for me. This is a cool song from the first album.

The Darkness – Friday Night:

And look, I wouldn’t usually put two songs in from one artist but this is a live version when the band was pretty much unknown. Check out the way they win the HUGE crowd over. Not many bands can pull this off in a live situation.

The Darkness – Love On The Rocks (With No Ice):

Is that enough rock and roll for one week? NO WAY!

This next tune was recommended by DJ WatzOn…I’m only on my second listen but it ain’t half bad. I will be making an effort to listen to more from this guitar player.

Rory Gallagher – Cradle Rock: Yesterday I made a mistake and the wrong radio station was playing in the car. Commercial radio – shudder! But they played this song and it was a huge flashback to when I was a kid! There is no doubt that this is derivative, a rip-off and extremely cheesy. I guess that’s’ why it is so foot tappin’ good! Sounds like Boney M to me.

Leif Garret – I Was Made For Dancing:

The instrumentation in that song really reminds me of 70’s TV theme songs. Which allows me to segue nicely into the song of the week. If you were a fan of Starsky and Hutch, Kojak, The Professionals or The Sweeney then you’ll know this one as well. I was reminded of it when I went to a concert here at school last week. Rock on.

Radio Birdman – Aloha Steve & Danno:

Deniz Tek who plays guitar in Radio Birdman is a qualified doctor and a US Navy pilot…his callsign was (is) Iceman…

Have a great weekend. I’ll be riding up 5 big hills and swimming a long way!

DJ Rob

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Reality check

13 weeks until Ironman. With the Achilles getting ultrasound, acupuncture and massage that means a maximum of 9 weeks run training. And the training intensity is gradually increasing. This is the hardest week of the four week training phase. It culminates with 5 peaks ride and long swim on Saturday - that is going to hurt!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Song of the Week #106

A warm welcome to this episode from the human pincushion!

I had acupuncture today. Only 5 needles but connected up to some sort of electrical device. It wasn't too bad but then I couldn't see what was going on as I was lying face down. Hopefully the acupuncture, massage and some gentle stretches can sort out my Achilles tendon.

I was mildly amused that the acupuncturist was in the rooms next to the tattoo parlour. I'll need to book myself in there for an appointment post Ironman!

Needles, tattoos....a one of the greatest rock and roll groups ever.

Rose Tattoo - Scarred For Life:

I met Angry Anderson (Rose Tattoo singer) at the Melbourne Zoo when I was still at High School. Yes, he is really short and he was super nice to us as well.

Hey, what is it with people who have "Kind Regards" at the end of their emails? It really sounds like such a blah statement to me. It says nothing and as part of a signature block I always think, how patronising!

Let me put my amateur political analyst hat on now. Skip to the next paragraph if you want more music. If Australia's electoral system is such that power has been handed to a small group of independent MPs then maybe we need to look at it. Is it time for a different electoral system? Certainly, 4 or 5 people determining who can form government doesn't seem particularly representative. Maybe I should stop moaning and run for office. Nah, I'm too honest!

Alice Cooper - Elected:

And now for some classic, classic rock. This song has everything. Great beat, tough snare sound, groovy guitar riff and smoky vocals. And when the chorus kicks in it is a real toe tapper. AND it featured on the soundtrack for a super movie.

Huey Lewis and The News - The Power of Love:

But I listened to a wider range of music this week than the playlist so far might make you think. I scored a sweet compilation CD programmed by Tom Waits. And I'm just going to play the first two tracks because they really seem like essential listening to me.

First up we have Tennessee Ernie Williams. I'd never heard this in my life but the groove, the lyrics and that voice are just so good that I have to share. This song would make it onto a desert island disc if I had to make one. Imagine Nick Cave singing this one...sublime!

Tennessee Ernie Williams - Sixteen Tons:

Things got even better when the next tune came around on the CD. Son House has an amazing voice. Listen carefully throughout the track as he conveys an amazing depth of emotion. I really like the way he gets in and out of time when the only accompaniment is him clapping! Reminds me a bit of listening to John Lee Hooker who obviously never plays a stright 12 bar - he just plays what feels right.

Son House - John the Revelator:

But here's the song I want everyone to listen to. A bit unexpected as well. I had no idea that the Green Day album (rock opera perhaps) American Idiot had been turned into a Broadway Show. It looks pretty cool from the YouTube footage that I've seen so far. This song is from the subsequent album but I guess it is in the show anyway. I like it.

Green Day - 21 Guns (Broadway Cast Version):

There's almost a Wayne's World headbanging moment in that clip! But seriously, I like what they've done with it. Almost the Glee treatment but with people who can sing!

Have a great weekend.

Kind Regards ;-)
DJ Rob