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