Saturday, January 29, 2011

Paul Kelly gig - Fri 28th January 2011

Paul Kelly is a national treasure. He's a great singer and songwriter whose songs have a tendency to get under your skin and stay there.

He also has an unmistakable voice which I think is a must to be successful in any kind of music.

At the moment Paul, along with nephew Dan Kelly, is touring the country presenting his A to Z Tour. Basically, over four nights, Paul plays 100 of his songs in alphabetical order.

We got tickets for night 2 which took us from F through to L.

The show was in two parts, and they were quite different. In the first half the performances were polished and the songs sung with conviction and great care. The explanations behind some of the lyrical content provided a fascinating insight as well. And Dan Kelly's guitar and ukulele work was sublime.

Somehow it all went a little bit pear shaped after the intermission. A missed lyric here and there, guitar change mistakes and even Dan not plugging in a guitar at one stage. Maybe one or two of these incidents would be amusing (and they were) but it got old really quickly. However, through all of that, Paul's honest delivery of the songs didn't waver.

After finishing with "Leaps & Bounds" the crowd demanded two encores. Sheesh, I wish I'd gone home before them. I was always of the opinion that the idea was to finish a show on a high note, not meandering about in waves of delay and feedback. A fair few people sitting around me were quite nonplussed. For me, I haven't seen such a poor encore since going to a Lemonheads gig at the ANU in 1993.

I've pasted in the setlist below for anyone interested. I'm sure that the whole four night package would be excellent.

I've also linked a couple of the best songs from last night to clips in case you want a listen:

(The) Foggy Fields Of France

Foggy Highway

Forty Miles To Saturday Night

Forty-Eight Angels

From Little Things Big Things Grow

From St Kilda To Kings Cross

Gathering Storm

God Told Me To

(The) Gift That Keeps On Giving

Glory Be To God

Going About My Father's Business

How To Make Gravy

I Can't Believe We Were Married

I Close My Eyes And Think Of You

I Don't Know Anything Anymore

I Keep On Coming Back For More

I'd Rather Go Blind

If I Could Start Today Again

I Wasted Time

I Won't Be Your Dog


Jump To Love

Just About To Break

King Of Fools


Leaps And Bounds

Friday, January 28, 2011

Song of the Week #127

Hi there, this is going to be a short episode with the promise of an update tomorrow.

Why? Well because Alison and I are off to see Paul Kelly tonight and I’d like to report back while it is still fresh in my mind.

Paul who? Wash your mouth out. A national treasure.

Paul Kelly & The Coloured Girls – Darling It Hurts

Paul Kelly – Leaps & Bounds

What else? How about something that is sure to get your toes tapping…

John Lee Hooker – Boom Boom

I reckon that being in John Lee Hooker’s band would be hair raising. He just does his own thing all the way through throwing changes and choruses in when he feels they fit. Fantastic.

Bob Dylan has recently released a box set of original mono recordings (1962-67). Relatively hot on the heels of The Beatles doing the same thing. Apparently they sound like they are meant to – whatever that means. Cheaper than The Beatles set and not a limited edition it doesn’t seem. I might try again to understand what all the fuss is all about. But I must admit that I like this next song…maybe a bit smoother than some other stuff he does.

Bob Dylan – She Belongs To Me

This next band is one I heard live on the radio the other night. I was surprised at the strength of the voice and also that I was hearing something worth listening to on the “National Youth Network”. Kooky film clip.

Sia – The Girl You Lost To Cocaine

Here’s a band that I played a lot when this album came out. But they didn’t last too long unfortunately. Another band that wrote great hooks and had lyrics with bite.

Skunk Anansie – Twisted (Everyday Hurts) – if you think that’s a bit soft then try this one…

Skunk Anansie – Yes It’s F******* Political – strong language warning but a hell of a song.

I read something this week written by a guy about my age (very young) detailing his difficulty with getting people to take him seriously because he was into heavy metal. Apparently you’re meant to grow out of it. Well, I can’t see it happening. I got into hard rock and heavy metal for a couple of reasons. But the main one was the intro riff to AC/DC’s Back In Black. Three open, loud chords set me on a path as a teenager. But I think if you limited yourself only to metal then life would be boring. Same goes for any musical genre. But metal doesn’t have to be about lyrics. I am a big Stryper fan but religion isn’t my bag. I think Slayer absolutely rock but blood, guts and gore aren’t my thing either. Music is so often like a feeling. How many opera fans understand a word being sung?

So here’s two tunes to finish off that are best listened to in the car at a cracking volume.

Queensryche – Best I Can

Chuck Berry – Rock & Roll Music

Tune in later on for the Paul Kelly gig review.

DJ Rob

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Australia Day...

So what's it all about?

At the most basic level it is a public holiday. That means retail outlets, supermarkets, fuel stations, restaurants, coffee shops, movie theatres and a myriad of other places will be full of people working. That's just wrong.

What else? We're celebrating being Australian. I am in no doubt that this is indeed a lucky country for the majority of people who live here. Perhaps whether they realise it or not. Our standard of living is high. Even though we whinge about or government/s we get a say in choosing them. We have a welfare system, superannuation guarantee and a health system that aren't perfect but are a helluva lot better than many other nations provide.

Education is relatively free and available to anyone who genuinely wants it.

And, while free speech is not a legal right in Australia, none of our Nobel Peace Prize winners are under house arrest.

My family came to Australia not long before my 12th birthday. My first impressions were that it was hot, damned hot! I'll admit that I didn't feel that I fitted in as an Aussie for a number of years, probably until I left school. But it grew on me.

I'll celebrate Australia Day by getting up early to go for a ride with some friends. It's going to be 37 degrees here in Canberra so we'll probably have to hide in the air conditioning for the middle of the day. And then our family tradition is to go to the Australia Day fireworks in the evening at Lake Burley Griffin. So maybe Australia Day is about friends and family?

Certain parts of Australia's indigenous population call it Invasion Day instead. And I sympathise. White settlement was (and continues to be) a marginalising experience for the Aboriginal People. But we all need to move forward regardless. If we can ever get closer to some form of reconciliation it would be awesome to celebrate that on January 26th.

Australia Day should not be hijacked by hoons in loud cars with Southern Cross tattoos drinking too much beer and dragging the flag on the ground. That's not what we're about as a nation. The lowest common denominator doesn't have to win out.

If you're here in Australia, count your blessings. If you've been here for years and you're not a citizen then get on with it or go back where you came from.

Here's a couple of songs to celebrate.

DJ Rob

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Song of the Week #126

We've been at the coast for a week. Tuross Head to be exact. A great little spot on the NSW South Coast. Personally, the beach is something I can do without but the rest of my family have it in their genes somehow so it seems that I am doomed!
Last night there was a rather amazing electrical storm that went for a good couple of hours. While everyone else watched a DVD, I listened to some Warren Zevon tunes on the iPod and watched the sky. I'm not really sure quite what this song is all about (I have a fair idea) but it is pretty cool anyway.

Warren Zevon - Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner:
The movie I didn't watch was, "The Boat That Rocked". It's a great film about pirate radio in the UK. Kenneth Branagh manages to look a LOT like Captain Mainwaring from "Dad's Army". I'm sure that in real life the boats had a lot more seasick people on them! Here's a track that featured at the start, love it.
The Kinks - All Of The Day And All Of The Night:
What that movie does is remind me of when radio was a) cool and, b) worth listening to. I spent the whole week at the coast looking for a decent station. And I failed miserably. Come to think of it, there's a good reason I hardly listen to radio anymore, TOO MUCH TALK, NOT ENOUGH MUSIC. Anyhoo.
The Sports - Who Listens To The Radio? :
Angus loved the beach more than anyone. He was up early to watch the surfers most mornings. And he took a lot of time refining his boogie boarding style. That's AFTER being dragged into a rip on day 1 and needing rescuing by the Surf Lifesavers and his Mum!! I reckon he'd live at the beach in a shot as long as there was a rugby team to play for as well.
Here's two guitar legends with an appropriate tune:
Dick Dale & Stevie Ray Vaughan - Pipeline:
And if you haven't seen "The Spy Next Door" starring Jacky Chan, you haven't lived. I expected it to be be bad with a capital "B" but it was actually quite amusing and a good laugh.
I bought a copy of "The Virgin Encyclopedia of 70s Music" at Mogo. It is VERY well put together and I might hit eBay or (no product placement here - they are just the best ever) to look for some other volumes. I'll take a couple of random (well almost) artists from that book to play this week.
First up is Jim Steinman. The man behind "Bat Out Of Hell" and some other stuff. He's definitely worth a listen.
Jim Steinman - Rock and Roll Dreams Come True: (re-recorded later on by Meatloaf but this one is a heap better I reckon) What a terrible film clip!
I've worked it out, my lack of success as a rock 'n' roll megastar has nothing to do with talent or luck. I should've bought Aviator mirror shades all those years ago when I still had hair.
Little River Band - Help Is On It's Way:
A family friend gave me an old worn LRB cassette in the mid 80's sometime. That song was on it and it has been a favourite ever since. Close to pop perfection, very close.
But my Mum inspires this week's chosen song, guaranteed to rocket all the way to #1 worldwide. She gave me a copy of the NZ movie "Boy".  You should watch it now. It reminded me of an insult used all the time at school when I was a kid. "You're such an egg!"
Here's the trailer: I reckon that they had no problem finding a location for the film as a lot of NZ, like Australia, is caught in a time warp.
This song features in the film, and also in my childhood. This version includes footage from the film but I'm sure the music is the same as it was way back when. A bit different but cool nonetheless.
Have a great week. Be nice to your Mum (or someone else's !)
DJ Rob

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Song of the week #125

One of the best things about my job is that you get extended holidays at this time of year. For me that means a chance to read some books, listen to music and play my guitars as well as getting some training in at more sociable times of the day!

It was a year ago that one of my best friends, Glenn died. I miss him a lot. Conversations about bikes, batteries, bikes, the meaning of life, coffee, bikes, Le Tour and bikes aren’t quite the same without him. This song isn’t quite his style but the sentiment feels right to me. He’s wherever you go (or don’t) when you die and the rest of us carry on with him firmly in our thoughts.

AC/DC – Ride On:

I had a listen to a couple of old albums this week. One from Whitesnake and one from Rainbow. Both were pretty good. From a time when a swagger and boogie were part of hard rock in a very good way. Try these on for size:

Whitesnake – Victim of Love:

Rainbow – Tarot Woman:

Yesterday Alison and I spent 7 hours in the car driving to and from Sydney to pick the kids up from camp. I hate cars. Can someone make the stargate a reality please? And sooner is better. Perhaps the shuffle feature on the iPod was one of the only saving graces. Here’s a track that came up that I hadn’t listened to for ages.

Sheryl Crow – C’Mon, C’Mon:

The live DVD that track comes from (C’mon America 2003) is well worth a look – a really great show and Sheryl has an awesome band. She even gets away with a decent Led Zep cover.

By the way, did you know that Fairies Wear Boots?

And this one comes to you via Radio Free Charleston and its host, my friend, Rudy. He puts together an awesome video blog/presentation that has a lot of local music from his hometown in it. His post this week reminded me how beautiful this song was, especially the guitars at the start.

The Beatles – Dear Prudence:

Did you know that Alice Cooper had a radio show? I didn’t but apparently he’s been at it for seven years? On the way home from Sydney, it was broadcast and I heard part of it. Far out, people send him STOOPID emails. But he did play this track, a combination of artists that I wasn’t aware of, and it works!

Peter Frampton & The Bee Gees: Sgt. Peppers/Little Help from my friends:

That was a bit unexpected!!

There was an article in the paper and online this week putting it out there that 2010 sounded the death of rock music. I’m sorry, but you ARE kidding. Indulge me here as I spend a reasonable amount of time with the youth of today. My anecdotal evidence is that when they get through being impressed by whatever “hit radio” throws at them, that a LOT of them discover music with substance, not necessarily rock but you get my drift. For every Katy Perry or 50 Cent fan I talk to there are a heap more discovering KISS, The Sex Pistols and silverchair. After that, it is only a short hop and a skip to realizing that there are plenty of bands working hard. Maybe just that radio doesn’t want them to be heard. It CAN happen people…just rock on.

I’ll finish with music that I’m sure parents at the time thought was evil and wasn’t going anywhere…how times change!!

Spencer Davis Group – Gimme Some Lovin’ (1966):

Alice Cooper – Under My Wheels (live 1971):

Grandmaster Flash – The Message (1983):

Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name Of (1992):

The Gaslight Anthem – American Slang (2010):

That isn’t to say that rock can’t be antisocial, loud, rude and plain nasty. There’s some fairly unsavoury stuff out there but it isn’t limited to popular music. Anyone watching what supposedly passes for current affairs these days? I’m finding it almost impossible to find a decent news service that isn’t obsessed with boozy footballers, celebrity trivia and hatred.

Here’s something you may find offensive, the concept anyway…but you should listen to anyway, it’s a good song.


DJ Rob

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wait for it....

Today I drove to Sydney and back to retrieve my kids. They’d been on camp for a week at Broken Bay.


Of course there was an accident and/or breakdown in the M5 tunnel when we were coming home. This added a lot of time to the trip.


Song of the week will be late rather than being even more half-arsed than normal!!


DJ Rob

Friday, January 7, 2011

Song of the Week #124

Friday again and hopefully you’ve got the time and inclination to indulge me as I spin a few discs.

Summernats is here in Canberra. It is billed as a festival for car enthusiasts. Unfortunately this also means drunken, loud and destructive folks on our streets. I have NOTHING against the festival itself. But certain sections of the clientele are quite frankly, less than desirable. We’re leaving town to avoid the worst of the low end of the gene pool. Hopefully all of our trees are still standing when we come back, unlike in past years.

Interestingly enough, I used to work with a guy who was a true car nut. He raced a dragster and it was super cool. He told me that the car club he belonged to went away from Canberra when Summernats was on to get away from the hoons.

Enough whinging about that.

I’ve been spending some time these holidays watching the BBC Documentary Series, “A History of Scotland”. It’s pretty cool and does a good job of attempting to separate the facts from the mythology. I’m into the 15th Century at the moment. If you’re at all interested in the history of the country that gave the world almost everything worthwhile then check it out.

Here’s a couple of great tracks from Scotland…

The KLF – America: What Time Is Love?

Eurythmics – Thorn In My Side (live in Australia 1987)

Del Amitri – Kiss This Thing Goodbye (nice tartan guitar!)

Australian Cricket isn’t in mourning this week, it’s a lot worse than that. Bad enough being beaten by England, but the comprehensive nature of our collapse might require a complete rethink in terms of team selection, captaincy and strategies. While you have to hand it to the Poms for playing so well, one has to wonder what happened to make Australia play so completely dismally. At least when the West Indies were thumping us in the 80s it was the same for everyone else!

And it seems that discrimination is possibly afoot with the National Broadcaster’s Youth Radio network JJJ. I voted in their “Hottest 100” poll recently. There are a slew of good prizes on offer but anecdotal evidence suggests that only “young folks” win. Not those who have listened faithfully to JJJ since it went national. Also not those who are probably buying music rather than downloading it. Grrrrrrr. Of course I can’t prove anything but….

Here’s some JJJ fare:

John Butler Trio - Zebra

A special mention to MC HB who is racing in the Australian Cycling Nationals this weekend….knock ‘em dead!! Here’s a track for you:

Michael Jackson & Diana Ross – Ease On Down The Road

Anyone who has read this blog/diatribe/drivel for a while now will know that I am a fan of a great cover version. When I was at high school I was a big Stryper fan. Regardless of their religious message, I liked the guitar solos, the harmony vocals and the energy. Now Stryper are releasing an album of their favourite covers. And there is a good range of rock, pop and metal tunes. The album doesn’t come out until February but of course you can hear most or all of it on the ‘net somewhere. This is a good version of Kansas classic:

Stryper – Carry On My Wayward Son

A whole lot of John Lennon stuff has been re-mastered and re-released recently. I hadn’t really listened to much of his solo stuff until DJ Fatboy turned me on to the Double Fantasy album. In the re-releases is a stripped down version of this album which is famous for being pretty overblown in terms of production I am told. Try this on for size, it’s growing on me!

John Lennon & Yoko Ono – I’m Losing You (Stripped Down)

That’s all folks,

DJ Rob

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Gerry Rafferty - RIP

Everyone knows him for Baker Street, Stuck In the Middle and perhaps his early collaboration with Billy Connolly.

However, Gerry did a lot more than just those highlights.

Check out this excellent track from his "North and South" album. I got this on cassette for $5 one day. A total bargain as the album is fantastic.

DJ Rob