Sunday, May 29, 2011
But what I learned about the lessons in sportsmanship are ugly. Parents are the culprits here, not the kids. I once saw a 15 yr old soccer referee called a "c*nt" by a parent on the sideline. The kids playing would've been 7yrs old. The referee stopped the game and the parent was removed by his (mortified) wife.
I was at a Rugby 7s carnival when two parents ran onto the field and had a punch up. Classy.
But the kicker lately seems to be the rather unsavoury practice of poaching players. We're talking about 13 and 14 year olds. The latest show of unsportsmanlike behaviour involves boys playing sport for a private school team even though they don't attend it. The result is that they play for a super strong team with almost as many reserves as there are players on the field. And it means that the "public" clubs struggle for numbers. Indeed this season our mob has taken orphans from a couple of other clubs unable to field a team. Wake up parents, winning isn't everything. And karma comes around eventually.
I'm unapologetic about these comments. A certain college should be ashamed of themselves for letting this happen. I saw plenty of their players getting only 5 mins game time because the imports played the majority of the match.
Friday, May 27, 2011
After the low of our house being burgled we were feeling lower than a snake's belly. But the prospect of a day trip to the coast for Angus to play rugby had us feeling OK. After all, some sunshine, a sausage sandwich and some boys playing good rugby sounded like a plan.
But, as it seems to be of late, lady luck wasn't with us, in fact she was totally against us! Angus played almost 5 whole minutes of the match before tackling a kid twice his size. The other kid landed on him and bent his wrist in a way it just isn't meant to go. The result was that Angus spent the rest of the match with the St John's Ambulance guys. Then he spent some of Saturday evening at the hospital. It wasn't broken but it was pretty beat up. Of course, it's Friday now and he looks like he's recovered well. Just in time for another smash fest tomorrow. Why he can't be a chess Grand Master is totally beyond me.
This is a song for Angus. Good advice for the times when the hulking 70kg 13 year olds are chasing him.
Time to lighten the mood a little. I heard this next artist years ago when I saw a cassette with an interesting cover in a bargain bin at my favourite record store. The song titles appealed to me and I was pleasantly surprised to get home and find out that the music was pretty rip roaring. With titles like “I wanna race Bigfoot Trucks”, “Destroy all lawyers” and “Don Henley must die” it was $5 well spent. See what you think.
Of course, nothing Mojo does will top his song, “Debbie Gibson is pregnant with my two headed love child”! Well it made me giggle.
And this next song is just for fun, lots of fun, so much fun that I’m dancing around the room trying to type…man I love this version!
Billy Bragg wrote on facebook this week that he had been watching some music videos from the 70’s with his son. According to Bill these songs were the reason that punk had to happen. Here’s two of my favourite voices doing a great version of a classic punk tune. I guess the song could be classified as hardcore rather than punk but that’s just semantics!
Chuck D is from the US Rap group Public Enemy. I really got into their music and some of their message in the early-90s when I was studying Human Geography. I was drawn to their straight talking lyrics and brutal honesty that melds totally with the sound they produced. It isn’t music I listen to every day but when I’m in the mood…
I also read this week that heavy metal legends, Judas Priest, appeared on the TV show American Idol. Oh please. They should be ashamed of themselves. I have no more to say on that.
Some weeks I have a rant and some weeks you just get music. This is a rant week. Skip over the next bit if you like…
I hear all the time that the “youth of today” have no respect, don’t know how to behave and have short attention spans. Well hello, that is just wrong and it’s time that “oldies” practiced what they preach. We were at the National Eisteddfod last Sunday watching Zoe. There was a large group of 13 and 14 year olds in front of us watching the performance and listening to the adjudication. Their behaviour was appropriate for the occasion. Contrast that with someone’s Grandma and her cronies behind us who talked through the whole thing even when asked to be quiet. And then there were all the adults who let their phones ring and one who I saw actually answer it during the show. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And a second example whilst I am on my soap box. People in my profession spend a fair bit of time trying to ensure that kids take responsibility for their surrounds. Cleaning up after yourself is something that we continually work on. Imagine my surprise when after a morning tea this week a friend told me that when he had reminded another colleague to put their cup in a dishwasher he was told that they “didn’t have time for that kind of thing” . If you want Gen Y to show respect and act in a particular way then remember, you have to model the behaviour as well. It’s a NIKE thing, “just do it”.
On Tuesday I went with MC Burglar to the tattoo parlour. I’d decided that if I finished the Ironman race that I’d join the crowd with the Ironman logo tattooed on my body. I was nervous, really nervous. Would it hurt? Would I cry? Would my leg fall off? Would Angus and MC Burglar laugh at my predicament? Well, to cut a short story even shorter, it took about 15 minutes, hurt like hell and I didn’t cry. It’s done now. I got it on the outside of my right ankle. That way anyone riding past me can see it! It’ll take a few weeks to completely heal but it looks pretty good I reckon. However, I’d rather do another Ironman than go back for another tattoo. The training and the race hurt less.
Listening to Chuck D and Henry Rollins earlier made me reflect on what makes a good voice. Neither of them are what I’d call great singers in the traditional sense but the characteristics of their voices and the way they use them make their vocal delivery unmistakable. Some people are just blessed with a unique voice that appeals to others. Neil Young wavers around a note. It probably wouldn’t work for anyone else but he’s made a career from it. To finish off here’s a little gem that uses the singer’s voice to perfection. Something a bit different but I like it a lot.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Hello out there in blog and internet world.
This has been a week of highs and lows. The low was our house being broken into on Monday. We can cope with the loss of a whole swag of electronic equipment – it’s a pain but insurance should come through at some stage. What is totally devastating is that our backup drive (aka Harold) was taken and that had all of our photos on it. It’s rather tempting to set up an automated machine gun overlooking the courtyard but I guess we’ll have to make do with some less severe security measures. The poor dog who was in the backyard is still getting his voice back.
One of the highs however was that the Jazz Band Zoë plays in achieved a Gold Medal at the National Eisteddfod. She loves playing in this band and the Concert Band. And even though she is addicted to the TV Show Glee, she enjoys the music she plays as well. This is a version of one of the tunes she played last night.
I’m still working my way through some Bob Dylan tracks that DJ Stringman gave me. I stand by my assertion that a Greatest Hits package is not necessarily the best place to start. This song came up at the gig I reviewed a couple of weeks ago so I checked out Bob’s original. Yeah, not bad (it’s probably sacrilegious to say that!), but here’s another version I found that I really like.
Does anyone else think that Leslie West of Mountain has had singing style emulated by Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam? You be the judge. Also, folk music aficionados will pick Bob’s use of the tune from the song “Nottamun Town”.
Last week The Cars were an unexpected blast from the past. I’ve got another one this week. Roxette! Having seen these guys live in the 90s I was an instant convert. I didn’t expect a new album but there’s one out there and it sounds pretty good. It’s simply fun pop/rock music. There’s a “world” tour as well. Obviously their idea of the world is different to mine.
AC/DC finally released their live DVD filmed in Argentina during 2009. I’m a big fan and at $20 I thought it would be a good deal even if I only watched bits of it every now and then. Wow, it has exceeded all of my expectations. The band all sound great and the production is slick even if the song choice is predictable. But, after having watched the show I reckon that South America has to be THE place to see a rock band. There’s around 60,000 screaming fans in the stadium and even on DVD you can tell that the atmosphere is electric. I’ve seen AC/DC twice here in Australia but nothing compares to this. Take a look!
I hope I’m rocking that hard when I’m in my sixties!
A few weeks ago I introduced some of you to a band called Vintage Trouble. They rocked my socks almost immediately! Their CD and 45rpm single arrived the post this week and I continue to be blown away by them. If you don’t listen to any other song this week then I implore you to give this one a spin. A more laid back effort from a band that just oozes style.
The best comedians are the ones who can relate everyday experiences and make them hilariously funny. In my view Billy Connolly is probably top of the heap in that regard. But this morning I was listening to an old cassette and Bill Cosby came on. I don’t remember hearing this before and I laughed until I hurt. So, with thanks to my Brother, MC SamSpam, here’s Bill.
Some of our neighbours had a huge party last night and getting to sleep was a problem. This morning I got up early, but not on purpose. Since I was awake I made the most of my time crashing around in the garage, putting the bins out and playing the radio to make sure that hangovers started nice and early upstairs. It was rather anti-social of me but the memories of a pulsing bass line running through my head while I was trying to sleep fueled my attempts at making sounds akin to Einsturdenze Neubaten. All the time I had my iPod on and the soundtrack came from Lily Allen. She’s got a potty mouth but her voice is great and the tunes are catchy. So I think I’ll finish up this week with one. This one has pretty cutting lyrics so give them a listen. No bad language in this version – safe for even the easily offended.
See you on the flipside,
Friday, May 13, 2011
Oh wow, I’ve tracked down some truly magic tunes for you this week. I guess that will depend on your perspective but I like them and it’s my blog/email list so sit down and listen carefully!
Prince is a strange character. I’ve been a fan of His Royal Purpleness for a while but I’ll freely admit that a lot of his material leaves me cold. Purple Rain is a great film – surely it would make a good stage musical. And interestingly enough, Prince won’t let YouTube have any of his music on it as he believes they don’t do enough to keep objectionable material off the ‘net. More power to him. This track isn’t one of his but it demonstrates his versatility as well as his stellar musicianship. Wait till he cuts loose on the guitar towards the end…
Here's a quick tune that DJ Bloo sent through today. More electronic fun from Kraftwerk. Looks like a pretty good concert. For years I thought Kraftwerk and Devo were the same band!
I listened to quite a bit of David Bowie this week. Old stuff, new stuff, weird stuff, straight stuff. It's all good and the variety means you'll never get bored. This is a pretty popular song but I like it all the same - and at least one of my other favourite bands have stolen a song title from the lyrics...
Wow, that must have really upset some parents in the early 70s!
If you didn't read my review of the Chilled Out Giraffes gig then you can access it here on the blog below this entry. It was great! Last time I saw some of these guys they played at least one Declan MacManus tune. He writes a great tune, plays tasteful guitar and really needs to learn to shave - leave the stubble to George Michael! Declan has a cool TV show that is worth your time - he interviews and plays with some groovy folks. This isn’t from that song but I found this version of “Alison” and I couldn’t resist. I’ve been practicing this song myself but unless I have a vocal cord transplant the chorus will continue to evade me!
That Glastonbury weather makes me very glad I live here J
I've said a few times that the most successful bands and artists are those with their own particular sound or style. Mark Knopfler's guitar playing, Tom Petty's nasal twang and Joe Cocker's stage moves all come to mind. This next band have a classic sound that, to me at least, is instantly recognisable. They hadn't recorded an album in over 25 years and I didn't even know a new one was coming until MC TC let me know via facebook. I'm excited. It sounds a real treat on the few listens I've had via YouTube. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up a CD or vinyl copy here in Canberra before too long. Ladies and Gentlemen, kick up your heels, dance and clap along to....THE CARS!!!
DJ Rob (to unsubscribe just send me an email that reveals where the spiders actually were and I’ll disconnect you)
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Chilled Out Giraffes is just a name I made up after checking out the gig flyer which, surprisingly enough, featured two giraffes.
George and Chris from “Junk Sculpture” played some tunes at Beyond Q in Curtin on Sunday afternoon.
I was pretty pleased that Alison and I could get to this gig as it seems every time that they have played recently we’ve been otherwise engaged!
It was a laid back affair with George singing and playing keys accompanied by Chris on the bass and singing too.
Their choice of songs was, at their own admission, those that they hadn’t played live before. The range was eclectic which is something I really enjoyed as did the rest of the folks along for the ride. A couple of songs developed into sing-alongs which just added to the feel-good nature of the show.
I’ll post the setlist at the end but one of the highlights for me was “Morningtown Ride”, a cover of the old Seekers tune. As well as being a lot of fun to sing along with it was a song that took me way back to learning the guitar. My guitar teacher just had a big chord chart for the class to follow along with and this was a regular!
Another top moment was their version of Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone”. George played all the verses before finally getting to the chorus. And the rhythm of the lyrics really reminded me of “All The Young Dudes” by Mott The Hoople. Play those songs one after the other and hopefully you’ll see what I’m talking about.
It was great to see George and Chris as a duo for a couple of reasons. I really like keyboard/piano players that can hold their own without overdoing it. George used his keyboards as a subtle backing which meant that the songs and his voice took centre stage. Hearing and understanding song lyrics is important to me.
I’ve played with Chris on a few occasions and he has a great sounding Fender bass guitar. What I really enjoy about his technique is the smooth feel and sound. His fingers move with grace and it looks effortless.
George mentioned that he didn’t mind Bob Dylan not using the big screen at his Byron Bay show. But I like to watch musicians as well as listen. Seeing George attempting to subtly kick Chris to let him know the end of the song was coming up was great. So, if a big gig can have a big screen I’m all for it. Luckily at Beyond Q I was close enough to see what was going on!
Anyway, it was a great show that was very much appreciated and enjoyed by those who came along to watch. I hope they do it again.
Can one play too much Springsteen….probably not!
· Moon River (Mercer/Mancini)
· Just Like A Woman (Bob Dylan)
· I’m On Fire (Bruce Springsteen)
· One Step Up (Bruce Springsteen)
· Flowers (George Huitker)
· Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Judy Garland)
· Morningtown Ride (The Seekers)
· What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
· Racing In The Street (Bruce Springsteen)
· Like A Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan)
· Master Of War (Bob Dylan)
· My City Of Ruins – (Bruce Springsteen)
· Throw Your Arms Around Me (Hunters & Collectors)
Friday, May 6, 2011
I guess it is fairly difficult to have missed the fact that a US Navy SEAL Team killed Osama Bin Laden. And whilst I am glad that he’s been found I find it hard to come to terms with the celebrations involved. I have no doubt at all that Osama Bin Laden was a terrorist with a lot of blood on his hands. I also understand that if you don’t make a pretty good effort to surrender in a fire-fight then you’re going to get shot – and that never really ends well. Yes, I would have liked to see him taken alive, he had a lot to answer for, but I understand why that couldn’t happen. What doesn’t sit well with me is the almost party atmosphere that ensued. My view, and it is mine alone I am expressing, is that we should be glad that Osama was found, understanding of the outcome, and quietly thankful that he can no longer be responsible for any more death. His legacy is another story.
On a related note, I finally got around to applying for my Australian Defence Medal (I finished regular service in 1997). It is given in recognition of service in the Defence Force. My service was all done here in Australia and for that I am thankful. For a while I was disappointed that I hadn’t served overseas but the experiences of some friends and acquaintances who have been to a number of places put that into perspective.
I was going to play ABBA’s “Money, Money, Money” next in recognition of the fact that Zoë is about to get braces. But that seems so obvious. This is better…some of you will get the not so obscure reference I hope.
One of the best bits about writing this blog every week is that people communicate with me and let me know about songs and bands that they think I will like. Sometimes they are dead wrong (that’s all you Justin Bieber fans) but a number of recommendations are pretty cool. This one is in from DJ JoyToTheWorld (and family). The resonator guitar is cool…
DJ McG has been feeding me great tunes for a while now, even if I’m really struggling to like “The Buzzcocks” live album. But this next tune is a lot of fun. I was so tempted just to wheel out the original because I love the boogie…but here’s a different version. This song has one of best lyrics ever…”hub cap diamond star halo” – yeah baby!
It’s a bit scary but after 10 years I’m heading back to University – even if it is online! As a result I had to drag out my Academic Transcript so that I can prove to the Uni that I indeed have a degree to start with. I hope they don’t look too closely at the marks! It was a long time ago that those three FAIL grades were achieved and I think they should be written off now. Ha! But when I was looking for my transcripts a photo of my Grandpa fell out of the folder. It’s a good snap of him and my Granny. I’ll play this next song for him – I remember him requesting it at a sing-along many, many years ago (when I had hair). I thought it was an odd choice at the time but, knowing more about him it makes sense.
Who knows why Australian crowds don’t or won’t sing. Too busy with a pie probably!
DJ Chickenbrother has been trying to get me to play this for a while. But I lost the email link and it took me a while to remember who sang it. A great cover of an iconic Australian song. Good choice.
On Wednesday I had to go to Sydney for work. My views on that city have been aired before. On this visit I had the cabbie from hell. He’d rotted his brain listening to way too much talkback radio and at 7.30am I really wasn’t up to dealing with him. However, I am now aware of all the reasons why our government, country and kids are in such a mess. And who knew you had to be gay to be a hairdresser? Luckily the next one I got was a really nice guy and we had a good chat.
Song of the Week this time is Lenny Kravitz from when he was good and funky…
Rugby season starts tomorrow…better get my thermals out so I don’t freeze while watching!