Friday, July 29, 2011

Song of the Week #153

A shorter episode this week. Bit busy here.

This song was on the radio yesterday – it was a number 1 hit forty years ago. And it still stands up.

Carole King – I Feel The Earth Move

If you watched Cadel Evans win the Tour de France then you might have had the misfortune to also see Tina Arena butcher the Australian National Anthem. That’s a shame because she has a good voice. Here’s a tune that DJ Ducky turned me on to:

Jeff Martin and Tina Arena – Don’t Give Up

And someone reminded me of this song over the weekend – and I laughed again and again. You should as well!

Tenacious D – Tribute (live in Sydney)

Finally, a song from an album I’ve had for a while but probably should’ve paid more attention to. Chickenfoot features Sammy and Michael from Van Halen, Chad from the Chilli Peppers and Joe Satriani. It’s a good hard rock album with some great musicianship but that’s not the point here. I heard this song on my iPod when I was running at the Gold Coast and it turned out to be a great tune to exercise to. And then I saw the clip. I think it’s pretty good and certainly not at all what I expected.

Chickenfoot – My Kinda Girl

Have a great weekend,

DJ Rob

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Song of the Week #152

This episode is coming to you from the Gold Coast. I'm here for work. For my overseas audience, the Gold Coast is on the east coast of Australia in Queensland. It's a famous tourist attraction. You could spend time in worse places even if most of the day is in a conference room.

I flew in on Wednesday. There's nothing quite like sleeping the whole way on the plane to avoid the annoying person sitting next to you. Headphones, not even plugged in, are also a fantastic deterrent if you can't handle a conversation with someone you've never met!

There's a line in a Redgum song about flying to the Gold Coast where John Schumann talks about touching down in Coolangatta with a Walkman pinned to his side playing Midnight Oil surf hits. I saw surfers when I was out running this afternoon. Scary waves surrounded by rocks. I'll stick to triathlon.

When I got to the hotel I noticed that there was a lap pool available. With time to myself the afternoon prior to the conference I was pleased to be able to get a few laps in. No-one told me that the pool wasn't heated - or not heated very well. I swam a race in Victoria a few years ago where the water temperature was about 13 degrees. This pool wasn't much warmer. After 1500m I had to get out. I couldn't see straight and my brain was going fuzzy. A hot bath never felt so good!

I'm here at a conference about Employment Law. And so far it has been pretty good. I won't bore you all with a thousand details but I did find the session on social media and employees pretty interesting. Just remember, whatever you put on Facebook (and the like) is in the public domain - so don't go slagging off your employer or workmates. The conference ties in well with my work (well duh!) but also with the university study I've just started. I'll report back later about the trials and tribulations of doing this online.

During the week I posted a couple of tunes on my blog. I've been telling anyone who will listen about the very cool band Vintage Trouble. I found a video of them doing a cover of this next tune from Tina Turner. It was so cool that I tracked down Tina's album from 1975 (Acid Queen). Interesting. The whole first side (remember it was an LP) is dreadful. But the B side is fabulously funky. Here's a tune that oozes groove, disco and fun. What a shame that Ike turned out to be such a loser.

There's Pay TV (cable for you US folks) in the hotel. Something that we don't have at home. Mostly there is nothing worth watching except the music channel. Here are two very different songs that I took note of. The first one is an old favourite and the second I know nothing at all about except that the lyrics are just fab.

The big political news in Australia is the Carbon Tax. Personally I agree with the concept but that's not what I want to talk about. The government has decided that we'll have it - fair enough, get on with it. But now we have a $12 million advertising campaign from them and then a whole lot of anti campaigning from a range of people. What a waste of money. I learned a really good lesson from a former colleague (hi Alex!) and that was to fight the battles you can win. The Carbon Tax will happen. So, happy or not, why not put all that money into something more useful.

Le Tour de France rolls on and just gets more and more exciting. This year I've had quite a number of friends on the ground there to get reports from as well. Yes, I'm dead jealous. The closest I think I'll be getting to France is teasing Zoe about baguettes when she is speaking French with Angus. Whatever happens we'll be yelling for Cadel and hoping that a clean rider wins. Remember what Mr Garrison says, "drugs are bad okay!"

The last song this week comes from a band we've heard from before. I like them and this song resonated for a few reasons this week. Del Amitri, from Scotland, have songs that sound simple at first but with a couple of listens there is suddenly so much going on in the mix.

Next week I'll be back at work and back in cold Canberra. And Alison will be in Hong Kong. I wonder if she'll buy me a present?

DJ Rob

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Get it ON!

I was surfing around looking for some cool footage from my favourite band of the moment, Vintage Trouble. If you haven't been paying attention then you need to listen to some of their tunes right NOW.
It wasn't long before I came up with this:
That's a very, very, very cool version of an old Ike & Tina number. Check out the original as well, you won't be disappointed.
Vintage Trouble have had their debut album available from their website for a while but there's a mass release version available for pre-order from the usual outlets. Do yourself a blues approved favour.
DJ Rob

Friday, July 15, 2011

Song of the Week #151

Welcome to a bumper episode. School holidays have been good to me so far and I've done plenty of music listening and some purchasing as well.
As I type, there is a VERY, VERY tired young man on the lounge next to me. A week at snowboarding camp has certainly worn him out. Of course, he came back today and Zoe has now exited stage left for a couple of days!
To start, welcome to our first guest presenter – DJ ArrVee. She's chosen three songs and they are all crackers.
Song 1: Mazzy Star – Fade Into You. "So dreamy and intense and I love the slide guitar".
Song 2: Pixies - Gigantic, "because Kim Deal does vocals and every Arts student fangirl wished she could be Kim Deal. Also because it starts with a cool bass line and then builds into screamy guitars."
Song 3: Bjork – Hyperballad, "because who hasn't wanted to throw car parts off a cliff."
As I said, great choices! DJ ArrVee sent some more suggestions as well so look out for those in the coming weeks. Feel free to join in by shooting me an email. You can choose one song and tell me your reasons or if you're really keen go for a whole episode.
Now, back to me. This next track was on one of the morning TV music shows that I was flicking past on the way to the cycling highlights. It caught my ear and the TdF had to wait a bit. What I like is the nod to the 80s with a modern twist. I found this track remeniscent of Howard Jones, Thompson Twins and Big Country.
Another more recent band that I've had a bit of a listen to this week is Potbelleez. Recommended sort of by DJ COJ so thanks to him for the heads up. This clip is hilarious – the Muppets go adults only! As for the song, the squidgy bass sound is a winner with me.
I've played Glenn Campbell before. It's no secret that I am a big, big fan of "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Galveston". But I didn't know that he'd put out a CD covering bands like Green Day, Foo Fighters, Jackson Browne, Travis and U2. So, after a bit of Googling I had a track listing and was off to YouTube to check it out. Now, Glenn is 70+, but to me his voice is still great. And the thing I liked the best about all the covers I was able to listen to is that he made them truly his own. This next song is overplayed, overblown and my least favourite Green Day tune. But Glenn just does such an awesome job that I couldn't resist.
I got a huge shock when I saw an advertisement for this next band. They are playing Canberra in October. This is a group that I loved as a teenager – their album "Hysteria" was, and remains a stone cold classic of the hard rock genre. Hopefully I'll be there at the gig.
To follow on from Def Leppard, here's something a bit different from AC/DC clones Rhinobucket. They're a solid band with some good rock tunes, magic vocal delivery and a swagger that reminds me of Thin Lizzy. But this is an acoustic track and it translates well.
I've had the album that this next track is from for ages but for some reason it wasn't until I saw this video that it all came together. I really, really like the idea of the two piece band but without the screaming of the White Stripes perhaps. Try this, it's groovy baby!
I spent some time one day this week at a very good record shop. Landspeed in Canberra isn't huge but it has a great mix of styles to choose from. And every time I've been in there good tunes have been playing on the store stereo system. I picked up Kyuss' first album and a Johnny Winter live CD both for $10 – bargain. But the CD playing in the shop had me entranced – I even hung around longer to see what each subsequent track was like. It was great so I bought it. The band is Colour and City and they are out of Canada. I did some checking with my Canadian connection DJ KelSee and she advised that it was an offshoot of a very loud and noisy band called Alexisonfire. Well, this is the complete antithesis of that band. Colour and City are moody, acoustic, analogue and full of depth and reverb. I love it. This is the first track, the one I heard and was instantly hooked.
Have a great weekend. Listen to something old, something new, something local and of course some blues!!
DJ Rob

Friday, July 8, 2011

Song of the Week #150

Here we are at the 150th episode. Who knew that a weekly email to a few friends would mutate into a rambling weekly missive?!
I'll admit that some weeks it is a challenge to come up with a good set of tunes. Other times I agonise over which songs NOT to include.
But I've decided to branch out. I'm going to interview some of you out there about your favourite music. Why? Because I'm interested. I know why I choose songs but I am genuinely interested in why other people choose their favourites. I read yesterday that the right type of music can release dopamine into your system in the same way that certain foods, exercise and emotions can. Feel free to drop me a line if you want to contribute. I'll tap some of you on the shoulder anyway!
DJ Fatboy sent me this one during the week. He doesn't really know why he chose it but it did remind him of an old double cassette he used to have. Songs can trigger strong memories.
The next track is from one of Australia's best rock bands. It's a tune I used to play in a band a few years ago now. It's also one I'd forgotten about until I was in a record shop this week. And it might be the first time I remember seeing a white Gibson SG guitar – drool, drool!
To be truthful, I'm not even sure why I like the next song. It was on the radio in the car, it was catchy and I stopped and write the name of it down so I wouldn't forget. Checking out the various versions on YouTube I think that the singer does her best to dress like Ozzie Ostrich!! Cool song.
Here's something extremely cheesy. But I like it – I think I have the 45 somewhere still as well! Very much a SingStar favourite as well. I'm not quite sure how Jefferson Airplane mutated into 80's pop rock but this was the result.
As most of you know our house was burgled a while back. The saga with the insurance company is almost over. Unfortunately this replacement laptop has the worst sound system ever (one tinny speaker) so I hope that this track sounds OK. Brian Setzer is a rockabilly guitar legend. This is him playing with a big band and is very, very cool! I've been lucky enough to play a couple of shows with a brass section and it is a lot of fun.
Last week I played a track from The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. Later on I sought out one of their albums. Why someone didn't push me in their direction earlier on we'll never know. There is a fantastic version of the Ritchie Valens hit "Framed" on it. You should listen to it – it's great – especially with the Scots accent!! But here's an equally fantastic interpretation from Los Lobos. And if you haven't seen the movie that this version is from then get with the programme folks!
Finally, something I hadn't expected to like all that much. Kyuss were around in the early 90's I think. I remember getting a tune of theirs on a cassette sampler that came with the highbrow publication "Hot Metal Magazine". It was a good tape that introduced me to quite a few bands that I still listen to. But until this week, Kyuss wasn't one of them. I'm pretty sure I saw them supporting Metallica in 1992 but I was there for the main act. After picking up one of their CDs for $10 I've been playing it quite a bit. It's what I would imagine is referred to as "Stoner Rock" but there's more to it in my opinion. I'd describe it as being a bit like The Doors but with a much bigger bottom end. See what you think.
Kyuss – Space Cadet (language warning on this one)
Well, the sun is out so I think I'll head out for a run.
Have a good weekend.
DJ Rob

Friday, July 1, 2011

Song of the Week #149

Busy, busy, busy. Three words to describe this week.

And cold too. -6 degrees on the scooter this morning. When I jumped in the pool at 7am it felt like a spa bath! It is weeks like this that make me very glad that the floor is heated at our house – perfect for early morning yoga!

I’m going to race through some tunes today so get ready. But I have three weeks of school holidays coming up so brace yourselves for some longer blog entries. That’s as long as I don’t get too bleary eyed watching the Tour de France. Three week race, three weeks of holidays. Magic!

Here’s Henry singing his lungs out. One of the best guitar riffs ever. It’s meant to be loud so you know what to do.

Rollins Band - Fool

This next tune from SAHB was one I’d been looking for on YouTube for a while. It’s a great slab of rock without being too overpowering. A song perfect for driving with vocals that remind me of Bon Scott. And a fabulous chugga chugga guitar.

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Midnight Moses

If you watch or listen to the news you’ll know that one of the US nuclear factories is threatened by bushfires. And if you knew that you’ll understand the tenuous link to this tune.

Billy Bragg – Help Save The Youth Of America

Did you get the link? Los Alamos? Hello? Turn the switch on your brain to the “on” position.

Hahahahaha! I found a remaster of a Twisted Sister album in a CD shop last weekend. The job of remastering was pitiful but the songs are still good. This isn’t on that album but it’s a funny song and clip. Dee Snider (singer) was sponsored by Vidal Sassoon!!

Twisted Sister – Leader Of The Pack

And all those motorbikes reminded me of The Fonz. I’m sure I look this cool on the scooter!

Happy Days Theme

I was going to play Nick Cave’s song “God’s Hotel” now. I’d been reading more of Paul Kelly’s book and he wrote about it. But I like Paul’s version a lot and I quite dislike Nick’s so I won’t bother. It left me cold and I’m disappointed. So how about a good cover of a Cave song. This one is perfect. It is like it was written for Mr Cash.

Johnny Cash – The Mercy Seat

And on that note, hoo roo.

DJ Rob