Friday, September 30, 2011

Song of the Week #162

This is one of my four favourite Fridays of the year. Why? Because it is the end of the school term and that signals a few days of relaxation! My plans for the break include churning my way through some books I’ve had delivered from the Book Depository, playing my guitar and getting some solid training done. Who knows, I might even spend time with my family.

Books? Yeah, I have to leave reading until the school holidays or I never get any work done. I like to get into a book and stay there. I’ve got some crime fiction (Tess Gerritsen), a Jack Kerouac book and The Diary of a Dr. Who addict! That might take me a couple of days. I reckon I’ll also need a trip to a few record shops. With any luck there will be some good deals on LPs.

Angus is back from his trip to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. And I’m sure there can’t be any memorabilia left for anyone else! He had a blast with my family there and particularly enjoyed spending time with his young cousins. It’s a great place Wellington. If the weather was better it might be close to perfect.

Last week I mentioned Nirvana and played a tune. If you believe certain sections of the media then my generation wants Nirvana to be revered as our Beatles. I really don’t think so. Maybe if Kurt hadn’t killed himself then we might’ve got to see what he was truly capable of. As it is, they were influential without a doubt but they can’t hold a candle to John, Paul George and Ringo.

This is my favourite Beatles song(for today). I saw some friends do a particularly excellent cover of it last Saturday.

The Beatles – Norwegian Wood

The thing about the Beatles is that there is such a huge amount of material to listen to and really, there is very little that isn’t good.

Last week there was a documentary about Jimi Hendrix on TV followed by his Woodstock performance. The doco was ace, narrated in the first person, but Woodstock always leaves me cold. There are just so many better Hendrix live performances. I can already hear the cries of “sacrilege”! The funniest thing on the doco was when Jimi broke his ankle training with the 101st Airborne in the US Army. He relates how he pretended to have a sore back by groaning every time a doctor looked at him! Check out the feather boa and the Brian Jones intro as well as the tune from Monterey 1967.

Jimi Hendrix Experience – Killing Floor

It’s hard to imagine Jimi on tour with The Monkees (who he referred to as the Plastic Beatles).

The Big Day out is a huge music festival here in Australia. The headline acts were announced today. Kanye West – yawn. But Soundgarden are playing and that would be good to see. They have some great guitar tracks and Chris Cornell’s voice is just fab.

Soundgarden – Fell On Black Days

Speaking of songs with great guitars…I’m really NOT a fan of this next artist but this song really has it all. I can see why it was a hit. The lyrics are cutting and the guitars have bite too.

Hole – Celebrity Skin

I’ll finish with something new. A track I heard on the radio yesterday while sitting at my desk working away. It sounds like a combination of so many good bands but without being a ripoff.

Stonefield – Black Water Rising

Oh, and before I go – fingers crossed for a great AFL Grand Final between Collingwood and Geelong. Here’s what the fuss is all about – the greatest football code in the world.

The Two Man Band – Up There Cazaly


DJ Rob

Friday, September 23, 2011

Song of the Week #161

This week I’ve started with a few tracks that my students thought I should listen to. Their selections aren’t all that bad!


The first one has an excellent lo-fi cheesy synth sound. It reminds me of computer games music from Atari days gone by:


Calvin Harris - Bounce


Next up is a cool tune. But the lyrics are worth a listen. Did my generation and yours feel the same?


Example – Stay Awake


Props to anyone who rhymes with the word Elastoplast!


And finally here’s one I’m not at all sure about. I have no plan to be hip with the kids but fair’s fair – I make them listen to classic rock in return!


Kimbra – Settle Down


All that clapping gave me flashbacks to music classes in high school.


Now for something so new it has only just been released. This got an airing on the radio and I just had to turn it up. It’s the bubbling bass/guitar line at the beginning of the song that caught my ear. I’d love someone to take this tune and toughen up the chorus.


Kasabian – Re-wired


If you believe the hype, 20 years ago this band changed rock music. I dunno. They were cool but… Anyway, this isn’t their song but it sort of sums up the way I feel about the band.


Nirvana – Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam


OK, I have to run now. My Batman costume is waiting….seriously.


Let’s close with two covers of stone cold classics. It doesn’t get much better than either of these:


Johnny Cash / Joe Strummer – Redemption Song


Serena Ryder – Racing In The Street


That’s it for this week. Let’s all hope that the Wallabies can win with their #1 supporter Angus in attendance tonight in Wellington!


DJ Rob


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Friday, September 16, 2011

Song of the Week #160

Like most of North Canberra I was woken up last night by a series of loud explosions. They were big, deep thumps and they reminded me of the time I was in Townsville and there was an artillery demonstration. It was LOUD.

The Searchers – Sugar and Spice

This week there was a rerun of Austin Powers on the telly. I love those movies. There are so many jokes you miss the first time around and Mike Myers has a wicked sense of humour. Here’s Austin, Felicity, Elvis and Burt.

Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – I’ll Never Fall In Love Again

Some days I struggle to get quality listening time in. You can’t listen to tunes riding a scooter! Last night Alison was out schmoozing with the well-heeled and powerful and the kids were both snoring so I threw in a classic movie while I did some ironing. You just can’t go past Purple Rain. Of course Prince is great but the rival band in the film are pretty groovy as well. Check them out.

The Time - Chocolate

One of the fun things about writing about music is that every now and then I’m asked if I’ve heard an artist or track. If I can make an informed comment that’s cool but even better is if I say, “no”, and then have my mind blown when I check whatever the song might be. That happened this week. I was going through some music that DJ E17 had sent me and I came across some tunes from this next character. Wow. After a bit of research I’m not sure how I missed him earlier on… Strap yourself in.

Jack Kerouac – American Haiku

Those listening experiences lead to me spending money buying books and then onto this next artist. Once I got past guffawing at his accent my interest was well and truly held…

John Cooper Clarke – I Don’t Wanna Be Nice

Insult was added to injury during the week as I made an interesting discovery at home. The controller for the Playstation wasn’t just misplaced as I had thought. It now seems obvious that it was nicked during the burglary earlier in the year. The funniest thing is that the actual Playstation and all the games weren’t touched. In this type of situation eBay is your friend.

Weird Al Yankovic - Ebay – finally something good came out of the Backstreet Boys.

Last Saturday night the ABC music TV show “rage” played some classic Aussie rock. Just because something is popular, played on commercial radio and loved by bogans doesn’t make it bad. Turn this up and channel your inner mullet.

Jimmy Barnes – Working Class Man (this is a cracker of a film clip!)

And just before I finish here’s a bit of a whinge. Channel 9; you suck. Your coverage of the Rugby World Cup so far has been dreadful. No Opening Ceremony. Games shown late at night, not live, if they are shown at all. And then there’s the DELAYED coverage coming up of Australia’s next match due to some insignificant Rugby League match. You’ve got more than one channel at your disposal, use it. Why is it that only the SBS seem to be able to cover sport on TV with any amount of credibility?

Don’t forget the Muppets are coming to a cinema near you in about November. I know I’ll be there. Here’s the latest version of their theme song.

OK Go and The Muppets – Muppets Theme Song

Enough for one week? I think so.

DJ Rob

Friday, September 9, 2011

Song of the Week #159

This week, for the first time in ages, I saw a Canberra crowd at a live gig get excited. Usually there are a few energetic souls surrounded by legions of the folded arm brigade. DJ Q-Roo and I were at the ANU watching the Living End rip up the stage. They were bloody good. But that was expected. Living End also played an absolutely awesome cover version – I hope they record it – but here’s the original:

Everly Brothers – Wake Up Little Susie

And here’s the Living End…

The Living End – Second Solution (live)

The Living End had two support bands. One was awesome and really, the other sounded like they should still be in the garage. Maybe it was my aging ears but I like to think I have a fairly eclectic taste in music. The really good one was King Cannons. I’ve played them before and the free CD they gave away has been going non-stop in my office. Here’s a video they released this week!

King Cannons – Stand Right Up

I tell you, those guys with all the tattoos must have a really high pain threshold (and wads of cash)!

King Cannons are originally from NZ and the quick chat I had with their guitarist on Wednesday night confirmed that – thick accent! I spent some time later on checking out some New Zealand bands I wasn’t aware of. Here’s a couple that I hope you like and as always, feel free to recommend others.

The Valves - Sirens

Dukes – Self Control (this is a GREAT video clip)

We Are Romans – Draw The Lines

Just quietly it looks to me like the Kiwis have left the sheep alone just long enough to churn out some fabulous tunes!

We’ll just stay in Aotearoa for one more moment. If you don’t know what either a “haka” or a “flash mob” is then it’s probably high time you found out. This is both in one and is pretty cool.

Flash Mob Haka

Of course the Rugby World Cup starts this weekend in New Zealand. Angus is lucky enough to be going to two games courtesy of Grandma International Travel and Sports! He’ll see Australia play the USA and Argentina take on Scotland. Half his luck! Without pay TV here in Australia you only get to see the matches that the Wallabies are playing in. Booooooo. And a big shout out to the Uni-North Owls U13 Rugby boys who won the Grand Final last week!

In other news, ZoĆ« is busily blogging and also writing her application to be considered as School Captain. I’m really proud of both my kids, can you tell?!

To finish off, something different. Put on your flares…

Bee Gees – Jive Talking


DJ Rob

Friday, September 2, 2011

Song of the Week #158

Apologies for the tardiness of this week’s installment. I know how some of you wait impatiently at the computer all day in anticipation!


I spent today outside on a beautiful clear and warm Canberra spring day. I was at the ACT Schools Mountain Biking Championships helping out with the school team. We had 4 teams of VERY enthusiastic riders and they did themselves proud. Luckily there were no major mechanical issues for us to deal with and only a couple of scrapes.


If you follow the news you might have heard of the “West Memphis Three”. Three formerly young men who were convicted of a heinous crime that it seems as though they didn’t commit. They are out of jail now after an interesting turn of events. They are also the subject of a documentary that is worth watching. The WM3 were supported in their fight to clear their names by a number of famous people including one of my heroes, Henry Rollins. Henry put together a record to raise funds to help the WM3. Here’s a great track from it.


Ryan Adams – Nervous Breakdown


That’s an old Black Flag song and if you’re interested in the original just click here (language warning folks).


Tomorrow Angus’ rugby team plays in the Grand Final. They are unbeaten this season which is a first and also pretty amazing for a team with a swag of new players this season. Fingers crossed for a huge win!


Tom Waits has a new album out very soon. And the first song is available to listen to on the internet legally and for free. I really think that there is something in this tune for everyone. Yesterday I must have listened to it 20 or 30 times and it continues to impress. Tom is far from conventional and I’m glad.


Tom Waits – Bad As Me


Here’s a band that I first heard of yesterday. They are NOT from the UK even though their name might suggest it. The first track I heard was a bit of a combination of Sabbath and Floyd but there’s more to the band than that. This is a pretty neat song and I plan to track down a CD or two. There’s good melody and dynamics in this particular track.


Manchester Orchestra – Shake It Out


I’m almost finished folks, hang in there. If you haven’t worked out yet that I am a big fan of a good cover version then you haven’t been paying attention! This next one is most unexpected and while it really isn’t my kind of music I’ve had it on repeat for a while now. If you like electronica, swirly guitars, indie pop or maybe Enya this should appeal.


Dubstar – St. Swithin’s Day


Let me know what you thought of that one. Here’s the original, just click here. I remember seeing the original played live by BB and someone in the front row having to help him with the lyrics, it was priceless!


Cool news for me this week was that some friends asked me to do the swim leg of Ironman Melbourne (3.8km) in March next year. I was planning to go down anyway to watch DJ EhBee, MC Cakes and FeltLaw so swimming for around an hour seems like a good idea. I went back to swim training last night. While my mountain biking and running has kept me fit I’ve got a little way to go in the pool!


To finish, how about something extremely new? This was recorded only 4 days ago (depending on when you read this and where the international date line is in relation to your location) but it made me sit up and take notice. I heard about it on Twitter this morning. We’ve already had Ryan Adams this week but what the hey, rules are made to be broken.


Ryan Adams – Wasted Years


Well, I liked it anyway. The original is a bit different and one of my favourites. Try it here if you are feeling adventurous. It’s a cool clip too.


Cheers big ears!


DJ Rob