My apologies for the lateness of this instalment. It's been a big, big week and some of the events will be covered below.
Song of the Week #172 has two distinct parts. The first has some cool tunes and stories of fun times. The second bit is very serious and pretty raw. Please feel free to read as much or as little as you like. I figure that it's my blog and there are things I want to say – I encourage you to exercise your right to self censorship.
I spent all of last week on camp with a group of 14 year old students. And it was a complete blast! I've never had a group who were all so enthusiastic about everything we asked of them. We were based in Jindabyne which is the gateway to the snowfields and Kosciusko National Park. As a group we spent a week mountain biking, hiking, camping, canoeing and river sledding. We camped close to the snow at White's River Hut as well as at Thredbo Diggings and Island Bend. I hate camping, the Army destroyed my love of it a long time ago, but the experience I had this past week went a long way to changing that. Next time I want a thermarest though. I should explain river sledding: you put on thermal underwear, then a wetsuit, then a spray jacket followed by a PFD (not quite a life jacket). Add to that water shoes, a helmet, knee and shin pads and gloves with webbing. Then you jump on a tough, inflatable body board and head down the river over rapids and a waterfall! It is fabulous fun even if the river was colder than a cold thing. I certainly got a few laughs after the waterfall spat me out upside down! Great camp, great kids, great times! But yep, nice to be home.
One of my new favourite bands as I've written about previously is "Winterpills". Two of their CDs have now arrived from the USA and I continue to be impressed by their sound. They are on the Signature Sounds label and the good folks there were kind enough to include a sampler of other bands on their roster. There isn't a dud on the sampler but this one stood out because I knew the tune but it took me ages to pick it!
Kris Delmhorst – Magic – I bet you never expected this song to be covered this way....too cool!
Last night Alison and I saw John Waters in the story of Lennon called "Looking Through a Glass Onion". He had a great band backing him up and the show was great. I wonder if John Lennon would've coped well with his audience becoming ultra conservative in so many ways. I could make a joke that they were rattling their teeth rather then their jewellery but I wouldn't dare! Some of the incidental music, which was Lennon of course, had a real Pink Floyd feel to it. Tell me this one wouldn't fit perfectly into "The Wall"...
In interesting music news, Henry Rollins ran the press conference that announced that Black Sabbath would be recording a new album and then touring. It'd certainly be interesting to get to see the absolute masters of Heavy Metal at work regardless of their age. If Henry got a band together and toured with them that would almost be the ultimate show of all time. So you get Ozzy singing twice this week, I'm sure you'll all cope! This is possibly my favourite Sabbath song for a number of reasons. The intro is cool, the lyrics make me laugh and the the main riff just chugs along perfectly without the mechanical feel of so much modern hard music.
Recently Triple J radio has released a NicK Cave tribute album. I was pretty excited for a while until I heard some of the tracks. It's just Nick Cave covers with different singers – no real changes I heard. Here's how to pay tribute to a band...
Lenny Kravitz & Stevie Wonder – Deuce (from the tribute album KISS My Ass)
During the week away on camp I found out that one of my close friends had collapsed and been taken to hospital. To cut a long story short, he has inoperable cancer. I had to process this information on my own, in a tent. We've been close friends for a while now as are our families and I feel like I've had my insides ripped out. But it isn't about me, it's all about him and his family. Today I was able to visit him (at his request) in the hospital. Another one of his friends had left a cap there that was significant. As many of you know I wear three wristbands all the time – one is the yellow Livestrong band supporting research into cancer. I started wearing one in 2005 and I've worn one ever since, every day, everywhere. I wear that yellow band for Bob, Chris and Rach who all died as a result of cancer. I wear it to show how much I hate this disease and how much it would mean if a cure could be found. I wear it for other close friends who have been touched by cancer as well. My wristbands are a conversation starter and a reminder. And after a week at camp there's a tan line around them. Now I wear yellow for my friend Dave and his family while hoping with all my heart that he will be a survivor.
A while ago Dave, Alison and I went to see a show about the life and times of Johnny Cash. Dave likes good music – music that means something. This isn't about wearing yellow but I think the sentiment fits well with the way I am feeling.