Thursday, December 22, 2011

Song of the Week #174

We're early this week. At your regularly scheduled timeslot for Song of the Week I'll be en route to a rather large family Christmas celebration. After I've finished here I better setup a good playlist to annoy everyone in the car with.
It won't be long before TV and radio stations everywhere are reviewing 2011. I'll spare you that and dish out some great tunes instead.
Before I rip into the music, I need to let you know that I'm super proud of both my kids. They both got superb school reports, probably better than anything that was ever written about me. My teacher when I was about 6 wrote, "Robin is a chatterbox". Not much has changed. Zoë worked her way again to straight A grades and that's three years in a row. Amazing!
As tempting as it is to get into a Christmas theme here I've done that in the past. But just so that any rumours of me being the Grinch or Scrooge are quashed....
On Saturday night DJ McG and I ventured forth into town to see Maiden Oz. Although the band were called Live Evil, having started as a Dio tribute, they've branched out. And it was all Maiden that night. For $20 in a tiny venue I was of the opinion that it had damned well better be good. And I wasn't disappointed. Remembering that I saw the real Iron Maiden a few years ago and I'm a huge fan let me say that the entire night was AWESOME!! Everything was spot on. Being an old man now I sensibly wore my earplugs but it certainly didn't detract from my enjoyment. The crowd was LOUD, singing along to every word – I've never seen a Canberra crowd so animated. The setlist was great – the whole "Live after Death" album minus only one song and then a whole lot of others. I was hoarse, sweaty and in need of a sit down after a solid couple of hours. Massive congratulations to the boys in the band and on the sound and lights – it was a night to remember. At the end they mentioned a Judas Priest night might be coming up – if it is even half as good as the Maiden night then I'll be a happy metalhead.
When I was about 16 I was at K-Mart with my Mum and spotted two Judas Priest albums on cassette for the price of less than one...and they both turned out to be classics. "British Steel" and "Killing Machine" are still in my collection but I've replaced them with CDs as I reckon there must be no life at all left in the tape!! Here's what I really like about this track; firstly the guitars are overdriven but not into oblivion – you can still hear what is being played. The keyboards at the start are very cool and the vocals are sung rather than screamed, growled or grunted.
One of the many things I like about writing this every week is that I get suggestions and feedback from a number of sources. Sure I don't play everything people email my way but I'm always listening.
One such person is DJ MsgToYou – through him I heard this artist and I've been in contact and ordered a CD. I can't wait for it to arrive and I'll post a full review.
You can check out John's news stuff at
Another regular contributor is DJ FatBoy. If I took all his suggestions we'd be here for years and years of non-stop Anthrax and Metallica. And maybe the odd jazz tune. This is a cool one that he came up with. One of Australia's finest bands, The Angels, along with Screaming Jets singer Dave Gleeson. If you like a solid rock beat and tasty guitars then this might just be for you...
After a couple of months of looking in record shops I've finally managed to score a copy of Diesel's album "Under The Influence". Diesel aka Mark Lizotte, aka Johnny Diesel is an excellent Australian guitarist and if you like bluesy rock then check out the Johnny Diesel and the Injectors album from the 80s. But the new album is a mixture of covers and originals. He does a ripping version of Hendrix's Spanish Castle Magic but this is the winner for me...(this is an acoustic version unlike the album which has a full band)
There are many guitarists whose songs I like to play, and who I'd like to be able to play like. AC/DC's Angus Young, Armoured Angel's Matt Green and Queen's Brian May would be in my top 10. But it isn't all rock. As a kid I was lucky enough to learn a lot of songs as well as guitar tricks from my Dad. I was really reminded of this yesterday as I heard Zoë pick up Angus acoustic guitar and begin to teach herself a Green Day song from scratch. And by from scratch I mean that she found some chord diagrams on the internet and figured it out for herself – she plays the flute very well and if she can enjoy the guitar as much that'd be awesome. She even let me help her with the strumming pattern!  Here's a tune I got from my Dad many years ago and he'll understand the sentiment. If my fingers could fly as lightly as Tom Paxton's across the strings...
Tom Paxton following Black Sabbath on a gig bill, man – I would've been in heaven that day! I think I've mentioned that Sabbath are back in the studio and will tour in 2012...could be interesting. The fact that they chose Henry Rollins to host their press conference gives me hope...
One more track, hope you've managed to make it this far! Last night I put the movie Tropic Thunder on. It lasted about 5 minutes before I turned something else on – what a load of drivel! But this song was in the starting credits and it is cool. This is a different twist on the song but it's definitely worth a listen...
That's it. Chill out and have a good Christmas! Thanks for listening, reading and commenting through the year.
DJ Rob

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