Friday, January 27, 2012

Song of the Week #179

Hi there everyone, thanks for tuning in and I hope you enjoy the tunes.
Even though I went to work for a few hours on Tuesday and Wednesday this has really been the last week of school break for me. Monday will roll around soon and I'll have to wear work clothes and be serious every now and then. Time for a quick message from the Uncanny X-Men...classic!
I saw Brian Mannix from the X-Men singing live on TV recently and his voice still stands up. Great song.
This next tune has been mixed up and ruined recently – I heard it at the supermarket. But the original is magic and I love the clothes!
Today I had my first rehearsal for the Springsteen gigs that are coming up. Heaps of fun and it is always great to play with musicians who are heaps better than me – it makes me try harder and continue to improve my playing. We're doing the whole Nebraska album cover to cover and then some extra treats. What's funny is that with the Nebraska album being pretty much a demo, some of Bruce's timing is a bit everywhere – I said to H today that it was almost channelling John Lee Hooker – a man who plays a different number of measures in every 12 bar blues he performs on!
Some songs seem tailor made for my running playlist on the iPod. This one came on during a longer effort during the week. The sun was beating down and I needed some encouragement – this song did the trick. This isn't the greatest quality but you can't deny the energy...
Apart from listening almost exclusively to the Nebraska CD this week I've been spinning some cheesy metal tunes. This one has it all. Great guitars, great melody, great vocals and to top it off a guitar shaped like a skull. Where can I get one of those?
I can't remember if I've played this next track before but it is pretty funny and Angus plays it quite a bit so it bubbles along in my sub-conscious! Laugh along.
Yesterday was Australia Day/ I've written before about how lucky this country is as well as some of the problems we have. If you're overseas reading this then I hope you saw more on the TV than the disgrace that was the "riot" here in Canberra. Seriously, that's not what we're about.
I'll finish this shortish episode with a great Aussie song as it seems like the right thing to do. Here's the national anthem...
That's it. Cheers.
DJ Rob

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Song of the Week #178

I'm a bit wiped out. I've trained hard this week – the Huski long course triathlon isn't that far off. But Zoë has gone off to camp for a few days and Angus is heading to the coast with friends so I'll have a little time to myself. Oh, what, it's time to go back to work – that's just not fair!
My Dad's been here for a few days and that's been awesome. I got to run a couple of times with him as well as just catching up. We all had some pretty fab Ethiopian food on Thursday night. As I've said in the past he's responsible for a lot of my musical influences. Here's a song that I picked up in NZ on a 45 that we chatted about. Somehow it just sounds better on vinyl. Hopefully none of the Methodists out there will be offended!
It's OK though. Before I head back to work next week for a couple of days I've got a few things to be getting on with. Firstly I'm off with DJ AB to see Canberra United play in the W-League semi-finals. It's awesome to see a Canberra team doing well on the national stage and ABC televises the W-League so kudos to them. I think I'll take Alison to the movies as well – maybe The Muppets. The kids saw it in NZ and it sounds like a lot of fun. We've got dinner with the birthday boy DJ CoJ on Monday and that promises to be a good night. Add to that a couple of albums I want to immerse myself in and the continuing search for good coffee and I'm a busy boy!
Big and very exciting news is that I'll be performing very soon in public. H and Chief have been brave enough to invite me a long to play guitar with them in a gig that is a tribute to the Bruce Springsteen album, "Nebraska". It almost feels like coming out of retirement! It's a great album with a couple of my favourite tracks on it. It isn't a loud album so don't be scared off. We're on at Beyond Q Bookshop & Cafe in Curtin on Sunday 12 February at 4pm. Mega thanks to the boys for taking a chance on me and my guitar!
Cycling fever has hit Australia with the Tour Down Under currently taking place in and around Adelaide. But the TV rights were sold to Channel 9 and even at my most generous they are useless. One hour of highlights at about midnight?? What's that about. I've written to a number of the major sponsors imploring them to do something about this for next year.
A band that continues to grown on me is Chickenfoot. Their tunes are catchy and upbeat, the guitar work is great and they can sing too. Definitely a favourite when I'm out running.
My mate DJ E17 is currently in a phone and internet queue trying to get tickets to see Tom Petty in London. I've got my fingers AND toes crossed for him. Tom Petty is way cool – I wish I had hair like that! This is my favourite Tom song. I'm not sure why but the live DVD I have has it as the opening tune and it just blows me away.
When I was dropping Zoë and her friend off to the bus to head to camp they were talking about music that would shock their parents. I suggested that even the most open minded parents might raise an eyebrow at Slayer – and it was playing in the car at the time. Funnily enough they thought that Nightwish would do the job. Really? Nightwish? They're great but hardly worthy of the Parental Advisory sticker. So, here's three tracks that are. You've been warned! They're all worth a listen – and might just make you think should your mind be open. There's language warnings for the first two. How the last one got on the radio we'll never know!
Let me know which music made your parents raise their eyebrows!
DJ Rob

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Song of the Week #177

Hellooooooo Australia! Yep, we're home. After an easy plane flight to Sydney followed by a dreadful drive to Canberra we we all pretty pleased to see the dog, open the mail and then hit the hay!
Why a dreadful drive? Well, don't hire a car from a company whose logo is mainly yellow and black. They don't know what a wheel balance is. My arms are still shaking from the vibrations.
NZ wasn't bad at all. We were lucky weather wise in that it only really rained for one day (and it poured) and the sun came out every now and then. For our first week we were in Hatepe which is near Taupo. It was pretty relaxed with the kids and their cousins Meg and Finn in the lake on kayaks, a beach house full of old LPs and 10 people living fairly harmoniously together! The four of us Aussies exited stage left for a quick visit and wallet draining exercise at Rotorua which left us pretty tired. Special thanks to the Russians in the next room at the motel who started partying at 1130pm....! We saw hot mud and the thermal pools which the kids thought were pretty cool as well as a village that was buried by a volcano. Somehow my family got me onto a gondola cable car – lucky it wasn't windy. But the two luge rides chasing Angus made it worthwhile. Then the kids flung themselves down a hill in a huge rubber ball. It's a bit hard to describe so have a look at this . I think that might have been the highlight for both of them. In the evening we took the kids to a Maori Hangi and cultural show. They had Zoë up on stage poi dancing and then Angus and I doing the haka – anyone would think he had been practicing. Here's some classic poi dancing...
After a drive back to Wellington including such cultural stops as the Waiouru Army Museum Cafe (in the middle of nowhere), the Mangaweka airplane cafe (somewhere close to nowhere) we were home. Unfortunately on both the journey up and the journey back the three volcanos on the Desert Road were hiding in the clouds. I'm not sure if Angus believes me that they are actually there. Having seen them in the past it's almost worth the trip just to look at them.
The kids enjoyed spending time with their grandparents, relatives and cousins in Wellington and I'm glad the cable car there stays on the ground. Much more civilised. My bro took Angus and I to the cricket at the Basin Reserve. That was cool and Angus managed to get almost every signature from both teams. I got lost on a mountain bike in the depths of Ranui Heights where every road is a dead end. There are a heap of photos and we did heaps of other stuff too. I must admit that it would be a great thing if we could fly direct from Australia's capital city to NZ's capital but that seems to be a pipe dream. Not sure when I'll be back again. But if you haven't been as a tourist you should visit. There's a lot to do, it's a beautiful place and almost every country in the world has a stronger currency which works nicely in your favour
Today is the anniversary of the death of Glenn - my good friend and mountain biking compadre. There's a bit of a memorial ride in a couple of hours but I'm not really sure that it's for me. I might head out quietly later on. Glenn was a great friend and a quiet, gentle man who loved his bike and his jazz. He died a couple of years ago riding his bike. I miss you my friend.
In NZ I was fortunate that my brother had found a new place doing a roaring trade in second hand LPs and singles. After a good coffee in Brooklyn, Alison and I headed out in search of "Evil Genius" and it was worth the trip. It turned out to be awesome and I picked up two Billy Bragg LPs and two Johnny Cash singles. There was a ton of other stuff there and Alison took a photo of me searching through the section titled "Bogan Rock". Should I play some? Oh I thought you'd never ask!!
AC/DC – High Voltage (live 1975) – this song pretty much sums up everything about loud rock 'n' roll. Turn it up.
Crappy news this week is that Black Sabbath guitarist and all around legend Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with lymphoma. Sigh.
Speaking of rock music though, those New Zealanders have radio stations sorted out. For a small country there's a massive range of options that Australia simply doesn't have. The family might not have been all that pleased but the ROCK station I found was great. I never ever hear Ozzy, Led Zep, Living Color or Iron Maiden on commercial radio here.
Living Color are a band I was turned onto by a lecturer when I was studying Social Geography. It's an area that I wished I'd found out about a lot earlier on as I found it really interesting. Maybe I'll get a chance to teach some one day. The same lecturer allowed me to produce a radio documentary instead of writing an essay. Best mark I ever got! Here's the song that started that idea...
Living Color – Open Letter To A Landlord – extra kudos to anyone who can tell me (without googling) which war movie one of the band was in.
Yep, that's me for another week. I've got some records to listen to, and some CDs that arrived in the mail while we were away – reviews next time. I've also got a swag of songs to learn on the guitar – stay tuned for a big announcement. This is one I better get sorted out – and it's a KILLER!
DJ Rob

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Song of the Week #176

I've been off the email and internet for over a week now and it has been an interesting experience. Usually I'm someone who is connected almost 24/7!

But, I'm only interrupting my holiday to quickly send one email and this is it. I won't be checking any of my other messages and hopefully some of you are taking a similar break.

I'll let you all know later on what we've been up to in Wellington, Hatepe, Taupo and Rotorua.

My Mum got me a book about Billy Connolly (the Scottish comedian) doing the Route 66 journey. Something that regular listeners will know that I'm keen to do sometime in the future. I'm about a third of the way through the book and it is pretty interesting. I'm only playing one song this week and while I'm sure you all know it, the origins of the name are something I read in Billy's book.

In the mid 1930's a man called Victor Green started a guidebook for African-Americans in the USA that listed black-friendly or integrated establishments. This book was known unofficially as "the grapevine" and was apparently the inspiration for a very famous song. That piece of information certainly hit a chord with me and made me think.

Marvin Gaye - I Heard It Through The Grapevine (live at Montreux)

See you all in a week or so.

DJ Rob