Friday, November 30, 2012

Song of the Week #223

There’s a couple of things that I’m really sick of at the moment. One is the idea that shows like “Idol” and “X-Factor” can manufacture superstars. While I have no doubt that many of the performers on those shows are talented there’s something wrong about not paying your dues. Also, the lustre of instant stardom certainly does have a tendency to fade rather quickly. I went to see the Black Sorrows last week. Joe Camilleri has been playing rock and roll since 1964 – now that’s serious credibility! He had a new lineup in the band including a drummer playing his first gig with them – it was a great show. Joe will be reforming Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons to support Elvis Costello here in Australia next year.

The Black Sorrows – Nothing Lasts Forever -

The other thing I’m sick of is cooking. Usually I really quite enjoy it but having to keep coming up with new stuff to stay within my dietary parameters is doing my head in. I’ve had a few wins though and the “Vegetable Hot Pot” was a winner with everyone. I’ve shed 8kg now, surely this can’t go on!! Personally I think it’s a conspiracy to make me buy new clothes.

ZZ Top – TV Dinners -

Alison and I had our 19th wedding anniversary this week. By my calculations we’ve been together more than ½ my lifetime now. There’s lots of soppy anniversary songs but I doubt Alison would like them. It hasn’t been the easiest journey and at the moment some parts of our lives seem pretty challenging, but we’ve made it this far! This isn’t soppy but it probably is cheesy! I don’t care, I bought the 45 when it was first released. I’m not a Farnham fan at all but this is a great song.

John Farnham – Two Strong Hearts -

I’ve been back on my road bike for a couple of weeks now. It’s very different to mountain biking and my body seems to be getting used to it finally. I do miss the plush suspension and the disc brakes though! I know I didn’t miss all the hoons yelling at me from their cars or the glass all over the roads…grrrr!

The Decemberists – Apology Song -

I got an early Taj Mahal album for $10 a few weeks back. Taj is a very cool bluesman who’s been around since the late 60’s. I first heard him when he covered Leadbelly’s “Bourgeois Blues”. What I didn’t realise, and shame on me, was that Taj wrote this next song – a stone cold classic….

Taj Mahal – She Caught The Katy -

The whole Taj Mahal album (The Natch’l Blues) is a real treat. Give it a spin sometime.

Mia Dyson has released another single from her album, “The Moment.” It’s called “Jesse” and covers the sad topic of forced adoption in Australia. I like songs that mean something and I like Mia’s blues so it’s a winner in my book.

It’s only two weeks until my daughter is off to France. She’s excited and organizing everyone around her so the natural order of the world seems about right. She isn’t amused at my French jokes though. Apparently “Baguette” is not the answer to anything she says.

Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas – Trains & Boats & Planes -

Led Zeppelin…I’m really not sure what to write about that band. As a young man I tried really hard to get into them. I remember the first set of remasters I ever bought was theirs - $100 was a lot of money back then! It was late 1990 and I really thought it would be awesome. But it wasn’t and I don’t listen to them all that much. And I don’t know why. They’ve got it all going on; a fabulous drummer, charismatic vocalist, godlike guitarist and a bass player who is hard to top but it doesn’t move me in the way I think it should. Maybe it’s like my love/hate affair with The Beatles and the “Sgt. Pepper’s” album in that you had to be there. Anyway, Led Zep have a new live DVD called “Celebration Day” and I’ve checked out a few tracks. Some are great and a couple made me cringe. I’m a bit sorry that I missed the opportunity to see this on the big screen – I’m sure the experience with a huge sound system would be worth it. Here’s an old track, and video, that I really like. For me Led Zep are much better when they strip it back and songs like this…

Led Zeppelin – Over The Hills And Far Away -

Every now and then I hear a band, grab an album and then wonder why I haven’t got their whole back catalogue, t-shirts, keyrings  and a poster or two. This happened to me recently with a group called “Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes”. They are very much contemporaries of Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band with a number of members playing in both. Jon Bon Jovi toured with them in 1990 and he’s on some recordings too. They sound not unlike Springsteen but a lot of their stuff is more straight ahead and gutsy compared to The Boss – if that’s possible. Anyway, I’m going to be exploring their music this summer – I have one album via eBay (Better Days) and there is not a dull moment on it. If you like guitars, horns and strong vocal delivery then you could do a lot worse. Try this one….it’s close to becoming my new theme song – and I think I’ll have a crack at recording my own version in the holidays. I just love the line, “I played the fool, I played the soldier, but now my struggling days are over…” (note that this isn’t Southside Johnny singing as I can’t find a decent recording on YouTube – Little Steven sounds pretty similar and this version is great!)

Steve Van Zandt – All I Needed Was You -

Oops, this episode is getting a bit long – you can probably tell that I’ve spent time over a few evenings getting it together.

So, time to finish up. But before I do here’s what’s coming up in the next few weeks…

  • Review of the bodacious new album from The Mark of Cain
  • Review of Neil Young’s Psychedelic Pill – the first track is 27 minutes long so bear with me
  • Something unexpectedly cool from Ian Hunter
  • Review of the new album from Brisbane band Thirteen Seventy (thanks to DJ FatHenry for this)
  • Tales of muddled up fingers as I work my way through trying to learn around 20 Midnight Oil songs!;

I couldn’t resist this next song to finish up. Last Saturday I was at the guitar shop buying some new leads prior to the gig that evening. On the counter was a box of kazoos and I had to have one…and here’s why kazoos will always have a place in my heart…covered later on by Clapton very well but the original is a cracker…

Jesse Fuller – San Francisco Bay Blues -

Rock on Brothers and Sisters,

DJ Rob
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