So here we are in the middle of the media feeding frenzy that's been created by Lance Armstrong and Oprah Winfrey. Seeing Lance admit cheating was like a massive kick in the guts. He doped, he admitted it and now he needs to go away. But forgiveness is a funny thing and people have done far worse and survived.
Let's concentrate on some good cycling news. My good friend DJ HB was selected for the Australian Track Cycling Team and is currently wearing the green and gold while racing in Mexico. This is just fabulous news for someone who has been working so hard to make it in the world of cycling.
I've spent a lot of time these school holidays on my bikes. Without wanting to blow my own trumpet too hard I've been training the house down and it's been great. Putting in some hours on the road bike certainly gives you time to think – that's when snakes don't try and cross the road in front of you. I've seen two now and that's two too many in my opinion.
Angus and I got out to the mountain biking Mecca that is Stromlo Forest Park during the week. After hitting the see-saws, roll overs and associated fun bits we climbed to the top before bombing it down the side of the mountain. It was heaps of fun and I was impressed at how easily Angus got up the climb.
Zoe is still in France – she's back in a week – and the real excitement recently has been snow! A bit different to today here where the temperature hit 40 degrees.
Let's have some music. No real theme this week, just some cool tracks.
DJ AB got me a rather fab CD by a band called the Red Hot Chilli Pipers (read the name carefully). It's a modern take on bagpipe music. Now, I'm not a bagpipe aficionado but I do have a couple of albums by some pipers who would be what I would describe as virtuosos. The Chilli Pipers don't quite make that grade but they are a LOT of fun. I think that where they would rule the roost would be in a live setting – this video proves it. Maybe they play better live?
Red Hot Chilli Pipers – Smoke On The Water / Thunderstruck - http://youtu.be/9YdkolAEHj4
David Bowie has a new single out. And while reviews are mixed I thought it wasn't too bad. I was in a record shop (I know this is a shock) and was looking through Bowie's back catalogue. It's huge and I didn't really know where to start. So, I've started a journey – all his studio albums in chronological order. It might take me a while but my good friends DJ Ducky and MC FatRollins are h-u-g-e Bowie fans and they have good taste in music. The first album is from 1966 – probably more a collection of singles – there's six of them. Interestingly the reviews on sites like Amazon were fairly scathing. I listened once and was instantly tapping my foot. It's certainly not classic Bowie but it's good stuff. And the recording engineer must've had good chops as the recordings (even though they've been cleaned up) sound pretty good. It's British pop that might tickle your fancy if you like the Austin Powers movies – that's what it made me think of.
David Bowie – Can't Help Thinking About Me - http://youtu.be/2QfJBFx_f4Q
Justin Townes Earle is a guy whose music I've been meaning to investigate. But every time I'm in a record shop I baulk at the price of his albums. So, I came home and did some listening online. I like it so far. I can see some of his stuff making its way into my collection before too long. I like this live version of his song "Harlem River Blues" as it's a little edgier than the album track. Of course, your mileage may vary. It's a bluesy, country, gospel tune about the happy topic of suicide.
Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues - http://youtu.be/5LLqFF89UtU
There was a pretty good doco on TV this week about Queen. There's probably a lot of people out there who would rather never hear them again as many of their songs are dreadfully overplayed by commercial radio. Here's a couple you don't hear every day. First up is the track with the opening riff that made me really, really, really want an electric guitar. And it's so simple.
Queen – One Vision - http://youtu.be/5cuXasbjhT8
And another slab of guitar magic...
Queen – Brighton Rock - http://youtu.be/TdUKi3_QntE
Today, after what seems (and is) a very long time, my copy of the Tea Party Live in Australia album finally arrived. I've had the downloaded version (which I paid for) for a while now but it was cool to get the signed LPs. If you fast forward the opening banter on this track you'll be treated to a great song.
The Tea Party – Fire In The Head - http://youtu.be/HumbKouo0gg
Bands having a bash with an orchestra is nothing new. Deep Purple, Metallica, Yngwie and KISS have all had decent attempts. But who would've thought that our Kylie would make it work? Not me. I was wrong.
Kylie – Spinning Around (live) - http://youtu.be/NVAMYXL9wAQ
This next band are in the country at the moment and all reports are glowing. Either the record store keeps selling out of their record or there's a distribution issue. I WANT THIS ONE!! Definitely a candidate to listen to on vinyl probably sandwiched between Otis Redding and the Black Crowes.
Alabama Shakes – Be Mine - http://youtu.be/LLPMAho8K-0
A band who just finished a very short (too short) tour down under are Sabaton. I hope that they can make it back for a full Australian tour as I reckon metal fans in their thousands would support it. Sabaton are a metal band that I don't tire of. They play well, their singer can sing, the seem to enjoy themselves on stage and they sing about real life. I'm sure I've played this before but it's a great video and song.
Sabaton – Uprising - http://youtu.be/01IaKb6DmTw
Let's finish with something different. A sea shanty. Yep – you heard right. This is probably my find of the week – the whole album is a hoot!
Shenandoah – Tom Waits / Keith Richards - http://youtu.be/hJgWaqwZml4