Friday, March 29, 2013

Song of the Week #239

It's not hard to get stuck in a rut. Whether at work, at home or pretty much anywhere. I got stuck in one with my university studies last semester. Although I got a solid mark in the end I found the whole thing dry, boring and very uninspiring. Employment Relations might not be everyone's cup of tea but I really think that there should be enough in there to keep me at least mildly engaged.
Four weeks into the start of semester this year I faced the same problem. The readings and online lectures were putting me to sleep and I had to somehow come up with two short pieces of writing as well as a response to one written by a fellow student. Piece number one was duly written, referenced and submitted along with my critical response. The beauty of online learning is that if the lecturer is organised then feedback is given fairly quickly. It was and while my responses were adequate it was clear that she was less than impressed. Me too.
The second piece I had to write was about perception of how time is spent in the workplace. Yawn. But then a song jumped into my head, I read a reference article from a very Marxist point of view and it suddenly got interesting. I took a chance, quoting the song in my response and allowing some of my more left leaning ideas to come to the fore. Shazam, it worked! A very positive response from the lecturer and the feeling that my brain was re-engaging. This doesn't mean that my next essay will be accompanied by the Red Army Choir, Billy Bragg and Che Guevara but I will allow myself to deviate from what had become rather boring and corporate. Here's two versions of the song that might just mean I get a better grade than I was heading for...
Joe Jackson – Got The Time -  (lyrics included – they really matter in this case)
Anthrax – Got The Time -  (the version that introduced me to the song)
It's not often that I manage to read much during term time apart from record reviews and news feeds – my brain can't cope with much more. But I spied a book in the library which piqued my interest. It was called "
The Apple Revolution: Steve Jobs, the counterculture and how the crazy ones took over the world". It's NOT written by Apple fanboys and is a surprisingly good read. Very much a warts and all type of affair.
This next song is straight from the book. You'll need to read it to know why as well as why Steve Wozniak doesn't promote rock concerts.
Jeffrey Jeff Walker - Mr Bojangles -
Yesterday my Dad retired. He's been a doctor for a long, long time. Longer than I've been alive. I remember him going out at night in Dundee to do house calls armed with a medical bag, a large torch and a very big stick - it probably wasn't the most friendly place. To my mind he comes from a generation of doctors who cared about their patients rather than their bank balances. I can picture him being very frustrated on the other end of the phone when he hears tales of some of the interactions my family has with the medical profession. However, some young doctors are fortunate enough to have him still being involved in their education through tutoring and mentoring. I'm glad he's retiring - he deserves some time to himself.
I Can See Clearly Now - Johnny Nash -
In 1981 Charley Pride had a big radio hit with "Mountain of Love". It was one of a few songs that I used to hope would come around on AM radio. It wasn't his song of course, having been released in 1960 by Harold Dorman, 1964 by Johnny Rivers and the Beach Boys. In looking for a good version to play for you I stumbled across this. Magic!
Bruce Springsteen - Mountain of Love -
Iggy and The Stooges have been in the country (they're probably still here). Gig reports are really, really good. Remember that Iggy is almost 65 and still ripping up the stage at 100 miles an hour. The band have a new album coming and a new single that you can hear on any video music site you choose - it's called Burn and I'm not at all sure I like it. But, hats off to the boys for having the drive to keep working hard. Although I soon tire of people who only like classic tracks from a band it's hard to pass this one by for pure, unadulterated rage and energy. This is what rock 'n' roll is all about:
Iggy and The Stooges - Raw Power -
Last weekend I had a blast riding with some friends in the MONT 24hr mountain bike race. All up our team managed just shy of 400km on some sweet single track and the odd bit of fire trail. At about 2 in the morning I caught a glimpse of weird lights and smoke out of the corner of my eye. "Aliens!" was what I thought in my sleep deprived and weary state (this was my 4th lap of 5). But no, it was a band with a lightshow and a smoke machine blasting out some tunes to keep crazed mountain bikers going. This is what they were playing when I went by....they were LOUD!
Jimi Hendrix - Hey Joe -
Thanks to DJ AB for keeping me going with espressos and encouragement!
Every now and then I hear of a pairing of musical minds that seems very, very unexpected. The latest one is Roy Orbison and Glenn Danzig. I'm sure you all know who Roy is but for the uninitiated here's Glenn singing...
The Misfits - Astro Zombies -
...and here's the song he wrote with the Big "O".
Roy Orbison - Life Fades Away -
Billy Bragg's new album arrived in the mail on Thursday along with a DVD of some of his video clips. Pretty cool. I'll do a full review of the album in the next couple of weeks. I was interested to read that the feedback from Billy's fans convinced him that there was still enough interest to record albums.
Let me indulge my love of hard rock to finish off this week. Cinderella, according to Wikipedia, are a "glam metal band from Pennsylvania". My take is that they are more of a hard rock band with clear country influences. They were never huge like Motley Crue for example but 15 million albums sold is a pretty fair effort! Singer Tom Keifer lost his voice in 1991 due to paresis of the vocal cords and rumours were that he would never sing again. After singing on and off from 1994-2006 it happened again. But, it seems that Tom is a fighter and he's back with a solo album. Anyway, Cinderella are a solid rock band with a great sound. Here's a couple of their tracks that I really like as well as Tom's latest single.
Cinderella - Heartbreak Station -
Cinderella - Gypsy Road -
Tom Keifer - Solid Ground -
Rock on folks,
DJ Rob

Friday, March 22, 2013

Song of the Week #238

More music, less blethering this week – that’s a promise.


Also, there will be no mention of the disaster which makes up the current Australian political landscape in this issue. It beggars belief.


For those of you who don’t check my blog or follow me via Facebook or Twitter, here is a link to something I wrote last week in response to an article in a Sunday newspaper magazine: It’s to do with diets and I was pretty worked up when I wrote it.


I took the bus to work today. I found it rather ironic on national “ride to school day” that I didn’t! I’ve made up for it on plenty of other days though. So much so that I’m considering getting a commuting bike – using my flash racing bike seems overkill and of course one can never have too many two wheeled modes of transport. Check out Mojo Bikes online for great deals on bikes you design yourself. The kids are currently riding one of these and loving every minute.


David Bowie’s new album is available. I’ve listened to it a number of times and I am really enjoying it. It’s not really ground breaking but then you wouldn’t expect it to be. What it does have is well crafted songs, excellent musicians and enough of the signature Bowie sound to satisfy the fans. I’ve got a downloaded version at the moment but will be getting my hands on a hard copy very shortly.


David Bowie –Where Are We Now? -


A big news item that might not have appeared on your radar is that Scotland will hold a referendum in September, 2014 to determine whether or not they will become independent. I’m really not sure how I feel about that. And why do they have to wait so long to vote? And who gets to vote? I hope that it is only people who actually live there. Scots are scattered to all corners of the globe…


Battlefield Band - The Roving Dies Hard -


What will the Duke of Edinburgh be called if Scotland goes its own way?


Last night while finishing off some marking this song came on in the background. We’ve undoubtedly had it here before but it always makes me laugh…


Bowling for Soup – 1985 -


For all you fans of good guitar, big hair, The Living End, rock and roll and tattoos just check this out…this is the original, not a copy…


Stray Cats – Rock This Town -


Earlier in the week I watched Neil Finn and Paul Kelly in concert (via YouTube). It was not a concert that I thought I’d enjoy, the potential for it to be slow and tedious was quite large. However, I was pleasantly surprised and let the whole show play while I worked. I had a good chuckle when Paul related that he’d needed to learn about 50 new chords to play all of Neil’s tunes! This clip isn’t from the show but is a tune of Paul’s that I really like.


Paul Kelly and Neil Finn – Leaps and Bounds -


Alright, that’s enough for one week. I’ve got a big weekend of mountain-biking ahead in the MONT 24hr race here in Canberra. It’s my 8th 24hr race but my first go in a team of only 4 riders. Hopefully all my training will pay dividends. If you’re around Canberra then head out to Kowen Forest for a look – it’s a huge event.


I’m going to finish with Ozzy this week… I hadn’t heard this song in ages or seen the clip and to be frank it’s pretty cool.


Ozzy Osbourne – Miracle Man -


That’s it. Play the music and let me know if you like anything you hear.


DJ Rob

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Beware of newspaper magazine experts...

In a quiet moment this morning I was enjoying a long black coffee at Little Bean which is at the Hackett Shops. If you want a good coffee and a laugh then pop in there and see Ari or Andrew.

But, I made the mistake of scanning one of the Sunday papers and an article caught my eye about healthy eating. This is a topic that I am very interested in given the changes I've made to my diet since October last year.

Quite frankly I'm sick of "experts" telling us that almost everything we eat and drink is no good. In this article diet soft drinks, smoothies, muffins, muesli bars and a whole lot of other stuff were squarely taken aim at. To be fair, alternatives were offered but they were generally so boring that it's no wonder that people fail to stick to a healthy eating plan.

I'm the first to admit that I'm pretty bloody minded when it comes to food as a result of my blood test results and the strong wish to live a long life. But you know there are limits folks. And for most people moderation is the key. You can drink "Vitamin Water" once in a while but don't drink it every day and expect it to help you lose weight - it won't. You can eat a muesli bar as a healthy(ish) snack but just pay attention to the information on the packet - some are much better than others. And you can drink a sugar free soft drink as a treat once in a while - you won't notice the taste difference for long I can assure you - just don't drink three cans a day.

As for smoothies and muffins well it really depends what is in them. Full cream milk with chocolate topping as well as banana, yoghurt and honey probably isn't something you'd want all the time but skim or soy milk with low-fat yoghurt and perhaps no chocolate is a fair compromise once in a while.

Denying yourself any kind of food that you enjoy to eat is extremely mentally debilitating. I can tell you this because I've been there and I still find myself there from time to time. I used to get the shakes and pretty much panic when at the supermarket trying to find something to cook. I've also left more than once with an empty shopping bag and got back to the car and found myself crying.

Unless you're at risk of imminent death then just be sensible and honest with yourself. Honesty and willpower are the keys to a healthy diet. Make a plan, make it manageable, get expert advice and most of all do your best not to let it make you miserable or angry (sometimes easier said than done). Make sure people that need to know what you are doing are aware as you'll find most folks ultra-supportive if you're not a zealot. If you fall off the wagon then admit that and get back on.

Billy Connolly advocates "eat less, move more" as his mantra for weight loss. I didn't need to lose weight but I think it works for me if I modify it to "eat well, move more" - my mantra for a healthy life.

All I have to do now is to take my own advice. And you know what, that's not something I can do by myself. There are a few people I know I can talk to, professional help and of course writing about it.

Eat well, but remember that there is more to life than brown rice and raw vegetables.

DJ Rob
(authors note: I am NOT a dietitian or anything like that. These are just the opinions of a 40-something year old very active male with a good diet who got the shock of his life when his cholesterol was sky high. I'm continuing to work with my Doctor and Dietitian to remain healthy after pretty much halving the cholesterol level in 4 months.)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Song of the Week #237

Oh dear, I sat down to write about a few songs and ended up writing way to much about food, diet and weight. I’ll paste all that down the bottom and you can avoid it and just read about the music if you want to.

Weird Al Yankovic – Eat It -

Here’s the Billy Bragg / Olivia Newton John duet I spoke about last week:

Over the weekend I travelled with DJ H to the salubrious surrounds of Marrickville in Sydney to see Bob Mould play a gig. While the support bands were average at best and one even made us angry with their boring, same chord progression, moody, bland music, I am pleased to say that Bob didn’t disappoint. From the moment he hit the stage with just a bass player and drummer to help him out, until he finished 90 minutes later it was almost nonstop power pop/punk/indie-grunge from the energetic bloke with the white goatee. For a man in his 50s his voice and energy levels were impressive. H was pretty excited too.

Bob Mould (solo live) – Hoover Dam -

After the cultural experience that was the bus trip back from Liverpool to Canberra I was ready to never go on a bus again. Even a book and some music couldn’t make it more than just bearable.

ZZ Top – Waitin’ For The Bus -

Monday was Canberra’s 100th birthday and we headed to the lake with a gazillion other people to see the Falling Joys, the Church and then of course the fireworks. Both bands were great but the Church had a much better sound mix. The kids seemed to enjoy them as well. The fireworks were VERY slow to start but hugely spectacular in the end. A great night under the stars with a few thousand happy folks.

The Church – Almost With You -

DJ EXP gave me a couple of CDs to listen to of one of his favourite bands, Thunder. Very cool indeed. This is the first track from their album, “Magnificent Seventh”. After all I’ve put my family through with food lately I’ll dedicate it to them.

Thunder – I Love You More Than Rock ‘n’ Roll –

Huge and very sincere congratulations to DJ FatRollins and DJ Duck who have become parents. And welcome into the world to Kate Elizabeth. It’s fabulous to see all the photos and stories from proud and excited parents. I hope to meet Kate before too long. I also hope that you all get enough sleep.

INXS – Never Tear Us Apart -

KISS – Forever -

Angus has been hiking and I’m glad that he got around to giving it a go. He went with Scouts which is a new thing for him. Scouts was such a huge part of my life as a kid that I am excited that he’s trying it out. I don’t like camping that much anymore but the Army is to blame more than anything else!

The Lemonheads – The Outdoor Type -

Neil Young played in Sydney on Sunday night, so did KISS and Motley Crue but at a different venue. Also on that weekend were the Stone Roses and Nick Cave – not a bad set of artists to choose from. Also coming down here before too long are Jimmy Cliff, Taj Mahal, Robert Cray, Midge Ure and Lita Ford – very much something for everyone. I really like Neil’s latest album, “Psychedelic Pill”. If your kids ever ask you if they can use the stereo then just reply that it is OK but after one more song. Track 1 goes for 27 minutes and is awesome!

I didn’t go and see Mr Young and he didn’t play this but it would’ve been my choice to hear it live.

Neil Young – Piece Of Crap -

I was slightly disappointed that Motley Crue’s Vince Neil had to be taken to hospital during their Sunday night show because he had kidney stones. I can relate to the pain but I would’ve thought it would improve his voice or at least add some intensity to his performance. I guess you can’t keep on keeping on when you’re sober and clean!

And I was mildly interested this week at the process taken to appoint a new Pope. Given that Francis I is from Argentina I’m still waiting for a response from him via Twitter to explain his views on the “hand of God” Maradona football incident as well as who owns the Falkland Islands. I might be waiting a while I reckon.

Zoë made us watch the movie “Pitch Perfect”. And to be fair it wasn’t that bad but I’m not sure how much a capella music is healthy. This last track isn’t technically in that genre but give it a chance and you’ll hear some wonderful vocal work.

The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice (vocals only) -

I’d forgotten how much I love the Beach Boys!

Here’s all the other nonsense that I said I’d paste on the end. Feel free to ignore it!

Have a great weekend,

DJ Rob

I read a blog entry this week that spoke of eating healthy and being a bore about it. I can assure you that I don’t feel the need to talk to everyone about my dietary restrictions. I fact, I don’t want to talk about it especially at lunch time. But, there is a lot of interest when it comes to weight loss. I’m happy to tell anyone my story but the article I read said that many people are constantly banging on about it – I hope I don’t and I’m happy to be told to change the topic.

Weight loss is a funny thing. If you lose a few kilos then you’re a legend. If you lose a lot then apparently you must have an eating disorder or a deadly wasting disease. I assure you all that I have neither and I have the blood test and CT scan results to prove it.

In fantastic and very much unexpected news I have pretty much halved my level of cholesterol since my last check in October. It’s back in the normal range. What’s the secret? Well there isn’t one and I’d be unwilling to recommend my approach to anyone else because everyone is different. What I did was exactly what the dietician told me to. I ate as per her instructions. But I was (and still am) ruthless about it. I still won’t “just have a slice of cake” or a small piece of cheese. And that probably makes me a bit different. It took a while to find the right foods to fuel me as well as filling me up and that’s a journey I’m still on. DJ BG’s Lemon Polenta Porridge and Chia seeds is pretty good as is tofu if you get someone to cook it well.  Alison and I also found a couple of restaurants that cook completely cholesterol free and that were insanely tasty.

The other thing I did was train on the bike like a maniac. I did this for a couple of reasons. One is that I love to ride and that I had a goal of riding well in the upcoming 24hr race. I gave myself a weekly goal in terms of kilometres and apart from this week, where I may have bitten off more than I can chew, I achieved those targets. To be fair, I’ve always trained a fair bit but for the last few months I’ve been very focused on doing a good job at the upcoming race.

Where to now then? Well - back to the doctor and the dietician as they need to stabilize my weight and keep the cholesterol in check. 16kg is a lot to lose and I’d really like to be able to buy clothes and know that they will still fit in a month’s time. I must admit that if they want me to put on some weight (and I imagine they will) that this is a significant mental hurdle. But as a start I’d be more than happy to stop losing it. IT was mildly amusing to lose maybe 4 or 5 kg but I had a moment a few weeks ago where I realised I’d had enough.

Glenn Campbell – He Ain’t Heavy… -

Friday, March 8, 2013

Song of the Week #236

Well done to the couple of listeners who spotted Jake Busey as the pilot in last week’s video from Foxy Shazam. Jake is best known, to me at least, ace Ace Levy from the fantastic movie, “Starship Troopers”. Great film that everyone would do well to watch…right now!

Starship Troopers snippet -

It’s a movie on more than one level and the depiction of what might be the future for planet Earth is worth a look. And there’s some good action as well.

Tomorrow I’m off to Sydney with H to check out Bob Mould playing. It promises to be a VERY loud show and I’ll be packing my hearing protection. Bob is famous for his solo stuff as well as playing in Sugar and Hüsker Dü. H is hanging around to see Neil Young on the Sunday evening but I’ll be on the bus back home – that’s three hours of solid iPod time, nice!

Hüsker Dü  - Could You Be The One -

Long time listeners will know that Canberra’s “Armoured Angel” are one of my favourite bands ever. I saw them live a number of times both here and interstate and they never failed to please. Yes, their music is very much an acquired taste. Not long ago they released their 1985 demo cassette on CD. I listened to a track online and was underwhelmed so I ignored the release. After all, it was an incarnation of the band that I had never seen – a very early one. Well, somehow I got around to getting a bargain copy from eBay and I’ve been listening to it all week. After a couple of listens and a clear understanding that it is a raw demo, not re-mastered, not remixed and not anything else I am impressed. I think back to 1985/6 and if someone had given me this demo cassette then I would’ve been keen to hear more. Armoured Angel became a different band after this but as a snapshot in time of one on Australia’s best ever underground acts it rates more than a casual listen. You can clearly hear the Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden influence on this track – Armoured Angel were just heavier.

Armoured Angel – R.I.P. -

This next tune will I know get the DJ I’ronic seal of approval. It’s the song that was most definitely my theme on Wednesday morning. It was one of those bike rides where my legs didn’t want to cooperate. In the spirit of Jens Voigt I told them to “shut up” and kept riding.

Jackson Browne – Running On Empty -

Did you see the lap steel guitar in that clip….I reckon I need one of those!

Did I mention that our stereo at home gave up the ghost? Seriously, it’s been a trooper since Dad took me to buy it in 1989 when I was in first year at Uni. Anyway, I’m not replacing it just yet as I work out the balance between what I want and what I need. Back in pride of place in the lounge room is the 1972 vintage Sansui Amplifier. And it sounds just wonderful. I guess they built things to last back in the day. The one that has stopped working properly owes me nothing but I’m a bit sad at its demise!

As well as the Midnight Oil show (book soon folks, tickets are selling well) the band has started working up some songs for a trio gig. It’s a lot of fun turning up to a jam to learn the songs and play them in our own way – especially when there are ones I’ve never heard. How cool is this next tune – very unexpected – a great shuffle. Fleetwood Mac when they were awesome.

Fleetwood Mac – Monday Morning -

DJ EXP loaned me a couple of guitar pedals today for the Oils gig. One is a Boss Overdrive 3 which I can’t wait to test against the old one I already have – really I just want to use it for a volume boost for parts of a few songs. But the second was a surprise and should be a real treat….it is a Big Muff Pi! A classic full bodied distortion/overdrive that has a massive sound. I can’t wait to plug it in and turn it up. Famous players who have used them include David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Carlos Santana and a little known guy called Jimi Hendrix. They were also very popular with bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Mudhoney and Dinosaur Jr. Sonic ecstasy is a-coming!!

Bush – Everything Zen -

More Billy Bragg news…I’ve ordered the new album and it should be here soon. A couple of reviews have mentioned that it is “mellow” – I hope only in the sound and not the lyrical content. Of course I had to get the signed version – it’s a sickness folks! Billy sang live on TV the other night with Olivia Newton-John. I’ve seen a photo but no footage yet. Here’s the track they did…

Olivia Newton-John – If Not For You -

Billy has released some recent rehearsal footage and it’s great. This is my absolute favourite Billy song – if he comes here and plays this track I’ll be a happy man.

Billy Bragg – Ideology (rehearsal footage – great quality) -

And after reading about this song I’ve found out that it is influenced very much by a Dylan tune. Although I’ve tried and failed to be anything but a casual Dylan fan the link between the songs is obvious. But I like this version better….jangly guitars are awesome!

The Byrds – The Chimes Of Freedom -

Two Bob Dylan songs in a week – who would’ve thunk it??

Since I’m talking about Billy Bragg I reckon I’ll finish with some advice he gave punters in the UK this week via Twitter and Facebook. He advised people who were interested in Canadian music to go and see the next artist instead of Justin Bieber. Good advice.

Ron Sexsmith – Love Shines -

Happy 100th birthday Canberra – I love living here. Politicians fly in and out but this is our town and it’s great.

DJ Rob

Friday, March 1, 2013

Song of the Week #235

We’re back again for another episode of music and other nonsense.

“Discovering” new bands for myself is something I really enjoy. I read magazines, websites, news feeds and listen to the radio in a constant search for sonic bliss. All that as well as a number of good friends who feed me quality music to try out. This next band came via a magazine and a free CD. Very much for fans of bands like Queen or The Darkness. Their music is a bit ‘out there’ and their stage show even more so but if you like a good tune and good fun this is worth a spin…(you can FFWD the intro which goes for about a minute although you’ll miss out on spotting the pilot – who is he folks?)

Foxy Shazam – Holy Touch -

Who remembers Rick Springfield? You know, the “Jessie’s Girl” guy. Or maybe for younger listeners from his guest spot on the TV show “Californication”. Well, Rick has been putting out music forever it seems and he never stopped. Try this from his latest album…I was pleasantly surprised.

Rick Springfield – I Hate Myself -

It’s been a very wet week here in Canberra and as a result a relatively quiet time on the bike. I did get very wet and muddy the other evening on the mountain bike however. Once you’re over that initial phase of getting wet the riding is a lot of fun and demands different skills. It wasn’t cold though so that was a bonus. After hosing my bike off I had to do the same to myself before I could come in for a shower!

Metallica – Broken, Beat & Scarred -

I chose that Metallica song for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s from their 2008 album, “Death Magnetic” which I think is right up there with the best they’ve ever done. That’s a big call apparently. And then there’s the lyric, “you rise, you fall, you’re down then you rise again, what don’t kill you’ll make you more strong”. It’s derivative but I like it.

Someone asked me this week if I get twitchy if I don’t get a regular ride. And the answer is yes. I like to try and ride (or train) for 6 days out of 7 in a normal week with maybe only 5 in an easy phase. If I plan to miss a day or two I’m fine but the rain has played havoc with my schedule and I don’t like it. Thankfully the roads were dry this morning and I got to ride to work. Tomorrow I’ll head up the highway with DJ Felix for a cruisy 100km or so.

I finally managed to get hold of the album “Re-Machined” which is a tribute to Deep Purple’s 1972 classic, “Machine Head”.  It was originally included as a freebie with a magazine it now has a general release. It’s a solid effort from almost all involved. This is apparently a bonus track on the CD…pretty cool and a great song. One of my highway cruising tunes.

Glenn Hughes / Steve Vai / Chad Smith – Highway Star -

The public school system in the ACT is such that kids go to a separate school (called a college) for their last two years. That’s where Zoë is at the moment. There’s a lot of freedom involved, no uniform, first name basis with teachers and only the need to be there for the actual classes. For a heap of kids I reckon this is a dreadful idea. I can assure you that I don’t think I would’ve succeeded at all. But Zoë loves it and, despite the jump in academic rigour that you get with top level Maths, Physics and Chemistry, she’s doing a great job. She’s such an independent kid for the most part and I think that is a very positive trait. I guess a lot of the mistakes that first year university students make as a result of having so much freedom are being made for these kids in Years 11 and 12. That may or may not be a good thing.

Bob Marley – Three Little Birds -

A blog entry and subsequent Facebook follow up commentary from DJ Macca made me stop to think this week. He’s quite a prolific blogger ( and has quite a bit to say about topics that interest and perhaps confound him. Apart from the fact that I’d like him to write about rugby a bit there is usually something that I find worth reading. If I wanted to drill down even further I would rather read people’s opinions than them just being thankful for Macca’s posts – it’s as if they can’t think of anything to write – or maybe they didn’t read the whole thing.

But Macca’s reflection on his writings made me pause to think why I bother with this at all. I started out just sharing a song with some colleagues and it ballooned into a blog about anything and everything. But you know, that’s OK with me. I’m not overly fussed if people read what I write or not. For me just having to write something down is enjoyable and at times, cathartic. I do write differently at times because I know who might be reading, but not too often. The thought processes that go into thinking about the songs often take me a whole week and I find myself singing in my head as I cycle all the time.

Fleetwood Mac – Second Hand News -

The Midnight Oil show rehearsals continue to go well – we had a great noise making session this week and most of the songs have come together rather well. The gigs are on 18th and 25th of May at Vivaldi’s which is at the ANU here in Canberra. Bookings are essential and get in early if you want good seats where H will be up so close that you can collect, bottle and then sell his sweat on eBay! for bookings.

Midnight Oil – Cold Cold Change -

One of the only good things about the rain has been that I’ve been listening to music in the car on a couple of occasions. It has Bluetooth to connect to the iDevice and I have rediscovered some podcasts I had downloaded ages ago. Neat concerts by Jimmy Cliff, Billy Bragg, Steve Earle and The Hold Steady – thanks NPR – you rock. Then there was three acoustic songs from Weird Al. I’ve professed before how much I like some of his stuff and no doubt I may have played some tunes but I think I’ll finish off with a couple from him.

This is the song that got me back into Al’s stuff (via the podcast of this session)…

Weird Al Yankovic – CNR (live) -

And then there’s this which I think has one of the best vocals I’ve ever heard. I didn’t realise Al had such a good voice…

Weird Al Yankovic – You Don’t Love Me Anymore (live) -

Have a good weekend folks. Rub your dog’s tummy. Borrow a dog if you don’t have one. It’ll make you smile.

DJ Rob