Friday, October 25, 2013

Song of the Week #269

Every now and then I write other stuff on my blog that isn’t “Song of the Week”. Here’s a link to a little piece titled, “Is Apple on borrowed time?”
The two junior DJs in my house have sent me their Desert Island Disc lists. Thanks to DJ NotSoFatboy for prompting me to ask them. The lists are both good listening and I think the fact that they were happy to share is a great thing. I guess sometimes I wonder if I have any influence on what they listen to. I’m proud to say that they both have quite broad tastes but they know what they like. I do remember them knowing a lot of the lyrics at last year’s Midnight Oil tribute show.
I’ll begin with DJ Bogus. He’s named this way because that’s what the mobile phone predictive text used to turn his real name into. Bogus’ list includes selections from Vance Joy, Rudimental, John Newman, Flux Pavilion and Passenger. There’s a fair bit of dance oriented music in there and given what pumps out of his bedroom I’m not surprised. Here’s a couple with fairly wide appeal.
Bruno Mars – Locked Out of Heaven -
Passenger – Let Her Go -
Personally I think that Bruno Mars ripped off every Sting/Police song there is to come up with that melody but it’s not a bad song. And the song by Passenger reminds me of old school Cat Stevens it’d be my favourite in his list. You can check out all the tunes chosen by DJ Bogus on the blog in the next week or so.
On to DJ Boots and a very different list. It’s eclectic in a way that makes me very, very happy. I guess when the first rock song you used to sing along to is “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” then the signs are good. Boots chose a wonderful selection including The Killers, David Bowie, Taylor Swift, Elbow, Midnight Oil, The Perry Band and Script. Did anyone mention that she has tickets to see Taylor Swift in Sydney and it’s not all that far away? The countdown is well and truly on. Judging from the live footage I’ve seen it should be a fantastic show. I reckon it’s a great choice for a first “big” rock ‘n’ roll outing. Here’s a couple from DJ Boots that I enjoyed too…
Alex Day – Here Comes Trouble -
Elbow – One Day Like This -
DJ Boots chose Alex Day specifically so that you all can hear the trumpet line. The Elbow song is one that she’s singing in a performance. It reminds me of U2 mixed up with Coldplay.
Next week, if I can get it finished, is the Desert Island Disc to end them all. H provided not 12 songs, but 12 albums. Watch this space!
Today I spent $3 and got some fine music. John Lennon’s “Double Fantasy” on vinyl, The Blues Brothers “Made in America” on CD and the 45rpm single of Redgum’s “Caught In The Act”. For no other reason than that I present these next three tunes…
John Lennon – Just Like Starting Over (stripped version) –
Blues Brothers – I Ain’t Got You –
Redgum – Lear Jets over Kulgera –
When I was new to Australia I learned a lot about towns no-one ever hears of by listening to Redgum’s music. It was also another push to the left side of the political spectrum.
The other news from me this week is that, along with DJ AB, DJ HamerTime and DJ Cakes I raced my first criterium race. It was out at the Stromlo track here in the ACT and it was heaps of fun. You certainly have to ride fast right from the start and being at all timid soon sees you being spat out the back of the group. I enjoyed my first experience and learned a lot. I have the fitness to compete (well duh!) but the tactics and accelerations are things I need to work on. Fun times indeed! My legs are very, very tired today.
I was going to finish up with a David Bowie song. I was just in that kind of mood earlier in the day. But then I discovered the song I had chosen was a cover version. I like Bowie’s effort (who doesn’t!) but I found so many different versions I had to track down the first one. So here you go…
The McCoys – Sorrow -
Personally I like The Merseys and the Bowie recordings much better.
The reason I had got around to listening to Sorrow was that I have a recording where Billy Bragg plays it and then segues into another song. Billy surprises me. On his current tour he’s begin releasing his “guilty pleasures” – songs played at soundchecks. This is the first one and I wasn’t expecting anything like this!
Billy Bragg – Desperado -
This next one is very much a song from my childhood, an AM radio hit. I didn’t hear FM radio or have access to it until I was about 15. MTV was around (and playing music rather than what it has become these days) in Australia before FM radio came to the Latrobe Valley!
Charley Pride – Mountain of Love -
Finally, I’ll play a tune for my mate Garry who died a year ago this week. He’s very much missed. I know the last concert he went to was Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers at the Royal Albert Hall in London. He’d just lost his job, which he hadn’t been in for long, and was ruing the expense of the ticket. But, the show was terrific and he sent me some photos, video and a t-shirt to mark the occasion. Not long afterwards he anxiety and depression got the better of him and this, along with some other medical issues contributed to the end of his life. Look after your friends folks. This one’s for you my friend…
Tom Petty – You Don’t Know How It Feels -
DJ Rob


Friday, October 18, 2013

Song of the Week #268

Woo hoo! It's Friday!! Even though I plan to collapse on the lounge
rather than going out dancing, I always get a smile from this tune.

The Darkness - Friday Night (2003) -

I promised a return to Desert Island Discs and this week we'll feature
DJ Ducky and DJ DR.

Let's start with her royal quackness, DJ Ducky. She's had a terrible
time deciding on her list and I really do appreciate the time she's
spent in musical agony! Or is that in technical ecstasy? I think one of
the best things for me about DJ Ducky's current list is that a lot of my
favourite tunes are also on there. She's got good taste! Madonna, The
Stones, George Benson, Divinyls, Linda Rondstadt and Billy Idol all make
appearances So, let me pick a couple of highlights for you dear
listener...(I wonder if she realises she's sent me two lists so far!!)
First of all we have David Bowie from 1982 collaborating with Giorgio
Moroder. A very cool song indeed and I chose it because it sounds a lot
like Bowie meets The Sisters of Mercy. Or maybe they sound like him.

David Bowie - Cat People (Putting Out Fire) (1982) -

Next up from DJ Ducky is The Blues Brothers. My favourite version of
this is a live cut from the album "The Best of the Blues Brothers" but
this is the classic version from the movie. This was the first song that
DJ AB and I played on our radio stint! Great choice again.

The Blues Brothers - Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (1980) -

Finally we go to Cyndi Lauper. It's funny, Kasey Chambers has the same
style of voice yet I find Cyndi compelling and Kasey quite annoying.
More about Kasey later. Try this excellent tune from Ms Lauper. She's a
hoot and, if you look past the clothes, hair and makeup, a great singer.

Cyndi Lauper - Change of Heart (1986) -

DJ DR was the first Desert Island Discs respondent. His inspired
selection includes AC/DC, Foo Fighters, Johnny Cash, Midnight Oil and
Icehouse. I'm always pleased that DJ DR remained my friend after DJ DJ
and I did our best to deafen him with a Motorhead cassette. DJ DJ and I
had been to see the band the previous evening and we were deafened. But
we thought DJ DR should check out the tunes in his car. Funny. Here's
track one from DJ DR...great bass line. If you can't hear it on your
computer speakers then plug into a stereo or find some headphones.

Roxy Music - Love Is The Drug (1975) -

DJ DR chose an Oils song. I like that band, you may have guessed if
you've been reading and listening for a while. I'm almost at the stage
where I can listen to them again after the overdose that came about
rehearsing for the tribute shows with H and the band.

Midnight Oil - Jimmy Sharman's Boxers (1984) -

Finally from DJ DR's selection comes an Australian legend of rock 'n'
roll. Stevie Wright started off with The Easybeats before a solo career.
I've played in two bands that have done this song and it is one of the
coolest tunes to play. I also did a version ages back with DJ DocW - hi
to you too Ron! Note that there are three parts to this song and
therefore it ends up being about 11 minutes. Radio usually onply plays
part 1 but DJ DR wanted the whole lot so here you go! Rock on!

Stevie Wright - Evie (1974) -

Righto, more next week from my listeners. DJ Bogus has provided his top
10 so look out. It's a treat for the younger demographic. I believe that
DJ Boots is also working on a list that promises to be heavy on Taylor

I returned to work and therefore the commuter Olympics this week. It
never fails to amaze me the chest beating and posturing that goes on in
some people's ride to work. But I made a fatal mistake and got caught up
in it the other morning. Two guys jumped onto my wheel at the junction
of a bike path. They wouldn't go by me so I decided to see if I could
drop them. Well I did but it took about 5km of intense effort. And then
they turned off and I took a while to regain my composure. I think I'll
look on it as an interval training session!

I mentioned Kasey Chambers earlier. For overseas listeners, she is an
Australian country singer. She has a nasally baby voice that whilst
instantly recognisable has a tendency to grate on me. But the reason I
mention her is that H and I will be watching her play live on April 24th
next year. Why?? Well she's the support for Steve Earle and the Dukes!
How awesome! In 2014 I'm going to see two of my all time favourite
artists with Steve as well as Billy Bragg. Life is good. Steve can play
anything he likes from any of his albums and I'll be in a state of
nirvana. But, if I had to make a request then this would be a real treat...

Steve Earle - The Devil's Right Hand (1988) -

At the moment I feel very sorry for the people of the USA as a whole.
Their elected representatives on both sides of politics have done them a
disservice and continue to posture and pout rather than getting on with
the business governing. None of them are blameless. But for the moment
it looks like they're all going back to work and for many people I am
sure that there is a massive relief in being able to draw their pay. Oh
yeah, and you can visit any monument you like without having to run the
gamut of police who are in the unenviable position of having to keep
them closed.

Def Leppard - Hello America (1980) -

I did promise a review of DJ Bogus' new Nexus 7 tablet but to be fair it
hasn't left his reach long enough for me to have more than a cursory
glance. So, wait out on that one.

Right, that's enough. Two more songs and then I'm off.

First of all Van Morrison. I've no idea why I chose this but I've been
listening to it all week. Beautiful clean guitars.

Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl -

And finally this one. Why? Because it's one of my theme the
conference today I wanted to stand up and shout, "just because I dress
like this doesn't mean I'm a public servant".

Lars Frederiksen & The Bastards - To Have And To Have Not -

Dogs need love. Cats pretend not to but a sneaky pat never goes astray.
Just don't get caught by the family or they'll know you're soft.

DJ Rob

Monday, October 14, 2013

Is Apple is on borrowed time?

Controversial? Probably. In the last few weeks we've seen Apple release the new iPhones, both at a premium price. And whilst Apple can tell us how well they are selling I reckon that unless they make a change before long that their market share will dwindle. Why? I hear you on.

Bear in mind that I'm not a journalist or researcher and that this is only my opinion informed by factors that impact on my family and me.

There's no doubt that for a while now the iPhone has been more than a gadget. It's a fashion accessory and for some people a bit of a statement. The interface is intuitive to the point that almost anyone can feel comfortable with it in no time at all. I have one, that came free with my phone plan, and I think it is the bees knees.

Let's look at phones and tablets. It's unusual for kids these days not to have one or the other. And for many kids, they are prepared to spend money that they earn on their gadgets even if the first one they had was a hand me down or a cheap pre-paid option. This is where non-Apple devices win out. Recently my 15 year old son bought himself a Nexus 7 tablet. This was after weeks, if not months, of lusting after an iPhone. Why did he do this? Was it software - no - he readily admits he'd like a device running iOS. Was it the "cool factor" - no - Apple still wins on that front. Was it price in terms of bang for your buck - indeed it was.

I'm not saying that the device he bought (he also has a cheap Android phone) is better than the iEquivalent but it's faster, has double the memory and is less than half the price. What's not to like? It also got consistently good reviews.

Bundle into that the GooglePlay store which for all intents and purposes offers an equivalent range of apps for almost every practical application.

Next we'll see the release of the new Nexus phone at an equally tasty price point and with the latest version of Android.

What I see happening is the younger generation voting with their hip pockets and the Google/Android camp being the big winner. For the $9 per hour McDonald's employee and their friends they want value for their precious dollar in a way that most adults don't. And what will then transpire is that there will be a significant part of a generation who are immersed in the Google/Android way of doing things. Their apps, music and content will come from Google, not iTunes and Apple. When they get "real" jobs why would they change everything they already know and have setup?

Can Apple combat this? Absolutely. But they need a pricing structure and options that will compete with devices such as the Nexus range. A plastic covered iPhone 5 at $750 just doesn't cut it. And they need to get in with laptops and tablets at a price that kids will consider. I know that my son and his friends are all looking very closely at the Chromebook and similar devices. Their lives are in the cloud and $1400 for a MacBook Pro compared to $300 for a Chromebook is a big difference for a machine that most kids will use for the same purpose.

We live in interesting times and it will be interesting to see if Apple products stay as they are or attempt to compete in the ever growing teen tech market. After all, today's teens are the people who Apple will be wanting to buy their premium products in a few short years.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Song of the Week #267

Well the radio shift that AB and I did from 11pm until 6:30am at the Scott 24hr mountain bike race was a success. I must admit that I didn't feel tired at all until after I'd dropped AB home. At that point I was suddenly shattered! Our mission at the race was to keep the riders waiting around in transition entertained and awake. AB did a heap of interviews and kept people informed whilst I reveled in the fact that the airwaves were mine! To tell the truth, we chose music that was pretty mainstream and designed to keep energy levels up. You can check out the playlist here if you're interested. We were very lucky to have the support of Sound Guru Tim who runs all the audio for this and many other races (as well as being a professional acoustic engineer) looking after us. He makes a great short black coffee. AB left the song selection pretty much up to me but here's one of his inspired choices - perfect for keeping the beat going in the middle of the night!

Big & Rich - Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy) (2004)-

New releases that I spotted at the record shop are the new Pearl Jam album and the deluxe edition of Nirvana's"In-Utero". I haven't purchased either yet. I'm going to wait and see if there is a special edition of the Pearl Jam album or if the vinyl is a reasonable price. As for Nirvana; that's one I'll look online for as $190 is a lot of money.

Nirvana - Heart Shaped Box (1993) -

Vintage Trouble are a band I keep coming back to. Whilst they are still relatively new and only have one album they seem to tour non-stop and more and more quality footage of them performing is becoming available. I first saw them play this next song on a video take by someone on a phone in the audience. Thankfully someone has recorded it professionally. This is almost as good as the Ike and Tina version. If you need a toe-tapping good time then Vintage Trouble should be on your playlist.

Vintage Trouble - Baby Get It On (live) (2013) -

With our internet connection we get a few "free" channels including one that plays non-stop music. Every now and then BPM actually plays something worth listening to as well and this next track came up on Thursday evening. Michael Kiwanuka is an English musician and I hadn't heard of him until this week. The track that played on the TV was laid back, full of soul and the clip had a cool washed out vibe. I'll take some time over the next few weeks to check out his two EPS and his 2012 album. See what you think...

Michael Kiwanuka - I'll Get Along (2012)-

I also saw a Lady Gaga video on that station. I don't ever need to see another one. The only interesting thing about it was the appearance of one of the actors from the TV series "The Walking Dead". Call me an old grump if you like but the melody, lyrics and delivery did nothing at all for me. Then again, I doubt sincerely that I'm in the target audience.

Rolling Stone descirbes the next band as, "raucous, whip-smart noise rock". Whatever that means it made me take a second look. I'm not at all sure that RS is right but the music is kinda cool and for a duo they do make a big racket. Interesting...I like the old school drum machine sounds...

Sleigh Bells - Bitter Rivals (2013) -

Gov't Mule have a new album called "Shout!" and it's out now. You get a disc of new tunes and then a second featuring Elvis Costello, Dr John, Ben Harper, Ty Taylor, Steve Winwood and others. The Mule are a band for listeners who enjoy Neil Young with Crazy Horse, Led Zep, ZZ Top and pretty much any good blues based rock. They are a great band, buy their albums and then go to and you can download tons of their live shows. There are many fine tracks on the two CDs but I chose this one because they had Elvis Costello singing - awesome!

Gov't Mule with Elvis Costello - Funny Little Tragedy (2013) -

You can listen to the original of the above track here if you like.

In sad news this week, Phillip Ryan from The Pogues has died aged 56. Cancer. He's reported to have said to the Irish Daily Mail, "I am a gay, Irish, Catholic, alcoholic Pogue who is about to die from cancer — and don’t think I don’t know it". He was in The Pogues in time to record their second album, "Rum, Sodomy & the Lash" which is an absolute classic. As well as guitar he played banjo and mandolin and wrote a number of tracks too. This might be the best known one - from the 1988 album, "If I Should Fall From Grace With God", an album I bought on cassette for my Dad. I remember him putting it on in the car and not really knowing what to say. It grew on both of us!

The Pogues - Thousands Are Sailing (1988) -

Top 40 hits aren't really my bag these days but this next artist is a bit hard to ignore. A 16 year old from the bottom of the world who is the first New Zealand solo artist to have  a US #1. Not bad. Here's a live track to prove that she can actually sing...keep an eye on her folks.

Lorde - Ribs (2013) -

To finish up, a couple of songs for my very good friend DJ NotSoFatRollins. It's his birthday today and I hope he has a great time with his girls DJ Duck and DJ Duckling! First up, Nine Inch Nails. I know that he's psyched that they are touring down here with Queens of the Stone Age. This has to be one of the ultimate protest songs...

Nine Inch Nails - Head Like A Hole (1990) -

And then this one that I know is one of DJ NotSoFatRollins' faves...

Rainbow - Since You've Been Gone (1979) -

That'll do. Happy Birthday Laff and have a great weekend everyone else. Tune in next week for a return to Desert Island Discs, a review of Angus' new Google Nexus 7 tablet and tales from my return to the commuter Olympics!

DJ Rob

Sunday, October 6, 2013

2013 Scott 24hr Mountain Bike Race playlist

AB and I were on the air and live into the transition compound from 11pm until 6:30am the next day. Here's the list of tunes we played. As you can see, the emphasis was on keeping riders awake and energised. Huge thanks to Tim for organising this for us and getting the FM broadcast going and as well to Canberra Off Road Cyclists (CORC) for taking a chance on AB and me. It was heaps of fun.

Scott 24hr Race Overnight Broadcast

Everybody Needs Somebody to Love The Blues Brothers
Livin' on a Prayer Bon Jovi
Rock The Casbah The Clash
Fortunate Son John Fogerty With Foo Fighters
Heart of Glass Blondie
Barbra Streisand Duck Sauce
That 70's Song [Based on "In the Street"] Cheap Trick
Dizzy Coffee Break (Instant Mix) Vic Reeves & The Wonderstuff
Werewolves Of London Warren Zevon
Everybody Wants To Rule The World Tears For Fears
Love Story Taylor Swift
I Ain't Got You Andrew Dice Clay
Forgotten Years Midnight Oil
Alive Pearl Jam
Bicycle Race Queen
Groove Is in the Heart Deee-Lite
Bones The Killers
Hands up in the Air Boom Crash Opera
Rescue Me Fontella Bass
One Word Baby Animals
Beach Boys Medley The Beach Boys
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out Bruce Springsteen
Sweet Child O' Mine Guns N' Roses
Counting The Beat The Swingers
What's the Frequency, Kenneth? R.E.M.
Start Me Up The Rolling Stones
Word Up! Korn
Evie Part 1 (Let Your Hair Hang Down) Stevie Wright
Enter Sandman Metallica
The Unguarded Moment The Church
Take The Rock King Cannons
Saturday Night Bay City Rollers
Hard to Handle The Black Crowes
Bend Me, Shape Me American Breed
Sk8er Boi Avril Lavigne
And We Danced The Hooters
A Hard Day's Night The Beatles
The Power Of Love Huey Lewis & The News
Save a Horse (Ride A Cowboy) Big and Rich
Burn for You INXS
Ride the Night Away Jimmy Barnes
Wild Cherry Killing Time
I Was Made For Loving You Kiss
House of Fun Madness
Heat Wave Martha & the Vandellas
April Sun In Cuba Dragon
Slice Of Heaven Dave Dobbyn with Herbs
Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio Painters & Dockers
Gimme Some Lovin' Spencer Davis Group
Love Shack The B-52's
I Want a New Drug Huey Lewis & the News
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds The Beatles
Dr. Feelgood Motley Crue
Cocaine J.J. Cale
Poison Alice Cooper
Purple Haze Jimi Hendrix
Glory Days Bruce Springsteen
Parlez-Vous Francais? Art Versus Science
My Adidas Run-DMC
Pumped Up Kicks Foster The People
Got the Time Anthrax
Manic Monday Bangles
Run The Red Light British India
Let's Go The Cars
Roll Over Beethoven Chuck Berry
Better the Devil You Know Kylie Minogue
Is She Really Going Out With Him? Joe Jackson
Woman Wolfmother
Mean to Me Crowded House
Just Ace Grinspoon
Step Right Up King Cannons
West End Riot The Living End
Thunderstruck AC/DC
Prisoner of Society The Living End
Girls on Film The Living End
Rising Sun Cold Chisel
Rock The Night Europe
Panama Van Halen
You Shook Me All Night Long AC/DC
Bow River Cold Chisel
What I Like About You Poison

Friday, October 4, 2013

Song of the Week #266

"First world problems"; it's a catchphrase that gets bandied around a lot these days. Here are a few examples:
  • worrying about iOS 7 or upgrading your iPhone
  • what to have for dinner
  • closed public monuments in the USA
I'm not saying that things like the above aren't important but we need a reality check.

If you've got a mobile phone that can make calls and send messages then how much do you really need to spend to keep up with the Jones'? If you're agonising about what to eat then be thankful that you at least have something to put on the plate. And whilst I think that it sucks that tourists, veterans and the general public can't visit the Statue of Liberty or a National Park in the USA I'm a lot more concerned about people I know who aren't being paid even though the politicians draw a wage. It's all relative I guess.

DJ DJ posted a link to Tim Minchin giving a graduation address at the University of Western Australia. You should watch it. It's funny. It's poignant and it made me think about quite a few things more deeply than I care to admit. Here's a link:

Of course, one of my favourite points made by Tim is this - you need to exercise. I'm paraphrasing here but basically, without a healthy body your potential to live life to the fullest is compromised. He also points out that "depression and exercise are inversely related". That means that exercise helps you feel good. Do it regularly but you don't have to be super serious about it. Walk around the block, take the stairs, ride a bike, kick a football with someone. The other point that I really identified is that it is really easy to be "anti" rather than "pro". Channel some positive energy and thought sometime. I've been looking for silver linings everywhere recently and you'll be amazed what you might find if you open your mind. For example...I was angry with Angus last night. He was still watching TV at 10:30pm and I lost my cool a bit. That's bad. I was a meanie for no real good reason. The good bit is that I realised this, thought about why I was being unreasonable and spoke to Angus about it this morning. So what happened then? He gave me a hug. Pretty cool huh?

I've put a couple of "Desert Island Disc" complete lists on the blog here. There's cracking selections there from Clan McA and from my Mum too. More will be added soon.

This week let's look at some tracks sent in by DJ DJ. He sent me a double album of tracks in a specific order. As he wrote, "the ebb and flow of energy and emotion is critical". And that's why albums are important my friends - they tell a story or at least evoke emotion as a result of the song order. You'll never get that downloading singles from iTunes or in a greatest hits collection. I'll put the complete list up for you over the weekend as it is a real treat. You can look forward to tracks from Midnight Oil, Radio Birdman, Queensryche, Baby Animals, Guns n Roses and Killing Time. It's 20 tracks of inspired stuff - a double album I'd happily take on a road trip or to an island. Here's a couple of highlights...

First up we have Radio Birdman with "Aloha Steve and Danno". Obviously a song about the TV show "Hawaii Five-Oh" but that's not the reason I like it. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, wait, wrong story...a while ago I was in the Army and we used to do a lot of marching. A lot. And every now and then the band actually played something good. The theme song from "Hawaii Five-Oh" was one of those tunes that almost made it fun. To then hear it in a classic rock/surf/punk tune was a really groovy moment.

Radio Birdman - Aloha Steve and Danno -

Next up from DJ DJ is Killing Time. An Australian heavy rock band that burned very bright but also burned out. It's a shame because they were great. They changed their name to Mantissa after a legal challenge and it's worth searching out any early EPs or their album "Mossy God". I've got the lot so if you can't find them give me a yell.

Mantissa - Land of the Living -

Lastly from this double album is Queensryche. This is a band that DJ DJ got me into. I'm not sure if it was his tales of their fanboard "Screaming in Digital" in the early days of the internet or the fact that he wore one of their t-shirts non-stop but it made me take notice and I'm glad I did. Regardless of the soap-opera that the band has become they have some great tunes. This one is from their concept album "Operation Mindcrime" which really fails to date this far on from its 1988 release.

Queensryche - The Needle Lies -

DJ Macca narrowed his favourite tracks down and sent in a pretty cool list. I've been with him a number of times when he's set his iPod on shuffle and it's always good. Mellow tunes from artists like Neil Young, Hendrix, Bowie and Leonard Cohen. We talk music a fair bit as well as rugby, motorbikes and life in general. He's also written a book and you can expect to hear more about that in the new year when it's published. But for now, a few tracks...

Van Morrison has one of the purest and most distinctive voices in popular music. I'm always fascinated that a reportedly serial grump records such beautiful tunes.

Van Morrison - Into The Mystic -

If you watched the AFL Grand Final last weekend you would've seen this next band making some money by playing a couple of songs. Am I cynical? Yes. However, they are a fantastic Australian band and if you want a good read about internal band politics then "Thirteen Tonne Theory" by singer Mark Seymour is worth your time. They write and play songs from the heart.

Hunters & Collectors - True Tears of Joy -

I chose this next one from DJ Macca's selection because it reminded me why I like Led Zeppelin. It isn't for the really loud heavy stuff. Not that they didn't so that well but I've always liked their acoustic blues/folk tinged work a lot more.

Led Zeppelin - Ramble On -

Before I sign off can I draw your attention to the fact that there is a new Dream Theater LP available. Thanks to H for alerting me to this. I've had a couple of listens and I must say it is really good. I've found it more accessible that some of their other stuff. The guitars sound fabulous without being weird or over-the-top technical. It grows on you. Try this out, it's worth it.

Dream Theater - The Enemy Inside -

During the week I've been watching all 4 hours of the 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert. There isn't a dud moment. If you want to check it out then the whole concert is here. What stood out for me was Simon and Garfunkel. Seriously, I'm not sure that popular music gets any better than this live moment. You be the judge.

Simon and Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence (live) -

That's it. If you're at the Scott 24hr Mountain Bike Race this weekend you can catch DJ AB and me on the radio from 11pm Saturday until 6am the next morning or until we fall asleep - ouch! 99.5 on your FM dial.

DJ Rob