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

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