Sunday, December 1, 2013

Song of the Week #274

(Sorry this is very late - the World Wide Woozle laptop had a nasty malware infection which has now been sorted out. Also Bigpond mail is useless so Song of the Week has migrated to Gmail. Grrrrrrrr.)

"The Conversation" is a great website. If you're sick and tired of your news and current affairs coming from media aimed at the lowest common denominator and the talkback radio hate jocks then head over and start reading. But it's more than news, there are plenty of articles to activate your grey matter before it implodes as a result of the constant barrage of social media, text messaging and cold calling call centres.

This week I read a couple of articles written by a man called Adrian North. He's an academic from Curtin University in Western Australia who often writes about popular music. What interested me was one piece that related recent research about suicide and listening to Heavy Metal music and another about what makes a tune likable in the short and long term. I've linked both of those articles so feel free to check them out. If Adrian happens to stumble across what I've written on the blog then can I just say thanks for firing up a few of my synapses!

As a teenager and now as an adult I've been a big fan of Heavy Metal music. I like the volume, the guitars, the energy and sometimes the aggression. It's a release and it's also a bit of a community.  But it isn't music that makes me want to kill myself. As the previously linked article points out; parents can be up in arms about Marilyn Manson's stage antics but remember that Puccini's Madame Butterfly features a young woman disembowelling herself with a sword! That might look like a bit of a throwaway line but the point is well made. To cut a long story short; country music is related closely to the suicide rate amongst white males in the USA and teenage metal fans are drawn to things like self-harming for reasons other than the music. Things like being disaffected and having a less than ideal home/school life. I'd rather my kids listened to bands that at least make them explore their feelings, emotions and the world around them than the inane lyrical garbage of try-hard gangsters smacking up their bitches and waving their drug money around. But rap music is a whole different story. Maybe another time.

Motley Crue - Shout At The Devil -

Staying with heavier music for a minute; finally managed to deliver a couple of CDs that have been "in the mail" for almost a month. I could've walked to America and flown them back myself in that time. However, Def Leppard's "Viva Hysteria" live CD/DVD and Stryper's "No More Hell To Pay" were worth the wait. Great listening for the hard rock fan. "Viva Hysteria" is a live recording of Lep's classic 1987 album and it's pretty good. I do wonder how much post-production was done on all the vocals but regardless, it's a lot of fun. As for Stryper; this CD is probably the most consistent album they've ever made. It's non-stop guitars and melodic rock and is a great album for in the car. This track is a great song with a dreadful, dreadful video!

Stryper - No More Hell To Pay -

For ages now I've been trying to track down a song about being worried. On a CD that came free with a magazine recently I heard the song and laughed out loud. I'd misheard the lyrics which explained why I couldn't find it. It's "wanted", not "worried". Oops. Great song nonetheless and I must've listened to it a hundred times!

Johnny Cash - Wanted Man -

For people reading this in Australia, SBS TV has the film "Springsteen and I" being broadcast on Sunday evening. Although I think it should probably be titled "Springsteen and me" it promises to be good viewing as most of the show is put together by his fans. I was only ever the most casual fan until fairly recently. I did read last week that there is a university level course in Theology based on his lyrics.

Bruce Springsteen - Adam Raised A Cain -

I've had more than enough of the Windows operating system. Back in the days when I had hair it was relatively easy to customise and keep it running well. These days it is bloated, resource hungry and just annoying. The world of Mac still attracts a premium price and so I'm not all that keen on that path either. So I've been looking around for an alternative. The Chrome OS lookks interesting but I really don't want to buy new hardware at this stage. So, I stumbled across an OS called Elementary. It's built on top of Linux and looks like it will run on most types of hardware. So, later on I'm going to put it on an old netbook and see how it turns out. Watch this space.

U2 - I Threw A Brick Through A Window -

This week Alison and I celebrated our 20th anniversary. Not bad eh? On 27/11/1993 it was stinking hot day and I remember almost expiring in the non-air conditioned church waiting for Alison to arrive! The biggest shock was that her dress was pink; I really was expecting green! Anyway, we seem to have done OK to have made it this far. Here's a song that was on the first cassette I ever made for her...

Maybe Dolls - Nervous Kid -

A couple of weeks ago I played a song by The Saw Doctors. After a quick look on eBay I managed to pick up their album for less than $10 - bargain. I'll finish with this track and if you've been paying attention then my choice should seem fairly obvious...

The Saw Doctors - Only One Girl -

Hoo Roo,
DJ Rob

PS: well done and thank you to the one listener who noticed that this week's episode hadn't arrived - hi Dad :-)

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