Saturday, December 27, 2014
Friday, December 19, 2014
Belle & Sebastian - The Boy With The Arab Strap - http://youtu.be/pzXV6TICs4Q
Friday, December 12, 2014
Musically it's a bit of a challenge finding time to listen to new stuff when I've got three sets of Australian rock hits going round and round in my head in preparation for the New Year's Eve show. It'll most likely be the last hurrah for us playing many of the Midnight Oil songs and some others too. They are great but I think we all agree that there's a lot of other music to play. I'm hanging out to play tunes like "Forgotten Years", "Hercules" and "Sometimes" like there's no tomorrow.
Midnight Oil - Hercules (live) - http://youtu.be/hih--64WkK0
"Consequence of Sound" is a music (and film) review website that I have been coming back to for more than a year now. They have a wide range of reviews and it's a good place to pick up artists you haven't heard of before. They use a simple grading system and even if something gets a C minus I'll give it a go. Their reviews are usually pretty close to the mark.
There has been a flurry of activity in the media about school children needing to learn how to write computer code. I'm fairly sure I saw the US President getting some lessons too. I've taught a few students who have gone on to be programmers of one kind or another. I've also taught Computing to heaps of kids that chose other career paths. I learned BASIC programming from a book and some trial and error in the mid 80's. The structures and logic lessons that I picked up have served me well working in IT and in teaching. But recently I was able to decipher a range of computer code to fix a few things at work. It wasn't that exciting; just some HTML, CSS and PHP but if I was relying on a visual editor we would have been stuffed. We don't need every student writing a new version of Windows (not that they'd do a worse job than MS) but some decent exposure provided by people who know what they're doing is a pretty good idea.
The Godfathers - Birth, School, Work, Death - http://youtu.be/QO5dcW0P75M
In 1987 I went to the drive in with Scouts (we walked there) to see a movie. It was a hot night so we all sat outside and watched "Highlander". It's still in my top 5 films of all time. I loved it then and I still do. Last weekend I sat down with my 18 year old daughter (where did THAT time go) and introduced her to the film. I'm pretty sure she liked it, she certainly liked the soundtrack. That's good parenting 101…ensuring films of cultural significance are introduced to the next generation!
Queen – Gimme The Prize – http://youtu.be/VEJ8lpCQbyw
You might remember that when the band toured earlier in the year that we spent some time and played a show for the staff and students at "Crossing the Divide" out at Bundarra. Well this week CTD had its first graduation. I was quite moved when H sent me a photo of Matt Pye along with some of the graduates all dressed up for the occasion. I think about the people we met out there quite often...it really was an experience that changed the way I think for the better.
Johnny Nash - I Can See Clearly Now - http://youtu.be/FscIgtDJFXg
Glaswegian indie popsters Belle & Sebastian have been around for quite a while now. They've got a new album ready to launch in early 2015. This is the first single and I think it's a rather well crafted piece of pop. There's a really funky guitar bit in there that I keep coming back to.
Belle and Sebastian - The Party Line - http://youtu.be/3vS1Hf3CVGs
In 1994 the Army sent me to Melbourne to learn all about computers. It was a pretty good course taught by instructors with a genuine desire to teach us. DJ Al-ee-Sunshine and I hadn't been married very long when I went and 3 months was a long time. She did get to come and visit for a weekend though. I remember that I was rather unwell and that we went to see the movie that the next tune is from. Somewhere I've got the entire soundtrack on cassette. I remember that the artists covering all the songs weren't allowed to use any modern studio gizmos. It turned out pretty well!
Backbeat Soundtrack - Long Tall Sally - http://youtu.be/v454mAro43E
Surprise, surprise...Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters is the drummer on the previous track. Is there anything this man hasn't appeared on??
And now for this week's competition. If you can work out why I've chosen the next tune, other than that I like it a LOT, you'll be doing well. The link is somewhere inside a song in this episode.
Soul Asylum - Somebody To Shove - http://youtu.be/OrrE5bCA5lg
Australian music buyers have never been shy of supporting a novelty tune. I see no reason to buck the trend either. Sometimes life is a bit serious and you need a good laugh. Here's one of the best ever!
Scatterbrain - Don't Call Me Dude - http://youtu.be/NbLhHtaVIO4
That'll do. The Walking Dead are beckoning...
"Still whining about your bonus
Man up, you're ridiculous
Hell you can't take it with ya
So, give a little extra" - Ian Hunter & The Rant Band, "When I'm President", 2012
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Slayer - Implode - http://youtu.be/k0gVs_UcxKY
So you can prop up your fake cool,
A puppet all the same...political" - Skunk Anansie, Yes It's F*cking Political, 1996.
Friday, November 28, 2014
- I commute almost every day on my bike and I also ride it for recreation. Once in a while I even race. I average about 300km a week.
- I ride a bicycle and I don't break the law. Some cyclists do and they suck.
- I drive a car and I don't break the law. Some drivers do and they suck.
- A bicycle will never win an argument with a car or a truck no matter who is in the right.
- I'm happy to register my bike/s but then I'll actually expect a lane to myself, bike lanes that actually go somewhere, or decent bike paths.
- Hell's Bells - from Back In Black (1980)
- fabulous intro riff along with the bell. What a great track to open an album.
- Let There Be Rock - from the album of the same name (1977)
- a live show staple but this original version probably has the roughest, ripping guitar sound they've ever put on tape.
- It's A Long Way To The Top - from TNT (1976)
- the first rock song I ever played live to an audience and of course the best bagpipe solo ever.
- Sink The Pink - from Fly On The Wall (1985)
- yeah sure, it's about snooker.
- Crabsody In Blue - from Let There Be Rock (1977)
- only appeared on the Australian release, as DJ Broose says, it just highlights Bon's wicked sense of humour
- Gone Shootin' - from Powerage (1978)
- my personal favourite from what I think is their best album
- Big Jack - from Black Ice (2008)
- a album track that is just pure rock and roll.
- Whole Lotta Rosie - from Let There Be Rock (1977)
- plenty of good versions of this one with the album track being nothing short of incendiary. As Brother Laff says; chant with me, "Angus, Angus, Angus!"
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
- The Financial Review (www.afr.com).
- to be honest, unless you're prepared to pay for the subscription this is useless. I'm fortunate in that my employer does this.
- The Fin Review is more than just business reporting and has a wide range of fairly well written articles. I particularly like their technology section.
- The Conversation (http://theconversation.com/au)
- independent and well written
- funded by many Australian universities
- good topical writing and usually well fact checked
- there's still drivel here but not so much as a commercial news service
- The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/)
- a wide range of interesting and generally well written pieces
- includes some great longer feature pieces
- for an American publication it has a decent international focus as well
- more of a new magazine than a newspaper
- Zite (app)
- Zite is a news tool that works a bit like iGoogle did
- Choose your interests and Zite feeds you stuff
- Zite also "learns" what you're interested in
- Sadly, not available as a website but it works on Apple devices, Android and now Windows phones too. Blackberry users...well...move with the times!
- Canberra Times (canberratimes.com.au)
- I'm putting this out there because the app is reasonable and there is SOME local content.
- It isn't great and you get a lot of stuff from the associated Fairfax papers so read critically.
- ABC News Radio
- Beats ABC TV news 24 hands down
- Great content, no nonsense rolling news
- Also plays programmes from BBC, NPR, Deutsche Welle etc.
- Well worth a listen
Saturday, November 22, 2014
- enjoying my work,
- spending a few hours with my Dad,
- Chief playing my Stratocaster and pronouncing it awesome,
- finally taking delivery of my new bike,
- reading some books,
- Alison being on the mend after knee surgery,
- Angus doing homework on a Friday night, or
- meeting up with interstate friends...
Monday, November 17, 2014
- 1987 - first guitar; red "Applause" brand Stratocaster copy*. Purchased with my Mum at Northern Music Centre, Porirua, NZ.
- this guitar has been rewired a number of times. For ages it had a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails pickup. Nowadays it houses genuine Fender Noiseless single coil pickups.
- it's comfortable to play and seems bulletproof.
- for a "cheap" guitar people are always surprised by how good it feels and sounds.
- 1987 - first amplifier; Ross Fame 10 watt solid state. Purchased at Northern Music Centre, Porirua, NZ. Sold when I bought the Crate amp.
- 1988 - first pedal; Boss OD-2 Turbo Overdrive*. Purchased with my Dad at Allan's Music in Melbourne CBD. Modded and upgraded in 2014 by JK Pedals.
- 1988 - pedal; Rocktek Flanger.* Purchased by my Dad so that I could do spacey sounds for a school performance!
- 1990 - pedal; Boss DSD-2- Digital Sampler/Delay. Sold to Graeme from "The Entwined".
- 1991 - amplifier; Crate G160XL solid state. Purchased at a guitar shop in Morwell, VIC. Traded.
- 1991- guitar; Gibson SG 1976. Purchased with Sutto at Downtown Music, Annandale, NSW. Traded.
- and herein begins my problems with these guitars. I'd love to have one but the necks are all too wide for my hands. Note that I don't give up on Gibson as time goes by.
- 1991 - pedal; Marshall Guv'nor overdrive pedal. Purchased at Pro Audio, Canberra. Sold for peanuts. What a twit.
- these days the Marshall Guv'nor pedal is very much sought after and expensive. I found the sound a bit harsh compared to the borrowed Boss Super Overdrive I was using at the time.
- 1991 - reverb/delay unit; Yamaha R100*. Purchased at Pro Audio, Canberra.
- 1993 - guitar; Washburn 335 copy; Purchased at Pro Audio, Canberra. Traded.
- This guitar sounded great plugged in or not. Probably the best guitar I've ever owned for writing songs on for some reason.
- 1993 - amplifier; Marshall Valvestate 8080, Purchased at Better Music, Canberra.Traded.
- Great clean and crunch sounds but the lead channel never thrilled me.
- 1994 - pedal; Morley Wah. Purchased at Better Music, Canberra. Sold to Ron from "The Sly Dogs".
- guitar; Gibson SG 1972. Purchased at Better Music, Canberra. Sold to the band "78 SAAB".
- another go with an SG but in the end the same neck problems got me.
- 1994 - guitar; Fender USA Telecaster 1992. Purchased with Alison in Melbourne VIC. Sold.
- I sold this because I wasn't playing much. It was a mistake as this Tele was a great guitar and fun to play.
- guitar; Peavey Telecaster copy with two humbuckers. Purchased at Better Music, Canberra. Sold to B.
- a fine rock and roll machine. Simple and effective.
- pedal - Zoom. Purchased with Alison at Northern Music Centre, Poririua, NZ. I forget but I think I sold it.
- I had a lot of fun with this and it was great for playing through headphones.
- The Zoom lasted a couple of gigs with DVoB but I really only used the tremelo style sounds as the rest were tinny when volume was significant.
- amplifier - Laney VC-30 valve amp with matching extension cabinet. Sold.
- Laney's version of the classic VOX AC-30.
- A big, fat sound. I could use one of these at the moment!
- guitar - Samick TV-20. Purchased at Pro Audio, Canberra. Sold to G from DVoB.
- an ugly guitar with a great sound.
- you can probably pick these up for a song nowadays so I must look.
- 1998 - guitar; Epiphone Korina Flying V. Purchased from Pro Audio, Canberra. Sold.
- For years this was my main guitar. I upgraded the bridge pickup to a Gibson JB. The V always turned heads. More Gibson neck size issues finally forced my hand.
- amplifier - Ampeg SuperJet 12R. Purchased from Pro Audio, Canberra. Traded.
- this lasted a couple of rehearsals and one gig.
- good little amp but little was the issue at the time.
- 1998 - amplifier; Marshall JCM2000 50 watt valve head with 1936 2 x 12" cabinet. Purchased from Pro Audio, Canberra. Traded.
- I had this amp for almost 15 years. It was loud, it never had any issues. But it weighed a ton and I got sick of lugging it around.
- Sadly, the trading of this amp ended up costing me money as the two MESAs that I went to from here were awful.
- pedal; Ibanez Tone Lok CF7 Chorus/Flanger. Purchased from Pro Audio, Canberra. Sold.
- pedal; Ibanez Tone Lok DE7 Delay/Echo. Purchased from Pro Audio, Canberra. Sold.
- guitar; Maton Mastersound MS500. Purchased from Better Music, Canberra. Sold.
- A heavy beast of a guitar with a big fat sound. Sold after being repaired when a punter knocked it over.
- 2006 - guitar; Fender Stratocaster "Classic Players Strat". Purchased from Pro Audio Canberra. Sold. Beautiful looking guitar but the neck was horrid.
- The made in Mexico version. Thin reedy sound but a rough neck to play was the main issue.
- 2006 - amplifier; Kustom practice amp. Sold.
- guitar; Gibson Joan Jett signature Melody Maker. Purchased from Better Music, Canberra.
- Didn't sound like Joan's guitar. Harsh pickup and the ubiquitous fat Gibson neck. Will I never learn?
- 2010 - guitar; Burns Steer.* Purchased from NZ importer.
- Transported to me through the hands of family and friends in Auckland, Wellington and Geelong.
- It's not a signature guitar but it's one that Billy Bragg made famous.
- In terms of versatility I think it could play any kind of music well.
- This one is a keeper for a number of reasons.
- 2012 - pedal; MXR Black Label Chorus*. eBay.
- 2012 - guitar; Gibson Les Paul Deluxe.* Purchased from Davis Wheeler Music, Canberra. Bridge pickup swapped to a Gibson '57 Classic Plus in 2014 for a smoother sound.
- Aha, I hear you say...another Gibson and what about the neck? Well folks, it's a different profile neck to any Gibson I've ever played and it's as comfy as a well worn in pair of shoes.
- This guitar went on tour as my only electric and didn't miss a beat.
- 2012 - pedal; original Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive*. eBay.
- Finally bought an old one of these. I used a borrowed one in my first couple of bands and it was the only drive I needed at the time. Still sounds good.
- 2013 - pedal; Redwitch Eve Tremelo*. Direct sale from manufacturer.
- 2013 - pedal; Jim Dunlop Cry Baby Classic Wah. Purchased from Better Music, Canberra.
- 2014 - amp; MESA Express 5:50. Purchased from Better Music. Traded. I hated the drive on this amp.
- 2014 - pedal; Hotone EKO delay pedal. Purchased via eBay. Sold to J. Delay is not my thing.
- 2014 - amp; MESA Lonestar. Purchased from Better Music.Swapped.
- A seriously expensive amp that I toured with and just couldn't love. It always sounded harsh and/or messy to me.
- 2014 - amplifier; Jet City JCA20HV valve amp with 2 x 12 cabinet*. The answer to all my tone issues. Purchased from Pro Audio, Canberra.
- This is a very simple amp. It has one channel and no reverb. And it sounds great. Very much a rock and roll machine. Plug in, turn up, start playing.
- Ideally I'd like a second one beside it for a cleaner tone but I can work with what I've got.
- 2014 - guitar; Fender Stratocaster Plus Deluxe 1990 model*. Got this one in the swap for my amp.
- This has upgraded pickups made by Suhr (maker of all things guitar for Mark Knopfler). They are quite full and fat sounding.
- Although I hate the 60 cycle hum from a single coil pickup all you need to do is play with the switch at position 2 or 4 and the hum is cancelled pretty much,
- This guitar is a keeper. The only slight temptation is to put the original pickups (which I have) back in one day. Not now though.
- 2014 - pedal; Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal*. Purchased via internet forum. Always wanted one of these as a teen/young man. Now I have one. It rocks.
Friday, November 14, 2014
or sleeping in your dress blues" - Jason Isbell, "Dress Blues".
Friday, November 7, 2014
Friday, October 31, 2014
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Gotta groove from night to day
Gotta blow my honey jar, yeah
Gotta blow my blues away" - Diamond Head, It's Electric, 1980
Friday, October 17, 2014
Friday, October 10, 2014
Accept - Stampede - http://youtu.be/qbUXHTWZ9vk
if you're like me you'd try to live
the very best you can
for if you spread good all around
you'd be able to sleep when the sun goes down" - Sam Cooke, Keep Movin' On