Only 15 episodes to go until we reach 300. I remember getting to 100 and DJ Ben-E telling me that I could make it to 200! I guess I better start planning an anniversary episode; anyone got any ideas?
I've been watching Morrissey's live concert, "Who Put The M in Manchester?" far too much for my health! It's a bit of a homecoming for him I believe. After the first song he mentions a couple of places which are I assume where he grew up. And he gets the requisite cheers from the crowd. Being that my blog where this entry lives is called "World Wide Woozle" I thought I might do the same for some crowd noise from all over the world. Here's a call out to all the places I've lived in.... hello Falkirk, hello Munster, hello Changi, hello Bristol, hello Dundee, hello Longforgan, hello Tawa, hello Moe and of course hello Canberra!
Def Leppard - Hello America - http://youtu.be/2uIJ7NYZ5NA
I'm not a fan of camping these days, that's no secret. As a kid in Scouts I enjoyed it a lot but the Army took all the fun out of it. My good mate Macca loves it...and he's always keen for me to come along. It was kind of ironic I thought that I was in a tent in December 2011 on a school camp by myself having just heard that Macca had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Just a quick fast forward - it's now February 2014 and I went to the rugby with Macca last night. As you can probably imagine, he's had an amazing journey and so has his family. Anyway, I felt pretty sorry for myself in the small hiking tent but given that I was working (it was a school camp) I had no choice but to put the news to one side and keep working. Fortunately, the students I was with (who never knew) were such a great bunch and so keen to enjoy themselves that it was manageable. Pretty much as soon as I got home and we got the OK from Fiona we were at the hospital to see her and Dave.
I guess you really want to know why I'm writing about this? Well, Dave has written a book and its just been published. It's called "Hope Beyond Cure". I sat down and read it on Thursday night for a few reasons. I must admit that I'd had it for a week or so but was putting off starting it because I wasn't sure I could handle reading about Dave's story - this was someone I know, not an anonymous author. It's not long but it's powerful, honest, upsetting and inspiring. I really doubt that anyone out there reading hasn't been touched by the scourge of cancer in some way. And everyone deals with it differently.
If you'd told me years ago that one of my closest friends would be a man of God who was also a rugby fanatic, lover of coffee and music and a motorbike rider I doubt I would've believed you. But that's Dave. He's been a Minister for quite a long time now (as well as being the Chaplain for the Brumbies Super Rugby team) and one of the main thrusts of this book is a well reasoned look at why he believes in God and Jesus. Regardless of your own religious views (or lack of them) that part of the book is interesting and thought provoking. The story of his journey from being diagnosed with inoperable and terminal cancer to now having a status of "N.E.D." - no evidence of disease - is painful, heartbreaking and uplifting all at once. You should read it.
Dave's book is available from here. You can also look at Dave's blog here.
But we're all about music here on the World Wide Woozle. And Dave is a big Johnny Cash fan like me. In the book he quotes from a passage in Corinthians. What Dave didn't know at the time I think was that Johnny had recorded those lines in a song released in 2010. It's on the album "American IV: Ain't No Grave". The album is haunting in so many ways and the songs were recorded right up to the time Johnny died in 2003. Check it out....
Johnny Cash - 1 Corinthians 15:55 - http://youtu.be/B8sJ9leK6es
A couple of weeks ago I read a news story on my feed about guitars. An English songwriter had her guitar and bass stolen and had put out an internet plea for their return. As a result I checked out her website and music. After listening to only a track and a half I clicked the PayPal button and ordered her two albums. Being the modern world, the CDs will arrive soon but you also get a free download of the songs. But my download had some issues so I sent Laura (the artist) an email. I was pleasantly suprised to get a personal note from her today that sorted my issue out and thanked me for my comments about her music. That's cool. If you like bands like The Clouds or The Falling Joys or singers like Liz Phair and Suzanne Vega then you might like this. Or of course, if you're just brave enough to take a chance on me recommending something....
She Makes War - Minefields - http://youtu.be/j4rFctgKTao
Fans of good music should come along to Beyond Q at Curtin Shops on Sunday 2nd March at 4pm (be on time) for a quick set that features yours truly on guitar and un-mic'd vocals. Luckily H, Chief and Joel will be doing some singing as well as covering all my mistakes. No need to book and it's free. Learn this song and be ready to sing along as I get my loud guitar working the room! More gig info here.
Matthew Sweet - Sick of Myself - http://youtu.be/x0An-YoFWxQ
Coming soon for a full review is an album from US punk rockers "The Dollyrots". I was turned onto them by a friend in the States (hi Tom!) and I've been listening to them for a few weeks now. Tom and his son Phil were involved with recording and playing on the album. There's an acoustic CD that you get too if you pre-order. How funny and cool is this track?
The Dollyrots - Anarchy & Disney - http://youtu.be/tt6ZyZB-4Qc
iTunes radio started up in Australia this week. I've tried Spotify before as well as a couple of other streaming services and I was never all that impressed. But when I clicked on the iTunes version and chose a couple of "stations" that I thought might be interesting I will admit I was pleasantly surprised. The sound quality is OK too. I'll investigate further (including their model for paying the artists) and get back to you. One of the first songs that was played was Ozzy's "Shot In The Dark". Pretty neat really - it's part of the time in Ozzy's career where Jake E. Lee was playing guitar for him. Jake was in the band after the technical ecstasy of Randy Rhoads and before Zakk Wylde came along with the pinch harmonics and huge hairy riffs. I always thought that Jake did a great job.
Ozzy Osbourne - Shot In The Dark - http://youtu.be/LL3vmVjYjBQ
I had a bit of a laugh with my good mate DJ MuchLessOfAFatBoy this week. The screen on his MP3 player had died and it was stuck on the Metallica album "Death Magnetic". As we both agreed, it could be a lot worse. It's such a good album especially when you consider the pretty much irredeemable effort that they put out prior to it. The only thing that was annoying was the fact that the mastering was so LOUD that a lot of the dynamics were blasted into sonic oblivion. But I've written about that before.
Metallica - Cyanide - http://youtu.be/xUMqqVOlJBs
I'll close this week with something a bit quieter as, apart from Johnny Cash, I've managed to make this a fairly noisy episode! This one's for you Chief...
Diesel - Cinnamon Girl - http://youtu.be/graKL6hCFiU
Have a great weekend brothers and sisters. Rock on!
"It's a long and a dusty road
It's a hot and a heavy load
And the folks that I meet ain't always kind
Some are bad some are good
Some have done the best they could
Some have tried to ease my troubled mind
And I can't help but wonder where I'm bound" - Tom Paxton 1964