Saturday, May 24, 2014

Song of the Week #299

299 episodes in and I was asked after #298 how I find the time or energy to keep writing this. Well, the truth is that most weeks it writes itself. I have time to think when I'm commuting since almost every day I'm on my bicycle. It's also fun to put a few song recommendations out there and see if anyone listens or responds - thanks to those that do. I don't make any claims to be the best or most interesting blogger on the internets (and I do wince when I send out typos) but it's usually cathartic to write my thoughts down and never a chore.

This week we're all about rock music. Why? Well why not!? The truth is that it's just what I've been listening to. My brain has been so busy that it really wasn't a week for challenging tunes.

First up this week is Aerosmith. Now this is a band that I have tried to be a fan of for quite a while and have failed! I'm not quite sure why either. Unlike a lot of people I really liked their 1987 comeback album "Permanent Vacation". But then at that time I had no prior experience of the band to base my opinions on. I just read that they were "back" and the LP was available at the local sports and record store. In more recent times I've listened to a range of their music but never really been hooked. So why am I playing some today and waffling about them I hear you ask. Well, the next track came up during the week and my ears pricked up. I didn't know it was Aerosmith at the time but the groove got me. Interestingly, this track from 1974 has Brad Whitford on lead guitar rather than Joe Perry. Maybe I prefer his work as it's less scratchy to my ears. It's also the great rhythm and the way that Steven Tyler uses his voice to do more than just sing. See what you think...

Aerosmith - Lord of the Thighs -

Last night I headed out to one of Canberra's best venues, The Abbey, to see Dragon. I knew that only Todd Hunter from the original band is still with them but that was OK. The last time I saw the band was in about '94 or '95 at the Yass Soldiers' Club.with DJ Al-ee-sun. We'd been keen not to miss out and when there were about 9 people in total at the show -  it was pretty funny. Of course, this was before Marc Hunter was diagnosed and subsequently died from throat cancer. That was a huge loss felt by many music lovers. Anyway, last night Todd was apparently sick so, in truth, it was a bit like a Dragon tribute band. But they were fantastic. Bruce Reid on guitars looks like he should be a Proclaimer and even has the right surname. His guitar work was really good. More twangy than you might expect from Dragon but it really worked. For me, I thought that the peroxided folks who were older than most of the band should've stayed OFF the stage. It was ugly for a few minutes. And really, playing the bands biggest hit twice was a bit much. Other than that; great venue, fun night out.

Dragon - Dreams of Ordinary Men -

Did anyone spot the Telecaster wielding Aussie guitar god in that clip?

Shameless self-promotion...check out the band online at It doesn't matter if you are a Facebook user or not. There's a heap of photos, some news snippets and of course information about what we're up to next.

The really interesting thing about setting up the Facebook presence for the band is that, for free, there are a whole lot of statistics available about how often the page and certain posts are accessed. For instance, in about a 4hr window the new tour poster was seen by over 170 people. And we've only just begun! Spread the word if you can.

It's a long time since I listened to any Deep Purple. No-one really needs to hear that song about the fire again. But, and you may notice a pattern appearing here, the next tune was a pleasant surprise to hear on the radio this week. This version has Steve Morse on guitar. He's one of the greatest players around regardless of what he's playing. I also like that he always seems to be having a genuinely good time. Chief noted last night that Dragon's guitar player made it all look effortless, so does Steve. 

Deep Purple - Woman From Tokyo -

I was interested to read this week about Queen touring soon. We all know that they need a singer. In the past they recorded what was quite a solid album with Paul Rogers and also did a fair few shows. His classic rock voice worked fairly well. But the new guy...oh dear. I listened to the promo clip and couldn't cope. Dreadful. Would I go? Only if someone else paid. TO be honest I'd really like to see Brian May play guitar live but their choice of vocalist isn't up to much.Of course, no-one can replace Freddie but I'm sure they could've done better. You can decide for yourselves of course. Just plug "Queen Adam Lambert" into YouTube and have a listen.

To finish this week here's what might just be my favourite rock song ever...

Queen - Now I'm Here -

Episode #300 next week. I better get started now!

Happy birthday to DJ HB!

DJ Rob

"...And the road becomes my bride
I have stripped of all but pride
So in her I do confide
And she keeps me satisfied
Gives me all I need" - Wherever I May Roam - Metallica 1992

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