Sunday, August 3, 2014

Song of the Week #309

It's Sunday morning as I'm typing this. Yesterday was a whirlwind of inspiration and music. But at the moment I'm tired and worn out. 

Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson - Sunday Morning Coming Down -

Saturday saw the band playing the closing set at the Dirrum Dirrum conference here in Canberra. Earlier in the day George, Matt and I had been fortunate enough to share with the attendees a little about what our tour in particular as well as the work H does in Northern NSW means to us. The whole band played probably our most energetic set ever later that night and it was loads of fun. We had a very supportive and enthusiastic crowd made up of people of all ages. Many thanks to Rich and the Dirrum Dirrum team for having us along. And a special shout out to our sound and keyboards guru, DJ Guz, who worked hard all night helping the students with their sound requirements.

Simon & Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence -

That song was chosen carefully for Tim. He understands what the spaces between sounds are for and that's unusual in a sound guy.

Loads of people spoke at the conference about "being the change". There were global entrepreneurs, artists, thinkers, students, educators and of course musicians. What I took away from listening and participating was that I would much rather listen to people talking about the people they are helping than themselves. The speakers I admired the most were those standing for those who have no voice otherwise. Matt Pye from Crossing The Divide in Bundarra and Michael Weir from Queanbeyan really resonated with me as they are working in their own backyards. There is so much need in our own country even if it isn't as "glamorous" as volunteering in far flung locations all over the world. I agree that charity should begin at home but I think that we need to remember that for many people overseas that they don't have anyone locally to help them. The balance between addressing poverty and injustice and our country and helping overseas is a delicate one. Cutting the overseas aid budget and drowning Aussies in red tape to secure funding is not the answer.

Steve Earle - The Revolution Starts Now -

For a while now I've been enjoying the "gloom-pop" of English artist Laura Kidd. She goes by the name of She Makes War. It's moody, melodic, layered and fantastic. At the moment Laura is looking for support to fund her third full length album. I'll be kicking in a few dollars and if you like her music you should too. So many artists are using this method to get their music heard. Just because a record company isn't interested or because the artist wants to maintain creative control doesn't mean they are no good. Check out her Pledge Music page here and get involved:

She Makes War - Slow Puncture -

Once in a while I still hear something good on the radio. Sadly this doesn't happen nearly as often as I'd like. I don't think I'm more discerning than in the past, I blame the playlist managers. Even Double J is fairly average. But I digress! I heard this track from a band I know nothing about and it pressed all my buttons at the time. They seem to be referred to as "doom-metal" and I can hear why from the minor feel of the music. But whatever, I just liked it and I'll seek out more of their stuff.

Pallbearer - The Ghost I Used To Be -

If you're in a poppy, grungy, head nodding mood then you should be listening to The Pixies. This is their latest track and I think it's rather tasty. Ripping guitars, a good beat and energetic vocals. 

The Pixies - Blue Eyed Hexe -

I had a very sad moment on Friday morning. After having my rear bike wheel trued (it was a little bent out of shape after an altercation with a pothole) I went to put it back on my trusty Cervelo. And the rear derailleur just came off in my hand. After swear words and yes, I'll admit it, tears of frustration, I rode my mountain bike to work instead. Happily the best bike shop in the universe (Monkey Wrench at Hackett) have done repairs to get me back on the road. But the thing is that I probably need to admit that the bike is almost at the end. So much of it is worn out including bits of the frame. You have to understand that it's the only expensive bike I've ever had and I think it's a thing of speed and beauty. I've had it since the start of 2008 so it really owes me nothing but it's like an extension of my body these days. Maybe it would make a nice art installation in my studio one day in the future! I guess I'll need to start looking for a new ride.

Queen - You're My Best Friend -

Back to the band for a minute. When I was thinking about what to say at the conference yesterday I reflected on my Australian musical influences. Midnight Oil weren't the quintessential Aussie band for me growing up. I wasn't of the age to be interested in their political views until "Blue Sky Mining" was released really. Redgum were the sound of my Australia. Their lyrics were closer to my experience of growing up in the country and of the people there.

Redgum - The Long Run (live) -

Redgum - Friday Night -

Redgum - Where Ya Gonna Run To? -

Keep the faith Australia....

DJ Rob

"On the road again -
Just can't wait to get on the road again.
The life I love is making music with my friends" - Willie Nelson -

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