Friday, September 12, 2014

Song of the Week #315

Apparently free stuff is only OK when you get to choose what you get for free.

The Saints - Know Your Product -

Irish rock legends U2 and their mates at Apple put a copy of their new album, "Songs of Innocence", into every single iTunes library. You get to choose whether or not you download or listen to it. This isn't some unknown garage band folks, this is U2. And just in case you're wondering, yes, the physical version of the album on CD comes out in around a month.

This only happened on Tuesday and the internet furore has been hilarious. It ranges from, "how dare Apple or U2 just give me an album" to "oh my, I can't work out how to delete it" and then there's me. It's free, it's a solid album and that's about it. Are Apple going to suddenly give away hundreds of albums I don't want? I don't think so. The financial arrangement with Mr Vox et. al. must be rather large for a start. Who can afford that?

The Beatles - Can't Buy Me Love -

I've been spinning the album non-stop since I got it last night. It sounds like U2 and I like it. I haven't had time to delve into the lyrics and won't have for a while. I'm a bit sick of the whole, "I like their old stuff" commentary. I do too. But bands move on, it's what they do. Go ahead, listen to your well-worn copy of "Boy", "War" or "The Joshua Tree" and remind yourself what U2 were up to before 1988. For me, "Rattle & Hum" was the album I like the most. It combined my love for American music with what at the time was modern day rock. But I've grown as well. I hated "Achtung Baby" but went back fairly recently and rediscovered it. U2 don't have dud albums, they just have a fairly large and diverse back catalogue that all has its merits.

U2 - Van Diemen's Land -

Just finally, track one on "Songs of Innocence" is (I think) about the first time Bono heard The Ramones and what it meant to him. That's pretty cool. It'd be rather neat for some kid to hear U2 for the first time as a result of their link with Apple and then for them to discover the rest of their body of work. What'd be even nicer would be if kids, or anyone for that matter, could afford a U2 concert ticket. But that's a topic for another day.

U2 - The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) -

The Ramones - Sheena is a Punk Rocker -

I wrote something about Smartwatches this week. You can read it here if you are interested in. I'm also wondering if there is anyone else getting fed up with the move for mobile phones to keep getting bigger? I found my old Nokia N95 recently whilst cleaning up to move house. It was a seriously cool phone and I can't believe how small it is!

It would be remiss of me not to mention the wonderful achievement of my former triathlon coach Ben Gathercole. He's been appointed as Team Director for the Brumbies Super Rugby Team. Congratulations! Of course, Ben is a former Olympic and Commonwealth Games Coach as well. Coaching me is hardly a claim to fame!

You may remember that one of my all-time favourite bands are Canberra's "Armoured Angel". Whilst they are no more, I maintain that they remain one of the best heavy bands the world. DJ DJ and I travelled far and wide to see them play. To that end we'll be heading to the ANU Bar on September 20th to see former Armoured Angel drummer and vocalist, Joel, play in a new band. There's one track I can find on YouTube and it sounds excellent. More like a mix of Kyuss, Ghost and Black Sabbath than the full on grinding aural assault that was Armoured Angel but that's OK. Come along if you're in Canberra.

Witchskull - Spyres -

Scotland goes to the polls in less than a week to decide on whether or not independence from the rest of the UK is a good thing. Whilst the result will be rather interesting, for Scots as well as the rest of the UK, one statistic made me sit up and take notice. 97% of eligible Scots have registered to vote. Wow! In a country where voting is voluntary that is massive. Of course, that doesn't mean that they'll all show up on the day but the signs are good. In comparison, the 2011 Scottish Parliament election had a voter turnout of just over 50%.

The Proclaimers - What Do You Do? -

The challenge for Scots is balancing the emotional want to be truly independent against economic reality. Like most elections, deciding who's version of the truth is real is quite difficult. Being Australian, but born in Scotland I do have a view. But I don't get to vote (and I shouldn't) so I'll keep it to myself. I do think though that it'd be great to see Australia as a republic in my lifetime.

I suppose it's big news, we sold our house, but for the four of us it's the end of a bit of a nightmare. I won't bore you with details but it was a very long and drawn out period of time leading up to exchange. But, the money has been paid now and we're almost ready to move. The only downside about moving, other than the actual physical act, is that our new place (about 750m from our current abode) is in a part of the suburb that does not have access to the NBN. That's fast internet for you foreigners. We'll be going back to the dark ages of ADSL but I'm sure we'll cope ha, ha!

Joe Jackson - Got The Time -

Angus thinks we're getting pay TV as well. Fortunately the price has just been halved so he might get his way sometime. Probably not in time to watch Jens Voigt go for the hour cycling distance world record on Eurosport but in time to be bored by far too much cricket. I'm sure that Angus thinks he'll be in 24/7 sports heaven.

Madness - Our House -

Usually I wouldn't recommend that you avoid a movie, album or TV show. That's because I am firmly of the belief that it's different strokes for different folks. Personally I can't stand the X-Factor but I know some people love all that nonsense. But I'm going to make an exception. The movie "Hotel Grand Budapest". It's truly one of the worst things I've ever had the misfortune to watch. It's not funny, not clever and not at all engaging. I did last about 30 minutes before I choofed off to do the ironing because that was a better option. What a waste of time. Actually, you know what? You should watch it. Maybe someone out there can explain its appeal. I can't stand Adam Sandler films but I understand why some people do. I love Star Wars but I accept that, foolishly, not everyone does. I can even accept that DJ Hopper enjoyed my former worst rated movie ever, "Tulpan". But I'm stumped with "Hotel Grand Budapest".

That'll do. Have a great weekend.

DJ Rob

"Don't you remember what it's like to lose control
Put on my jacket before you get too old
Let's rock and roll..." - Judas Priest - Parental Guidance, 1986

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