Friday, November 28, 2014

Song of the Week #325

Yesterday was the 21st anniversary of the best party I've ever been to. It was our wedding anniversary. Not a bad innings in this day and age. I'm often genuinely amazed (and thankful) that Alison still wants to hang around with me. It isn't like I'm easy to live with I wouldn't think. The old adage that a true friend is someone who knows all about you and still likes you anyway certainly applies. I met Alison when I was 17.

Elton John - Kiss The Bride -

New bike news; in two words "it's awesome". For those of you interested in the detail, the new ride is a 2014 model Cervelo S2 with a full Ultegra groupset. My old Cervelo was a dream and I'll admit that I was unsure that this would be as good. A week of riding later and I'm convinced. Comfy, fast and good looking. I like it. Top marks to Spearman Cycles in Wollongong not only for a great deal but for the knowing about the long lost art of customer service.

The Smiths - Shoplifters of the World Unite -

Australian AC/DC fans should tune into the ABC's 7:30 Report on Monday evening for an interview with Angus and Brian. In the preview Angus was speaking about the first signs that Malcolm was unwell. It must be incredibly difficult to carry on as a band without him. Remember that they've been doing this together since the early 70s. More AC/DC at the end of this week's episode.

The ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) awards were on this week. What a joke. They imported One Direction and Katy Perry for the show. What does that say about the industry's own view of itself? I can think of plenty of top notch Australian acts that deserve a place over those two. At least One Direction actually performed I suppose. I also learned from credible sources that 5SOS are not a "boy band". I'm sure they don't want to be labelled as such but when you tour supporting One Direction it's kind of a label that's going to stick for a while regardless.

5 Seconds of Summer - Amnesia -

Personally, this is what I think a boy band with guitars should sound like...

silverchair - Israel's Son -

There was more nonsense in the press this week about cyclists paying registration. Yawn. Let me reiterate my points of view very briefly.

  • 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.
As you no doubt know, the new AC/DC album will be released on December 2nd. The tracks already released sound fantastic. To me AC/DC are more than a band, they are a huge part of my musical DNA. I've been a fan since I was a teenager and that wasn't yesterday. Essentially they play simple, blues based rock. What they do differently to many other bands is that they do it well, don't take themselves too seriously and seem to genuinely be enjoying themselves. With 16 studio albums there's a lot of good material in there. I popped the question on StalkerBook this week as to what some friends' favourite songs were. I was pleasantly surprised. Using their input, here's a top few tracks any rock and roll fan should listen to once in a while. These are in no real order.

  • 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!"
Righto. Here's a quiz question for AC/DC fans. No Googling. There are 16 studio albums by the band. Only two aren't named the same as a song title included on that record. What are those two?

This next tune has just turned 50. It speaks for itself really. I'll be over on the Group W bench listening to it. Feel free to join me.

Arlo Guthrie - Alice's Restaurant -

That's enough for this week. There are teenage boys playing SingStar in the other room and now would be the moment to have bought those noise cancelling headphones.

Rock on Brothers and Sisters,


"Only the good die young..." Iron Maiden 1988 -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

All the news that's fit (?) to print...

For years now I've been on a constant search for decent news delivered via the Internet.

A while ago I had a really neat page setup using iGoogle. All I had to do was choose a list of topics and iGoogle fed me stuff to read. It was pretty good and not hard to tweak. But, because it was so good it was discontinued.

So, here's what I use and recommend at the moment. You can take my seal of approval with a grain of salt though; just because it works for me doesn't mean it'll be your kind of thing.

  • The Financial Review (
    • 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 (
    • 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 (
    • 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 (
    • 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

Song of the Week #324

This week I could tell you about any of the following things that have made me feel good;
  • 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...
...but I won't. What I will tell you about is that Zoë has finished high school. We both started school on the same day in 2002 and it seems fitting that we both finished about the same time. She's been an amazing student and I'm a proud old Dad. Not everyone has the kind of brain that allows then to write a novella and have it published and also have a true love of Science. Zoë's next adventure is volunteering in Vanuatu for 6 months, travelling in Europe and then coming home to go to university. Sounds pretty good to me.

Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me With Science -

The next song was a huge hit in 1984. I think the singer has a great voice and I was surprised to read about how many artists have covered the tune. Look for the Alison Krauss version sometime. I'm playing the original though. The reason I remembered it this week was that I was in a taxi and the driver was singing along, at a decent volume with the track. It was hilarious. Usually I get in a cab and the driver turns off his music. Most times I tell them to turn it back on because anything is better than talk radio or silence. This song and his rendition was a real treat!

John Waite - Missing You -

Jason Isbell, whose work I rate very, very highly, just won song of the year for this next one at the Americana Music Awards. He also won album and artist of 2014! Keep a look out in 2015 as the three piece version of our band are planning to perform Jason's album, "Southeastern" cover to cover. I better buy a checked shirt.

Jason Isbell - Cover Me Up -

During the week, H, via DJ Dylan sent me a link to the next video. They were both rather amused and I can't blame them. What follows is AC/DC's first single. It's pre Bon Scott. In fact the only band members in the video and on the recording that made it through to record the debut album are Malcolm and Angus Young. Malcolm's outfit is just beautiful I'm sure you'll all agree.

AC/DC - Can I Sit Next To You Girl (1974) -

If you want a comparison to just a year later when Bon was singing, Phil was on drums and Mark on bass check this link. It's the same song but a much tougher and more polished sound.

AC/DC's new album is out in 6 days. I quite like the first single but I really do NOT like the video. Here it is with just the audio. The guitars sound great and the rhythm section are in the pocket as always. Brian's voice sounds pretty good for a 67 year old chain smoker.

AC/DC - Play Ball -

US pop-punk band The Dollyrots have been on tour in the UK with The Buzzcocks. Pretty cool! They've just released a new single and it's well worth a listen.

The Dollyrots - Get Weird -

When I first became a Billy Bragg fan I didn't realise that "Ever Fallen In Love" wasn't one of his. It was obviously a good choice to cover! Here's the original.

The Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love (live) -

While I'm in a punk rock mood I think that it's certainly the right thing to do to give this video an airing. I got such a shock as a young man the first time I heard this track. In the Army we'd marched to part of the tune and of course I knew the surf guitar track too but this was just uber cool. 

Radio Birdman - Aloha Steve and Danno -

If you watched "Happy Valley", the rather bleak English police drama then you will have heard this next song. It's the theme song. Thanks to DJ AngryPete for pushing the song my way. Jake Bugg isn't that old but he's obviously a Dylan devotee. The TV show is worth a look as well...but not if you're feeling down OK?

Jake Bugg - Trouble Town -

I must say that I've really enjoyed the fact that Bob Geldof's efforts to record a single to raise money for the fight against Ebola have raised some eyebrows. Indeed, why should we listen to someone worth millions about giving to charity? I think that donating to a charity is great; they need the cash so choose a couple and dig deep. But always remember that giving something more than your money is what is actually needed to make real change. How you do this is up to you, not Sir Bob or even Bono for that matter.

Bad Time To Be Poor - Rheostatics -

I'll finish with something a little different. This song was playing in the car today. I've always liked it because it has a bagpipe solo. But I remember how absolutely massive it was when first released. This was the kind of single that had teenage girls swooning and the rest of the country singing along. It seems a bit cliched these days and probably overplayed but I still like it.

John Farnham - You're The Voice -

If you're in Australia don't forget to watch the Countdown retrospective at 7.40pm on Sunday. It's a bit of a rose coloured glasses view of things but it's entertaining nonetheless.

Rock on brothers and sisters,


"y'all don't know what it's like,
being male, middle class and white..." Ben Folds, Rockin' The Suburbs (2001)

Monday, November 17, 2014


This is the awful truth and only guitar lovers will really be interested.

At the end of 1987 I bought my first electric guitar with help from my Mum. It marked the start of a lifelong obsession and passion.

Below are some notes about all the electric guitars, amps and pedals I have owned. It's a bit scary looking back and I don't know all the dates but the chronological order is about right... (asterisked items are the ones I still have)

  • 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.

The future? Well there's no doubting that there are a couple of guitars I'd like to add one day. A nice Gretsch hollowbody and a Jackson Randy Rhoads V are the two that spring to mind. I am on the lookout for a decent amp head and small cabinet that I can use beside my Jet City rig for the clean sounds but that search may take a while. I don't plan to trade or sell any of the guitars I have now, or the amp. It's taken a long time to get something coming out of the speakers that approximates the sound I can hear in my head.

Oh, but if Gibson make an SG with the same neck as my current Les Paul I will be sorely tempted.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Song of the Week #323

Last week as I wrote I was about to head in to see The Mark of Cain play at the Metro in Sydney. DJ DJ, DJ Drooper and I got there in time to see King of the North play their set as the support act. I'm glad we did. They're a two piece act (guitars and drums) but with your eyes closed you'd swear it was a 'full' band. They have a massive sound thanks to powerhouse drumming and some very clever guitar work. I can't rave enough about these guys. If I had to describe their music it would be a cross between Chuck Berry, Kyuss, The Rolling Stones and Black Sabbath. I guess it's just heavy, energetic rock and roll. The vocals are great, the drums are fierce and the guitar is just...well...awesome. I picked up a t-shirt and CD after the show. Few bands completely blow me away in a live setting if I don't know any of their stuff. Henry Rollins and his band did it back in 1994 and I think this may be the first time since. Check them out, buy their stuff, like them on Facebook, go to their shows. It's absolutely worth it.

King of the North - It's Been Too Long -

There's not much I can say about The Mark of Cain I haven't said before. They were, as always, a real treat to watch live and the mix of songs was a solid balance of old and new stuff. It's so unusual to see heavy bands sporting Rickenbacker guitars (especially since they are notorious for not staying in tune) but it's just one more thing that makes TMOC a little different. I couldn't get a good look at John Scott's pedal board but I did discover that he uses an old Boss Digital Metallizer pedal. These were around in the 80s and were far from popular. They had a nice fat analog drive in them along with a range of digital chorus effects. Hmmmm....I need another pedal.....

DJ DesperadoSkinflint gave me a loan of Paul Westerberg's 2002 double LP set "Stereo". The second disc is called "Mono". It's a good listen and reminds me of Tom Petty in a good way. I've thrown it on my iDevices to listen to and ordered my own copy. $10 on eBay....bargain!

Paul Westerberg - Let's Not Belong -

When in Sydney, DJ DJ and I visited a couple of iconic record stores. Red Eye and Utopia are essential destinations for any music fan. There's nothing quite like the magnetic pull of the bargain CD and LP racks. And yes, bargains were had! I picked up a copy of my favourite Motorhead album; one which I only have on cassette, for a song, as well as some other treats I may or may not reveal over the coming weeks. During the previous week I'd been to BelAir in South Australia for a meeting. I couldn't get this next song out of my head all week!

Motorhead - Angel City -

Recently DJ K-Gee let on that she was a bit of a Lenny Kravitz fan. Sure, he's OK...and he was amusing starring in "The Hunger Games". If you like his music can I encourage you in the strongest possible terms to run, not walk, to your supplier of CDs (vinyl if you can) and get copies of "Let Love In" from 1989 as well as 1991s "Mama Said". There is no way that rock and roll fans should be disappointed with either album. Tasty guitars, a bit funky, cool lyrics and if you want to dance then you can. "Mama Said" was the best giveaway cassette I ever got. Listen to this next one through headphones - great guitars panned hard left and right.

Lenny Kravitz - Always On The Run -

Ambient background music isn't something I'm at all interested in. I like music to be something I listen to, engage with and as you might have guessed, think about. Which brings me to the new Pink Floyd long player. Yes, yes, I know that it's stuff they recorded a long time ago now that they've been working on and I know that some people are decribing it as little more than lounge music...I'm not sure. Let's all have a good listen to a track and mull it over. Personally, I'd listen to almost anything David Gilmour played on at least twice before even considering making negative comments.

Pink Floyd - Louder Than Words -

A few years ago I bought an album by a group called "TV on the Radio". I didn't think a lot of it and it has been quietly sitting in the rack probably feeling unloved. I admit that at the time I made the impulse purchase because I thought the band had a cool name. This week I found out they have a new album and I think the single is pretty good. If you liked the Aussie band "Regurgitator" you might like this. I do.

TV On The Radio - Happy Idiot -

OK, that'll do this week. I have bleak, British television to watch. But can I say this. The only upside I've found related to spending a little time in airports and on planes for work is that I've read a few books. It's nice to have the headspace and opportunity to do this. All I need now is a Steinberger guitar to take with me and I'll make good use of hotel time!

Rock on brothers and sisters, Lest We Forget.


"You never planned on the bombs in the sand
or sleeping in your dress blues" - Jason Isbell, "Dress Blues".

Friday, November 7, 2014

Song of the Week #322

This week I've spent time in Adelaide and Sydney. Plenty of time in airports, hotels and aeroplanes means an opportunity to listen to some new tunes.

First up is a bit of a nice surprise. Taylor Swift has a new album. In the past most of her stuff has been relatively inoffensive, wholesome pop / country and she's been very, very successful with it. The new album, "1989", is a bit of a left field effort. There's drum sounds from the early 90's, some pumping bass lines and atmospherics that remind me of Lorde at times. I like it. And as DJ EmGee pointed out, she's done it all without the need to embarrass herself in a lewd manner on TV or on stage. ZBoots bought the album and I finally managed to wrest it away from her to throw onto our iTunes library before this little trip. I think I've listened three times straight through and it's still enjoyable.

Taylor Swift - Style -

Tonight DJ DJ and I will be seeing "The Mark of Cain" play at the Metro. The last time I was at this venue was to the "Rollins Band" supported by "The Hard-Ons". That's a tough act to follow but I have nothing but confidence in TMOC. They were on the same flight from Adelaide as I was. There was an opportunity for a fanboy moment but I figured the last thing they needed was me hassling them.

The Mark of Cain - Pointman (live) -

Chief has sent in a request this week. If you've been following the news coming out of New Zealand over the last few days then his choice will make perfect sense...

AC/DC - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap -

I spoke to someone yesterday who told me an interesting Rolling Stones story (the Stones are in the country at the moment if you didn't notice). The person in question was on a flight and had scored an upgrade to 1st Class. Also in the cabin was none other than Mick Jagger and some of his entourage. Mick kept to himself but at some late hour when the teller of the tale got up to stretch his legs he discovered Mick at the end of the cabin doing a series of exercises. Not even a plane flight can stop Mick's routine.

Mick Jagger - Sweet Thing -

I was in a guitar shop today. But not for long. I lasted until I heard the owner advising someone that a guitar with humbucking pickups was only good for heavy metal music. Let's hope no-one has told BB King, Chuck Berry or Robbie Krieger. What a twit. Here's some humbucking goodness for you...beautiful smooth tone.

Robben Ford - Born Under A Bad Sign -

I hope many of you heard, saw or have read Noel Pearson's speech given at Gough Whitlam's funeral. There's certainly a lot of food for thought in there. Look it up.

Chief and I went to see the new film about Jimi Hendrix earlier this week. It's about his life from being discovered by Chas Chandler just up until he goes off to play Monterey. Jimi's estate didn't let the producers use any original music which is a shame. But it's probably to do with the warts and all portrayal of the guitar legend. I thought the movie was pretty good really. Andre Benjamin does a great job as Jimi and is convincing as a left handed guitar player. Kudos to him as well, he had to learn to play the "wrong" way round for the film. I was sad not to hear "Hey Joe" since Jimi didn't write it but there were a stack of other good moments. Can't say the film made me harbour any ambition at all to live in London however. This song featured a lot in the film and it was one of the first tunes Hendrix played that I connected with.

Jimi Hendrix - Killing Floor (live at Monterey) -

By now I'd expected to be riding a shiny new Cervelo bicycle. But it seems that it isn't to be. The dealership in Canberra has changed and they can't fill my order. Aaaarrrggghhh! So now I get to think long and hard about what to ride. I'd prefer to buy locally of course. My current, old, Cervelo is very cool I reckon and I'm not sure I want to change brands...or do I? Time to do some research but I need to get a move on as my bike is on its last legs.

In band news, if you're planning on coming to the New Year's Eve show then you need to reserve tickets ASAP. I hear that they are a hot item! Book now, they don't take your money until the gig. Seven courses and some rock and roll. What more could you want?

Here's a band I really don't like a lot but I have to admit that this is a great track. They can (or could) rock when they wanted to. The problem was that too often, they didn't!

Powderfinger - Stumblin' -

Rock on brothers and sisters,


"Look out, Mama,
There's a white boat comin' up the river" - Neil Young, "Powderfinger" (1979)