Friday, December 25, 2015

Song of the Week #383

Merry Christmas everyone. And to those who don't celebrate Christmas I hope you've had a good day regardless.

The Royal Guardsmen - Snoopy's Christmas -

Some of today's songs relate to Christmas gifts. There are about a million people at HQ World Wide Woozle so there's plenty of inspiration to draw from.

First up, a song about aeroplanes, or at least a clip featuring a lot of them. Neil turned up yesterday with a load of balsa wood planes and rubber bands for everyone to have a lot of fun with. Luckily there are tall people here to rescue the aforementioned planes from the trees in the neighbourhood!

Van Halen - Dreams -

Angus, our resident sports fanatic, scored rather well with signed football jerseys from two of his favourite teams. Apparently he's going to frame them rather than wearing them first. Fair enough! Football season is only a few long months away...

Little River Band - Playing To Win -

Christmas or not, I love giving and receiving the gift of music. I was very fortunate to receive a couple of very cool albums to listen to. Well played H in choosing two that I don't have, I know that can be a difficult task!!

Cold Chisel - Home & Broken Hearted (live) -

Opeth - The Drapery Falls -

This one is for my Dad. I know that he likes this song (and album) and I hope that everyone where he is enjoys the kazoo we sent him!

Jesse Fuller - San Francisco Bay Blues -

My Mum gave me Bill Bryson's book about growing up in America in the 50s. In so many ways you can see why Americans see that as a the halcyon days in their country's timeline. It's an interesting read so far with insight into the psyche of a nation and what makes it both great and terrible at the same time. I'm only a couple of chapters in but this song springs to mind...

Billy Joel - We Didn't Start The Fire -

Regardless of your particular religious views let me say that I think that Christmas is a time for peace and goodwill. Guilt about haves and have nots really gets us nowhere but if you can think of a way going forwards to make just one person's life a little better then that's a good thing.

The Beatles - Help (live 1965) -

In band news we played a charity Xmas party last Sunday in 37 degree heat. My fingers were literally burning on the guitar strings due to the direct sunlight. I don't know how H managed to keep the singing together for the whole show as he's been so unwell. Chief learned a valuable lesson about what happens to your feet when you don't have any shoes on and the stage is getting the full force of the sun! Regardless of all this we played well. Next up is the New Year's show at Vivaldi's. There are less than 10 tickets available now if you want to come along. I've only got a couple of songs left to learn but I'm not giving anything away. Watch this space for some rather big news about what we have planned for 2016.

But now, after an awesome Christmas lunch, I may take advantage of a lull in proceedings to have a nap!

Art vs Science - Enter Sandman (live)  -

Lukim yu,

"so lock up your daughters, lock up your wives, lock up your back door and run for your lives...", Anthrax, TNT (live), 2013.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Song of the Week #382

At this time of year I sometimes wish I was still a teacher and therefore on a long break. But then I remember what leads up to that break and I'm sort of glad to be out of it. Anyone who thinks teachers have it easy as a result of a lengthy Summer break is kidding themselves.

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes - I've Been Working Too Hard (live) -

Usually I'd write some kind of Christmas message about this time but the next episode is due on the big day so I may hold off. There's no guarantee that you'll get an installment next Friday in between the festivities and post lunch nap but you never know.

"The River" is a 20 track Bruce Springsteen double album from 1979. "The Ties That Bind: The River Collection" is that album but a 4 CD and 3 DVD extravaganza of unreleased tracks, live takes and other stuff. I've just begun to work my way through it and I'll report back. I haven't got the DVDs as I'm listening via Spotify for now. "The River" is probably my favourite Springsteen album so I'm hoping for some treats with this release.

Bruce Springsteen - Ramrod (live) -

This week I went into the past and listened to some early Dire Straits. It's easy to get a bit blase about them given the proliferation of their later work via commercial FM radio. Dire Straits were a cracking rock and roll band with fantastic guitar work.

Dire Straits - Down To The Waterline (live) -

I came across this song last week and I've been listening to the album it's from for a couple of days now. It's relatively laid back but I like the groove and feel of most of the tracks. Kurt Vile played in a couple of bands that I've got very little knowledge of but I guess I should do some more research. This is a cool track.

Kurt Vile - Pretty Pimpin' -

Before I close this week can I just say that I have been defeated by The Beatles. As you know, we're playing a Beatles show on New Years Eve at Vivaldis (very few tickets left). The other guitarist that was playing pretty much all of the technical stuff pulled out at the last minute a few days ago and I'll admit it, I've been panicking trying to learn songs that, for the moment, are beyond my abilities. Thankfully H has managed to recruit another guitarist to help out and I can't begin to tell you how happy that has made me. You can't fake and improvise The Beatles! 

If you're coming to the show there will be loads of surprises in the setlists I can assure you. Beatles fans will love it. I will too now that some of the pressure is off and I can enjoy myself.

Have a great weekend folks. Rock on!


"I got ninety six tears in my ninety six eyes", Human Fly, The Cramps, 1978.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Song of the Week #381

There's not much good about spending hours and hours on an aeroplane other than the fact you're cut off from email and telephone for a while. I took advantage of flights to and from Perth this week to catch up on some sleep, reading and a couple of films.

"The Dead Lands" is a 2014 film from New Zealand. It's an action film, set before European settlement, about a young Maori boy whose family and tribe are slaughtered. Be warned, some of the violence is fairly gruesome but without being gratuitous. The story is easy to follow and it kept me interested for the whole 108 minutes. The dialog is all in Maori though so be prepared to read the subtitles. If all you know about Maori culture is the All Blacks doing the Haka then this film will give you an insight into where a lot of their moves come from. If you're interested in where things have gone more recently you should seek out the book or film "Once Were Warriors".

I also watched the second film in the Maze Runner series. Quite obviously setting us up for another chapter in the story. If post-apocalyptic sci-fi style is your thing then you won't be disappointed. I wouldn't pay to see this one but it wasn't dreadful.

Last week I took delivery of this next song on a 45rpm single. Remember those? There's something about vinyl and the way it sounds. I could never really quantify it but this one sounded fantastic.

Queensryche - Scarborough Fair -

It was sad recently to hear of the death of Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver singer, Scott Weiland. His ex-wife wrote that she would rather that no-one used his death to glorify the rock and roll lifestyle and all the things that seem to go with it. I'm on her side. Great singer, wasted life.

Velvet Revolver - Slither -

The Mark of Cain have been playing a few shows around the country. Sadly, I'm not able to get to one this time. Who knows if and when they will play again but I hope that they can find it in themselves to record a new album and even make it back here for a show. They are one of our best heavy bands.

The Mark of Cain - Grey 11 -

I've just read that Belinda Carlisle has been "clean" for 10 years. It's hard to believe that she was a drug and alcohol addict when she made classic tracks like "Heaven Is A Place On Earth". I've played in bands for years and when it comes to drugs I'm as squeaky clean as it comes. In the early days of playing gigs there was one time at the ANU there were some dodgy looking characters hanging around as we packed up. It's not unusual for people to want to talk to the band. I know I do when I've been in the crowd, Even if it's just to say thanks, ask about guitar gear or in rare cases request an autograph. Anyway, back to the story. These guys kept hanging around until finally DJ DJ said to me, "Rob, they're trying to sell you drugs...just tell them yes or no!" I politely declined their offer and have never been offered anything again.

Love/Hate - Why Do You Think They Call It Dope? -

This morning DJ Hammertime and I did a lazy 100km ride on some roads that I hadn't ridden on for quite a while. Other than racking up another long ride this one took me past 12,000 km for the year. All things considered I'm pretty happy with that distance. I'll get a few hundred in before the end of 2015 but I can't see myself getting to 13,000 km! I've written before about why I ride so far but just in case you missed all started when my foot was injured and the doctor advised that I shouldn't run again...ever. That was the end of triathlon for me and a tough pill to swallow. Riding gives me time to think, keeping me fit both mentally and physically. I've got a few cycling challenges coming up next year but more about those another day. For now I've got 19 days to ride as far as I can!

The Staples Singers - Respect Yourself -

Right now I'm off to play more guitar. There's plenty of rehearsal needed for the next two shows. It's also very exciting to think that we'll be recording some original songs in 2016. Cover songs are tons of fun but there's something special about a tune that you've had input into writing. But for now...

Foreigner - Juke Box Hero -

I'm sure you all know that Christmas is almost here. For many people it means different things. All I'll say is to echo something I read on Facebook during the week..."If your religion means that you hate other people then you're doing it wrong".

Lukim yu,

"Arms wide open, I stand alone.
I'm no hero, and I'm not made of stone.
Right or wrong, I can hardly tell.
I'm on the wrong side of heaven, and the righteous side of hell." - Wrong Side of Heaven, Five Finger Death Punch, 2014.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Song of the Week #380

It's been a tough week folks. I'm trying to do two jobs whilst my original one is advertised and filled. Please don't think that I am complaining because I'm not. I'm just very tired! So tired that I delayed my long ride until tomorrow (Sunday) and took today off the bike. Serious stuff....ha ha!

Musically I've been working my way through learning all of the Beatles tunes for our NYE show. Tickets are selling very well so if you want to come along then get in contact with Vivaldi's ASAP to avoid disappointment. It's far from being a standard Beatles show and you can expect a great range of not so well known tunes. I was surprised how many of them I actually knew even though they are not the hits.

The Beatles - Two Of Us -

It's great when a band gets back together and sounds new and fresh whilst not deviating too far from their roots. Veruca Salt were around in the 90s and were a lot of fun. This isn't all that new now but it's still worth a listen. 

Veruca Salt - The Museum of Broken Relationships -

During the week we went to the cinema to see "Tanna". It's a new film about two traditional tribe on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu. Bear in mind that this movie has won a swag of awards and has received some excellent reviews. Still, the screening had to be crowdfunded. The story is about the practice of arranged marriages between tribes which occurred until the late 1980s. It's poignant and sad with magnificent cinematography. There are also some hilarious moments. If you do get the chance I couldn't recommend it more highly. Be prepared to read the subtitles as it is all in their traditional language. I assume that there will be a Bislama subtitle release for Vanuatu - there are over 100 local languages throughout the country.

Tanna - trailer and making -

Life in that film was very different to that I experienced on Pentecost but it still made me "homesick". Thankfully we'll be back there in July next year.

I thought a lot about The Wiggles this week as a result of goings on at work. Somehow that train of thought led me to this absolutely excellent version of a Split Enz tune...

Betchadupa / Tim Finn / Eddie Vedder - I See Red -

Australia is a big place and there are plenty of song about our wide, brown land. This tune is about Scotland which is not all that bit in comparison but still has plenty of wild, open, wet spaces. One day I'll see them. Zoe's tales of Scottish weather and thinking about the relative size of Australia, Scotland and Vanuatu brought this tune to the fore...

Big Country - In A Big Country -

I haven't always been a huge You Am I fan. DJ SlimRollins and I saw them back in the 90's at the Livid Festival in Brisbane and to be frank, they were dreadful. However, Tim Rogers has a great guitar sound and really knows how to write a great pop/rock hook. Try this out...

You Am I - Cathy's Clown -

The Megadeth thrash metal juggernaut has been rolling on since 1983 when Dave Mustaine exited Metallica. They have a new album coming out in January and next up is the first track released from it. Stupid band name...not a bad track!

Megadeth - The Threat Is Real -

A little while ago DJ Al-ee-Sun and I watched the film "Beast of No Nation". It's ostensibly about child soldier in West Africa. I found it to be a disturbing movie but one that had a lot to say. My views on war have been made fairly clear previously; it sucks. Having children involved is nothing short of inhumane.

Johnny Cash - All God's Children Ain't Free -

Well there you have it folks, another week gone. Keep me in your thoughts on Sunday morning as I hit the highway on my trusty Cervelo for another long ride. It's exactly 5 years since I did Ironman. Time flies!


"Momma says the pistol is the Devil's right hand...", Devil's Right Hand, Steve Earle, live version 2012.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Song of the Week #379

A short episode this week. You'll survive. Some of you may even thank me for the lack of waffling.

The gig last Sunday was great; many thanks to all that came along to listen. It's an intimate venue and to debut four original songs was good fun. You can check out "Near Myall Creek" on the band's Facebook page here.

In other news, and the reason that I've not written this earlier, I received a promotion at work. That's pretty exciting given that I only started there in September. It's going to be a busy job with quite a few challenges. Good! I was glad to make it to home time on Friday though....just!

Faith No More - Falling to Pieces -

The cyclone surviving, Bislama messenging, Granny visiting, Euro-traveller will be home very late on Monday night. Not long now folks! It's better than Christmas.

Simon & Garfunkel - Homeward Bound -

In order to clear my head I had a rather long ride this morning. It lasted into the afternoon! 126km is my longest ride since December 2010 when I competed at Ironman Western Australia. And it felt good! There's usually a point nearing 100km where I've had enough but today it didn't happen and I just rolled on. My plan is to do a 180km ride before the end of the year for no reason other than I can.

The Living End - Roll On -

On Wednesday I had the good fortune to be invited to a guitar session as part of my work. Sitting with some Veterans playing folk songs was a lot of fun and a bit of a humbling experience. Hopefully I'll be invited back.

Emmylou Harris - Wayfaring Stranger -

The other thing of note that happened this week was our 22nd wedding anniversary. I'm a lucky man. I've now been married to Alison for exactly half my life.

The Proclaimers - Let's Get Married (live 2015) -

Rock on Brothers and Sisters,


"This is my music,
it makes me proud,
these are my people
and this is my crowd" - Crazy Nights, KISS, 1987.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Song of the Week #378

It's been very much a rock and roll've been warned.

Before I get right into it however, if you're in Canberra and at a loose end on Sunday then come along and see me playing the guitar whilst the rest of the band do their level best to drown out my mistakes! Ha ha! We're playing at 5pm at Beyond Q in Curtin. You'll hear Isbell's Southeastern played by us from cover to cover and then a few originals which will be recorded in 2016. It's free...please come. Sometimes at gigs we pass the hat around and the money goes to a charity. Any money that comes my way will go straight to helping out in Vanuatu. We play because we like to...helping people out is an added bonus.

Jason Isbell - Flying Over Water (live) -

Recently I sold one of my guitars. After four different Gibsons I think I should get the message that they just don't agree with me. It's like a battle to play them whereas my Fender and Burns are like old armchairs! I took the money and purchased an acoustic guitar. I've wanted one that I could plug in for gigs for a long time and taking the ancient Eko that I have always worries me; it's a great guitar but best played at home these days. I always play the first bit of the verse from this song when I try out acoustic guitars...nice ringing chords.

That's Bruce Kulick on lead guitar with KISS. Tommy Thayer does a great job these days but Bruce really knew how to shred as well. Check out the Crazy Nights album sometime for excellent guitar work...and dubious lyrical content!

I have no idea what the next band are singing about but I'll find out later. They are from Argentina and are called Eruca Sativa. Musically they remind me very much of Skunk Anansie. It's energetic, relentless and sounds pretty angry. The stabby guitar sounds towards the start are what drew me in initially.

Eruca Sativa - Fuera o Más Allá -

It's been a very long time since I played any music from Roky Erickson. I really liked his album that included random beeping and white noise...he said he included it because after electro-shock therapy it's what he hears in his head.

Roky Erickson - Two Headed Dog -

Rock and roll is as much a state of mind as a musical genre. Take this next tune for example. Other than the fact I thought Russell Morris was back with more great roots music, it's toe tapping and a lot of fun. It might be a little too country for some of you but rock music doesn't have to be all black t-shirts and electric guitars...

Drake White - It Feels Good -

It turns out that Russell DOES have a new album...another one to add to the list for a listen!

Russell Morris - The Lonesome Road -

I'll finish on a sad note. Chris Paine who played for the fantastic Australian band Killing Time died last week. I was fortunate enough to see the band play a few times before it went pear shaped and they were no more. If you like psychedelic rock with attitude then give me a shout and I'll point you at some of their good stuff. Killing Time changed their name to Mantissa to avoid legal issues in the USA. It's the same band.

Mantissa - Dream Alone -

Mantissa - Mary Mary -

That's it...Zoë's home in a few days but I really haven't started a countdown....really I haven't!


"...I don't remember being taught how to hate in Sunday School..." - Jerusalem, Steve Earle, 2002

Friday, November 13, 2015

Song of the Week #374

A sad note to begin this week's episode; former Motorhead drummer Phil "Philthy" Taylor passed away yesterday at only 61 years of age. Philthy was in the classic lineup with Lemmy and "Fast" Eddie Clarke who recorded classic albums such as "Ace of Spades", "Overkill", "Bomber" as well as the seminal live LP, "No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith". I was fortunate enough to see Philthy in action at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney in 1991. DJ DJ was there with me and the next day we were almost thrown out of a guitar shop for turning an amp up far too loud to test what would become my new guitar. Motorhead had made us deaf! RIP Philthy.

Motorhead - Bomber (live Hammersmith) -

Strangely enough I have been watching the biopic "Lemmy" this week. You may have guessed that it's all about Lemmy...if not, wake up! It's not a bad film with some interesting bits and pieces but unless you're a Motorhead fan or into hard rock it probably isn't for you. Australian readers - it's on ABC iView.

Hawkwind - Silver Machine -

I haven't listened to any Queen for ages. I like them a lot but perhaps I overdosed a few years ago. Nevertheless, I heard this live concert (Budapest 1986) for the first time this week and it's great. The footage I've seen on the 'net shows the band in full flight and the sound and mix are well put together. This song includes one of the best rock guitar riffs ever written.

Queen - Now I'm Here (live) -

As you all know, Vanuatu is a huge part of our family's life these days. We've achieved a lot since the cyclone to assist people there. We've spent all the money we had from donations (and more) now on a number of things that have already been shipped or paid for. At the moment we have a huge stack of school supplies ready to ship out. If you've got a few dollars that you could spare to help us supply Level School then please let me know...anything will help! Since Zoe and I returned from Vanuatu we've managed to help with sports uniforms, books, money to install power in classrooms, a video camera and now school supplies. It's work that we'll keep doing and Zoe and I plan to be back in Pentecost in the middle of next year. I will admit that sometimes it is very hard not to be able to do more for such wonderful, kind and caring people.

Ziggy Marley - Love Is My Religion -

Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top has a new album. It's his debut solo outing and he's 65; not a bad effort! Blues fans will like some of it but there's definite reggae and African beat influences in there as well. "Perfectamundo" is well worth your time.

Billy Gibbons - Quiero Mas Dinero -

DJ SlimChicken asked me this week what I thought of the band Pantera. I am NOT a fan by any stretch. I saw them live years ago and they really, really, really sucked. But I'm open minded and DJ SlimChicken very rarely recommends anything bad so I cued up their well known album from 1990, "Cowboys from Hell". Guess's not half bad. I'm yet to move onto their subsequent albums but it doesn't matter; this one rocks! I was also surprised by how much vocalist Phil Anselmo sounds like Skid Row's Sebastian Bach in places! 

Pantera - Cowboys From Hell -

Cover version time....this is a pretty good cover of a Kylie classic by Tame Impala. Other than the spacy, ethereal quality of this version which really appeals, check out the guitar player's TWO pedal boards...that's give me an idea!

Tame Impala - Confide In Me -

A while ago I mentioned ELO's new album. Here's the single from it that was released a couple of weeks ago. There's no doubt that Jeff Lynne is a Beatles fan but this is a good listen.

ELO - When I Was A Boy -

I know nothing about Mark Kozelek except that he plays good music and that it's strangely compelling. One for listeners who like moody, acoustic stuff, Bonnie Prince Billy, Wilco and the like.

Mark Kozelek - Down In The Willow Garden -

Let's go out with a bang. Tom Waits' music is quiet, raucous, smooth, harsh, violent, drunk, mellow and just about everything else. Whilst his voice is an acquired taste, it's worth the effort.

Tom Waits - God's Away On Business -

That's it. Hug'll do you good.


"I got the shakes in my kneebone...", Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, Shakin' All Over, 1960.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Song of the Week #373

First up this week are my thoughts on the AC/DC show that Angus and I went to see last night at Sydney Olympic Park. I need to preface my comments by saying that all in all, it was a great show. They played all the songs you'd expect, brought the whole stage show and worked the crowd into a frenzy. AC/DC are a class act, they know how to entertain and they most certainly give each performance their all.

When it comes to live shows I'm picky about a couple of things. Firstly; is the band actually interested in being there? AC/DC had no problems in that area. Secondly; can they play their songs live? Again, a tick in the box. Thirdly: does the sound crew know what they're doing? Herein lies the problem 50,000 fans faced last average mix at best. This has nothing to do with the fact that Brian Johnson's voice is spent, we knew that before we went. The crowd sings all the words anyway. My problem is a sound crew taking a legendary band with quality equipment and making them sound dreadful. Both Angus and Stevie's guitars were almost unbearably harsh for the first three or four songs. Brian's vocals went from inaudible to loud and then back again. Was Cliff playing the bass? And there is much more to a drumkit than a kick drum and cymbals....where was the snare? I understand that this was an outdoor venue but this isn't your local pub rock band with a hired PA system. This is one of the biggest rock bands in the World. Perhaps it's time to engage a sound engineer who actually has some of the high range of his hearing left to ensure that we get a balanced mix. Volume doesn't make up for a bad mix. That was the only really bad point and it did improve slightly as the gig wore on.

I've loved AC/DC since I was about 15 and I always will. When Malcolm Young had to retire due to ill health it was a kick in the guts for the band and all of their fans. Seeing Stevie Young (nephew of Angus and Malcolm) playing Malcolm's original Gretsch guitar last night was a fitting tribute to the man. I'm unsure if he's playing it all tour or if it's just a special thing for Sydney since Mal lives here but it was a nice touch.

Sometimes the simplest songs say it all...

AC/DC - High Voltage (live) -

After watching the show I have my doubts that AC/DC will tour again. None of them are young men and it isn't as if they just pop out for a few gigs. This is a nine month tour. It's been a long way to the top. I think that their latest album, "Rock or Bust", is the best they've done in years so do we dare hope for another?

Let's move on.

As the band I play in moves towards playing some more original music we have the chance to be a lot more choosy about the covers we play - there will be fewer! If you're interested in hearing us try out some of George's tunes we'll give them a public airing at Beyond Q on November 22nd. We'll also run through Isbell's "Southeastern" album again. It's too good not to play!

And just in case you've somehow missed out on my love of "Southeastern"...a difficult but beautiful song...

Jason Isbell - Elephant (live) -

See what you think of this. I think it's a rather good interpretation of a great song. For what it's worth, it's also a very difficult song to get right!

Cowboy Junkies - Thunder Road -

Drive-By Truckers have just released a live album recorded at the famous Fillmore. My spider-sense tingled when I heard about this as a result of Jason Isbell having been in the band and some of my favourite live shows being recorded at that venue (especially Tom Petty). After only one listen it definitely rates a purchase...maybe even vinyl!

Drive-By Truckers - Birthday Boy -

I'm not a fan of driving. Sydney might be a fairly easy 3 hours or so but....blech!

Toots and the Maytals - Country Roads -

I need a sleep. Old men like me getting home late from rock concerts don't recover the way we used to! I'll try and do better next week.


"'ve got a hubcap diamond star halo...", Get It On, T-Rex, 1971.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Song of the Week #372

Straight into the music this week. Here's one for you fans of grungy indie pop. This isn't all that far from what I was playing in bands in the mid 90s!

Black Honey - Madonna -

I can't tell you anything about Black Honey other than they are from Brighton in the UK and there seems to be 4 people in the band. They do have more songs available here though and after I'm finished writing all of this down I may just head back for a listen. I will admit that when this song came around on Spotify Discovery I saw the title and thought Madonna had finally remembered how to rock!

Did I mention that this week's episode is rather late? You may have noticed that it's been becoming a bit of a habit. Sorry. Having a new job has changed up the way I think, do my cycle training, my mental health and lots of my world view...all in a good way. I think you can expect this blogging thing to continue as I'm hardly likely to stop after 370 plus episodes. I imagine that delivery could be anytime from Friday to Sunday. I continue to take notes the old fashioned way, in a notebook, through the week that are ideas, songs and thoughts to include here. Sometimes getting them into a coherent form takes a while!

DJ ZedBoots is in Romania at the moment. And as it's Halloween she's stocked up on garlic. Romania as I'm sure you know if where Vlad the Impaler hailed from. Bram Stoker made the link between him and vampires in a rather famous book...Dracula!

Iron Maiden - Transylvania (live) -

This time next week Angus and I will be heading out on a bit of a pilgrimage. We've had the tickets booked for months now and it's almost time for us, along with a few thousand other screaming fans to go along to see AC/DC. To say that I'm excited is an understatement. This will be the third time I've seen them. The two previous occasions were on the Razor's Edge Tour (1991) and the Stiff Upper Lip Tour (2001). Both of these concerts were a lot of fun and I'm sure next week will be no different.

AC/DC - Rock Or Bust / Highway To Hell (live August 2015) -

It's quite amazing, in the above performance, that Dave Grohl stayed offstage.

Some bands bring rather average support acts with them...cough, cough, Iron Maiden. AC/DC aren't making that mistake. They've included these next two bands and I'll be more than happy to be there early to watch them both. It's fantastic to see a newer Aussie act get a spot as well as something a bit left field.

Kingswood - She's My Baby -

The Hives - Walk Idiot Walk (live 2014) -

The Hives always remind me of a cross between Iggy Pop, The Beatles and Slade,

We'll dial it back a little now with a song from Cat Clyde. Hailing from London, Ontario this is a bluesy, jazzy, country, folky tune that got my toes tapping almost instantly. They've got an album called "Ivory Castanets" that was released a couple of weeks ago and is available here . 

Cat Clyde - Like A Wave -

A book I was reading this week mentioned the author's mid-90's mixtape. The selection was rather good (better than the book) and this band came up. I'd forgotten how good they were. If you like Weezer then you'll probably like them. Quirky in all the right ways...

Pavement - Cut Your Hair -

I like it when musicians show their influences and aren't ashamed of them. This next track is from a guy called Zakk Wylde. He's one of the best known heavy guitarists getting around. Zakk played with Ozzy Osbourne for years and now fronts Black Label Society. The next track is some of his earlier work. You can hear the country and southern rock influences clearly...

Pride and Glory - Machine Gun Man -

An Australian band I never tire of are Painters & Dockers. In High School someone gave me a copy of their live album, "Bucket" and I played it to death. They've got a uniquely Australian and dare I say it, Victorian sound. It's an eclectic mix of social commentary, punk, rock, brass and way too much energy. TISM were watching closely I imagine when they were coming up with some of their songs.

Painters & Dockers - You're Going Home In The Back of a Divi Van -

Painters & Dockers - Soul Child (live) -

Painters & Dockers - The Boy Who Lost His Jocks On Flinders Street Station -

It's been a tough week for quite a few people that I know with two long and protracted and another quite unexpected. You really do need to live your life whilst you have the opportunity. Don't put things that you really want to do off forever...

Billy Bragg - Wishing The Days Away -

Finally, a huge shout out to DJ HB. She was at the Fleetwood Mac concert in Adelaide this week and sent me some great photos and videos. It looked like a really good show. I have to say that she has a very steady hand! What also made my day was the story about car trips as a kid and her parents love of the band. Those connections are priceless.

Fleetwood Mac - Tusk -

There you have it....plenty of music. Get listening!


" can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant", Alice's Restaurant 30th Anniversary (The Massacree Re-visited), 1995.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Song of the Week #371

Treat your ears this week with my hand picked, super-duper, extra special and perhaps interesting collection of tunes!

First up is a band called Palma Violets from England. To be frank, I thought this was a Clash song that I didn't recognise the first time I heard it, all the elements are there. However, it's a new track and it bubbles along rather well. I envisage a sweaty and enthusiastic crowd singing along to this one!

Palma Violets - English Tongue -

While we're with bands exhibiting a clear punk influence let's go back a little while to the mid 80's and a ripper of a track from one of my favourite bands, The Pogues.

The Pogues - Sally MacLennane -

If you've never listened to The Pogues then start with the album that the above song comes from, it's called "Rum, Sodomy & The Lash".

For some reason it looks like I'm on a bit of a punk trip this week. It always amuses me that Blondie are referred to as a punk band. I guess they are one of the links between punk and new wave. American Punk is also quite different to that which came out of the UK. So how did Johnny Rotten fit in post Sex Pistols? Just fine thanks very much.

The Dead Weather have a new album out (Dodge and Burn, September 25th). They are an interesting band and even though I'm not a huge Jack White fan I like what this band comes up with. Here's a track from their previous album which I have permanently on my music devices and then a new track.

The Dead Weather - I Cut Like A Buffalo -

The Dead Weather - I Feel Love (Every Million Miles) -

My turntable is in the throes of giving up the ghost. Every now and then it just stops in the middle of a song and whilst the slowing of the track is mildly amusing it's mostly annoying. It happened the other night during a live recording of ZZ Top and I'm sure that's some kind of sacrilege. I may have to admit defeat and look for a new one. Old ZZ Top albums are always good and "Fandango" is no exception. The A side of the LP is live and the B side contains some great studio tracks. It's a great place to start if you want to avoid the synthesizer driven tunes of the 80s.

ZZ Top - Thunderbird (live 1975) -

Coming up next is a tune from an American singer called Mark Lanegan. I heard the song thanks to the "Discover" setting on Spotify. Mark was in a band you may have heard of called Screaming Trees who were contemporaries of Alice In Chains, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam and other Seattle grunge acts. This next song is more indie rock than grunge. I'll take some time to listen to the full album I think which is called "Phantom Radio". If you liked Andy Prieboy's "Upon My Wicked Son" then you should enjoy this. Everyone else should listen anyway. It starts with that wavy, wobbly guitar sound that I like so much. Judicious use of a tremolo pedal!

Mark Lanegan Band - Harvest Home -

It wouldn't be a week on the World Wide Woozle without one heavier track. Veteran Brish band Saxon have a new album out called Battering Ram and it was released last week. For a band that has been around since 1976 and the "New Wave of British Heavy Metal" they sound fantastic. They have had the same singer and guitarists for pretty much the whole time.

Saxon - Battering Ram -

We'll finish this week with an indie-pop hit from New Zealanders, The Mutton Birds. Almost the perfect pop song in my opinion...

The Mutton Birds - Dominion Road -

Yeah, this week was all about the music. Maybe I'll have some angst next time!

DJ Rob

"So what's the plan, brother man?
We're waiting on your cue.
There's nothing new, to listen to, we heard it through and through.
We know you're playing the best you can,
The truth is we don't give a damn...." - Foxy Shazam, Welcome To The Church of Rock & Roll, 2012.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Song of the Week #370

Welcome back dear listener.

DJ AB and I survived 28 hours straight of standing up, commentary, giveaways, interviews and general mirth and mayhem! Huge thanks to DJ Guz for his magic touch on the sound system and to DJs Hammertime and BeanzMeanz for coming out to make sure we weren't flagging! The weather was fantastic for the 24hr mountain bike race and the event was a roaring success. Next year, assuming they want us back, we're taking a couple of beanbags and a wider range of food! As well as the commentary and music being on the speakers in transition and around the immediate area, there was a speaker system out on the course at one point and that proved quite popular. We might try for a couple more next year as a result of competitor comments. AB also did some remote broadcasting from different parts of the course.

Gnarls Barkley - Crazy (live) -

DJ ZedBoots is in Berlin for a few days. Apparently the hot water is good and the Germans are very well organised!

Nena - Rette Mich -

I hope you watched that video...all keytar players need studded leather gloves in my opinion!

Listening to Ryan Adams' version of 1989 has meant that Spotify has started suggesting I try some of his other songs. This seems like a fair thing...I did...and this one sounded pretty good.

Ryan Adams - Gimme Something Good (ive) -

Last night I watched a documentary about Keith Richards on Netflix called Under The Influence. He's a pretty funny guy who seems under no illusions that he's having a very fortunate life. I'm not sure how his gnarled up hands still manage to play the guitar but the footage with just him and an acoustic shows that he can! It was interesting to hear about the two records that he and Mick loved that basically got the Rolling Stones started (Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry). Well worth a look. I just wish that he'd give up the ciggies. Here's a track from his brand new solo album...

Keith Richards - Trouble -

Suze Demarchi (Baby Animals) has a new album out. It's a solo affair with a ton of guest artists. Thematically, every song is about "home". Look, I love her voice and she's a great singer. This's a little slow, or maybe it's just laid back! Perhaps a good lazy summer afternoon listen.

Suze Demarchi - Home -

And for all you heathens who read that and wondered, "Baby Animals? Who?"...

Baby Animals - Working For The Enemy (live) -

I wonder how long brick and mortar record shops can survive? Yesterday I had a quick trundle around one and walked away empty handed. The financial realist in me said that I could listen to anything I wanted pretty much online and then order a physical copy for a lot less. Add to that the fact that some new releases still aren't in stores here when they've been available for a few weeks and I'm less and less inclined to walk in. The price of vinyl is just silly as well. I do wonder why there were no copies of the new Cold Chisel CD in their area on the rack and just a stack at the checkout...that seems dumb.

Midnight Oil - Know Your Product (live Saints cover) -

Peter Garrett is on a national book launch tour. Personally I wish he'd get back to singing and his version of dancing. 

Yesterday I helped out at a charity fun run for my work. After cycling about 60km in the morning, riding around as the safety bod at the race and then cycling home I managed to rack up almost 110km for the day. Any job that lets me cycle whilst working has to be good! As a result though I was pretty wiped out. There's nothing better sometimes than sitting down to a great live music DVD. Last night it was this...absolutely superb:

Gary Moore with Scott Gorham - Cowboy Song / Boys Are Back In Town -

Here's a guy that's playing locally pretty soon. Ticket prices are insane though. As H remarks, you can buy many full back catalogues for less than a price of a concert ticket. For some bands I'll suck it up and pay the cash but I must admit that the $160 + for Iron Maiden tickets is just too much.

Chris Cornell - Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart -

To finish...a punk version of a great to reveal! It's a hoot and it's also not an easy tune to sing.

Have a great weekend,


Muddy Waters, The Blues Had A Baby & They Named It Rock And Roll, 1977 live recording

Friday, October 9, 2015

Song of the Week #369

Neil Young sang, "I used to be in a rock and roll band, but they broke up..." This song got me thinking recently about all the bands I've played in. From the early days of blues and rock covers with Mr. Walker, the original indie pop of Lovesmudge, Oz rock stylings of Push Grunt Shove and of course the Gothabilly chaos that was The Dark Violence of Beauty. They are all very, very different to what we do in Junk Sculpture. The thing is, all of those bands were (and Junk Sculpture still is) heaps of fun. I can see that every band allowed me the opportunity to learn new things, try new sounds and play with musicians who were a lot more proficient than me. At our most recent show in Coonabarabran I had a terrible time for the first set because I couldn't hear my own guitar very well (luckily DJ Guz worked his magic and all was well in the second set). There were bum notes everywhere and I totally murdered the intro to one of my favourite songs. Maybe it's time to invest in some "in ear monitors". When I think about all of the songs I've played live I know that either my memory isn't as good as it was or that we just do more challenging stuff; certainly this is the first band that I've ever used a cheat sheet with. There are so many changes and variations in some tunes that I just can't quite get them to stick in my mind and a prompt every now and then is a real relief! Last night I was practicing the riff from Neil Young's "Powderfinger" for an upcoming gig. Plugging the guitar into my phone and rocking out through headphones is pretty cool. You don't bother anyone with volume and there are tons of different sounds on tap to muck around with as well. My rambling message here is if you play an instrument get out and play with other people. Don't worry too much about how good (or not in my case) you are...just have fun.

Neil Young - Buffalo Springfield Again -

This is episode 369. I got a bit confused with some lyrics a few weeks ago and almost played this song. But now the number is right...I'm sure you'll work it out.

The Belle Stars - The Clapping Song -

DJ ZedBoots has been in Oslo, Norway this week. After surviving a cyclone, rats eating her shoes, Air Vanuatu flight scheduling dramas and the Italian train network you'd think she'd be pretty robust; and she is. However, ZedBoots managed to fall out of a tree and end up at the hospital. All is well and we assume that the Norwegian hospital staff now refer to her as that "Crazy Tree Hugging Australian girl!"

Cold Chisel are an iconic Australian band. Arguably one of our best. I was interested to see them play live recently on the TV because, well, I have their most recent live DVD and it's a bit pedestrian in places. I was hoping for something special. Given that they only got to play 3 of their big hits I thought that they did a great job. At this point DJ Will "still sorry for running you out in cricket" pointed out to me that Chisel have a new album. So I had a listen and I must admit my expectations weren't that high. Wow! I was so wrong. It's a great listen. The band sounds energetic and focussed. The songs are the right mix of Oz rock and rockabilly that you might expect and the production is first class. Well worth a few dollars and another listen.

Cold Chisel - Alone For You -

This weekend DJ AB and I are out at the Scott 24hr Australian Mountain Biking Championships. We're not riding but will be providing commentary and music for the entire race. In effect that means we'll be talking for probably around 28 hours straight. We must be mad. If you're in Canberra please feel free to come out and visit us...especially in the middle of Saturday night when we might be struggling! It should be a hoot. We've doubled our appearance fee from the last two year's overnight shifts. It was $0.00 to start with and it still is. It's a great event run by a fantastic crew of volunteers. I think they feed us...I hope so! If you're located close to Stromlo try tuning in on 99.5 on the FM dial.

Elvis Costello - Radio Radio -

Queensryche have a new album. This is the version of the band without the original lead singer but that includes pretty much everyone else. It's complicated. The album sounds really good. If you liked Queensryche pre-Empire then this is for you. Great guitar work, soaring vocals, interesting lyrics and of course the classic almost prog-metal sound and feel.

Queensryche - Guardian -

Staying with Heavy Metal just for a moment, Death Dealer have a new album out as well. I had a listen to it yesterday as I drove to and from Goulburn for work. It's an interesting band made up of players from all over the world including an amazing Sydney guitarist called Stu "Hammer" Marshall (no relation but I'd love an ounce of his talent!) Very much for fans of classic metal bands like Manowar, Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force and Iron Maiden. It's on Spotify so have a listen and then buy a copy. I believe they are touring here in early 2016 so keep an eye out.

Death Dealer - Break The Silence -

In band news, we have a show in the works for New Year's Eve at Vivaldi's so watch this space. It'll be a little different but a lot of fun and I've got a ton of new songs to learn.

The Beatles - Mean Mr. Mustard / Polythene Pam -

When I saw this old cover of a Creedence track pop up in my Spotify "Discovery" list I was pretty sure I'd hate it. I was wrong...

Hanoi Rocks - Up Around The Bend (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover) -

I try to call my "brother" Michael in Vanuatu once a week. Michael was Zoë's host father at Level which is where she was during the cyclone. I am able to have email and snail mail contact with our family at Atavtabanga but for Level it's the phone or nothing! Today we had a good line for the first time in ages and Michael and I could actually almost understand each other. The fantastic news is that we're going to be able to help out sending his eldest daughter to secondary school in 2016. Education in Vanuatu isn't free and for secondary school a large proportion of students have to board. When Alison and I were trying to work out the best way to help people in Vanuatu in a long term sense we thought about education and this is our first step. We don't intend to set up a charity or anything but helping in this small way just seems like the right thing to do. Hopefully I'll be able to hear all about how school is next year when I return. I'm saving up my pennies and my leave days!

Rock on Brothers and Sister,

<intentionally blank, like my stare>

Friday, October 2, 2015

Song of the Week #368

I woke this morning to news of yet another mass shooting in the USA. Will it ever end? What a waste of life.

Alice Cooper - Lost In America -

A while ago I mentioned that I'd ordered a reggae CD by Stan & The Earthforce. Sadly it never arrived and the person selling them doesn't want to answer my emails. Fortunately I paid using PayPal so we'll see how good their dispute resolution process is. It's a bummer though, all I wanted was a rather cool LP of laid back tunes.

Stan & The Earth Force - Better Days -

Local purveyors of doom, Witchskull, have now released their debut LP. If the three track teaser CD that came out earlier in the year is any indication then it'll be loud, sludgy and very, very good. Buy a copy through and support local music.

Witchskull - Swim The Abyss -

I've been listening to a lot of old FM radio live concerts via Spotify. Zappa, Arlo Guthrie, Mellencamp, Bowie and KISS have all had a spin. The quality ranges from "recorded with an old potato" to awesome but it's worth it. I like live recordings that I can be fairly sure have had no overdubs. Mellencamp and his band prove themselves to be superb musicians...KISS prove how much overdubbing must be on their live records! But in terms of energy KISS can't be beaten unless you cue up some Ramones.

KISS - Cold Gin (live 1975) -

The Ramones - Sheena Is A Punk Rocker (live 1978) -

It's been a while now since I stopped drinking coffee. It doesn't faze me now...I dealt with the week of caffeine headaches and moved on. I don't mind a cup of tea but paying the same, or more, for a tea bag and some hot water is pretty bad I reckon. There's an art to making a good coffee but throwing the Dilmah bag into a cup is very much unskilled labour. 

Rival Sons - Black Coffee (Humble Pie cover) -

Thin Lizzy is a band I just keep coming back to. It's the twin guitar attack, the vocal delivery, the swagger and the fact that they sound like they are having the time of their lives. I've been working on learning a couple of their songs but it's taking a while! So many songs, so little time!

Thin Lizzy - Rosalie -

Thin Lizzy - Emerald (live Peel Sessions) -

Getting guitar practice in isn't always that easy. After all, electric guitars are loud! Sometimes you just need to sit in a corner and strum some quiet songs. The problem is usually thinking what to play - this is always a huge problem if someone wants you to play something cool. I can never remember anything until everyone has gone! I'm not much of a singer anyway so maybe that's not so bad. Here's two tracks I'd like to be able to whip out at a moment's notice!

Archie Roach - From Paradise -

Elvis Presley - In The Ghetto (live) -

I've had a pretty quiet week at home with DJ Al-ee-Sunshine and Bogus away on holiday. Well it would've been quiet if the stoopid cat and dog had behaved. They are more needy than any toddler. After a week of Xena waking me up at about 5.15am, demanding food and being otherwise antisocial, Sparky had to top it off by escaping. He's back, in disgrace and with the hugest smile on his cheeky face. Pets? Who needs them? Apparently we do.

The Fauves - Dogs Are The Best People -

The good thing about being awake early is that I just threw the cat outside and then went cycling. The sun is up ridiculously early (until daylight savings kicks in) and it's been pretty mild as well this week. Australian cyclists will understand the necessity of a magpie free route at this time of year. I hate getting hit by those black and white feral bombers and I've only been hit twice so far this season. When you realise that magpies can keep up with motorbikes then you realise that trying to out run them is probably futile.

Iron Maiden - Aces High -

Wow, that was a pretty loud episode. My apologies if you were looking for some soothing tunes. Not this time.

If you need to calm down then maybe this is the track for you...

Driving to and from Coonabarabran last week we saw an amazing amount of canola fields in full bloom. It was as if the sun was coming out of the ground. Anyway, it made me think of this song.

Lenny Kravitz - Flowers for Zoë -

Watch this space for a New Year's Eve gig announcement....hopefully!


"...take to the streets, kill everyone you meet...", Painters and Dockers, "Kill, Kill, Kill", 1985.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Song of the Week #367

Where do I even begin? This episode is a full two days late. My apologies to those listeners who have spent all weekend jonesing for a fix of the World Wide Woozle's peculiar brand of musical recommendations, news, insights and blethering. But I've been a little distracted and then rather busy. Seatbelts on folks; here we go!

It was a sad week in one way for the Marshall family. My Granny, in Scotland, passed away after more than 90 years of a well lived life. We're left with wonderful memories of a strong-willed woman who, even after a stroke, refused to be slowed down. One of my favourite memories was when my Grandparents were visiting us here in Australia. We were off somewhere in the car and I put a head-cleaning tape into the car cassette deck. It made a horrible noise. My Gran, upon realising that it was in fact not music, told us that she thought I'd said I was playing a "head banger". Ha ha! I haven't seen my Granny since Angus was born but I'm very glad that Alison saw her a few years ago in Scotland and that Zoë was with her only a few weeks ago.

The Corries - Bring Back My Granny To Me -

On Saturday the band drove for about 7 hours (each way) to play a show in Coonabarabran. We were asked to open a new functions centre for the Warrumbungles Mountain Motel. It's a long way to go for a show and you can see some photos of the trip here. I have to thank the hardy souls who drove from Canberra and Tingha to see us play there; that's an amazing effort and rather humbling. But here's a lesson for anyone booking a show in country NSW...the Rugby League finals on TV attract a huge crowd. We played to a small but energetic and appreciative audience. It's always good to play to a sold out venue but the reality is that it won't always happen. This was one of those times but it reminded me of why I really like the Australian rock band the Choirboys. I went to see them years ago on a Sunday evening. There were maybe 30 people in the crowd. They could've grumbled or cancelled the show but they came out and gave it 100%; it was fabulous. We did the same on Saturday...gave it our all and as a result had a great time playing some cool songs. I doubt I'd drive that far again for a small crowd but when you're there you do your best. Kudos to everyone in the band for doing the same.

Choirboys - Rendezvous -

To be clear, I think that Taylor Swift's most recent album, 1989, is a killer. So it was with interest that I read about Ryan Adams track by track cover version of the whole record. Ryan is firmly in the American alt-Country genre (at least to my ears). I've only had a couple of listens so far but what I have to say is that if I didn't know the songs already I'd think it was a "return to form" by Bruce Springsteen. Yep, Ryan makes Taylor sound like The River/Nebraska era Bruce. 

Ryan Adams - How You Get The Girl -

I had a good chuckle when I read a message online from Jason Isbell. He said that if Adams was covering 1989 then he'd be covering Van Helen's 1984. Can't wait!

Van Halen - Top Jimmy -

H, TrumpetBoy and I had a couple of listens through the latest Isbell release going to and from Coona. It was a pretty good soundtrack for long, straight, empty roads through rural Australia. We were surrounded by fields of canola which glowed as if the sun was shining out of the ground. After spending a while now with that particular album I think it is as good as Southeastern but quite different. It's much less bleak for a start. I'm not usually that interested in what the keyboard player is doing on a country style album unless it's a really nice Hammond sound or a honky tonk piano but there is a lot of really neat stuff going on in the background on this record. It's definitely one to have a good listen to through headphones. 

Jason Isbell - 24 Frames (live) -

We played this next song on Saturday night. I don't like it because most people screaming out the lyrics have no idea what it's about. It's a bit like listeners completely misunderstanding Springsteen's track Born In The USA. When you hear Don Walker, who wrote the song, playing it his way then it morphs from a beer soaked bogan anthem into the song it should be. Try it out and see what you think.

Don Walker - Khe Sanh -

The Electric Light Orchestra have a new album coming very soon. The first single is out and is pretty true to style. 15 years is a long time between records even though Jeff Lynne is involved in a number of projects. I quite like this song and if the album also contains some of his trademark rockers then it could be good.

ELO - When I Was A Boy -

Well, it's a public holiday here in Canberra. The sun is out and that seems like a perfect moment to leave you and get out on my bike. Sorry for making you all wait for this week's episode.


"...put on your red shoes and dance the blues...", Let's Dance, David Bowie, 1983

Friday, September 25, 2015

Song of the Week #367 will be published on Sunday

I'm off on the road with the should be awesome!

I do have the bare bones of an episode to share but I'd rather enjoy the show and then write about it as well as a few tall tales from the trip. With 14 hours of driving something amusing is bound to happen.



Twitter: @robwoozle

Friday, September 18, 2015

Song of the Week #366

Hurrah! It's the leap year episode!

I got excited today when I saw a tweet about Icehouse's new album. This was tempered by the fact that it's not a new studio release but rather a live album. Regardless, they're still a great band.

Icehouse - We Can Get Together (live) -

The new Ghost album is a cracker. A completely insane cross between Black Sabbath and the Scooby Doo theme song. I've been listening to it on and off for a few weeks now and it continues to grow on me. The film clip for the next tune is really well made, creepy in all the right ways and also a lot of fun. It's almost the logical extension of Iron Maiden's cheesy clip for "Number of the Beast".

Ghost - From The Pinnacle To The Pit -

Vintage Trouble had one of the best debut albums in a very, very long time. They followed it up touring the world with the likes of The Who, Bon Jovi and now AC/DC. If you look around at any live footage then you'll be in no doubt that they are a high energy band who engage with their audiences really well. As a result of this I'd been waiting rather impatiently for their second album...and it's here. 1 Hopeful Road is the name of the record's kinda slow and laid back. It's the kind of record for a lazy Sunday afternoon and I'm rather disappointed. Having said that, I really hope they tour down here with AC/DC. It's not a bad album, I just wish the whole thing was more upbeat, like this particular track from it...

Vintage Trouble - Run Baby Run -

I read an interesting article this week about Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. The fact that they are pouring money into a university to encourage innovation, arts and technology is rather amazing, $70 million is a large chunk of change. You should investigate both men even if you think Beats headphones are a gimmick, they both have impressive resumes.

NWA - Express Yourself -

The new album from American thrash pioneers Slayer is called Repentless. It's their first after the death of guitarist and founding member Jeff Hanneman. If you're not a fan of the band then I doubt this release will change that. It's heavy, powerful, aggressive and pretty much everything you'd expect from them. For a band that have been kicking around since the 80s this long player is more energetic than a whole tribe of Eveready Bunnies. I'm really impressed. I've listened free and legal via Spotify for a week now and I'll be happy to plonk down hard earned cash for a physical copy. Tom Arya's voice holds up well for a man in his mid 50's who has spent the last 30 odd years screaming his lungs out. He can't scream as much these days and that suits me just fine! There isn't a lot other than the title track online and I've already played that here. Let's go for a classic tune...with a twist...

Sam Westphalen - Seasons In The Abyss -

Betcha didn't see that coming! How good is he?? Wow!

DJ KatesDad let me know that David Gilmour has just released a new album. You remember Dave from a little band called Pink Floyd right? It's called "Rattle That Lock" and I'll check it out during the week....see what you think...

David Gilmour - Rattle That Lock -

Oh, if you remember last week I said I'd review a guy called Romeo Crow. But his spamalot approach to email and social media has got right under my skin so his stuff is on the backburner. It's not bad, I just don't need to be told about it all the time.

Last week I was pretty upset about our gig having to be cancelled. I'd invested quite a large chunk of my week off in rehearsing loads of songs. Practice is always a good thing but there was other things I could've been doing. We were also disappointed as the money from ticket sales was going 100% to support our friends at Crossing the Divide. As I said, we'll continue to support CTD. Their work is too important for a cancelled gig to get me down for long.

Billy Bragg - Days Like These -

Good luck to DJ HB as she races the Canberra Cycling Tour this weekend. It's all part of her road to the Rio Olympics. If I cross any more fingers and toes I may end up with a strange medical condition!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Oh....mamak Zoë!!


"...we can't move ahead if we're looking behind...," Mississippi, It's Time", Steve Earle, 2015.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Song of the Week #365

Starting a new job isn't something you'd want to do all that often in my opinion. I started a new one on Tuesday this week. Whilst I am very, very happy with people, the location and the work it's come to Friday and my brain is spinning; probably in both ways at once. There is a lot to be getting on with. I had a good feeling about this organisation from the moment I applied for the job. This was confirmed in the two interviews I had and then this week. In short, I'm stoked but I'm stuffed!

King Cannons - Stand Right Up -

It was nothing short of amazing to see our Prime Minister bow to public and I assume party pressure with regards to Australia taking 12,000 Syrian refugees in on top of our normal yearly quota. I will admit that I am amazed that some these people as a threat. Assuming that the appropriate screening is in place then we are in the position to make a huge difference to 12,000 people who have, quite understandably, fled from terror. The battle against religious extremists in the Middle East is difficult and there are no easy solutions. I am glad that those strong enough to stand up against ISIS are making the attempt. Without wanting to appear cynical or ungrateful though, where DID our Government find $700 million to pay for all this?

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Taxman -

The new iPhone was announced this week. There are few, if any, surprises. I wouldn't waste your money unless you've got a ton to throw around for no good reason. My new work provides a Nokia Windows phone. It's a bit of a learning curve but the software is quick and easy to use. The sound quality is also much better than my iPhone when making calls. But then who uses a mobile phone for calls unless it's an emergency? What the Windows phone reminded me was that you don't need today's latest and most expensive handset...

Madonna - Material Girl -

Fans of the band I play in will no doubt be disappointed to have heard during the week that our gig this Saturday has been cancelled. We're quite gutted as it was a fundraiser to support our friends doing such good work with indigenous young men at the Crossing The Divide program. We'll continue to support CTD into the future. I guess it's a reality that no matter how hard you practice or how much energy you put into a live show that every gig isn't going to be sold out. When the gig is all about people who need our help though the cancellation hurts.

The Clash - Career Opportunities -

We're playing in Coonabarabran on September 26th. This will be our last show under the moniker "George Huitker & Junk Sculpture". The band has plans that include original songs and some recording. Playing covers is a lot of fun and I'm sure we'll still do it but the focus will be a little different. Watch this space after the Coona show for more information. As I said to George earlier in the week; we're a band that wants to make sure your half-empty glass gets filled up.

AC/DC - If You Want Blood (You've Got It) -

On Sunday we played a low key show at a local coffee shop. Other than the fact that the venue owner hadn't told his staff that we were coming it went pretty well. Many thanks to those who came along to listen and also to support our friends in Vanuatu. We raised enough money to allow us to send one community a video camera which is something they have been thinking about for a long time. Whilst the show was more about saying thank you to those that have helped us in the past than raising money I can assure you that it is very much appreciated. Every cent goes to Vanuatu.

And here's a song that I'm playing just because I think it's a really good version of a classic. T-Rex boogie is tops, this is pretty cool too.

The Power Station - Get It On (Bang A Gong) -

Due to the international date line I don't get to listen to the new Slayer album for a few hours yet. More about that as well as an internet guy called Romeo Crow next time on the Woozle Show. I might even get a look at the brand new live ELO DVD. Finally, the latest Vintage Trouble CD has arrived in the mail, I imagine I'll be on a rhythm and blues trip all weekend.


" don't have to live like a refugee...", Refugee, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, 1980.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Song of the Week #364

Having time on your hands is an interesting feeling. I've done pretty well filling my week off with cycling, guitar practice, music, study and reading. The other good thing was that I got out on my motorbike in the sunshine.

The new Iron Maiden album was released overnight and I'm listening to it now. Thanks to H for presenting me with a copy of Metal Hammer magazine dedicated to the LP. It's a long time since I read that publication and other than the fact that too many bands obviously spend more on their eyeliner than their production it's a good read. In my opinion, Iron Maiden haven't had a long player since 1988's "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" that stood up as a complete package. That isn't to say that the albums since then are bad, there just always seemed to be a few tracks that were, well, quite average. Even though I'm a huge Maiden fan I think that this is something that's been an issue for a lot of their releases. Their first two albums are brilliant but from then on they always manage to have a couple of songs that leave you wondering what were they thinking. Cough, cough, "Quest for Fire"! You may disagree...and that's fine.

So how does "The Book of Souls" stack up? Well it's their first studio double album and at just over 90 minutes long there's plenty to listen to. Three tracks exceed 10 minutes and there's an 18 minute epic. After the first three tracks I thought that they'd lost their muse completely. Not bad songs but nothing special and it sounded like they were trying too hard. Even the first single wasn't that memorable (the video clip is rather splendid though). Track 4, "The Red and The Black", however, is a return to classic and inspired Iron Maiden. The riffs, the time changes, the galloping bass and a band playing with heart; it's just great. From here on in the album just gets better and better. Maybe I need to go back to the first three tracks again, we'll see. Up the Irons! You can listen to the whole album free and legal on Spotify of course (I am). Here's the clip I mentioned earlier. If you grew up playing Donkey Kong you'll like it.

Iron Maiden - Speed of Light -

I spent a fair bit of time this week getting my guitar parts ready for the three shows we have coming up. It's fun to have the house to yourself, drag all the gear in and play at a decent volume. Electric guitars sound different when you turn them up and it's good to be able to do so to tweak the sound. I also had Rusty from Vance Guitars give my Stratocaster some loving. It's now in perfect condition and sounding even better. Come along on Sunday and you'll hear it. If you're going to sing along to this one (please do) you only really need to remember two words...."heeeeyyyyy baby"! See you at Two Before Ten in Aranda from about midday until about 2pm. It's free. We'll pass the hat around to support schools in Vanuatu and a dollar or two would be great but if you just come to listen and enjoy the tunes that's fine as well.

Tom Petty - I Won't Back Down -

A couple of weeks ago DJ SlimHenry organised a copy of "Bitter Dream", the new album from Brisbane's Thirteen Seventy. A while back I reviewed their previous album which I really liked. They are a hard band to pigeon hole and that isn't a bad thing. Atmospheric noisy rock? I dunno, that's too simplistic and not a wide enough description. "Bitter Dreams" is an album that I really liked for the first couple of listens, despaired at for the next few, and is now growing on me. If you want instant gratification then it's probably not your thing. But if you're prepared to spend some time then I think it's a good investment. I will do a track by track review, as I did for the last one, but first I really need the whole album to sink in properly. I think that if you like Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Pink Floyd, Radio Birdman or Jane's Addiction then there is a lot of mileage in this release for you. For guitar heads, you won't be disappointed - there are plenty of varied and tasty sounds here.

Thirteen Seventy - Hermits -

DJ Z-Boots is in Amsterdam now. Her brother keeps asking if she's "cooked" yet! From what we understand she's trying not to be a tourist by wearing clogs and riding a bicycle. Sounds like a good plan to me. She and her friend are lucky enough to have the loan of an apartment there from a family friend. What's not to like?

Custard - The Apartment Song -

If you're in a rock band then The Apartment Song is one for you to play. Tons of fun and the quirky timing in the middle will keep you on your toes. 

I didn't get to see Live Evil do their Dio tribute show last night. I like rock music but going along by myself isn't that much fun. These guys are great musicians and have a lot of fun! Anyway, here's the man himself in full flight. The best voice in metal...ever.

Dio - Heaven and Hell (live 2005) -

It hasn't been all heavy rock at HQ Woozle this week.This song popped up when I was shuffling on Spotify and it led me to more by the same artist. I'd forgotten how good he is.

Neil Diamond - Cracklin' Rosie -

I went to see The Man from U.N.C.L.E. at the movies this week. If you like cheesy and fun spy movies then you should go too. It's well made and worth the price of admission. I've never seen the original TV series so I can't comment on how faithful it is I'm afraid. If you liked Bond movies before they lost that quirky edge then you'll like this despite what some of the reviews say.

The Superjesus - Secret Agent Man -

That's it folks. I've got cycling to be getting on with and Angus' football final to get to later on. And I've still got three days of holidays to go!

Rock on and Happy Birthday to my (little) Brother!


"We stood outside, the World was laughing...", The Day The Earth Caught Fire, City Boy, 1979.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Song of the Week #363

A very warm welcome to a brief episode. Brief because I'm unemployed and I've been busy riding my bike, playing guitar, meeting friends for a catch-up and reading a book. Well I'm out of work for the next ten days at least! I finished up at my former job yesterday (Thursday) and I've got a few days off before starting something new.  I'm going to work for "Soldier On" which is an organisation dedicated to helping veterans and their families. I can't wait to start as it sounds like a great job. The only downer is that it is only 5km from our house and that's a very short ride...I'm sure I can find some "long way around" ways to get there!

I imagine next week will be a bumper issue. I'm still digesting the new album I wrote about last week. It needs to simmer a bit longer.

Here's a track for you to try. To me it sounds like Sting mashed up with a good dance beat and some guitars. Pretty cool indeed.

Hardcore Superstar - Touch The Sky -

I'm just home from rehearsing with the band for our show on September 6th. Loads of fun as usual and it's a good range of songs. Come along and support the primary schools at Atavtabanga and Level in Vanuatu. What's the best thing to do on a Friday night?...

Bob Marley - Jammin' -

That's all for this week folks. I need some sleep before another hard day of not working.

Deep Purple - Lazy -


"And it seems such a waste of time
If that's what it's all about
Mama, if that's movin' up then I'm movin' out.", Movin' Out, Billy Joel, 1977.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Song of the Week #362

How many cool tunes in a week is too many? My time at the keyboard is limited only by the fact that the dog is sitting next to me and he really needs a bath. I may pass out from the pong before I finish imparting the majority of the musical mayhem. It's a tough job.

Rock music and a wailing harmonica go hand in hand. Ask Huey Lewis or Peter Garrett. Or maybe ask this next band. I only heard them for the first time during the week and there is no doubt that I'll be back for more. Interestingly enough, another band I like who hail from Alabama...

Brother Cane - Got No Shame -

I've played Courtney Barnett before. Her music is very Melbourne in my opinion and not just lyrically. She's funny and she plays a mean Telecaster through a ton of pedals; what's not to like? Why don't I have a Telecaster any more?

Courtney Barnett - Elevator Operator -

If you've read this blog for a while you've heard Roky Erickson. He's a man with an interesting background so do some research. I'm amazed that he can make music at all. This is an older track and when I heard it I immediately thought that Angry Anderson from Rose Tattoo had another band. There's a great squally guitar sound at the start of this track.

Roky Erickson - Two Headed Dog -

Rose Tattoo who? Did I hear anyone say that? Hush your mouths and listen...Guns 'n' Roses listened and it seemed to work out OK for them (for a while). 

Rose Tattoo - Snow Queen -

I've just read that Regina Spektor's music is "anti-folk" whatever that means. Someone smart can explain it to me. Is Slayer's music "anti-pop"? Is Kylie Minogue the "anti-Megadeth"?  Regardless of all that pointless labelling I really liked this song when I heard it as the theme to a TV show. Great voice, wobbly guitar bits here and there and a driving beat. The TV show is OK too. Thank you Netflix.

Regina Spektor - You've Got Time -

OK, the new Ghost album is now available. It's been online free and legal for streaming via their website and I have to say I'm impressed. It's slightly heavier than Infestissumam but remains at the lighter edge of rock and metal. There is plenty of melody, crunching guitar riffs and the standard, and rather amusing, imagery. They'd like you to believe that there is a new singer and this may be true. I'm still not convinced that it isn't the Foo Fighters in masks.

In what turned out to be a great week for new releases Vintage Trouble gave us their second long player, "No.1 Hopeful Road". They're still on the AC/DC world tour as a support and if it turns out that they play here I will be more than excited! If you like good honest rock and roll played with sweat and passion then go no further.

Vintage Trouble - Strike Your Light -

More labels..."punk rock dance duo". Interesting enough to make me take a look at a Brisbane band called DZ Deathrays. Here's their track "Gina Works At Hearts" which is a lot more punk and indie rock than dance. I can hear a Spiderbait and Regurgitator influence in there in a good way.

DZ Deathrays - Gina Works At Hearts -

As you know we've got a small gig on September the 6th to raise some money and awareness about Vanuatu still needing help. At rehearsal the other night we went through a number of songs that we think we'll play. At the end, basking in the glow of the rock and roll lightbulb, we asked Hayden to choose something. Bless his heart, he chose this and I couldn't be happier. Great choice mate. And he's a drummer!

Wilco and Billy Bragg - California Stars -

Stay tuned next week for very exciting news from me as well as some early review comments new CDs from Brisbane rock noise band Thirteen Seventy and Slayer.

This isn't what I was going to finish with but Stagger Lee and Tom Waits can both wait for another day. Here's Taj Mahal with a song you all probably know as a result of the Blues Brothers!

Taj Mahal - She Caught The Katy -

Rock on Brothers and Sisters,

"...I'm willing to work but I need a job" - Three and a Half Letters - Chickenfoot