Friday, May 1, 2015

Song of the Week #347

Spotify playlist for most of this week's tunes (and a couple of extras) -

This week I listened to a rather eclectic range of music. Some of this will feature below. I really do encourage you to listen to all the tracks, they are chosen carefully and I put a lot of thought into which ones I think might interest listeners the most.

I have the new Steve Earle album, "Terraplane". There's almost a Chicago Blues feel to some songs and a folky, country tinge to others. It's bluesy too. But it's not rock and roll as some of his previous work has been, not that you'd expect it to be. If you want to see Steve at his most energetic then it's on stage where this happens and he could be playing almost anything. Steve has continued his work with "The Mastersons" on this long player and their guitar and violin work is tasteful and fits in really well. "Terraplane" is probably a bit more old fashioned sounding album than his last release, "The Low Highway" but it should appeal to established fans as well as those with a non-yeehaw country/blues/folk bent. I've had a soft spot for Steve's music since the mid-2000s (I was late to the party), here's an older track.

Steve Earle - Someday -

...and one from the new album...

Steve Earle & The Dukes - Go Go Boots Are Back -

Yesterday Zoë and I headed off to the music store to organise a replacement ukulele for her to take to Vanuatu (she leaves on Sunday). The one she took previously had to be left behind. We have it on good authority that her family are making very good use of it though. Whilst Zoë dealt with another 15 minutes of fame I tried out a few ukes myself. I also had a bit of a bash on a ukulele-banjo and it was a lot of fun. Imagine a ukulele but with the body being like a miniature banjo. I'm saving all my pennies to pay for my flights to Vanuatu otherwise I might have been tempted to make a purchase! I grew up listening to this next artist, probably the best known exponent of this instrument. 

George Formby - When I'm Cleaning Windows -

This morning DJ HamerTime and I were cycling along the lake after devouring a world record stack of pancakes and we heard the unmistakable sound of bagpipes. I do understand that they are a rather polarising instrument but I've always liked them when they are played well. This morning there was a band playing at some kind of ceremony. We stopped to hear the band for a few moments. When I was in the Army all of that marching up and down (aka drill) was quite hard work but I still enjoyed it. The one time I got to be on parade with a pipe band was a definite highlight; you could see everyone's performance step up a notch.

Edinburgh Tattoo 2013 - Massed Pipes & Drums -

Do you have songs, albums or even a particular artist that you listen to when you're in a particular mood? Sometimes there's nothing better than your favourite tunes turned up loud to improve your outlook. Today I've had some classic rock playing in the background but yesterday was more challenging. Challenging enough for 7 Slayer studio albums in a row (chronologically of course, from "Show No Mercy" through to "Divine Intervention". I think it helped my productivity and the progression of the band was interesting to listen to as well. I'm a fan but I hadn't really spent any time with their first release. I was surprised at how much I actually liked it. It's more punk influenced than some of their later stuff. Don't get me wrong, it's still loud, fast and heavy but "Show No Mercy" has a different edge to it than the rest of their releases. Yes, I know that there are 11 studio albums as well as some live stuff but there are only so many hours in a day. I think I'll stick with the early stuff for a while and I've just realised that I don't have "Show No Mercy" on CD or LP. It must be on a cassette somewhere. That can go on my list to look out for another day. This next track is from 1990.

Slayer - War Ensemble -

Yes, I mentioned classic rock. I understand that it's often cheesy and really not all challenging listening but there's a time and place for most musical styles in my listening habits. 

Foreigner - Jukebox Hero -

DJ DJ is either still in Washington DC or on a plane jetting his way home. As a result of listening to far too much Henry Rollins as well as reading his books I've been exposed to a fair amount of music that came out of DC. If you have time to explore and listen there's some excellent punk, hardcore, funk and go-go music to get into. The really interesting thing is reading about and listening to some of these bands and discovering the links between the genres. The fact that Bad Brains started out as a Mahavishnu Orchestra type group is entertaining!

Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers - If It Ain't Funky -

Bad Brains - Banned In DC -

Just a quick reminder that tickets for our May 30th gig at Vivaldi's at the ANU here in Canberra are selling like ice creams on a hot day. Get yours now and enjoy a good meal and some tunes by Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Neil Young & Jason Isbell all played with love, energy and enthusiasm. We've been rehearsing too so they should also sound good! You don't have to come for the meal, there is an option just to see the show - just talk to the friendly staff at Vivaldi's. Yep, this is a paying gig for us. Any money that I get will go towards helping in Vanuatu.

It makes me sad and angry to see rioting in Baltimore this week. I feel as though I have a bit of a personal connection as a longtime online friend of mine works in law enforcement there. He's been on the streets trying to keep people safe whilst angry mobs have looted and destroyed property. Looting, robbery and violence are crimes, it's not protesting. No-one is saying that the Police are perfect but this is hardly a constructive approach to take. I think it's time I played this song again...

Elvis Costello - What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love & Understanding? -

It's the 1st of May. That's "May Day" or "International Workers Day" depending on who you are. Most of us are workers of one form or another and lucky enough to live where we can work without oppression. You don't need to be a left wing unionist to support workers' rights. It wasn't hard to choose an artist to close the show on such a day as this...

Billy Bragg - The Internationale -

Have a great weekend everyone.


"I'll tell you once more before I get off the floor,
don't bring me down..." - Don't Bring Me Down, ELO, 1979

No comments:

Post a Comment