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.