Sunday, February 28, 2016

Song of the Week #392

Yeah, yeah,'s very late. Sorry.

It's been a huge week at work and it took all of my mental energy. Now on Sunday evening I'm at the point where I think I'm ready to put coherent thoughts together for you all.

Last week I mentioned Lady Gaga and her tribute to David Bowie. Here's another one and it's better. I guess the fact that Lorde is backed by Bowie's band helps out a lot but in my opinion she puts in a great vocal performance. Perhaps a little nervous to begin with but that's hardly a shock given the gravity of the occasion.

Lorde - David Bowie live tribute -

Some metal bands in the 80s were apparently so over the top that parents, school officials and various organisations feared for our young minds. WASP were one of those bands. I remember picking up an ex-radio station copy of their album, "Inside The Electric Circus" in Wellington somewhere. The station must've loved WASP because the vinyl untouched. Personally I think that some of their lyrical content is questionable but as rock musicians they know their craft. Blackie Lawless has a murderous voice that never gives up and their sound is quite distinctive. Good fun heavy metal and I think that I'm still a reasonably balanced individual.

WASP - Inside The Electric Circus -

Staying with metal just for a minute, Ozzy Osbourne released a concert from 1982 a while ago. Filmed not long after the death of guitar legend, Randy Rhoads, this concert features Brad Gillis (Night Ranger) doing an excellent job especially when you know the small amount of time he had to get up to speed with a complex repertoire. It's no secret that Ozzy's vocals have been re-dubbed but it doesn't really detract from the show too much. The few tracks I have watched are energetic and the sound is pretty good considering when it was made. Video quality is average but far from dreadful.

Ozzy Osbourne - Steal Away (The Night) live 1982 -

When rap music was interesting...and that's a while ago now...I had an interest in bands and artists like Ice-T, NWA, Public Enemy and a few others. I almost met Public Enemy in Brisbane either at the end of 1989 or 1990. They were just out walking around in town and there was only a small group talking to them. I can't say they were difficult to recognise....Favor Flav was wearing the big clock and all! But when I got close some of that small crowd pushed me away remarking that "white boys" weren't welcome. It was the crowd, not the band saying that. Anyway, there's a bio-drama out about the history of NWA called, "Straight Outta Compton". I've picked up a copy and after I've had a chance to watch all 146 minutes of the feature I'll report back.

NWA - Express Yourself -

Bob Marley is great. I don't listen to him all that much I must admit but when the mood takes me, and it has lately, it's great music if you're in need of a boost.

Bob Marley - Stir It Up (live 1973) -

Preparations for the ride I'm going on later in March are well underway. It's a 170km epic with 2000m of climbing. That's not a cycle that you just head out and do on a whim and I've been working to a plan. Today was a long ride; 150km. Generally I was pretty happy with it having my hydration and nutrition sorted out. The aftermath of my 130km ride two weeks ago wasn't pretty! Most of my long rides are planned around not having to stop too often (for traffic lights etc.) as well as the fact that the route has to include places that I can get water resupplies! Next weekend I'll go further again I hope and then back off before the event itself. I'm glad I don't have a swim and a run to contend with as well!

Andy Prieboy - On The Road Again -

That'll do. Bedtime for me and my tired legs.


Trust me....come on...just one click for another song. One for all you xenophobes...and for the one or two students of my guitar tone!

Friday, February 19, 2016

World Wide Woozle #391

Metallica fans are either rejoicing and counting their pennies or still sitting in their parents' garages and basements whinging in online forums this week. I'm in the former category. The band are about to release remastered and expanded versions of their first two albums, "Kill 'Em All" and "Ride The Lightning". There are plenty of versions to choose from and a swag of stuff that is previously unreleased as well as the classic albums given a bit of a sonic tidy up. Much of the commentary seems to be along the lines that this is all well and good but what's going to happen with their classic album "And Justice For All" when it gets the treatment?? Whingers want to hear Jason's bass lines which are famously....well....not really there. It isn't that he didn't play on the album, more that the bass competes with the drums and guitar for frequency space on the album and it doesn't work. Here's the thing folks; unless the band either completely remix the album or re-record it then not much is going to change. It's still a classic. I'll be lining up for both of these releases after a concerted effort to save the spondoolies to afford them.

Metallica - The Four Horsemen -

I'm rarely interested at all in who wins music or film awards. The Grammys got my attention this time though when three, yep THREE, of my favourites won awards. Either I'm going far too much into the mainstream or people are actually listening to a wider range of good music. If there isn't something in this triumvirate of tunes for you then I think this blog really isn't for you.

Ghost - Cirice -

Taylor Swift - Bad Blood -

Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free -

Some people are born with a twinkle in their eye and a passion for mischief. A few of them even manage to use this for good rather than tormenting the rest of us. Tim Minchin is one of those guys. Hideously talented and with a razor sharp wit. This song is a very clear message to a member of the clergy who would seem to be doing everything he can to avoid participating in the investigation into child abuse allegedly perpetrated by members of the clergy.

Tim Minchin - Come Home (Cardinal Pell) -

I was prepared to intensely dislike Lady Gaga's tribute to David Bowie when I heard about it. Gritting my teeth and wincing I clicked the link. I can't say that I love it but it is so much better than I had imagined. I'm not sure anyone could've done much better and the requisite level of respect was definitely there.

Lady Gaga - David Bowie tribute -

How did Led Zeppelin come up with their sound and songs? By paying tribute almost non-stop to their influences. Who do you reckon influenced this band? Personally I thought that this was a great album even if it cut a little close to Led Zep!

Kingdom Come - Get It On -

I remember the first time I heard this tune and it wasn't the original either. This week someone at work mentioned that they'd been singing with a woman who had a voice like Janis Joplin. I'm hoping that she comes back sometime so that I can have a listen. Jenny Morris does a cracking version of this song but the original is much more gritty and funky all at once.

Janis Joplin - Piece Of My Heart (live) -

After Change are a rock/punk/indie band out of Adelaide. I found out about them when Jake from the group bought one of my guitars. We still yak about all things six-string quite a while later. The band recently got some air time on Triple J radio and they are releasing a music video in a couple of days. What I really like about the couple of tracks I've heard from them are that the recording is clear and crisp, the singer can sing and shows some real emotion and that all the instrumentation is first rate. I'm really looking forward to seeing the video, hearing new tracks and hopefully purchasing an album from them before too long. Angus is rocking one of their t-shirts as well!

After Change - All Or Nothing -

This week I went back and listened to Pearl Jam's 2013 album, Lightning Bolt. I'd enjoyed it when it was released but then it got forgotten about for a while. I struggle with the band at the best of times but I think this album holds together well as a complete unit. It just happens to be one that you've go to allow to slip under your skin. See what you think.

Pearl Jam - Sirens -

The last song this week is for my American friends DJ Ironside and DJ ToyBuzz....they'll know why and you just get the bonus of a couple of really, really good songs from one of New Zealand's best bands ever. The first clip is live at the Wellington Town Hall in 1979...I performed on the same stage in 1980 and/or 81!

Split Enz - Stuff And Nonsense -

Split Enz - Message To My Girl -

That's it folks...gotta get ready as Zoe's leaving home tomorrow.....

Jebediah - Leaving Home -

Later y'all.....


More? More I hear you call! Well OK then....try this.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

World Wide Woozle #390

This week I spent a lot of time listening to a great Australian band called "Skyhooks". Of course I knew who they were but I guess they were really popular before I lived here and as a result I didn't pay all that much attention. An online essay by one of their guitarists, and now Melbourne radio personality, Red Symons, piqued my interest. As a result of a very superficial amount of research I now know a lot more about quite a few Victorian groups of the 70s.

Skyhooks played a driving mix of glam and straight ahead rock with lyrics often concentrated on their local surrounds as well as things that young people were interested in. Quite a few of their songs were banned on radio and I'm sure that this just increased their popularity. Here's a couple of tracks to whet your whistle.

Skyhooks - Women In Uniform (live) -

Skyhooks - This Is My City -

If you liked those tracks then search out a compilation double album entitled "When The Sun Sets Over Carlton". It showcases a range of artists from Melbourne some of who you'll know like Joe Camilleri and Daddy Cool and a heap of others. It's a well curated collection with a lot of variety. It's also on Spotify and iTunes which is pretty cool really. See if you can pick this singer...

High Rise Bombers - Faster Than Light -

The bad thing about music is that there is so much really, really good stuff that you never get to hear. However, the internet is a great leveler for those on any kind of musical journey. No longer do radio DJs and record companies totally control what is published and listened to. It might make it significantly more difficult to make a living as a musician but for those passionate about writing, playing, recording and performing at almost any level the opportunity is there. I imagine that without the internet I would never have heard of this next singer songwriter and I'd be poorer as a result. John Moreland is from Tulsa and plays heartfelt folky country music that is so far from the contrived commercial stuff being pushed out mainstream that it isn't funny. Great songwriting and a voice to match coupled with acoustic strumming the way that nature intended. 

John Moreland - Blacklist -

If you can be bothered reading the news anymore you may have filtered through the diabolical mess that is the US Presidential pre-selection, the Australian Government slowly imploding, the Saudis getting a bit of a shock diplomatically and therefore wasted a millisecond of your time on Kanye West. His foul comments in his latest release about a female singer are worthy of nothing short of a complete boycott of his music. Misogyny sucks no matter how you try and justify it.

Taylor Swift - Shake It Off (live) -

Do you know who Chris Spedding is? I didn't until this week. He's an English guitarist who has played with McCartney, John Cale, Roxy Music, Roger Daltrey and The Wombles (seriously). Rumour has is that he also played all the guitar and bass lines for the Sex Pistols debut album. In 2015 he released and album called Joyland and I've been slowly getting into it over the last couple of weeks. It's a healthy mix of rock and twang guitar and if you like Roxy Music when they rock out or Mark Knopfler then it might just be for's quite varied in the best way.

Chris Spedding - Now You See It -

In very sad news from Vanuatu, one of Zoe's uncles, and my big brother has passed away. Paul was the Pastor at Anvenvene Church on Pentecost and if you've seen the photos of Zoe and I with little Gordy then that's his Dad. As you can imagine, our family are very sad at this time and our hearts go out to them. RIP Tua.

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

That's it for this week. Carry on.....


More? Not my hometown but the next one over....

Friday, February 5, 2016

World Wide Woozle #389

Thank you to the one listener who pointed out that one of my links last week was incorrect. I assume either the rest of you didn't listen, didn't care or assumed that it was some kind of trick on my behalf to make you search for tunes yourselves. Or maybe you just liked the double dose of Kraftwerk.

Sonny Boy Williamson - Keep It To Yourself -

Wishbone Ash have been playing music since before I was born. Here's a rather fantastic track from their most recent outing in 2014. Why this track? I just like the guitars and the double tracked vocals. It sort of reminds me of a prog version of Steeleye Span.

Wishbone Ash - Take It Back -

Steeleye Span are good fun...I always like the folk music with rock guitar thing that they do. Nice Telecaster....

Steeleye Span - All Around My Hat -

Years ago DJ SAB introduced me to a band called KMFDM. They've been around since 1984 playing their brand of industrial electro rock. I imagine Trent Reznor would've been influenced by this kind of stuff when he came up with Nine Inch Nails. Little did I know that KMFDM are still kicking around. Here's a fairly recent live track showcasing an energetic and very tight live show.

I'm flabbergasted that the Australian Government thinks it's OK to send small children and babies back into detention in Nauru. That's not to mention the 5 year old alleged rape victim who is also to be returned...and his attacker is still there. How can this be right? And why is it that both of our major political parties are sanctioning it either by their actions or their silence. Music can't change the World but it can inspire people who can protest, write letters, engage with politicians and of course vote. "Wearing badges is not enough on days like these..."

Billy Bragg - Distant Shore -

Some bands and songs are like a guilty secret. Their credibility is questionable and the cheesy lyrics sometimes make you wince. However, there's something about a feelgood tune that seems totally designed for playing in the car. Road songs. They're the ones you sing along with and imagine you're the star of the show. Until you're caught at the traffic lights with your window down! Bryan Adams released an album in 1991 called "Waking Up The Neighbours". It sold 16 million copies and I had one on tape. It's very definitely a party album. Rock on.

Bryan Adams - There Will Never Be Another Tonight -

Bryan Adams - House Arrest -

Lately I've had a little bit of time to myself in front of the TV and I've been on a bit of a kick watching some westerns. I don't like horses or dust much in real life but there's nothing like a stagecoach, ten gallon hat and a drawl! "3:10 to Yuma" (the remake) was pretty good. I'm reminded though that I need to seek out some older stuff.

Thin Lizzy - Cowboy Song -

Two weeks now until Zoƫ heads off to university. The house will surely be quieter....and tidier ha ha!

Have a great weekend. I've got an epic cycle to be getting on with as well as some quality time napping and reading. It's a good life for now.