Friday, March 25, 2016

World Wide Woozle #395

The fact that I'm typing this blog entry should be proof enough that I survived last Sunday's hell-ride. DJ Hamertime did as well. It was the hardest ride I think I've ever done. 70km downhill and then 100km up and into the wind. There were a couple of moments around the 130km mark where I thought my body was going to give up but I managed to push through.

DJ Al-ee-sunshine-of-my-life is still hanging out in the hospital after getting a new hip to match her titanium knee. Thankfully the drug induced haze of the last few days seems to have passed and she's up to things like constructing full sentences. We're hoping that she'll be home early next week and that the mobility continues to improve.

Johnny Diesel & The Injectors - Comin' Home -

I ended up not staying up all night to order some vinyl from American stoner band Ancient Warlocks. The pricing was OK but the ripoff that is international postage was just too much to stomach. Thankfully the band has the LP hosted on and I can purchase a digital version. I know it's not the same as having the record but it's good enough for now. Have a listen to the whole thing if you like here - very cool indeed.

Here's a song from Savatage. They've been around since the late 70s but their most successful period was about 87-93. There's the precursor of symphonic metal in their sound as well as a heavy bottom end in the recordings that would suggest that they were ahead of their time in that respect. For fans of Queensryche, Dream Theater and Dio I think. 

Savatage - Edge of Thorns -

I mentioned Iggy Pop's new album "Post Pop Depression" recently. I've now listened to the whole thing through a few times and I'm hooked. It's Iggy at his best doing almost Leonard Cohen-esque delivery in places with a great backing band courtesy of Josh Homme and friends. If you wanted another "Raw Power" or even an obvious follow up to his last album then you'll be disappointed. If you're prepared to open your ears and actually listen then you're in for a real treat. 

Rumours abound that Axl Rose from Guns n' Roses will sing live for AC/DC. Please.....NO! Watch some live footage of Axl singing any time in the last few years and you'll understand why. Here's an alternative pick for a singer to finish the tour....

Airbourne - Back In The Game -

This week the long awaited live CD/DVD from US pop-punksters The Dollyrots arrived. This was a release that was crowdfunded and I paid my money up front to help them along. The DVD is tons of fun and it looks like a great night was had by all at the show. Three people make a helluva racket! Check out Luis on the Joan Jett guitar...just like the one I used to have!

The Dollyrots - Come And Get It (live) -

Jason Isbell is about to be in the country and sadly I won't get to see him play. No matter as I'm sure he'll be back. If you are in a position to get to one of his shows then do everything you can to get there. I really hope that there's a live album coming before too long. It's great to watch all the footage of him playing to be reminded that he and his band put on great shows.

Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free (live) -

That'll do....I've got to get back to the rehab ward. Thanks to DJ DJ for providing me with some challenging listening. I'll report back from the wastelands of experimental rock!


Here's one that GnR stole from the Tatts...we're stealing it here

Saturday, March 19, 2016

World Wide Woozle #394

This episode is coming to you from Orange in country NSW. DJ HamerTime and I are here to in a rather long bike ride tomorrow. 170km with 2200m of climbing should keep us both fairly well occupied for most of the morning. I don't remember ever having been to Orange before but it's pretty friendly, has a great park in the middle and also sports a fab Japanese restaurant.

Bon Jovi - Tokyo Road -

That's not the best quality clip but it shows Bon Jovi for what they once were - a great rock band. Somewhere along the road they went all country and, well, kind of lame in my opinion.

I was fortunate enough this week to finally make contact with an organisation willing to help us out with aid to Level School in Vanuatu. The fact that Level is so remote makes getting anything there quite a challenge. The Anglican Church of Melanesia responded to my emails though and the man who is helping me out was actually at Level two weeks ago! What we'll probably do is get ACOM's education office to purchase what we want to send in country and then they will also organise the shipping. It will mean that our money goes further. If you want to help out with funds to go towards school buildings or school fees (education is not free in Vanuatu for anyone) then please let me know. 

Billy Swan - I Can Help -

AC/DC fans are sad that singer Brian Johnson will no longer perform live. He did some very bad damage to his hearing by forgetting his earplugs when motor-racing. As a result he's been told he'll go deaf if he continues to sing live with the band. Where AC/DC goes from here is anyone's guess. Their website says that they will complete the current world tour with some guest singers. Who that will be remains a mystery but all those people suggesting Oz rock legend Jimmy Barnes should listen to some recent live recordings - sadly his voice isn't up to it. Although Bon Scott and Brian Johnson are two very different vocalists I think that they were both great with AC/DC.

As many of you know, DJ Al-ee-sunshineofmylife had a knee replacement this time last year. To say it hasn't turned out well is the understatement of the century. She's back in hospital this coming week to get a new hip. The hip problem caused the knee one but the knee had to be replaced first. I've got no idea how she's kept on keeping on for the last 12 months but I'm glad she has. Whatever you do to channel positive vibes to others...any directed at Alison would be very much appreciated.

The Party Boys - Hold Your Head Up -

One of the only prizes I've ever won in a mail away was a copy of Hot Chocolate's greatest hits (vinyl too folks, it was the early 80s)! This next song, a cover of one of their classics, popped up in my Spotify Discovery feed during the week and I thought it was pretty good. It'd definitely be a fun song in a live setting. I'm now checking out more of this band's work as a result.

Gun - Every 1's A Winner -

One of my favourite movies is "Eddie & The Cruisers". The music in that movie was sung by John Cafferty who plays the next track. He has quite a distinctive voice and the music is pure muscle car American rock and roll. If anyone ever needed to stand in for Springsteen then John would be my choice.

John Cafferty - Voice of America's Sons -

I'm proud to say that my Dad is the Chieftan at the Geelong Highland Gathering tomorrow. As well as his official duties he's hitting the stage for a few songs with his guitar. When I spoke to him this evening he was just running through this one. It's as important lyrically here in Australia as it is in Scotland.

The Proclaimers - Scotland's Story -

I can't top that song. It always sends shivers down my spine. 

See you all next week,that's assuming I survive tomorrow!


Friday, March 11, 2016

World Wide Woozle #393

Sunday is the 13th of March. On the 13th of March last year Tropical Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu and changed my life forever. I get the feeling that Zoë had already had her heart stolen by the Ni-Van people but her experience in that natural disaster and what followed made me an immeasurably better person. I'll admit that I am often tortured that there is only so much I can do to support my adopted families there. It's no secret that before the cyclone I wasn't keen at all to visit. I don't like camping and I knew that life there was fairly basic. But after Pam had wreaked havoc I felt that I had no choice but to go to Pentecost to thank the people that had, in my view, saved Zoë's life. Everyone reading this knows what happened to me on Pentecost in that I was welcomed with open arms into some local families and they became intertwined in my life. Zoë and I are heading back for a few weeks in July to visit, help in schools where we can and just be with our families. I guess with Zoë surviving the Cyclone and then finally being able to return in a helicopter to deliver aid to her village that I might have had my share of miracles and good fortune but if I could have one more it would be that Alison will eventually be physically able to come one day. There are people there desperate to meet her. I've said enough about Vanuatu for this week; I hope you all understand what I'm, rather clumsily, trying to say.

Iggy Pop has a new album to be release on the 18th of this month. "Post Pop Depression" sees the 68 year old punk and rock legend teaming up with most of Queens of the Stone Age. There are a couple of tracks now available for a listen and I think that if you like Iggy that you're unlikely to be disappointed.

Iggy Pop - Sunday -

Ted Nugent has a big mouth. He does, however, play a mean guitar and has written some rather good songs. Let's leave his politics at the door and listen to him's worth it!

Ted Nugent - Stranglehold (live) -

George Martin died this week. There isn't much I can write that someone else hasn't already said about George. He predicted the first tune that the Beatles recorded with him would be a hit and it was...just for someone else! This one came next and did rather well I'm told. You may know it!

The Beatles - Please Please Me -

Also passing away this week was Australian music legend John English. I think the last time I saw him was doing Pirates of Penzance. If I'd seen him doing that when I was a kid then I may not have dropped out of that particular production at school!

Jon English - Some People Have All The Fun -

I'm torn. I've just got into this band called Ancient Warlocks who are out of Seattle in the USA. They have a new album coming out on vinyl but the pressing is quite limited and to secure a pre-order copy I'll need to get out of bed at 4am on Sunday morning because of the time difference. 4am is very early for rock and roll. I'll think about it. Oh....the band name....I know nothing but I assume sometime they must've been Dungeons and Dragons players! For fans of Kyuss, Monster Magnet and Witchskull.

Ancient Warlocks - Lion Storm -

Hinds are an indie-rock band from Spain. I know nothing else about them other than I've been listening to their latest release, "Leave Me Alone", and it's quite good. Lo-fi almost garage rock might be a fair description. If you like Weezer or Pavement this might appeal to you.

Why not have another band that I've only just come across? It's a great song with tasty, twangy guitars, a good melody and lyrics you can understand. Three ticks.

Imperial State Electric - All Over My Head -

That's it for this week. Plenty of music there to keep you occupied. Drop me an email sometime with a suggestion for the next few weeks. 


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Song of the Week #392

Never let it be said that working for a non-profit is boring. On Friday my day included a national senior managers teleconference, work on budgeting (you want to work with a tight budget? - work for a charity), conversations about our social media and then a few hours of moving office furniture that was donated to us. At some stage I'll need to find time to do some more of my other work too! I'm certainly not complaining mind you. It took me a long time in life to work out the kind of work that I wanted to do and even though I wouldn't mind a few of the trappings of my former working life such as nice hotels, the QANTAS lounge and an expense account, I must admit that I'm happy. Life is too short to work in a job you can't stand. If I don't have to move any more furniture that'll be just fine.

Billy Joel - Movin' Out (Anthony's Song) -

I've got a cassette copy of a Billy Bragg gig from 1987. At the end he plays a sort of reggae based song that's quite obviously anti-Thatcher. Billy also interspersed that version with lyrics about various Aussie politicians. Until a week ago I thought it was just a tune he's come up and was jamming on. Surprise! It's this next one and given Billy's influences I shouldn't be surprised. Get ready to skank brothers and sisters!

The Beat - Stand Down Margaret -

As you all know, Jason Isbell won a couple of Grammy Awards recently. Well deserved. The amount of quality live footage of him and his band just continues to grow as a consequence and for fans like me that's just fine. This one is the first track from his current album and it showcases how well he and the band are in a live setting. No auto tune, no tricks, just musicians ripping it up. Check out the drummer's shoulders as he feels the groove. And try not to live inside your telephones OK?

Jason Isbell - If It Takes A Lifetime (live) -

If you saw us play in the church at Reisdale you might like the lighting effects in that song.

I really have been biting my tongue when it comes to politics lately. Ours aren't covering themselves in glory at the moment. I really, really wanted to appeal to American voters to have a long hard look at what might be about to happen in their country. Why? Well because it has a huge impact on the rest of the world. I think they're stuck between a rock and a hard place now. It seems that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys and if you pay far too much then you get clowns. This video might be about America but it could as easily be many other countries as well...

Catman Cohen - Prayer For America -

Just in case you missed good friend Beck defended her World Cycling Championship this week on the track in London. She now gets to wear those rainbow bands for another year. That's an awesome effort!! Rainbows are kinda cool...

Let's close this week with one of my "go to" songs. Some people use a variety of things to help them with their mental state. I use music and this blog is me dealing it to you. Rock on.

Rollins Band - Shine (live) -


...and for those that can't's another sneaky tune for you...and another!