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 - https://youtu.be/YmNP0W9qzBQ

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' - https://youtu.be/oFRbZJXjWIA

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

Deep Purple - Lazy - https://youtu.be/dqM5L5JQseI

Yawn,
Rob

"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 - https://youtu.be/VY3TWbHe6oc

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 - https://youtu.be/pa1uup8n0OQ

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 - https://youtu.be/F7aLXehSXAo

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 - https://youtu.be/6a1tmW2QLxI

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 - https://youtu.be/w9_isl1jjHc

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 - https://youtu.be/74uQpKV-efE

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 - https://youtu.be/BFFbgOA6QfA

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 - https://youtu.be/1Lnf0hmj6l0

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 - https://youtu.be/8_mcvifJ5N0

Rock on Brothers and Sisters,
Rob

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

Friday, August 14, 2015

Song of the Week #361

I really enjoyed the rugby last week. It was the first time that I'd seen New Zealand play live in the flesh and it was fantastic to finally chalk up a win against them. The woman sitting in front of us was crying and almost inconsolable. It was hard to feel any kind of sympathy though as it's almost always us getting a walloping. She did get a shock at the start when we sang both national anthems! Tomorrow night's return match in Auckland should be very interesting.

One thing I try to do is remember new bands and songs that I hear so that I can share them with you. I've tried using a range of electronic note taking systems and they just don't work for me. So I've returned to pen and paper in an effort to get it right. I shall now consult those pages...I hope there's a good track or two for me to suggest or you might get AC/DC's greatest hits again...

Echo and The Bunnymen - Read It In Books - https://youtu.be/65pl_MCO5Ts

The next track popped up during the week and I thought it was someone else. I hit the replay button a couple of times and really started to enjoy it. A while ago I had trialed the album and wasn't able to connect with it at all which surprised me. I'll now go back and try again. Dreamy, folky, quirky, with a tantalising melody and a delicate touch on the guitar...

Sufjan Stevens - Should've Known Better - https://youtu.be/lJJT00wqlOo

Do you watch much TV? I used to but then the programming got worse and worse as well as becoming maddeningly irregular. Pay TV did't really help; great for sport, rubbish for anything other than endless re-runs of CSI. In a fit of madness we signed up for a free month long trial of Netflix. So far I'm impressed. There is a huge variety, $4 a week is good value and the quality and access is good. DJ Bogus even managed to use one of the documentaries for his homework. On demand TV is definitely where it's at. No advertising, no late starts because of M*sterCh*f nonsense and no surprise scheduling changes.

Presidents of The USA - Video Killed The Radio Star - https://youtu.be/EeB_tmdFAdc

Some bands have the coolest names. I think that when I wanted to call our band "Mick Jagger's Bastard Sons" it was pure genius. No-one else agreed. One that I heard a while ago but only recently remembered is this one...a Swedish, all girl, garage rock band named after an Australian racehorse. They actually remind me of a more rock version of The Pretenders.

Sahara Hotnights - Visit To Vienna - https://youtu.be/loPqT7EFxCs

The rather cool website "This Is My Jam" is sadly closing down. It was great in that you chose a song every couple of days and could then follow other people with similar or complementary tastes. I heard a lot of new music by using that free service. RIP. Here's one band that another person's "Jam" turned me on to. Now I need to track down the LP that this is from. If you're interested, this recommendation came as a result of me choosing a track by Canberra's own Witchskull.

The Obsessed - Forever Midnight - https://youtu.be/f2zC_bFEyrU

If you're looking for another way to listen to the radio can I suggest (again) Little Steven's Underground Garage? There are hundreds of episodes to keep you busy and he plays a fantastic range of music. If rock 'n' roll is your thing then you'll be well pleased. It's Steven Van Zandt from Springsteen's band playing the tunes.

Frank Tagliano - My Kind Of Town - https://youtu.be/NNHjNvlwgi8

I don't know much about Kurt Vile. What I do know is that this is a very cool song. There's elements of Tom Petty, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bob Dylan in there. Do try it!

Kurt Vile - Pretty Pimpin' - https://youtu.be/659pppwniXA

What kind of spell checker doesn't know Lynyrd Skynyrd? 

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Gimme Three Steps - https://youtu.be/Ep7dp1HgZnw

Years ago I really liked a band called The Georgia Satellites. You may remember them for their mega-hit, "Keep Your Hands To Yourself". Anyway, one of the members of that band released a great country, bluey rock album in 1992. He sings about Lynyrd's "Gimme Three Steps" in this next song. It's a hoot.

Dan Baird - Dixie Beauderaunt  - https://youtu.be/L1LzZ6M4BV4

I'm not sure how to describe the next track. Lo-fi, dreamy rock? Whatever box you might try to fit the band into it doesn't really matter. It's a good listen. The background  guitars remind me of The Smiths.

Best Coast - California Nights - https://youtu.be/7U5LWokfRHY

That's all folks...have a great weekend and rock on!

Rob

"...it's the women I love and the law that I hate...", Palmetto Rose, Jason Isbell, 2015.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Song of the Week #360

This week's very brief episode of the World Wide Woozle is coming to you from Balmain in deepest, and currently darkest, Sydney. I'm here for the weekend to check out a few things and also to hopefully see Australia beat New Zealand in the rugby test match; it never hurts to be positive!

The Hold Steady - Stay Positive - https://youtu.be/FY3V4ObYRsA

DJ AB and I are now confirmed to make an appearance at the Scott 24hr mountain bike race again this year in October. In 2014 we did commentary and played music through the night and it nearly killed us. This year we'll be doing the same but for the whole race...yep, all 24 hours plus the lead up and the post race stuff. Ouch. If you feel you might like to come along to lend us some moral support then put the weekend of 10/11 October in your diaries.

Sports - Who Listens To The Radio - https://youtu.be/BrCAPwQQGHM

I'm here in Sydney with DJ Macca. He tells me that one of the boys from AC/DC lives close by. I really don't need an excuse to play a tune by my favourite band. This one has swagger, boogie and it doesn't need much else. A great track from 1979.

AC/DC - Get It Hot - https://youtu.be/SyKsBm5tdX4

Fans of reggae, might like this next tune. A band straight out of Vanuatu. I've only heard a couple of songs from them but I'm rather impressed. A CD is currently winging its way from them to me but if the postal service to Australia is anything like that to Vanuatu it could be here tomorrow or by Christmas. Listen in...you be jamming in no time...

Stan & The Earth Force - Equal Opportunity - https://youtu.be/V_jr-vZugYc

I had a lovely day today with a visit to the Osteo followed by an x-ray. The ring finger on my right hand has pretty much stopped working. It's annoyingly painful and wakes me up at night. The Osteo is a bit baffled. I've had a look at the x-ray myself and I think it looks just like a finger. We'll see what happens. I won't cross that finger for good luck because I can't. I'd really like it to stop hurting and also to be able to wear my 20th wedding anniversary ring! This is such an obvious song choice...

BeyoncĂ© - Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) - https://youtu.be/4m1EFMoRFvY

Stone Sour's House of Gold and Bones albums have been on my extended playlist for quite a while now. Their brand of hard rock and metal sits well with me. They don't growl too much, the guitars aren't so de-tuned that they turn to mush and some of the lyrics are pretty cool. This is a cover they've released recently of a great KISS song. KISS should never be taken too seriously. Just raise your fist and sing along with a dumb grin on your face...

Stone Sour - Love Gun - https://youtu.be/ZK7mFIr_zlQ

I've been using Spotify now and it's starting to pay off. The tracks it suggests are now regularly ones that I want to listen to. I reckon it's worth persevering with (especially given it's free) if you're looking for something new. Here's a couple of tracks from the recommendations...

Stray Cats - Rock This Town - https://youtu.be/9a8Pkw9VBR8

The Kills - DNA - https://youtu.be/V990rrHcHuE

If you haven't tried the new Jason Isbell album you're really missing out. He played a set at the Newport Folk Festival recently and you can stream the whole thing from the NPR website. The new CD took me about three spins to really hook me in but the live stuff I took an instant liking to. It's here: http://www.npr.org/event/music/426505568/jason-isbell-live-in-concert-newport-folk-2015

That's enough as it's past your DJ's bedtime. Yes, I'm old. For anyone still trying to guess the theme from a couple of weeks ago, the answer is "glasses". I had to get some.

Elvis Costello - Radio Radio - https://youtu.be/_h2YLWNzJ6U

Mamak everyone!

Rob

"I started surfing the madhouse, and I decided to stay" - Crop Circle, Monster Magnet, 1998

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Song of the Week #359

Hi everyone, welcome into the inner sanctum of HQ Woozle. We'll spin some virtual vinyl for you and with any luck your toes will tap, heads will nod and you'll smile even if it's just a little.


A quick gig report from Friday night though. We played, it was loud, the audience jumped around a lot, H was a sweaty mess and it was a lot of fun. Thanks to DJ RichRev and the Dirrum crew for inviting us back this year. Hats off to DJ Four-n-20 who made the trip all the way from Bundarra; he's an inspiration and one day we'll get him on stage to sing along. Here's a track we had a go at...it certainly got a good crowd reaction!

Rage Against The Machine - Killing In The Name Of - https://youtu.be/bWXazVhlyxQ

In other rather cool band news, the Vanuatu Benefit Show we've been planning now has a date and a venue. Special thanks to DJ Al-ee-Sunshine for spotting a great place to play and for hanging out with me whilst we tried to get a meeting with the owner. On Sunday September 6th we're on at Two Before Ten Coffee Shop and Cafe in Aranda here in Canberra. It will be a laid back Sunday session probably from about 11:30am until 2pm. Put the date in your diary and come along for some tasty tunes and drink. Can I point out that we're not trying to raise tons of money for schools in Vanuatu; so many listeners have already been more than generous. But a gold coin donation and a chance for us to support my families at Atavtabanga and Level is something very important. On a side note....who'd want to manage a band? So many venue owners have a complete inability to answer email or return phone calls.

Mia Dyson - When The Moment Comes - https://youtu.be/PKFNx6go0SE

Fans of Ronnie James Dio should know that Live Evil are playing a tribute show on September 4th at the ANU. These guys always impress and this is sure to be a real treat for fans of classic metal.

Dio - Stand Up And Shout (live 1984) - https://youtu.be/GO53tkuvtpg

After a few listens to the new, free and fabulous Wilco album I found myself back with one of my favourite tunes of theirs. It's a track that always has me singing along and a definite future track for the band I hope! Wilco do quiet and moody really well so it's fun to hear them rocking out.

Wilco - Monday - https://youtu.be/B24la7sQsCw

Slowly but surely the music of Warren Zevon is getting under my skin. His voice was distinctive, his lyrics just the right kind of quirky and he also did a rather good cover version on occasion. This is an Allen Touisaant song but Warren does a great job....great beat and a rather distinctive Fender guitar sound.

Warren Zevon - A Certain Girl - https://youtu.be/aRk8znla4H0

British Gloom-Pop outfit, She Makes War have a new album in the can and it should be available before too long. Having bought some of her CDs previously I got a link to a preview listen this week and what I've heard is absolutely great! If you go here: https://shemakeswar.bandcamp.com/ then you can have a listen and purchase some music. Here's something a bit older...

She Makes War - In This Boat - https://youtu.be/p1gfG_eDjEA

DJ HealthyNotFatRollins suggested a jazzy track this week. It wasn't really my bag but it got me thinking about a few other artists that I do like to listen to from time to time. If I'm in the mood then Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain is a firm favourite. I only discovered that album when I saw an old vinyl copy in my Brother's holiday house. Modern free form jazz, even when played by Spinal Tap, makes no sense to me I'm afraid. I need a more solid rhythm and less mucking around aimlessly! Try these next couple of tracks and tell me what you think...

Grover Washington Jr. - Knucklehead - https://youtu.be/NaeEEqA3pPs

Wynton Marsalis - The Very Thought Of You - https://youtu.be/qXo6bs-LWK8

To finish off this week let's talk about audio quality and if it matters so much. In the last week Neil Young has removed all of his work from online streaming services. This is because he doesn't want you to hear his music at low bit rates or without the full range of sound. Fair enough I guess. No-one needs Welfare Mothers blasting out and sounding like it was recorded in a tin can full of flies. But let's back up a moment...you can still listen on your old cassettes, an 8-track if your lucky enough to have one, scratched up LPs and of course on AM radio. None of those are high quality! And then there's the fact that one of Neil's most recent albums was recorded in an old record making booth...scratchy as hell - very cool, but again not high quality. It's his choice, but given that young people listen online via services like Spotify he's cutting out new listeners and depriving himself of income (even the small amount that streaming services pay). Come on Neil, have a Heart of Gold and put your music back online for us to rock to!

Neil Young - Old Man - https://youtu.be/An2a1_Do_fc

A rather amusing side note, well I thought it was funny, is that Slayer are releasing 500 copies of their new album, "Repentless", on cassette!

Have a great weekend,

Rob

"I just wanna know, which way do I go, to get to your America?", Which Way To America, Living Colour, 1988

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Song of the Week #358

There's a theme running through all of the tracks in this week's episode. See if you can pick it. Other than that who knows what might happen? Check your health insurance before you read on...

Let's begin with one of my favourite performers. Tons of energy and a great guitar sound.

Elvis Costello - Pump It Up (live 1978) - https://youtu.be/3oi1-S6UPNc

Every now and then I hit you with a John Denver song. Maybe it's a bit mainstream but I really like his voice, attitude and songwriting. This is a cool story about an instrument handed down through his family.

John Denver - This Old Guitar (live) - https://youtu.be/zlKLtnbU0xE

Roy Orbison had one of the best voices ever in popular music. His songs have an almost uplifting sound to them that is instantly recognisable. Roy also plays absolutely stunning instruments. I think I was initially attracted by the mystery that the shades create as well as the big beautiful guitars.

Roy Orbison - You've Got It - https://youtu.be/QNAVrQ96mpA

Elton John writes a really good rock and roll tune. Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting is one of my absolute favourites. But this week I've chosen a rather lively version of a classic...

Elton John - The Bitch Is Back (live) - https://youtu.be/Rig3tgyYiAM

In my opinion, Weezer as a band is almost the definition of alternative music. They might be a little too popular for that these days but the sound is still there. They have a talent for switching tastefully between jangly pop and all out fuzz which is something I really like. Nirvana were pretty good at that too but they don't fit this week's theme.

Weezer - Island In The Sun - https://youtu.be/erG5rgNYSdk

Here's a guitarist who has to be one of the most influential ever. Millions of guitarists play the guitar he came up with and that is named after him. Amazing footage of him playing on his 90th birthday.

Les Paul - Sleepwalk (live) - https://youtu.be/HH8vjxFIUC4

DJ Z-boots is in Scotland now whilst Vanuatu recovers from her visit! Whilst waiting in Abu Dhabi to fly to Edinburgh she sent us a message saying that the place was full of Scots. A little girl had opened her mouth an "out popped the Proclaimers"! Pretty funny. I'm sure she's got her ear in tune by now. I'm pretty excited as today she's off to visit my Granny!

The Proclaimers - Throw The R Away - https://youtu.be/VUE2jeSaHeM

Just before I finish; one short political statement. It seems as if the Australian Government and the opposition are going to agree on a policy to turn back refugee boats. This isn't a solution, all it does is move the problem elsewhere. It's illegal and immoral. We're a better country than that even if our politicians seem to have forgotten.

Don't forget to come and see the band on Friday evening at Radford College. I guarantee that we'll be rocking as hard as we can; no slow songs in this show. This next track isn't within the theme of this week's episode but it sums up our attitude towards the upcoming gig..."this computerised crap ain't getting me off, everywhere I go, the kids wanna rock..."

Bryan Adams - Kids Wanna Rock - https://youtu.be/oYi2lqG2u9I

DJ Rob

"...mama said the pistol is the Devil's right hand...", The Devil's Right Hand, Steve Earle.




Saturday, July 18, 2015

Song of the Week #357

Spotify playlist this week: https://play.spotify.com/user/1233409237/playlist/7fLdPvy8N4NSgwjgcp4eZk

This week; more music and less blethering.

Here's a stoner rock band from Melbourne. This track is from their first album. Definitely one to add to the collection for fans of fuzzy riffs. The album is available from their webpage and all major online purveyors of sonic mayhem. Oldies like me can order physical copies too on CD or vinyl.

Don Fernando - Haunted by Humans - https://youtu.be/tHsIAE7AybM

If you like your punk rock with a healthy dose of keyboard madness, boundless energy and a rhythmic approach seemingly fuelled by too much black coffee then the next band might be your thing. Ramones meets Talking Heads with the B-52s and Blur thrown in too. The album was released last week.

White Reaper - Make Me Wanna Die - https://youtu.be/jccJA4qT9pM

Bluestone 42 is a BBC TV show. It's a bit of a black comedy and worth a look. The show centres around a British Army bomb disposal unit in Afghanistan. The first episode is a little slow to get going but persevere. Plenty of laughs. If you like Red Dwarf or Dad's Army then you'll like this. Available on iView for Australian viewers and perhaps on YouTube for the rest of you but you didn't hear that from me.

Bluestone 42 trailer - https://youtu.be/fQZTIDOOz48

Remember this next song? I can't get it out of my head this week and it's driving me mad. Everywhere I look I see London, New York, Paris, Munich....everybody talk about...


Black Label Society, and former Ozzy Osbourne,  guitar hero Zakk Wylde is releasing his own brand of guitars, pedals and amps. They look pretty cool but are very, very close to the Gibson, MXR and Marshall gear he already uses. Hopefully the price point will mean that quality gear is more affordable for mere mortals. Have a look at the price of a good Marshall amplifier sometime. Zakk is a really good guitarist and plays with passion...

Black Label Society - Fire It Up - https://youtu.be/O3-Wjmb9PBA

When this next track rolled around on the shuffling playlist of 20,000 songs I wasn't sure if this next song was the Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones or the Black Crowes...it's none of them. It's better. This was their first album to feature Jason Isbell on guitar. 

Drive By Truckers -  Marry Me - https://youtu.be/VlcOs3fCN3M

Cover version time...Swedish indie folk sisters doing a predictable but fabulous version of an ABBA classic. If you like this then search out their live attempt at Paul Simon's " America". 

First Aid Kit - Chiquitita (live ABBA cover) - https://youtu.be/IuuR0-_xZKw

In the mid 80s I purchased a WASP album on the strength that I liked the title and that it was cheap. It was a radio station promo LP that had made its way into a second hand record shop in Wellington, NZ. I'm not always enthused with WASP's lyrical content but Blackie Lawless sings in tune with a voice that makes AC/DC's Brian Johnson sound like a choirboy. The guitars are bluesy too in a metal kind of way. It's still a great album and the intro to this, the title track, is pretty cool.

WASP - Inside The Electric Circus - https://youtu.be/JTLHpd-5Qgw

Yesterday US alt-country-indie-folk rockers (yeah, hard to classify) Wilco released a new album. So what? Well firstly, no-one knew it was coming and secondly it's available to download free from their website. Physical copies will be in stores later on apparently. Wilco can be hit and miss for me but at this price you'd be mad not to give it a spin. Better than it appearing magically and perhaps unwanted in your iTunes account...cough, cough, U2!


How's that then? Plenty of new tracks to keep you busy.

Rob