Saturday, March 1, 2014
The upside of the rain is that this week's episode, whilst already late, is now in your inbox or on your blog reader notification list earlier than it might've been.
The band played an intimate gig last night. H's lounge room and kitchen were full to bursting of people ready to listen, and in some cases sing along. I learned two valuable lessons at this show. Ones that you'd think I'd be fully aware of these days. After all, I played my first rock 'n' roll show in 1988! Lesson 1 is always position yourself where you can hear not only your own guitar, but that of the person you take your cues from. H threw to me early in the set for some guitar noodling and it was an unmitigated balls up as I couldn't hear myself, or the bass player well enough. Lesson learned. The other thing to remember is not to panic when the person starting the song chooses a different key to the one that you've been rehearsing a song in. For any number of competent musicians this might not be an issue; they can modulate on the fly. I'm a hack...sometimes I don't even remember the chord names, I just know where a song starts and how it feels! Regardless of all that it was a lot of fun. The setlist didn't even make it in the window let alone being thrown out, there were some surprises, much singing and even some applause. We're on this Sunday at Beyond Q at the Curtin Shops starting at 4pm for about an hour. Come on down and see if I've really learned my lessons...
Kylie - Did It Again (live) - http://youtu.be/4VjngAbKDac
I chose that live version of a Kylie classic because it has plenty of guitars and it rocks. This particular concert has a killer band. You also get Kylie's voice pretty much unprocessed and all credit to her as there are enough bum notes and mistakes to indicate that she didn't do any overdubs later on.
If you were an 80s movie fan then you would've been saddened by the news this week that Harold Ramis died. He's probably most famous for roles in Stripes, Ghostbusters and Caddyshack. There have been rumours about a third Ghostbusters movie for a while now but since Harold both wrote and starred in the first two we'll have to wait and see what happens. Harold is the guy with the glasses in this clip also starring Bill Murray and John Candy...
Hey, we're walking! (from Stripes) - http://youtu.be/5AvMNXBGgpg
"Doo wah diddy" - lyrical genius! If you like that then try this:
The Dollyrots - Da Doo Ron Ron / I Wanna Be Sedated - http://noisetrade.com/thedollyrots/da-doo-ron-roni-wanna-be-sedated (you need to click on the speaker icon to play the song)
Not long at all now until DJ Al-ee-sun and I will be seeing Billy Bragg here in Canberra. Billy's bringing his band along this time. Did I mention at all that we'll be right in the middle down near the front!? Woo hoo! Billy's just released a live DVD for pre-order via his website (www.billybragg.co.uk) so click over there later on and buy a copy. I have!
This is an audience recording from the show coming on DVD. Billy's playing one of my holy grail guitars...a Thinline Fender Telecaster. Natural wood finish, f-hole, twin humbuckers...oh how I want one!!
Billy Bragg - A New England (live) - http://youtu.be/6y0-qh67rl8
Choosing appropriate gig wear is a serious chore for the amateur irregular musician. Does one wear a t-shirt with a band/amusing logo on it? Or does one seek out the archetypal rock and roll shirt like this one? H organised a t-shirt for me from the band Ghost but it probably wasn't the right thing for a show with a few kids in the audience. But in my opinion there are two bands whose shirts never constitute a fashion mistake. Motorhead and The Ramones. Perfect attire for any occasion. And if anyone knows where I can get a Knopfler style top (or similar) let me know OK?
Motorhead - I Ain't No Nice Guy (unplugged) - http://youtu.be/gFo0-Zb_p_8
The Ramones - The KKK Took My Baby Away - http://youtu.be/d7YOCoSq9_U
Canberra readers; make sure that you remember Charles Bradley is playing tonight at the National Portrait Gallery at 8pm. For some strange reason The Chantoozies and Mental As Anything are playing a gig at the same time at the NMA. We're spoiled for choice I suppose. Charles is free. The Mentals are $30 for adults.
Mental As Anything - He's Just No Good For You - http://youtu.be/mQVz9nuel7I
A long time ago in the years BC (before children), DJ Al-ee-sun and I saw the Mentals playing at UC. They made us wait through not one, but two 45 minute sets by a boring covers band before they eventually took the stage at about midnight. I remain unimpressed to this day. And then they were pretty average as well. I'm guessing that they needed a nap by that time.
Iggy Pop - I'm Bored - http://youtu.be/Xc9xhv5Tj0Y
Last week I wrote about our government not even having the decency to lie to the people; they just say nothing. Well the news isn't any better a week later. It's a disgrace. But I'll leave it there as it's too easy to start an argument. We really don't have any of the facts and that's a problem. But if there's violence, death and rioting involved then something isn't right. And that's before we even think about the environmental destruction that will be allowed to occur in on of our most precious marine parks.
Dead Kennedys - I Fought The Law - http://youtu.be/jbCqwl2geQg
At last night's show I had a quick conversation with DJ Padre-arr-bee. Essentially it was about kids today and the music they choose to listen to. I told him the story of my Dad telling me that if he'd understood earlier how much the electric guitar meant to me, and how much I would play it, that he might've had a different attitude! In my opinion as long as you're listening to something you enjoy then I'm happy. My kids have quite different musical tastes but there's always something playing. It's a bit like books. Going into a house that has no music or books is just a drag. So, parents and adults, remember that you liked different music to your parents. You don't have to enjoy Bieber or the latest dancefloor remix dub tunes, but understand that someone does and that's OK. By the way, both my kids know all the lyrics to "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" and have so for quite a number of years. My work here is done!
Masters Apprentices - Turn Up Your Radio - http://youtu.be/apX_ikzc5CE
I'll finish off with a classic. We played this last night and one of our first time gig-goers is apparently a big fan of it (hi Julie!) There's a version on Glen Campbell's album "See You There" which is slow and sublime with an almost Neil Young-esque guitar. But I can't find a copy online to share with you all. Buy the album, it's just fantastic. Until then, sing this one out loud wherever you are as life's too short not to.
Glen Campbell - Rhinestone Cowboy (live) - http://youtu.be/Ndt3auNDYHU
That's all folks,
"And the music was good, and the music was loud,
and the singer turned and he said to the crowd, let there be ROCK!" - AC/DC, Let There Be Rock, 1977.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Bad Religion - 21st Century Digital Boy - http://youtu.be/ZN6kCgMUjFw
Lots of people complain about their government lying to them. At the moment the Australian Government can't be bothered even doing that; they just deny access to any information at all. Democracy isn't about those in power keeping the rest of us in the dark. News just in of an Australian journalist being detained on Manus Island and having all of his photos deleted is more than a little disturbing.
What I find ironic is that our government mandated Geography curriculum is all about getting students to ask questions. Just don't ask the current government anything at all difficult.
Thin Lizzy - Don't Believe A Word (live) - http://youtu.be/ZaGNAL_u-SU
If you missed my review of H and I playing a gig this week then you can check it out on the blog. It was a special night in a number of ways.
Queen - Don't Stop Me Now - http://youtu.be/HgzGwKwLmgM
That's one of my favourite Queen songs. It has an infectious energy that so many bands never, ever manage to find.
A quick shout out to my good mate DJ Guzbox. He's the guy in our band that makes us sound good; our peerless audio engineer. Along with that he's a pretty ace mountain biker. I know that the rest of the band are pretty excited to have him on board.
Rose Tattoo - One Of The Boys - http://youtu.be/x8Jfp-6Flho
Angus has his first game as a ballboy for the Brumbies Super Rugby team this week. After doing all the warm up matches in 2013 he's moving on to the big time. So if you're watching the match (against the QLD Reds) at the stadium or on the TV keep an eye out for him handing the ball to Stephen Moore or Saia Faainga. GO BRUMBIES!
Jerry Lee Lewis - Great Balls Of Fire - http://youtu.be/lidFipyLG8k
I answered a question this week on a well know social media portal. The original poster wanted to know what the essential element to a good rock song was. My answer was "Lemmy".
The Head Cat - Big River - http://youtu.be/W_6Jx2LmF_o
I like a good cover version. You may have noticed. This one caught my ear during the week and I think it's a ripper. Fairly faithful to the original I guess but still a bit of fun.
Def Leppard - Stay With Me - http://youtu.be/nvL0FPywhY0
That's about all for this episode. Thanks for the comments during the week about the gig. I'm still looking for ideas for the 300th episode so shout out if you have one.
I'll sign off with songs that I'm directing straight at our government. What seems to be happening in the name of protecting our borders is wrong. These songs sum up how I feel.
Johnny Cash - All God's Children Ain't Free - http://youtu.be/mKFJl9ncNH0
Elvis Costello - What's So Funny... - http://youtu.be/JUGmwDB49Tc
The Nightwatchman - Black Spartacus Heart Attack Machine - http://youtu.be/lC20oFu-blk
Yep, I'm frustrated and disappointed.
"Won't you sing with me, these songs of freedom?" - Bob Marley (Redemption Song)
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
When you play in a rock band, most songs are three or four chords with maybe a bridge thrown in. They aren't that hard to remember. But when keyboard players get in on the act each song has a gazillion weird notes and chords for some reason. Being told just to "play along" used to really freak me out. But once I got it through my thick heavy metal, punk rock head that the keys were carrying the melody I began just to add bits here and there. I don't know if anyone noticed the screaming blues guitar solo in the middle of Billy Joel's Piano Man last night but it was there.
Under the Milky Way
The Way You Are Tonight
Across the Universe
The Streets of Philadelphia
I’m on Fire
Better Be Home Soon
Grow Old With Me
No Second Prize
It’s Almost Saturday Night
Throw Your Arms Around Me
(What’s So Funny About) Peace Love and Understanding
The Dead Heart
Jumping Jack Flash
Tie Your Mother Down....well almost
Don’t Stop Me Now
With or Without You
Saturday, February 15, 2014
I've been watching Morrissey's live concert, "Who Put The M in Manchester?" far too much for my health! It's a bit of a homecoming for him I believe. After the first song he mentions a couple of places which are I assume where he grew up. And he gets the requisite cheers from the crowd. Being that my blog where this entry lives is called "World Wide Woozle" I thought I might do the same for some crowd noise from all over the world. Here's a call out to all the places I've lived in.... hello Falkirk, hello Munster, hello Changi, hello Bristol, hello Dundee, hello Longforgan, hello Tawa, hello Moe and of course hello Canberra!
Def Leppard - Hello America - http://youtu.be/2uIJ7NYZ5NA
I'm not a fan of camping these days, that's no secret. As a kid in Scouts I enjoyed it a lot but the Army took all the fun out of it. My good mate Macca loves it...and he's always keen for me to come along. It was kind of ironic I thought that I was in a tent in December 2011 on a school camp by myself having just heard that Macca had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Just a quick fast forward - it's now February 2014 and I went to the rugby with Macca last night. As you can probably imagine, he's had an amazing journey and so has his family. Anyway, I felt pretty sorry for myself in the small hiking tent but given that I was working (it was a school camp) I had no choice but to put the news to one side and keep working. Fortunately, the students I was with (who never knew) were such a great bunch and so keen to enjoy themselves that it was manageable. Pretty much as soon as I got home and we got the OK from Fiona we were at the hospital to see her and Dave.
I guess you really want to know why I'm writing about this? Well, Dave has written a book and its just been published. It's called "Hope Beyond Cure". I sat down and read it on Thursday night for a few reasons. I must admit that I'd had it for a week or so but was putting off starting it because I wasn't sure I could handle reading about Dave's story - this was someone I know, not an anonymous author. It's not long but it's powerful, honest, upsetting and inspiring. I really doubt that anyone out there reading hasn't been touched by the scourge of cancer in some way. And everyone deals with it differently.
If you'd told me years ago that one of my closest friends would be a man of God who was also a rugby fanatic, lover of coffee and music and a motorbike rider I doubt I would've believed you. But that's Dave. He's been a Minister for quite a long time now (as well as being the Chaplain for the Brumbies Super Rugby team) and one of the main thrusts of this book is a well reasoned look at why he believes in God and Jesus. Regardless of your own religious views (or lack of them) that part of the book is interesting and thought provoking. The story of his journey from being diagnosed with inoperable and terminal cancer to now having a status of "N.E.D." - no evidence of disease - is painful, heartbreaking and uplifting all at once. You should read it.
Dave's book is available from here. You can also look at Dave's blog here.
But we're all about music here on the World Wide Woozle. And Dave is a big Johnny Cash fan like me. In the book he quotes from a passage in Corinthians. What Dave didn't know at the time I think was that Johnny had recorded those lines in a song released in 2010. It's on the album "American IV: Ain't No Grave". The album is haunting in so many ways and the songs were recorded right up to the time Johnny died in 2003. Check it out....
Johnny Cash - 1 Corinthians 15:55 - http://youtu.be/B8sJ9leK6es
A couple of weeks ago I read a news story on my feed about guitars. An English songwriter had her guitar and bass stolen and had put out an internet plea for their return. As a result I checked out her website and music. After listening to only a track and a half I clicked the PayPal button and ordered her two albums. Being the modern world, the CDs will arrive soon but you also get a free download of the songs. But my download had some issues so I sent Laura (the artist) an email. I was pleasantly suprised to get a personal note from her today that sorted my issue out and thanked me for my comments about her music. That's cool. If you like bands like The Clouds or The Falling Joys or singers like Liz Phair and Suzanne Vega then you might like this. Or of course, if you're just brave enough to take a chance on me recommending something....
She Makes War - Minefields - http://youtu.be/j4rFctgKTao
Fans of good music should come along to Beyond Q at Curtin Shops on Sunday 2nd March at 4pm (be on time) for a quick set that features yours truly on guitar and un-mic'd vocals. Luckily H, Chief and Joel will be doing some singing as well as covering all my mistakes. No need to book and it's free. Learn this song and be ready to sing along as I get my loud guitar working the room! More gig info here.
Matthew Sweet - Sick of Myself - http://youtu.be/x0An-YoFWxQ
Coming soon for a full review is an album from US punk rockers "The Dollyrots". I was turned onto them by a friend in the States (hi Tom!) and I've been listening to them for a few weeks now. Tom and his son Phil were involved with recording and playing on the album. There's an acoustic CD that you get too if you pre-order. How funny and cool is this track?
The Dollyrots - Anarchy & Disney - http://youtu.be/tt6ZyZB-4Qc
iTunes radio started up in Australia this week. I've tried Spotify before as well as a couple of other streaming services and I was never all that impressed. But when I clicked on the iTunes version and chose a couple of "stations" that I thought might be interesting I will admit I was pleasantly surprised. The sound quality is OK too. I'll investigate further (including their model for paying the artists) and get back to you. One of the first songs that was played was Ozzy's "Shot In The Dark". Pretty neat really - it's part of the time in Ozzy's career where Jake E. Lee was playing guitar for him. Jake was in the band after the technical ecstasy of Randy Rhoads and before Zakk Wylde came along with the pinch harmonics and huge hairy riffs. I always thought that Jake did a great job.
Ozzy Osbourne - Shot In The Dark - http://youtu.be/LL3vmVjYjBQ
I had a bit of a laugh with my good mate DJ MuchLessOfAFatBoy this week. The screen on his MP3 player had died and it was stuck on the Metallica album "Death Magnetic". As we both agreed, it could be a lot worse. It's such a good album especially when you consider the pretty much irredeemable effort that they put out prior to it. The only thing that was annoying was the fact that the mastering was so LOUD that a lot of the dynamics were blasted into sonic oblivion. But I've written about that before.
Metallica - Cyanide - http://youtu.be/xUMqqVOlJBs
I'll close this week with something a bit quieter as, apart from Johnny Cash, I've managed to make this a fairly noisy episode! This one's for you Chief...
Diesel - Cinnamon Girl - http://youtu.be/graKL6hCFiU
Have a great weekend brothers and sisters. Rock on!
"It's a long and a dusty road
It's a hot and a heavy load
And the folks that I meet ain't always kind
Some are bad some are good
Some have done the best they could
Some have tried to ease my troubled mind
And I can't help but wonder where I'm bound" - Tom Paxton 1964
Saturday, February 8, 2014
I guess you have to be a certain age to remember that. For me waiting until night time to listen to the radio was more about the fact that I could tune into AM stations from all over the country and SW stations from all over the world. Radio Moscow used to send me a regular programme guide. Which was amusing up to the point that my Dad forwarded one to me when I had just joined the Army. A few questions were certainly asked of me! Radio Moscow certainly wasn't "rocking in the free world" in the late 80s but it was the first place I heard Siouxsie & The Banshees. Looking back that is fairly surreal.
Siouxsie & The Banshees - Painted Bird (1982) - http://youtu.be/3QVEQ6XZ3V8
Let's move to something relatively new. English band "The Temperance Movement" are causing a fair bit of interest with blues and rock fans. After reading about them I listened to a few songs. To me they sound like a swampy, bluesy version of Thunder crossed with the Allman Brothers, ZZ Top and The Black Crowes. It's good stuff. ANd less contrived than Joe Bonamassa. Try this out...
The Temperance Movement - Only Friend (2012) - http://youtu.be/5mGALmFlHOA
I had a conversation with DJ MCG this week about Roxette. They are still playing music. I was reminded of seeing them live and the whole show being full on rock and roll with more guitars than I remember ever seeing on one stage. The only band that might be able to top that would be Cheap Trick I imagine.
Roxette - Sleeping In My Car (live 2012) - http://youtu.be/7V_8gi1wOYk
Did everyone see the keyboard players hat in that clip? He must be a Bee Gees fan.
Sadly one of my favourite Australian/NZ bands broke up last year. King Cannons were just fantastic. In great news though, Luke and Mikey from the band are back with something new. Out of Melbourne, "The Spirit" have just released their first song. See what you think...
The Spirit - Forever Gone (2014) - https://soundcloud.com/wearethespirit/forever-gone
Music isn't all meant to be serious. Sometimes cheesy lyrics, a great guitar riff and a big chorus is more than enough to lift your spirits. I was, and never will be, a "red blooded, fun lovin' all American boy" but I thought this was a great fun song when I was a teenager. I'd forgotten all about it until this week when the band's name popped up in the YouTube recommendations. This is one they should've included in the "Rock of Ages" soundtrack. More cliches than you can poke a stick at...
Y&T - All American Boy - http://youtu.be/irKc9O702nY
Charles Bradley - Why Is It So Hard? (live 2011) - http://youtu.be/yBdTVmSVq14
Charles Bradley - Confusion (live 2013) - http://youtu.be/LDADBUPHt3U
Did you all spot the guitar player breaking a string in the second clip....he doesn't bat an eyelid. Respect!
That's all brothers and sisters. I hope you enjoyed the tunes this week.
Do you remember lyin' in bed, with the covers over your head, radio playing so no-one could hear?
"Do you remember rock 'n' roll radio?" - Ramones, End of the Century (1980).
Friday, January 31, 2014
Saturday, January 25, 2014
The Badloves - Lost - http://youtu.be/AavJO-73oGY
In exciting news, the band is back for 2014. We're booked in for two Midnight Oil tribute shows on 3rd and 10th of May here in Canberra. Even bigger news is that we're going on the road in the middle of the year to play some tunes for the people of Tingha. There are some big non-Oils gigs as well for 2014 so watch this space. If you want to come to either of the Oils shows then you need to book fairly soon. Last year's performances were sold out. Get some friends and call Teatro Vivaldi's on 02 6257 2718 to reserve a table. I can guarantee no lip sync and no autotune. Just real rock 'n' roll.
Midnight Oil - The Real Thing (live) - http://youtu.be/VF_XaQ2YctY
As I was putting the finishing touches to this week's episode Cousin Trish popped up on Facebook with a note about her love of Scottish band Del Amitri. They are definitely one of my favourites as well so it seems like a good idea to play one of their tunes. I feel that they are cruelly underrated and deserved a lot more success than they got. Great guitars and melodies. This is the first track from their 1992 album "Change Everything". Another cassette I wore out.
Del Amitri - Be My Downfall - http://youtu.be/GwASZpIHKLY
Keeping it in the family for a moment, the next tune is for my sister. She's having some issues with stand-over merchant tradesmen...not fun.
The Cruel Sea - Better Get A Lawyer - http://youtu.be/RJ0hOKCSuns
Argh! This is turning into the family episode. In the immortal words of John Bird..."I can't see no going back now"! My fantastic daughter Z-boots has had enough of working for the multinational cholesterol, sugar and burger joint starting with M. And she's taken action - getting a job at my favourite coffee shop on the spot and therefore starting tomorrow. Not to mention that DJ Ben-E has been kind enough to train her up as a swimming instructor and she'll be drown proofing kids in a few weeks -that's a great skill set. So, she got a new job and on Thursday she had a haircut...then she made a joke about this song. Z-boots is awesome!
George Thorogood and the Destroyers - Get A Haircut (live) - http://youtu.be/PbAoXw_DqvM
Grandad Bill loves cars. A few years ago now his pride and joy, a Mini Cooper S (rescued from Australia, flown to NZ and lovingly restored) was badly damaged on the race track. Bill and his car loving network put it back together over a long period of time and then decided that someone else should have a chance to love it. I've driven said Mini and it was wonderful. Imagine sitting on top of a jet engine and that's the feeling you got. Anyway, the restored and better than perfect Mini was sold. Sadly, it was involved in an accident a couple of weeks ago in the pit lane and Bill was there to see it. Very sad indeed. We're thinking of you Grandad Bill!!
John Fogerty - Hot Rod Heart - http://youtu.be/aVZjP0NGBsA
Finally there has been resolution in the great amplifier trade in debacle of 2014. I went to another guitar shop (hello Better Music Canberra) and after a stalled start they got themselves sorted out. A young man (I can say that now that I'm old) called Alec showed me a heap of amplifiers and left me alone to try them out. Then he offered me a great deal on my Marshall. So it's gone and I am now the proud owner of a Mesa/Boogie guitar amp that is loud and that I can lift. If you're interested in amps then shoot me an email or a message via some other platform and I can tell you all about why it is so cool. It's a shame that after 15 years I don't have my name on my amplifier but it's the sound that counts.
John Lee Hooker - Boogie Chillen - http://youtu.be/G4pp02_GN9A
To answer last week's quiz question...and only DJ Dr came close...the link between Nightwish, Green Day and The Who is the bass guitar that Marco Hietala is playing in the live clip. It's a "Buzzard" bass which was designed and made famous by John Entwistle of The Who. Click here for a picture.
I'll finish with this next song. Why? Why not. I Was reminded of this excellent track whilst watching "American Horror Story". Weird show but worth watching.
The Ramones - Pinhead - http://youtu.be/GT_2K4ddG7g
Back to work shortly...