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 - https://youtu.be/GtRxJDb3vlw

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 - https://youtu.be/BmV6q40Q3cg

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 - https://youtu.be/QUw59M8dTBg

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 - https://youtu.be/Omzy-mzQS_M

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 - https://youtu.be/l5N6dupJ2Ko

Bryan Adams - House Arrest - https://youtu.be/g7wgPdn6HZQ

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 - https://youtu.be/jpBTgmPgFxs

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.

Rob



Sunday, January 31, 2016

World Wide Woozle #388

Greetings from the city of Geelong.

Yesterday I rode in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Ride. It was a solid day out with a distance of 112km and some good hills right at the end. I must admit that I'd forgotten how (relatively) easy it is to sit in a bunch and just spin. For the first 25km I was locked onto Hamish Blake's rear wheel! After that there were good sized groups working hard and I joined in as you do. The hills didn't really start until the second half of the ride and I really enjoyed the challenge. My only error was getting slightly lost riding back to my Dad's house after the event. Alison and I got out in the afternoon and as a result of some road closures got an excellent view of the pro women's race as they hurtled downhill and through a roundabout. Today we saw the end of the pro men's race and Geelong turned on the good weather and large crowds. I may have also been tempted into purchasing a small amount of merchandise!

Yesterday's ride was the perfect tonic to a fairly challenging week at work. It was good to meet a whole lot of different people both out on the road and later on at a function. If you're a cyclist then this event should be on your bucket list. It's a well thought out course that has something for everyone and the organisation is first rate.

Kraftwerk - Autobahn - https://youtu.be/iukUMRlaBBE

The next track this week is from Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders. It has a really cool Bowie vibe going on and probably references Icehouse as well. All I know so far is that I heard it on the radio recently and the title and artist name went quickly into my notebook!

Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders - To Keep & To Be Kept - https://youtu.be/iukUMRlaBBE

Anthrax have a new long player coming in about a month. I've always found their albums patchy in the past. They write some really good tunes but in terms of a whole cohesive album I'm just not feeling it yet. However, if you wanted a list of cool tracks from the band then it would be substantial. Here's one from the impending release. I think it's a bit lighter than I expected but I'm pleased to hear Belladonna's voice is holding up.

Anthrax - Breathing Lightning - https://youtu.be/NXYKpKWHxaI

When I read that Juliana Hatfield had teamed up with Paul Westerberg for an album I was pretty excited. Both have well deserved pop/rock credentials. As you'd probably expect, the track I'm playing here has pop hooks, fuzzy guitars, and a combination of dreamy vocals and Westerberg's angsty delivery. I'm off to search for the whole album as soon as I'm finished here.

The I Don't Cares - King of America - https://youtu.be/17cmyKYaMrE

If you've listened to anything from Megadeth over the past 30 or so years then you've probably got the impression that Dave Mustaine (founder, guitarist, vocalist and only permanent member) is a card carrying member of the paranoid tin foil helmet wearing brigade. His lyrics often make comment about governments, conspiracies and the like. And it works for him. "Dystopia", an apt name for a Megadeth LP, was released a week ago. Here's the first single and I must admit that I quite like it. Dave's vocals are less nasal and the middle eastern melodic style of some the guitar work makes for interesting listening.

Megadeth - The Threat Is Real - https://youtu.be/3-d6LFLpBvw

Dawes are an indie-folk band from Los Angeles. They are another band that radio has introduced me to recently. I'm not sure who's programming Double J during the days at the moment but they're doing a great job with both variety and quality. If you like Neil Young in his less noisy moments then this might suit you.... Bearing in mind that I know nothing at all about American cars, I must say that "El Camino" just sounds cool even though they may not be!

Dawes - All Your Favourite Bands - https://youtu.be/3-d6LFLpBvw

That'll do for another week. For now I'm going to chillax at my Dad's house!

Bruce Springsteen - My Father's House - https://youtu.be/DbA_5IpiAyU

Rob

Friday, January 22, 2016

World Wide Woozle #387

It's the curse of the blogger...what to write about. Even with a fairly targeted approach (good music) it's not always easy to find content that I haven't gone over before. As such I am indebted to those of you who suggest tunes, send links and also comments on what I've written. The other revelation is digital radio. For those overseas who have had the joys of satellite and/or digital radio for years I envy you. I was fortunate enough to be given a DAB receiver for Christmas and it sits on my desk at work. The fact that it simply displays the title and artist of the track being played is fabulous. It's certainly not playing all the time but I have to whip out my notebook and pen quite often to write down things that I want to go back and check out. That little black notebook is full of song titles and artists for me to get back to.

Here's the first of the bunch coming straight from my week's radio listening. Wikipedia calls it power-pop and that seems to be a fair description. Groovy tortured Telecaster tones abound.

Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend - https://youtu.be/n12OBlcHx9E

The next track is arguably an iconic Australian tune. If it isn't then it should be. Rick Grossman who played bass on this one went on to be in the Hoodoo Gurus as well as The Divinyls.

Matt Finish - Short Note - https://youtu.be/iX6k9ZEbiKY

Our band has played a few songs by The Church in our time. You may also remember that H and I attended a gig by the band that almost resulted in sections of the crowd rioting when they refused to play anything other than their most recent album. This is an older tune that I hadn't paid much attention to before. It has all the hallmarks of a great Church song including that instantly recognisable voice.

The Church - Is This Where You Live - https://youtu.be/jihjWpQTlp8

Big Star are a band that I arrived at as a result of "That 70's Show". Although relatively short lived, their work is high quality stuff and deserving of more than a casual listen. Try this...

Big Star - Thirteen - https://youtu.be/pte3Jg-2Ax4

Fans of Americana would be well advised to seek out and chill out to Wilco's version of the above song. It's here for those of you who might be interested. The addition of the pedal steel guitar and sparse arrangement works really well.

If you like funk and soul then you may already be aware of Sharon Jones; she was nominated for a Grammy in 2014 after all so it isn't like she's unknown! For those of you, like me, who are on a continual voyage of musical discovery, this should be a real treat. I came to this track via Alabama Shakes which might be a bit backwards but it works for me. Just as Sharon starts singing on this track I get a very clear picture of Martha & The Vandellas, "Nowhere To Run".

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - Long Time, Wrong Time (live) - https://youtu.be/V5plCvAIwMM

Martha & The Vandellas -  Nowhere To Run - https://youtu.be/4jk-Ngm5kKQ

A lot of you may know Jarvis Cocker from his time in UK band Pulp and their hit, "Common People". I was vaguley aware of his solo work but didn't engage at all with it until I heard this song. It's a bit hard to describe but when I heard the studio version on the radio in the background I thought it was David Bowie. I've selected a live version here because it demonstrates that he can sing live and also because it was recorded in Australia.

Jarvis Cocker - Black Magic (live) - https://youtu.be/MBeQJH5d6yQ

DJ SlimHenry put me onto this next band. If you're a rock fan maybe interested in the journey to Prog Rock then this might be a very gentle start. There's plenty of standard rock and roll but just enough proggy moments to start tuning your ears in. If you choose to listen to the album that this track is from then I recommend you ditch tracks 1 and 2 as they're not really up to much. After that it's all good!

Baroness - Chlorine & Wine - https://youtu.be/DnYO7iQfQDQ

Next week I'll be coming to you from the hopefully sunny city of Geelong. I'm off there to ride in a 111km event and to do some work. Earlier this week I was rather stressed when I found out that I needed a new rear bike wheel and getting it in time for the trip looked to be an issue. Thankfully my local bike shop are awesome and I'll be good to go with a rather shiny new wheelset! I'll track down a couple of Geelong related tracks for you all over the next week.

RIP Glenn...another year goes by.

Miles Davis - Concierto De Aranjuez (Adagio) - https://youtu.be/tSGUPsAeL34

That's all folks,

Rob

Sunday, January 17, 2016

World Wide Woozle #386

David Bowie; The Goblin King, is dead. Long live the King.

When news of the great man's death was announced I was ready to write a whole lot about him. I'm not sure that I expected the media to be so focused, reverential and comprehensive in regards to him. As a result, I think that I'll keep it brief and personal. Bowie matters to me because he matters for some of my closest friends. I can think of four people, all regular readers here, who gently brought me around to David Bowie's music and it's almost wild eclecticism. Bowie leaves us with 25 solo albums to choose from and the rock, soul, electronic and pop gems contained within are plentiful. His 2010 live concert video "A Reality Tour" is the one that hooked me in. The songs, the energy, Gail Ann Dorsey on bass and a fifty-something year old Bowie singing and playing like there was no tomorrow. It's a cliche, but for me this setlist, and it's a long one at over two and a half hours, is a tour de force. 

David Bowie - Under Pressure (live) - https://youtu.be/PazdBrZXpZ8

And how about this one? Thanks to DJ Doc for pointing out that it's David's Mum right at the end of the clip with him on the beach.

David Bowie - Ashes To Ashes - https://youtu.be/HyMm4rJemtI

Not much else to say this week. I listened to Bowie, enjoyed my work, read some books and chilled out on my bike. That'll do me for now.

The person replacing me in my old job starts on Tuesday so I'll go back to only working one position. That might give me a bit more time!

Be nice to each other,

Sunday, January 10, 2016

World Wide Woozle #385

Many bands seem to have endless and ongoing farewell tours. How many times have KISS said goodbye? Not that I mind KISS playing a heap of concerts because they still manage to put on an excellent show. The reason I mention final shows is because Motley Crue have apparently played at least their last live show - there's some kind of legally binding agreement to prevent them going out again. Personally I won't be upset if they release new tunes but after checking some recent live footage there's an argument for them giving that side up. Motley are (were) a fantastic band who put out very few duds despite what they did to themselves. Imagine if they'd stuck with John Corabi (listen to him in the link next up) instead of going back to Vince Neil who patently hasn't been able to sing live for years.

Motley Crue - Power To The Music - https://youtu.be/ZMQJIJXEq5k

DJ Z-Boots and I braved sweaty fanboys, whispering pensioners and small children to attend a second viewing of the new Star Wars film today. There's plenty of love out there for the movie as well as a whole swag of whingers. Without spoiling it for anyone....it's tons of fun, there are a few good laughs and it looks and feels like Star Wars should. It's the best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back came out in 1980. I'm ready for it to come out on Blu-Ray now however, twice was enough with annoying cinema patrons.

Who remembers Dr Hook? No, not Captain Hook's medically inclined and little known brother, but the American band? I was shuffling through some tracks this week and came across a cover of one of their better know tunes...it certainly made me laugh. These days I'm not sure that the cover of Rolling Stone magazine is quite as coveted as it may have been in the past!

Poison - Cover of the Rolling Stone - https://youtu.be/pU_0OhJ7Oq4

My musical education continued this week with the realisation that one of my favourite Clash songs is indeed a cover version! Here are both versions for you to try out; both equally awesome.

The Equals - Police On My Back - https://youtu.be/WXJxYNUoJKs

The Clash - Police On My Back (live) - https://youtu.be/2rZY9W8tg5E

If you spend any time reading about punk music you run into this next artist. The influence of reggae and ska are very, very clear in the discographies of any number of punk artists.

Desmond Dekker - 007 Shanty Town - https://youtu.be/ZqgWuMcHc3g

And here's a fine piece of music that name drops Desmond as the ultimate mark of respect. A minority of bands adopted punk as a vehicle for racist and fascist messages which is a shame. Bands like Rancid, The Clash, The Ruts and Black Flag are very much the opposite and deserving of your listening time.

Rancid - Roots Radicals - https://youtu.be/DqCucCMbnPo

Sometimes I despair at what passes for music on the charts these days. So much of it seems devoid of soul, auto-tuned, air-brushed and contrived. Listen carefully kids...reality TV music shows aren't real life. Talent, ability, perseverance, hard work and luck are the pre-requisites for being a successful recording artist. Here's an example of what good music is. At the time this band caused a huge fuss with MTV and retailers refusing to stock and play some of their music. Needless to say they went on to be huge and their back catalogue is still worth listening to.

Jane's Addiction - Jane Says - https://youtu.be/Z0hFQdEUQKM

I'm sure that there are some Quentin Tarantino fans out there. I sat down this week and finally got around to watching 'Django Unchained". It's classic Tarantino and all in all a pretty good (and very long) film. What surprised me was quite how good Leonardo Di Caprio was at being completely evil. If you like westerns, Tarantino and good music then set aside a couple of hours and watch this.

Jim Croce - I've Got A Name - https://youtu.be/zKvGZyF7PlE

Johnny Cash - Ain't No Grave - https://youtu.be/o0MIFHLIzZY

Let me finish this week with a bit of a rant about guitar shops. Given my exposure to sheet music recently, this rant will be in two movements! Firstly; what's the point of having guitars hanging up so high that no-one could ever reach them, or more importantly see the price tag? That may have been a very cool Fender Bullet I saw on Saturday but who knows as I left my binoculars at home. If I was to have leaned back far enough to get a good look I may have fallen over backwards into a wall of amplifiers. Secondly; let's talk about the price. Not everyone is comfortable haggling for a good deal. Case in point....I was looking at an acoustic guitar weeks ago that had a sticker price of about $7,000 which is so far out of my league that it isn't funny. Next thing I know I hear that someone bought one for about $1,500 less. Recommended retail price means nothing. These days I'm reasonably confident about asking for a deal but I really do wonder how many people walk in with a budget in mind, see the sticker price and just leave. Just put the actual selling price on them and I'm sure sales will boom! The Springsteen style Telecaster I was thinking about is still on the rack by the way...I'll save up for another 12 months and then probably find out I could've afforded it months ago. Grrrrr......

Here's one for all of the guitar store employees out there - ha ha!

That's it...Happy Birthday DJ HammerTime!

Rob

"I do not feel pain.
I wont be back this way again, 
and anything is possible tomorrow..." - All Alone On A Rock, Ian Moss, 1996.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

World Wide Woozle #384

Well hello 2016 and welcome back readers, listeners, commenters and stalkers. 

It seems silly to keep calling these entries "Song of the Week". Whilst I started back in the early days with a song a week it's developed (or maybe mutated) into a lot more and so the name has changed.

The New Year's Eve Beatles show that we played was sold out and ended up being a real ripsnorter. I remain a very casual Beatles fan at best but the song choices made by H really hit the spot. My habit of playing gigs with musicians who are much better than me continued and I learned quite a bit. But the real art of being in a band is knowing that you're part of a team. Understanding when NOT to play is as important as getting all your pieces played perfectly. It was pretty cool having DJ Z-Boots along to help as roadcrew, drinks supplier and quiz mistress. I guess she knows a lot more Beatles songs now and if we ever play any more then I'll insist on playing her favourite one! Here's a track I really didn't know and one that I ended up really enjoying playing. Having a chance to sing background vocals was also a real treat for me.

The Beatles - Hey Bulldog - https://youtu.be/VeDOSHzK4jk

I've given up watching free to air TV these days so have been spared the interminable 2015 year in review montages of woe that commercial networks seem to love. It's really easy to reflect on 2015 as a particularly challenging year at HQ World Wide Woozle, and one that I'd rather not repeat. Our year was defined by a few major events; a cyclone, a knee replacement and a new job. 

David Bowie - Changes (live) - https://youtu.be/chUolMjZyHc?t=1m57s

I've written a lot about the cyclone and whilst it was a terrible experience for so many people, in the end it changed my life in a positive way. I gained a whole new family, learned a new language (well, I'm still learning) and understood so much more about life, the universe and everything than I thought I would. 

Ray Charles - I Can See Clearly Now - https://youtu.be/Nu0N8mhry0s

Alison's knee replacement should've been the first step in her regaining mobility and a better quality of life with no pain but it hasn't happened that way...it's been a debacle of epic proportions that really isn't anyone's fault. So, if you're reading this and then talking to Alison here's what you need to know...no, it isn't going to "get better" any time soon...yes, the drugs are horrible...no, she can't "just have one drink". But there are positives. Alison's garden has been a revelation and there is nothing like home grown veggies. And all you doubters should get into kale...it's a lot more versatile and tasty than you think!

Arlo Guthrie - The Garden Song (live) - https://youtu.be/9QTj45cTB4U

Work was interesting. As you all know I gave up my career in teaching for a move into something else. Sadly it wasn't really what I had expected and to be brutally honest, it was quite frustrating. Fortunately a new opportunity with a young charity aiding those affected by military service came up and I made the move....and then a few weeks into the job was promoted. It's a fantastic place to be with enthusiastic staff who are passionate about the work. I won't lie to you; I took a hefty pay cut to move jobs but there's no doubt in my mind that it's been worth it in terms of actually feeling like I am doing something worthwhile.

Midnight Oil - Best of Both Worlds (live) - https://youtu.be/1dV6vbb1YqI

Angus has made a cautious entry to the world of cycling. I sold my mountain bike to help fund a road bike for him and he's been out a few times now. Building a new kind of fitness is hard work and I hope he sticks with it. He's good fun to ride with.

There were a couple of deaths in the rock world which certainly made me pause for thought. Firstly, Stevie Wright the legendary Australian singer passed away. Well known for his work with The Easybeats and then a solo career. A band I was once in played this next song a lot....great fun. RIP Stevie. Too young.

Stevie Wright - Evie - https://youtu.be/In1VeSjsBT8

Also passing was John Bradbury, drummer for English ska band "The Specials". If you've never listened to Ska then The Specials are a great place to start. Toe tapping stuff indeed!

The Specials - The Selecter - https://youtu.be/ujMDOYZt6QY?t=2m49s

Of course, the other notable death was that of Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead. For me personally, Motorhead are a very important band and a big influence in some ways. They were the first "big" band that I saw live and other than being deafened, I was blown away by the visual effect of a wall of Marshall amps and four men (Phil and Wurzel were on guitars on that tour) who were obviously on a mission to play loud, fast and hard for their adoring fans. Neither Lemmy nor Stevie Wright did themselves any favours health wise but that doesn't detract from their status as artists who made a huge impact.

Motorhead - 1916 - https://youtu.be/IuRxjjcPgOo

Motorhead - Angel City - https://youtu.be/K5wmVXQ3V9s

Speaking of bicycles as we were...I eclipsed my goal for 2015 which was to average 1000km a month and therefore get to 12,000km. Early in December I ticked over the 12k mark and, in a a fit of madness decided to go for 13,000km. I won't kid you, that made December my biggest month ever and it hurt a lot in the last few days but I made it. As for this year, I'm not sure how I'll get on. Certainly the 1000km a month goal will remain but anything else remains a bonus very much dependent on weather, motivation and remaining healthy!

Judas Priest - Heading Out To The Highway (live)- https://youtu.be/QdQuEpYK3as

Eat your veggies...

Rob

This week's extra special surprise song is here .

Friday, December 25, 2015

Song of the Week #383

Merry Christmas everyone. And to those who don't celebrate Christmas I hope you've had a good day regardless.

The Royal Guardsmen - Snoopy's Christmas - https://youtu.be/0-hWZGIWe_U

Some of today's songs relate to Christmas gifts. There are about a million people at HQ World Wide Woozle so there's plenty of inspiration to draw from.

First up, a song about aeroplanes, or at least a clip featuring a lot of them. Neil turned up yesterday with a load of balsa wood planes and rubber bands for everyone to have a lot of fun with. Luckily there are tall people here to rescue the aforementioned planes from the trees in the neighbourhood!

Van Halen - Dreams - https://youtu.be/zsXCs41DkWs

Angus, our resident sports fanatic, scored rather well with signed football jerseys from two of his favourite teams. Apparently he's going to frame them rather than wearing them first. Fair enough! Football season is only a few long months away...

Little River Band - Playing To Win - https://youtu.be/GbtiUrHUhRw

Christmas or not, I love giving and receiving the gift of music. I was very fortunate to receive a couple of very cool albums to listen to. Well played H in choosing two that I don't have, I know that can be a difficult task!!

Cold Chisel - Home & Broken Hearted (live) - https://youtu.be/dQF9yCI4PJw

Opeth - The Drapery Falls - https://youtu.be/let2d76FxYI

This one is for my Dad. I know that he likes this song (and album) and I hope that everyone where he is enjoys the kazoo we sent him!

Jesse Fuller - San Francisco Bay Blues - https://youtu.be/7lqp52Uv6WA

My Mum gave me Bill Bryson's book about growing up in America in the 50s. In so many ways you can see why Americans see that as a the halcyon days in their country's timeline. It's an interesting read so far with insight into the psyche of a nation and what makes it both great and terrible at the same time. I'm only a couple of chapters in but this song springs to mind...

Billy Joel - We Didn't Start The Fire - https://youtu.be/eFTLKWw542g

Regardless of your particular religious views let me say that I think that Christmas is a time for peace and goodwill. Guilt about haves and have nots really gets us nowhere but if you can think of a way going forwards to make just one person's life a little better then that's a good thing.

The Beatles - Help (live 1965) - https://youtu.be/yWP6Qki8mWc

In band news we played a charity Xmas party last Sunday in 37 degree heat. My fingers were literally burning on the guitar strings due to the direct sunlight. I don't know how H managed to keep the singing together for the whole show as he's been so unwell. Chief learned a valuable lesson about what happens to your feet when you don't have any shoes on and the stage is getting the full force of the sun! Regardless of all this we played well. Next up is the New Year's show at Vivaldi's. There are less than 10 tickets available now if you want to come along. I've only got a couple of songs left to learn but I'm not giving anything away. Watch this space for some rather big news about what we have planned for 2016.

But now, after an awesome Christmas lunch, I may take advantage of a lull in proceedings to have a nap!

Art vs Science - Enter Sandman (live)  - https://youtu.be/h7yRjD5yLv4?t=1m43s

Lukim yu,
Rob

"so lock up your daughters, lock up your wives, lock up your back door and run for your lives...", Anthrax, TNT (live), 2013.