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Category Archives: Music

md015_ls_gigflyer_dec07.jpgMy favourite Aussie band (of those who are still together and playing gigs) is playing a gig on the 29th at the Hopetoun Hotel. Email or text me if you wanna go.

Oh, Marquis, I crashing at your place for this gig. Hope that’s ok? 😛

katie.jpgWhile managing Trouser Trouser (about 8 years ago), I met George. George isn’t a person. George is a band. Prinny had been telling me for a year or two of a great band she loved but in the summer of 2001, they broke on Triple J and suddenly everyone knew who they were, and knew their song “Spawn”. Because I knew Prin, she gave me Tyrone’s email address and I offered him somewhere to stay when George were doing their first national tour. Five of them (plus their sound-engineer/roadie with the lovely name of “Chewie”) crashed in Caerulia’s parents’ spare place for a few days.

That week, when I first met them, I fell in love with every member of the band and later even Paulie, their replacement bass player. They were lovely people. And the time I spent up north reinforced the friendship as Tyrone often invited me out when I first moved up there to check out new bands and he tried back in 2003 to try and get me into the band management scene up there.

This weekend, the prettiest member of George, is visiting town and I’m going to see her perform at Tilley’s. If anyone would like to take my spare ticket, let me know. Olivia was going to come along, but has to go to a wedding. So I’ve got her ticket spare. Everyone else, visit Katie’s site and have a listen to her new material. It’s really good.

The English language is missing a word. Or maybe just my vocabulary is? It’s the word that would be used to describe the joy one experiences when one finds something thought long-lost, or even whose existence was forgotten so long ago, it’s as if one is finding it for the very first time.

I’ve been feeling that a lot today. Because I’ve spent the day backing up hard drives in preparation for a reformat and Windows reinstall. Along the way though, I have found piles and piles of mp3 files I had forgotten.

Ever wondered what happens when you let a science nerd write a folk song?

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lennon.jpeg


I heard something on the radio today. They had a quiz question: “Who was the face on the first issue of Rolling Stone magazine in 1967?

A lady rang up and said “Paul McCartney” and the radio presenter said “Close, he was in the same band as Paul” and she said she didn’t know the names of the other Beatles.

And i began to wonder: do people really exist who can’t name them?

(For those of you who don’t know him – and let’s face it, that’s all of you – this picture reminds me of my cousin Marquis)

Last week, I downloaded a copy of Time On Earth, the ‘new’ Crowded House album. I like it, but I still hold to my belief that without Hessie, it’s not the Crowdies. The last few days, I’ve been trawling through my Crowded House CD collection. It’s extensive because they were one of the only bands where I followed them through their whole career and bought singles as well as albums. On YouTube, I started watching their videos as well. And it was there I found this. Read More »

Mick’s band, The DropBears, are playing next week. Everyone should come along!

(Post contains considerable YouTube linkage. Not that you’d know, to look at it. But it does)

Last night, Caerulia and I took Lucius and his friend Henry to Duntroon for the Beating of the Retreat and the performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. The last time I saw this performed was when I was about 14. My father, Decimus, was the artillery captain in Novocastria back then. So for Novocastria’s summer festival, he set up the 105mm howitzers of 113 Field Battery in Kind Edward Park and at the climax of the piece, they were firing off into the ocean. I still have a picture of it.

Last night though, the announcer explained the origins of the piece and tied in the church bells, the Tsarist anthem, the significance of the rising and then fading La Marseillaise. Of course, being 8 years old, Henry & Lucius thought it was fantastic, since artillery has that effect on boys. I get the feeling it may become a regular event for those two.

It was also the first time I’ve spent any time at Duntroon since I worked there ten years ago. The year I spent there was pretty bland, but the circumstances of my departure set me on a path that dominated the next few years. Perhaps, just for the sake of a story, I’ll tell that one tomorrow?

pacificage.jpgOn the drive home this evening, I got a song stuck in my head. I probably haven’t heard it in years, but because I was obsessed with the band for a while back in the 1980s, I know the song well enough to know the words, the chords, even the key change. Somewhere, deep within my packed-away book collection, is even the sheet music. Since I don’t own an mp3 of it though, I had to come home and look it up on YouTube. I hope that cures me, or I’ll have to hit the video store this weekend for something of a Molly Ringwald binge. And that’s just too scary to contemplate.

So sit back, take your mind back to the 80s, and sing along with me.

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rick-astley.jpgIn the last few days, after getting back to broadband, and catching up on a lot of blogs I used to read, it seems there’s a bit of Rick Astley worship going on across the blog-universe.

In 1988, when Astley was soaring up the charts, I was working midnight-dawn shifts at the local radio station. So I got to hear way too much Rick Astley. But I noticed something fascinating: if you play a Kylie Minogue 45 single at 33, it doesn’t sound “a bit like Rick Astley”, it IS Rick Astley. Understandable I guess, given they are both creations of the Stock Aitken Waterman production team. I began to think there was no way of proving what I was saying, but then I discovered this on YouTube. The presenter is speaking German, but you get a good demonstration of the effect.

Hopefully now, the saga about Honey may come to an end.

Note: This is a big post. Hit “Read the rest of this entry” to see it all.

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nf.jpgI know a lot of my friends who read here are fans of Crowded House. So I’m posting an entry I read this morning. It’s an American who has never seen them live, but got the chance this week and has written quite a long review of the gig and meeting the band afterwards. She’s also linked to more of their songs than I ever knew existed on YouTube (probably to help out all the people who have no idea who Neil and the lads are). And of course, I’m intensely envious of her.

stipe.jpgWhen asked why R.E.M. never printed their lyrics on their liner notes, Michael Stipe explained that a song is not just the words. It’s the music. And the way the song fits between the song before it and the song after it. And the ambiance and mood of the entire album. I guess also, in the case of Stipe, the sense of mystery about the actual words is emphasised, since he sings like he’s got marbles in his mouth. So I can understand why the question would have been asked.

There’s a similar idea behind why I don’t like reading blogs via RSS feeds. The removal from the overall context means – for me anyway – some of the point is lost. If that weren’t the case, why would so many of us care about the template we use, about the colours and the overall presentation of our sites? The way the words we write fit within the overall page is part of the whole package. It matters.

Maybe that’s why I feel uneasy to find today that someone has been using my words here in lectures recently as part of a university course.

toefacessm_1_3.jpgA while back, I wrote about some of the lads from two bands I used to manage (Crumpet & Trouser Trouser) working together and doing a podcasted interview. I not sure if any of you actually downloaded and listened to the podcast, but for those of us who know the lads (actually, amongst the readership of my blog, I think that’s just me and maybe Ch@s?) it was nice to hear what they were up to.

This morning though, while browsing around the web in a bored and aimless manner, I found a website for Wedded Bliss. From what I can gather, Wedded Bliss is the new band that Blair from Crumpet has. But it’s not just him, as there are at least one (maybe two?) former Crumpies in there with him. Which is awesome, because they were the most excellent band in Rome back in the 90s. Anyhoo, their website has downloadable samples of their music if any of you would like to check them out. And they’re doing a gig at the Wanniassa Tavern, if anyone wants to go. *nudge* to Chas & Mick

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And another thing, I’ve been wondering lately
Oh baby, tell me where have you been?

Last night, I met Mick and we went to see the Hoodoo Gurus at The Venue. The evening was excellent. Unlike Mick, I didn’t have the downer of running into an ex-girlfriend at the gig. But he seemed to cope okay with it. And we ended up in the extreme front of the crowd – so close we could read the set-lists in front of the band. Not that it meant anything, as the set list said they’d start with Bittersweet and they opened with Come Anytime. Noone was complaining though. In fact, the only complaint I have from the whole night is that we were so close to the speakers that my ears are ringing and buzzing quite seriously today.

The highlight of the Gurus’ set was when they did the extended live version of Leilani (a song that is good on CD, but soars to new heights live, especially with the tribal-sounding percussion). As always happens, the quiet bit in the middle of the song came along, and just as Dave was going to re-start the song with “Katoomba, Hey! Macumbah, Ho!” someone in the audience yelled out at the perfect moment “Kum-ba-ya!” and cracked Brad and Dave up, so Dave sprinkled “Kumbaya my Lord” into the middle of the song.

Gurus gigs are usually fun nights, and this one was certainly the best I’d seen them. It was their first gig in months, and the set-list was only a serving suggestion. Dave called for requests about three songs, but we couldn’t suggest songs that were singles. A guy in the front row asked for Son of a Gun, which they obliged him with. They played all the usual fare, plus some of their newer stuff that I didn’t know (since I don’t know anything from after their 1997 farewell tour). It was all excellent though, and I hope to have my hearing back to normal by the end of the week.

Oh, and to any overseas readers who don’t know about the Gurus, check them out here.

This week for YouTube Sunday, I’m returning once more to a song. Australian readers will know the song, and the performers, but may not have seen the combination. For the overseas readers, I’ll give a bit of background.

This song is, I think, the greatest love song ever written in this country. It originally came out in the 80s, done by Hunters & Collectors, an Aussie pub-band whose version made some impact, but, like some of the greatest songs, didn’t receive the success it deserved. Over the years though, through countless renditions in thousands of pubs, it became an anthem for many. It’s a song about a final encounter. I always used to think it was a one-night stand, but I now consider it to be about a couple who are seeing each other for the final time and, as the lyric says:

We may never meet again
So shed your skin and lets get started
And you will throw your arms around me

As Mark Seymour said of this song:

Love songs are hard enough to pull off tastefully. The strength of Arms is in its honesty, and a very simple hooky chorus. Other than that there isn’t much else to say. It’s personal. Hunters played it with great force and conviction.

I’ve thought for a while now that someone really should compile the different version of this song. I’ve heard brilliant versions by Neil Finn, Crowded House, Pearl Jam, Paul McDermott, several never-to-be-known-of pub bands, and several versions by Mark Seymour and of course Hunters & Collectors.

This version though is by the Doug Anthony All Stars. At a tribute concert several years ago. DAAS reunited for this gig. And this video is the best thing to come out of that gig. Plus of course, it’s introduced by my hero, Mikey Robins.

Here tis…..

I will come for you at night time
I will raise you from your sleep
I will kiss you in four places
I’ll go running along your street
I will squeeze the life out of you
You will make me laugh and make me cry
We will never forget it
You will make me call your name and I’ll shout it to the blue summer sky

We may never meet again
So shed your skin and lets get started
And you will throw your arms around me

I dreamed of you at night time
And I watched you in your sleep
I met you in high places
I touched your head and touched your feet
So if you disappear out of view
You know, I will never say goodbye
Though I try to forget it
You will make me call your name and I’ll shout it to the blue summer sky

We may never meet again
So shed your skin and lets get started
And you will throw your arms around me
Yeah you will throw you arms around me

This is for the one I’m leaving behind. 😥

At this stage, my return is scheduled for next week. Tuesday to be exact.

Today was my final day going to see my favourite local Judean football team – the Wynnum Vikings. They played against the Coorparoo Kings. The Reserves lost by 2. The Seniors won by 40. A few months ago, I was trying to volunteer to help out the club – with their website, or with their fundraising. But people lost my number, or didn’t get back to me. So that didn’t end up happening. Which was disappointing, because the Vikings games became one of the highlights of my last few months. My friends I would go to the game with bought me some club merchandise as a farewell gift, and the club president gave me a couple of bottles of club wine (which I made a gift to one of my friends, since I don’t drink). It was a good afternoon though.

This evening, I’m back at AFK wasting time. I’m mainly spending time here because I’ve had it with Jim, my housemate. But I wont get into a Jim-whinge here. Let’s just say that being cooped up with someone who is insane has sent me to my threshold, so now I’m just limiting my exposure to him. Here in the cafe though, I just tried out Civilization IV for the first time – it seems like a cool game, but it needs a lot more of my time before I’ll understand most of what is going on in the game. It’s very ‘pretty’ though. I may spend much of the evening “testing” it 🙂
In the cafe though, the constant MusicMax means I end up hearing songs I haven’t heard in years. At the moment, Duran Duran‘s Hungry Like the Wolf is playing away, about 5 feet above my head. (Oh, that just stopped, and now we’ve got Kim Wilde‘s Kids In AmericaCountdown flashbacks!)

Tomorrow I’m mainly sorting out some things for my car, to make sure the little Lancer is up for the great emigration. It’ll be an interesting trip. Reminds me a bit of those movies where a great journey is undertaken on a plane/ship/whatever that makes the distance, but arrives on its last legs, and crashes rather than arrives at its destination. I suspect the Lancer will be like that – it’ll make it to Rome, but then need so much work it’ll be a little while before it’ able to fly again.

Monday, I’ve got some paperwork in Jerusalem-city to sort out. I’ll also be going to see some of the people in the city office I’ve spent the last two years providing support for.

Tuesday, the journey commences. I’ve teed up with Will that if anything catastrophic happens, he’ll set sail to come and rescue me. So one way or another, mid next week, I should be back in Rome. More than four years since I first left.

Well, it seems the Pasha Bulker’s still stuck fast at Nobby’s. But with the high tide tonight, and the full moon, they’re gunna give it another go. Good luck to them. I just hope it’s gone by the time I go through Novocastria in a few weeks.

Browsing the web, I found this, an interview with three guys who used to be in bands I managed, who’ve linked up and are working together now in an as-yet un-named band. The podcast though has them doing some songs, one of which dates from my era. During the interview, they get to the topic of how they’re all in their 30s, their lives have become comfortable and content, and this impacts on their productivity when it comes to writing songs. As Potsy says in the podcast, for a year he decided he’d not write sad songs, only happy songs. And in that year, he wrote nothing. Which comes back to what I said this week regarding my stalker. I sometimes wonder if not being wracked with angst and trauma from a disruptive life is meaning I’m writing less, or worse, or whatever.
But also in the interview, Blair points out how incredibly depressing the whole “married, mortgaged, bred and living the suburban dream” is. Reminds me a lot of something my friends and I used to describe as “Get a colour tele, grow old and fucking die”.

timeonearth.jpg It’s out today.
The new album.

As I type, I’m listening to the single (Don’t Stop Now) which, if you like, you can hear here.

Crowded House were the first band I ever saw live (July 1988) and that month, I even managed to buy a copy of Temple of Low Men before its official release date – the local music store put it on the shelves 3 days early.

I’m one of those who think that it’s not truly Crowded House without Paul. But I’ll still buy the CD. And all the singles. And everything else I can lay my hands on.

Last week, a question popped into my head: what can we tell about our world-view by looking at a list of the national anthems we recognise?
You see, I can only recognise the national anthems of a handful of countries – Australia, the US, the UK, France, Germany and Russia. From that, what does it say of my world view? Is your list any different? Why do you think that is?

While pondering this question, I began to think about New Zealand’s national anthem. It’s called God Defend New Zealand. And truth is, I wouldn’t have a clue if I heard it. Actually, the only reason I know its name is the debut episode of Hessie’s Shed in 1998. John Clarke made a joke about the Kiwi anthem, and he said he’d been trying (along with the Footy Show in NZ) to get it replaced with another song. A song he then performed with Neil Finn & Paul Hester. It’s called “We Don’t Know How Lucky We Are”. And it seems to be a song for Kiwis to feel good about their country. Which, after all, is what a national anthem’s for, isn’t it?

So here, in all its glory, is a copy of it. And I have to admit, if I were a Kiwi, I’d want this as my national anthem. It shits all over Advance Australia Fair. Even done to the tune of Gilligan’s Island or House of the Rising Sun or Working Class Man.

For those who knew Honey (Huniii), mentioned below, I have something.

Honey’s cousin was a recording artist in South Africa. He teamed up with some friends and recorded this song. And I’m experimenting here, but you should be able to download it and listen to it.

Cheers, Aurelius

She came all the way from America
She had a blind date with destiny
And the sound of Te Awamutu
Had a truly sacred ring

Crowded House’s Debut Self-Titled Album

It seems the rumours are true. So now I have to find out how to get tickets to this, the most important gig of the year. Whatever people are saying, I don’t give a flying fuck about the cause they’re promoting with this latest gig. I just want tickets to it because it’ll be almost 20 years since I went to my first Crowded House gig, and there’s no way I wanna miss this one.

Neil and I go way back. The first single I ever bought was “I Got You”, from his Split Enz days. Then, in July 1988, I went to my first gig – Crowded House at Bruce Stadium. I fell in love with the band that night, and I saw them about eight times over the next decade (including my buck’s night when they played Bruce again, this time with the Oils and Angels).

I was due to go to two of their gigs and missed them. I had tickets for their 1989 New Years Eve gig at Darling Harbour, when they played with the Enz, Hunters & Boom Crash Opera. That woulda been a good night. But I was in Tibur, and unable to get to Mos Eisley. Then, I was in Mos Eisley for their originally planned farewell gig, but when rain postponed it 24 hours, I missed out because I had to fly out to a meeting in Jerusalem. So I’m not missing the reunion gig. Even if Paul wont be there.

Anyone else notice the significance of Paul’s portrayal in this album-cover?