Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday 20

Not much for you this week, which is why god invented memes. This comes courtesy of my new 1GB ipod, on account of: my other piece of junk died and the warranty papers proved elsuive. Curses.

A Long Way Home
Dwight Yoakam
New Morning
Bob Dylan
The Big Payback Bruce Springsteen
Where Did You Sleep Last Night Leadbelly
Things That I Used to Do Guitar Slim
Where Will I Be Emmylou
Not Fade Away
Rolling Stones
Born to Run Bruce Springsteen (live acoustic from the Chimes of Freedom single. I used to collect Bruce singles and CD oddities, then they all got stolen. This is one that survived)
Stormy Monday T-Bone Walker
Sign on the Window Bob Dylan
Day of the Locusts Bob Dylan
On My Knees Charlie Rich
Sail Away Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry (thanks to FX for reminding me of it ...)
Pay Me My Money Down Bruce Springsteen Has anyone else heard the new Bruce, The Seeger Sessions? I have ... still trying to understand if I like it or not. This song is pretty infectious though.
Barbara Allen Bob Dylan (Gaslight Tapes)
I Walk the Line (Revisited) Rodney Crowell
It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry Bob Dylan (Concert for Bangladesh)
Human Touch Bruce Springsteen
Down by the Riverside/When the Saints Go Marching In Elvis
Jacob's Ladder Bruce Springsteen

Thursday, April 27, 2006


All The Roadrunning
Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris

This album is really boring.

That is all.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Herald has a Buddy review which agrees with mine though he hated Robbie. And:

Oh, and whoever hit on the idea of a mosh pit in front of the seating for this concert needs their head read.

Hardly a mosh pit. A pit maybe. Pit-esque. No moshing. It's called having fun. Cope.

Also: Via Expecting Rain, Lee Abrams' blog, the radio guru behind Bob at XM.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Thanks to the Tonker for heads up on the Balmain Acoustica festival this Sunday, including the tasty opportunity to see a rare appearance of Jim Conway's Big Wheel.


Just back from Byron East Coast Blues Festival and want more? Too little time or money to go traipsing off around the country to experience the excitement and fun of a world-class music festival? Don't worry, the festival has come to you and it's free!
On next Sunday, April 23 2006, the Balmain Acoustica festival will once again take place at Birchgrove oval in Sydney's inner west suburb of Balmain.
After the knock out success of last year's Balmain Acoustica Festival, this year's event promises to be better than ever! Along with a strong line-up of favourites such as the nationally acclaimed Backsliders, Big Wheel, The National Junk Band, master of the ukulele, Azo Bell and Kate McLurkin, this year's festival will also showcase the talents of highly respected Australian musicians such as Charlie McMahon (Gondwana), Jimmy Little and internationally respected world music exponents Mara. Singer songwriters Mitch Granger and Tamlin Tregonning will show just what the new crop of 'Balmain Boys' can do.
Like any great music festival, it's not only about the music. The ambience provided by a wonderful waterside location at Birchgrove oval, fabulous food stalls, carnival rides, roving performers provided by Circus Unique, jugglers and fire-eaters makes this a fun day for people of all ages.
So bring a picnic rug and settle in to enjoy one of the most exciting musical events to hit the peninsula.

WHERE : Birchgrove Oval, off Grove Street, Birchgrove
WHEN: Sunday 23 April, 12.00 pm to 9pm
HOW TO GET THERE: Birchgrove Oval overlooks Snail Bay & is next to Grove Street, Birchgrove. The 441 & 432 buses travel from the city to Grove Street & ferries from Circular Quay travel to Snail Bay Wharf.


Update: Go here to hear an XM promo with Ol' Golden Microphone Bobby himself (right at the end) inviting us to listen ... Daggy, yet thrilling!

The May 3rd date for Bob Dylan's debut as a disc jockey on XM Satellite Radio draws near and more info arrives.

I have signed up for the USD$8 a month subscription. XM's marketing peple deserve a pay rise. We Dylan tragics are such easy marks.

The theme of the first show is "weather."

Greil Marcus has heard a preview:

“He sounds like he’s been doing it for years,” rock critic and Dylan expert Greil Marcus said in an interview. “In his head he probably has.”

Many of these recordings are quite obscure. Marcus ... enthused that some of the records were new even to him.

A press release with show details and ...

Fans also can e-mail their questions and music requests directly to Bob Dylan at


Song lists for future episodes will be built around themes such as "cars," "dance," "police," and "whiskey."

The show is on at various times the first being 10am US EST Wednesday May 3rd and is repeated several times. Inevitably it will turn up else where on the web but as a fully paid up legitimate subscriber I cannot encourage freeloading ...

Mixed Up Confusion

On account of the pub being closed for the public holiday the Dylan get together didn't happen Monday. Didn't happen for me anyway, maybe you all were laffing it up somewhere else. I left a note and sat in the Agincourt staring forlornly at the video jukebox for an hour.

Anyway, a few of us thought it would be a nice idea to try and get together this Monday. It would be good to have one and Tuesday is a public holiday (although of course we should all go to the dawn service .... )

So. This Monday 24th April. Same place -- Bar Abercrombie, cnr Abercrombie and Broadway. Out in the beer garden. 7pm-ish.
My take on the Sugar Hill tribute to Randy Newman is up at Hickory Wind.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I Met the Blues

My arms just above the elbow have that lovely bruised feeling which makes it impossible to rest them on anything today. This means one thing.

Yes, folks. I was on the rail last night.

After enduring the trials of mid-stadium obscurity at the Stones and stuck in a back corner at Daniel Lanois, last night I came home. Interestingly, the sound for Robert Cray was what you expect that close to the stage, pretty tinny and echo-y. You accept that for the pleasure and privilege of being so close to the people you've come to see. But the sound for Buddy Guy in exactly the same spot was rich and glorious.

The crowd was big and mixed, from the crusty old blues guys to young hispters in Hendrix shirts to ... me. Quite a number of young teenagers there too, a boy who looked about 14 was next to me on the rail. In a Led Zep t-shirt and clutching a Terrance Dicks Doctor Who novel, he was like the little brother I never had. Twice Buddy came up and personally gave him his guitar pick, which was great -- even if I was hoping he was headed this way to give it to me. ;-)

Robert Cray and band opened the show. Cray, if you don't know, is a super guitarist, exciting soul/blues singer and about 37 different shades of utterly hot. I don't think most of his original songs are quite classics but he played a couple of my favourites "Strong Persuader" and "Phone Booth". Some chick kept shrieking for "Mr Cray" to do "Foul Play" which alas he did not. He has his guitars slung quite high and the microphone was set quite low, so he leaned into it in a way that seemed awkward to me at first but accentuated the genuine emotion on his face while singing and playing.

Do not ask me about his guitars, he had about eight different ones, all Fenders and all very shiny but maybe some guitar geek will turn up in comments with the deets. "Strong Persuader" was the funky centre of the set and special mention of Jim Pugh on organ who let rip with some mighty solos. Next up for Robert and the boys is Melbourne tonight, then NZ and then touring with Eric Clapton.

The tough thing for Robbie is that no matter how good-unbelievable-transcendant-awesome you are ... it's just that, Buddy Guy is on next and there's not much competing with that. In my Buddy post below there is some chat about aspects of Buddy's act termed "goofing off." If you google for show reviews (or see Wikipedia -- Heh. "The neutrality of this article is disputed" -- Flop Eared Mule's new motto) you'll see talk of playing some of the show from the theatre bath room, playing with teeth, comic stop-starting of songs and general all round mugging and tomfoolery. The complaint is that this mucking about replaces the real music. Perhaps the awesome influence of F.E.M is such Buddy cut us a break or maybe my definition of goofing is different or maybe ... whatever.

Whatever. Awesome Spine Tingling Life Changing Jaw Drop Making Deity Praising Just To Be Allowed To Be Here Blues: 100% Distracting Larking: 0%

OK, yes he played the guitar with his teeth once, with a drumstick, with the front of his shirt, one handed, under handed but for only seconds at a time and if you closed your eyes it sounded like awesome blues to me. He certainly engaged the crowd, I laughed alot. And some showboating went on but I don't see any of that as inconsistent with the tradition he's from, the natural instincts of a performer and the oft-expressed blues desire to have a good time.

How can you be singing "Love Her With a Feeling" and not be having a damn good time?

As if you would close your eyes, though, when Buddy Guy is a freakin' foot away playing "Hoochie Coochie Man." There was one part where the lights went down except for one on Buddy and he picked out a classic blues riff. He's wearing a garish polka dot shirt and clutching a polka dotted guitar but for a few seconds in that soft white light he looked young and like the old footage you see of bluesmen from the 40s and 50s. I shivered.

He did his traditional walk through of the theatre, right through the stage floor, into the foyer and up into the mezzanine level. Again, this could be gimmicky but while he's doing this he's also pounding out a phenomenal Muddy Waters song. The second guitarist was playing rhythm back on stage so that was all Buddy and it was exhilirating music first, and happened to be giving the crowd a huge thrill at the same time. From the stage a number of times he told us we were here to hear the real blues, and the crowd roared its approval. There were any number of heart breaking riffs and exhilirating Buddy Guy guitar explosions. Hightlights which still have me buzzing would be "Hoochie Coochie Man", a sublime "Fever" and the infectious "Damn Right I've Got the Blues" and "Someone Else is Slippin' In." Paying tribute to the influence of John Lee Hooker, the opening of "Boom Boom" just about brought the joint down.

One of my best nights in a long time.

I have had a heap of Google referrals this morning already for people wanting "buddy guy enmore 2006 review" or the like. Chill! Although I understand your excitement. Today sometime.

Meanwhile, check out Boney Earnest for some truly exciting news about another favourite god of mine: Solomon Burke. Recording a country album with Gillian and David, Emmylou and Buddy Miller!!!!!! Solomon had some crossover country hits in the early 60s, he some amusing stories about being booked to play KKK events which I will try and find.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Dying to know what key the Stones played Angie in at Telstra Stadium last week? Wonder no more. Go here and click on the top left hand picture.

Found that site via the
music links page at, who have also linked to me, bless.

From the list I've also been checking out
Miles Ago (good resource for details about Aussie bands and artists) and 1-94 Bar.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Out of Sight

Stones Week ends, Buddy Week begins. Buddy Guy, that is, with Robert Cray at the Enmore Theatre this Wednesday night. Sure, I've heard tell of erratic idiosyncratic live performances leaving fans baffled and disappointed bemused and the ticket prices make the Stones look positively charitable but a) it's Buddy Guy and b) I'm late to this legends-seeing game. When you're 29 you take every opportunity you have to see these guys. Ain't none of us got the luxury of picking and choosing.

I recently got a hold of a DVD, The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1969 Volume Three. I'll definitely be getting Vols 1,2 and 4. And 5 and 6 and 7 if they exist.

The series is billed as "a rare collection of performances by America's premiere bluesmen at the peak of their artistry." These are the tours cited over and over again as major influences on that whole generation of English folky, bluesy, rocky types and Robert Plant, Eric Clapton and others recall the impact in the liner notes, which are excellent. The quality of the black and white film is gorgeous (better than my screenshots), being recorded in TV studios, mostly in Germany. So many highlights I think I'll have to make a series of it.

Buddy makes an appearance on the first number, guitarorising on Hound Dog with Big Mama Thornton. The notes record that "many in the audience for the AFBF tour that fall were surprised by Guy's full-on attack and his take no prisoners guitar pyrotechnics."

He didn't make so much of an impression on others however,

He had visited the United Kingdom earlier in the year, appearing on the British television show Ready Steady Go! in February where he was mistakenly introduced by the host, Cathy McGowan, as Chuck Berry. When McGowan apologized for her mistake later on in the programme, she unbelievably referred to Guy as Chubby Checker.

Track 3 is Buddy on "Out of Sight."

Playing both the rhythm and horn riffs on his guitar, he moved in ways which foreshadowed Jimi Hendrix. The kinetic energy is contagious.

Blues player? Doing a James Brown soul number? Quelle horreur! "I was here in Chicago," Guy explains, "and every joint we played in had a jukebox and if you couldn't play those Top 10 numbers on the jukebox, you wasn't gonna play in this club! So, that's what had me doing the James Brown. I didn't know what the fuck is going on in Europe. I've never been there before. Didn't nobody come up and tell me, 'Hey man, you gotta play blues!"

After Buddy cottoned on to the fact that the Europeans didn't appreciate their blues artists playing soul music, "Out of Sight" was removed from his repetoire and, for the rest of the tour, Guy played nothing but straight 12-bar blues.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Dylan folks will be hanging out again tomorrow night Monday 17th. Bar Abercrombie (is that's what is it called now? It used to be The Australian) corner Broadway and Abercrombie 7ish onwards in the beer garden out the back. Feel free to drop in and have a beer.

UPDATE: And to get you in the mood, memories of Bob in Australia 1966.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Easter Eight

Worked up another podcast, not so much "casting" as such. All music, none of me stumbling over my script. Special bootleg edition.

Download here. 40 minutes. 37MB.

Song details over the fold.

Bob Dylan
Mr Tambourine Man
Birmingham, AL 2/4/95
Just beautiful.

Please Please Me
studio, 1993
"I coulda written it better." Heh.

Buck Owens
Cryin' Time
Santa Monica Pier 1998

Rick Danko and Paul Butterfield
Java Blues

Blue Note Boulder Colorado December 13 1979

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings with Emmylou Harris, Old Crow Medicine Show & Chris Thile The Weight
32nd Telluride Bluegrass Festival
Town Park, Telluride, CO
18th June 2005
Had to fade out the end a bit quick because there's skipping which ruins the effect.

Guy Clark
Desperados Waiting for a Train
BBC Radio 2 2005

Irma Thomas and The Las Vegas Connection
Cry On

Roy LaRoccaís Showboat Lounge
Fat City, Metairie, Louisiana
December 26, 1977

Buck Owens
Folsom Prison Blues and
Streets of Bakersfield
as above

What A Drag It Is to See You

If I were Larissa Dubecki I would be truly embarrassed. Even if you think the age of Stones any way actually important,





truly and utterly

boring and jaw droppingly unoriginal it is to bang on about it?

You're only about the 1,8653,86847th person in newspapers alone and just during the last seven days to say exactly the same thing.

It's like a best man reading crude "telegrams"in a wedding reception speech, or a Rove monologue. You want to sink into the ground with mortification on their behalf.


memo to self: bookmark this post so during the next Dylan tour (with "can't sing" for "old") I can just cut and paste it to save time.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Insurgent Albertan Corb Lund was a late addition to Byron and he's on at the Sandringham in Newtown tomorrow night, $15. With Karl Broadie. Strongly recommended.

-1 Sleep

I do lead up better than aftermath and post mortem. It was great, they rock. Woot! I'll pass you over to Flutey and cs for details.

UPDATE: This morning I felt a bit fuzzy and not too interested in doing a wrap up. I never know what to say -- other than "It was great. They rock. Woot!" but since Flutey asked so nicely in comments ...

Rock is a jealous god. There are rules, and if you break the rules you get punished, as is only right and proper.

The most goldenest of golden rules is this: be up the bloody front.

I transgressed. Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.

I was in the middle which was good, half way back just behind the most expensive tickets which seemed like it would be OK. On the arena floor, which turned out to be bad. On tip toes all night I barely saw anything on the stage itself. A few glimpses of Mick has he careered insanely around, an odd spotting of Keith and Ronnie weaving it together, which I desperately wanted to see.

It was short notice between when ticketing arrangements were announced and when they went on sale. The only way to really get the seats I want is to queue up but I really couldn't take the day off work to do it. Last night, I was thinking "I should have quit my frigging job entirely to get that ticket!" It would have been worth it!

So I made do, and lied myself into believing it would be OK. I have sinned in thought, word and deed.

So I felt a bit down about it for the first third of the gig (set list )-- although the music was hawt, especially You Got Me Rocking. Oh, and Dead Flowers! That was a treat. And It's Only Rock 'n' Roll. And Tumbling Dice, and Nightime with Lisa Fischer having the entire stadiuim in the palm of her hand. Oh, OK. So the entire first third was bloody brilliant rock and roll.

But, I saw as through a glass darkly. Indeed, I saw not at all. My heart was heavy, the spirit of rock was wrestling in the garden of my soul with the serpent of sucky seats.

During Keith's two songs alot of people inexplicably sat down -- the god of rock won't let those trangressors off scot-free either, mark.

But as the heads parted, I saw I had been given a second chance. The heads parted and I could see Keef, perfect and alone in the spotlight.

I could see! I could see! Verifuckingly, I could see.

Miss You just wouldn't quit and I've been possessed by it all day today. There were some annoying girlie girls next to me and I thought I might have kicked over their Bundies and coke so I looked down for a few seconds.

When I raised my eyes -- a vision! The small stage had worked its way to the centre, still too far away but at least I could make out human figures and even some detail.

I have read the scriptures and I know Honky Tonk Woman is often played on the small stage and I was not disappointed. With that the switch was well and truly flicked and the rest of the night was ecstatically wonderful. One moment of transcendance was all that I needed, lifted out of myself and my seat -- I was delivered.

Special mention of Paint it Black -- aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! The first Stones song that ever entered my life and shook me up, lo almost a score of years ago, and I didn't even know it was the Stones who did it. Mysterious ways.

The god of rock has given me much. But it was not given to me to have a sense of rhythm. With Mick and crowd clapping I can keep time, just about. As soon as it is just me I lose it entirely and flap about randomly. I am, truly, the Anti-Charlie Watts.

Monday, April 10, 2006

One Sleep

No one better try make me sit down. I agree with whoever said, if you're name is Charlie Watts, you can sit down. Everyone else UP!


What do you call the effect on a song where the singer sounds like he's on a dodgy radio, far away.

For instance, Steve Earle -- "Ashes to Ashes", right at the beginning. Or the chorus of "NYC" from El Corazon. He does it elsewhere too but I'm not motivated enough to listen to those last couple of silly albums of his to remind me on which songs.

In my mind it is "stupid idiot studio trickery bullshit" but there must be a more precise term ...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Honky Tonk Highway (good to have you back!) has the lowdown on the cancellation of Hunter and Suzy's Balmain gig. Another one bites the dust but hopefully a window will open elsewhere ...

Also, 4 sleeps ...
The Rolling Stones ­ One On One
Time: 10.30
Channel: 9
Duration: 60 Minutes
Ellen Fanning's exclusive interview with the Rolling Stones, who are in Japan on their A Bigger Bang world tour and are about to arrive in Australia to sell-out concerts.


Get there early to see Rev J.D ...

And Sunday the Toe Sucking Cowgirls make a rare (last?) trip to town:

Then on Sunday night we'll be heading back to one of our favourite haunts in Sydney, the Botany View Hotel from 6.30-9.30pm. Mike Vidale will be joining us on bass and Paul Dunn on drums, two guys that were there at the very beginning of the Cowgirls. We don't know when we'll be back in Sydney again, and as Gleny has decided to call it quits and move onto greener pastures, it could very well be our last gig ever!

Melbourne! Don't forget about the Bastards ...

Thursday, April 06, 2006

5 Sleeps

Had occasion to listen to Vega FM this morning. They are giving away Stones tickets (only Gold though -- pretty stingy.) The winner said she was not really a Stones fan because she was "too young," but her parents listened to them.

She was 41.

They might not have many listeners, but they're all quality.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Sail Away

Like Dylan, I think alot of Randy Newman songs are virtually uncoverable. They require a certain voice, and require almost straight mimicry to pull off. Exceptions noted of course. Guilty, sublime in the hands of Bonnie or whoever. You Can Leave Your Hat On confirms the rule, the original is sly and uncomfortable, far away from the Tom Jones/Joe Cocker straight ahead sex bomb versions. Sure you can listen to that version and enjoy it, but its only casually related to the original, and 10% of its reward.

Intrigued then by this Sugar Hill May release a First XI line up of "roots" artists:

Sail Away: The Songs of Randy Newman
Various Artists

1. Tim O’Brien, Sail Away

2. Sonny Landreth, Louisiana 1927

3. The Del McCoury Band, Birmingham

4. Reckless Kelly & Joe Ely, Rider In The Rain

5. Allison Moorer, Marie

6. Steve Earle, Rednecks

7. Béla Fleck , Burn On

8. Sam Bush, Mr. President (Have Pity On The Working Man)

9. Guster, Memo To My Son

10. The Duhks, Political Science

11. Marc Broussard, You Can Leave Your Hat On

12. Kim Richey, Texas Girl At The Funeral Of Her Father

Steve Earle doing Rednecks??

Intrigued, I say again. Damn intrigued.

"Levon is a Saab afficionado"

"During the 1990s, Volkswagen sponsored three high-profile rock bands' European tours, and issued special-editions of the Rabbit (or the Golf, as the model is called in Europe), with distinctive exterior markings, for each: the 1994 Pink Floyd Edition, the 1995 Golf Rolling Stones Edition, and the 1996 Bon Jovi Edition. Now Saab is doing the same with a new limited edition 9-3 convertible named after the pink house in West Saugerties where Bob Dylan and The Band recorded the legendary Basement Tapes in the late '60s."

A belated April Fool's, but it kind of made me think for a few seconds ...

Monday, April 03, 2006

8 Sleeps

(or 16 sleeps if you're me since I like my afternoon siestas)

Thanks to Deathgod.

The Dog Ate It

Too busy at the moment to do much of any substance. Of any length anyway. In the meantime I renew my invitation to anyone who wants to contribute - rant, review of CD, concert, whatever, memories, anything.

I have a fair bit half done or half thought of. Charlie Rich retrospective; Be Here To Love Me, the Townes Van Zandt film; the new Tom Russell which I haven't even had time to go buy yet, American Folk Blues Festival DVD, must also get the Walk the Line DVD and check out the extras, another podcast. Gigs in the next week to report on: Eugene Hideaway Bridges, Stones, Buddy Guy/Robert Cray, Daniel Lanois. I'm sure Shaun will tell us about Los Lobos. It's Bluesfest bottleneck time and I'm going to miss them.

The paper comments on the fact there are still seats left for the Rolling Stones at Telstra Stadium next (!) week (!). I can't agree the price would be putting people off, $90 (or $150) is hardly over the odds for a big show these days. Except for Rio and the Superbowl this will be their biggest show since October last year, so if you're up the back it might be a bit spacious but down in the thick of it ... well, I can hardly wait.

Having checked a week or so ago, after a new release of tickets and these remaining seats are mostly in the far outer with a few of the most expensive Diamond level ones, which should be long gone by now. I already have a ticket but I haven't (quite) given up getting one in my prefered spot so keep going back in case they release more. Cutting it a bit fine now.

I expect the Ticketek allotment to sell out before the day but the poor scalpers have been caught a bit short as I note on eBay that many tickets are now being sold for half face value.

See recent setlists and reviews here.

Sunday, April 02, 2006