Wednesday, May 31, 2006

In Lieu

I still have no thinking pace left over for blogging right now but am loving the new blog Australian literature and culture blog Sarsparilla. Many of my faves in one spot. Yay Australian literature and culture. Yay.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday Lazy Blogging and a Procrastinating Detour

Don't forget: Dylan Radio Marathon 2SER Saturday 27th from 8pm. See below post for details international times.

I had planned to have some actual blogging here today, about the newish Tom Russell CD. But the time today I set aside for "do Tom thing" was actually spent in "sleep." In the glorious tradition of our craft and following Rock and Roll Damnation, here's some lazy blogging. An iTunes random selection.

Minor Enough Wrinkle Neck Mules
The Way We Make a Broken Heart Rosanne Cash
Finders Keepers The Miller Sisters (Sun Hillbill compilation)
Goddamn HIV Mary Gauthier (Number of really good country songs about AIDS? Four by my count. Two on this album and two on Rodney Crowell's The Houston Kid)
Undercover of the Night The Rolling Stones
Orange Blossom Special Johnny Cash
This Wheel's on Fire The Band (Rock of Ages live album)
We Shall Overcome Bruce Springsteen (since last we met, I decided I really like this album)
Sin City Dwight Yoakam
Visit Me in Music City Bobby Bare, Jr

I don't do personal blogging as a rule (trust me, it would be even more boring than the normal stuff). But having exhausted all other avenues of procrastination and since I got a scanner this week, a little personal rambling is over the fold.

Instead of blogging I've been studying. I always joked I blog to kill time, believe me it is true. No time no blog. Anyway. Last year, I thought about my junior management dead-end job and what I was going to do about it.

And I thought: you know what would give me the edge in today's competitive global economy? Egyptology, that's what.

So here I am. (Here, actually) Doing two subjects at night, one of which is hieroglyphs. Here's my last hieroglyphs class test in which I make two idiot mistakes. It is entirely typical of me to get the complex things right and completely blank out the simplest part, which I completely know. In life generally. I have teh dumb! Still the marks are good enough I can relax about this part of the assessment. The real test though will be the major exam in a few weeks and the major assignment I am currently working on, in the second picture. Of course you can find translations of this online but ours needs to be strictly literal. It involves elephants, as you can see.

Click for bigger version.

Now, to essay I must go. I'll be back out though to watch the Knights on Friday Night Footy so maybe I'll get that Tom Russell thing done then. Ha!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Bob Day

"The Laydeez Love Bob"

So. The patron saint of this blog is 65 on Wednesday. Sixty five! I'm giving you a few days notice to plan your day.

As usual the Bob Dylan Birthday Marathon on 2SER is on this Saturday night from 8pm to 2am. In Sydney you can tune in at 107.3 FM. Also anyone can listen on the net. Follow the signs. 8pm Saturday here is 11am Saturday London time and 6am Saturday US EST. Do the math and listen in!

We take requests and have competitions so listen out for the phone number and give us a buzz. You might get real lucky and talk to me. If you were lucky, of course, you couldn't have helped it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

grrrrrr (ANIAGW) #2: non-libellous this time

I can't believe for the second year in a row Jon Langford and Sally Timms are here and I can't go. Fug. At the Basement next week. Fug. And tickets are $15! Less than the cost of a beer at that place. $15! Can't go! Fug!

They are here in Melbourne on Saturday recording a live album and will be on the Coodabeen Champions radio show.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

grrrrrr (and not in a good way)

Off Topic Community Service Announcement

There is a company called Games Market.

They are supposedly in the business of selling software online. Am far too sober to get into the whole mess but let's just say they are highly reluctant to get into the spirit of the reciprocal nature of retailing. Like, I give you money and you give me ... what, Games Market? WHAT do you give me? Except MONTHS of grief? Huh? WHAT? They will fill your days -- MONTHS! MONTHS! -- with despair and your nights with pain. Plague. Avoid. Etc.

Tell all your friends.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Celestial Monochord does some awesome stuff. In my dreams I would love to be that blogger.

See recently: John Cohen and the Voyager Record and a follow up interview with John Cohen.

Cohen would be newly refamiliar to many after featuring in the Dylan doco No Direction Home, he's also got an exhibition just opened of early Dylan photos.

I Think He Moves Me

I am just beginning my exploration of the world of Chip Taylor. I first heard tell of duets with Lucinda Williams, sniffed them out, was blown away. Larry saw him and partner Carrie Rodriguez at Merlefest and pronounced them "not bad at all." I say: love it. I am intrigued by his voice, and the songs have really stuck in my head. More perhaps when I get a good listen to the albums.

Today I just want to recommend you check out his website. Chip has taken to the brave new world of teh internets with gusto -- including podcasts and song samples. I learnt something else tooling around that site: Chip Taylor wrote "Wild Thing." Yes, the Troggs song. That, I would never have guessed.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mother's Day

So the second Theme Time Radio Hour with Your Host Bob Dylan has gone to air. Good Midwest boy with a sense of occasion, Bob chose a theme for Mother's Day.

Bob's own mother Beatty was very dear to him and died several years ago. Her recipe for a Banana Choc Chip Loaf was published in the Detroit Free Press newspaper, since removed from there but archived here. I made it a few times and recommend.

As a deejay, like as a songwriter, can't help skewing things. Of Doughboy Tommy Duncan he says "his real name was Thomas Elmer Duncan" leaning on the middle name like a particularly revelatory punchline. Elmer, huh? That explains everything. He rolls out lines and lines of the lyrics of the songs he plays, placing the stress where no stress was meant to be. It's like, almost, he is playing with the 40 years of lyrical dissection handed out to him as Poet Laureate of Rock, the Voice of the Generation. Taking the piss (translation) by intoning You Are My Sunshine as if it were, well, as if it were Dylan.

Whatever the music was, it was going to be sublime. And he distributes nuggets of biographical and musical info, confiding in us as fellow music fans. "Here's one by Little Junior Parker ... I don't know if you need Little and Junior. His real name was Herman Parker, Junior. I guess I'd call myself Little Junior Parker too."

Bobby's love for the various forms is well known of course, no surprise the first song of the first show was Muddy Waters, "one of the ancients by now, whom all moderns prize." Current touring buddy Merle Haggard is an obvious choice with Mama Tried. Interestingly, the Rolling Stones (Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby?) are the only act over the two shows not to get a background spiel. But it isn't all blues, country, pre war oddities and obvious influences and peers like Jimi Hendrix. Randy Newman's Mama Told Me Not to Come ("An exhilirated (?) performer ... Randy's better known as a songwriter, an eclectic one. But nevetheless, one.") got a spin in the Mother show, as did LL Cool J's Mama Said Knock You Out. In a future show on Drinking Mary Gauthier's I Drink -- a stone cold modern classic for mine -- is scheduled.

One thing that surprised even me a bit, is how warm and friendly Bob sounds. A great voice for radio, and a musical generosity which shines though. And wildly funny, which is something casual fans or the unconverted need convincing of but the rest of us know for sure.

Bob plays songs and wheels out his typically corntastic jokes about mothers-in-law and the "mamas" in the song titles are sometimes wayward girlfriends but he comes back to the ideal of mothers. There are, he says, 82.5 million mothers in the USA which may be true, or it might be one of those sly little things Bobby just makes up. And he reads a poem, you're allowed to be cheesy on Mother's Day:
M is for the many things she gave me
O is for the other things she gave me
T is for the things she gave me
H is for her things, which she gave me
E is for everything she gave me
R is for the rest of the things she gave me

He closes with the stern instruction: "Go call your mothers!"

Good advice, Bobby.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

It's surely been a good month without a stoush over a random Best Of list. Sean at HickoryWind has hopped into the muddy waters Paste stirred up with its 100 Greatest Living Songwriters. I don't do "greatest" but I do "my favourite" which I left in comments over there.


Ebay goodness.

Earl Thomas Conley -- Treadin' Water I read somewhere recommending this bloke -- "thinking man's country" which sounds faintly horrible. All Music gives this album only two stars although they are positive overall. Produced by Randy Scruggs. He looks like a Miami Vice extra on the front cover.
Odetta -- And the Blues
Amazing Rhthym Aces -- How the Hell
Little Milton -- Guitar Man
Heather Myles -- Sweet Talk and Good Lies
Junior Wells -- Live Around the World

But, what does the "mailtrain" really signify?

I hate blogs that aren't updated, don't you? Unless things fall in my lap at the moment they don't get done, or they get half done or thought about or half thought about. But they don't get done.

This fell in my lap this week.

Students talking HSTY1076 American History from Lincoln to Clinton at Sydney University can answer this essay question. 1750 words. PFFFT! Kids these days have it so easy.

21. What does Bob Dylan’s album, Highway 61 Revisited, released in 1965, reveal about politics in the 1960s?

Sir, is the answer "absolutely nothing"?

Seriously, curious. The earlier acoustic albums, OK. Folk music as part of popular progressive movements addressing the issues of the day. OK. Highway 61 Revisited though?

Of course you might talk about the negative reaction from the folkniks to Bob's new direction, although that would be more relevant to Another Side Of ... and Bringing It All Back Home I would think, or the reaction to the live performances of H61 but that just takes us away from the album itself. I haven't read Greil Marcus' book on Like a Rolling Stone but I can see him airily spinning out the connections (but in, like, 17,500,000 words) but not perhaps a template I would recommend for a first year history essay.

So really, this is not a question I would even attempt to answer. Kids, do the one about FDR's letters and the Cold War or race relations in Chicago post World War I, at least then you know what they want you to say.

UPDATE: Thanks to Cletis for the link to this Bob article at The Nation. The gender stuff on page three is very interesting and I might have something to say about it another time. Until then, that's what the comments box is for!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Ramblin' Jack: He Stands Alone, Apparently

File under: another hip rehab of old timey dude.

My friends at report Ramblin' Jack Elliott:

... will be releasing his Anti debut and first new record in a decade on July 11th, 2006. The album, titled I Stand Alone will feature a variety of musicians including Flea, Lucinda Williams, Nels Cline, David Hidalgo, Corin Tucker, DJ Bonebrake.

The track list appears to be trad. "Mr Garfield" is written by Jack, but I only know the Johnny Cash version. DJ Bonebrake (drummer) is a name I haven't heard in a while, of X fame (fame-ish) and then The Knitters. His website notes he has "private instruction lessons to sincere students." I wish X would tour here. What does Costa Mesa, CA. have that I don't have?

For my sisters' benefit I will note that X singer Exene Cervenka is Viggo Mortensen's ex and mother of his child, the child who convinced him to do Lord of the Rings so in a way part of those Oscars belongs to a scruffy Los Angeles country punk outfit.

Jack has been here in the last few years, but I didn't see him. Apparently the old adage "they don't call him "ramblin'" because he travels alot" was proved true.

ALSO: What is up with Keith? I don't know and so wouldn't post about it but in case you were concerned about yesterday's brain surgery story (please note: a story which first appeared in the UK Sun), read this. Of course PR flaks are just as (more) capable of fibbing but at least it squares the ledger back to: chill, we still have no idea.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Flat out. I've had Springsteen's new album for a week or so now and I am conflicted. I don't think I like it and yet it is Bruce. Hence, confliction.

Late notice on this, thanks muchly to Brian for the heads up.

At the Metro TONIGHT:
On stage 10:30pm Gleny Rae Virus
& The Tamworth Playboys
9:35pm-10:10pm Bow Campbells Bloody Hell
8:30pm-9:15pm Texas Tea


Monday, May 01, 2006

I Dub Today "Intense Jealousy Monday"

Larry from HickoryWind is at MerleFest (Merle as in Watson), an annual pilgrimige for music fans. He's been madly updating with pictures, go over there and scroll down for all the updates.