The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis – Two Men With The Blues


YouTube – Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis – Two Men With The Blues

Willie Nelson is one of the all-time old-school legends. His career took off in Nashville in the late 50s when he wrote Crazy for Patsy Cline and a string of other hits such as Elvis Presley and You Were Always on My Mind. In the mid-60s, Willie’d had enough of Nashville and left for Austin, Texas where he recorded Red Headed Stranger with his road band and established himself as one the original musical rebels and founded the genre now known as alt country. The Anti-Nashville (someone once called Garth Brooks the Anti-Hank).

At 75 years of age, he’s been on and off the road again ever since. He’s had multiple marriages and gone broke three times, but he keeps on keeping on. His Green Room habits led Melbourne Band The Dead Livers to write and record a song called I’d Love to Have a Joint with Willie which they played over the PA at one of his concerts.

I caught The Daily Planet on an urgent dash out of town today and heard Willie and Wynton Marsalis playing a live version of the Hogey Charmichael classic Startdust.

NowSure enough, in Colac, I found the CD and it’s just magic. The collaboration came about when Natalie Cole had to cancel a series of shows with Wynton’s band at the last minute and somehow Willie stepped into the breach. Willie meets N’yorlans.

One of the last of his kind and a true musical legend.

Filed under: YouTube, , , ,

Obama’s a’changin the masters of war

The Times Online

In a recent interview published in The Times, Bob Dylan gives his take on the run up to the US presidential election in November and says Barrack Obama is ‘redefining the nature of politics from the ground up’:

“Well, you know right now America is in a state of upheaval. Poverty is demoralising. You can’t expect people to have the virtue of purity when they are poor.

“But we’ve got this guy out there now who is redefining the nature of politics from the ground up…Barack Obama.

“He’s redefining what a politician is, so we’ll have to see how things play out. Am I hopeful? Yes, I’m hopeful that things might change. Some things are going to have to.”

He added: “You should always take the best from the past, leave the worst back there and go forward into the future.”

It’s a simple choice: a young man offering hope for the future or an aging master of war. Obama? It’s a No Brainer. He will win handsomely. Let’s hope the military industrial complex resists the urge to take him out.

Filed under: Music, Politics, YouTube, , ,

Happy Christmas me arse!

In case you missed it RockWiz tonight had Tex Perkins and Clare Bowditch doing a great rendition of Fairytale of New York by The Pogues’ Shane McGowan and Kirsty McColl. The most distinctive of Irish balladeers Christy Moore described McGowan as one of the greatest contemporary folk poets.

Here’s the original video clip.

To my loyal readers, lurkers, one and all – please accept, with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the summer solstice holiday, practised within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and or traditions of others or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008 but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our country great. Not to imply that our country is greater than any other country. This wish is made without regard to race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference.

Filed under: Music, Religion, YouTube

Neil Young’s Chrome Dreams II

I’ve been listening to Neil Young’s latest album Chrome Dreams II. It’s rather good – especially for a man who is now 62 years old. He never ceases to amaze. Here’s what Amazon had to say:

What we have here is easily Mr. Young’s finest work in years, one that erases the memory of his well-intentioned but anemic 2006 protest album, Living with War. Recorded using analog gear, with Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina, pedal steel guitarist Ben Keith, and Rick Rosas on bass, CD2 manages to sound both home-grown and experimental. It’s the work of an artist still not afraid to take chances, who also knows what his strengths are and doesn’t stray too far from them. Trainspotters will note that three of the ten songs were written but never released before, while we all might puzzle over the title. Chrome Dreams is the name of an unreleased album from 1977. So, why is this Chrome Dreams II? Is it a similar case to 1992’s Harvest Moon, when Young went back to the virtual land of his 1972 hit Harvest to write more material in that vein? As the original was reportedly lost in a fire, we may never know. Chrome Dreams II offers up gorgeous, plaintive laments and country-tinged numbers sung in that achy breaky, heart-on-sleeve voice of Young’s, as well as ragged barn-storming rockers delivered with a growl. There’s even an 18-minute dirge that excitedly mixes R&B back-up horns with searing electric guitar leads! Wow. –Mike McGonigal

Didn’t find much of relevance on You Tube, but I did find the 1971 Massey Hall video of what might be the first recorded public performance of Heart of Gold – unplugged and unadorned.

Filed under: Music, YouTube

Moving to Montana


Been watching The Classic Album episode on Frank Zappa’s Apostrophe/Overnite Sensation project which included the following (I think) performance of Frank’s cowboy favourite of mine – Montana. the genius of Zappa at his finest and most accessible.

Filed under: Music, YouTube

It’s all over now, baby Blue


For your election diversion, another Bob Dylan classic from a live performance in London, 1965 in dedication to Team Howard. If you have trouble understanding the meaning of the words, you are in good company. John Howard only likes Dylan for his music, not his lyrics.

Filed under: Federal Election 2007, Music, YouTube

Election relief – Putting the Dick back in Dixie


In the critically acclaimed BBC documentary series Lost Highway: The History of American Country a couple of years back, was some interview footage with Hank Williams III. I’ve never had much time for Hank Williams Junior, but Hank Williams III struck me as the real deal.

Call it hard-twang, punkabilly, cowpunk, alternacountry, slacker swing or honky punk. It’s certainly not your grandfather’s country music nor is it your father’s, either, unless your grandfather happens to be the legendary Hank Williams and your father Hank Williams Jr.

…it is fellow neo-classicist country performers like Hancock, Dale Watson and Big Sandy and the Fly-Rite Boys whom Williams points to as the future of Nashville, even if the country music mainstream has so far shunned them. Hank’s own music returns to the themes of fellow outlaws like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, David Allen Coe, Johnny Paycheck, Kris Kristofferson, George Jones “all artists who were, at one time or another, snubbed by Music City.

At the time I tried to find some CDs, but they could not be found locally – until Friday. At JB HiFi they were selling his first CD Risin’ Outlaw from 1999 and my new favourite Lovesick, Broke & Driftin’ – for $12 each. Yee ha!

Lovesick, Broke & Driftin’, released in 2003, is a more balanced, technically superior album with almost all-original material – mostly acoustic and superbly played. It sounds like I imagine Grand Daddy Hank would sound like if he was just hitting the scene today. It’s as ‘though young Shelton (as Hank III is known to family and friends) is channeling the great man himself.

There is other material sounding much more like Hank Snr, but I couldn’t resist this classic live performance of “the man who put the Count… back into Country Music”. It reveals more about Hank III than the magnificent studio recordings.

Contains language that some may consider obscene (get over it).

Filed under: Music, YouTube

Kevin07 is just Howard 2.0


Eddie Perfect of Keating, the Musical fame performed this incisively satirical piece on The Sideshow last Saturday night. Eddie expresses that niggling discomfort many of us have about Rudd and the ALP, and cleverly captures what might be the typical Gen X attitude – if you have to elect a nerdy looking guy with a round face and glasses, you may as well vote for the one with hair. Howard is so last-season. And a not-insignificant reason to vote for Kevin07 is to see the look on Howard’s face when the mother-f*cker loses.

The idea in the chorus is that the Kevin07 update is just John Howard 2.0 – it’s still the same old shit. As a Rudd supporter (people thought I was mad when I said that Rudd will be the next Prime Minister, six months before he was elected leader of the ALP), Eddie’s song is close to the mark.

But let’s face it, if you already have Howard 1.5 why wouldn’t you want to upgrade to Howard 2.0? It will have more features (even if you never use them all), be more user-friendly, easier to use, less liable to crashes, more visually attractive, and it will network more compatibly with the rest of world.

Of course we’re stuck with the same monopolistic corporate proprietary operating system. Personally I think we’d all be better off running open-source.

Filed under: Australian values, Federal Election 2007, Music, Politics, YouTube

It’s all right Ma, I’m only bleeding

Driving for some hours today to the Optomist in Queenscliff I was singing along with the Car Collection I made for the Rose’s Gap roadtrip and on the way home was a stripped back version of It’s All Right Ma, I’m only Bleeding by Bob Dylan with nothing but a guitar and a harmonica. The Bird’s version was a significant feature of the soundtrack to Easy Rider with Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper.

IAMIOB is one of my all time Dylan favorites. Pure Beat poet inspired stream of consciousness pre-rap observations of the essential existential angst of modern life. I can’t believe I just wrote that, but that’s the best way I can put it. Or you can just listen to the man himself in one of these MyTube thingies. Sensational lyrics if you maintain the concentration.

Filed under: Music, Philosophy, YouTube

Just gimme some truth…

To the few who would notice, I haven’t blogged much of late as my energies have been spent elsewhere, such as banjo jamborees, a lot back end stuff rebuilding a band website, and tweaking Blogotariat among other things. Generally taking care of business in my spare time.

Besides, the state of play in Australian politics at the moment is so desultory and nauseating it’s hard to find the inspiration amongst all the noise. Just bring it on chrissakes and spare us the the crap that passes for political debate and reportage!

ABC2 just re-screened the making of John Lennon’s classic album Imagine. In the summer of 1971, John Lennon and Yoko Ono went into the studio of their estate at Tittenhurst Park, Ascot, England and recorded the classic album Imagine. Every aspect of the recording sessions was filmed and forms the core of this now poignant film, made when the Lennon genius was probably at its peak. Yoko and John were in the first flush of their romance. He still had his youthful vitality and many more songs and creative paths to follow, and there was a simplicity to his life still, although he was world-famous and a multi-millionaire.

Gimme Some Truth sums it all up rather well I think.

Filed under: Federal Election 2007, Music, Politics, YouTube

The Dog’s Bollocks

What they say

The Dog's Bollocks: "Bollocks" is one of my favourite words, and this is now one of my favourite blogs and I've only been reading it for five minutes. – John Surname

This is the person who tried to analyse Hayek. This is actually a person who needs a shrink. – JC

Shut up slim. You’re an idiot.
Just you stay honest and keep that thinking cap on. – GMB

Insightful perspectives on politics and discussion of matters epistemological? I’m sold! - Bruce

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