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Showing posts from October, 2009

Old silver heirs

Those who are fans of Paul Weller would know that his father and manager of some 30 years, John Weller, passed away earlier this year. He was 77, or 78. Paul Weller has gone on to say that his dad was the best drinking buddy anyone could ever have. But it's quite obvious he was more than just a drinking buddy, and much more than a maverick rock manager even. The man was just plain extraordinary. There he was, uneducated, a worker, a former boxer, turned into one of Britain's most successful and enduring rock managers, charting and following the path his son led as one of Britain's most loved performers and songwriters.

People will associate the immensely musical and talented Paul Weller as the star with his incredible body of recorded work, his awesome live shows and his perpetual suave mod looks and fashion sense. Yet John Weller had that extra-special something, you just have to watch and listen to him talk on videos to see that. He appeared to possess a most con…

the veritable history of the Velvet Road

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where to begin, where to begin.... October 1998, me, a 28-year old fresh-faced lick-wounder carries his technics p50 didji piano caveman style to the excelsior hotel in surry hills for a chancy singer-songwriter night and meets a chessboard of players who would determine his next decade's moves and beyond with paul the nice but loopy mcgowan and vee nee vesna who was making a film and i had it on vhs and now it is lost and ahhh and the egghead guy from the blue mountains is there and yawnly interviewed and pennie lennon who's now on the other side of the mountains discusses women and age and rock and she's still wonderful and i find out later she had an album produced by the bass player of the church and i go ga ga and james was pres and he was long haired and audaciously rocked who leads me to a fetchingly passionate guy who's slightly balding and overweight holding pen'n'paper to write the same reviews for the same ol axe-wielders and he's an editor of a …

Album review: Nick Punal's Revolution

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(This article will be published in the 'Songsmith'. But it'll need more proofreading & editing before I submit it.)
“REVOLUTION is Nick Puñal’s first fully produced album. After several years and many trips to Sound Dog Recording Studio recording a song here and there (with plenty of breaks in between) the album finally came together in 2009.” These are the introductory words to Nick Puñal’s official blurb & credit sheet for his new album, Revolution.The most striking facet of this album release is that it’s only available to download, through iTunes. Those who prefer the more traditional approach of a CD release would likely frown upon this venture, but a line has to be drawn between what is traditional and that which is practical. No one these days – particularly a self-funded artist – is expected to release his or her music on vinyl. The iTunes release is a crafty and intelligent way of selling and disseminating this music. For those who purchase the album,…

eviction

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we
all
face eviction
from our dwellings, possibly
but from our bodies
definitely
we plan and dream for endless tomorrows
and splash around the black muck pool
of yesterdays
that have gone forever
yet live eternally in our emotional inventory
there's no end to it
so better to end it
and to be here now
because 'now' is all there ever is
and that psychic double
awaiting us at that moment of eviction
is as far away from us as cigarette paper
we can feel it within us
those times where we not our memory or our name
our pride and prejudice
we awaken from a delightful morning's sleep
and we sing like perfect nature's glowing, gorgeous morning
until we remember our selves
and slump down like a few tonne of bricks

it is whispered among circles
that continually spiral away
that the moment of release is ecstatic
there is a registration of aliveness and survival
the supernal knowledge that there is no "life after death"
there is only ever "life"
in its positive conscious pole - a body
in i…

Footy-playin' neanderthal

Another footy season has passed on and yet again, I didn't know which teams were involved in the grand final up until the week before the big game. Most years I never really know until the day, or I just don't care to find out which teams make it to the final. I've no interest in rugby league anymore although there seems to be a small part of me that remains interested. So much so that if I happen to be watching a game with my cousins at the pub (a-once-every-two-years occurrence), I'm as involved as ever as a tv-pub spectator.

This is because I used to watch the game when I was a ween. I even played it, too. I was put in the team in 1978 and yes, I and a whole bunch of eight year old boys met on weekends with our own coloured jerseys on our local grounds and went through the rounds of playing footy. I don't recall what went through my head at the time - not much really - but something inside of me felt this to be a totally absurd charade. I quit halfway through th…

A Wolf at the table

I've finished reading Augusten Burroughs' A wolf at the table. This is his most recent release, of 2008, barring the book he's about to release and tour any day now. I was impressed with how well Augusten's writing has evolved since his first memoir, Running with Scissors. The writing is richer, more solid and vivid. It proves that writing does improve with practice, over time. There's hope for me still.

A wolf at the table is a subtly menacing account of Augusten's relationship (or non-relationship to be more apt) with his cold-hearted, sinister father. The memoir is mostly set during Augusten's childhood days where he and his parents and older brother were living in Western Massechusetts, at the outskirts of the town in a house surrounded by thick, tall pine trees. The sun rarely enveloped the house. The relative nature of the shrouding out of sunlight and the lack of love in the household is not lost on the reader, nor on Augusten himself.

While I was read…

Recording, Sound Dog Studios, Oct 09

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I had so much fun and fulfillment today. I was doing what I loved. I was asked to come into the studio to lay down some bass tracks for six songs. I'd already recorded five tracks for my friend's album three months ago. And this morning he calls me and says he can imagine a ukulele on one of the tracks, so I tag that along and hope for the best, even though I haven't touched the uke in months. Gav gave me these songs to learn, with accompanying charts, about six weeks ago. Naturally enough, like just about everything else I do, I've left it to the last possible minute to learn these songs. I flipped open the charts last Monday night and finally listened to the songs. I was beginning to sweat faintly, my stress levels rising, thinking that there's no way I could learn these songs in 5 days. The next night, still slightly stressed, I attacked the mp3s and charts again. On this night I fell into the groove and started to feel and understand these songs. I felt by that …