Saturday freestyle – soundtrack to the week

I love a live album. 

RHCP live at Hyde Park. Not widely appreciated but it was my first HUGE gig and I loved it with all my heart.

Jay Z unplugged. I recorded this on VHS from MTV base. I came close to wearing the video out. 

Foo fighters at Hyde Park (I don’t only like rock shows from Hyde park I promise). I watched Everlong about 50 times when I got this DVD one Christmas. 

This week has been the turn of Greenday. Wonderful songs, all the energy and a crowd that adores them. 

So, so much fun. 

Hooray for the live album!

A week of YouTube – John Butler

I was sat at a friends house and we were discussing the future of our band (spoiler, there was no future. RIP band). My friend was chatting about how he enjoyed the technicality of metal but the soul of acoustic music.

I thought this was very wise, and quite a cool thing to say. I decided there and then I would tell someone else those were my feelings at some point in the near future.

My friend then turned to me and said ‘listen to this, if only we could play like this guy’.

That is how I was introduced to John Butler. I started collecting his albums and listen to a recent live album ‘The tin shed tales’ at least once a month.

It is just beautiful and I’m glad my friend introduced me to this song. It makes me smile, relax and celebrate that some people practiced so much that they got incredible at guitar.

Just to make it slightly more modern, here’s a new version. Though sadly there is 100% less dreadlocks.

A week of YouTube – Flight of the Conchords

YouTube happened, we all watched those guys lip sync to the Backstreet boys, started to watch more and more, then it seemingly took over the world and became a career choice for many.

There was a season where I only watched comedy on YouTube. I often prefer music without the video. Chance the Rapper, Same drugs is a big exception to this. It has puppets playing the piano and directing the video. What more could you want from a video? 

Back to the comedy videos. As with the way I find most things a friend said ‘have you heard of Flight of the Conchords?’. I confessed I hadn’t assuming it was an Indy band I wouldn’t really like. 

I was overjoyed to find out they are “New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo”. 

I love every song from the first season but the Lord of the Rings parody possibly takes first place (Albi the racist dragon is second). I can’t decide if it is my love of Lord of the Rings that makes me love it, or the playing a solo on an axe shaped guitar. It is likely that it is both. 

For whatever reason I love it, I regularly check back on this video. 

Strongest advice, Frodo don’t wear the ring. 

Saturday freestyle – The song of the week

Tom Waits - Closing time

Singer songwriters. Love them.

The firstĀ artist I remember loving growing up was Lonnie Donnegan (A song about a dustman will always appeal to a 6 year old). Then later on Jack Johnson was a borderline obsession.

Here is where I say something controversial. It will take a lot for me to say this.

I don’t understand Bob Dylan.

Don’t get me wrong, I like him a lot but I often feel quite confused listening to some songs. Ok, very confused.

I spent some time this week on Quora and someone said ‘It could be that Dylan’s lyrics don’t mean anything and he is just playing a huge joke on everyone’. I would love if that was the case on many levels. It would be great if scholars were debating nonsense lyrics and it would make me feel a lot better for not understanding.

This brings me to the song of the week. Tom Waits, lyrics you can understand the more time you spend with a song, is jazzy as anything and he uses the word lickety split which is greatly underused in polite society.

I will be exploring his later albums a but more this week. I am hoping for more jazz and more use of lickety split. I would settle on just the former though.

Happy Saturday!

I read it somewhere – reading something new

Most of my family are all musicians. Really, really good musicians. My dad is a Jazzer, my mum a singer, Amy can pick up any instrument and just play it.

I never really gave the time to become anything more than average. I know some guitar chords, how to play a walking bass part and can play some chords on Piano – though can’t tell you what the chords are…

Sometimes I go through times where I am just desperate to play music and get frustrated that I can’t play more. Out comes the Jack Johnson chord book, the guitar is picked up and away I go.

I often feel that way about normal books as well. I get frustrated as I want to explore some ideas but don’t have the right book in my collection. I order another and it may be good but maybe not quite right, but it moves me on. I’ve started to see books like this, as stepping stones to build a new idea. I may not need the information now but hopefully I can store it – something to build.