Friday, September 19, 2014

Thoughts #13 - Random Babbling

I took this picture of myself and posted on various social media. I got my hair done yesterday (which is always a treat). I like the red & blonde make orange effect. Cut some bangs. So, I thought I'd share me with the world. 

I used the youthful phrase "orange hair don't care"...BUT...I started WAY overthinking that phrase. Should it be "orange hair don't care" (no comma) because the hair that is orange doesn't care?  OR should it be "orange hair, don't care" insinuating "yeah, I have orange hair, and I don't care what you think about it."?  

This is a serious question that my mind ponders and rolls around in my wannabe ginger head. 

Admittedly, this is a pretty senseless post, but I hadn't posted in a while, so I just started writing exactly what I was thinking. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

List #12 - Aussie Tunes

I like music.  A lot.  I'm in a facebook group that shares music clips, stories about music, and has a weekly rock quiz.  A lot of members of that group are Australian, and they encouraged me to share my thoughts on Aussie bands.  You see, there's this whole world of beloved, rockin' Aussie music that never made it to the shores of the US so it could blast out of the speakers of my boombox, car stereo, or ipod.  Here's a selection of what I shared. 

1. Screaming Jets "Better": I moved to Australia from Texas late 2008. The first time I ever heard this song, I was in a crowded pub and almost every Aussie sang aloud word for word. It was then and there I began to learn about these great songs and talented bands that produced awesome music but never made it "big" in America. "Better" just came on my iPod, and I was head-bobbing and singing along. 

2. Powderfinger "Burn Your Name" - I can't think of any good reason why this band didn't break America. They have great songs and good lookin' guys in the band (hey, that doesn't hurt). As I mentioned previously, I moved here in late 2008. In 2009, this song was introduced to the Australian market, and I loved it. Still do. Then, I had people telling me about the abundance of success in Australia and introduce me to their past discography. I think I still love this song so much because it was my first Powderfinger experience.  Other faves are "My Happiness", "(Baby I've Got You) On My Mind", and "Passenger".

3. Baby Animals "Early Warning": I was introduced to this band live at The Metro in Sydney (2009, I am pretty sure). The lead singer is a chick with raspy, big rock chick vocals.  She was married to Extreme's guitarist, Nuno who came on stage with them, and they played Extreme's "Get the Funk Out" at that gig. Then, Suzi and Nuno divorced. Baby Animals are awesome!

4. Eskimo Joe "Love is a Drug": Let me say how refreshing it was to know that television channels that play music videos actually still exist (unlike the American MTV and VH1 that has been taken over by a lot of reality show crap). I had one of those video channels on, and I hear this song. I started watching the video and watched it to completion just so I could find out the name of the song and band. Previously, I'd heard of Eskimo Joe and really liked the song Foreign Land, but this song and video clip is what got me to look into their music collection. Seriously, this song is power pop/rock awesomeness.  I haven't seen them live yet, but I really, next time they play Sydney, I'm there.

5. John Farnham "You're the Voice": Just a few months after I moved to Australia, Black Saturday happened, the tragic bush fires in Victoria. Sound Relief was quickly organized to raise funds for the victims. I watched the collective group of musicians play for the thousands of Aussies. This clip was above and beyond the one that I said who is this and what is this song that everyone is singing at the top of their lungs? Well, I discovered it's a song on the highest selling Australian album of all time. I give you John Farnham with You're the Voice (backed up by Coldplay).

6. The Choirboys "Run to Paradise": I knew the Quireboys (aka London Choirboys), but I didn't know THE Choirboys until I moved here and heard this anthem of a song. After the 2nd time you hear it, you find yourself singing along. Possibly even the first time you hear it. Plus, the video clip is complete with girls in spandex shorts, choreographed guitar walking, and a drummer in a beanie before beanies were cool.

7. Grinspoon "Lost Control": A friend of mine knows that I like rock music. She suggested giving Grinspoon a listen. I did. I liked. I bought a lot of their tunes on itunes.  They have a classic '90s rock sound.

8. Australian Crawl "Reckless": The first time I heard this song on the radio, I was at work. I had to run and get my phone, so I could use the Shazam app. I needed to know what this song was and who sang it. This is really a hauntingly beautiful piece of music.  I know this isn't the signature of the Australian Crawl sound, but this song moves me.

9. The Divinyls "Pleasure and Pain": The Divinyls are basically thought of as a one-hit wonder in the US. We got "I Touch Myself", and it was a big hit. But, I knew nothing else from their expansive music collection. I love "Pleasure and Pain" because the lyrics are just so relatable. How many of us have been in relationships where "there's a fine line between pleasure and pain"? RIP Chrissy.

10. The Living End "White Noise": I've been fortunate enough to see The Living End twice in festival settings (I need to see a club show). The power and excitement they generate from the stage is beyond impressive. They have a loyal following for this power punk trio.  I don't think this song is as punk as it is pop, but it's the first song of theirs I heard, I bought, and I still listen to over and over again.

11. Gyroscope "Baby I'm Getting Better: The first line of this song hooked me, which caused me look at some of their other works from their 10+ year career. Good power pop sounds from Gyroscope.

12. Noiseworks "Take Me Back": So, I know this band comes from New Zealand, but I'm including them in my little "project". I heard this song and thought "Wow! Great song! Why haven't I heard this song before?" only to discover it was yet again from a great Southern Hemisphere band that didn't make it to this Texas girl's world until moving to the Southern Hemisphere. Now, I hear it all the time, and I still think "Wow! Great song!".

13. Guy Sebastian "I Like It Like That": I have a feeling that I may get some grief over this one. Remember, I said that I was going to tell you about the songs/bands/artists that I was unfamiliar with until moving here. Most of what I've posted are songs that I heard and instantly liked or wanted to hear more. This song is one of those "guilty pleasures". This was released shortly after I moved here and got a lot of play. I admit it, every time I heard it, I wanted to dance, shimmy, and shake. Then, I learned it is performed by Australia's original Australian Idol. Not necessarily the kind of music I often listen to, but Guy Sebastian is a talented guy (and this song still makes me dance).  And, "Battle Scars" with Lupe Fiasco...yep, another Guy guilty pleasure.  If you like pop, check that out too.

14. Split Enz "Message to My Girl": Okay, so this is another New Zealand contribution. Before Crowded House, there was Split Enz. I knew Crowded House (specifically, Don't Dream It's Over and Something So Strong made it big in the US). They have so many catchy pop songs to choose from, I'll share Message to My Girl.

15. The Angels "Dogs Are Talking": Here's a story for ya: In the early 2000s, RATT was on quite a run of playing club shows. I saw them several times - sometimes Stephen Pearcy was on vocals, sometimes Jizzy Pearl. During this run, John Corabi was playing rhythm guitar, and I preferred to stand in front of him (not always paying attention to the lead vocals - ha!). Anyway...I remember they worked this song into a set and gave props to this great Aussie band saying if we hadn't heard of them, we should have. Other hits - "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" and "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again"

16. Cold Chisel "When the War is Over": It's not a list of Aussie music without Cold Chisel. SO many good songs. SO diverse. Why, why, why America did we not embrace this and give them the international success that they deserve? For USA folks, remember that INXS song "Good Times" that was featured on The Lost Boys soundtrack? (you know it; I'll attach it)  Well, the "other guy" is Jimmy Barnes who is an Australian institution and the lead singer of Cold Chisel.

Aussies, they cherish this band (and they should). I know the song I selected isn't the most rockin' of choices (and they are mostly known for rockin' tunes), but I love that it shows the vocal range of the band members.  Rock music fans that are reading this really should give a listen to this, "Bow River", "Forever Now", "Cheap Wine", "Flame Trees", and more.  Heck, as I type this "Khe Sanh" has come on the radio. 

If you're a music fan, I don't expect every single one of you to listen to each clip in one sitting...but come back to this post.  These are some good bands with some great songs, and I'm glad they are in my regular music rotation now that I live in Australia.