Sucker for a good bridge

In songwriting, I'm a sucker for a good bridge in a song. To make an ordinary song in the standard Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Chorus-fade turn into something extraordinary for me, all you need to do is change key and insert a bridge before the two ending choruses.

Been listening to the Sarah Blasko album I picked up in Sydney, and Don't U Eva works for me in this way. Love that bridge and its synth backing line. Lovely.

Bought loads of Aussie music

While I've been here in Sydney I've bought a huge amount of Aussie music. Stuff you just can't get in London.

Combat Wombat - Unsound $ystem seems to be a grouping within the Elefant Traks keiretsu. From my listens so far, I would say it's the best release on the label yet. Really quite serious, intense lyrically with tightly polished beats. Really impressive.

Decoder Ring - Decoder Ring is fantastic, immense soundscapes. I've been hearing their stuff for ages on Triple J's Sound Lab programme. Glad I've finally managed to get hold of the album. Love it.

Prop - Small Craft Rough Sea is another brilliant soundscape type piece. Kind of like Tortoise and Godspeed! You Black Emperor, only I think better. Track 9 is an incredible xylophone number. The album is probably my fave from the buying spree. If you like some of the soundtracks by Philip Glass, I'd recommend checking these guys out. I'm going to try and hunt down their latest album now.

Hilltop Hoods - The Calling we saw these guys play at Cargo in London about a month ago, when it was snowing in London. Absolutely incredible live set, and the place was jammed to the rafters with happy Aussie hip-hop fans. Looks like there's good demand for Aussie hip-hop over there. Incredibly, the guys weren't financing their tour beer fund with merchandise sales, so I couldn't buy their album. Finally found it now, though their distributor needs to pull his finger out because I had to trawl through four shops to find it.

Blinding EDMX Mix

A couple of years ago I saw Ed DMX (of DMX Krew fame DJing at 93 Feet East. He played a blinding set of booty bass and electro. Absolutely awesome and had us sweating our arses off the whole time.

Well I just found this great set on his site. Mixes old school rave, hip-hop, electro and garage. Really great stuff. Interestingly there's a track by a "Mr Rumble" on the set list.

mp3 is available here.

Musical Russian Roulette

Everyone's doing it, or so it seems, so here's the first ten tracks selected randomly from my entire music collection:

  • Mr Bungle - None of Them Knew They Were Robots
  • Frost - In Memoriam (The Silent Spring Mix)
  • Mongo Santamaria - Secret Admirer
  • Peace Orchestra - Henry
  • The Dandy Warhols - Cool Scene
  • Punjabi MC - Mirza Part 2
  • Asian Dub Foundation - Journey
  • The Beatles - Honey Pie
  • Transvision Vamp - Hanging Out With Halo Jones
  • Vincent Gallo - Sixteen Seconds Happy

Regurgitator - Mish Mash

Just got my copy of Regurgitator's new album, Mish Mash. Have to say, it hasn't really grabbed me. The album was recorded over 21 days with the band locked inside a plastic box in Melbourne's Federation Square. I think the strain of recording under corporate and fan eyes kinda shows.

First few tracks are kinda hip-hoppy. Second track, My Friend Robot is poppy stuff reminiscent of Unit. Fave choon at the moment is I Was Sent By God To Get You Off which starts off with the rant of some crazed Xtian loon, presumably recorded during the Band in a Bubble thing.

Nothing near as good as Eduardo and Rodriguez, the previous album. If you have no idea who Regurgitator are, they're one of Australia's most inventive bands. Go and buy Jingles. You won't be disappointed.

Music on wheels

Finally got my little radio transmitter sending Minidisc music to the radio on the handlebars of my bike. Now I don't have to be subjected to the horrors of British breakfast radio (where every DJ is a hilarious comedian) and can instead listen to music. Works brilliantly!

New policy on bands

To avoid ending up like my parents (who recently saw Simon and Garfunkel) I've decided to adopt a new policy. I won't see any bands unless they have put out new material, even crap new material, within the last ten years. This means I can still see Bowie, New Order and the like, but not has-been regroupings like last night's Human League gig.

Don't get me wrong, the gig was great. I really enjoyed myself. What's more, the band knew their place: after playing their two big numbers at the end of their set, they knew they were out of material that anyone would know for the encore. So they played Visage's Fade to Grey and Giorgio Moroder's Together in Electric Dreams. Great stuff.

And yes, Steve, Phil has absolutely no stage presence.

The problem is, I couldn't help feeling like I'd joined the RSL cabaret set. Scary and far too middle-aged for me.

Right, I'm off to see how much hair plugs and Porsche cars cost. Wonder if I can afford it after my pension fund payments?

Nick Cave and frapaccinos

Just listening to Nick Cave's latest album, Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus and there's a great line in "Abattoir Blues":
I woke up this morning,
with a frapacinno in my hand.

Oh dear. Nick has been living the good life! Kinda reminds me, perversely, of Johnny Cash's "Sunday Morning Coming Down".

John Peel RIP

The only good DJ left on Radio 1, John Peel, has died.

A very sad day for all music fans. This man has broken more new bands, giving them their big break, than probably any other. His incredibly broad and varied. In one programme he would play everything from 78s from the 20's through hillbilly bluegrass to gabba techno.