Favourites 2014

This was a very lovely year for music. Rather than having one “yes this is absolutely THE album of the year” it just had many, many, many, many that were in the convo.   I did a favourites list on this blog half way through the year so I’ve just cut and pasted and tacked those on the end of the new additions (and the ones I forgot). For a trip down memory lane, here is last year’s... read more

Out on The Weekend – Melbourne

I booked my flights and accommodation to go to this new festival back in July when it was first announced.  A bit of an impulse buy ’tis true but I loved the line up and consider it my contribution to supporting a new Americana fest. I did make the promise, since I spent all this cash going south,  not to see any of the individual artists when they did Sydney shows, which somehow I stuck to –... read more

Dylan @ The Tivoli, August 27th

The Tivoli is on a drab one way street in a largely light industrial enclave, bookended by the Showgrounds (ghosts of many Ekkas past in the shuttered jacket potato stalls visible through the fence) and Fortitude Valley – think the blanker parts of Parramatta Rd, one shabby dollar store for every 10 residents side by side with a clutch of self consciously funky theme bars selling Vietnamese pork... read more

Bob 2014

I’m doing Bob’s five Sydney shows in September – 3 at the State and 2 at the Opera House.  I decided not to go interstate since there are 5 in Sydney and one shouldn’t be greedy and also the seated arrangement means its a lottery as to how close to the front you can get (I will spare you my thoughts on the somewhat shambolic organisation of the sales, suffice to say Chuggy could... read more

Favourite Music – First Half 2014

In alphabetical order of artist ….. Acey Monaro – EP No videos ;-( Reel of Joy – Andy Baylor Babineaux Sisters – Quoi Ca Dit Reissue: Bobby Charles – Bobby Charles Light the Stars – Bonsoir, Catin Reissue – Dylan’s Gospel – Brothers & Sisters Tightrope – Chatham Country Line Common Ground: The Songs of Big Bill Broonzy – Dave and Phil... read more

Film Festival Picks

Got my usual 10 ticket package, plus one to the opening night.  Time’s a little tighter this year with my Russian exam during second week not to mention the World Cup ensuring some early mornings so I don’t know if I’ll get to any others. Usually I see about 80% docos, it’s a little different this year as I a) chose to see a couple of the buzzier films, which I basically never do.... read more

Hanggai – The Basement

  Chinese band Hanggai put on another great show at the Basement a few weeks back.  Pretty similar to their 2012 show at the same venue – with addition of some tunes from their new album Baifang – which is fine by me because they are great. Lead singer Ilchi is a real rock star and the blend of traditional instruments like the morin khuur blend perfectly with the Fenders.  And of course... read more

Must See: Valerie June

  A big discovery last year was Valerie June and her debut album Pushin’ Against a Stone.    She’s going to be at Bluesfest this year, and is opening for Booker T in Sydney and Melbourne.   I love Booker T and would be going to see him anyway, but it’s a pity Valerie June isn’t getting her own show.  I predict (hope) she’ll be back soon as a headliner. Here’s a... read more

Springsteen Road Trip 2014

Between 15th February and 26th February this year I saw six Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band gigs, in four locations in three different states.   Here are some tl;dr raw statistics followed by super long rambling: By my count, over the six shows I saw a 107 different songs (willing to be corrected on this, maths are hard y’all) Run times of shows: 3hr 24m, 3hr 48m, 2hr 59m, 2hr 58m, 3hr 06m, 3hr... read more

Thoughts about Game of Throne S4 (SPOILERS)

  Some things I’m wondering about the upcoming Game of Thrones, Season 4.  I’ve read all the books and intend to refer to most of the major events assumed to be coming up so SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS and don’t read ahead if you haven’t read the books ……. or you’re just like a generally chill person who just doesn’t care.   The Purple Wedding. Oh... read more

8tracks – Some 2013 songs

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Books 2013

These are the books – 105 in all – I read in 2013, thanks to logging them all on Goodreads.  I’ve set my Goodreads target to 80 books for 2014 as I intend to put my foot down on my French and Russian studies which is tres le time sink.  It might be a bit cheaterly to include some French grammar books but I only included the ones I spent significant quality time with (time which would... read more

Recent Live Shows

Leonard Cohen, Ent Cent, November What more can one say about Leonard Cohen?  What need one say?  Nothing.   He is sublime. If you are not of this view, pray shuffle on from my presence (far from my presence) in silence. A photo I took. And a video I didn’t.   Mandy Patinkin and Nathan Gunn, Opera House, December Like all right thinking people my first wave of obsession with Mandy Patinkin was from... read more

Favourite Music 2013

That time again!       Roger Knox and Patty Griffin are clearly my numbers 1 and 2 but after that it’s all much of a muchness.  Looking over the list it’s clear this has been a fantastic year for female singer -songwriters particularly making their debut or their breakthrough albums.   I usually have a few “world music” entries in my list but there wasn’t much that grabbed me... read more


At the Red Rattler tonight for some beards n... read more

Mike Stinson – Hell and Half of Georgia

If you look at my profile of basically everything I listen to, you’ll see all the usual suspects but may be surprised to see at number 1 a singer you may (probably) not have heard of: Mike Stinson.     Yes, more spins than Dylan, Cohen, Bruce ….     This tally is largely the result of discovering his first three albums (Jack of all Heartache, The Jukebox is Your Heart, Last Fool in the... read more

New Music: 8tracks Mix: Walk Tall

Tracks from these new albums: The World Needs Changing: Street Funk & Jazz Grooves 1967-1976 – Various Artists (Ace Records, 2013)   How acquired: eMusic. Aztec Jazz – Tom Russell and the Norwegian Wind Ensemble (Proper Music, 2013)  How acquired:  Bought an autographed CD from Proper Music UK (1 pound postage to Australia!).   Flop Eared Mule favourite Tom Russell continues his eclectic... read more

New Records: Shannon McNally & Patty Griffin & Marshall Chapman

Three fantastic records! Shannon McNally’s new album Small Town Talk is a collection of songs mostly duplicating Bobby Charles’s 1972 eponymous swamp soul classic but with a few others including my favourite “I Don’t Want to Know” which was also covered by Lil Band O’ Gold on The Promised Land.  But she’s not alone, Dr John and the Lower 911 back her throughout... read more

Sydney Film Festival: Narco Cultura

A Mexican kid stands at the border, looking across to the US. “They don’t kill people over there,” he says. In Ciudad Juárez, homicides are commonplace and the crime-scene unit deals with thousands of cases. Across the Río Grande in El Paso, murders can be counted on one hand, but perversely the image of Juarez and its all-powerful drug cartels is inspiring an American counterculture. In... read more

Sydney Film Festival: This Ain’t No Mouse Music!

Documentary about Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records.  The only thing I don’t like about Arhoolie is that Australians can’t download the albums from eMusic anymore. SADFACE.  “It’s impossible to look at the history of blues, Cajun and Zydeco music without looking at Chris Strachwitz’s role. He’s a monumental figure.” – Bonnie Raitt And look at his role this doco does,... read more

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