Category Archives: who listens to the radio?

Another Self Portrait: The Bootleg Series Vol. #10

I have to admit, I have always struggled with Dylan’s 1970 album, Self Portrait, but from what I have read (and heard) of the just released box set, Another Self Portrait: The Bootleg Series Vol. #10, I am excited to uncover some of the lost music from what was a strange period in Dylan’s career. And as always, there is a release to suit every fan, including a 3 x vinyl set and a 4CD box set featuring the first official release of Bob Dylan and The Band live at the Isle of Wight. This series has never failed to deliver, so I can’t wait to spend some quality time with the 30+ rarities that have been rescued from the vaults.

Here’s a glimpse of what has been uncovered …

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Oh White Mare

Fronted by Perth based poet, publisher and rock’n’roller, Jeremy Balius, Oh White Mare have just dropped their debut EP. This is music that will kick holes in your speakers; music driven by a reckless propulsion that if you open yourself, will prove irresistible. Few things make the hairs stand on my neck; even fewer make my nervous system shimmy.

Get ready to shake…

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Springsteen and his moments of miracle

Since seeing Springsteen in April, I have been completely under his spell… listening to every album in chronological order, including the box set Tracks and a handful of incredible bootlegs including Bruce and The E-Street Band Live at the Main Point in 1975 and at Winterland in 1979. Both contain there fair share of miracles… moments that make your skin tighten and your nervous system ignite. The version of E-Street Shuffle from 1975 is one of those moments; you can hear in every note that the band is playing for their lives and that Springsteen has everything to prove, everything to live and die for.

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I have also been reading Clinton Heylin’s compelling, E-Street Shuffle: The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street Band. It is a superbly researched book that takes the reader deep into, the at times infuriatingly perfectionist world of Springsteen, from his early days with The Castilles up to the recording of Tunnel of Love and the end of the first E-Street era. And for the real buffs, it provides detailed notes on the 300 songs Springsteen penned during this time. It really is the work of a true aficionado.

One of the few issues I took with the book was Heylin’s final note; that the moments of miracle are fewer these days. Anyone who experienced the recent ‘Wrecking’ shows would attest to the fact that night after night, Springsteen continues to perform miracles. Maybe it is because audiences go expecting nothing less, and that these days Bruce and band are performing in much larger arenas that some of the subtle magic is lost. I can’t say for sure… but what I do know, is it wasn’t lost on me.

Here’s three moments of miracle from three different E-Street eras. Get your fill.

Now I am off to start reading Peter Ames Carlin’s ‘Bruce’.

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Happy Record Store Day

Today is one of those joyous days, where there is a perfectly good excuse to go out and buy new music… it’s Record Store Day! Our record store of choice today was Rockaway Records. So here’s what came home and has since been spinning on our beloved turntable.

Two Record Store Day limited release “45s:

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Five by Five – The Rolling Stones

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Animal X – Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

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these four gems…

TP

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Scott-Walker

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Waterboys

Would love to hear what has been making your world spin…

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See you again, Bruce

Bruce has played his final show on Australian shores as part of the Wrecking Ball Tour, so now the anticipation begins… thankfully, there is 40 years of incredible music, and endless footage to make the wait bearable. C’mon back soon, Bruce…

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C’mon Rise Up: One night on E-Street

It’s been almost three days since spending the night on E-Street and the high I left on is yet to lose any of its edge. Springsteen and the E-Street Band demonstrated to all that gathered why they remain a unique musical force on the world stage. Thursday night (March 14), was their first show for 2013, and the anticipation among the 17 musicians on stage (yep, you read that right) was tangible, their bond, magnetic; each of them played for their lives, wringing every last note from their respective instruments. Here’s a great example, with Nils tearing up his fretboard in Because The Night.

The set list was studded with masterpieces from their 40+ year career as well as six cuts from 2012’s Wrecking Ball. For anyone wondering whether the new material would stack up live; it more than did; set opener We Take Care Of Our Own laid the foundation for the rest of the show, Bruce and co. giving it some added grunt; and the audience reciprocated, singing it back as loud as the band pumped it out. And if that wasn’t enough to whip the crowd from their seats, the cover of Brisbane legends, The Saints 1986 classic, Just Like Fire Would, certainly did.

I have to admit, I was choking back tears for the first 5 songs… such is the emotion Springsteen creates. For me he is one of the few artists in this world that really matters; one of the few whose lyrics continue to shape lives; whose energy continues to inspire and amaze. Early classics like Spirit in the Night and E-Street Shuffle show no signs of their forty years; in fact the outro to E-Street Shuffle was one of the absolute highlights of the night; the horn section, including the late, great Clarence Clemons nephew, Jake on Saxophone, giving it some real swing.

But talk of highlights is foolish, as there was not a song in the 25 song setlist that didn’t deliver. Few artists are able to play songs spanning 40 years and have them all sit seamlessly side by side. This is yet another fact that makes this band so remarkable.

Speaking of the setlist, here it is…

We Take Care Of Our Own (from Wrecking Ball, 2012)
Just Like Fire Would (The Saints cover)
Wrecking Ball (from Wrecking Ball, 2012)
Badlands (from Darkness On The Edge Of Town
Death To My Hometown (from Wrecking Ball, 2012)
Hungry Heart (from The River, 1980)
My City of Ruins (from The Rising, 2002)
Spirit In The Night (from Greetings From Asbury Park, 1973)
The E Street Shuffle (from The Wild The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, 1973)
Jack Of All Trades (from Wrecking Ball, 2012)
Murder Incorporated (from Greatest Hits, 1985)
Johnny 99 (from Nebraska, 1982)
Because The Night (from Live 1975/85, 1986)
She’s The One (from Born To Run, 1975)
Shackled and Drawn (from Wrecking Ball, 2012)
Waitin’ On A Sunny Day (from Working On A Dream, 2009)
Apollo Medley
The Rising (from The Rising, 2002)
The Ghost Of Tom Joad (from The Ghost of Tom Joad, 1995)
Thunder Road (from Born To Run, 1975)

Encore:

We Are Alive (from Wrecking Ball, 2012)
Born To Run (from Born To Run, 1975)
Glory Days (from Born In The USA, 1984)
Dancing In The Dark (from Born In The USA, 1984)
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out (from Born To Run, 1975)

I went knowing that the ghosts of Clarence and Danny would be in the room; and there were two distinct moments when you could really feel their force. Bruce asked us all to remember the ghosts who walk beside us before delivering what was one of the most spiritually uplifting moments of the night, My City Of Ruins; and in set closer, Tenth Avenue Freeze Out, he stopped the band as he finished the line;

When the change was made uptown
And the big man joined the band

and on the big screens that flickered above the stage, we were given the opportunity to say our goodbyes to the Big Man and Danny; though, as Bruce said, they will forever remain in the band.

Like the showman he is, Springsteen worked the crowd. Throughout the night he lifted two women from the audience; one to sing Waitin’ On A Sunny Day; and one to be his dance partner at the end of Dancing in the Dark; he even crowd surfed his way from the middle of the Entertainment Centre during Hungry Heart.

There was no slowing down; no letting up; the band’s contagious energy surging throughout the 3 and a bit hour show. If it takes another 10 years for the E-Street Band to reach our shores, I will be waiting. Nights like this have the power to live inside of us forever.

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Race the Loser

Saturday is my day of musical adventure and today I feel like uncovered a rare gem in the form of Lau, who recently released their third long player, Race the Loser. Hailing from Scotland, Lau offer one of the most exciting takes on traditional music, I am yet to come across. Hypnotic & exquisite are two words that come to mind… here’s two clips to show what I mean.

There’s something about discovering new music that makes the blood quicken…

 

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All Tommorrow’s Parties… Crime and the City Solution

Another sleeping behemoth has awoken, to step out onto the ATP stage next weekend… Crime and the City Solution. After a hiatus of two decades, the band are back with a line up that boasts driving force and Crime mainstay Simon Bonney along with members of the legendary 1987 – 1991 line up, Bronwyn Adams and Alexander Hacke as well as newcomer… drummer extraordinaire, Jim White (Dirty Three).

Crime’s incendiary live performances are the stuff of legend; their music skirting the gothic edges of blues and gospel. At times dark, cacophonous and fuzzed out, Bonney’s theatrical voice always cut through to give the band a chilling, melodious sound. Like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, this is a band I never dreamed that I would see live, having been too young to catch the band in their prime.

Excited, doesn’t even begin to describe how I am feeling…

Here they are at their peak, performing The Dolphins and the Sharks (click the pic below).

Crime++the+City+Solution

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All Tomorrow’s Parties… Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Well, I am getting match fit for next weekend’s epic feast of music. I will be trekking off to Melbourne to have my ears gloriously melted at All Tomorrow’s Parties: I’ll Be Your Mirror festival, curated by The Drones. This is festival brings together bands that I never dreamed I would see live… bands that have had a profound influence on me as an artist and a human being.

First and foremost, there is Godspeed You! Black Emperor (who I will also get to see next Wednesday night in Brisbane before flying down). This band is a monster… and their latest album, Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! is up there with their finest releases. They make noise that is raw and graceful. Here’s the explosively beautiful, We Drift Like Worried Fire.

More than any other band, they have provided a soundscape to my writing for the past two decades; their sound is for me, like a wave… always building. With each listen, their albums reveal new layers, reach new heights. And the only real way to appreciate the music they make is to stop everything… I am looking forward to stopping the world alongside the thousands of other fans when they reach our shores next week.

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New Australian Music

It’s Australia Day… not a day I celebrate for too many reasons to go into (here’s three links 1, 2, 3 that explore some of the reasons). Something I am passionate about though is Australian Music, so today, I thought I would preview four albums that I am anticipating will be on high rotation at Lost Shark HQ in 2013. I hope they add some fire to your Saturday morning!

Nick Cave and the Bad SeedsWe No Who U R from the new album Push the Sky Away

Cave has been lapping up the literary stardom of late, so it’s great to see him return with the first Bad Seeds album since 2008. We Know Who U R is the first single from the album.

Steve KilbeyAfrican Jesus from the new album The Idyllist

While there has been much talk about Steve leaving The Church of late, news of a new album is always welcome. Here’s the first cut from his new long player, The Idyllist.

Night TerrorsKomarov from the new album Spiral Vortex

Night Terrors are a new discovery for me, but their twisted take on the post-rock genre has been rattling round my brain in the most joyous way! And this clip is bound to make you smile.

The DronesHow To See Through Fog from their new album I See Seaweed

It’s been a long time between drinks for The Drones (five years in fact), so roll out the red for one of Australia’s finest ever rock bands. I couldn’t find a clip for this, but the pic below will lead you to the preview of the song How To See Through Fog.

Drones

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