Thursday, December 13, 2012

Summer Sounds

Can musical taste be a seasonal thing? For me it definitely is. As we ease into Summer (and by living in Dunedin I do mean ease...) I find myself reaching for the reggae...

Reggae surfaced on my musical radar relatively late compared to other sounds. My tender teenage years were more 'angry young men with guitars' or 'windswept and pensive looking moody types'. At that time reggae was what the Polynesian kids had blaring from their ghetto blasters up and down the main street of Otahuhu in South Auckland where my parents owned a bookshop.

I think it was Bob Marley's death and the endless repeats of his mass appeal reggae on the radio that started it all off. That, or the fact the record labels would release those tacky looking compilations as Xmas stocking stuffers every year. Either way, to a suede-headed boy in Otahuhu, it was a guilty pleasure to keep on the quiet.

Ska music helped ease reggae from the shadows. 2 Tone's stable of punk infused rocksteady ska reggae bands bridged that gap. They encouraged me to explore further... Third World, Desmond Dekker, Toots and The Maytels...

So, where does reggae sit with me and my Summer? In my humble opinion there is no finer reggae to spice up a hot day than homegrown Kiwi reggae. Katchafire and Trinity Roots play kiwi infused reggae without any hint of cringe factor. Excellent musicians playing great songs that I'm sure Bob would approve of. Try it, if you like reggae even a little bit, you'll love them both.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Has Obama got soul?

Based On A True Story
I have no idea if President Obama has listened to or even heard of Fat Freddy's Drop. Why would he? They are a 7 piece dub/reggae/soul group from Wellington, NZ.

Cooking dinner and sipping a Jim Beam it stuck me that should he decide to do so, listening to their song "Hope" as he sat in the Oval Office could quite possibly make the world a better place.

Time for a second drink and some more deep thinking...
Fat Freddys Drop
A new generation 
And a brand new age 

I wanna fall like rain 
On burning pages 

Rise from the ashes 

Like a phoenix sun 
Learning to flow 
Searching for love 

You know that I can't get enough of 

Get enough of that hope

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Siouxsie & The Banshees

Siouxsie Sioux, and her band The Banshees were on reasonably high rotate on my turntable back in the early 80s. As I've mentioned earlier my tastes have tended to be more male singer/guitar/bass/drums orientated.  Siouxsie spoke to my softer side. At least I still had the guitar/bass/drums part of the equation.

I found some of their studio albums  a tad patchy like they were straining to fill them up. Fortunately they had an awesome live album with "A Kiss In The Dreamhouse" recorded at the Royal Albert Hall. Big, bold and orchestral. Fab.

Like a lot of my music from the dark old days of the 80s I haven't revisited it too often. The main reason for this is that some of it hasn't lasted well, dating a bit over the years. I winced slightly listening to "Hong Kong Garden" and was a tad puzzled at what I really saw in "Peek-A-Boo". It was a bit arty for me. My ears relaxed and I smiled once "Melt" came on followed by "Happy House". Maybe it was the drummer Budgie's rolling drums I liked all along... give these two tracks a listen at least.

You are the melting men
You are the situation
There is no time to breathe
And yet one single breath
Leads to an insatiable desire
Of sex

So many blazing orchids

Burning in your throat
Making you choke
Making you sigh
Sigh in tiny deaths

So Melt!

My lover, melt!
She said melt!
My lover, melt! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Jesus and Mary Chain

It's been a while since this crew slipped out of my speakers. More than a while actually, years, and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because it's music for boys and I live in a house of ladies. To be honest though, in a house full of girls I am rediscovering this via headphones...

This blend of dark, fuzzbox filled feedback can be a bit challenging for most girls. But give it a listen. "Just Like Honey" is a beautiful track from their first album Psycho Candy and probably the song of theirs that drew me in initially. I'd never heard that much distortion mixed with such mellow voice before.

These guys can carry some of the blame for my hairstyle in the 80s, for sure.

I see that in the decades since I really took note of these lads they've slipped out a couple of albums I didn't know about. I'm going to have to look them up...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Billy Bragg, Woody Guthrie

OK, let's be honest here. If it weren't for Billy Bragg, I probably wouldn't have given Woody Guthrie the time of day. Depression era Dust Bowl American guitar folk music. Billy, with a bit of help from the Wilco lads took Woody's songs and breathed new life into them across 3 CDs with the Mermaid Avenue series.Thanks guys.

Billy Bragg's Dunedin show came and went. Pre show drinks at the Octagon with friends prior to trudging up the hill to the show saw us arrive at 8:08 for the 8pm show. Imagine our surprise to see the doors were closed and it had started! I seem to recall leaving the first show of his many years ago covered in sweat and beer. Man, how times have changed. We were allowed in between songs as the crowd applauded, phew!

I wasn't overly looking forward to the first half of the show made up of Woody Guthrie songs but Billy held all captive with song and story. The second half of the show was a whistle stop tour of his own songs and we loved them all. Lyrics were tweaked in some songs from Cold War themes to current struggles with a nod to Pussy Riot among others.

OK, that's enough Billy Bragg for a while for this blog, time to tack off in a new direction.. stand by folks.

One Direction

Try as hard as I might, my music is not the only sounds in the house. My youngest is a huge One Direction fan. The music, the clothes, the posters... they're everywhere.
The whole boy band phenomenon is not new of course, they've been making tweenies swoon for years. It started me thinking, could there possibly be anything in my music collection that could be considered a boy band?

I searched and searched and this was as close as I got... The Buzzcocks.

What do you reckon folks?


Friday, October 12, 2012

Man-cation - Pump up the volume!

It's school holidays and the ladies of my house are away for four days to icy Naseby. What does this mean for me? It means I'm home alone on 'man-cation'. Fours days of doing whatever I like, well, apart from going to work for 8-10 hours a day...

Being a temporary bachelor not only means playing what music you want, when you want, as loud as you want. It also means eating 'man food'. If there is a lady out there who thinks the following dinner is a fine idea, I am yet to meet her.

Fish + sun-dried tomatoes + olives + anchovies + a packet of Moroccan cous cous. Divine!

Self set task set for the 4 days - Acquaint myself with Billy Bragg's Woody Guthrie period in preparation for the upcoming concert.  I can still remember seeing Billy Bragg for the first time on Radio With Pictures. One man and his guitar hollering about warm love and the Cold War. I've seen him twice before and headed into each concert knowing all the songs. He's older, I'm older, I hope the fire is still there for us both.
Oh, and also on the agenda, a BIG clean up on day 4. 


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Movie Soundtracks

Most music collections have at least one soundtrack in them. For my parents it was The Sound Of Music, for my daughter it's Glee. My CD collection has the grand total of 3 soundtracks:

Another one of my school fair $1 purchases, this collection grabbed my attention  as soon as I saw Billy Corgan's name on the back. All good to a man in a Smashing Pumpkins and Zwan phase. Add in Bowie, Bjork and Massive Attack and you've got a tasty musical salad. The instrumental portion is haunting at times but keeping in mind the subject matter of the film, that was always going to be the case. Standout track David Bowie - The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell. He must have written this in Seattle, it's grunge and sneer and good old rock and roll, brill.

She's Having A Baby. 
It's easy to look back at the 80s with rosé tinted glasses. Fashion was dodgy and some music from back then is better off left buried. In fact I don't think there were many movie soundtracks from 1988 that weren't padded out with turkey tracks. This one not only manages to avoid the turkeys it includes some real classics. Kirsty MacColl does Morrissey proud with You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby while Everything But The Girl rids the house of dry eyes with Apron Strings. There are a few tracks that remind me of Kevin Bacon and his shoulder pads but that's all good. Standout track, Bryan Ferry covering Van Morrison's Crazy Love. It's not often that a cover version rivals an original, this is one of those rare recordings.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show. 
Strictly speaking I don't have this CD. I bought this on vinyl many moons ago and have the MP3s to make playing easy. Call it my guilty pleasure album if you like, I'm not going to apologise for it. I used to see this at the Hollywood Cinema in Avondale, Auckland. Water pistol, newspaper and rice in hand, a night of viewing and audience participation was a blast. I never got dressed up in fishnets like the regulars but I knew the songs. From geeky Brad singing Dammit Janet to Frankenfurter declaring himself a Sweet Transvestite, I loved, and still love them all. Standout track, that perennial party participation fave, Time Warp.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Irish eyes smile.. again

I knew I could rely on the good wife to take time to peruse our large array of cds and find me the inspiration I need while I cook.

"4th draw down, left hand side, 16 back" she said, eyes not leaving the Living Channel.

Thanks babe, Christy Moore - Voyage, nice one. Once again, another $1 school fair purchase. (I'm beginning to sound like a cd dumpster diver), but still, an excellent find.

Christy Moore and Shane MacGowan are so different and yet so similar. Shane's vodka and razor blade vocal approach to the Celtic sound is what you fuel a party on Saturday night with. Christy's melodic, misty and at times melancholic sound is what you ease into a Sunday morning with.

The end product of each of these artists is quite different yet still undeniably Irish. They both sing of Irish history and nationalism although it's Moore who mixes folk and politics with his support of the Irish Republican movement and at times the IRA.

On a lighter note, I read somewhere that Christy Moore reckoned his song "The Voyage" has been played at over a million weddings.

I am a sailor, you're my first mate
We signed on together, we coupled our fate
Hauled up our anchor, determined not to fail
For the hearts treasure, together we set sail
With no maps to guide us we steered our own course
Rode out the storms when the winds were gale force
Sat out the doldrums in patience and hope
Working together we learned how to cope

Life is an ocean and love is a boat
In troubled water that keeps us afloat
When we started the voyage, there was just me and you
Now gathered round us, we have our own crew
Together we're in this relationship
We built it with care to last the whole trip
Our true destination's not marked on any charts
We're navigating to the shores of the heart

That's enough to put some Irish mist in those Irish eyes..

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Finding a new groove

I listen to the radio Monday to Friday for about 20 minutes a day. In my car, 10 minutes each way. During that time I rarely listen to a complete song. If it's not the ads it's the DJs wittering on or I'm station surfing for a better song. To be fair I'm not much more at ease with a CD of late. Time for a new groove...

Being of Scottish extraction it never entered my head to pay full price, I'm off to the local School Fair. After flicking aside Mozart this and New Seekers that I come across a modern looking, elaborately packaged CD from a band I've never heard of, Underoath - Survive Kaleidoscope. Could this be my new groove?

For the bargain price of $1 I take my new CD/DVD deluxe edition purchase home and pop on track 1. Everything starts off ok, very quiet and ambient, a bit sort of Brian Eno-ish. It reminds me of the first time I heard Siouxsie And The Banshees live LP 'Nocturne'. Everything on that LP started off quiet and orchestral and then launches into 'Israel' with a crash, brilliant. Underoath on the other hand are an entirely different kettle of fish. The only danger of a crash with this was me pushing past furniture to hit the eject button. Had I known for a single second that I'd selected an American Christian Metalcore CD I would have dropped it quicker than Superman drops Kryptonite. These must be some very angry young men.

Somebody should have warned me that searching for a new groove can be a dangerous game.

I am going to have to tread far more carefully.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Something Old, Something New

When I asked my middle child to delve into my CD collection and choose a CD of mine that she found interesting she plucked out The Animals - The Singles Plus. I've probably had that CD for 20 years and i don't know that I've put it on for at least the last 10. It got me thinking, how many others in the rack need a good dusting off?

Time to try this out again with my eldest and see what she comes up with for me. I think I need to be a bit clearer with the brief though. No grabbing the first CD within reach. I want some thought going into this please. If I get The Animals again I'm threatening a surprise jalapeño on her pizza.

Well, she has at least pretended to show some involvement, she's dipped into the "M" section and plucked out The Meat Puppets - Forbidden Places. When quizzed on why this CD, all she could muster was "because their name is really gross". I was ignorant of the Meat Puppets in their prime and only stumbled across this CD for a dollar at a school fair. The alt-country/punk sound works well in general, only getting a bit tangled in itself as they tread off the path into mid heavy grunge. It's probably all a sign that as I age I prefer the 'quirky' to the 'noisy'.

Here's hoping that daughter number three chooses something good for me...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Boys vs Girls

A quick scan through my CD collection reveals a bit of an uneven split between male and female artists. At a glance I'd say about an 80/20 split in favour of the blokes. Is it just me? Perhaps we all just want somebody we can sing along to and not sound too crap. With that considered the girls were always going to struggle with me. By and large my favourite music comes from the lead guitar/rhythm guitar/bass/drums configuration, a group format that you don't see fronted by many female singers. Well, not the ones that spin my wheels anyway.

Given that this blog has about an 80% chance of me picking a CD of a male artist or male fronted band I thought I'd better give a nod to the talent of the fairer sex portion of my CD collection.

Sinead O'Connor        -        Michelle Shocked        -        Billie Holiday

These artists are each incredibly talented and have been enjoyed at high volume through my speakers. Apart from that, what do they have in common? They each have in their repertoire that that most powerful of all songs, the protest song.

Sinead O'Connor hit the music scene in 1987 as an aggressive, bald headed force to be reckoned with. Her subject material on everything from religion to child abuse to her sexuality made us all sit up and listen. It's a shame that the first song most think of is Nothing Compares 2 U, a cover, she is so much more than that.

OK, Michelle Shocked is a bit of a stretch as a protest singer, I'll grant you that. Anchorage is one of only a handful of songs to give me goosebumps every time I hear it. It reminds me of of old friendships that have faded. The album cover on the other hand is pure protest as it shows Michelle dragged away from a demonstration by police.

Billie Holiday's life was always going to be a struggle. A victim of sexual abuse at a young age, a prostitute and abuser of drugs and alcohol she did it hard. Even without those challenges life was always going to be a struggle for a black woman in 1930's and 1940's America. When Billie released Strange Fruit in 1939, a song highlighting racism in America, in particular the lynchings of African Americans. The heads of Middle America must have spun.

Do I sing along to these artists? Of course I do. Kids scatter and the cat cringes but I do sing along.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mid Life Crisis

There comes a time in every man's life, usually somewhere around the middle bit, when one's attention turns to planning. Planning what you ask? Well, the music to be played at your own funeral of course!

I'm not entirely sure what prompted all this but the "You've reached that certain age so you'd better come in for a once over" letter from my doctor can't have helped.

Right, let's get down to business then. I'm not a religious man so no hymns thanks, even though I still know the words to so many of them from school assembly. I am fortunate in that I haven't been to many funerals but this does leave me a little in the dark as to how many songs I'll need. I reckon you don't want to overdo it (and I'm sure my kids will agree with me)  so I've settled on just three.

1. April Sun In Cuba - Dragon
It's a fun song about a warm place, seems a nice way to ease into the ever after.

2. Boys Don't Cry - The Cure
Being serenaded into the afterlife by an ex heroin addicted lipstick wearing goth will leave the funeral attendees (however many there are) seeing me in a more positive light I'm sure.

3. Asleep - The Smiths
This band ignited my passion for music, it seems right they see me out.

Sing me to sleep 
Sing me to sleep 
I'm tired and I 
I want to go to bed 

Sing me to sleep 
Sing me to sleep 
And then leave me alone 
Don't try to wake me in the morning 
'Cause I will be gone 
Don't feel bad for me 
I want you to know 
Deep in the cell of my heart 
I will feel so glad to go 

Asleep - The Smiths

Thursday, August 23, 2012

When Irish eyes are smiling

It's months until St Patrick's Day but I'm in an Irish frame of mind. For the record, I do not possess even a single drop of Irish blood. I wish I did. Sadly I must get my doses of Irish from Irish music... and Guinness.

I'll save the Guinness until later, first up is choosing my favourite Irish CD. We all know of the Global phenomenon that is ( was!?!) U2. You don't get 5 albums in the Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums Of All Time without being mega-stars. I love them, but if I'm forking out that much for a 4 pack of Guinness I want shamrocks flowing from my speakers. This leaves me no choice but to put on The Pogues - Rum, Sodomy and The Lash.

You know for sure with The Pogues that you have bought a CD purely for the music. Nobody ever bought anything to do with Shane McGowan considering him to be eye candy.  Fairytale Of New York is rolled out every year at Christmas and it will still always beat Snoopy's Christmas, but The Pogues were infinitely more than that one song. Blending Celtic rhythms with punk energy their live shows (and I've been lucky enough to see one!) are legendary. The night I saw them Shane was so under the weather he forgot the words to Dirty Old Town. Fortunately he had a couple of thousand of us fans to fill in the blanks.

I met my love by the gas works wall
Dreamed a dream by the old canal
Kissed a girl by the factory wall
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

This CD above always brings a smile to my face. It reminds me of Friday and Saturday nights drinking snakebites and Guinness at Irish bars in Auckland singing, dancing and laughing. Slainte.

Monday, August 20, 2012

How come Rock Stars age and I don't?

I love hearing an old song that gives a kick to a dusty corner of my memory.  If you're stuck as to who the artist is simply point your iDevice at it, fire up Shazam and hey presto the work's done for you. Too simple really. Once I have the name, I love seeing what Wikipedia has to say about the artist. It quite often sets me off on a musical tangent exploring long lost or unheard of music, brilliant.

The one thing it also does a lot of the time is show you a recent picture of the artist. Holy cow, some of these guys have aged! I find it remarkable that in the 25 odd years that I've been listening to some of my favourite music I feel (and somethimes act) exactly the same age. They, on the other hand have gotten.... old. At least when Morrissey is accused of being a miserable old bastard he can relax in the knowledge that he was miserable as a youngster too...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Go on, try it, you'll like it!

There's something passionate about music that makes you want to share. Positioned as per normal for a Friday at the pizza making station it comes to music time.  Not content with enjoying myself alone tonight, I feel the need to drag in others.

As fate would have it, my middle child drew the short straw. As she slid through the kitchen she was set the following task. "go to the CD rack and bring me an interesting looking CD you don't know, I'm going to play it for you". Imagine my suspicion when she returns with a CD starting with "A". Apparently she chose them because "they looked geeky". I reckon it was because it was the first CD in the (alphabetised) rack. The Animals - The Singles Plus.

Well, she lasted all of about 1 minute of the first track "Baby let me take you home" and she was off, back to watch "20 Hottest Tracks Right Now" on Juice TV. To be fair, I'd last about a minute watching that. So, what did she miss? Track 3 is a classic, "House of the Rising Sun" ranked #123 on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

But for me the track of the CD is "It's My Life"

And baby, remember  
It's my life and I'll do what I want  
It's my mind and I'll think like I want  
Show me I'm wrong, hurt me sometime  
But some day I'll treat you real fine 
I'll treat you so fine, dear, you're so real

Lyrics were so much simpler back then...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Rule Brittania!

After 2 weeks of late nights cheering on our Kiwi Olympians we finally got to the musical part of the proceedings, the closing ceremony. Three hours of lights, theatre, dance and music. Hmmm, yes, the music. It was an easy avenue for the Brits to go down I suppose. The Chinese put on the huge drum bashing militaristic display because, well, they had no real engrossing pop culture to show the world did they? The Brits on the other hand are overflowing with the stuff. In fact, the whole thing was like an enormous Royal Variety Performance.

Now the thing with these performances is, you can't please all the people all the time. While I smiled at Bowie and Madness my daughter rolled her eyes and vice versa with One Direction. (or One Dimension as I call them).

I think we can all agree, the lineup was good but who could have been added in improve things? Well, I reckon the following would have been gold medal additions

The Housemartins - Happy Hour
The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
The Stone Roses - She Bangs The Drums
The Style Council - Shout To The Top

I was going to say Spandau Ballet - Gold, but that'd be to cheesy. Any other obvious omissions?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ahh, the good old days

There's nothing like a visit from an old friend to warm your heart and make you grab for the old faves in your CD collection. You know what I mean. You're sitting down having a drink and a laugh with someone who you used to paint the town red with in the 80s. Someone who's seen you looking your best and acting your worst. This is not the time to explore new music trends, this is Memory Lane time. It's time to play those guilty pleasure CDs.

Memory Lane is an odd place to trip down. Why is it that music I used to scoff at a quarter century ago now makes me misty eyed and nostalgic? My music taste back in the day was what you'd probably call "alternative". The top 40 was something to roll your eyes at. Now, after a few drinks, or worse, a few too many, almost anything goes. "Woooo hooo... Working Class Man... yeah, go Jimmyyyyyy!"

Still, as I retreat to the kitchen to drink and cook and sing out of key, sanity prevails and I reach for a CD that helped define me in my youth. The Smiths - The Smiths. That magical blend of Morrissey's voice and lyrics with Johnny Marr on guitar, pure genius.

I decree today that life
Is simply taking and not giving
England is mine - it owes me a living
But ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye
Oh, ask me why, and I'll spit in your eye
But we cannot cling to the old dreams anymore
No, we cannot cling to those dreams

Does the body rule the mind
Or does the mind rule the body ?
I don´t know....

I first heard this on cassette tape (Google it kids) copied and given to me in early 1984. I forget what was recorded on the other side as all I did was to play it, rewind it and play it again. Surely no other group has sung of the Moors murders and made it sound so sweet, crooned about Oscar Wilde or given us the lyrical beauty of Girlfriend In A Coma. No, they haven't and I'll wager they never will.

Friday, August 3, 2012

All praise National Roast Day!

In recognition of National Roast Day (this Sunday Aug 5th).. once again pizza is pushed aside... for the hind leg of a previously bouncing baby lamb.
This meal was my dinner every Saturday night when I was growing up. Dad would play golf all day and come home to a roast dinner that Mum had slaved over a hot oven to prepare. Now, a bit like myself, Mum would have music playing when cooking. Not so much during the week, but certainly at the weekend. Some of the oldest lyrics stuck in the back of my mind come from the AM broadcasts floating out of that Panasonic transistor radio. 

It would have been easy to pop on another Billy Bragg CD, especially with the news that he's coming to Dunedin for a concert in October. I'll save that listening pleasure for when I've had a lager or two, roast meals need longer prep and cooking time and even I can't start drinking this early in the day. So, today's trip down pre-2000 music memory lane is The Style Council - Our Favourite Shop.

Are you gonna be threatend by
The public enemies No. 10 -
Those who play the power game
They take the profits - you take the blame -
When they tell you there's no rise in pay

Are you gonna try an' make this work
Or spend your days down in the dirt -
You see things CAN change -
YES an' walls can come tumbling down!

Oh yes, Mr Weller is certainly out there on the left hand side of the political spectrum side by side with Mr Bragg. It's funny to look back at the music I was buying in the mid to late 80s and how much of it flag waving, fist shaking stuff. Ahhh, the folly of youth. Still, over a quarter of a century later and it all sits well as I contemplate roast lamb and a glass of pinot noir. Happy National Roast Day folks.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Music to sniff to...

We all listen to music for different reasons. Relax, unwind, kick start a night out or simply break the boredom. But what about when we're sick? I have a cold. Some in my house say things like "Awwwww, have you got man-flu?". No, but I am by no means 100%.

These bugs have a two-fold impact on me. I lose my lust for alcohol (those who know me understand that for this reason alone I do not fake illness) and my music listening habits go a little odd. Don't panic, we're not talking about a shift in musical taste to classical or Justin Bieber, it's more a case of very little patience. iTunes DJ on.... and.... Play! Nah, too loud, skip.... too jangly, skip.... too quiet, skip..... too fast, old, new, blah.... you get the picture.

So, what's the answer? Well one answer for me is Aweditorium app for iPad. I'm new to the iPad and shopping around the App Store in my desired price range (the free stuff area) was this gem. It offers the user an eclectic mix of music coupled with artist info, lyrics, clips and much more. But, best of all, as you tire of a track you simply swipe gently to one side on your screen and you're on to the next offering. Just right for my depleted energy levels... Now off to bed for me... sniff, sniff.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In the Olympic swing of things

It took until blog post number three but I'm in rule breaking mode. Friday Pizza Prose has morphed into Saturday Curry Prose, albeit tomporarily. Personally I blame the influence of the London Olympics. With the possible exception of Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding surely there is nothing more British than a curry and a lager. So, fast forward a few hours and it's me back in the kitchen in full British support mode. I have my chicken Korma bubbling away nicely and the stereo has made my youngest screw up her face. It's the Bard form Barking, that Socialist Serenader, Billy Bragg - Talking With The Taxman About Poetry.

Sometimes when we're as close as this
It's like we're in a dream
How can you lie there and think of england
When you don't even know who's in the team

Your sexual politics have left me all of a muddle
We are joined in the ideological cuddle

And what does the average blue collar boy from South Auckland drink with his curry? Lager of course, Carlsberg in this instance. I'm predicting a few more lagers over the course of the Olympics... Go Kiwi!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Getting the mix just right

As I mentioned earlier, my good wife does all the leg work as far as dough mixing and topping prep goes. The hard part though is over to me... choosing the right cd to get the ball rolling. I have somewhere in the region of 400 CDs so you'd think picking one would be easy. Nope, quite the opposite in fact. I reckon I spend about the same time choosing a cd some Fridays as it takes her to chop the toppings. You simply can't rush this.

Now with a blog on the go there's added pressure. I can't have a collective rolling of the eyes or a reaching for the "close tab" button. I tried the random approach. Start at the end of my (alphabetised) collection, pick a random number and count backwards.... Hmmm, note to self "remove the kids' CDs." I am NOT kicking this thing off with "Now That's What I Call Music Vol 30". Especially since it is NOT what I call music...

In the end I opted for a failsafe sing-along fave of mine; The Cure - Disintegration Robert Smith. A genius in lipstick.

I've been looking so long at these pictures of you
That I almost believe that they're real
I've been living so long with my pictures of you
That I almost believe that the pictures are all I can feel

Next weapon of choice: Montana South Island Pinot Noir, that should loosen the vocal chords. Watch out kids... Daddy's singing old music again.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

In the beginning

A very wise woman (my wife) once said to me "don't drink and text, just don't."

We all know why... even if you manage to focus enough to get your message across you need to make sure auto correct doesn't start a fight or end a friendship for you.

For those of us who do enjoy a drink or two we all know the magical benefits it empowers us with. It makes us funnier, smarter and more attractive. It helps us to sing and dance and entertain and as if this weren't enough, it makes us want to start a blog about it all. (strictly speaking it's not drinking and texting although it's possible the results could be the same)

These days I tend to do my drinking more in moderation and more at home and my favourite day to do this is Friday. Now we all love Fridays, it's the end of the working week and the start of two glorious work free days. But in our house it's something else, it's Pizza Friday. Pizza Friday runs like this... Darling wife puts the dough on in the bread maker, cuts up the toppings and buys me (and herself) some wine. I come home, pop the cork (well, screw the cap), crank up the stereo and start the pizza construction. Magic!

So who's this blog thing all for? Well, much like the pizza, wine, beer and music... primarily me. If my kids read this one day and smile that'd be nice. If my wife does the same, call it a bonus. Beyond this I have no expectations.

So there it is, blog entry #1 in what I imagine will be a somewhat sporadic series. Stand by...