A pretty good week – I’ve been podcasting up a storm, new ep on the way very soon and now several in the can as I contemplate moving up to once a week rather than once a fortnight…we’ll see, that’s the plan for 2017, potentially. So lots of chats this week – some about music, some about other matters altogether. And a fair bit of listening. Been on the go the last few weekends what with one thing. And then of course another. Up to Hawke’s Bay, off to Auckland and in-between left in Wellington alone and tasked with talking about essays. So I’m looking forward to staying put this weekend, with some visiting family members in town.
So for this round of the Five Songs For A Friday it’s about new and old favourites…
1. Kate Bush – And Dream of Sheep (Live)
While I’m writing this I’m sneaking a first listen to the new Kate Bush live album and it’s pretty lovely (of course) so I’m including this clip, the new (live) single. The version of King of the Mountain on the live album is a stonker too. A lot of good things – and a must-listen of course, just for the fact that it even exists; that she did those shows. What a rare and special talent.
2. Beastie Boys – Rhymin & Stealin
The Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill has been newly reissued on vinyl and I had to have it – picked it up in Auckland last week. One listen and I was transported back to when I discovered this album, a revelation. A masterclass in rock-record sampling; my introduction, in a sense, to the world of Led Zeppelin. Strange as that may be. Didn’t feel that strange, felt pretty terrific actually. Still does. Kerry King from Slayer assists with the screaming, squealing riffs and John Bonham might as well be co-composer of most of the tracks here, so crucial are his sampled drum-stomps. Fuck I love this. I feel 11 years old whenever I hear this. In the best possible way. The Beasties were such a great band to grow up with – moving through my teenage years as they (musically) matured. I love everything they ever did.
3. The Band – Up On Cripple Creek
I sat through the first half of a tribute concert to The Last Waltz and that was all I could take, well-meaning though it was. Gave me even more of an appreciation for that magical rhythm section, and especially what Levon could do – the greatest singing drummer ever? (and one of the greatest singers, and drummers, quite separately). Such a breadth of musical talent in that band. The Band means more to me with the passing of each year. I’ve lived somewhere inside their records for so long. I think I’d be happy there. With almost nothing else, if push ever came to shove. Thankfully it doesn’t. And we get to choose all sorts. I’m choosing this to wipe the taste of that earnest tribute. I’m choosing this because it’s the start of a wonderful film that is as messy as it ever was clean. I’m choosing this because each and every week (or day) I could play something by The Band. And usually do.
4. Nadia Reid – Track of the Time
One of the guests to the house this week to talk music and life was Nadia Reid. Her album is so great and a new one is on the way. I thought about this song a lot in the lead-up and then afterward. What a perfect snapshot of her rare and special talent.
5. Paul Ubana Jones – I Need A Storm
What’s up with this fucking weather eh? Bonkers. Late November. Ludicrous. I’m looking forward to seeing my buddy Paul Ubana Jones play on Sunday night, it’s been too long since I’ve watched a whole set by Paul. He’s really one of the very fucking best ever. He was up on stage the other night as part of that Last Waltz and he acquitted himself well – lovely rendition of Georgia, with out his trusty guitar too. It really worked. Just Paul and the horns and the rhythm section. He could do a set of standards. And it would be just fine, just lovely. But I really dig his shows, how they flow through and around covers and originals. All going well he’s coming up to the house first to record a podcast. We’ve had many great chats over the years, some on the record, some off – most of them involving chat about so many records (new and old favourites) while we’re at it. So fingers crossed we get some of his magic on tape. Here’s some of his magic right here. Truly one of the greats, one of my all-time favourites. I’m proud to know him.