Blog Roddus

Blog Roddus
My Favorite Place A Note on my equipment: 1 Tetrabyte hard drive connected by USB to an Acer laptop, connected via USB to FUBAR II Digital Audio Converter, connected via RCA leads to Cyrus system with Tannoy Speakers, Choice!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Black Sabbath - Forsyth Barr Stadium - Dunedin New Zealand 30 April 2016

So Far this year has been one of the best in a long time for live concerts, not just the frequency of the amount of gigs happening but also the quality.
 Black Sabbath did play in NZ a few years back but not in the South Island and I didn't know at that time that it was most of the original lineup that was actually playing or I might have been tempted to go up and see them.
 After the release of their album "13" in 2013, I was blown away by the quality and shear heaviness of that record and I have said before that Sabbath are almost, if not, my all time favourite rock band. So I was not gonna miss seeing this original lineup playing for what they have told us is the last ever Black Sabbath tour.
 Of course I was disappointed that Bill Ward did not play on "13" and also that he was not on this tour, the lowdown that I have read on the internet is that Bill was not at all happy with the deal he was offered in contract to participate in the tour and although he was apparently very keen to be involved he refused to sign the contract. It appears their is a bit of bad blood between Bill and Ozzy , especially after Ozzy apparently made some statements to the effect that Bill was not physically up to the tour. I was watching some footage of Bill in his prime in the first original Sabbath line up from the 70's and he was such a fantastic drummer, very fast and hit those drums very hard, and after watching him then and seeing them live now with the much younger drummer that are using at present, I really wondered if someone of his age(67) and  the fact he has had some health issues of late, was capable of playing like that, especially on a full tour.
 Anyhow, I met up with a friend late afternoon in Dunedin and had dinner after which 3 of us were dropped off at the relatively new Forsyth Barr Stadium, a covered ground used for the local Rugby Team and international Rugby tests. It is a great venue and has the perfect place for a large stage setup at the northern end. The first thing we noticed as we entered the stadium about 40 minutes before the support band was due on was that it was all set up to only use half of the stadium and although it looked like most of the seating was full, it wasn't a tight crush on the floor where we were, I read that the attendance was about 10000.
 The support band, Rival Sons, Hit the stage in due time as the venue was still filling and impressed most with their Bluesy Hard Rock-a-la The Cult being one reference that came to mind. They did well and the crowd responded well to their assault, although I found the songs all sounded a bit the same if you didn't already know their music as I didn't.
 After a not too long break between sets and the stage was reset, the roar of the crowd signalled that something was happening on stage as the huge video screen at the back of the stage showed us an introduction that I am going to let my video below describe, before the bell chimed with the intro to "Black Sabbath", the opening song from their first album of the same name from 1970, as if no one knows.
 This was fucking amazing, it was loud, as it should be, it was pretty clear, Ozzy was coming through pretty clear, most of the time, the thunderous drums were awesome and Tony's Soloing sounded clear and fantastic.  They thundered through a barrage of their 70's classics in all their glory with Ozzy constantly encouraging the crowd to go "Fucking Wild". Classic after classic of bone crushingly heavy music sent the crowd into ecstasy, this scribe included, it was just awesome. They played"War Pigs" much to my relief and i managed to get it on video before my memory got too full on my cell phone. "Rat Salad" gave the drummer, Tommy Clufetos, a chance for his moment in the spotlight with something like a 10 minute drum solo while the rest of the band had a nice rest off stage. Tommy was fucking phenomenal and I was very impressed with what he did. If I tried to do something like that i would need about 30 minutes to get my breath back, but ha had to go on and play another four songs. As I said all the set was from their 70's peak but one song I couldn't quite place and it turns out it was on the Technical Ecstasy album, so I had heard it before, it was definitely lighter in feel but Tony did what stood out for me as the best solo of the set. After the gig we were buzzing, certainly one of the best gigs ever for me. It was just brilliant.

Black Sabbath Set list:
Black Sabbath
Fairies Wear Boots
After Forever
Into The Void
War Pigs
Behind The Wall Of Sleep
Hand Of Doom
Rat Salad (drum solo)
Iron Man
Dirty Women
Children Of The Grave


Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Stranglers - Christchurch Horncastle Arena - 15 April 2016

Well it has been an interesting time at present, with our obscure little city getting a plethora of old punk bands touring these shores. Many bands from my formative years of music collecting, whom I never thought I would get to see live here, with The Exploited, The Buzzcocks and now The Stranglers, all within the last 5 months.
 The Horncastle arena is the premier indoor venue in Christchurch with a capacity of 9000 punters and I was surprised that the Stranglers were playing at such a big venue and I figured they would struggle to even half fill a venue of this size in Christchurch, and so it was that even with the stage moved forward a lot closer than I have seen it before it was far from full with probably about 2000 of us keen to see these legends on stage.
 Unusually for me I actually got to attend this gig with some other friends this time, with about 8 of us converging from different parts of the city and surrounding environs to finally all merge in the foyer thanks to the convenience of modern communication devices.
 The support act was Ed Kuepper, originally of  The Saints and Laughing Clowns, both of which I have had albums way back in my murky past. He was solo sitting alone near the front of the stage playing guitar with a drum machine backing him quietly in the background. His half hour set was kinda dirgy and to be honest I didn't think the music worked in a big venue like this, the sound wasn't all that clean, kinda mirky and difficult to make out his riffing. In saying that the arena has an awesome PA system, with the twin sets of speakers suspended from the ceiling and coming down in a semi curve can put out some pretty impressive sound as I have experienced in the past.
 The Stranglers hit the stage just on 9:30 as was predicted by the promoters and proceeded to play a totally wonderful set for about 1 and 3/4 hours with two encores, and they were as impressed with the crowd as we were impressed with them. For a band with a recording career of 40 years, I was a bit worried that they would be playing a big cross section of their music from all periods, a lot of it with which I was not familiar, after the initial period of 1977 to about 1985, but apart from a couple of quieter songs that were unfamiliar in the middle of the set which the rest of the audience didn't seem to know that well either, they mostly stuck to their early punk stuff and had us popping and grooving to their great sounds. They played most of my favourite tracks and some that I had forgotten about and even their great song Golden Brown which is not very punky at all but nevertheless is a brilliant song, although the lovely neoclassical guitar solo was a bit subdued soundwise, one of my friends suggesting there was a slight technical issue. The PA in this venue can put out some pretty wicked bass sounds and The Stranglers exploited this to great effect with the concussion from the speakers almost knocking us flat at one point when the Bass guitarist played some slightly experimental licks at the end of one song. The dirty bass sound of the Early material came across pretty well even though it was still pretty distorted as is usual at these rock gigs. Overall we all were really impressed and pretty knocked out by the evenings entertainment and I am so glad I went.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Buzzcocks - The Foundry - Christchurch - 18 March 2016

One of the first of the original punk bands I got into in the very early 80's after gaining a copy of their "Another Music in a Different kitchen" album from my cousin who preferred the Jam to the Buzzcocks. Of course by this time the band had already split, so I never got to see them live in their original incarnation. I had missed them last time they played here so I thought I had better make the effort to catch these legends this time round. Steve Diggle and Pete Shelley are the two ageing originals in the band supported by Chris Remington - Bass (2008–Present) and Danny Farrant - Drums (2006–Present).
The Foundry bar is a fairly new facility built, I believe, since the Earthquakes of 2010/2011, as the new Canterbury University Student bar. And a very nice venue it is too with an apparent capacity of about 1200 people. There were door sales available so I guess it wasn't a sell out but the place was fairly full but not sardine like.
 The doors opened at 8pm with an hour for people to lubricate themselves before the support band hit the stage around 9pm. This lot were a 3 piece garage/punk pop band who reminded me a little of D4, another garage rock band from Auckland NZ. The Transistors put on a great hi-nrg 30 minute set of masterful melodic tunes and had many in the audience bopping along. I was most impressed, infact they are one of the better support bands I have seen. I was also impressed with the sound quality of their set and the volume level was pretty good.
 The inevitable wait we then endured as the roadies prepared the stage for The Buzzcocks set and more lubricating took place after which the band hit the stage just after 10pm. The first very obvious thing was the considerable increase in volume of the music as the band did a quick tune up before launching into the awesome "Fast Cars".As can bee seen from the video below my phone had real trouble recording the sound with the volume levels as they were and the actual sound wasn't all that far from what you hear on the first clip. So after 40 years punk music still can't figure out how to turn down the volume enough so that we can actually hear something more than a wall of sound. I didn't catch a word they said all night and it is only because I know many of the songs so well that I was able to actually catch some of the melody and lyrics. My ears are still ringing 24 hours later.
 All that being said(again) They played with fantastic energy for a couple of sexagenarians and it was a really good show, playing so many of the fantastic songs I love so much from their first period and a few newer ones I didn't know at all probably from their later albums, had the mosh pit jumping and my body bopping along and singing along. They played just under an hour but did come back for 3 more songs as an encore. The second video I took of the band was from further back from just in front of the mixing desk and captured the sound a lot better than the first vid, although even back there the sound was pretty distorted in real time.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Billy TK Snr - Churchills Bar Christchurch - 12 March 2016

   The Maori Jimi Hendrix was a label allocated to Billy Te Kahika after his stint in the legendary New Zealand Psych/Hard Rock band Human Instinct back in the late 60s and early 70s. The band put out three albums, with Billy in the line up, of lofi psych rock with some fantastically punishing guitar from the Man himself before he left the band to explore and develop his guitar playing under his own terms with his own band, Billy TK's Powerhouse. Since then he has been involved in several low key projects and recorded and played with both local and international musicians, including Carlos Santana in 1996 and is a dedicated peace activist.
   I was blown away by his work with The Human Instinct when I first discovered it in the early 1990s, but knew little about his activities since that time. When I saw that he was going to be playing here this month for a nominal cover charge of ten bucks at a small Christchurch venue, I just had to go and check it out.
   A friend was going to accompany me on this gig but something cropped up for him at the last moment and so I went solo again. I dropped the Mrs off at another event that she was attending and got to the venue just a few minutes after the scheduled 9pm start. Of course Billy hadn't hit the stage yet and was infact sitting having a quite drink with his bass player on the opposite side of the room from where I parked my butt after procuring myself a refreshing ginger beer. The place was dam near empty with only about 20 people in the bar and 8 of them were Billy and his band. the bar staff, the two ladies taking the money at the door and the bouncer.
I had checked out a couple of Billy's videos on YouTube earlier in the day to get an idea of what I might be seeing this night and there was a video with a full band and singer and another with just Billy and another musician sitting on chairs playing. The gig was advertised as Billy TK and Band, so I thought it might be a full band, but it was actually Billy and a Bass player, who also did some keyboards and sound effects and that also supplied the drumbeats. They were accompanied by a woman on a conga drum.
   They ambled onto the stage at around 9:30pm in what looked to be a bit of an amature night set up, especially with the misinscule audience there. They started their set with one of Billy's recent original compositions "Mama Funk" and the sound was pretty good although not real loud, which was good considering how empty the place was. Once Billy started into his guitar I knew this was gonna be a bloody good show, ok he isn't much of a singer and the band set up was a bit like some cheesy amature covers band at a local working mens club, but boy this man can still play some beautiful guitar. The set was pretty heavily laden with Jimi Hendrix covers with some Santana and Gary Moore thrown in for good measure but he did his own slant on those songs and made it real interesting and different even though is style pays homage to both of the first two guitarists mentioned. He played two sets of about 45 minutes with the second set having the added bonus of a 4.4M earthquake rock the place at 11pm, although nobody seemed to notice and the band never misses a beat. It was a gentle rocking quake and  the Mrs confirmed it via text just so I knew it wasn't my imagination. Billy oozed out his fabulous guitar sounds for another 30 minutes before calling it a night and just proved again what an ignorant musical culture we have in Christchurch that only a dozen paying punters bothered to show up and see this legend play.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Clash of the Titans: Mi-Sex, Dragon, The Angels, Bedford Big Top, Christchurch,26th February 2016.

I'd seen this advertised and had discussed it with a mate one night before we went to the Star Wars Movie. I was right into Mi-Sex when I first started collecting Records back in 1980 when I was 13 and indeed their "Space Race" Album was the very first record I ever owned. I never saw them live. Dragon didn't really interest me but I remember several Angels songs that were popular with the Lads in our initial party days. Anyhow I decided I probably wasn't going to go to this concert until I ran into some old friends at the aforementioned mate's 50th Birthday recently and they said they were going and I thought it would be cool to catch up with them again at this concert. The Mrs. was keen as she wasn't at the party and wanted to also see our friends again. The aforementioned Mate also decided he was going to go at the last minute.
 Got to the concert just a few minutes before the first band started, found out our friends were still making their way to the venue so headed into the Marquee to have a listen. First up was Mi-Sex and it was straight into all their hits and it sounded pretty cool to hear all these great songs blasting loud from the sound system
The original singer of Mi-sex died quite some time ago but the younger guy who was doing the singing did a pretty good job of it. I really enjoyed their set.It was also interesting to note that they played a couple of new songs and said they were working on a new album but it didn't really impress me that much although it is pretty hard to judge an unknown song at these type of gigs.Our friends found us near the end of the Mi-Sex set and we headed back out the back of the marquee to talk and catch up. We hung out outside the back of the marquee for the Dragon set, although the Mrs. did head up the front on her own to check them out as they were her favourite band of the night. Of course Dragon had a couple of real big hits here back in the late 70's early 80s and the whole crowd was singing along with those songs but I was unfamiliar with most of their other music.
The Mrs. and I headed up near the front for the Angels set and ended up about 5 rows of people back from the stage, The rest of our friends were content to stay out back as it was bloody hot in the marquee on a very very warm night. We only stayed up front for the first two songs because it was way to fucking loud. Even for me. My ears were starting to ring even on top of the already mild tinnitus I already have and as I had no ear plugs, I decided to get back out to the back with my mates. It was just too loud. I could actually feel the pressure in my ears. I think it was to do with the shape of the Marquee, which is long and not all that wide and to get the sound projected down to the back of the venue they really crank it but I found it too distorted. Even my phone struggled with the volume up front while making a small video. The Angels rocked out and we sang along with most of the songs we knew but overall they didn't really knock my sox off and three of us agreed that Mi-Sex were the best band of the night.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Tami Neilson and Her Hot Rockin' Band of Rhythm! - Wunderbar, Lyttelton, New Zealand, 20th February 2016

I got an introduction to Tami Neilson via a mate with her Dynamite album which I had a few listens too and although impressed, didn't feel the need to go out and buy the record itself. Soon after I caught a new song on the TV from her new album, "Don't be Afraid" and was blown away by the vocal Tour de Force on that song. I missed her previous live show here from her church tour late last year so was real keen to head along to see her preforming songs from this new album( which is a real killer).
With all the exposure Tami has been getting lately, I was surprised she was playing at such a small venue, but it actually wasn't quite as full as it could have been and it is nice to see the gig up close and intimate.
 The Mrs. and myself headed over to Lyttelton with a couple of friends and had a lovely Indian curry just across the road from the venue before some drinks at the Wunderbar's Bar, overlooking the Harbour and all the lights. The doors to the concert room were opened just past 9pm and the support act was soon on the stage doing their thing. A three piece of stand up acoustic bass, electric guitar and a female vocalist who also played fiddle, they were a bit different and hard to describe but really underwhelmed me and the singer was a bit shy and didn't really know how to use her mic properly. The sound mixing/quality wasn't all that impressive either and so I was a bit worried about what Tami was going to sound like also in this small venue. The support act(and I'm damned if I can remember their long winded name), played about 30 minutes.
 After the obligatory break between acts, Tami appears on stage and they took me a bit by surprise by opening the show with the "Don't Be Afraid" song(see vid below), which I feel is her strongest number. Still, it was very impressive and the sound was excellent. They followed that up with the next two tracks from the latest album, "Holy Moses" and "Lonely" and I thought she was gonna do the whole album in sequence, but then we skipped to a song from the other side of the record before going back to some material from her "Dynamite" album. Tami does a real mix if styles, with some slow mournful country ballads, to swamp blues and rockabilly and others harder to pin down. it was a great show, she has such a powerful voice and might be one of the best singers I have see live, just so impressed. Great show, great venue, great night.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Fat Freddys Drop - Live at Waipara Hills Winery - 2nd January 2016

Hadn't seen The Drop.. for quite a while and I had not long ago picked up their latest album. It was Mrs. Roddus who really wanted to see this gig so who am I to disobey a direct order.
Waipara Hills do a couple of summer gigs each year in the paddock behind the winery and this was the first time we had been there.
Unfortunately the weather forecast wasn't the best with showers forecast for the evening, so we threw in the raincoats and headed off on the hours drive to the venue.
We arrived earlyish and got a park near the front of the parking area, ready for a quick getaway at the end. Entered the venue and found a pozzie to set up the deck chairs and wait fir he first act. It was during this wait that the rain arrived but it wasn't heavy and didn't last for too long and the rest of the night was mostly devoid of the wet stuff.
I don't usually get into the support acts too much but the group who played this night(whose name we can't remember) did a really good job and actually had quite a number of people up dancing. The highlight of their set was a great Afrobeat like number with Fat Freddys Saxophonist lending support. 

Fat Freddy hit the stage without too long a wait after the first act and very soon had pretty much the whole crowd on their feet, with their groovy Dub/Reggae/Electronica supported by a brass section. They played quite a lot of material from their new album and their groove was so infectious that it was impossible to resist shaking the booty to the groove. The gig was due to finish at 10pm and at 9:45pm, while The Drop was playing a medley of earlier songs, we made a quick exit to beat the traffic jam and was driving out the gate just as the hordes burst out heading for their cars. A good night.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Exploited live at Churchills Bar - Christchurch 4 December 2015

Been awhile since I went to a live music event as I have been too busy spending all my money on records and CDs but when I saw these guys were going to play a gig locally, I thought this was an opportunity not to miss, especially as I had missed some of the other 80's hardcore punk bands that had played here in recent times, GBH being one that springs to mind.
The Exploited were one of the first of the hardcore English punk bands that I discovered soon after discovering the original first wave of punk bands like the Buzzcocks, The Sexpistols and Stiff Little Fingers.
I had a copy of The Exploited "Punks Not Dead" LP that got quite a hammering on my mums stereo(much to her disgust), whilst studying for my end of year exams when I was 15. Also it was a source of great amusement a few years later when flatting with a school friend who used their "Fuck the USA" as his morning wakeup alarm.
 I was quite surprised to see these old hardcore bands still touring after 30 years or more in the business although I was aware that The Exploited had been releasing records right up till 2002 and I had even reviewed one of these later LP's on this very Blog
I arrived at the venue alone(don't really know anyone else mad enough to attend one of these shows)soon after doors opened and with drink in hand enjoyed watching the types of people this gig turned up. First thing I was surprised to notice was some younger punters all punked up just like they did 30+ years ago, spiked mohawks and all the rest, where as the older folks weren't quite so radical in their maturity, most of them still looked pretty punky, but mainly because of all the tattoos and the T-shirts sporting their favourite punk bands. I was wondering how many of these old punks were involved in the big punk Riot of 84'(I Think) When a large number of Punks went on a window smashing spree in the center of town one night. Actually Christchurch has quite a number of Skinheads back in those days. Anyhow, The venue started to fill and buy 9pm was getting pretty full as the Support band came on. I don't recall their name but they were pretty good and did a good cover of A Flux Of Pink Indian's Neu Smell/Tube Disaster, one of my all time punk anthems. They played for about 30 minutes as the venue continued to fill and then the wait while they sound checked for The Exploited.
 The wall of noise that is The Exploited, exploded out of the small but very loud PA system as Wattie, still resplendent in his bright red mohawk but supporting a very 50 something beer belly, bounds onto the stage, says something totally unintelligible in his Glaswegian accent and launches screaming into the first song. 
 I am a bit ambivalent about the rest of the concert, in that although the volume wasn't extreme in this small venue, the PA was pretty distorted, the guitar riffing was sometimes difficult to make out in amongst the pounding drums and thundering bass, which made it difficult to actually recognise some of the songs that I was familiar with and Wattie is just a real screamer live and I hardly understood a thing he sang or said all night except for the obvious cuss words, of which there was plenty. There were however some good guitar breaks that were discernible.
 In saying that though, I soon found myself caught up in the pure adrenalin of this music and managed to get center of the area just behind the moshpit where I just really got into the wall of sound assaulting my ears, it was quite an excellent time and was even better when I actually did recognise some of my old favourites. They did play some of the songs from that first album I loved so much as a youngster and the crowd was particularly vocal when they finally did play the aforementioned "Fuck The USA". So, actually a pretty good gig and I am very glad I did go, I had a good time.
 I must say it is surprising these bands coming all the way round the world to play in a dingy pub in a small city at the bottom of the world, the venue probably only holds about 300 and it was not quite full, so not exactly a big money making exercise, but I am glad they do and small venues like that are the best way to see a band instead of some huge stadium where the musicians are miles away(says the man with tickets to see Black Sabbath next year). Below are a coupe of short videos I made at the gig.

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Uncle Roddus weeks playlist 28/9/2015-2/10/2015

Uncle Roddus Album Of The Week
The Beatles - Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

I'm out of town for 9 days and will probably have no internet access among other things so I'm gonna post my weeks playlist early and also use this piece of writing that I posted on the Facebook YouTube Vinyl Community page earlier this week.

I have heard several people mention in videos and on facebook about their preference to having OG copies of albums in their collection. I noted this with interest and amusement but I don't consider myself a"Collector" per-see. I collect solely for the music, not based on first pressings, rarity or collectability etc... I do however like to have the best sounding issue available and that does not always mean that an OG copy is most desirable or that the latest remaster is either. I was also wondering how I would know if an LP I find in "the wild" was OG or not. Imagine something like Sergeant Pepper for instant, there must have been hundreds of issues of this album over the decades, so how would I know if I found an OG copy? I guess experience of the person buying would help and price could also be an indication. So I often wonder if all those early ECM records I found recently are OG copies or later reissues. The catalog numbers are certainly original.
Anyhow, I recently picked up a copy of Sergeant Pepper for a very cheap price with a bunch of other records I bought off a local gentleman here in my town. It looked a little rough and I already had it on CD but I thought what the hell, it will be worth hearing it on my turntable.(I actually scored 3 other records in this haul that I already had on CD)
I checked it over when I got home and noticed a white stain on the vinyl, maybe a watermark or something spilt on it. I filed it away thinking I would deal to it when I get my new record cleaning machine. Last night curiosity got the better of me and I pulled it out and gave it a clean with a soft wet cloth, it looked pretty good although as it dried the stain re appeared but on close inspection it looked playable and I decided to give it a spin. I looked at the center label and it looked suspiciously old. I did a close inspection of the cover and noticed the way the front sleeve flaps were glued over the top of the back cover, which I hadn't seen much before. I did also notice the label number on the top Right sleeve flap and that it was a New Zealand Issue, but was it an OG issue?
Searching Discogs and using the PCSM7027 as reference, it appears that it is indeed the first issue of Sergeant Pepper in New Zealand from June 1967. I was 6 months old. So in contradiction to what I said above about collecting, I got quite excited. But not as excited as I got when I actually played it. Clamping it on the VPI I noticed how incredibly flat this record was, as the needle hit the groove, there was far less crackle than anticipated and when the music started I was impressed as I noticed the slight crackling disappeared behind the music. As my ears adjusted I was astonished at the depth I was hearing from the speakers and I was just floored by the sonic reproduction, I had never head so much of this album. There was a couple of flat spots, maybe the stains, maybe wear and tear, Paul's Vocals on "A Day in The Life" sounded a bit flat but the rest was fantastic. It certainly is a good feeling to have an OG copy of this album and I certainly am proud of any rare and unusual albums I have in my collection, but always, the music comes first.
Sargent Pepper has never been my favorite of The Beatles albums but it is still a mighty impressive set and well worth all the praise it has earned over the years.Rating 5/5.

Here is what has been massaging (and sometimes pummeling) my ears this week.
In no particular order.

  • Talking Heads - Little Creatures, EMI (1985 LP)
  • Elvis Costello - Armed Forces, Radarscope Records (1979 LP)
  • Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd - Cosmologies, Nuvoid Jazz Records 46/200 (2014 LP)
  • Various Artists - Mali Allstars:Bogolan Music, Wrasse Records (2013 CD)
  • Rosanne Cash - The River and the Thread, Blue Note (2015 CD)
  • Southern Front - Southern Front, Failsafe Records SAFE004 (1984 LP)
  • Robert Plant and Alison Kruass - Raising Sand (2007 TIDAL Streaming)
  • David Bowie - Aladdin Sane, RCA (1973 LP)
  • Pretty Wicked Head and the Desperate Men - New Age Savage, BMG (1990 CD)
  • The Cruel Sea - The Most, Grudge Records (1999 CD)
  • Hunters and Collectors - Hunters & Collectors, Mushroom Records (1981 CD)
  • Rhiannon Gibbons - Tomorrow Is My Turn (2015 TIDAL Streaming)
  • Talking Heads - Little Creatures, EMI (1985 LP)
  • Bloodrock - Passage, Capitol (1972 LP)
  • Various Artists - The Vertigo Annual, Vertigo (1970 2xLP)
  • Elton John - Greatest Hits, DJM Records (1974 LP)
  • Cannonball Adderly - Somethin' Else, WaxTime (1958/2011 LP)
  • Madlib - Shades Of Blue, Blue Note (2003/2014 2xLP)
  • The 3 Sounds - Out Of This World, Blue Note ST 84197 (1965/2014 LP)
  • Bobby Hutcherson - Total Eclipse, Blue Note BST 84291 (1968/2014 LP)
  • Ornette Coleman - Something Else, DOL (1958/2015 LP)
  • Jackie McLean - Let Freedom Ring, Blue Note ST 84106 (1962/2014 LP)
  • Ryan Adams - Live At Carnegie Hall, Pax.Am/Blue Note (2015 6xLP)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Uncle Roddus weeks playlist 21/9/2015-27/9/2015

    Album of the Week
    Southern Front - ST, Failsafe Records 1984

    A great lucky find this week, the self titled and only album by the 1980's Christchurch band Southern Front.
    Released on Failsafe Records in 1984. I had a copy back then but it went when I sold my LP's back in the late 90's. I always had fond memories of this record and had been on the lookout for a CD copy for many years. A reissue was never forthcoming until 2013, but I didn't know and so kept looking for the original vinyl, without much success, even though I didn't have a turntable at the time.  So strangely enough now that I do have a turntable again, I'm just having a quick look through the bins at my local second hand vinyl emporium, when I should have been somewhere else doing something more constructive, like working, and low and behold there right at the back of a bin where it shouldn't have been was the long lost LP in person.
    The sales person was full of tidbits regarding the LP as he had known some of the band members back in the day and had helped them insert the records into their covers before distribution to the local record shops, he said some times they wrote little cryptic comments on the inside cover, although mine just has a name, probably of a former owner.
    The band had formed from the ashes of a couple of local punk bands and had moved their sound in a more post punk direction as so many did after exhausting the limitations of punk. Listening to this album nearly 20 years after the last I heard it, I find it has aged very well and sounds just as good as I remember. Blasting it again tonight I am impressed how well recorded and mastered it is, good separation and clear sounding.
    The music is mostly up tempo, the Failsafe website mentions Killing Joke as a reference, although I would apply that more to another seminal Christchurch Band, The Gordons, but there is definitely some early U2 sounding Guitar effects and a good but of early Cure would be another clue. I guess on the surface this sounds just like a thousand other post punk bands of the time and any of these songs would feel right at home on any compilation of obscure local music of the time, but familiarity breeds respect and admiration for the strength of this music, well for me anyway. Rating 4.5/5.

    Here is what has been massaging (and sometimes pummeling) my ears this week.
    In no particular order, but kinda in the order I listened to them.

  • The Horace Silver Quintet - The Cape Verdean Blues, Blur Note ST 82240 (1965/2015 LP)
  • Rosanne Cash - The River and the Thread, Blue Note (2015 CD)
  • Don Cherry - Complete Communion, Blue Note ST 84226 (1965/2015 LP)
  • Vas Deferens Organization – Mutant Sounds Radio (09.11.15) Podcast
  • Counting The Beat Radio Show 19/9/2015 - Waiheke Radio/Chris Walker - Sound Cloud
  • Southern Front - Southern Front, Failsafe Records SAFE004 (1984 LP)
  • Various Artists - Crammed Global Soundclash 1980-1989, Crammed Discs CRAM100 (2003 3CD)
  • Various Artists - Class Of 81, Mutant Sounds Blog, MP3 Download
  • Various Artists - Never Trash A Pretty Face, Mutant Sounds Blog MP3 Download
  • Vangelis - Albedo 0.39, RCA (1976 LP)
  • Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense, EMI (1984 LP)
  • Hawkwind - Warrior On The Edge Of Time, United Artists (1975 LP)
  • Andre Jaume & Michel Redolfi-Hardscore-France-1980 Mutant Sounds Blog MP3 Download
  • Brad Laner - Micro-awakenings, Mutant Sounds Blog MP3 Download
  • Rush - A Farewell to Kings, Phonogram (1977 LP)
  • Jethro Tull - War Child, Chrysalis (1974 LP)
  • Queen  -A Night At The Opera, EMI (1975 LP)
  • Alabama Shakes - Sound & Colour  (2015 TIDAL streaming)
  • Robert Plant and Alison Kruass - Raising Sand (2007 TIDAL Streaming)
  • David Bowie - Aladdin Sane, RCA (1973 LP)
  • Paul Simon - Graceland, Warner Brothers (1986 LP)
  • Various Artists - Real Word 25, Real World Records (2014 3CD)
  • Pink Floyd - Animals, CBS (1977 LP)
  • David Bowie - Space Oddity RCA (1969 LP)
  • Eric Dolphy - Out to Lunch, Blue Note ST 84163 (1964/2014 LP)
  • John Coltrane - Blue Train, Blue Note 1577 (1957/2014 LP)
  • Queen - Queen, EMI (1973 LP)
  • McCoy Tyner - The Real McCoy, Blue Note BST 24864 (1967/2014 LP)

  • Broken Hill 26 September 2015

    Uncle Roddus Tramping Diary: Tramp No 161
    Broken Hill 26 September 2015

    Spring is here and I haven't been tramping since early May. As usual, time and weather have been against me as well as lack of motivation to do the hard yards involved in struggling up hills. Harley sent several emails tempting me out over the winter and I finally succumbed to his invitations. Looking at Broken Hill on Topo maps, it looked innocuous enough for an easyish  trip to ease myself back into tramping for the season.
    Broken Hill is a stand alone lump just south of Purple Hill and Lake Pearson and east of Mt Wall and Mt Cockayne in the Cragiburn Ranges and reaches the lofty height of 1486M.
    Four of us set off along the four wheel drive track on a cool and partly cloudy day. This track was designated The Narnia Track in reference to the movie that was filmed in these parts several years ago. After a couple of kilometers we branched off on another road not shown on my topo map but visible on Google earth, which took us into the area where we could access the part of the hill we wanted to climb. This track took us through the burnt out wilding pine forest that had been hit by a large fire a couple of years back and had an interesting beauty of it's own but wouldn't have looked out of place in some Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Movie. We leave the track and wend our way through the burnt trees heading for a low saddle from which to access the ridge we wish to ascend. Part way up the ridge to the point 1355 we stop to regroup and have first lunch, there is a light but quite cold South East wind keeping us cool and well wrapped up. The tops are pretty easy travel and mostly flat with the occasional rock scramble as we attained Broken Hill itself and enjoyed the views and took the obligatory photos.The route down involves continuing along the South West ridge before dropping off through an easy bush bash through very open beech forest and linking to another farm track below, although we kinda missed our connection at first. Finally it's a longish slog along the farm road back to the car through a thick forest of wilding pines. Anyway, this trip ended up a little longer than I thought it would as we ended up walking 17.9KM and climbing overall 1185M in 7 hours 21 minutes. I coped pretty well considering.

    Sunday, September 20, 2015

    The Uncle Roddus weeks playlist 14/9/2015-20/9/2015

    Album of the Week.

    Here is what has been massaging (and sometimes pummeling) my ears this week.
    In no particular order, but kinda in the order I listened to them.

    • John Zorn - Pellcuidar-A Dreamers Fantabula, Tzadik 8333 (2015 CD)
    • Klezmerson - Amon - John Zorn's Book Of Angels - Masada Book Two Vol 24, Tzadik  8328 (2015 CD)
    • Bill Connors - Theme to the Guardian, ECM 1027 1975 (LP)
    • Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - Free For All, Blue Note ST 84170 (1965/2014 LP)
    • Alabama Shakes - Sound & Colour  (2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • Alan Jackson - The Bluegrass Album (2013 TIDAL streaming)
    • Larry Young - Unity, Blue Note ST 82241 (1965/2014 LP)
    • Wayne Shorter - Speak No Evil, Blue Note ST 84194 (1964/2014 LP)
    • Bettye LaVette - Worthy (2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • Jane - Together, Brain 0060-389 (1972 LP)
    • Charles Lloyd - Wild Man Dance (2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • Cornelia - Balun (2015 Tidal streaming)
    • HowellDevine - Modern Sounds of Ancient Juju (2014 TIDAL streaming)
    • Jan Garbarek - It's Ok to Listen To The Grey Voice, ECM 1294 (1985 LP)
    • The Velvet Underground - Loaded, Cotillian 8122-79613-5 (1970 LP)
    • Bloodrock - Bloodrock USA, Capitol ST645 (1971 LP)
    • Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free ( 2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • Joey Alexander - My Favourite Things (2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • Mbongwana Star - From Kinshasa (2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd - Cosmologies, Nuvoid Jazz Records 46/200 (2014 LP)
    • Leftfield - Alternative Light Source, Infectious INFECT223 (2015 CD)
    • Medeski, Martin & Wood - Combustication, Blue Note CDP7243 (1998 CD)
    • John Zorn - Hen To Pan, Tzadik 8329 (2015 CD)
    • Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage, Blue Note ST 84195 (1966/2014 LP)
    • Arild Anderson - Clouds in My Head, ECM 1059 (1975 LP)
    • Steve Kuhn - Ecstasy, ECM 1058 (1975 LP)
    • Jason Moran - Soundtrack to Human Motion, Blue Note (1999/2014 LP)
    • Sonny Clark - Cool Struttin', Blue Note 1588 (1958/2014 LP)
    • Grant Green - Idle Moments, Blue Note ST 84154 (1965/2014 LP)
    • Neil Young + Promise of the Real - The Monsanto Years (2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • Sleaford Mods - Key Markets (2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • The Rugbys - Hot Cargo (1969 TIDAL Streaming)
    • Cecil Taylor - Unit Structures, Blue Note BST 84237 (1966/2014 LP)
    • Thelonious Monk - Genius of Modern Music Vol. 2 Blue Note 1511 (1952/2015 LP)
    • Marialy Pacheco - Introducing (2015 TIDAL streaming)
    • Kenny Drew - Undercurrent, Blur Note ST 84059 (1960/2014 LP)
    • Sonny Rollins - A night at the Village Vanguard, Blue Note  1581 (1957/2014 LP)
    • Hank Mobley - Soul Station, Blue Note ST 84031 (1960/2014 LP)
    • The Teardrop Explodes - Kilimanjaro, Mercury 6359 035 (1980 LP)
    • Sun Ra - Other Strange Roads, Roaratorio, roar33 (1965/2014 LP)
    • Joe Henderson - State of the Tenor, Live at the Village Vanguard Vol 1, Blur Note  (1985/2014 LP)
    • Elvin Jones - The Ultimate Alvin Jones, Blue Note BST 84305 (1968/2014 LP) 
    • The Horace Silver Quintet - The Cape Verdean Blues, Blur Note ST 82240 (1965/2015 LP)
    • Various Artists - Blue Break Beats, Blue Note (1992 CD)
    • Deuter - Terra Magica (1997 TIDAL Streaming)
    • Wayne Shorter - Adams Apple,. Blue Note BST 84232 (1966/2015 LP)
    • The Ornette Coleman Trio - At The Golden Circle, Stockholm Vol 1, Blue Note ST 84224 (1965/2014 LP)
    • Led Zeppelin - Presence, Swan Song/Atlantic (1976/2015, reissue LP)
    • Evan Johns And The H Bombs - Rollin' Through The Night ,Alternative Tentacles virus47cd  (1993 CD)
    • Rosanne Cash - The River and the Thread, Blue Note (2015 CD)

    It's been a busy week music wise, a large shipment of Blue Note Records arrived in my mail box and my amp came back from the repair shop after one of the tubes faulted, also the turntable is back after I broke the needle on it recently. Thank god for insurance.
    Now that I'm getting back into collecting Vinyl records again, my wallet is taking a pretty hard hit but the results have been pretty impressive. There is, at present, a bit of a vinyl revival going on, with plenty of reissues getting the deluxe 180g vinyl treatment with original sleeves and many new releases being available on record as well as CD. Even The Warehouse(our Walmart) is now selling new vinyl. There is still a lot of second hand records around the scene and that is where I will probably be concentrating my collecting. There are a lot of obscure records out there that have still not been reissued on CD and it is great fun trawling through the record bins at my local shop and finding some obscure records that I couldn't find on CD. As some will notice, I posted a couple of videos on the blog recently about some of the recent records I have bought and I did this in response to another blogger I know who has been making these sorts of video for some time now and uploading them to YouTube as part of a Vinyl Community. A large group of record collectors and vinyl junkies share about their vast collections. Some really interesting records get shown on these videos.
    So now that I have had a high end turntable for a couple of months I can turn my attention to the age old question" Does vinyl sound better than CD?" and the resounding answer is....Ummm.
    It's a pretty subjective area and subject to all sorts of variables. The quality of the vinyl pressed, the mastering, the original production, the gear you listen to it on and your state of mind and personal beliefs all influence the answer to that question. CDs are fabulous with their zero background noise and their sonic clarity as well as their size and convenience of use. I have some fantastic sounding CDs that are almost jaw dropping in their sonic qualities, especially played on some really good gear. I guess one of the biggest draw backs of CD is the amount of compression that apparently goes into the music  to get the higher volumes that most popular music seems to need these days and so due to the limitations of the amount of data that can be stored on the CD, the increased volumes that they are produced at is apparently done so at the cost of sonic clarity and I can certainly point out some great CDs that I struggle to listen too nowadays due to the poor quality of the production.
    Vinyl on the other hand suffers from scratches and surface noise that are impossible to avoid. Granted, on most clean records when the music gets going the background noise is not noticeable but on the quieter musical parts even a brand new record straight out of the sleeve had noise that crackles or hisses along behind the music. Sonically speaking for clarity, the CD will always win, but again original production has an influence on that. In saying that though, listening to records through my current VPI turntable and Valve amp, there have been some jaw dropping moments coming from my small record collection, especially from those early 70's ECM records, which just blow everything else out of the water, even the Blue Notes. The other thing I am finding about vinyl is the listening experience is more involving or addictive even and I am finding my self playing more records than CDs at present, but that also may be because of the newness of it all(again). At the end of the day, listening to music on record is a different experience than listening on CD. Is it better? Sometimes, but it is cool. I do suspect for a lot of vinyl collectors, nostalgia plays a big part of the puzzle and I am experiencing a bit of that as well but now I'm hooked.

    The hot album this week is the debut record of Jane, a West German progressive rock band that released this gem on the Brain label back in 72. Classic Krautrock which has a floydian vibe and a singer that sounds like an amateur Robert Wyatt, which is all ok sounding but what really impressed me was the great guitar solos which push this record into great listening territory. A wonderful find and was quite lucky to fins this pretty clean LP in my local record outlet. Rating 4/5.

    And Here is my latest Vinyl collecting Video.

    Sunday, September 6, 2015

    Uncle Roddus Adventures in record buying.

    This is something new. A video post on the latest vinyl records I have purchased.

    Monday, May 4, 2015

    Mt Taylor 3 May 2015

    Uncle Roddus Tramping diary: Tramp No.160
    Mt Taylor 3 May 2015

    Mt Taylor is a 2300 meter peak overlooking Lake Heron in the Hakatere conservation reserve. We had spotted the peak on a recent ascent of nearby Mt Barossa and discussed the possibilities of climbing it. It turned out the Club was running a trip there soon after so I happily signed on. The intention was to park at Lake Heron and head into Double hut before the climb up Taylor. We were going to do this in one day instead of the usual overnight at Double Hut. After meeting at Mt Somers township, we arrived at Lake Heron just past 9am on a stunning day and were off on our adventure at about 9:20am, heading on a pretty direct route across the flats and a good pace. We reached the old musters hut, Double Hut, at about 10:40am where I had to do some patch up work on some blisters that were forming on the back of my feet. Fifteen minutes later we were off again for the more interesting part of out journey as we rock hopped up the south branch of the Swin River to the base of the sput we ascended. A short rest and regroup was taken along with some refueling before we started on the most arduous section of out walk. The first 500m ascent to point 1766 was taken at a brisk pace, being aware of the limited day light we had to get back to the cars, but after this the less fit members of the six in our group slowed some what and by point 2062 one member decided he wasn't going to make it in time and headed down into the Swin and back to the hut to wait for us, a second member was struggling with his knee and soon also dropped off sown to the Swin. The three super trampers in the group soon took off from this scribe, who was wondering if he too might not make the summit in time, but plodded on slowly and actually did make the summit at about 2:45PM and then only had a couple of minutes to snap some photos and have a drink before the descent started. We dropped off about half way between Mt Taylor and point 2084 and enjoyed a patchy scree for a quick decent down to the upper reaches of the Swin. We caught up with the knee person and proceeded down the straight forward boulder hop back to the hut by about 5pm, The other member had left a note saying he had already headed for the cars and so we rested for about 10minutes before the big slog back across the flats just as the sun was setting behind the distant mountains. About two thirds of our way back I looked back towards Taylor as we walked in the gloaming and noticed the light of the moon just about to crest the very mount we had just climbed and we were soon after presented with a very impressive moon rise and as it was near full, we managed to get back to the lake without head torches, arriving at the cars just on 6:30pm. We had to wait another 30 odd minutes for knee person to arrive, but all made it back safe and sound if somewhat sore. Approx distance 27KM, height gain 1650M, time 9 and a quarter hours.