Song of the Day – Ben Harper

For those who have followed this little blog for some time, you would know I went to Bluesfest in Byron Bay last year. And that it was a dream of mine since being a kid. Well I finally went and it was amazing. So when a friend suggested she would like to go this year for her first time, and wanted me to tag along, of course, I said yes. Actually, I think I said “YEEEEESSSSS!!!”

It didn’t hurt my decision-making process that Ben Harper is one of my favourite musicians ever. And within that group, he is one of the few I am yet to see live. And he is playing at Bluesfest this year.

So, today’s song, in anticipation of Bluesfest on Easter weekend in April, which I cannot wait for, is ‘With My Own Two Hands’ by Ben Harper.

Song of the Day – Fat Freddy’s Drop

Now we head to New Zealand! I don’t know why. Snow, hobbits, and underappreciated seven-piece funk machines?

The latter of which brings us to Fat Freddy’s Drop. I saw them at a festival here about five years ago and they were fantastic. They were one of two (musical) reasons I went to the festival, and they did not disappoint. The other was Blue King Brown, but they’ll be here another day.

Today you get ‘Boondigga’ by Fat Freddy’s Drop.

Song of the Day – ‘Talk Is Cheap’, Chet Faker

So, yesterday was Australia Day, for those playing outside Australia. As such, I felt it right to use an Australian artist for song of the day today.

Coincidentally, on Australia Day each year, Triple J, a national radio station, holds the ‘Hottest 100’ from midday onwards, which is voted on the couple of months prior by everyone anywhere. So we tend to have that playing over the top of our Australia Day BBQ’s with our mates.

The #1 song this year was by an Australian artist. So you get the winner today. ‘Talk Is Cheap’ by Chet Faker.

Song of the Day – The Commodores: ‘Easy’

I gave new meaning to the term ‘lazy Sunday’ today. After working a few nights in a row and having 3-4 hours sleep a day, followed by going to the pub then The Kooks concert last night and rocking in the city, I slept for a whopping 18 hours today. Yep, lazy Sunday iundeed.

As a result, the song of the day is late. But also, it is an easy song.

For today, a live performance of ‘Easy’ by The Commodores at the 1978 AMAs.

 

The Kooks – the wrap-up

G’day folks! Yesterday, the song of the day was ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’ by The Kooks, since last night was to be their concert at Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne.

Well, they performed that song and pretty much all my favourites of theirs. It was off the hook. Second best gig I’ve seen at the Music Bowl. (To be fair, I saw Dave Matthews Band there, so, top that, bands of the world).

Catfish and the Bottlemen opened, followed by The Griswolds. Both were good sets, but, they felt like openers. And then came the big guns.

The Kooks frontman Luke Pritchard – courtesy of tonedeaf.com.au

The Kooks rocked harder than even I had expected and the crowd ate it up, totally losing their heads at a lot of the older songs as well as the many songs played from their latest album, Listen, which came out last September.

The gig was awesome, and I’m still listening to them today. Here is one of their newer songs, which absolutely went OFF!

Song of the Day – The Kooks

My hands are partially tied today. You’re getting a song by The Kooks.

Why? Well, because I am seeing them live tonight at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl here in Melbourne! And I’m excited!!

I have been a fan of the British rock band since their first album in 2006, and have all four of them. I think they’re awesome. I have a lot of good memories attached to many of the songs over those years. The song I have decided to go with for today is off their very first album, Inside In/Inside Out. It is called, ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’.

Song of the Day – Gil Scott-Heron

G’day folks! I am hereby challenging myself to get on here and post one song a day. I figure it will at least get me onto WordPress and by that, I will find something else to post about each day as well. I’m using music as a gateway to posting all the things. Because, well, music is my biggest motivator.

Today’s song of the day is ‘When You Are Who You Are’ by Gil Scott-Heron released in 1971.

It’s a favourite of mine, not only because its sound is fantastic, or because Gil deserves so much more recognition than he receives, but because the idea of it really resonates with me. Just be who you are, because that is when we are all at our most beautiful.

I endeavour each day to be just who I am. And Gil is here to remind me it’s for the better. Thanks, Gil!

Turning 30 In Style

The last post I made here was when I returned from my trip to Byron Bay Bluesfest at the end of April. So, guess what the occasion is this time?

I’m going to Mares Vivas music festival in Portugal next week!

That’s right friends, I’m a total nomad this year. Why? Well, because I can be, of course!

I mean, my lecturers aren’t as deliriously happy about it as I am, but they’ll live… and I’ll live happier.

Admittedly, there is a partial occasion for the trip. I turn 30 this month. And if I’m going to ‘grow old’, I’m sure not going to do it in Melbourne. I’m going to do it on the other side of the World. In the sunshine. With fine food, wine and music.

If you’re wondering what made me pick Mares Vivas, I’ll tell you. If you aren’t wondering that, I guess you’re about to get a clean version of TMI (Too Much Information).

It started as a daydream. A whimsical flick through the pages of the internet. I wondered to myself, “Where is Joss Stone touring the rest of this year? She said at Byron she was doing a World tour. Where does that entail?”

The first place I found was Switzerland. Her show in Switzerland was sold out.

The second place I found was at Mares Vivas music festival, on the banks of the Douro river in Porto, Portugal. The interwebz told me the festival was three days, the 17th – 19th of July. Perfect timing, since my birthday is on the 22nd. The Prodigy were set to headline day one, and Portishead and Joss Stone were headlining day three. Well then, that sounds pretty dreamy. Maybe I’ll have a cheeky glance at the price of flights.

Cool, they seem legit; maybe I could get away with just under a week there.

A week later (last week) and I’m sitting in the travel agency booking a two-week deal through Portugal and France with the lovely girl at the desk who is just too hard to say no to.

And this Monday I fly out. Porto for a week, Marseilles for my birthday (when I’m seeing Herbie Hancock in concert) and then a train up to Paris for the last 5 days. Brilliant.

Bring on the sun… and Joss Stone.

Me Music: Bluesfest, the Trip of a Lifetime

Okay, so I’m back! The weekend before last I had my amazing trip up to Byron Bay to experience Bluesfest music festival. And it was nothing short of spectacular. I’ll throw in some stories/highlights along the way, but I figured what I could do is list my top ten favourite performances of the festival in commemoration of the wicked good time I had.  And I’ve included a couple photos I took for the top two! Here goes!

10. Kate Miller-Heidke

Morcheeba almost took spot #10, but essentially, they were great but pretty stock. Kate Miller-Heidke was something really different, and is such an amazing live performer. She’s also really funny and endearing and interacts brilliantly with the crowd during and in-between songs. She’s a good egg, and an amazing singer.

9. Seun Kuti & Egypt 80

I’ve long been a huge fan of Seun’s father, Fela Kuti, who basically invented Afrobeat, that really funky music genre. Fela has passed away, but Seun continues his legacy with Egypt 80 and some of the members from his father’s original band. They’re really funky and fun and have a lot of bustling, positive energy. And it’s also a lot of fun to watch Seun dance. He just does his own thing, and the result is all good vibes. It’s such a treat to see some of the original masters of one of my favourite genres have at it on the stage.

8. India.Arie

I wasn’t sure what to expect from India Arie. She turned up telling us all how she was rushed and stuck in traffic and all these things and she wasn’t settled. Though she was on stage on time, so she did well, but she was clearly rushed. As someone whose pet hate is being rushed, I can understand how she felt and it was nice to see her being so real up there in front of us. So, instead of the set she had planned, she decided she was going to do her own thing. She was going to have a ‘songversation’ with us, instead of a concert, and she was going to play the songs she needed to play to feel right about the day. So she just changed her setlist as she went. She knocked it out of the park. It felt like quite an intimate songversation, despite there being so many people there. But I was up the front, so I guess that helped.

7. The Beards

I thought they’d be kinda funny, so I went. They were hilarious! And they actually really rocked. The gig was so good. They were on one of the smaller stages/tents and they really needed one of the bigger ones. We packed that sucker. And they rocked it.

6. KT Tunstall

I’ve liked KT Tunstall for a long time. I have fond memories of chilling by the lake near my grandparents’ holiday house as a kid being kept company only by my discman and two albums – one being ‘Everyday’ by Dave Matthews Band, and the other, ‘Eye to the Telescope’ the debut album of KT Tunstall. I was keen to see her live, and saw both of her appearances at Bluesfest. She was fantastic. Really funny and engaging and so good live. And one of the few who performed solo with no band or accompaniment whatsoever.

5. John Butler Trio

I knew going in that JBT would be one of the best live performances I had ever seen. I have most of their albums, even live ones, and have been a fan since forever. I was so pumped to finally see them live. They were awesome. I guess they didn’t crack the top four maybe because they didn’t surprise me. They were awesome, but they were what I expected. Expectations are dangerous like that. The next four artists really surprised me. Blew me away, really. JBT didn’t quite blow me away, but they were no less absolutely awesome.

4. Nahko and Medicine for the People

These guys were the surprise of the festival for me. I have an album of theirs. It’s mellow and beautiful. It’s really chill. I expected that vibe live. Then they started playing. Man, they blew the roof off the sucker. They absolutely rocked. I could not believe the energy they had. Perhaps the biggest energy of a performance I saw there. They were epic. It actually blew me away. I was up near the front, so I was involved in the stage dive from Nahko, the lead guitarist/vocalist, and then after the gig the bassist came down to greet some folks, so I met him and he was really cool. Just full of positive energy. I reached out for the handshake and he said “nah give me some love brother” and basically leaped at me with a hug. We had a bit of a chat after that and like I said, just so positive. His energy, and really the energy of the whole band, was one of my favourite things of my trip. I want to source that energy myself. It’s all good things.

3. Michael Franti and Spearhead

Michael Franti and Spearhead win the award for “most energy required to attend the gig of”. Seriously, I almost had a heart attack. At least two or three times a song, every song, you’ll hear Michael say “put your hands in the air. Now, I wanna see you all JUMPING!” SO much energy. But his energy is so infectious.  And somehow you actually find yourself jumping again and again. And having an absolute blast. He also has a tendency to move through the crowd and loves getting everyone involved. It’s party central. I also met Michael Franti after the gig, so that was pretty awesome. There’s another guy with such a positive vibe.

2. Joss Stone

Oh my. The only performance that remotely rivalled what we all know will be my #1 favourite. I was aware Joss was gorgeous, and I was aware Joss can sing, but in actuality, I had nooooo idea. She was phenomenal. And I was lucky enough to be right up the front. I was also lucky enough to have her point my way during one of her sing-to-the-audience-members bits. And then I died.

 JossStone

1. Dave Matthews Band

Okay, so this surprises no-one. Interestingly, the only band on this list I have seen live before. Despite being a huge fan of a few of those. But DMB had basically won before I even got to the festival. Both their shows were epic, and the Saturday (1st) show was probably my favourite show of theirs ever. Although in the second show, I was up the front with four other fanatics and there’s a part where he sings “Love you, you, you, you, you, you, YOU!!!!” and at that part we were accentuating each word by pointing violently at Dave and the band, and in one verse he did the same back to us! So we flipped. That was like the greatest thing ever. We were totally fangirling. And we’re all blokes.

DMBMonGood

And so it begins…

I have to shout it from the mountain tops!

Though I don’t have a mountain.

I do however have a blog.

So I shall shout it here.

I AM SEEING DAVE MATTHEWS BAND LIVE TONIGHT!! WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Actually, I can expand. Today begins the epic journey I have been planning. I see DMB and Gary Clark Jr tonight, and tomorrow I head off on a plane and a coach to reach Byron Bay for this year’s (and my first ever) Bluesfest, which will be my home Friday til Monday. I fly back Tuesday night. So much amazing music and festivities await, and it will truly be the trip of a (my) lifetime. I’m pumped.

Okay, pumped is an understatement. I’m ecstatic. I’m on edge! I’m in party mode already. Watch out, World! You better be ready to paaaaarrrtayyyyyy!!!

Promise I’ll update you all when I return. Or perhaps even tonight after the gig. Unless there’s just too much awesome and I vanish. That’s possible.

Okay, I hope you have all been well. Talk to you soon, fans!

Dave Matthews Band – The Riff

Gary Clark Jr – When My Train Pulls In

And I get to see Joss Stone at the festival! The last night, Monday night. Here’s a message from Joss. Oh she’s so adorable. I’ve told all my friends I am eloping with her and shall never return to Melbourne again. I think they kinda buy it.