Throw Your Arms Around Me…Ramble

I’ve been thinking about happier times to get through difficult challenges of the moment. Maxims are not really a comfort, but the only way out is through does resonate in my mind. Then I picked up a photo album from back in the day with some of my first adventures in Sydney. Along with photographs, there is, of course, the music that my friends and I loved and created memories listening to, singing and buying *yes people actually buy music!

Here’s an Australian classic from the band Hunters and Collectors, covered by Neil Finn. The performance was taped at SXSW in Austin back in the day. I know because it was done for a website I used to work at called GetMusic.com, which is now, oddly enough a brand revived out of Australia by Universal. We did merge with Rollingstone.com for a while, which is denoted on the notes of the posting. Good times. Without further ado….I share this unforgettable song.

 

As a bonus, for all my fellow dog lovers, on the eve of my Elle’s fourth birthday tomorrow, the wonderful “Lester”, Neil wrote about a family dog.

I hope you enjoy these precious gems as much as I do.

Into Temptation…Ramble

The vortex of cold makes going outdoors a challenge, but no match for a dog’s bladder. This morning we were out rather early so Elle could ‘do her business’. I couldn’t get back to sleep. Lyrics crept into my head, which sometimes I refer to as a broken jukebox……

The guilty get no sleep, the last few hours of morning, experience is cheap, I should’ve listened to the warning,

but the cradle is soft and warm

Indeed the cradle was soft and warm, but not without edges. Sometimes you have to give into temptation, even knowing full well the earth will rebel. When the spell is broken, reality is a cold, cruel mistress, especially in the heart of winter months. Here’s hoping you cannot relate to what I’m feeling and just enjoy the magic that is Crowded House.

Finn News…Ramble

I love that so many Finnheads are coming out this summer.

If you missed Crowded House you can check them out from their last go-round and still feel the love: NPR’s Morning Becomes Eclectic with none other than Neil’s youngest son, Elroy!

Crowded House at KCRW!

Let’s not forget that Lovely Liam Finn is also releasing an album with his friends, including of course, Eliza-Jane Barnes called “Barb.” It’s out August 24th in the States and include a song about Leo Dicaprio.

This House is Crowded with Favorites…Ramble

I Feel Possessed

Last week I posted excitedly about my love for Crowded House’s new album ‘Intriguer‘- at that time I didn’t have a ticket and my two ‘sources’ who had said they might be able to come through but couldn’t in the end….but posting about it led to an amazing opportunity not only to see the show but to hang with a new friend.

It’s always like going home when I goto a Crowded House show. I was so excited it was Nicole’s, (who had the extra ticket), first time seeing Crowded House live. The Bowery Ballroom was ‘crowded but …with love’ and wasn’t overly sold though it was sold out. It was comfortable and as we have aged with the band, it wasn’t the normal smelly boy rock show, but an excellent gathering of those who, like the band are “wild but calm.”

Neil’s voice was in fine form as they kicked off the show with “I Feel Possessed.” The two and a half! hour set list was nearly perfection. It would have lasted longer only a ridiculous and non-functional MTA curfew got the band to stop at 11:30. I know I normally don’t like to list set lists but here are a few of the many songs that were played last night:

Hole In The River, Don’t Dream It’s Over

Kill Eye; Mansion in the Slums (I have been singing this randomly for the last week); and When You Come.

Whispers and Moans; It’s Only Natural; Four Seasons in One Day– during the encore Neil switched up the lyrics to ‘Chocolate Cake’– “I saw Lindsay Lohan walk out of a 7-11. She was stocking up for the 3 months she’s going to prison, now the excess of fat on her American– waiiiit she’s not fat and that’s where the song falls apart.” Of course, they kept going.

Liam on the left 'English Trees'

It was only 3 songs in when we were all in our first sing-a-long of the night. The night was made even more special with the addition of two Finns- first Liam on “Nobody Wants To” and “English Trees” from Time on Earth, then later the lovely Mrs. Sharon Finn joined for “Isolation” and “Either Side of the World.” It was lovely, dreamy and totally a wonderful treat for fans especially when Neil gave his missus a short kiss following the two songs. Very sweet! Thank you Sharon for inspiring so many wonderous songs that have become the fabric of our Crowded House lives. I am wondering if we will ever see Elroy Finn join his dad on stage.

Sharon at the back during 'Isolation'

We were also treated to favorites “Distant Sun” and “Private Universe.” All in all a totally magical evening. It seemed they would have played “Amsterdam” but you may still hear it.

Sadly the guy with the USB sticks only arrived to America yesterday so last night’s show was recorded but not available for purchase. I’ll have to get it off the website when it goes on sale because that was an incredible show during which we learned in the banter that Neil was recently referred to as looking more like ‘a head waiter’ than a rock star. Neil said he was glad he was the head waiter…

We also learned that Nick found Sweden to be a very satisfying place to move his bowels. No, I’m not kidding, I wish I was but it was all in good fun just like those mustaches that have grown both on Neil and now on Nick. Mark’s days as a clean-shaven man may quickly give way to peer pressure.

Musically and lyrically this band continue to be interesting, inventive and passionate.

I’m so Intrigued by this Crowded House…Ramble

My pal Saffy, Nick Seymour & Moi

I’ve been a really, truly, lucky longtime fan of Crowded House.

When I first was introduced to Crowded House as a young girl, I didn’t really like ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over.’ I found it depressing and sad and summing up the world as ick. Don’t tell a moody pre-teen that! Then I saw the video for ‘Something So Strong’ and it did…carry me away. After that I was hooked!

All I have to do is put on their first self-titled album and I’m home in Australia with fresh promise. I’d met them outside the Beacon Theatre during the Woodface tour and saw them at Roseland Ballroom when this new singer, Sheryl Crow opened for them (and shared a producer legendary Mitchell Froom. She and Neil also traded backing vocals on each other’s albums. Get your music geek on people!)

It bummed me out when they decided to break up especially since they had their free farewell concert at the Sydney Opera House. I’d only been back in the US a few months and my friends in Oz all went and said it was incredible. It was a very happy day when they decided to release a 10 year anniversary CD and DVD of it. I listen to the CDS & watch the DVD (thanks to EMI friend Jesse! The artwork was so amazing on a special edition I didn’t even realize that Neil had signed it until Jesse pointed it out!)

When Crowded House burst back on the scene after Paul’s unfortunate death, I was tentative. I wanted to love them as I always had so I got tickets to see them at The Glass House, close to Palm Springs. There were about 500 people and it was amazing the love that was there for them.

Liam Finn opened up and then joined from time to time on stage. Well, I have to say the banter I so dearly loved wasn’t flowing as much. The new music, as oft-times happens when a band has had a significant gap, in this case a decade, was not quite as amazing so I returned once again to the recorded live shows I have and made due with that instead.

I have to give EMI for reconnecting me with some other Crowdies amongst the music industry at a private concert at The Hotel Cafe in LA. There were less than 50 people. Seriously, that moment was the reason I signed up for the music industry. Neil was a mere arm’s throw. (I was even closer to Tim Finn when he played Largo. I told you I was lucky in my heyday!)

By the time they played The Greek Theater they were really coming together and the vibe was back. Hurrah!

It was with much anticipation I listened to the entire Intriguer album off of some very special person’s iPod. (I’m still lucky once in a while!) I was salvating for a copy but had to wait until my deluxe edition arrived yesterday from Amazon. (Yes, I will always pay for Crowded House. I love them!)

There is salvation once more. The music is there. The vibe is replenished. The soothing classic Crowded House sounds have come together in a way that if you skipped the last album, you need to come back for this one.

In their own lyrics “you will love this one as if we have made something magical.” Why yes you have!

Instant favorites aside from the single ‘Saturday Sun’:
Amsterdam
Either Side of the World
Isolation *****
Twice If You’re Lucky (I should be so lucky, lucky…. I heart Kylie too)

I try to limit those instant favorites because I love the whole album. It’s just magic! Hurrah.

BTW the Deluxe version includes a DVD which I had to have because at this point Crowded House kicks off their US tour next week and sadly I am still ticketless at this point. I am hoping someone will come through on that end but I know if they don’t I may have to go see them in exotic Dirty Jers.

P.S.
I just checked Crowded House has a great deal combo pack for the digital download and the physical deluxe for under 13 bucks.

Musical Thoughts on Ash Wednesday…Ramble

Ultimately I’m not as religious as I was as a child. It may have been growing on the same block as my church and getting smacked on the wrist by nuns with 4 inches of rulers held together by rubberbands that did it. I believe in faith for other people and when it helps them that is amazing but when a priest interprets the bible, I don’t know I have other thoughts. Anyway…since it’s Lent and sometimes I give up Lent for Lent, I decided not to do that this year and give up drama and negetative thinking instead. Here are some musical offerings for Lent. Enjoy!

1. George Michael: You gotta have Faith right?

2. Robbie Williams: Bodies — if Jesus really died for me, guess Jesus really tried for me. I have the Cahill Remix here so you can contemplate these questions while you dance baby dance.

3. Coldplay- God Put A Smile Upon Your Face. Well Thank God!

4. P!NK If God Is A DJ… he’d probably like the Cahill Remix of ‘Bodies’ above–oh I’m a cheeky monkey.

5. Crowded House: There Goes God… I’d like to believe there is a God while sinful angels suffer for love.

I’m sorry to say I am not in possession of a copy of my communion photo with my sweet bowl haircut to include. Happy Lent! Happy Thoughts! xx Grrlgenius

My Valentine’s Mixed Bag Playlist…Ramble

What would Valentine’s Day week be without a reflection on one’s love life? Several of mine include George Michael and pop music. Let’s have at it!

1. George Michael & Queen “Somebody To Love” pleads ‘Find Me Somebody to Love’ over and over in a musical outpouring of emotion.

2. Glass Tiger featuring fellow Canook, Bryan Adams “Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone” seriously you do take my breath away with that badass 80’s styling:

3. Bryan Adams “Please Forgive Me” – yes Mr. Adams forgive you for rescheduling our interview about 16 times in 3 days. By the time he showed up I was only given 10 minutes which is the worst way to ever go through interviewing someone who’s sold 20 million albums…which you own…on vinyl.

He picked this background. My friends photoshopped wedding outfits on us.

4. Crowded House “Weather With You” every where you go you always take the weather with you …and hopefully that isn’t a maelstorm. Take a summery look at live in this one:

5. Dead or Alive “Brand New Lover” – seriously, we all like a bad boy/girl. Course, as I get older what I really need to do is find a brand new lover or at least one with a sense of humor and a steady paycheck. LOL!

6. Lady Gaga “Love Game” – tired of games? Gaga gets right to the point. And no, she doesn’t want to be friends. Sexy Cupid squeezed her ass and she is going to run with that.

7. Kylie Minogue “Red Blooded Woman” indeed I am. Meow! How can you have a pop love list without le petite Minogue?

8. Natasha Bedingfield “Single” I’m not waiting around for a man to save me but go ahead make a move…or don’t. Course, the blonde bombshell did get hitched last year “I’m not saying I wouldn’t want to fall in love..”

9. Madonna “Cherish” even though Warner’s doesn’t let a girl embed, just hearing the title of this song makes me smile thinking of Madge asking cupid to take his aim at her.

10. Beyonce “Single Ladies” put your hands up

11. Justin Timberlake “Lovestoned” one of my favorite lovesongs. I know, “she’s freaky and she knows it” is the first line but I love to dance to JT & this one is so much fun. The breakdown is sweet. And did I mention I got to premiere this video on Yahoo! JT even recorded a special intro for us. Thanks JT!

12. Coldplay “Lost” hey these are trying times and I can’t get through them without Coldplay.

13.  Arctic Monkeys “Mardy Bum” who hasn’t been there? Why can’t love be easy? Getting into fights over the dumbest crap. Ah no one captures the stupidity of young love like Arctic Monkeys:

14. Snow Patrol “Just Say Yes” to the amazing feeling of wonderment when you hear this one, embrace someone with open arms.

15. Speaking of Snow… Elton John “Nikita” – is it cold where you are? Yes my dear Elton it is. Of course, I also love the fact that George Michael sings background vocals on this one.

15. The Beatles “All You Need is Love” (and water, and a shovel at the moment, still this is just one of the best songs ever and made the movie ‘Love Actually’ so special.)

16. Bjork “It’s Oh So Quiet” hits like a thunderbolt of love. The interesting use of this song on ‘Flash Forward’ plunged the world into chaos in just four minutes. Zing boom indeed!

17. Tori Amos “A Sorta Fairytale” live and beautiful as always the Ginger Goddess delivers.

18. Janet Jackson “Love Will Never Do Without You” and really, I mean that, Eric Bana I do.

19. Ricky Martin & Christina Aguilera “Nobody Wants To Be Lonely” or do without crazy lip liner & hair extentions. How could it take me this long to add a duet?

20. Gwyneth Paltrow & Huey Lewis “Crusin'” — it went to No.1 in Australia. Woot.

21. Vanessa Amorosi “Absolutely Everybody” in the whole wide world needs love, that includes you kid!

22. INXS “Never Tear Us Apart” oh Michael you are beyond us now, but remain just as sexy as ever in this lovely live version.

23. Howard Jones “I’d Like To Get To Know You Well” and who wouldn’t that line work on?