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Back stairway to heaven

Back stairway to heaven

Folk singer Jake Holmes, after many years of waiting, is suing Led Zeppelin for allegedly ripping off his song, ‘Dazed and Confused’. Here is Jake’s version: And this is a song of the same title that appears on Led Zeppelin’s first album: They don’t sound anything alike! Well, except for the tune and the lyrics. […]

Fouling the Foals

Fouling the Foals

I received a copy of the new album by British band, The Fouls, the other day and I’ve been giving it a listen.  Review to follow, but thought you might like to consider the bullshit press release that accompanied the album: The story of Foals’ second album could not be told without the victories won […]

The Cat came back

The Cat came back

So Yusuf Islam, aka Cat Stevens, is touring Australia.  Well, I hope he has a lovely time.  Ticket prices are not atypical, but certainly pretty steep: For those sorts of prices, you could buy nearly all of Salman Rushdie’s novels. Or this many copies of The Satanic Verses:

The last rock star

The last rock star

Ever since rock music began, there have been those out to destroy it.  The history of rock n’ roll is littered with examples of so-called concerned parents, scared authorities, fire-breathing preachers and other self-appointed guardians of what the hell you can do with your life lining up to tell us that this is the devil’s […]

Music to sharpen knives by

Music to sharpen knives by

It seems clear that the correct music to play when sharpening a knife is side one of Keith Jarrett’s 1975 live recording, The Koln Concert.  It’s a little too long — that is, you will be finished with the knife before the music finishes — but that is better than rushing the sharpening in order to […]

Music to digest Newspoll by

Music to digest Newspoll by

It seems obvious to me that Dennis Shannhan, the Newspoll entrails reader at The Australian, needs a soundtrack.  What long-running soap opera can survive without one?  Every fortnight, the tireless Den is wheeled out to cast his Betty Davis eyes over the results of the polling-they-own and come up with a few hundred words that […]

Judging CDs by their back covers

Judging CDs by their back covers

Borders bookstores and others in favour of protecting the Australian book industry are going to be angry at me for this.  I offer no excuses. Here’s the sad truth: increasingly, the only reason I go into a bookshop is to take notes about books I might want to buy elsewhere. Specifically, I jot down titles […]

<strike>Ten</strike> Twenty favourites for 2009: Part Two (songs edition)

Ten Twenty favourites for 2009: Part Two (songs edition)

Part one (albums edition) is here. I’ve done a separate list of my favourite songs for the year because a bunch of these tracks show up on albums that didn’t make the other list.  Plus, given we all live in an iTunes kind of world, you might like to purchase these one-off tracks instead of […]

Ten favourites for 2009: Part One (albums edition)

Ten favourites for 2009: Part One (albums edition)

Johnny’s in the Basement is barely six months old so it seemed it a bit pretentious to get all preachy about the best albums and songs of the year.  (I try not to do “preachy” at the best of times!)  Nonetheless, there is something irresistible about looking back over the year (or half-year in this […]

Apple enters Lala land

Apple enters Lala land

In a further sign that music distributors think that the future of music is in streaming — that is, in online music services where you pay a fee to play a song rather than own it — Apple has just announced that it has purchased California-based streaming company Lala: Lala Media Inc. is a nearly-four-year-old […]