Austin wrap up

So – today we left Austin and now we’re about 100 metres from leaving Texas, staying on the border in Texarkana headed to Mississippi. There’s a lot to love about Austin, but I also have some quibbles. Hey, if you’re going to call yourself the live music capital of the world, you’re going to open…

Meeting Billy Bragg

My favourite Billy Bragg story – and one that underlines my constant refrain of music as a lifetime companion – involves a CD signing in a small record shop in Bondi Junction after the release of Mermaid Avenue. I was there with about 40 other fans – all about my age, which is about the…

Singer Songwriters and Frank Turner.

Update 25.2.11: At last Frank Turner will be touring Australia in his own show in April, I was lucky enough to see him as part of the fantastic ‘Hot Water Music’ group tour and the few songs he performed there were pretty damn good! Information here. I’ve now also listened, a lot, to all his…

Teenage kicks and Factor X

Always my constant companion, music of all kinds has sustained me when people and life in general have fallen short. Live music, at its best, can be transforming and life affirming but with a young child, work, study and other people’s problems to juggle I went without late nights and loud music for way too…

Music and the politics of the personal

In a recent session at the Sydney Writer’s festival, Don Walker – lyricist extraordinaire and now author of the excellent, stream of consciousness collection of memories ‘Shots’ spoke of rock as something that should be ‘undiluted by politics’. He explained this no further and I imagine he meant that politics robs music of its primal,…