This is going to sound Darth’t

My son is OBSESSED with Star Wars & he’s never seen it!

How can this have occured you may correctly ponder?

Sodding Angry Birds Star Wars my friends.

angry-birds-star-warsMy son was obsessed with Angry Birds – the app, the cartoons, the toys, the everything!! then slowly but surely I noticed the favoured Pirate^ cutlass being more oft used as a makeshift Lightsaber. Then came phase two where-by Angry Bird time itself was being replaced with lightsaber sessions and recitals of…

  “Luke I’m your father”

The real epiphany moment for dad (me) of how far this had come was when we were sitting nonchalantly on the couch together and son turned and quipped…

“Dad you know that Anakin Skywalker is actually Darth Vadar AND he’s Luke Skywalker’s father”

Um well yes I did know that but how the h&ll did this three-year-old? He had never even seen the movie!

Now I’m a customs to it

My family and I recently returned from a much overdue holiday – it was a week in beautiful Fiji. beach-fiji

As we got to the front of the queue at Customs at Melbourne airport the surprisingly chipper official pro-offered to son…

“What’s your name young fellow?”

In response my son fixed a steely stare upon said gentleman, paused for best effect and then uttered with a verbal-swagger only a Jedi could muster

“Luke Skywalker”

^ Pirates were the obsession before the next obsession preceding the current obsession.

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Don’t just be a Passenger

To be honest I don’t know a huge amount about Mike Rosenberg’s, aka Passenger’s, early musical days. But hey that’s what Wikipedia‘s for right.

No I stumbled upon his music completely by chance about a year ago when a friend’s son sang an impromptu duet with Mike whilst he was busking in Melbourne, Australia. I did a blogpost on it which is here. Young Dom nails it but what I was most struck by was the song. I was like ‘sweet baby Jesus & the orphan’s what’s that song?!’ The duet is below.

Really Busking his balls.

What I most love about this successful Passenger journey is that Mike has seemingly played & busked everywhere. To a handful of folks in a pub beer garden, passing Hamburgers (that does actually make sense) & beneath big sky in Outback Australia (below). This is true wandering minstrel stuff.

Bigger than sliced Beard.

Bigger than sliced beard

Check out the comparative ‘then & now’ busking shot below taken in Sydney. This pictorially demonstrates the success that has been achieved in 2012/ 2013. Add to that massive radio rotation, booming album sales & more #1s than the bushes of a music festival’s fence-line & it really is a heartening story.

passenger busking

SYDNEY. Then & now.

“The harder I work, the luckier I get” – Samuel Goldwyn.

Being a fan of music across the years I know that most artists & bands, regardless of talent, won’t get ‘there’ There being the big time! Arenas, radio & riders. Sadly for most acts a rider is more likely to describe the bass-player arriving at a gig on his flatmate’s bike.

What I have also really enjoyed about Passenger’s success is that it has been achieved sans appearing on a ubiquitous Reality-TV-show like the Shite-Factor. That’s just personal opinion though. In this case talent, great songcraft & clocking up the air miles has done the job.

Time to do the irony.

Seems that right now Passenger is being anything but!

Once upon a time…

I…

knew quite a lot about music. New music, underground movements, about-to-break acts infact so passionate was I about the blessed stuff that I actually considered applying for an ‘A&R’ (Artists & Repertoire) role and moving out of my chosen industry.

I researched the music press religiously and attended as many gigs as I could. The dingier and darker the venue and the more facial hair on the punters attending the better, and that was just the ‘chicks’. To that ends I actually believe that there may still be a few pairs of my shoes still stuck to the various floors of venues so coated with beer and bourbon that their surface texture more resembled marmalade than wood or concrete.

Those days were also filled with extreme irony in that if you ‘got on’ a band early that was a euphoric nirvana to be shared widely with jealous muso peers. However once (and if) that same band broke commercially I would drop them like a plate at a Greek wedding.

And then it happened…

My beautiful children arrived…

Replace the 1am screaming of lead guitars with that of a little human and substitute the astute studying of the music rags for the thumbing through of baby-book pages looking for assurance that biting is just a phase. I should probably stop some time I guess. To be clear though & quite simply put mes enfants are the most exquisite, sublime & joyful thing to have ever happened in my life!

What’s the bloody point of this post?

Well it’s that I’ve found one again after all these years. A great new band. I was coming back recently from an overseas business trip on Air New Zealand and listening to a channel called Kiwi FM. Dedicated exclusively to original New Zealand acts. Then I heard this song. That voice. The wistful beautiful lead vocal, ethereal harmonies, erudite lyrics and musical maturity belying their young years and tighter than a Hollywood facelift.

May I present to you The Peasants and Letting Go.

How can something ‘wrong’ sound so very,very right!

I haven’t posted to my ‘Do-tube‘ section for ages but this smile-inducing, toe tapper is truly worthy.

I’m pretty sure that this was a chance meeting on the streets between a busker & a very young fan but regardless it’s just splendid. I include the original version below for your aural pleasure too. Nuff said for this post. Enjoy!

The Wrong Direction – Passenger

Ahh finally – some good ‘Hackers.’

What a bastion this restful park was in downtown Saigon when I was there recently. A nirvana of green, calm & Tai chi. A welcome respite from the cacophony of noise and action through-out most of the rest of the city.

Dawn exercises in Saigon

Tai Chi at dawn

A hit of the popular Badminton

Vietnamese Hacky Sack

It was a pleasure to watch the skills of a relaxed group of friends as they played the local Vietnamese version of Hacky Sack known as Jianzi. I watched at a respectful distance although in fairness I also judged it to be a safe distance so as to not be invited to join in. I knew the Vietnamese locals to be very friendly but no one needed to see a large sweaty white person dislocate both knees whilst simultaneously flattening two thirds of the playing group in a Lazarus-like fall.

Scarier than the Spanish economy

Forget a Nightmare on Elm Street, pift to the US national debt and shudder no more at the thought of Susan Boyle in lingerie the clip below my friends is the stuff that should really induce nightmares.

Camino del Rey.

Camino del Rey in Spain. If you can walk this then it’s likely not your backpack & waterbottle that are the largest things dangling from your person!