Monday, July 31, 2006

"Space and Time"




With some worship experiences its as though I develop a picture of the ways in which people will be invited to engage with 'the story' or explore their faith story, from one piece of music or a scattered thought or just the theme... and then the rest of the activity fills it out!!

This worship was certainly not radical, way out, or particularly original BUT was something I thought one mob could cope with and that it might work with modifications in a range of other places... The thinking and planning process was spread over several months and inspirations included: Holy Ground worship art space in the UK; the desire to "do something different"; my resolution at the start of this year not to lead worship anywhere exactly as its normally experienced or whats normally expected... i.e. I would do 'something' which gave me integrity and challenged the comfortable familiar...; and finally a brilliant tirade from Ben Elton's recent stand up tour "Get a Grip" at the Capitol Theatre on 20 July... thats where Psalm 144 came from...

The group at Gordon UC in Sydney have been doing a 'Winter Warmers' worship series where they gather in their hall, enjoy soup and bread as part of the worship time together and still employ their rich musical possibilities in a fairly traditional way...

I took the opportunity of gathering in the hall to suggest 'something different' in response to the invitation to come and lead worship there.. On this ocassion it would be installations/stations or at least choice... that's not always what I choose...

I hold pretty strongly to the power and simplicity of Mark Pierson's "people/a person responding to God" as a simple working definition for worship and secondly that "liturgy" means "the work of the people"...

THE SPACE
was set up with lights largely off, one stand of cans lighting the space, four desk lamps facing walls like an art gallery illumination and two blacklight UV lights highlighting the confession time space... there were two walls to focus on for the initial visuals...

Three data projectors could have easily been four BUT still the worship could be adapted to suit zero projectors... as it was we used two and a looped DVD on a laptop...

We began with a spoken call, introduced 2 communally sung songs
Then came an audiovisual and soup was served!!

The audio-visual worked two screens to "Don't You Think It's Time" Bob Evans
The images were a variety of worship, youth culture and reflection inspiring images!!

The second screen included a piece of writing about 'TIME' and set the scene...
We enjoyed our soup and then began to engage with up to TEN spaces...

The Call to Worship reminded people that this was not entertainment, a concert, a workshop etc but was worship and invited them to take up the invitation... explaining the music, soup,AV and then how the time would be spent!!

STATIONS:

1. Time to Choose
Looped 'Matrix' scene of Morpheus describing that non-one can tell you what the Matrix is, you have to see it for yourself... with the brief guide offering you the choice of red or blue jelly beans to symbolise your discipleship choice

2. Time to Remember
An Aussie Post cardboard cylinder will play host to the scribblings of those who chose to leave a question, commitment or observation on paper... to be opened again 12 months from now...

3. Time for Games
A choice of Jenga on a table or the Deepspeak cards from St Lukes Innovative Reources.
The cards have various themes moving people from openers to different kinds of values explorations

4. Kids Talk About Heaven
Images and writing were projected on the wall and paper and textas provided for those present to experience the children's thinking and then maybe draw or write about their own stuff.

5. Time for Others
A world map and tealight candles for lighting and placement on the map were supplemented with six larger candles and the Sarah McLachlan clip for "World On Fire".
The larger candles each had a cylinder of translucent paper taped into a tube and placed over them... on the front were printed images from this weeks news...
The Sign explains that Sarah Mcl donated the normal cost of a clip to all the causes and projects listed as possible in the video...

6. Time to Own Up
Black cloth spayed with repositioning glue was taped to the wall. Phone block paper and pens offered the chance to write a confession and stick it up above two 'blacklight UV' lights...

7. Time for Action
The recent story of the young boy in the well known Fred Hollows picture [Giap] was pictured 'today' and we were reminded in the newspaper of Fred mostly working on adults until this day in the crowd a young boy tugged at his shirt... Intraoccular surgery and a miracle later and he can see, wants to teach maths and represents the great work of Fred amongst indigenous and asian communities!!
The article and reference to Jesus unrolling the scroll and naming what he had come to do "food, clothing, sight..." and also the story of the woman who'd suffered bleeding for years and who reached out and touched Jesus clothes...
People were asked to reflect on how they could act to change the world...

8. and 10. Offering Time
The Offering bags and a set of footprint cutouts gave people a chance to respond...
to offer a finacial gifts or to commit to some next steps by writing on the footprint and placing it on the floor.
Psalm 144 informed the reflection and a piece of text about how it used to be that God was seen as huge and we were 'insignificant' and wondered at God's interest in us... not the other way around!!

9. Story Time
A selection of storybooks encouraged people to see what God might be saying through the power of stories... what made them laugh... what they enjoyed reading!!

The exploration lasted 30 mins and we closed with [1] communla song and a spoken Sending Out

It went well on the whole and I have fine tuned some aspects!!
It was all just enough to now know how I would run it again and how I would do it slightly differently...

Either no communal singing or a guitar, voice and tombas...
Call and Instructions/Invitation recorded as MP3 and played as a loop attached to the initial invitational powerpoint slide!!People enter and engage and if there was singing it would be spontaneously led about 10 mins in...

I will probably cut down two Stations to increase the focus!!
But again the feedback was largely very positive from the assembled mob!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Wanderers v Merewether Carlton [The Slime] 2005


This photo is taken just as I get hit with a full drum of gatorade in the back row!!
A brilliant premiership grand final win over the Slime!!
Outgunned, outsmarted we did it!!
Performed according to the game plan and played as a team with plenty of ticker!!

45 Not Out

While my blog trawls the subjects of youth ministry, spirituality, pop culture and my own passions its not often [just very occasionally] that its about my deepest stuff... more an exploration to point to things I reckon are worth YOU the reader exploring for yourself!!

BUT today was my 45th birthday and we've just crossed into the day after!!
I reminisce...
I reminisce because I had a very significant birthday party to celebrate my 25 Not Out and so it resonates, because I've had some time to myself today...
and because its one of those days when I have missed rugby union more than words can say!!

When I was 21 I had a nice small party amongst friends and family and not long after that entered the network and friendship circle, the leadership opportunity and the faith shaping group known as the Hunter UYF!!!!
For this reason and because a few years later I knew if I was to follow my calling into the ministry of Youth Worker it would take me away from Newcastle,
I decided to have a big birthday bash called '25 not out'...
It was a great night... somewhere between 150 and maybe 200 guests [a dry show] at a former nursing home in Mayfield in Necastle that friends of mine would make their community house...
A last minute panic that the noise would be too great for locals was blown away when we realised that with the double cavity federation brick style you couldn't hear a thing outside...
It was a lot of fun and a special time.... there's been a fair bit of water, chocolate, take away food and life experience pass under the bridge since then!!
Started relationships, broken relationships, new relationships, kids, more Youth Worker jobs etc...
My eerie feeling that this party was well timed turned out to be true when I moved to Normanhurst to be Youth Worker six months later, then back home to the Hunter and now in the Synod role at least for two more years at this stage!!

I remember Robbie Carraro complaining all night about the 'dry' party... Steve Warham's counselling chair, U2 at full volume, and the huge crowd!!

Tonight I watched the story and the huge overreaction to the new All Black Haka and a story on the Footy Show about a young fella playing League who was burned in a car accident a few years back and lost most of his fingers and lots of hair...

I miss playing rugby union every week... its hard to describe... I loved the teamwork, the personal challenges, achieving success and moving into the senior player and coaches ranks...
alongside this I always struggled with weight, asthma and fitness [only truly fit to play in 1988, 89 1993, 4 and 5] Having done the hard work to get there I had a foot injury in January 1995 and never quite regained that edge [I also no longer lived alone near the beach and walked two or three times a day for 90mins flat out to keep that fitness]. Even 270 games and 22 seasons leaves me wanting more... but knee trouble was always going to bring me undone...

Next comes food allergies in 2001, steroids to blunt the life threatening reactions and weakening my knee tendons. I snapped both in a tackle at Muswellbrook three years ago and after seven weeks in hospital after surgery I can walk but can't run... between numbness, weak muscles and the prominence of arthritis now that the knees are less strong!!

I would give anything for one more run on No2 Sportsground, just to say goodbye...
to give it away only to be phoned a couple of years later when the team is short to come down and help...
OR to join a team of over 35s for the World Golden Oldies in LA or Sydney or...
I haven't coached this year because I knew I wouldn't have the time [thats been true]... and this has added to the pain...
I now go to see the rugby tests or Super 14 in Sydney and its only "the game I used to play"... there was always something special about still having wet hair from the post game wash up or struggling with a cork or a sore ankle up and down the stadium stairs as you watched the elite do very well what you havd been trundling around attempting to do earlier that very day!!
Yep, my spirit is less vibrant for lack of this time... I fell down, disappointed and I grieve... still!!
People are dying for lack of food, being bombed and experiencing persecution simply because of their beliefs across our planet... my clear call is to stand alongside those people, to be a change agent in my community, to live according to a set of values exampled and taught by Jesus Christ... and yet I have th audacity to miss something that became the essence of the fun in my life for so many years... it all disappeared so quick you see... and is pretty final when you could face surgery and another six weeks in hopsital if you pushed it too far!!

I don't think I ever expected to be still playing at age 45, but in my last season I knew that the previous year had been very unfulfilling, that the coaches had given me short shrift even considering my poor fitness, and I had set myself the task of two more seasons, getting fitter and retiring on a high... indeed I was enjoying my season enough I was toying with cutting it one short and making that my last. Difference being, uninjured I would always have the option of a cameo game here and there or to come back and play if I missed it... I guess its the lack of choice that makes me sad!!

Wierdly my food allergies seem to have settled and so fruit and vegies are back on the agenda until of course I discover it was a false dawn [by having an anaphylactic reaction [choking to death]....
So there are less excuses for my ballooning weight [no allergy drugs, no limit on apples etc]
All I have to do now is make the time to walk and stop stuffing my face with my favourite all time snacks and who knows maybe my knees could stand a training session and one cameo "run on" at a home game [20mins on then sub out and enjoy a beverage]!!

Tell him he's dreaming!!

Getting my hair peroxided and/or playing a winter season of baseball with my brother and nephew weren't enough incentive to get 30kgs off yet this year... maybe boring stuff like avoiding diabetes, heart failure and embarrassment in public space seating or on airplanes might eventually motivate me!! Not to mention 40 wasted Mambo t-shirts... Wallaby supporters gear and a somehow way less bouyant boogie board than it used to be...

OK thats probably way too much information for the world to read.... now where are those hard and soft centred birthday chocolates!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

J TV


While I am OLD [and so Triple J sometimes annoys me as much as inspires me]... I think J TV is an impressive development in Aussie media...
Friday Nights ahead of RAGE
Saturday Mornings and composite shows on ABC 2 on digital TV [Foxtel and set top boxes]

http://abc.net.au/jtv/

It all kicks off this weekend... check You Am I live... despite the budget cutting of previous youth tv on the ABC including Fly TV and Dylan Lewis' various incarnations... its a gutsy effort to brand it J TV because that'll be a big fall if it doesn't gel and grow!! Lets see what happens!!

Of course the other networks have their own versions [Video Hits Uncut, Express etc] but as ever the content will set J Tv apart!!

Homebake 2006


Silverchair have just been announced as the headliners for Homebake 2006 Saturday 2nd December in Sydney's Domain!!
Homebake is a brilliant day that has grown over the years to now include such a mix of Aussie talent [always the strength of the day]!! It has a good feel to it and is in a place that discourages the agressiveness and testosterone that characterises events like Big Day Out!!

Although I feel way too old to be going I plan to head back there this year so you can pretty much bank on the return of the huge thunderstorms from my previous visits!! Still its worth it for the papadams!!

See Eskimo Joe, Toni Collette [yep], Youth Group, Bjorn Again and THE MODELS!! You Am I etc!!
Tickets August 21st approx $80

Friends....
I cannot get tickets for people but I'd be happy to know you're going and plan to catch up on the day!!

www.homebake.com.au

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

U2 by U2


Again from U2.com

In Their Own Words’
It will be the definitive U2 story.
It will have stories never before told and photos never before seen.
It is ‘U2byU2’ and worldwide publication is just two months away, on September 22nd.
For the first time each member of U2 – and manager Paul McGuinness - has told their own story from their earliest childhood memories to their first meeting with each other, from those opening chords in Larry’s kitchen to becoming the biggest band in rock’n’roll. Ever wondered what it’s like being in a band with your school friends for your entire adult life?
Ever wanted to have a conversation with the band themselves ?
‘U2byU2’ is the ultimate conversation with Adam, Bono, Edge, Larry and Paul McGuinness in which they tell their own side of the U2 story. Featuring more than 1500 images including previously unpublished photographs from the personal archives of the band, this hefty 350-page tells the U2 story from the perspective of those who know it best – and it brings it right up to date in 2006.
‘U2’s story is an extraordinary one and we are proud to be publishing this book.’ said Trevor Dolby, Publishing Director of HarperCollins Entertainment.
‘U2byU2 is a book not just for the fans but for everyone interested in music and modern culture.’

Monday, July 24, 2006

Coldplay # 2

Coldplay



Just catching up on the fact that a few weeks ago I was able to take up a spare ticket to go along with friends Nic and Stevie to catch Chris Martin and the lads!!
I know lots of try hard and up and coming muso's who don't have much time for theis bands four chords and repetitive sound... BUT I love the themes they explore, the sounds they come up with and the energy and uniqueness of Chris Martin made it a great concert!!

Right up there with a few other shows I've seen at Sydney's Ent Cent!!

The staging was also impressive as simple ideas done well, golden yellow giant beach balls, a massive screen backdrop with various images reminiscient of their clips and mood colours and light... I was only slightly disappointed that the lights chosen for 'Speed of Sound' didn't match my image of its sprawling canvass and big themes...

Gotta love a concert where its OK... indeed better... if you sit the whole time!!
It was great!!

Fred Hollows SMH Weekend Edition July 22-23











Fred Hollows was flamin' legend!! Like many skilled and thoughtful medico's he knew that his gifts had a use beyond making a comfortable living for himself. His dislike for the idea that some should live in extreme poverty while others are very comfortable was shaped in his work in outback Australia and extended to south east asia and beyond... What I love about the Fred Hollows story of transplanting intra occular lenses to cure unnecessary blindness is the marketing Fred used to get punters onboard!! A Fiver for Fred!! Now five fivers for Fred!!
At that earlier time someone's sight could be restored for $5 per eye... We who were encouraged to get onboard could see the scriptural call to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and bring sight to the blind.... could see it come true for $5-$10!! Amazing...
The irony of his athiesm would not have been lost on the gruff bloke who didn't tolerate fools, gibbering or beaurocracies!!
This irony is deepened with thoughts of the story below and the woman who suffered from years of bleeding who reached out and tugged at Jesus clothes...
Relax, I'm not going all metaphysical on you... just aware that both Jesus and Fred Hollows shared a goal of bringing wholeness to 'community'... of restoring peoples very humanity, dignity and soul by the removal of unnecessary barriers to a full life and the kindness, regard and inclusion of others!!
The thing Jesus spoke second most about was 'money'... and each of us [myself included] is well reminded that in our consumerist comfort we ought to always seek the best for others, consider our place in the scheme of things and as the very funny Ben Elton shared this week... get a grip!!

SMH by Tony Stephens
July 22, 2006
THE people of Vietnam are still saying thanks to Fred Hollows. Moved by his death 13 years ago, they are now moved by his life. And Tran Van Giap is moved more than most.
Giap was six when Professor Hollows visited Vietnam in 1992 to set up a program that would train surgeons to implant intraocular lenses into the eyes of about a million people blinded by cataracts or whose eyesight was severely impaired.
The focus was on old people, but Giap went to the professor. The boy had lost sight in his right eye, probably during rice harvesting, when plant stems and husks fly around. He tugged at the hem of the eye specialist's clothes.
"My eye was so painful," Giap, now 21, said. "So I tried to touch the professor and asked him to see my eye."
Professor Hollows relented and agreed to operate when he returned to Vietnam later that year. When he returned, he was just months from succumbing to cancer, in February 1993. Dr Sanduk Ruit, the Nepalese eye surgeon who has worked with the Hollows team, operated.
Giap kept his left eye open, watching. Later, Professor Hollows removed the bandage. Giap heard, and saw, the doctor whistle with pleasure. Giap realised he could see again through both eyes.
The pair were the subject of a famous photo. Now the Hollows Foundation has tracked down the young man.
Vietnamese doctors had said the Hollows plan for implanting intraocular lenses in the blind eyes of their country folk was impossible. It would be like converting a truck driver into a fighter pilot.
Professor Hollows gave them the evidence. About 150,000 Vietnamese were going blind with cataracts every year. If Australians could have the lenses, why not the Vietnamese?
By 2003, 100,000 cataract operations a year were performed in Vietnam. Last year doctors trained by the Hollows Foundation alone performed 3000 cataract operations.
The foundation now works in 23 countries across the developing world and has been responsible for well over a million operations.
Giap is in the second year of a mathematics degree at Hong Duc University. One of six children in a farming family, he is the only one to attend university. He wants to teach maths. Gabi Hollows, the professor's widow, will meet him soon. "I'll give him a big hug," she said yesterday.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Worship Unplugged # 36 Red Pill Blue Pill


Morpheus Matrix challenge of which pill you're gonna take provides a fun element to a creative worship space... I'm always surprised [given the clip looped in the background] how many people choose one of each... to apparently be on the safe side...

The Matrix
written by Andy Wachowski & Larry Wachowski
Morpheus: I imagine that right now you're feeling a bit like Alice. Tumbling down the rabbit hole?
Neo: You could say that.
Morpheus: I can see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he's expecting to wake up. Ironically, this is not far from the truth. Do you believe in fate, Neo?
Neo: No.
Morpheus: Why not?
Neo: 'Cause I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life.
Morpheus: I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something. What you know, you can't explain. But you feel it. You felt it your entire life. That there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there. Like a splinter in your mind -- driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Neo: The Matrix?
Morpheus: Do you want to know what it is?(Neo nods his head.)
Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere, it is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window, or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, or when go to church or when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.Neo: What truth?
Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste, or touch. A prison for your mind. (long pause, sighs) Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back.(In his left hand, Morpheus shows a blue pill.)
Morpheus: You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. (a red pill is shown in his other hand) You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. (Long pause; Neo begins to reach for the red pill) Remember -- all I am offering is the truth, nothing more.(Neo takes the red pill and swallows it with a glass of water)

Friday, July 21, 2006

It's On...


From u2.com

20.07.2006
U2’s Vertigo Tour Hits The Road Again!
It's official! At last we can confirm the rescheduled Vertigo//2006 shows. U2 will hit the road again in November. Starting in Brisbane on November 7th , U2 will play further dates in Australia, New Zealand and Japan before finishing in Hawaii on December 9. Kanye West will join the band in Australia and New Zealand while Special Guests, Pearl Jam will join Rocco and the Devils for December 9 in Honolulu.These show dates are rescheduled following the postponement of Vertigo//2006 earlier in the year. For full ticket information in your area please see below.“We are very happy to announce the rescheduling and appreciate everyone’s patience.” said Arthur Fogel, of TNA. The Vertigo Tour opened in San Diego in March 2005, is set for a grand finish in Hawaii with the addition of Pearl Jam.“It’s going to be a great night in Hawaii,” said Paul McGuinness, U2’s manager. “The band are really pleased Pearl Jam could join the bill, a great end to what has already been a very successful tour.”
The new show dates are as follows:
Auckland - Ericsson Stadium - (Old Date) Friday, March 17th/06 - (New Date) Friday, November 24/06
Auckland - Ericsson Stadium - (Old Date) Saturday, March 18th/06 - (New Date) Saturday, November 25/06
Brisbane - QSAC Stadium - (Old Date) Tuesday, March 21st/06 - (New Date) Tuesday, November 7/06
Melbourne - Telstra Dome - (Old Date) Friday, March 24th/06 - (New Date) Saturday, November 18/06
Melbourne - Telstra Dome - (Old Date) Saturday, March 25th/06 - (New Date) Sunday, November 19/06
Adelaide - AAMI Stadium - (Old Date) Tuesday, March 28th/06 - (New Date) Thursday, November 16/06
Sydney - Telstra Stadium - (Old Date) Friday, March 31st/06 - (New Date) Friday, November 10/06
Sydney - Telstra Stadium - (Old Date) Saturday, April 1st/06 - (New Date) Saturday, November 11/06
Honolulu - Aloha Stadium - (Old Date) Saturday, April 8/06 - (New Date) Saturday, December 9/06

In Tokyo, 3 New Show Dates have been confirmedTokyo - Saitama Super Arena - Wednesday, November 29th/06
Tokyo - Saitama Super Arena - Thursday, November 30th/06
Tokyo - Saitama Super Arena - Monday, December 4th/06

Woo Hoo!!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

U2 Almost there...


In a matter of days we should have confirmation of U2's rescheduled concert dates and Telstra Stadium certainly lists November with "details soon"...
Rumours of Auckland New Zealand October 21,22
and good info on Melbourne mid November...

Hopefully my next entry about this will be to confirm the announcement!!

RUMOURS...
Sydney November 10th and 11th with new concert November 13th???

Thursday, July 13, 2006

"Desert Lights" Something for Kate


Debut at #1 in the charts... plenty to read about Paul Dempseys struggles and inspiration in the newspapers and magazines!!

Snow Mobile...Part in a Movie... House!!

Paperclip bartered for a house...


Kyle McDonald is in the news again...
I recall reading about him when this adventure had just begun!!

"Kyle McDonald, a 26-year-old Montrealer, had a dream of turning a small red paperclip into a house. This week, his dream came true.
In an example of the barter method at it's finest, MacDonald started out last July attempting to trade a red paperclip for something slightly better. One year and 14 trades later, he became the ecstatic owner of a two-story house in Kipling, Saskatchewan.
MacDonald began his barter adventure last summer when he decided to trade the paperclip on the barter section of the Craigslist website. MacDonald said on his own website that he wanted to make a "continuous chain of 'up trades' until I get a house. Or an island. Or a house on an island." He said he'd travel anywhere to make a trade.
On a trip to his home province of B.C., two Vancouver women offered MacDonald a wooden fish-shaped pen for the paperclip, which he in turn bartered for a handmade doorknob from a potter in Seattle. He later traded the doorknob for a camp-stove in Massachussets, which was then exchanged for a 100-watt generator from an army Sergeant in California.
The generator was traded with a man in New York for an "instant party package," which consisted of a Budweiser sign and an empty beer keg. By this time, word of MacDonald's quest was spreading, and the bartering reached a new level. After swapping the beer package with a Montreal DJ for a snowmobile, he wound up getting interviewed on television. Soon, MacDonald was offered a trip to the Canadian Rockies. From there, he also traded for a van, and a recording contract that came complete with studio time and the promise of a pitch to music executives.
A singer from Phoenix—whose neighbour works at Alice Cooper's restaurant—snapped up the recording contract and gave MacDonald the use of her duplex rent-free for a year.
The bartering continued, leading to an afternoon with Alice Cooper and a KISS snowglobe, which was then traded for a paid part in a movie called Donna on Demand . The director of the movie, Corbin Bernsen, happens to be an avid collector of snowglobes.
MacDonald finally hit the jackpot when the town of Kipling, located about two hours east of Regina, offered him a house in return for the movie role. The Mayor of Kipling gave the keys of the house to MacDonald on Wednesday. The town plans to hold a competition for the movie role."
Joan Delaney Epoch Times NY

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

U2: Concert Dates will be announced this week!!


Tour dates within the NEXT week!
My word is still Melbourne mid November Hawaii 9th December so maybe Sydney on the last weekend in November?

News just in:
The previously postponed Vertigo '06 Tour dates are definitely being rescheduled and an announcement confirming all details will be made 'within the next week'.
Word is that the final details on shows are just about in place and an announcement is on the way.
As usual U2.Com will be the first place to have the full story...
also www.atu2.com or www.interference.com

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Big Brother

Article coming soon but I did enjoy the measured and sensible coverage in todays Sydney Morning Herald www.smh.com.au

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Thirteen Songs That Changed Your Life






Over at Urban Stone comrade Jono has picked up another bloggers challenge and is posting respondents lists on his blog... my entry will hopefully appear sometime soon BUT for now here it is with some works in progress!!
Sure guessing some will be a doddle, but be afraid.....

1. ‘Power and the Passion’
Having bagged my surfy mates for their crap sounding tunes this is one of the songs I was made to sit down, shut up and listen to on an old walkman, before I was allowed to comment further. I was hooked… words can’t describe how much I miss the ‘recreation’ of seeing these boys live!!
2. ‘Sss Single Bed’ by Fox.
“sss-single bed sss-single bed, there ain’t no room for your sweet head” What can I say? I reminder of my fumbling adolescence and a string of wonderful friendships with girls… that’s right, friendships!! We used to spin this vinyl 45 on a little plastic Sony stereo in the downstairs study and garage at parties.
3. ‘Mama Mia’
The first of ABBA’s worldwide smash hits and my first record. Ever since the search for good music has been central to who I am and what I like to listen to.
4. ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’
Or indeed any track from that U2 album. It’s not as impressive on a home recorded cassette. Nonethless we’d sit in Roger’s Holden Brougham [the Kingswood with upholstered buttons on the bench seats] and whoever rode shotgun in the front was officially allowed to drum on the dash as it was unavoidable!! This was the first time I’d read a technical description on an album back cover of what drums were being hit [Yamaha was the brand] and it seemed appropriate because when you heard them it seemed like drummers would want to know.
5. ‘Yesterday’
Because the Beatles have to be on the list of anyone my age. I sang it, knew it, lived it and wondered. I was a huge fan of the Beatles animated cartoons on TV and always wanted to be Paul [who can believe he is now 64!] Knowing about the Beatles seemed to give you some pinch of street cred.
6. ‘Funeral for a Friend’
By Sir Elton John. Hordern Pavilion via Sid Foggs bus company with mate Graham in tow. This was the same night that World Series Cricket debuted at the SCG next door with Dennis Lillee bowling thunderbolts and the Windies wearing pink… I wasn’t sure which gate to go in through. Many are surprised by my fandom for Elton’s work. I love his earlier anthemic rock and all the classics. I have seen him live about five times and would go again… everyone has to have an Elton in their selection closet I guess.
7. ‘Private Universe’
Neil Finn is one of the most talented musicians and songwriters ever. Nick Seymour was floored when Neil announced he’d be leaving Crowded House. “I said didn’t he want to be in the biggest band in the world… he said No” On the first Finn Brothers tour and after intermission the entire band took three songs to rotate around every instrument onstage and the performance didn’t suffer. Testament to another splendid bugger is that I’ve only ever heard Neil’s work improve after Jim Moginie has gotten hold of it.
8. ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’
By the Angels. Year 12 and the Newcastle ‘Mattara Festival’ free outdoor concert is in full swing. Plants are being uprooted and thrown, punters are falling off the top of flagpoles after too much consumption, women’s bikini’s are being ripped off them and Doc Neeson falls 10 metres from atop the speaker stack in a blistering set. I’m talking pre the “no way, get $%^# ^&%$ off” era. I felt truly like a young adult cut loose from an array of shackles as we simply hung out and listened to history in the making. Six hours and several hundred thousand dollars worth of sunflowers later there never was another free Mattara 'name band' gig in Civic Park. Also can’t forget the legendary Surf City CafĂ© at Collaroy with 60 Youth Workers on R&R from our National Conference with Dave Edwards belting this out shirtless [and legless] in front of the admiring rabble.
9. ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’
Would be on anyone’s list who was guessing about mine. Sun Devil Stadium Arizona is where the documentary film ‘Rattle and Hum’ changes from black and white to colour with overhead shots, a hugely excited crowd and a massive backdrop video screen that glows bright red as the gangling guitar kicks in. Whether inspired by Ali and Bono’s trip to Etheopia [or that notion about knowing a persons socio-economic background just by what Dublin St they live in] this is the song of that decade in my book!! My live experiences of this song have all resulted in tears. Tears of frustration, grief, anger, despair, celebration, hope and inspiration all at once. It has all of U2’s pretention and brilliance all at once!!
10. ‘Building a Mystery’
Represents my liking for female voices like Natalie Merchant, Jewel, Dido, and Missy Higgins but trumps them all for the sheer inspiration that is Lilith Fair. Sarah Mc is my diversion when I’m tired from staples like U2 and the Oils.
11. “jc”
Came long just at the right time. Brisbane band you say? Singer is a PK huh? Powderfinger… interesting? With all the integrity of Pearl Jam and the aussie rock smarts of their predecessors. Bernard Fanning and the lads give me hope that there is life after the Oils. I would see them live anywhere anytime! What’s more Bernard knows the order of things and AT WAVEAID not knowing how to put into words how lucky everyone present was he suggested “just, just.. enjoy the Oils OK”
12. ‘The Sound of White’
Delivers all that ‘Scar’ promised as Missy Higgins hit the scene following a year OS after her ‘Triple J Unearthed’ win!! The album and the title track are beautiful, reflective and personal. They draw stuff to the surface that I’d rather internalize.
13. OK one to go and I have seven shortlisted… changed my life huh,
‘Tommorrow’
By silverchair from Merewether, Newcastle, NSW Australia. Who would believe that three schoolies from Newcastle could produce an album like ‘Frogstomp.’ When we met them at Launceston airport the morning after we’d seen them play it was like the giggling Youth Worker meets the world famous rock stars and yet they were more impressed that I played for the rugby club where their mates were juniors. Chris Joannou’s dad launders our jerseys!! I must have bumped into Daniel Johns five or six times walking his scrawny dog late at night in Merewether near ‘The Prince of Wales’ pub. He’s a nice bloke.

OK… there you have it, no room for:
‘Your Song’ Elton John
‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’ H&C
‘The Wonder’ the fat man in a thin man’s body Alex Lloyd
‘The Great Leap Forward’ Billy Bragg
‘Where Do We Go From Here’ Avion Randall Waller and the boys!!
I well remember 1am kick offs at Newcastle's 'Jolly Roger' nightspot!!