My favourite Dave Dobbyn song

I love New Zealand singer-songwriter Dave Dobbyn. He was big in the 80s with Th’Dudes and DD Smash, in New Zealand AND Australia, but I didn’t live in Australia until 1996 and I never heard of him until Neil Finn produced his solo album Twist in 1994. What a great album it is, too! Its follow-up was 1998’s The Islander and it quickly became my favourite, and still is to this day. I don’t know why I’d never covered any of his songs until now, at least not in recorded form, but this is my son Samuel and me playing “Beside You” from The Islander.

I’m just on rhythm guitar and lead vocals and random harmonies. but Samuel provided lead guitar, bass, drums and the more regular backing vocals. And I always love his playing but I think its particularly delectable here, especially his bass.

My Latest Sam Phillips Cover Shaping Up Nicely

Most people who know my music know that I adore Sam Phillips. Not the rock and roll producer known for his work with Elvis Presley (although he was good too!) but the fabulous singer/songwriter.

I’ve recorded a handful of her songs before, but this is the latest, “No Time Like Now”. Here is my son Samuel overdubbing some Behringer Neutron analogue synthesizer. 

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Newish album by Pesky Bones AKA Peter Farnan, feat. Paul Kelly, Rebecca Barnard & loads of other brilliant artists!

Pesky Bones is Peter Farnan… Plus

Wow. With all the distractions of the last little while I missed the fact that my Melbourne friend Peter Farnan, brilliant singer-songwriter-musician, member of esteemed Aussie rock hitmakers Boom Crash Opera, and all-round nice guy, has released Pesky Bones Vol. 1, an album featuring other artists singing his songs.
And not just any artists, but the crème de la crème of hip Antipodean artistry. How about this four, for a start…
See below for the complete list but I want to get a song in without you having to scroll down.

Paul Kelly & Rebecca Barnard

To draw you in, here’s an empty-nest song that a lot of us can relate to, with Paul Kelly & Rebecca Barnard in a captivating duet, here harmonizing, there weaving carefully around each other:

Pete in his studio

Nice, eh?  But I also want you to see this – Peter doing his own  energetic, stripped-down version of “Intuition”. At one point he sings into his electric guitar. And his faithful vintage Casio keyboard gets a spin too.

And I like the fact that his studio doesn’t look like a studio, and it hasn’t got a big mixing desk or, really, any visible fancy studio gear. And there are loads of books. And he uses an all-in-one guitar effects unit, not a carefully curated selection of arcane, boutique devices strung together in a big wooden box.

In other words, it’s like mine.

Who else is on it?


Pesky Bones is Peter Farnan with:
  • Rebecca Barnard – vocals
  • Ali Barter – vocals
  • Shannon Birchall – double bass
  • Simon Burke – vocals
  • Paul Capsis – vocals
  • Deborah Conway – vocals
  • Tony Floyd– drums
  • Charles Jenkins – vocals
  • Paul Kelly – vocals
  • Sean Kelly – vocals
  • Emily Lubitz – vocals
  • Peter Maslen – drums
  • Richard Pleasance – double bass
  • Tim Rogers – vocals
  • Dan Tobias – vocals
  • Sarah Ward – vocals
  • All other instruments and singing by Peter Farnan
So check it out on Bandcamp, and buy yourself a copy, or get it on  iTunes.  And say hi to Pete on Facebook.

Multitasking And My New Studio

While I was playing the guitar and downloading some stuff I read this article about the problem of multitasking. And… yes, I already know I have a real problem with multitasking. Like most of us, I do it too much instead of concentrating on doing one thing at a time.

It may be something that’s been exacerbated everywhere by mobile phones and other modern distractions, but I spent most of my life having to multitask, because it was absolutely essential in my old career of pathology lab science. I had to spin plates* hour after hour, day after day, year after year. Even before the ever-increasing modern curse and horror of downsizing staff and upsizing workload, I had to be able to do lots of things at once – things that were literally a matter of life and death. And I still have nightmares about it… always about not having enough time to do everything.

So even today, after being out pathology for four years, I still feel like I have to be doing several things at once, and at the same time thinking about half a dozen other things that need done!
 
And I’ll bet it’s the same in most jobs. What about yours?
 
I love it when I do actually let go and focus on something. It happens when I’m recording or playing music… but not all the time. I might still be checking emails and Facebook every five minutes, on a bad day. However, on those days when I really get into it I can focus for hours on end and those are the days when I achieve something.
 
Or reading a book – something I don’t allow myself enough time for any more – but that can absorb me enough to stop thinking about other things. The problem is that I expect the book to absorb me, rather than me absorbing the book – you know what I mean? If the book isn’t riveting enough I’m likely to put it down rather than put the effort into it. It shouldn’t be like that because that reduces the act of reading to mere entertainment.
 

Anyway, it’s interesting that this article came up in my emails today because, on the very day that my new studio here in Tasmania is finally up and running (yeah!) I had already been thinking that I now need to actually get down to making music again. My fingers can hardly even work the guitar! I’d better get them back up to speed before my new Dean Boca electric 12-string guitar arrives from DW Music in Canberra! 🙂

* If you don’t know what plate spinning is, you’re too young to have watched old-fashioned variety shows on TV.  Check out this clip from The Ed Sullivan Show.

John Lennon at his most eloquent – enhanced!

To me, this is John Lennon at his most eloquent, his thoughts beautifully animated in this short film produced in 2008 by Jerry Levitan, who interviewed him as a 14-year old in 1969.

You should watch this if you’ve got five minutes, and even if you don’t agree with everything John says or the way it’s interpreted, you might agree that a masterful work of art has been built on his generous impromptu interview.

The film was directed by Josh Raskin and the illustrators, James Braithwaite and Alex Kurina, have beautifully enhanced and elevated an amateur “rock interview” with arguably the greatest rock star of them all.

I Met The Walrus - screenshot from video

Click on the screenshot to watch the video!

PS: John’s kindness to this kid, in contrast to the more acerbic (or worse) way he might often treat other people, reminds me of the scene in that Imagine film where the stoner guy comes to the door of his house, and Lennon really goes out of his way to spend time talking with him and try to help him. It conjures up in me an idea that he may well have been being similarly nice to Mark Chapman in his last moments.


DC Cardwell now on Pandora Radio!

My music is now on Pandora!

I think this is good! To tell you the truth, I’d never previously used the service before, although I’ve signed up for it now, as a user as well as an artist. I’m sure a lot of you are already familiar with it. (At least those of you who live in the US, Australia and New Zealand – it’s restricted to those territories for the time being.)

What is Pandora Radio?

DC Cardwell on Pandora Music

Yes, that’s me on right after Fairport Convention

It’s been around for a while. Much longer than Spotify, in fact it was founded in 1999 – that’s the last century! A long time ago in the world of music streaming. Many years ago I was visiting a new acquaintance and, to my amazement, she and her teenage kids were happily enjoying music streamed from Pandora into their living room. I’d vaguely heard of it but was actually quite surprised and impressed that people I knew were actually using it! It seemed a bit Jetsons to me. In a good way. Oh yes, this was just down the road, but my friend was American so that explained why she was using something so cool and modern! Some things never change – she probably had a microwave too.

If you’re not familiar with it, basically, the deal is that you tell it some of the artists you like, and it suggests other music that it feels is similar to what you like. You can then give  thumbs up or thumbs down to what you hear, and Pandora will refine the music it plays for you.  You can listen to it in a web browser (i.e. what you browse the internet with) or with an app on your iPhone or similar smartphone.

The Music Genome Project

This is all done by a combination of science and human experts, as far as I can tell. You may have heard of the Human Genome Project, which was (very loosely speaking) a massive scientific project to identify the components up of human DNA. Well, Pandora is based on The Music Genome Project, which, according to Wikipedia, was “developed by [Will] Glaser with musical input from [Tim] Westergren. The idea was to create a separate, individualized radio station for each user having just the “good” music on it, with none of the “junk” that other users like. In order to achieve that goal, they had to bring different styles

The Beatles followed up by John Lennon live on Pandora

The Beatles followed up by John Lennon live on Pandora

of music together into a predictable pattern for analysis. They created 400 specifications for each song that is then compared to the listener’s preferences in order to suggest other songs or artists with similar characteristics.”

The writer of this article assumes that “Pandora’s team of curators expects excellence from all the music they accept. As Tim Westergren, Pandora’s founder, has said:  “You have to earn your way into Pandora.”

So that’s nice 🙂

Is it Really A Good Thing?

There has been some controversy recently about Pandora’s rates of payment to the artists. I’m not really interested in getting into that argument in this post.  At this point in my career I only know one thing for sure – that my main aim is to get my music heard by as many people as possible! And it seems to me that Pandora is a good way of getting it into the ears of the very people who might like it, but would never have heard it otherwise. We all know that algorithms are changing our lives in ways that would have been unimaginable a generation ago. Well, for me, right now, I’m happy to have the Music Genome Project’s algorithms on my side.

What can YOU do to help?

Don’t sign up for Pandora simply because of me! But, on the other hand, it’s easy to signup, and, well, I’ve had it trundling along in another browser tab while writing this post and, I have to admit, it’s been really effective at playing music I like.

I’m really fussy about the music I listen to (“No! You’re kidding!”my sarcastic friends), but it has kept it on the right path so far – I have enjoyed practically everything I’ve heard, to my amazement, really.

OK, I’ve helped it out by clicking the “Add Variety” button and typing in the names of artists I like, and you can do that to, but it’s also come up with a lot of other artists I wouldn’t have normally listened to. I’ve given two or three thumbs down, that’s all. (Not telling you who to!)

So if you’re already using it, or fancy giving it a chance, you could help me by typing in MY name. Or just find me at http://pandora.com/dc-cardwell – and when my songs are playing, click on the THUMBS UP button!

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How To Get Your Music On Pandora Radio

Having said that, until recently it really was difficult to be featured on Pandora unless you were signed to a major record label or publisher. But they have at last made it possible for anyone to apply for submission. There are certain conditions you have to fulfill, and even then you’re not guaranteed to be accepted. Obviously they still want to maintain their reputation of serving up good music for their listeners. But if you’re an artist, you can submit your music at Pandora Submission Page.  You should set up your own listener account first, unless you’re in a country which doesn’t have the service, in which case you should first email musicandcomedy@pandora.com and they will help you.

– DC  (http://pandora.com/dc-cardwell)

Goodbye Farewell (Larry Norman song) with Lyrics and Chords

From our Numubu webcast

on 26th April 2014: our cover of Larry Norman’s beautiful song “Goodbye Farewell”

Samuel is playing our Tanglewood TW15CE-B  guitar and I’m on my old Mugen “the ’78”

DC and Samuel on webcast

Still from the video

To receive news about future webcasts, please sign up to our newsletter using the form to the right, or simply go here!

 

This is taken at a bit of a clip, I think! But you can hear the songs at a more stately pace in this old video of me performing it a few years ago:

LYRICS & CHORDS
(written by Larry Norman)

Goodbye, farewell, we’ll meet again (D, Bm, F#m,)
Somewhere beyond the sky. (D, Bm, F#m, A7)
I pray that you will stay with God (G, Em, D, Bm)
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye. (D, A7, D-G, D-G)

The light grows dim but in this hour (D, Bm, F#m,)
I have no tears to cry. (D, Bm, F#m, A7)
My heart is full, my joy complete. (G, Em, D, Bm)
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye. (D, A7, D-G, D-G)

I feel no loss of hope as I’ve grown older. (Bm, G, D)
Only this world’s weight upon my shoulder. (Bm, E7, Em7, A7)

My heart beats to a slower song, (D, Bm, F#m,)
So softly in my veins. (D, Bm, F#m, A7)
The night is warm, but in my sleep (G, Em, D, Bm)
I dream of heaven’s reign. (D, A7, D-G, D-G)

Everything I am I’ve tried to show you, (Bm, G, D)
In this life I’ve been so blessed to know you. (Bm, E7, Em7, A7)

Goodbye, farewell, we’ll meet again (D, Bm, F#m,)
Somewhere beyond the sky. (D, Bm, F#m, A7)
I pray that you will walk with God (G, G#dim, F#m, Bm)
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye. (Em, A7, Bm, E7)
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye. (Em, A7, D)

For my original music videos go to http://www.youtube.com/DCCardwellsMusic

More covers at http://www.youtube.com/dccardwellcovers

Thanks for listening! ~ DC

Another webcast already! DC Cardwell on NuMuBu OzFest, 25/26 April 2014 (depending on your timezone)

DC Cardwell-20140426-webcast-BANNER

I enjoyed our last webcast so much that I'm doing another one on 25/26th April, 2014 (depending on your timezone!) ♫ To find out the exact time in your timezone, see my amazing time-chart at bit.ly/dcwebcast3 ♬♫ It's part of an Aussie special "Flash Festival" on Numubu ♬♫♪

And for the actual webcast, go to numubu.com/dccardwell and click on "Live Broadcasts" on the left hand side. (You don't have to be signed up to Numubu!)

And if you want to get an idea of how the last one went, here's a highlights reel with some short snippets at the beginning, and if you keep watching, longer segments and complete songs later on. ♫♪♪♬♫

I can't guarantee that either of the cats will show up the next time, though!

If you want to be sure not to miss out on these live webcasts, make sure you're signed up for my newsletter and I'll send out a note for each event with all the details!

 

DC Cardwell’s first live webcast – 17th & 18th April 2014 on NuMuBu!

Momentous news! I will be making my first live webcasts on 17th & 18th April 2014!

Yes, two of them, so that you’ll able to find one that suits your time zone no matter where you are in the world.

What will I be playing?

Samuel will be playing with me on at least one, and maybe both shows. I’ll be playing some old faves, along with new songs from my upcoming album. I might even throw in a cover or two! We’ve practiced songs by Neil Finn and The Band but it will depend on how the mood takes us… or you can always fire requests at us via the live chat box.

(But we probably won’t do Freebird or Khe Sanh no matter how much you beg, I’m just telling you now.)

Thanks to NuMuBu

DC Cardwell-Numubu Webcast-April 2014-posterMusic network NuMuBu is the platform I’ve chosen for this broadcast. You don’t have to be a member to watch, and you’ll be able to chat with me live during the shows. There will also be a “tip jar” but it’s free to watch so there’s no obligation.

(Although you don’t have to be a member, I’d like to take this opportunity to recommend NuMuBu, especially to musicians, but also to music fans. It’s free to sign up, and you’ll be amazed at how many famous, nay, legendary artists are actively involved!)

When and where?

See the table below for a guide to the times in various time zones. And when it’s time to watch, just go to numubu.com/dccardwell and click on “Live Broadcasts” on the left hand side.  Easy!

You can even watch on your iPhone, iPad or Android device, but you will have to first download the Puffin browser and use that to view the shows. (But bear in mind that the free version of Puffin only works from 9 am to 4 pm! Huh… how about that!)

Time Zone EPISODE 1 EPISODE 2
Melbourne/Sydney Thu 8 pm (17th Apr) Fri 12 noon (18th Apr)
London/Belfast Thu 11 am Fri 3 am
NY/Toronto Thu 6 am Thu 10 pm
LA/Vancouver Thu 3 am Thu 7 pm
Other time zones Ep 1 click here Ep 2 click here
When it’s time to watch, go to the link below…
www.numubu.com/dccardwell

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Records That Changed My Life… REALLY changed my life.

Ten records that changed my life

Yesterday (8th Jan, 2014) a Facebook friend of mine, Bill Mallonee, posed the following question:

10 life changing records. (I know! It’s impossible!)
Take a deep breath & list ’em in less than 3 minutes.
Don’t over think it.

Well, you know what? I did over-think it. It’s pretty easy to reel off some of your favourite records, like I did here and here, but (being a pedantic git) I felt that if you’re going to describe something as life-changing it had better be something that really did have some particular concrete effect on your existence. So it took me longer than 3 minutes, but not much longer. Here’s a slightly edited and expanded version:

Ten Life Changing Records

Life changing? Life. Changing. Life changing. Records that really, really truly changed my life. Hmm. Not necessarily albums. Nor my favourite, nor the best, nor the coolest records.

1: Johnny Cash‘s first gospel LP (Hymns by Johnny Cash) – My parents had it it and it was probably the first record that felt blissful to me – that showed me how powerful music could be, even before I really became a “music fan”

2: Elton John‘s Crocodile Rock. For some strange reason hearing it on Top Of The Pops was a revelation to me that stupid, freakish, long-haired, ungodly, noisy rock’n’roll music was actually really great. [I know Crocodile Rock, while great, is not exactly the pinnacle of the form, but for me it was the key that unlocked the door.] It was the first record I ever bought and it instantly made me into a “music fan”.Ø

3-5: Larry Norman‘s three albums Upon This Rock, Only Visiting This Planet and Bootleg – My sister borrowed them and they taught me that rock’n’roll wasn’t evil and you could be funny, clever and talk about whatever you wanted [The Ku Klux Klan, Paul McCartney’s Hofner bass, venereal disease, Jesus]

6 – Neil Young‘s Zuma – I heard John Peel play the track Looking For A Love on the little transistor radio under my pillow one night in 1976. I’d never heard Neil Young before but I fell for the sound immediately. I went out and bought the album and it’s still, in my mind, the definitive “perfect electric guitar sound” that I basically strive for in my playing [much of the time, anyway].

7-9: Jonathan Richman & The Modern LoversRock’n’Roll With The Modern Lovers, Patrik Fitzgerald‘s Safety Pin Stuck In My Heart E.P.* & Wild Man Fischer‘s Wildmania!§ – the fact that Marjorie owned these three records that I also loved was a major factor in bringing us together at school in 1977, and we’re still married.

10 – Crowded House‘s Woodface – I’d gradually grown fond of them on the radio (They played Better Be Home Soon, Don’t Dream It’s Over, Fall At Your Feet, Sister Madly quite often on CFMI) when we lived in Vancouver, and finally bought the CD. Marjorie and I felt it was immediately fell for the album in a very, very deep way, particularly the first half, which seemed to representative another kind of perfect sound which we felt we’d been looking for all our lives. Marjorie loved them so much that (to cut a long story

11 – Some other Johnny Cash record – I was listening to him one day at work in the lab about ten years ago [I can’t remember which song but I think it was from his Sun years]

NOTES

Ø I subsequently bought the Daniel and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 45s and was settling in for a lifetime of brilliant Elton John releases, but I wasn’t so sure about Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting (it was OK, but I could think of better things to spend my 45p on)  and never again bought another Elton John single, or, for that matter, a post-1973 album of his. This was my first lesson in pop disappointment.

* Patrik was the first “folk-punk” guy (to release a record) in the original UK punk scene of 1976-78. I’ve always thought that Marjorie and I don’t have an “our song” in the way that Americans talk about it, but I guess Patrik’s Safety Pin Stuck In My Heart was Our Song!

§ Wild Man’s first, and most famous album, was the double album An Evening With Wild Man Fischer, about eight years before Wildmania!. This was his “comeback album”. John Peel played a track every night and I taped the whole album. I used to go round school singing the songs from it (and to think I say I only became a singer about ten years ago!) and some of the songs became quite popular among my friends. (“My name is Larry, I have a canary”, “I went to a disco in San Francisco” – you can see why).

One day Marjorie told me she’d got the album. I actually thought she was only joking as it wasn’t the kind of thing you’d find in the records shops in Portadown. And I think she was disappointed but didn’t really impress the fact on me. But some time later, when we were closer friends, I found it in her record collection and nearly died! It turned out she’d ordered it from “overseas” (i.e. England) out of an ad in the NME.

I spent years wondering how I could get the first album and I eventually found it in a shop in London. But despite it being, by far, the most famous and well-regarded, it’s nowhere near as good as Wildmania!, which, in my opinion, is where his art all came together in its most cohesive and beautiful form; in short, his masterpiece.