The Freak Show #152 – 8th October 2015 – Hair Metal

I’ve been raised listening to A LOT of hair metal. As a result, I can honestly say that it’s my favourite style and era of music in every way.

Hair metal artists showed different degrees of theatrics with their hair, make up and costuming, yet they could still rock like you wouldn’t believe.  The visual style of it all is very cool to me.  I love the long, big, teased hair, the headbands and hats, the tight jeans and leather pants, the big black boots and I even like the make-up.  I love the fact that these grown men were perfectly happy to get into their all their gear, which definitely pushed society’s idea of what a male rocker should look like, and get up on stage and go berserk and scream and sing and even just sit there with their guitars and sing some of the most beautiful love songs of all time.  It’s awesome.

Now I love the style of it all but even more than that – I love the song writing.  There’s a really wide variety of stories told in hair metal music.  There was a pretty heavy drinking theme going on back then, it was the whole rock star/groupie theme where you play music all night, get drunk and then have girls throwing themselves at you.  There was a lot of that and sometimes, even doing all three at the same time! But they could also belt out an unbelievable love song – something that could really reach in and take over your emotions and make you cry.  Rockers had feelings and these guys weren’t afraid to show it!

Another one of my favourite things about hair metal is the amazing talent of some of the guitarists! We’re not just talking about guys who could play, we’re talking about some of the best guitarists of all time and also some of the best guitar tracks and solos of all time. Eddie Van Halen, Slash, CC DeVille, Mick Mars, Vito Bratta, Ace Frehley and Ritchie Sambora are all well known guitarists from the hair metal movement and they’re all absolute freaks.

My two favourite hair metal bands are Guns N Roses and Poison.

I’ve loved Poison from a very early age.  Of course, I love all of the things that I’ve already mentioned – their style, appearance, performance quality, songwriting – but I also love the definite influence of blues and southern rock – giving the band and their music a bit more of a fun and approachable tone compared to others.  This was definitely helped by Bret Michaels having a real cowboyish twang happening and I have to admit, it just completely sucks me in. I watch Poison music videos and concert footage and it really annoys me that I wasn’t around to enjoy hair metal as it happened or to meet Bret Michaels when he was younger.

The disturbing reality here, is that Bret Michaels is now 52 years old.  Disturbing because I think I could be in love with him.  It’s like that scene out of the Wedding Singer where Linda and Robbie are discussing why she ditched him at the alter.  “I think I’ve figured out what’s been bothering me. I’m not in love with Robbie, now. I’m in love with Robbie, six years ago. Robbie, the lead singer of Final Warning; I used to come watch you when you were in your silk shirt and Spandex pants, and you would sing into the microphone like you were David Lee Roth”.

Well I’m not in love with Bret Michaels now, I’m in love with Bret Michaels, twenty seven years ago.  I need to get some kind of magic letterbox, all Lakehouse-style, so I can have the romance I feel I’ve missed out on!

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Anyway, now I’ve grossed you all out and regardless of my little crush, it’s a huge dream of mine to meet Bret Michaels and I’d love to interview him.  I have a huge appreciation for Poison and the impact they had at the time and more the point, the impact their music has had on me and I hope he’d be impressed by the fact there are some fans (aka stalkers) out there from the younger generations.

Guns N Roses is my all-time favourite band in general.  I could go on all day about the Gunners but I’ve decided to save that for another time.

I’ve rambled enough.  Go and listen to the show!

 

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The Freak Show #151 – 1st October 2015 – Rock Chicks

This show was inspired by the fact that I’ve been a little anxious over the past couple of weeks at the thought of singing at my school music soiree.  Actually, it scares me more than anything else.  Standing up in front of all those people knowing I’ll probably sound like a drowning cat, makes me break out in hives.  It’s a bit of a fear for me even though I’ve happily danced in front of hundreds of people for years and I’ve been pretty comfortable with singing musical theatre – but for some reason, this just stresses me out.

I’ve been asked to prepare Landslide with only acoustic guitar accompaniment and of course, it’s a song I truly love but come on – me singing Stevie?  It makes no sense to me.  Anyway, I’ve been rehearsing a bit and taking inspiration from all my favourite female vocalists, to try and get me over the line.  So I put together a playlist of not only my favourites, but other female vocalists who I admire for different reasons.  And there’s a definite rock influence there – it’s the style I would like to perform myself.

School singing tuition does my head in a bit.  I want to be there because I want to learn and improve and become a stronger vocalist but there just seems to be this huge emphasis on learning to sing songs that really don’t suit my voice and songs I can’t connect with.  And I get it’s all part of the learning process, but I feel like I’m only learning to sing really badly.

In dancing terms, I’d refer to these songs as “lyrical / contemporary” – songs with angsty emotion, maybe a painful story, something you really need to portray when you dance through your body, movement and expression.  But the thing is, singing is very different to dancing.  Sure it’s all performing but how I see it is that you can be an average technical dancer and still tell the story and effect people with your expression and connection and by bringing in your own personal experiences and interpretations.  It’s like that whole scene from Napoleon Dynamite.

With singing, if you open your mouth and sound like crap – there’s really no going back from that.

I really admire singers at school who can go in there and sing all the songs young people want to hear. Rhianna, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Lorde, Jessie J, Demi Lovato – these are the artists young people want to hear and they’ve given us the lyrics young people identify with today.  And that’s fine – they’re absolutely amazing artists but they’re just not me and they don’t represent how I want to express myself musically.

If I had to pick the female artists who influence me the most – I’d go with Stevie Nicks, Debbie Harry, Joan Jett, Shirley Manson, Wendy James and Alanis Morrisette – so clearly, singing songs like “Stay” by Rhianna is going to annoy me.  Nice song and all but the moral of the story is that I’m not the type to beg anyone to stay so why the hell would I want to sing about it?

One quote really stood out to me and I used it in the show.  It was from Pat Benatar, talking about her transition from musical theatre to rock music.  Of course, I don’t have to worry about the bit about being overly technical, but it was the rest of the quote that really affected me.

“I was 22 by the time I started to sing rock, so at first I was overly technical. That proved to be inhibiting so it was a disadvantage until I began to sing intuitively. That’s the only way to sing rock – from your gut level feelings. It’s the instinct that the best singers have”.

And that’s how it’s done.

Anyway, back to the show!  I think it was a good list.  A bit of variety, different ages and styles and definitely different influences.  Other than the artists I mentioned above, I also featured Dolly Parton, Cyndi Lauper, Gwen Stefani, Dusty Springfirled, Lily Allen and quite a few more so maybe you just need to have a listen for yourself.

Click on the link below for a listen and get your rock chick on!

The Freak Show #150 – 17th September 2015 – Footy Fever

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Here’s my first attempt!

The 150th edition of the Freak Show went to air on the 17th September and to coincide with AFL finals season 2015, I planned a footy show!  I was lucky enough to have local sports journo Cath Mogridge and Mr. Ray Carroll live in the studio and they were just amazing.  I also played interviews with former Doggies player and ACK staff member Mr. Michael Egan and women’s AFL champion Abbey Holmes and of course – we had a listen to all of the best footy music!

It really was a great night with lots of laughs, a lovely selection of chocolate and lollies to keep us going and I felt like we really captured the importance of football – especially at a grass roots level in country areas – at a junior level, school level and senior level.  Thank you to everyone involved and to everyone who listened in.

Anyway, below is the link.  Enjoy!

 

Well, this is awkward…

Is the first post on something like this always the most difficult?  I didn’t want to jump straight into posting links to previous Freak Shows without some kind of explanation.  So here it is…

The plan is to post the link each week.  I’m using yourlisten.com because it’s a free site and I’m too poor to pay for anything fancy just yet! But obviously as everything builds and develops, I’ll try to get a bit more savvy and advanced with how I’m reaching out to people.

I’m going to go back and post the past few shows because I presented my 150th a few weeks ago and that seems like a good place to kick it in. Once I’ve caught up, the plan is to post the show each week but it will be a day or two after it goes to air due to the fact I’ll need a bit of time for some tweaking and editing.  Hopefully I’ll get better at it all very quickly because I’m pretty clueless at this point.

I’ll also post about anything else I feel like rambling on about and you can expect to see some contributions from a few guests too!  I guess we’ll just see where the wind blows…

Thanks for your patience,

Audrey x