Some new music

I’ve heard this song on the Js a few times. I really like it.

Here’s an acoustic version.

Here’s a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s Cecilia…

Men are better at…

Music. Apparently. Cop this playa haters… Triple J run a competition to track down the best 100 songs of all time. They make the process democratic… and bam. No female artists. In fact, very little female presence at all.

The SMH is running a left-wing fuelled paranoid condemnation of the countdown (or the voters… well not really, it’s more an opinion piece bemoaning the results) – and yet the facts don’t lie. Males are superior.

However, as the countdown progressed, something sinister emerged: of the 100 tracks that ended up comprising the list, there were no female artists. Not even “equal but different”. Lets see you artsy lefties trying to condemn the church on gender roles now…

The only women to appear in any notable capacity were The White Stripes’ drummer Meg White (Seven Nation Army, number 20), Massive Attack guest vocalists Elizabeth Fraser (Teardrop, 22) and Shara Nelson (Unfinished Sympathy, 93), Pixies bassist Kim Deal (Where Is My Mind, 29), Smashing Pumpkins bassist D’arcy Wretzky (1979, 35; Bullet with Butterfly Wings, 51; Today, 78), and Pulp keyboardist Candida Doyle (Common People, 81). And that’s it. Female artists with a history of solid Triple J airplay disappeared from the proceedings: Frente, P. J. Harvey, Tori Amos, Hole, Missy Elliott, Garbage, The Mavis’s, Bjork and Missy Higgins. They were all, to borrow Maya Arulpragasam’s stage name, M.I.A.

List of Songs I would have voted for…

I didn’t vote in JJJ’s hottest 100 of all time (here’s the list). I love the Js, but I haven’t listened to anything other than local ABC radio for months (except to listen to a little bit of the Hottest 100 of All Time).

It looks like the vote was crashed by a bunch of old time rockers with a penchant for Michael Jackson. There are hardly any songs from the last few years, which is pretty awesome.

If I had voted (and you get to vote for ten songs):

  1. I would have voted for one song per band
  2. I would have given greater weighting to songs from great albums or from bands producing consistently good music rather than one hit wonders.
  3. I would have rewarded bands who I appreciated in their halcyon days but don’t like so much any more (hence the inclusion of The Living End and Powderfinger – they really were my introduction to JJJ – even though they went on to be darlings of the mainstream).

These are the songs I think I would have voted for:

  1. Radiohead – Fake Plastic Trees.
  2. Muse – Plug In Baby
  3. Paul Simon – Call Me Al
  4. Smashing Pumpkins – Disarm
  5. Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye
  6. Dandy Warhols – Get Off
  7. Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
  8. Powderfinger – Day You Come
  9. The Living End – Prisoner of Society
  10. Gomez – Shot Shot

Some of these songs were chosen arbitrarily as representatives of a band’s body of work – I really can’t decide what Radiohead, Muse, Smashing Pumpkins or Gomez song I like the best. Placebo and The Whitlams were unlucky not to make the list on the basis of criteria 3. 

When you sing you begin with Do Re Mi

When you want to make big bucks in radio you begin with ABC. It’s a sad fact of life that JJJ, and more broadly the ABC, cultivate 90%* of the media talent in this world, and they all eventually leave.

Roy and HG have had many trists and dalliances with commercial TV through their Olympic broadcasts and the like – but until now have remained true to their radio roots with “This Sporting Life” on JJJ on a Sunday afternoon. But no more. They’re off to the greener pastures of MMM. They did manage to stay there much longer than Merrick and Rosso, or Wil Anderson – and they command respect for that…

But for some reason this makes me angry. I was probably so ingrained by the left leaning creative types at uni that I scream “sell out” every time someone makes money out of their creativity. It’s a hard line to tread. The thing is – even JJJ radio personalities make an exhorbitant amount of money on the professional MC circuit.

Even ABC breakfast radio hosts command more than $10,000 an appearance** – and that’s pretty close to the base rate. Seriously, this is easier than painting some obscure blue poles on canvas. You get 100 of these gigs a year (assuming 1 mid week and 1 a weekend over 52 weeks) and that’s a million bucks. Why you can’t stick to your principles and stay committed to the station that nurtured your talent is beyond me. I guess this is the only way new talent is allowed an opportunity. But I find it all a little mercenary.

*arbitrarily selected figure
** One extroverted mathematician in particular, ex JJJ, we had him up here for a function a while back…

Where there’s smoke…

Hello blog reader.

It has been a while since my last post and much has happened. I recently celebrated the one year anniversary of my new financial year resolution to not eat fast food. My definition of “fast food” included anything from McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, KFC and Red Rooster. I’m happy to announce that I made the whole year – plus some nine days as I’m yet to return. This year’s NFYR sees me forswear the joys of carbonated “soft” drink including the products of Coca Cola and Pepsi – but not extending to Bundaberg Ginger Beer or Lemon, Lime and Bitters at the pub.

I got all cultured and stuff in the last week with the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. I went to their gala “Chefs in the North” dinner as I did last year. The food was above average and the wine was superb. Robyn and I went to the Guv’nr’s Gala Concert on Saturday night featuring a string quartet from NZ, an opera performance, some improv didge and a pretentious “art” piece from the festival’s resident composer.

I spent Friday on a luxury charter boat circumnavigating Magnetic Island – I’ll post photos later. Wedding plans are continuing – we’re putting together a map so that people can find the farm. It’s exciting times people. That’s a little update from me…

And now, without further ado – the subject of my topic… Daniel Johns and Peter Garrett. The Australian media was briefly up in arms today, keen to see Garrett’s credibility go up in flames over allegations made that he’d been burning the Midnight Oil (and some THC) with the Silverchair singer and U2’s Bono.Johns was quick to hose down the speculation – claiming he’d made a spur of the moment, off the cuff, joke to lighten the mood on JJJ’s sullen breakfast program… from Crikey –

”In an interview I did this morning on Triple J I made a stupid joke. It’s just been brought to my attention that some people in the media have taken my dumb joke seriously so I want to set the record straight. At no time have I ever “smoked a joint” with Bono or Peter Garrett. They are both well known to be very anti-drugs so that’s why I assumed everybody would know I was joking when I made that comment. Clearly that wasn’t the case and I feel sick that I might have caused embarrassment to two people who I admire so much.”

“I was fortunate enough to once get to play them some of my demo’s but I swear that no joints were involved. I guess I felt a bit like a namedropper mentioning them on the radio so that’s why I added a silly throwaway joke. I accept that drug use is no laughing matter and I apologize sincerely for any confusion or harm I’ve caused. Just by the way, this is one of the reasons why I hate doing interviews. I really should just shut up and stick to singing.”

Convincing? I’m not so sure.

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