My Life in Albums: 1999: Powderfinger, Pumpkins and an Eternal Nightcap

1999 was a big year for me. We moved to Brisbane. I started year 11 at school. I was suddenly meant to be taking things seriously. And I started earning a little bit more money than the $2 a week we were previously entitled to. So I could afford to buy a few more CDs.

For the first few months of our life in Brisbane we were living in a modernish rental house in Keperra. With a pool. Bells, and whistles. And I remember this song was doing the radio rounds…

Eminem didn’t really do it for me in a big way. I do remember enjoying Cake in that year…

But the defining album for me from 1999 was Powderfinger’s Internationalist. I bought it with the proceeds of an afternoon spent cleaning the fence at our new house (where my parents still live).

I also discovered the Whitlams, properly, in 1999, when I got me a copy of Eternal Nightcap (incidentally, we saw them two weeks ago with the Queensland Symphony. We had second row seats and they were amazing. Playing through Eternal Nightcap plus some more recent hits)…

This was also the year I discovered the Smashing Pumpkins. Thanks largely to my obsessive friend Benny. And my friend Damien who brought me a pirated copy of Siamese Dream back from China. Disarm has embedding disabled – and I think it’s the best song on that album, followed by Soma…

And Today…

This Ben Kweller cover of Today is pretty cool.

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. 

Scroll to Top