Tag Archives: Music

The 2010 Music Round-Up

Hi kiddies!

It’s that time of the year again. Time to round up the last 12 months of music and collate some sort of obligatory list that gives you all my musical impressions.

It’ll either make me come off as a music-snob, a music-nerd or a music-wannabe-nerd-snob. Take your pick 🙂

As any avid reader of my blog would know (Hi LaLa), I delight in making the end of year Top 10 Album list. I also delight in ranting about the music that I love. Note that the music I love generally gets played on the one and only Triple J and usually blasted through my car radio (thanks LaLa) or through my speakers at work.

I also like to play whole albums when I can, either at work, at home on the weekends or in the car on the way to Sydney.

Although playing whole albums gets to be a harder and harder task nowadays. Firstly. They’re too freaking long! Who has 45+ minutes to listen to an album from start to finish. Who listens to an album from Song 1 to song 10 in one sitting?

We all know that if you like the first 4 or 5 songs on the album you’re going to play them at a ratio of 4:1 over the rest of the album.

Regurgitator have taken the right approach. Screw ‘The Album’. There is no place for 10 track albums in todays society. Flick out a few songs as you write them here and there and let the public digest them regularly rather than waiting 3 years for 3 great songs, 3 decent ones, 2 ok ones and 3 fillers.

Having said all that, I love albums. Actually, let me rephrase that… I love GOOD albums. The albums that you CAN listen to from start to finish and not want to change to some schlock 90’s grunge. That is the all important criteria here (thanks to Triple J’s Zan for the inspiration).

So here we go. The List, in no particular order because it changes in my head every 15 minutes.

Children Collide – The Theory of Everything

This 3 piece Melbournian band takes me back. Yes, all the way back to 1991, reminding me of a little band known as Nirvana. The talented blonde erratic guitarist lead singer. The long haired tall bassist with strange moves. The hard-hitting drummer. It’s all there and these guys aren’t a one album wonder. Their sophmore album is every bit as good as their debut, if not better. They play a mean live set and they consume everyone in their path. These guys should be huge, but ironically their path to hugedom entails appealing to the commercialist public which probably means losing their edge. I’m happy for them to stay on the edge. It’s where they sound best

Tame Impala – Innerspeaker

What can be said about this band that hasn’t been said by everyone else that has picked them in their Top 10 list? Tame Impala have taken a direct path to stardom.

Sign an international deal with Modular before you even release anything. Check.
Release a debut self-titled EP to critical acclaim. Check.
Cover a corny 90’s pop song (Remember Me) and land in the Hottest 100. Check.
Support the hottest new US act’s tour around America (MGMT). Check.
Release debut album and win The J Award. Check.

This year has been their year with a psychodelic, 70’s-esque wah-fest album that somehow feels right at home in 2010. I love the way this album feels when I listen to it. It surrounds you with warm colourful sounds that make you wish you were old enough to appreciate the first time this sort of music came out. Listen if you haven’t..

Angus & Julia Stone – Down The Way

This one is too easy to pick. Yet another Australian band that is making it massive overseas and at the same time making us proud to own them. Haunting alternate vocals from the sibling duo give this album a dual layer of listenability with each one’s vocals adding something different to their song.

The words, the melodies and those damn fine voices make this an unforgettable album which somehow eclipsed their debut. Getting to see them live at a festival in London was also pretty damn special.

Sia – We Are Born

Oh Sia, your album title is poignant as it is like you have been born again. Your time with Zero 7 and your more soulful jazzy days have passed and you are re-born as a pop queen with amazingly catchy melodies, pulsing beats and very cutesy video clips. You’ve reshaped yourself and I defy anyone to be upset by that. I admire your will to turn against your record company and make the album you wanted. Surely they would be regretting their decisions now.

I love the fact that Sia does what she wants, says what she wants but still comes out smelling like roses.  Highlights of this album have to be ‘Bring  Night’ and ‘Clap Your Hands’ (both favourites for my kids), but the whole album has a happy feel to it.

Yeasayer – Odd Blood

This band came out of nowhere for me. I heard snippets of  ‘Ambling Alp’ near the start of the year and thought it sounded cool. Sort of an MGMT-esque, electronic/rocky pop sound. And then ONE came out and we all blew our collective loads. 4 months later I would be front row at the Latitude festival in London watching their amazing set. One of the real highlights of the year for me and a fantastic album to boot with enough good vibey catchy tunes to keep you coming back

Mark Ronson & the Business International
– Record Collection

I was a minor fan of Mark Ronson from his previous album but I was never convinced that he could pull off an album of music that I would listen to. I was wrong!

This album pulls amazing melodies, marching band drums and smooth lyrics together to make a completely addictive album. ‘Bang Bang Bang’ and  ‘Lose It (In the End) are standouts on this album that makes you feel good when you listen to it. He collaborates with some random artists on this album as well.  Ghostface Killa, Simon Le Bon, The Drums, Boy George. He doesn’t hold back. Somehow this mish-mash of songs just works.

Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Rush to Relax

I discovered this band about a century after everyone else. A small stage at Homebake in 2009 whilst Powderfinger drew the majority of the audience in the main arena.  There we were, my mate and I, about 3 rows back watching a front man(with a glove) singing in fits and starts while jumping about the stage in some sort of spasmodic fashion. A guitarist with an intense love of speed riffs and a non-plussed bassist banging out fast rocky punkish 3 minute songs.

I was blown away! 2010 saw a new album from this Melbourne 3 piece and it picks up from their previous work. Edgy, raw and ready rock that has to be seen to be believed. Anxiety ranks as one of my favs of the year, but you can listen to this whole album again and again and feel like you are there…without the glove.

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Now, I know that’s only 7 albums, but I have a confession to make. I didn’t listen to a whole lot of albums that blew me away this year. I listen to the radio predominantly. If I hear a couple of songs from the same artist that I like, I source the album. These are the 7 that I really enjoyed from this year.

I also enjoyed Koolism, Two Door Cinema Club, Surfer Blood, Little Red, LCD Soundsystem, Illy, Gorillaz and Vampire Weekend, but couldn’t say that I listened to their albums enough ALL THE WAY THROUGH to include them in the list.

So should I be making more of an effort to listen to full albums, or should I just keep listening to Triple J, letting them create a compilation album for my listening pleasure?

A lot of Top 10 Album lists have included albums from The National, Arcade Fire, Kanye, Deerhunter, Sleigh Bells and Parades to name a few, but a lot of it just isn’t my bag…. ESPECIALLY Arcade Fire, which was ironically selected as the No. 1 album by Triple J listeners.

I just don’t get them at all. I sat through their set whilst waiting for RATM at the 2008 Big Day Out and I was less than inspired. Is something wrong with me or do others share in my ‘meh’ feeling for them?

Almost time to think about my voting for the Hottest 100 as well. I think that will be an easier list to collate….


Music conquers all

One of the main reasons I want to get this blog going again is to bang on about my love of music, concerts and Triple J.

If you know me, you know that I am a vocal supporter of music I love and I try to get to as many concerts as I can.

Having said that, the first half of this year was quite slack for concerts.

The second half of this year includes: Metallica, Regurgitator, The Tongue, Powderfinger, Metallica (again), Muse, U2.

Another reason I wanted to post is because the ARIA Award Nominations are up again.

I have enjoyed commenting on previous awards and nominations as you can tell…

So, it’s time to comment on this years nominations, and I must say I am pleasantly surprised.

Gone are the days that new Australian music was dominated by Neighbours stars, dodgy guitar bands or Farnsy coming back (oh wait, he’s got a new album. WTF!?)

It seems that new music is being dictated by hard working indie (sometimes) bands and artists rather than the major label pushed carbon copies that we’ve seen in the past. This is great news for artists like Angus & Julia Stone, Tame Impala, Washington and Lisa Mitchell.

Just check out the noms for Best Album!

Album of the Year

Angus & Julia Stone – Down The Way – These guys have been so damn impressive since I first heard their EP about 4 years ago. I finally saw them live on a big stage at a festival in England and they were one of the highlights of the whole 3 days. Not just for me, but many others. Beautiful voices and very VERY talented.

Birds of Tokyo – Birds Of Tokyo – I have been torn on these guys. Their first album came out when I was in the US, so I didn’t hear it till the hype and died down and I thought they were just a little bit commericial and had that dreaded ‘Pop Rock’ vibe. A’la Nickelback, Creed etc.. Then I find out that the lead singer is Ian Kenny, of Karnivool fame. What the hell is he doing fronting this ‘soft’ rock band? This made me listen to them a little more, but still, I find it hard to get into them. They sound like a mix of Silverchair and INXS. Obviously the commercial tilt of their music helps get gigs on Sunrise and The Footy Show, so I can’t begrudge them the success, but still, not really my cup of tea.

Sia – We Are Born – What can be said about this woman. She’s done a lap of the world and now comes back to Australia to conquer with this amazing new sound. This album almost never happened as her record company wanted her to continue to release the slow, croony atmospheric music that she’s been known for. Instead she gets out of her contract, releases her poppiest album ever and blows us all away. Love the new stuff. Love the old stuff. Love Sia.

Tame Impala – Innerspeaker – If you are happy to be transported to the decade of the 1970’s, the era of wah-wah guitars, bong smoke and reverberating vocals, then you will love Tame Impala. They have been a slow burner with me. I heard their early stuff and was only slightly impressed, but after witnessing them on-stage at this years Big Day Out and then hearing their new album my eyes have opened wider to them. Not only for their new take on an old genre, but the epicness of their sound. I am happy to see them nommed here. They could have very easily been wisped away in clouds of hemp…

Washington – I Believe You Liar – Anyone that saw Megan Washington on Spicks and Specks earlier in the year would have immediately understood that this woman is going to go far. She has the charisma, personality but most importantly THE VOICE to take the world by storm. For a band to come from being unearthed by Triple J in November 2008 to being nommed for Best Album within 2 years is impressive to say the least! Admittedly I haven’t listened to this album enough to really appreciate it, but great to see them nominated.

I wonder if there are people out there that have not heard of any of these artists. I could understand if Tame Impala and Washington may not be widely played on commercial radio across the country, but I would be very disappointed if people had not heard of Sia, Birds of Tokyo and the Stone siblings.

The fact that all 5 bands are heavily rotated on Triple J is not a fluke. They are the biggets supporters of Australian music in the country. It’s almost become a machine in itself, the Triple J unearthed machine. It’s so massive that I guess you can never give exposure to every talented artist in the country, but at least, bit by bit, they get airplay, exposure and the chance to show their stuff.

The rest of the noms: (my tip to win has a ✓)

Single of the Year

Angus & Julia Stone – Big Jet Plane (Original Matters/EMI)

Birds of Tokyo – Plans (EMI)

Sia – Clap Your Hands (Monkey Puzzle/Inertia)

The Temper Trap – Love Lost (Liberation Music)

✓ Washington – How To Tame Lions (Mercury/UMA)

So hard to pick a winner in this category. They are seriously all excellent songs. I went for Washington simply because I think it’s a little bit above Big Jet Plane and Clap Your Hands in my mind. Would really be happy for any of them to win though..

Best Female Artist

Clare Bowditch – Modern Day Addiction (Island/UMA)

Kylie Minogue – Aphrodite (Mushroom Records/Warner Music)

Lisa Mitchell – Oh! Hark! (Warner Music Australia)

✓ Sia – We Are Born (Monkey Puzzle/Inertia)

Washington – I Believe You Liar (Mercury/UMA)

Have we had a stronger bunch of women nominees in recent history? I don’t think so! Great to see Clare Bowditch get a nom, as well as Kylie even. I would love and am going for Sia to claim this award, but I reckon Washington will get it.

Best Male Artist

Dan Kelly – Dan Kelly’s Dream (Shock)

✓ Dan Sultan – Get Out While You Can (MGM)

Guy Sebastian – Like It Like That (Sony Music)

John Butler – April Uprising (Jarrah Records/MGM)

Paul Dempsey – Fast Friends (EMI)

Have you heard of Dan Sultan? He sounds like Frank Sinatra Elvis Presley (oops) and looks like Adonis. Seriously, he’s got ALL that. The moves, the voice, the poses and the charisma. A deadset legend and I hope he gets this award although If Paul Dempsey got it, I would not be disappointed.

Best Group

Angus & Julia Stone – Down The Way (Original Matters/EMI)

Birds of Tokyo – Birds Of Tokyo (EMI)

Powderfinger – Golden Rule (UMA)

Tame Impala – Innerspeaker (Modular Recordings)

✓ The Temper Trap – Love Lost (Liberation Music)

Again, I would not be upset if any of these bands won, even Powderfinger, even though their last album doesn’t cut the mustard, would be worthy winners of their 16th ARIA (thanks LaLa). I am picking Temper Trap to take this one though because they have really taken the world by storm in the last year or so and it would be worthy recognition for all their hard-work. I would love Angus & Julia Stone to get it as well, but they will get their chance..

Best Independent Release

✓ Art vs Science – Magic Fountain (Green/MGM)

Dan Sultan – Get Out While You Can (MGM)

Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Rush to Relax (Suppression Records/Shock)

John Butler Trio – April Uprising (Jarrah Records/MGM)

Sia – We Are Born (Monkey Puzzle/Inertia)

Eddy Cuz get a nomination for their kick-arse album. I would love to see them get up, but I think Art vs Science will get it for their seriously awesome song, Magic Fountain. Listen to it once and it’ll be stuck in your head all day…

Best Adult Alternative Album

Angus & Julia Stone – Down The Way (Original Matters/EMI)

Basement Birds – Basement Birds (Basement Birds)

✓ Clare Bowditch – Modern Day Addiction (Island/UMA)

The Cat Empire – Cinema (EMI)

Washington – I Believe You Liar (Mercury/UMA)

Whitley – Go Forth, Find Mammoth (Dew Process/Universal Music)

Adult Alternative? What the hell is that? Is that for all us oldies that remember when Alternative music was Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam? In any case, I hope  Clare Bowditch picks this up. Not only is it a great album, but she’s a great bird and I believe in sharing the awards around 🙂

Best Dance Release

Art vs Science – Magic Fountain (Green/MGM)

✓ Miami Horror Sometimes (EMI)

Midnight Juggernauts – The Crystal Axis (Siberia/Inertia)

Pendulum – Immersion (Warner Bros UK)

Yolanda Be Cool and Dcup – We No Speak Americano (Sweat it Out/Central Station Records)

Miami Horror should win this hands-down. They’ve had a massive year and have really exploded onto the local and international scene with this album. If Pendulum or Art vs Science win, I’d accept it..

Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album

Airbourne – No Guts, No Glory (EMI)

✓ Dead Letter Circus – This is the Warning (Warner Music Australia)

Parkway Drive – Deep Blue (Resist Records/Shock)

The Amity Affliction – Youngbloods (Boomtown/Shock)

Violent Soho – Violent Soho (Liberation Music)

Airbourne? I haven’t ever heard these guys. Are they any good? What do they play? I didn’t even realise they were Australian. Some solid competition in this category. Parkway Drive could win for pure Metal brilliance, but I would love to see Dead Letter Circus win to recognise their tireless touring and quality album.

Best Pop Release

✓ Bluejuice – Head of the Hawk (Dew Process/Universal Music)

Empire of the Sun – Half Mast (EMI)

Guy Sebastian – Like It Like That (Sony Music)

Kylie Minogue – Aphrodite (Warner Music Australia)

Sia – We Are Born (Monkey Puzzle/Inertia)

Bluejuice, muthafuckas! So awesome that they have a nomination for their fantastic Head of the Hawk. I hope they win just for the simple fact that their acceptance speech will be awesome.

Best Rock Album

Birds of Tokyo – Birds Of Tokyo (EMI)

Cloud Control – Bliss Release (Ivy League Records/Universal)

Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Rush to Relax (Suppression Records/Shock)

Powderfinger – Golden Rule (UMA)

✓ Tame Impala – Innerspeaker (Modular Recordings)

At least they’ve separated Rock and Hard Rock now. Not sure how Cloud Control are Rock though. Throw this in the air and see who wants it the most. If it knocks out Bernard Fanning, he’s too old and then hand it to Tame Impala.

Best Urban Album

Bliss N Eso – Running on Air (Illusive Sounds)

Lowrider – Round the World (Illusive Sounds)

M-Phazes – Good Gracious (Obese Records)

Space Invadas – Soul-Fi (Invada/Inertia)

✓ Urthboy – Spitshine (Elefant Traks/Inertia)

My man Urthboy HAS to get this award or I will track down the voters and slap them. Legend album and legend dude.

Breakthrough Artist

Amy Meredith – Restless (Sony Music)

Cloud Control – Bliss Release (Ivy League Records/Universal)

✓ Philadelphia Grand Jury – Hope is for Hopers (Normal People Making Music/Boomtown/Shock)

Tame Impala – Innerspeaker (Modular Recordings)

Washington – I Believe You Liar (Mercury/UMA)

Hey, how did the Philly Jays get in here? I thought they’d been forgotten! I think they deserve to pick up this award. Sure, Washington will probably get it for their breakthrough stuff, but the Philly Jays have had a massive year and deserve some recognition.

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There we go. My yearly wrap-up of the nominees. If you made it to the end, I commend you!

Give me your take on the nominees and who you think should win. After-all I am just speaking out of my butt most of the time..


CorinBAM!

It has been one hell of a weekend.

I spent it out at Corinbank. A music festival unlike any other.

Not only was I an avid punter keen to see You Am I, Urthboy and Clare Bowditch, I was also a ‘Corinteer’. I put my name down to volunteer at the event late last year assuming that I would have little chance of actually doing it. Not only did I get a chance to volunteer, I was assigned to the Rangers & Communication team which involves roaming the site, checking everything is churning along okr and generally being the eyes and ears on the ground for the organisers and comms team.

Disappointingly I have not been to that many festivals, and never a multi-day camp-out festival. Splendour, Falls, Woodford.. I haven’t been to any of them. I realise that is a major failing on my part. So with the chance to go to a 3 day festival in my own backyard, how could I not go?

I pitched my tent on Friday and we were shown around the site by the managing director of the festival. With very few people around I was finding it hard to imagine what it’d be like with thousands of people arriving over the next day or so. There are 2 main stages at either end of the large Corin Forest site with a snake like trail of creative campsites, stalls, workshops and small stages along the way.

Creative campsites is an initiative to let the public contribute their own ideas to the festival. People could create their own little site or stall in exchange for discounted tickets. There was an advice tent, a hacky sack site, artistic stalls, a letter writing area (I haven’t heard a typewriter in years!), twister, solar powered ovens and shitloads more. This area was pumping during the days on Saturday and Sunday. Always something going on.

At the far end of the snake lies the Gibraltar Grove stage. Nestled in amongst the forest is a wooden stage that almost feels like it grew there. This stage is where I would go on to discover such musical gems as Alice Cottee, Anarchist Duck, Space Party and the Ellis Collective. The natural ampitheatre surrounded by giant gums was the perfect backdrop to beautiful music.

I was also informed that the angle of the stage is perfectly aligned with the Mt. Ainslie to Parliament House axis. Google Maps seems to back this up:

Very cool!

The main action of the weekend occurs down at the main ‘Billy Billy’ stage. Food, clothing, art, ‘happy herb’ and massage stalls dot the area. This whole area is shadowed by spectacularly angled gum trees. You can’t look anywhere over the weekend without seeing nature which is what makes this festival feel so special.

The festival is very focussed on the creed of ‘leave no waste’. To support this there are bins located everywhere with the standard recycling and general waste bins but also with compost bins into which all plates, cutlery and even plastic bio-degradable beer cups can be tossed. The message obviously works as I saw barely any trash on the ground throughout the weekend. People are obviously conscious of the fact that they are responsible for their own waste. It’s great to see.

During a couple of my shifts I worked with the ‘Rat Patrol’ who are in charge of  waste for the festival. Filled bins are swapped with empty ones and dumped into 1 of 2 skip bins, or a compost pile. Proof of the compost option are evident with a compost garden grown from the previous years pile. I hope my home compost will actually become useful one of these days.

This team does an amazing job at keeping the site clean. No overflowing bins at all and with the sheer number of bins this is not an easy feat. I am hugely impressed with the effort these guys put in. I did a 3 hr shift on the Rat Patrol and I was absolutely buggered. Some sort of wheelie-bin-towing-bike will definitely have to be invented!

At the core of this festival is a team of passionate people that invest a massive amount of time, effort, sweat and love into making it happen. I was glad to be able to contribute a tiny amount of my time to helping it happen this year, but these guys live and breathe the festival for most of the year. The positive vibe and smiling faces of people are the payback for all the hard work. More than one artist commented on the positivity of the crowd and Tim Rogers (of You Am I) made mention that usually he deals with objects being thrown at him as well as aggro’d up bone-heads in the crowd rather than smiling faces.

Overall the pace of the weekend is languid at best, possibly contributed by the distinct smell in the air. I think the fastest I saw anyone move was when a short sharp thunder storm hit during Clare Bowditch’s set. Whilst hundreds huddled under the beer tent, dozens more danced away in the rain. Bowditch made a comment that watching people dancing in the rain like that will stay in her memory for a long time.

Her set was fanastic. She showed off a new single from the upcoming album, and pulled out some oldies which had the crowd singing along.

You Am I seemed to play a fairly diverse set. Whilst they inevitably rolled out the obvious  favourites ‘Rumble’, ‘Berlin Chair’ and ‘Cathy’s Clown’, they played a bunch of tracks that I don’t think the crowd recognised including a few off their 2008 album that received very little airplay.

The musical highlight of the weekend for me was Urthboy’s performance on the Saturday night. Being a long time ‘Herd’ fan I was keen to see both Urthboy and Ozi Batla (Astronomy Class) doing their things separately. As a bonus we got Hermitude on the decks as well, often jumping on stage with Urthboy and Jane Tyrrell. Man, did they look like they were having fun. He was just non-stop for the whole hour and belted out his hits and heaps of other top stuff from his 3 albums. I was front row for the set and looking back, I could see how pumped the crowd were. Urthboy obviously noticed as well as he jumped (well, stepped off the stage and walked) into the crowd for the last song. The vibe was awesome!


Whilst the music was a major reason people were there, I think it’s the festival as a whole that pulls people out to the bush for a few days. There’s a definite community feel to the place. You see familiar faces all weekend and by the Sunday night you feel like everyone’s your friend.

For me personally I went to the festival by myself and only knew about 3 or 4 other people going. I pitched a tent by myself. I usually ate by myself and I generally walked around by myself, but everytime I sat down at a performance or a table to eat I managed to strike up a convo with someone and got to hear some great stories and chat about the festival.

Being a ‘Corinteer’ I met some really great fellow volunteers as well as getting to hang with some of the organisers on the Sunday night. For me this was a huge highlight as I got to see some of what makes a festival like this tick and to share in the passion of creating something that thousands of people enjoy.

I think it’s awesome that someone could sit down and go, “I’m going to start a festival”. You’ve gotta have guts and a buttload of talent and help to pull it off successfully. Dan and his team have pulled off 3 years of Corinbank and it doesn’t look like stopping in a hurry. This make me damn happy cause it means I’ll get to do it all again next year!


ARIA Noms 2009.

The ARIA Nominations came out today and I am always interested in seeing who the ‘Industry’ sees as the hottest thing right now.

Best Album :

AC/DC – Black Ice : Seriously? As good as Acca Dacca were back in their heyday, is this album really worthy of a nomination? No.

Empire of the Sun – Walking on a Dream : This years ‘Presets’ will probably scoop the pool for their dancey, trancey hit of 2008/09. Talent oozes from these guys.

Eskimo Joe – Inshalla : As much as I have loved the ‘Joe’ in the past, I was a bit meh about this album. There are a couple of standout tracks, but mostly it seemed to be a ‘new direction’ album gone wrong and that’s after their ‘Black Fingernails’ album was a new direction album gone right.

Sarah Blasko – As Day Follows Night : I have to confess I have not listened to this album yet, but am a big fan of Blasko’s work. I am sure it’s pretty and lovely.

The Temper Trap – Conditions : The breakthrough band of the year deserve to have their debut band nominated. They have receive critical acclaim world-wide for their tightly produced album and I think they’re a dark-horse here.

It’s an interesting mix of albums. Almost like it was meant to be like that. I hope The Temper Trap win, but I expect Empire of the Sun to take the mantle from their cohorts, ‘The Presets’.

Best Adult Contemporary Album :

What the hell is Adult Contemporary anyway? I must be an adult though cause I like the nominations in this category

Bob Evans – Goodnight, Bull Creek! : The Jebediah front man comes back with an awesome album. Love his voice and love the feeling on this album.

David Campbell – Good Lovin’ : Barnesy Jr? Well, I think this is probably what Adult Contemporary is all about. But no, I have not heard this album so will refrain from commenting…

Josh Pyke – Chimney’s Afire : I am an unashamaed Pyke fan. This album is almost as good as his debut and that’s saying a lot. He’s a good guy with a good voice and even better song-writing skills. I hope he wins.

Little Birdy – Confetti : Infectious melodies and that cutesy voice are enough to get my hooked. Have always liked Little Birdy and happy to see them nominated here.

Paul Dempsey – Everything is True : It’s a relatively new album and I haven’t heard it all yet, but what I have heard, I like. He’s a heart-felt guy, that Paul Dempsey. Makes you want to listen to your old Something For Kate albums..

Who will win this category? I think it’s a toss-up between Josh Pyke and Little Birdy, but really as long as Barnesy doesn’t get it, I don’t mind who wins

Best Group :

AC/DC : Only if it’s still 1979

Empire of the Sun : Shouldn’t there be a duo category?

Eskimo Joe : Alt rockers turned commerical. Not this year.

Hilltop Hoods : Yes please. ‘State of the Art’ should have been nommed for best album.

The Drones : Wow. Impressive nomination, but more token than anything I’d say.

Best Breakthrough Single and Album :

Mauboy, Temper Trap, Ladyhawke (WTF? Isn’t she a Kiwi?), Bluejuice, Art vs Science, Lisa Mitchell.

A plethora of young talent there and I would LOVE to see Art vs Science or Bluejuice win it. ‘Broken Leg’ is the sing-a-long hit of the year! I dare-say Mauboy will win for her sheer popularity and family friendliness…..oh and maybe a little talent.

Best Rock Album :

AC/DC, Eskimo Joe, Jet

Temper Trap, The Drones

You can split them into these 2 categories and then ignore the 2nd lot because I don’t think they’ll get a look in unfortunately. I wouldn’t be surprised if AC/DC win this one.

Best Urban Release :

Astronomy Class, Hilltop Hoods, Horrowshow, Pez, Phrase

It’s a Triple J playlist creators dream. Any of these bands are worthy of this prize, but i daresay the ‘Hoods’ will smash the opposition in this one.

Best Single :

Empire of the Sun – Walking on a Dream

Hilltop Hoods – Chase That Feeling

Kate Miller-Heidke – The Last Day On Earth

Ladyhawke – My Delirium

The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition

The big one. The Single of the Year. how can the Hilltop Hoods get nominated for this, but not album of the year? I love their song, but I think any of them have a chance. Still, if Ladyhawke win, then we can assume that we can nominate Dave Dobbyn and Scribe as well? C’mon!

Awards given out on November 26 to lots of very drunk Australian Music Industry people.


Smells Like the Hottest 100 of All Time. (Part 2)

This is what my blog is becoming folks. I get on a topic and then I try to stretch it out as long as I can.

In this case it is because of the Hottest 100 of All Time that Triple J is running again as a 20 year anniversary to the very first Hottest 100 in 1989.

In 1989 and 1990 Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ won the top spot. Then in 1991, Nirvana’s newly released ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ won No.1

Obviously the brains trust at Triple J quickly realised that whichever song was the most popular of the year would probably get into the ‘All Time’ list, so it was quickly decided to make the Hottest 100 an annual event which only covered the songs of the previous year.

Since 1991,  the All-Time countdown has been done one more time in 1998. Nirvana grabbed the top spot once again with Hunters & Collectors grabbing No.2 with ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’.

Now, what’s going to change in 2009? Will Nirvana win an unprecedented 3rd title?

The answer, my friends, is almost certainly, yes.

My second vote for this years Hottest 100 of all time is, you guessed it, Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana.

Ok, stop rolling your eyes. It may be cliched and it may be too easy to vote for this, but hear me out.

The reason this song is so damn popular is because it changed a lot of people’s perceptions of what music could sound like.

Back in 1990 and 1991, music was desperately trying to claw its way out of the bright, electronic and synthetic sound of the 80’s. The radio was clogged with Roxette, Milli Vanilli and Guru Josh (It’s time for the Guru..)

I mean, did you know that MC Hammer’s ‘U Can’t Touch This’ was the 2nd highest selling single in 1990?

All of sudden a new sound emerged from the least likely of places. Seattle? WTF is in Seattle?

As it turned out, A lot.

Green River, Temple of the Dog, Mother Love Bone, The Melvins, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Screaming Trees and Mudhoney all hail from Seattle.

Where the 80’s was surrounded around a cocaine infused LA rock club scene, Seattle was to become the centre of the Rock universe.

Except this time it was called Grunge.

Let me tell you about the first time I heard Grunge.

It was a night like any other, and I was listening to KIX 106 as I did most nights back then. This is before it was taken over by the Austereo network and before it turned into the ‘Classic Hits’ that we hear today. Back then it was not uncommon to hear Metallica’s ‘Stone Cold Crazy’ being belted out, or Skid Row’s ‘Youth Gone Wild’ being played way too loud. I even heard the uneditted version of ‘Killing in the Name’ on KIX 106.

I had heard ‘Bad’ Boyd Duczynski mention the band Nirvana and that he was going to play their killer new song. It was probably around 7pm (an hour till the Hot 8 at 8!)

It was then that the opening chords to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ hit my earballs.

I turned it up.

Loud.

I have spoken to others since that still remember the first time they heard that song.

All of a sudden, instead of listening to Extreme, Vanilla Ice and The KLF, I was seeking out albums by Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains.

There was also that video clip. The image of a dirty, messy 3-piece playing in front of a bored bunch of teenagers. In the next 5 minutes the kids turn into a unruly mob of ferals; moshing, head-banging and smashing the bands gear. (where are those kids from the film clip now?)

How awesome is that…

As a 15 year old, there was nothing better. I could shut my door, turn on my stereo and just forget everything else in the world except for those thrashy chords blasting out of  my ‘Sharp’ CD player (it cost me $500).

So, there’s my justification. I am not voting for it because it’s the ‘done’ thing, or because Triple J would want me to. I am voting for it because it has had a special effect on my life, as all of my Top 10 songs have.

Song No. 2 for the Hottest 100 of All Time voting. (in no particular order)

2. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

(to be continued…..)


All Time Baby. All TIME! (Part 1)

Today signifies the start of 2 things.

Winter (fucking brrr. 3 months more. Dangit.)

and, the Hottest 100 of All Time Voting at Triple J.

So this month, I dedicate myself to finding out the Top 10 songs of my life to vote for.

This is not going to be an easy task.

We all listen to thousands (probably tens of thousands) of songs in our lives. How to pick the best?

Is it your favourite to listen to? The ones that make you smile? The ones that you remember from pivotal points in your life?

The ones where you were sad? Happy? Angry?

But what about those songs that were released before you were born? Do you pick those ones that were successful? Do you have to include a Beatles track? A Nirvana track? A Michael Jackson track?

Each week I plan to dive headfirst into my musical history and pluck out a couple of worthy songs that will appear on my voting page.

This week I go old school. I go back to 1967.

I have never been a huge Bob Dylan fan, but while his voice may not be my cup of tea, his lyrics are something else, and his musicianship is outstanding.

What he did do back in 1967 is write a little song called All Along The Watchtower.

A little guitarist called Jimi Hendrix was then passed this track in 1968 and decided to give it a shot. He recorded it over and over until the Bass player gave up, so he recorded the whole thing himself.

The result? A beautifully structured, powerful but simple cover song.

Bob Dylan said it best;

“It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using. I took license with the song from his version, actually, and continue to do it to this day”

Listen to the original version, as recorded by Jimi that day on Electric Ladyland as below

My first experience with this song would have been in my early teen years as I browsed through my dad’s record collection.

His Hendrix records always stood out for me, even if it was just for the cover-art originally.

In my first cover band during high school we also covered this song and it’s always been one of my favourites to play as well.

So there we go.

Song No. 1 for the Hottest 100 of All Time voting.

1. All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix

Stay tuned for more…

EDIT: News just in! Apparently Jimi Hendrix was murdered by his manager?


Back to Earth

No real time to blog right now, but let’s just say that Tuesday night with Lily Allen at Triple J was something very special.

A few months ago I would never have thought that listening to Lily Allen play live with an acoustic guitar and a grand piano could give me tingles, but she did it.

Could have been that I was 2 METRES away from her and she looked into my eyes!

Her new album is fantastic and deserves the No.1’s it is getting. She’s also cute HOT, and was very funny on Dools’ afternoon show.

I think I’m smitten 🙂

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