Goddamnit, I hate the rampant nationalism that goes along with Australia day - the flags, the Southern Cross tattoos and the endless Cold Chisel. While some people use the day to celebrate/decry the entrenched racism of the country, I'm happy to get a day off for no other reason than I happen to live in Sydney. To be honest, I love living here but like everywhere it has its problems. While I could reflect on the deeper implications of the day (race, class, the destruction of Indigenous culture), I thought I'd just list some Australian songs that I really like. I've tried not to pick anything too obvious but I've probably failed.
Spy V. Spy - Hard Times
What better way to kick off with some classic Aussie pub rock. The weird thing about the Spies is while they are minor footnotes of the Australian 80's pub scene, they are huge in South America. And when I say huge, I mean playing at festivals in front of 200,000 people. Good stuff.
Sarah Blasko - All I Want
I came a bit late to Sarah Blasko which is my fault really. I find this song to be the answer to the question "What is the perfect music to go with Blasko's haunting voice?" Fun fact: my girlfriend lived two houses away from her in Stanmore. I never saw her though.
Midnight Oil - Dreamworld
Sure the Oils are predictable but I love this song. There's certain times in my life where people are so deluded about what is actually happening, I can't help but start humming this song.
You Am I - Thank God I've Hit The Bottom
People get nostalgic about You Am I and it would have been easy to list Berlin Chair or Purple Sneakers. While their popularity may have waned, they've still been releasing great albums. This song is one of my favourites on their Convicts record and was my official theme tune for 2009. Fun fact: Rusty, the drummer, shops in my local supermarket. That supermarket is called Banana Joes.
The Fauves - Dogs Are The Best People
I actually wanted to put Understanding Kyuss but that doesn't seem to be anywhere on the web. No one can hate this song. If you hate this song, you probably kick puppies when no one is looking.
The Presets - My People
I can't say I really liked this song until I saw the above video. Watching thousands of people singing joyously along in the rain made a little light globe go off in my head.
The Herd - The King is Dead
A song celebrating John Howard losing the 2008 election - YAY! Everytime I think of this I break into a huge smile.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Fifteen Feet Of Pure White Snow
It's pretty impossible to pick my favourite Nick Cave song but I think this one tends to get overlooked a bit. The video is classic as well.
Operator Please - Volcanic
I'll probably cop some flack for liking this song but I could care less. I really hate the music they play in clothes shops. I'm buying some work shirt or something and you're making me listen to Usher? Really? Anyhow, I was buying a new work shirt the other day and this song came on. As I tried on a different shirt it got me thinking, "This is the perfect song for this moment." So there you have it, the perfect song for trying on men's shirts when you'd rather be playing xbox.
Icehouse - Don't believe anymore
It came as a major revelation to me the other day that Iva Davies singing voice is a total David Bowie rip off. Apaprently, this is pretty well known but it has made me re-appraise Icehouse to some extent because sometimes even substandard aspirational Bowie is better than post-Let's Dance real life David Bowie. This was Icehouse before Iva got that wicked mullet he sported in '86 and even though it has the handicap of featuring a saxophone solo, it doesn't suck.
The Saints - (I'm) Stranded
I was going to pick an Ed Kuepper song but frankly, I love the way Chris Bailey says "Yeah" and "Alright".
Yeah, alright. Happy Australia Day peoples.