Hottest Australian albums of all time

The Hottest 100 has gone from being a  yearly countdown to something Triple J do whenever they want to feel relevent again. The next countdown will be the Hottest 100 Australian albums of all time may not make good radio but everyone loves a good list.  I thought I’d share my top 10 Australian albums. I’ve opted to vote for my most formative albums.I’m just glad Sister2Sister aren’t Australian, otherwise I might have exposed my shameful pop past. You can vote for your own albums and go in the running for Triple J’s Green and Gold Ticket here.

 

10.Boys Next Door, The – Door, Door

The Boys Next Door were Nick Cave’s first band and this album was the first time I heard his music. While the band dismissed Door, Door
as too poppy, it was the exact reason why I liked this album so much. I’m sure all of you would be familiar with Shivers however the other tracks on the album also hint at Nick Cave’s flair for songwriting.

9. The Basics – Keep Your Friends Close

I probably should have included Stand Out/ Fit In as my Basics album of choice, however musically I’m a bigger fan of Keep Your Friends Close because it finally felt like the band had found their own sounds, rather than simply copying their 1960s heroes. The Basics were one of the first ‘local’ bands I discovered and provided the soundtrack to year 9, despite the fact I was also listening to a lot of horrible emo.  The Basics are on Hiatus because of Wally DeBacker’s Gotye commitments.

8. Darren Hanlon – Fingertips and Mountaintops

It’s no secret that I love Darren Hanlon and this is probably his best work. Whether it’s the tale of brushing elbows with a celebrity, letting us know happiness is just a chemical or couch surfing advice, each song tells a perfect story that complements Hanlon’s country twang.

7. The Lucksmiths  – Why That Doesn’t Surprise Me

Because sometimes music you can dance to is the last thing that you need. This album got me hooked on Darren Hanlon, Bell and Sebastian and The Smiths. God I miss the Lucksmiths.

6. AC/DC – Back in Black

I couldn’t write about Australian albums without AC/DC. I took a while to really like this album, sometimes you just need to shout along with Acca Dacca and unleash your inner bogan. I got to see them live last year, which was awesome until I had a 45-year-old man continually asking me to flash my tits during The Jack. Classy.

5.Gotye – Like Drawing Blood

This is one of the more recent albums on my list but it is already regarded as a classic. The first time Ito  really listened this album I was on a family holiday in Echuca, and while the house was old and all kinds of amazing, there’s only so much foxtel a girl can watch. So in typical style, I turned to my iPod for entertainment.  The intricate rhythms and dream like pop perfectly suited the house and Like Drawing Blood is still on high rotation today.

4. You Am I – Hourly, Daily

Boroondara Library Services have a lot to answer for. I spent a lot of my tween years borrowing random albums and while most of them were terrible I also discovered a lot of my favourite bands. This was one of those albums, and probably one of the most Australian records ever released. While I have trouble relating to Arcade Fire’s image of the suburbs, I feel like Hourly Daily perfectly describes Australian suburbia and lifestyle without being  pretentious.

3. Sunnyboys – Sunnyboys

When I was younger I used to think that all old music was ‘bad.’ This is party because my dad insists on listening to nothing but Santana, who I still cannot stand, and the fact that a lot of it sounded dated. That was until my mum got me to listen to The Sunnyboys. Even to this day their debut album sounds fresh and the lyrics of a then teenage Jeremy Oxley perfectly capture the awkwardness of your first relationships. While Alone With You still gets the odd bit of radio play, the rest of their singles seem forgotten, which is a massive shame. The band went on to release two more albums, before disbanding when Jeremy Oxley’s schizophrenia became a concern. If you like your power pop tight and danceable,  highly recommend you buy this album.

2.The Whitlams – Eternal Nightcap

The Whitlams caused quite a divide amongst my household. Despite the fact they’re my mum’s favourite band, My dad and little sister, cannot stand them. When I first told my mum I liked The Whitlams she was so excited that she burnt me their albums and made a point of playing them when we were in the car together. I still think this album is one of the best Australian albums ever released and began my obsession with sad bastard music. This album was released after the death of original member Stevie Plunder and whether it’s the melancholy No Aphrodisiac, the playful Louis Burdette (which I did not get to hear for quite some time due to the all swearing) or the haunting Charlie trilogy, it’s the sound of a band who have been through a lot.

1. Living End, The – The Living End

I know The Living End are no longer relevant, or even all that good anymore, but their debut album changed my life. I borrowed this album from the library and from the opening bars of Prisoner of Society I was hooked.  The rebellious lyrics, insane guitar solos and Scott Owen’s frantic double bass playing completely blew my 11-year-old mind. This was the album that prompted me to see The Living End for my first gig when I was twelve, helped me discover Triple J and inspired me to learn the double bass. If it wasn’t for The Living End, I’m 90% sure I’d still be listening to Fox.fm, wearing too fake tan and this blog wouldn’t exist.

What are your top 10 albums? Share them in the comments. Also apologies for any terrible grammar, I had my wisdom teeth out yesterday and am still not quite functioning properly.

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Tuesday Covers 11/05/10

There are very few bands that can cover The Smiths successfully. They are one of those bands that almost everyone over the age of 14 has loved at some point or another and I have a feeling that in 50 years time miserable teenagers will still be scribbling their lyrics on their school diaries (although Generation Z has Bieber fever so maybe not). It is because of this attachment that very few bands can cover them without failing miserably. Hell, even Radiohead seemed to struggle a little when they covered The Headmaster Ritual. And don’t even get me started on Death Cab For Cutie butchering the lyrics to This Charming Man.

There is one Smiths cover that I actually like. It’s the Lucksmith’s version of There Is A Light That Never Goes Out. Instead of imitation Morissey they turn the song into quite a sweet duet.

The Lucksmiths-There is a Light That Never Goes Out.mp3

As far as most people are concerned Iceland has two things: a unpronouncable, angry volcano and Sigur Ros. Which is more than enough for me to want to go there for my next holiday.

As most of you probably know Sigur Ros’s frontman Jonsi has released a solo album called Go. While it’s a good album hearing him sing in English takes some getting used to and takes away some of the mystery of Sigur Ros, not that they’re a lyrics band by any means.

He’s done a cover of MGMT’s Time To Pretend and it’s pretty good. It’s worth listening to just for his pronunciation of the word “vomit.”

Jonsi- Time to Pretend.mp3

Christmas Songs That Don’t (Completely) Suck

It’s less than one week until christmas and if I hear Jingle Bells one more time I’ll end up punching the entire Salvation Army band.

So to get into the spirit of the world’s most stressful holiday, I thought I would share a list of Christmas songs that don’t (completely) suck.

Okkervil River- Listening To Otis Redding at Home During Christmas

Why it doesn’t suck: This is by far my favourite Christmas song of all time and not just because I am huge Okkervil River fan. While most Christmas songs are just about Santa and snow, this one incorporates the warmth and familiarity of coming back home. There no mention of reindeer or santa and it doesn’t even feature sleigh bells, which seem to be reoccurring theme with Christmas songs. And let’s face it, Will Sheff could write a song about what he ate for breakfast and still make it sound poetic.

The Lucksmiths- The Thought That Counts

Why it doesn’t suck: This is one of my other Christmas favourites focuses buying gifts, which  is a side of christmas that many Christmas tunes seem to neglect and for many of us can be a bit of a chore. The Lucksmiths were one of the most reliable bands around and like most of their song songs it’s  a little bit twee and contains some great lyrics, my personal favourite being even an unwanted gift is a gift. So true.

Julian Casablancas- A Christmas Treat

Why it doesn’t suck: Well, for a start, it’s Julian Casablancas who fronts one of the most influential bands of the decade. Aside from that, the music is suitably catchy and the chorus has the kind of intensity you would expect from a regular rock song. The lyrics however, leave a lot to be desired. No deep poetry or imagery here, just a bit of fun. And sleigh bells.

AC/DC- Mistress For Christmas

Why It Doesn’t Suck: It’s AC/DC. Let’s face it, even if you haven’t heard this track you know what to expect. It’s a little bit wrong, but it’s also more than a bit good. This is one to break out after a few drinks.

Bright Eyes-Blue Christmas.

Why it doesn’t suck:Seriously Conor, are you ever happy? In this cover of Elvis’s Christmas song Bright Eyes does his usual “woe is me thing” which usually works well when he’s the one writing the lyrics, which is probably why I’ve never liked any of his covers. He doesn’t really sound blue, he just sounds like he’s wallowing in self-pity. Still it has more indie-cred than Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, mind you, my Grandma has more indie-cred than that song.

David Bowie and Bing Crosby- Little Drummer Boy

Why it doesn’t suck: I wasn’t going to post this song, but when I asked my mum about her favourite Christmas songs she said it was her favourite Christmas song of all time because the combination of David Bowie and Bing Crosby shouldn’t work but it does. I’m not really sold on it but David Bowie makes it bearable.

Are there any songs I’ve forgotten? Do you think the ones I’ve posted do, in fact, completely suck? Let me know by posting a comment. There might even be a part 2.

The Lucksmiths Call It A Day

Everyone’s favourite cardigan-wearing Melbourne band, The Lucksmiths have decided to call it a day after 16 years and eight albums.

I’m quite sad about this. I know there are many people who think it’s crazy to become so attached to bands but The Lucksmiths are one of those bands that seemed like they were going to outlast the Rolling Stones.

I love a good pop song and these guys had it all. Catchy melodies mixed with clever lyrics.

All the details about the band’s break up can be found here.

The band will go on a farewel tour with their final show in Melbourne. The dates are:

14 AugJive SA
15 AugMojo’s Bar WA 2
1 Aug -Factory Theatre NSW
22 Aug -Tilley’s Devine Cafe Gallery ACT
23 AugThe Zoo QLD
29 Aug- The Corner Hotel VIC
The Lucksmiths-Chapter In Your Life Entitled San Fransisco.mp3