Saturday, July 11, 2009


The real Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time starts in about an hour, so I'm going to try to get all of mine posted, before I find out what the nation's number one is sometime Sunday afternoon.

61. Hey Boy, Hey Girl - The Chemical Brothers
This entry also involves the by now infamous XTC fan who has featured widely in this little adventure. When I was a student I was certainly part of the 'music scene'. Adelaide has a pretty lively and healthy music scene for a town of its size, maybe because for young people there's precious little to do other than drink large quantities of beer and go out to gigs. So when I was younger it seemed like everyone I knew was involved in the music industry. I shared a house for a few years with a guitarists/music retailer/label owner/band manager/music whore. Often when one of his bands was supporting a touring Australian band I'd wake up to find the hall full of amps and the lounge room full of rhythm section members smelling of cheap spirits.

But this is getting away a bit from the Chemical Brothers. The XTC fan worked in a record shop with the the guitarist flatmate. I use to spend a stupid amount of money on records purely on the basis that the NME told me they were good. Often they were, often they weren't. But we were Indie Kids. Not Rude Boys. Not Punks. Not Goths and certainly not ravers. And we did not listen to dance music. Except me. I will dance to almost anything. And I was derided for it seriously. If I were still in touch with the XTC fan he would be mortified to see the Chemical Brothers in this list.

I once saw the Chemical Brothers play at the Brixton Academy. On a Tuesday and it was almost midnight when they came on. I was less than functional the next day. The next time I saw them was in the Boiler Room at the Big Day out and I had to queue for about a quarter of the set to get in!

62. I Melt With You - Modern English
You probably have to have watched John Hughes movies as a teenager to appreciate the musical value of this song, but the guitars have a particular quality that I think appeal to people my age.

63. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
What a great song! Fantastic lyrics of, well, survival. Not a song of a woman moping about pining for the bloke who left her, who by all accounts sounds like a bit of a boar. No, Gloria shoves two fingers proudly to the world and gets on with it.

64. I Won - The Sundays
I am now listening to the official countdown streaming through my computer and number 100 is Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out. The Sundays piss all over Franz Ferdinand. I think they only released one album (maybe two) but all tracks are little corkers. Gloria Gaynor would be proud of Harriet Wheeler and this song. But please tell me, how come I can remember the name of the singer from a band from the 1980s but I can't remember the password for the HR account at work?

65. In A Big Country - Big Country
Guitar Bag Pipes. Need I say more?

66. Johnny Come Home - The Fine Young Cannibals
The Fine Young Cannibals may have the honour of being the most un-photogenic band in history, and maybe the for being the worst dancers.

67. Jump Around - The House of Pain
I don't think I should like this song. I think it's a bit violent and a little misogynistic. But it's soooo catchy.

68. Know Your Product - The Saints
This is one of my official top ten votes. The Saints were probably Australia's first punk band. The lads are from Brisbane, then a banana republic thanks to highly conservative, regressive, restrictive, corrupt, dictatorial politics led by then premier Joh Bjeelke-Petersen. Aka The Devil. Like most Brissy bands of the time I think that The Saints were forced to move camp to southern states/overseas to make sure that baton wielding police didn't shut their shows down.

I find that punk song can have this much brass in it rather refreshing.

69. La Vie En Rose - Edith Piaf
The only song I can confidently sing in French from beginning to end. Beautiful.

70. Last Goodbye - Jeff Buckley
Jeff made an appearance yesterday. The son of famous 1960-70s musician Tim Buckley, both met sad, early ends. Jeff famously calmly, consciously walked in the Mississippi River one night never to return. And so the Last Goodbye became even more poignant.

71. Lazarus - The Boo Radleys
I tried to find a clip for this song to upload, because I'm not really sure how to describe it. A swirling storm of trumpet and pedal and swimming shoe gazer vocals.

72. Lazy Eye - Silversun Pickups
Every summer there's a song. A song I can't get out of my head. A couple of years ago this was it. I haven't heard anything else by this mob that comes close, and frankly first time I heard it I though the singer was female. It has a stonkingly good guitar solo in the middle.

73. Levi Stubb's Tears - Billy Bragg
Midnight Oil are on the radio now. I don't know if I've forgiven Peter Garrett, or if he needs to be forgiven.

But this is Billy Bragg's second appearance in as many posts. Like David Gedge from the Wedding Present Billy manages to combine beautiful lyrics with an inability to sing. Would the songs mean as much if he could? Probably not. The narrative in this one makes you want to cry.

74. Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
Probably about 15 years ago there was a TV documentary series called Dancing in the Streets, which followed the development of Western popular music. I'd never really been that much of a Dylan fan, but this series had a whole episode of him.

Suddenly, I got it. And the gods swooned.

I've never really had such a light bulb moment. So this is what everyone's been talking about! And I was hooked. Seriously hooked. Whole back catalogue in one purchase hooked. I could see how he, and others but particularly him, stood out from the other bubblegum singers of the 1960s.

75. Lock It - Falling Joys
Another classic Australian song. Great guitars that envelope you like diving into the ocean on a hot day.

And as I sign off Stevie Wonder's playing. Solid.

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