March 12, 2009

Australian Music Rocks!

I'm sure some of you never expected to hear the tag line that Australian music rocks, but it does. Yes, I know you're bored sick of the song Land Down Under by Men At Work, but I swear Aussie music is a gem waiting to be discovered by the rest of the world. Remember the band Silverchair from the 1990's? In 2007 they came out with their Young Modern album, and their single Straight Lines is completely different from what you probably remember. It rocks. Not like their classic Frog Stomp album didn't, but they've evolved to a new sound.

I spent about four and a half months in Australia, and let's just say a good part of it was driving some four thousand plus kilometers, with nothing more than a mix of ten hit or miss CD's, and the radio. I can attribute my musical awakening, and also my driving sanity, to Triple J, a national radio station which is a division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Triple J's programming focuses on Australian artists and new music from around the world. It is hands down my favorite station to listen to online, so you don't even have to wait for that long overdue trip to Australia to check out their music scene. Although, you should go visit the country at some point.

It was my friend Armin from Germany, who turned me on to Triple J's Hottest 100. The Hottest 100 is an annual poll of the most popular songs amongst their listeners, and it's announced every year on Australia Day, which is January 26th. It's a big honor to get the number one spot. In 2007 the winning song was Knights of Cydonia by Muse, and in 2008 the top spot went to Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon. Both of these are fantastic songs, and each year Triple J puts out a two disc compilation, with approximately forty songs. The current collection, which is volume 16, is now available on the ABC site, and they ship globally.

I know what you're thinking. Both Kings of Leon and Muse aren't Australian bands. Okay, so it's true, but the Hottest 100 does include a good mix of Australian artists, and just by listening to their online radio station, you'll become enlightened by the talent from down under. Here's the artist line up from the last two Hottest 100 compliations:

2007 - Volume 15 (note that 52 of the 100 tracks are by Australian artists)

2008 - Volume 16 (this is the latest compilation)

Some of my favorite Australian rock artists that I would recommend are:

- Silverchair
- Faker
- Bluejuice
- Architecture in Helsinki
- Urthboy
- Angus and Julia Stone
- The Beautiful Girls
- British India
- Wolfmother
- The Panics

Triple J tends to be mostly alternative and indie rock, but there is also an amazing hip hop scene in Australia. I have to admit that I wasn't the biggest fan of hip hop until stumbling upon the Australian scene. I tended to avoid the commercial gangsta rap scene of the past, and listened to artists such as Aesop Rock and Mos Def. I do really like Mike Skinner from the Streets, and I guess that is why I'm probably a fan of Aussie hip hop, since their lyrical play is truly amazing.

As for my favorite Australian hip hop artists, I would check out:

- Drapht
- Pegz
- DJ Bonez
- Jase
- Muph & Plutonic
- Bias B
- Spit Syndicate
- Chasm
- The Funkoars
- Plutonic Lab

Hopefully you'll actually start listening to all these artists, and Triple J's streaming radio. If you're like me, and sick of US radio programming, this will be a breath of fresh air.


Jared said...

Here is an email from my friend Sam who is Queensland native from OZ. I trust his musical taste...

as far as hip hop goes, cant go past HILLTOP HOODS, outdoubtedly pioneers of oz hiphop. PEGZ is also very good, outa Melbourne. checkout OBESE RECORDS, they're both on this label, along with FUNKOARS and others.
OPTIMEN (my home town favs from brisbane) kill it!
DRAPHT, DELTA, TERRA FIRMA, HOSPICE CREW are all right up there too.
for raw underground LYRICAL COMMISSION are hands down,'the shit' and becoming recognized internat on the underground scene.
a little more light hearted/ funky hiphop includes THE CAT EMPIRE, the herd, WINNIE COOPERS, KID CONFUCIOUS, butterfingers.
check out - a must do.

as far as rock goes, listen out for...
something for kate, jebediah, Jet, eskimo joe. powderfinger (brizzy boys, too) the vines. little birdy.

bluesy/roots (think jack johnson) beach type chillout stuff...
JOHN BUTLER TRIO!!!! xavier rudd, the beautiful girls, pete murray, bernard fanning (lead singer from powderfinger) the waifs.

just a though - sneaky soundsytem are a fun electro outfit worth checking too.

Jonas said...

Hey, stumbled upon your blog by chance. Just wanted to let you know that even though I love the streets as well he actually is from England (

Anyways, lots of other bands here I don't know I'll have to check out!