The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'jjj'
As the Triffids' Born Sandy Devotional gets rereleased by super-trendy Indie™ label Domino Records (presumably adding some gravitas to their current roster, which leans towards ephemeral, facile Carling-indie), The Age looks at the phenomenon of how so many Australian bands attained critical acclaim abroad, often succeeding in Australia only after the UK and Europe, if at all:
The curators of Kunstencentrum België are still raving about "the importance of the Triffids (to) musical developments from the '80s onwards, and their influence on diverse musical movements afterwards". The Belgians are flying in the surviving members as guests of honour at a Triffids music and memorabilia retrospective next week. Then the band goes to London, where Islington Council has approved the unveiling of a plaque on the hallowed site where their Born Sandy Devotional album was made 20 years ago.A lot of the Australian indie exodus, argues Australian popular-music historian Clinton Walker, was caused by Australia's oppressively (pub-)rockist monoculture at the time:
To illustrate why the Triffids left Australia, Graham Lee opens the Born Sandy Devotional CD book to a photo of a Queensland pub's events board: "Friday: stubbies welcome nite. Saturday: Triffids with Phil Emmanuel's Rockola. Sunday: wet T-shirt competition."
Dave Graney also recalls the '80s indie exodus in terms of cultural conflict. "These inner-city bands didn't want to engage in pub rock. They couldn't. Famously, the Scientists opened for the Angels at Parramatta Leagues Club (in 1983) and they were bottled off stage.(Though what of the famous "little band" scene, as celebrated in documents like Dogs In Space? Was that merely the urban fringe of the rockist hegemony, as unwelcoming to those not sharing its Aussie larrikin values as the audience at a Rose Tattoo gig, an oasis of cosmopolitan bohemianism accessible to a lucky few who found it, or a bit of both?)
Of course, then came JJJ going national, and after the shockwaves of grunge going mainstream in America reached Australia's shores, pretty soon you had Big Day Out, major-signed local "alternative" bands (most of whom were parts of an equally rockist grunge monoculture) on JJJ, and then it's not long until Killing Heidi were selling mobile phones on television. Though then there was sufficient open-mindedness in the new Australia for vibrant and cosmopolitan scenes to flourish in the inner cities (well, mostly Melbourne, with smaller scenes in places like Brisbane and Perth; Sydney hadn't recovered from the two-pronged onslaught of poker machines and its community radio station being ripped out of its heart and refashioned into a deracinated national "youth" broadcaster, though things appear to be much better there these days), producing a rich ecosystem of original bands, which continues to this day.
Even if he was still with us, it's unlikely the Triffids would have been invited to play Wide Open Road at the Countdown arena spectacular in September. Instead we'll celebrate their stay-at-home contemporaries: Kids in the Kitchen, Uncanny X-Men, Mondo Rock, Pseudo Echo, Real Life. In Perth the local heroes will be the Eurogliders.
Napster comes along, spreads like wildfire by word of mouth and changes the way people think about recorded music. The RIAA sues them out of existence. Some years later, The Man buys the Napster logo, slaps it onto a sadomasochistically locked-down music-rental library, and engineers a Nike-style pseudo-culture-jamming campaign, with defacement of fake billboards, to give the New Napster some street cred.
For some reason, this makes me think of the JJJ "Enemy of Average" campaign; maybe because both are attempts to market a homogenised corporate turd-in-a-can as somehow "underground" or "subversive".
Crikey looks at the decline of "yoof" broadcaster JJJ; who seem to have all the sterility of commercial radio only without the market savvy; that and the fact that they're run by a bunch of old fogies who think they know what the kids like.
Furthermore, all during the dance music boom of the 90s, it was persistently in love with bad 3-chord 'indie' -- every two bit semi-tone flat nasally singing neo-punk thrash band from Kansas got a run (with their out of focus super-8 film clips wearing out the video machine's heads at Rage HQ) while plenty of excellent locals where overlooked because they didn't fit into the 'format'. They were just interested in the Chart Music that one might find at HMV, so while they had 'dance music' it was typically of the same type you find on other chart stations that would play that sort of thing. Finally dance music runs out of steam and JJJ decides it's time to cash in on that market -- but too late -- and still its moribund music policy changes glacially it appears.
(Ah yes; "JJJ" used to almost be a genre in the 1990s, signifying naff post-grunge yoof-rock, of the sort labels like Mushroom churned out by the bucketload. That and songs with drug references and the word "fuck" in them, because that's naughty and goes well with hormonal rebellion.)
Perhaps the best demonstration of this is a couple of years ago when new rock was at its unfortunate zenith, and JJJ responded by playing stock standard Triple M new rock, interposed with the odd wigger anthem and one particularly unfortunate track from the Bomb Funk MCs called 'Freestyler' and the occasional modern classic. The mixture was clearly calculated to offend each and every listener in some way. In some sets the mix was so inappropriate it was as if Classic FM ground to a halt half way through an opera and unleashed Eminem.
(via The Fix)