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My Impressions of Australian Music  (Brisbane)

(Reprint from News: April 4, 2002)

April 3, 2002

 

I've listened to the radio just about everywhere I've gone in Australia, sometimes to Australian talk radio and sometimes to the local pop or country station.  Australians are very proud of Australian musicians and there's a LOT of good Australian pop, country, and rock music here that you never hear in the U.S., which is really a shame. 

 

Here's Kasey Chambers singing Not Pretty Enough.

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While traveling around Australia, I've gotten hooked on several Aussie singers including a young pop-folk-country artist named Kasey Chambers.  I hear Kasey's music just about everywhere I go, so yesterday I drove down to a shopping mall here in Brisbane and bought one of her CDs.  They don't play her music in the U.S., or at least, they didn't when I left the U.S. four months ago, which is a real shame.  Kasey is about as Aussie as they come, having spent most of her first nine years living with her parents out on the desolate Nullarbor plain (that's Nullarbor as in "no trees") of southern Australia, and she's a darn good singer.  I've posted her current hit here so Americans can get a taste of what they're missing. 

 

During my first few weeks here, I couldn’t figure out why they played so much Bee Gees music on the radio stations, but after hearing Jive Talkin’ and How Deep is Your Love for about the millionth time, I remembered that the Brothers Gibb are from Australia.  Well, o.k., they were born in England but they moved to Brisbane when they were pretty young. 

 

Another song they keep playing here is Georgy Girl.  I hadn’t heard that song in 30 years, but they play it everywhere here:  it’s on the radio, in grocery stores, and even in the restrooms… I just can’t seem to get away from it.  I couldn’t figure out why Georgy Girl was so popular here until I learned that the 1960’s group who sang it, The Seekers, are Australian.  It may be old music, but by God, it’s Australian music!  Of course, they play a lot of American and British music on the radio, too.  However, unlike in New Zealand, they don’t play too much from The Monkees here.  Why Kiwis like The Monkees so much is something I still haven’t figured out.

 

I really like country music, and since there's so much "country" here, it's not surprising that country music is as popular in Australia as it is in America.  In fact, there are a lot of really good yet little-known Australian country singers.  However, some of them are, um, a bit different.  When I was in the Outback town of Tennant Creek a few weeks ago, the country radio station there played a touching song called, She’s My Butcher and I Think I Love Her.  Yes, I’m serious.  As the guy sang it, “…she has nice thighs, firm breasts, sells me t-bones and pot roasts…”

 

Yep, country music always makes me laugh, even if it has an Aussie accent.

 

2-3307_Surfers_Paradise.jpg (34401 bytes)    2-3312_Byron_Bay_Overlook.jpg (39469 bytes)    2-3318_Lighthouse_Trail.jpg (44011 bytes)

Above left:  The resort of Surfer's Paradise in the heart of the Gold Coast is a cross between Daytona Beach and Las Vegas.  I got out of here as fast as I could.

Above center:  Byron Bay was named by James Cook in 1770 during the first European exploration of Australia.  Now it's big with the surfer dudes.

Above right:  Here's the easternmost point in Australia near Byron Bay.  Next stop... South America.

 

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Above left:  I'm sure my nephew Evan will get a kick out of this sign.  "All roads lead to Evan's Head." 

Above right:  The marina at Coffs Harbour. 

 

 

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