Monday, October 3, 2022

They Come From A Land... Go On, You Can Finish The Rest.

I had a plan for today's post. That was my first mistake. Never plan ahead.

It started on Saturday, when I realised it was the first of October. I'd already done a post for that day and I wasn't intending to post at all on Sunday because I'd be working, so I mentally pencilled in Monday for the next instalment of "What's Amazon Giving Away This Month?"

Unfortunately, as I should have remembered, Amazon doesn't begin the month on the first. They're beyond that kind of conventional numbering. Last month's free offers don't expire until today. I just checked and there's nothing new up yet.

That post's going to have to wait until tomorrow, then. I did toy with the idea of not posting anything at all but I wasn't comfortable with skipping another day. I had a few other ideas but they didn't come together, so here we are with that old staple of quick fixes - a music post!

Luckily, I had one already simmering. A week or so ago, Magi Was Taken at Indiecator put up a post featuring some of his current favorite Australian bands. The selection wasn't entirely to my taste but I do very much agree with Magi that a lot of good music is coming out of Australia these days. 

After I read Magi's post I went trawling through YouTube, looking for some new-to-me bands from the other side of the planet I thought might be worth pointing up here. It really didn't take me very long at all to find some. 

I had to have somewhere to start, of course, and where better than a local radio station? Okay, with government funding, a national reach and a global presence by way of the worldwide web, it's stretching the definition of "local" to breaking point, but TripleJ is at least based in Australia and supposedly "places a greater emphasis on broadcasting Australian content compared to commercial stations", at least according to Wikipedia.

More to the point, I'm subbed to their covers series, Like A Version, so it's in my face every time I look at YouTube. I tried the most recent Australian act I saw there, which happened to be The Bouys. Not a very promising name but I knew the song they were covering and it was a very curious choice...

...which I'm not going to share. Yet. I'm saving it for Halloween. It's perfect.

That doesn't mean we aren't going to get anything by them. We are. We're getting this one.

Red Flags - The Bouys

Not crazy about the rawk guitar, if I'm honest, but I love the rest of it. Also, it's super-upbeat, which always makes me happy. I get why they're called "The Bouys" now, too. Most amusing.

That put a ton of interesting suggestions all down the right-hand side. It was hard to know where to go next but one title stood right out.

Canberra - Suzi

Can't really get more Australian than the name of the capital city. Suzi really brings that Australian accent to the fore, too. I wanted to check the full lyric before I said too much about the song but I can't find it on any of the usual sites. From what I can hear, though, I'm getting the feeling Suzi isn't feeling too enthusiastic about her home town. A line like "I'm never going back to Canberra" will tend to give that impression.

My next choice doesn't come from the YouTube algorithm for once. It's more of a personal suggestion from one of Suzi's band, Declan Long, the guitar player. Not that I know him personally, you understand. It's more the t-shirt he's wearing, which he helpfully doesn't change even when he's pretending to be a bartender in the video.

The t-shirt, which kinda looks like he made it himself, says "Teenage Joans". When I saw it I thought two things: 

  1. Is that the name of a band? 
  2. I really hope that's the name of a band!

It's the name of a band. And they're as good as their name suggests.

Something About Being Sixteen - Teenage Joans

I love the production on this. It's so thick. I love that guitar sound, too. I could live without yet another food fight video but at least the pastel colors make it a little less unpleasant to watch than most. 

Teenage Joans are two people, neither called Joan and pretty soon neither to be teenagers either. They've won a shedload of awards in Australia, which means no-one else on the planet has ever heard of them, I imagine. Must be hell for a musician, being so far from the center of the musical universe. Or maybe it's heaven. How would I know?

One idea for a music post that's been floating around in the shallows of my mind for a while is something about bands that use the word "Teen" or "Teenage", either in thier name or their song titles. There are plenty of them and it's a word redolent with associations, positive, negative and every other kind of tive.

If I ever get round to writing it I'm sure Teenage Joans will make another appearance and so will this next bunch, who did come up as a suggestion on YouTube.

Girl Sports - Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers

Now that's a great riff. Also, can't beat a shouted response chorus. Killer dropout, too. This is one that sounds better every time you hear it and it sounded pretty damn good the first time.

I'm guessing it's no co-incidence their name sounds so reminiscent of another (in)famously aggressive, uncompromising female-led act, the incomparable Teenage Jesus and the Jerks. Or maybe it is. 1978 was a very long time ago.

Write A Song Sounds Shit - Turpentine Babycino

While we're on the subject of band names or song titles that remind you of other band names or song titles but you're not quite sure if they're meant to... What are the chances these guys ever heard Baby Turpentine by Crazyhead? Part of the largely-forgotten Grebo scene of the late 'eighties, Crazyhead, if they're remembered at all, are probably best known for their #2 hit "What Gives You The Idea That You're So Amazing, Baby?" That's #2 on the indie charts. I don't believe they ever troubled the real Top 40.

It's not such a stretch to imagine a connection all the same. Write A Song Sounds Shit is the most pop-punk of all the tunes in this little collection but it does have something of that boho swagger Grebo tried so hard to become famous for. And if there was one thing Grebo bands understood better than almost anyone it was the value of an eyecatching title linked to an earworm of a chorus. This has both.

And finally... what's Australia best-known for? Kangaroos? Sharks? Unrealistic levels of self-confidence? No - endless sunshine, of course!

Factor 50 - Medicine Cabinet

Now that's about as unpromising a song/band name combo as you could hope to avoid, isn't it? Who calls their band "Medicine Cabinet" anyway, ffs? It reminds me of a band-naming session I once had when I was in my late teens and my friend Paul kept suggesting anything he could see around him - "The Walls", "The Floor" - presumably on the grounds it had worked out pretty well for The Doors, not to mention The Table.

It kinda works, though. I literally clicked through to see just how bad it could be and guess what? It was great! Reminds me the hell of something but I cannot for the life of me say what. Actually, several somethings, different songs in different places. It's a gestalt.

And that's all I have for now. It's enough, I reckon.

Amazon freebies tomorrow, assuming Jeff's minions have gotten their act together by then.


  1. I'd totally watch at least one episode of a 90s-style sitcom centered around The Buoys.

    1. Somehow, I kind of feel like I already have...


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