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On the radio

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Been listening to FM radio a lot.

Radio in Australia is an even bigger wasteland than it is in the States–there's even less diversity and, well, I guess it's great if you like Top 40 but if you want to hear blues or indie rock or metal you pretty much have to wait for a specialty program on one of the community or public radio stations. The government's youth radio network are still quite eclectic, but they now have playlists like everybody else and the guys who choose what gets played evidently do not have the same taste as me.

So I've been cruising the FM dial. There's a new classic rock station, which hosts Alice Cooper's show int he evening and which isn't terrible. The oldies station now plays mostly 80s rock, heavy on the Australian content. The closest we have to a modern rock station plays a lot of the lighter stuff I used to hear in Florida six or seven years ago. 

I've been hearing a lot of songs I haven't listened to since the 80s, when I was a kid. Aussie acoustic rock. Paul Kelly, the Finns, Hunters and Collectors. I wish they'd play the Church–always my favourite of thay kind of music– but for some reason they don't. I know this music pretty well, although I was never a big fan of it, and a couple of times I've sat in the car once I've arrived at my destination to hear the end of one fo these songs that I really didn't like when it was new.

This happened to me yesterday–a late 80s ballad by some Aussie band I forget the name of. "Hey, this is a pretty good song," I thought, feeling strangely nostalgic. I admit there was a bit of gooseflesh. Then I started feeling old. When the song finished and I was reaching to turn off the engine and get out of the car I heard the opening bars of the next song come on. Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit". 

And yeah, I know, it's the anthem of my generation and blah blah blah–but I never bought into that until yesterday. 

Ladies and gents, it was electrifying, coming after all of that highly-produced 80s sentimentality. No wonder it carved such a swathe through the music world. No wonder I went out and bought a god damned electric guitar. 


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