Thursday, December 22, 2005

Radio, my transmission.

A few years ago, I was watching the Beatles Anthology with my brother. I remember a moment in the story where they were up to the Ballad of John and Yoko - just shortly after the pair embarked on their famous bed-in at the Amsterdam Hilton in 1969. I can't exactly imagine it would have been the most ideal honeymoon but you know, people do all kinds of heroic deeds in the name of bed/hair/world peace.

A few days later at a press conference in Vienna, John concealed himself and his new wife with a bedsheet and revealed a new philosophy called Bagism. Its application in society was rather redundant but needless to say it struck a chord with me. According to John and Yoko, if you had something to say, Bagism allowed you to communicate your message without unfair judgement. The theory was that prejudice could be eliminated by covering your physical features and attributes, whether it be the colour of your skin, the clothes you wore, your age or even the length of your hair. That idea (and the prospect of staying in bed for a week) has always appealed to me.. and it has become a fundamental basis of my love for radio.

Eating Chocolate Cake in a Bag

As soon as I started my course at Latrobe Uni in March 2003, I started radio at SUB FM. I was thrilled at the prospect of actually broadcasting my thoughts about the music I love. I was equally startled at the irony that I could only suppress such feelings at school. In retrospect, I can't tell whether these judgemental girls feared difference or whether I feared judgement from different girls? Regardless. I shut my mouth and did what the others did.

Radio allowed me to be protected by my proverbial bedsheets and in truth, my insecurities could be washed away by the fact that I could communicate without any physical prejudice. But like any ideal, Bagism didn't work out the way it was meant to. Despite this creative freedom, I still had a frightened, unforgivingly unconfident on-air persona. Needless to say, I was, am and always will be haunted by the inability to describe the significance of "my" bands. Because occasionally, words are too patronising to describe love.

After nearly three years and eight radio shows, I'm fully prepared to present Counterfeit with Amanda this Monday night without any fear of unfair judgement. Although I will always the embrace the very fundamental ideal and intimacy of this medium, I will not shy away from the challenge of radio. I will not hide in my proverbial bedsheets.. that is, unless, of course, I'm having a bed-in.


The Decemberists - The Engine Driver
The Rakes - Terror (Extended Mix)
Depeche Mode - Barrel of a Gun (video)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

So the penny drops...

After going to a small up and coming indie night "Heads down thumbs up - Old soul music and twee indie songs", I began exploring some of the artists played and it suddenly dawned on me that Twee/ C86 and Indie Pop are all pretty much the same thing.

The penny had suddenly dropped. I now wonder how I never reached this conclusion prior to this moment of revelation that has spurred this post; it's one of those bizarre music truths taken as gospel and so happily accepted by everyone except me. I seem to have a brilliant ability to completly miss the brass tacks of musical classification despite writing about, thinking about and researching music everyday for the last 250-odd days since I started writing about music. Maybe it's because I don't actually read the interviews, spending more time flicking through the picture's in the magazines, not actually learning anything.

My musical naivity is a great example that popularised generic labels are good things for the casual music listener - they allow you to discover bands that would have past you by had common characteristic not been picked up, developed and used consistantly by music writers. It's obviously fruitless to try to describe a piece of music in writing but we can try our best. It's never going to be a flawless process but reading about music has allowed me to find out about and explore so many more bands than I'd have been able to if I was just downloading scores of mp3's so I try to do the same in my blog.

Writing about music may be like dancing about architecture but if you really loved a building and wanted to tell the world about it with the only form of communication at your disposal being a twist, loop and a swift Demi-pliƩ that whats wrong with that?