philippos42 | Three Aussie bands from a few decades ago.
OK, last day of the writing meme.
I kept meaning to do a Midnight Oil post, but I’m going to make it a post about my favorite Aussie bands. Because some of my favorite bands when I was young were from Australia.
I discovered Midnight Oil in high school. They were sort of political, kind of crabby, and I liked them. I borrowed some albums on cassette from a friend. The accents were thick, the lyrics strange. I didn’t know what all they were talking about, but that was interesting. But eventually I realized some of their songs seemed to have an environmental consciousness. So Oils were my favorite band for a while.
But Oils were the favorite band of my social conscience. At some point I stopped wanting to listen to songs that were so rooted in the real world. I was losing my will to fight for things. And I think I kind of stopped liking Peter Garrett so much for…other reasons.
I turned then to another band, that like Oils, had dense, strange lyrics, that had struck youthful me as, “music for science fiction.” That was the Church, whom I discovered with Starfish. Steve Kilbey’s voice reminded me of my own voice at that time, and it was he that actually made me think I could sing and sound OK. I like the Church, but I only have a few of their albums. As I understand it, they were more “jangle pop” before Starfish, and became rather more trance later. But I liked the odd psychedelic quality of Kilbey’s lyrics, which endured for some time, I suppose, even as their albums became more instrumental.
I lost track of their new releases for a time, and was later surprised to learn that between band albums and solo albums, Kilbey, Koppes, and Willson-Piper had been putting out about an album a year for decades. And last I knew, Steve Kilbey was doing a project where a single patron could pay him a sum of money to write a song. Out of my price range!
And of course, being in high school in that era, I also liked INXS. They weren’t my favorite, favorite band, but they had a cool sound early on. And being more commercial pop rock, it was pretty common to find other people who knew them.
Years later, INXS would have a reality show to add a new lead singer. I watched it devoutly. And in fact, they picked a younger North American, about my age, to be their lead singer for a while. Then, let’s see, I think their bassist got injured, the new lead singer had a falling out with their manager, and they stopped touring. That was years ago, I haven’t really checked up on them since.
I don’t really know much about Aussie music otherwise. I think I have the soundtrack to Young Einstein somewhere. :þ