Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

I took a trip to Philip Island in south-east Victoria with my brother and our dog today. It was nice, nostalgic (we used to holiday there as kids). The dog liked the sandy beach, but didn’t like the rock pools. We had delicious fish and chips at the co-op in San Remo by the bay. Visited the old Sea Captain at Rhyll, where mum’s caravan was. It was lovely and sunny. Anyway, to the pop culture point, I had to endure listening to commercial radio in the car on the way there and back (my brother’s car), and it was Baaad. We have an oldies station called Gold FM, and it would be okay if they just stuck to playing old hits, but there was the ads and the dj talk to reckon with. And those fucking cash giveaways! They called it ‘instant cash’ and boy they hammered it. Obviously they have to bribe their listeners to give them a reason for wasting their lives listening to their dj drivel, and the ads; and for a lot of people, cash will do it. On the trip back we switched to 3MMM, a mainstream/hard rock station. The music was a little more contemporary, but the blabber continued. The worst part was a thing they called their ‘Bon Jovi-oke’ segment. That’s right: they had listeners ring up and sing a bit of a Bon Jovi song, and the ‘best’ singer got a prize. It was excruciating. It’s bad enough hearing the real thing (‘we’re screaming really loud!’). Aaaah, bogan rock. Oh well, it was a good trip. Shook the cobwebs out.

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From bogan rock to something more soothing. I listened to a bit of Smile, both the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson solo versions, doing an A/B analysis. Got up to the end of Cabinessence, the first part of Smile. Besides Heroes and Villains, which the BBs do better than anyone, I’d have to say Brian’s winning. It sounds like he’s doing the album exactly the way he intended, and he really knows what he’s doing. I may change my mind as I continue with this back and forth, but I don’t think I will. Either way, it’s a treat – and I’m really loving Van Dyke Parks’ lyrics. Certain lines really stand out: like ‘what a dude’ll do in a town full of heroes and villains’ and ‘sunny down snuff I’m alright’ in Heroes and Villains, and ‘I’ll give you a home on the grange’ in Cabinessence. Clever, obscure, downright weird. Beautiful. Makes me want to listen to one of his solo albums.

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Finally, for another change of pace, I also had a listen to Aespa’s Drama album, while waiting for the new album called Armageddon. The songs You and YOLO are really sounding good to me. You, the final song, is just an exquisite ballad worthy of something Twice might do. I really like the melody change up at the 1:30 mark. YOLO is just a kickass song with a chanted chorus that sticks in my brain in a good way. Y.O.L.O. You go, ‘oh no’, we go yolo. THAT part. It’s interesting, You Only Live Once (the meaning of the acronym) is another of their existence songs, like Better Things, Life’s Too Short and Dreams Come True. Makes a nice change from all that love stuff. They’re too spicy for your heart. Now I feel properly prepared for Armageddon (yuk yuk!).

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