A music selection with liner notes
and album cover art by JOSH DURHAM.
I’m Dead but I Don’t Know it
The story of a performer who has lost his audience and doesn’t know it — for Kevin Rudd of course. Will be a party sing-a-long in most Coalition households (sample lyric: ‘Why do I go on and on and on and on and on and on’) with a call and response section (‘You’re DEAD!‘). From the album Bad Love which includes the wonderful ‘The World Isn’t Fair’ which takes a look at the world through the eyes of Karl Marx and Doug Cameron.
The Rolling Stones:
Street Fighting Man
For the Boxing Blue Tony Abbott — no knockout punch, but a steady stream of jabs and kicks to the guts have wearied many an opponent and the scrapper looks set to take the crown. ‘Grit’ is this song in a word — it’s dirty in the streets and the unsettling, urgent guitar, and thundering offbeat drums a create a reasonable musical approximation of the Abbott persona. The Rolling Stones were the ultimate ‘gang’ band — with that same sense of danger and menace as the Coalition team on the front of the ‘Real Solutions’ brochure. Only the Coalition MEAN it, and Jagger was just a wuss.
Joe Hockey lead singer of the Commission of Audits, a Canberra-based rock trio (Andrew Robb on drums, Mathias Cormann on bass) uses this post-grunge classic as a soundcheck loosener. Hockey apparently struggles with the trademark J Mascis solo — of which there are two absolute shredders. Robb jokes “he’s always complaining his amp doesn’t go to eleventy!” and we all roll around laughing.
Headin’ for the Top Now
‘I’m Waiting for the Man’ by the Velvet Underground rewritten for the Aspirational Voter. Rather than hanging out to buy amphetamines they are hanging out at auctions bidding on property. They bought the low tax trickle down economic message and will vote accordingly. They’ll also binge on middle class welfare to fuel the next high. But why does Jason Pierce sing it with such weariness? Surely he believes it? The nagging two fingered piano that never breaks into a flourish even after 8 minutes. Government debt is the problem apparently, while our suburbs drown in private debt and family breakdown. Put this on at 4 am if you’re still up and want to clear the room.
The Other Woman
‘The other woman is perfect where her rival fails.’ Life-long Liberal votes Labor citing NBN for his dalliance. A beautiful ballad and fav of Malcolm Turnbull. Nina Simone delivers a superb, frosty performance — a master class in vocal restraint and control. Remember though, three years is a short time in politics and ‘the other woman will never have his love to keep…’
Eddie Current Suppression Ring:
Which Way to Go
Undecided who to vote for? Give this a try! Won’t help you at all politically, but its a cracking three minute pop punk blast played by a Melbourne combo with a strong post punk/garage pedigree and the capability to make well-drilled seem like slap dash and vice versa.
‘I want you to know he’s not coming back,’ Thom Yorke croons but all I hear is Bill Shorten, or maybe Tanya Plibersek. From Amnesiac — a stop gap album of odds and sods brought out with haste after the electronic chill of Kid A. The beautiful gently chiming, cascading guitars of Jonny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien suggest more stealth and cloak’n’dagger than a public bloodbath. Post election ALP — gutted, hollowed out, packed quietly and efficiently into body bags at night to the tune of the best R.E.M. song R.E.M. never wrote.
The World’ll Be Ok
To bring comfort to the Greens voter sitting in the corner trying to reconcile Direct Action and the end of Australia’s Marine Parks. Teenage Fanclub are in fine form on this track — the honeyed vocals and reassuringly persistent motorik rhythms are enough to soothe the saddest of green hearts. Joined by a Labor wet who suggests that perhaps she (the Greens voter) should stop sulking and if the Greens had supported the first ETS when Turnbull was in power Abbott may never have happened, at which point the Green sculls a bottle of Yuckult, spits it in his face and says ‘that’s for your PNG solution!’
Townes van Zandt:
You are Not Needed Now
In the unexpected event of Sophie Mirabella losing the seat of Indi to Independent Cathy McGowan many may chose to dust off this old chestnut. More a polite tap on the shoulder than a kick in the pants, the song marries a gentle chug with a quiet grace and at its heart is the aural equivalent of being smothered with a pillow (not that we wish ANYTHING like that upon dearest Sophie).
Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved
Sheik your tail feather. Or at least Like it on Facebook. An ode to youthful activism. James Brown delivers a two minute energy-packed slice of funk that’s addictive enough to drag even the most political weary Gen Y away from their mobile phone unless they have it as a ring tone. From the appropriately leftist sounding 1971 live album Love Power Peace. That’s not to say Young Liberals do not have the same righteous enthusiasm, but it’s much harder to soundtrack a Free Trade Agreement than Saving Pandas — especially with many now factionally aligned to morose Canadian band, The Tea Party.
Guest writer: Josh Durham is a graphic designer who wishes he was old enough to have worked for Blue Note Records in the 60s. He is also a music obsessive and political tragic in that order.