Rage remains one of the most important public services our ABC provides. Not only does it keep us company in the lonely hours as we try to get through as many glasses of water as we’ve had standard drinks—it’s there when we wake up again, confirming that we’re as old as we feel with its often-bewildering but always-fascinating ARIA Top 50.
I usually check in at about #20, depending on how many glasses of water I’ve had. Since I don’t do a lot of driving it’s really my only opportunity to keep up with what The Kids are listening to. And of course all the Old Geezers hate The Kids’ music so I won’t go on about it—I mean, everyone hates the Top 50, don’t they? (In my day, it was called the Top 40, and we all hated it as soon as we were cool enough.) Except that I will say that I hate R&B more than most other things in the universe, not least because it appears to disclose neither R nor B. I wish it were called something else.
No, what I find really interesting is how much of the Kids’ music is just recycled Geezer gear. Of course a fair chunk of this is due to the ominous rise of the Australian Idol alumni (I can’t link to that, either). This morning at #33 we have Paulini covering Jeff Healey’s Angel Eyes; at #22 is Cosima with Cold Chisel’s When the War is Over, and I don’t think anyone’s recovered from Shannon Noll’s slavish but soul-destroying retread of Moving Pictures’ What About Me? (apparently the famous corner shop was in Annandale, not in bloody Condobolin).
But it’s not just them. The first thing I ran up against this morning, at #17, was a version of Belinda Carlisle’s Summer Rain, performed by a trio of Russian hookers called Slinkee Minx (who are in fact from Melbourne and are not, as far as I know, involved in the sex industry). Geezers of my vintage will know that Carlisle (real name: Kurczesky or possibly Kurchinski) sang in 1980s girl-group The Go-gos, whose big hit Our Lips are Sealed (popular mondegreen, and name of Spiderbait’s cover: Alex the Seal) was—wouldn’t you know it—next up at #16, as brutalised by tween sensation Hilary Duff and her sister. Who would have thought back then that the Femme Fab Five would cast such a long shadow? Was any of this stuff really so good the first time round?
Anyway, Jessica Simpson scrapes into the charts with Berlin’s Take my Breath Away, Duran Duran is back in its own right with (Reach Up For The) Sunrise—how 80s are those parentheses?—and JC Chasez has a new track called All Day Long I Dream About Sex, clearly based on what everyone in my high school knew the name of the popular running shoe stood for, with an extraneous “L” dropped in, doubtless for legal reasons.
I do like spunky Melbourne singer/songwriter (shock!) and Unearthed find Missy Higgins and her very hooky Scar. I reckon she could teach Slinkee Minx a thing or two. Guy Sebastian doesn’t like her, though.
I’m still watching, and here’s Britney Spears with hairstyle-trailblazer-and-Whitney-Houston-abuser Bobby Brown’s My Prerogative… but I think we’ve all got the idea.