Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Two for Tuesday

Today's entry comes from down under. No, not hell, but maybe next week I'll put up some Slayer. I mean "the land down under," Australia.

There are loads of great Aussie bands in a wide variety of styles and, with a fond nod to my beloved AC/DC, most of my favorites fall into the New Wave/alternative/indie rock category. Of course the biggest in the States (and also my least favorite) is INXS, with Crowded House and Divinyls close(ish) at their heals. Ok, I definitely dislike Divinyls a lot more than INXS.

And no, I haven't forgotten the Church, you know I love them more than my mother.

A couple of Australia's "best kept secrets" were so much so that they could barely scratch out a living in their own country, though at the time they were highly praised by critics and peers, and today maintain a bold if obscure footnote in the annuls of alternative rock music, and continue to influence current music from a rippled distance.

Of course I'm referring to the Go-Betweens and the Triffids.

I won't go into the torrid ins and out of both bands, but they both put out a slew of fantastic albums that were commercially unappreciated and yet a couple of which are now heralded as some of the best music to ever come out of Australia (which is seriously saying something). Both groups wrote expressive, introspective music that was both pop catchy and yet carried a certain weight of sophistication, with the potential to relate on several levels. Doubtless the latter was both the critical focal point as well as mass popularity downfall for each act, but they both carried on regardless, progressively shaping their sound to become, arguably, more mainstream, but never losing the post punk romantic vision that got them going in the first place. By the end of the 80s, both bands had dissolved with little more than a whimper and it would take years before either, more decidedly the Go-Betweens, would receive the more financial accolades they should have enjoyed in their prime.

Regardless, the music remains all the same, and today I offer likely the best known tracks to the casual listener. For the Go-Betweens it's the bittersweet nostalgia of Cattle and Cane, and from the Triffids, the ultimate break up song, Wide Open Road.


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