Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.WITH each year that passes, Inotice a couple ofnew lines on my face.
I can feelthat my skin isn’t quite as springy as it once was, and realise that severalbody partspoint just a little further south than they once did.
But nothing makes me notice the passing years quite as much as the annual Triple JHottest 100 each Australia Day.
The youth radio station has been airing the public-voted music countdown for as long as I can remember, and for as long as I can remember, it has provided the soundtrack for everyAustralia Day barbecueI have attended.
I used to relish the excitement of finding out which songs made the top 10, and I even enjoyed witnessing the heated debates about who was robbed, who was undeserving, and whether the countdown was getting “too mainstream” afterwards, as pretentious and wankyas they oftenwere.
But bit by bit, year by year, I began to know fewer and fewer songs.
And bit by bit, year by year, I graduallystopped caring.
I was in denial for awhile.
There weretimes a friend might haverolled hereyes when a song came on, and said: “Oh gawd, I am so sick of this one! They play it all the time!” And my response wasalong the lines of: “Pffffft…uhh-yeah!” When really, I had never, not once, heard the song in my whole entire life.
It was about then that I suspect Istarted toresembleDr Evil in one of theAustin Powersmovies, the part wherehe cries: “I’m hip! I’m cool!” while jerking his arms and swirling his hips in an awkward version ofthe circa-1994Macarenadance.
It’s not that I don’tlike “young people’s music.”I still think it incredibly admirable that Triple J gives so much air time to young up-and-comers having a go at making it in such an enormousindustry.
And wheneversomeone pointed me in the direction of something new and great, Ilovedit.But I was getting older, and Triple Jis ultimately aimed at people now younger than I.
No room for cool: The music of The Wiggles has replaced anything remotely hip and cool in this reporter’s music playlist.
ThenI had children, and somehow, they seemed to absorb what little passion I had left for discovering the next moderately big thing on the independentmusic scene.That was instead gifted to The Wiggles and the songs fromFrozen, with whichI have become achinglyfamiliar.
I may not know who Childish Gambino is, but I can“Do The Propeller”like a boss.
In the fatigue of those early years, I’d find myself channel surfing to find something “peppy”, or something I already knew the words to so as not to nod off.It just so happened that every time I flicked overto Triple J, I’d land on another mid-tempo alternative indie rock number that was the equivalent of a lullabye tomy sleep-deprived self.
I craved the upbeat and familiar, and the more I supped from that cup, the more out of touch with what the cool kids were listening to I became.
As friends began posting their top 10 picks for this year’s Hottest 100 on social media, the only ones I recognisedwere the ones the commercial radio stations have kindly spoon-fed me.The sameones the diehards will no doubt be up in arms about appearing in the countdown for being“too mainstream eh bro. Whata joke!”
But in letting go of trying to be a cool kid when I am clearly not and really never have been, I now feel comfortable enough to admit to some of my daggier music choices. I’ve stopped calling them “guilty pleasures”. Nowthey are simply“pleasures,” to be enjoyedloudly andproudly.