Oh dear. As an Englishman I’ve clearly got enough to worry about myself without casting pity on other nations, but Australia haven’t really had the greatest World Cup, have they? Not only were they torn to shreds by Germany in their opening fixture, and not only have they collected two red cards to key players already, but they’ve also has to suffer an embarrassing rift between journalist Michael Cockerill and the permanently injured Harry Kewell, which has left Kewell looking just a little stupid (Cokerill asked Kewell to ‘actually DO something’ against Ghana, and Kewell promptly got himself sent off for a senseless handball), and left Lucas Neill reduced to announcing that actually, they’re not whingers and bottlers. What’s more, after New Zealand’s heroics against Italy, the Socceroos now face the very real prospect of going out of the tournament having been outplayed and outscored by their bitterest rivals. Still, some tunes might help, eh?
Everybody with ears knows about the major Australian acts, so there’s not really much anybody will get out of their videos being posted here, but just for the sake of the people who will undoubtedly complain anyway, here they are: AC/DC, Crowded House, Nick Cave, The Saints, Kylie Minogue, The Go-Betweens, Natalie Imbruglia, Bee Gees, The Avalanches, INXS, The Church, The Triffids, Sia, You Am I, The Vines, Hilltop Hoods, whatever Luke Steele is pretending to be this week, Silverchair, Wolfmother. We cool? We cool. Actually, there is one I neglected to mention there, in the shape of Dead Can Dance – a band I feel are talked about far too often and actually listened to far too little. In the Realm of a Dying Sun could lay legitimate claim to being the best Australian album of all time, and quite why it only has 64 ratings on here at the moment is a mystery. By way of comparison, the least-rated AC/DC album has got 88.
Remaining in the field of experimental rock for now, Australia can also boast the talents of Dirty Three. They’re a big name within post-rock circles but have never really broken out of that in the same way that the likes of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Sigur Ros, or Explosions in the Sky have. Perhaps it’s because their music owes as much to slowcore as it does to Talk Talk, or perhaps it’s because their lead instrument is a violin, or perhaps it’s because the devotion to the nautical concept of Ocean Songs is a little too single-minded; whatever the reason, they’re one of the few acts left in the internet age who are stars of their genre, but remain overlooked elsewhere.
Of course, with so many Australian users here, and so much in the way of world-famous Australian music, it’s only fair that I treat them the same way I treated the USA, and post some notable folk music from the area. In this case, that mean some Aboriginal sounds. Unfortunately, a lot of the documented music from the nation never really made it to the recording era, so pickings are slim when it comes to actually finding the stuff; you can expect to find 10 half-assed, diluted imitations for every moment to clarity. Richard Walley is a fairly reliable name, mind – a man whose academic achievements are as impressive and important as his musical ones, he has been a relentless campaigner for aboriginal rights and a respected authority on the culture and the music of the region for decades.