October 14, 2002

Heard them through the Grapevine

The world's best publicist has kept up her/his strike rate with yet another Vines article in the Fairfax press. All the elements are in place:

  • "Rock is back" insight.

  • Strokes, Hives and White Stripes name check.

  • "Little-known in Australia but popular in UK" inside tip.

  • "Australian radio is safe-bet city and new stuff never gets played" political claim.

So what's the deal? Are they having trouble shifting units? Did they get the album release timing wrong and run into competing release problems? Are they trying to build the buzz ahead of a local tour?

A less cynical take would be that they're just smart operators and have studied Australian pop history pretty well. The key lesson appears to be that if you want to make it big overseas, don't start here. You start in your target market, perform modestly well, and market back to Australia with much better bite because you have the cachet of overseas success (however modestly defined). Silverchair is a better model than the Saints.

posted on October 14, 2002 at 09:33 AM by darren.

What had me curious was the accountant father from the Vynes of the 60's, from which the Vines took their name. He probably suggested exactly the route you've outlined. Maybe Aus DJ's made the connection and decided to blackban daddies' protege on account of some old vendetta ;-)

posted on October 14, 2002 5:51 PM by dave.

what about the up and coming Datsuns and that ol' time honored tradtion of claiming them successful kiwis as our own... I'm just glad, however hollow that record industry spin doctoring is, corporate ROCK is back in town, baby!

posted on October 17, 2002 9:41 AM by Chister.

yeah, but what's /next/ ?

posted on October 17, 2002 11:03 AM by cos.

As in what do we think will come or what do we hope will come? If we follow that hopeless pinko Edward Said, our current bout of insanity will both Westernise Islam and Islamise the West. Ideally, I'd like to see French Muslim hip hop, using Sufi and Moroccan loops over East Coast rock steady beats, take over the radio. You can see it coming in the way the Wu Tang are using samples as drones rather than stabs.

I think there's a heap to be done with those old Sufi folk tunes. A sketch for an Islamo-punk might start with comparing the use of the harmonic in Sufi music and Sonic Youth's paired/octaved harmonic tunings, and welding it to some smart sequencer work.

More likely though, the wheel will turn back towards horn-driven soul.

posted on October 17, 2002 11:13 AM by darren.

Ah. Perhaps you oughta try Muslimgauze, then.


(RIP Bryn Jones)

posted on October 17, 2002 4:43 PM by cos.

Thought you might come back with old Bryn. I'm thinking of something a little more ragged.

posted on October 21, 2002 9:39 AM by darren.
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