Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Where Women Glow and Men Chunder

Is it wrong to plan a trip around music? Probably not—I’m sure there are worse reasons to travel. It may, however, be wrong to base your entire concept of a nation’s identity on its pop music.

But I have. I’ve been obsessed with Australia ever since Men at Work introduced me to “The Land Down Under” when I was in junior high school. Then there was Crowded house, INXS, ACDC (initials were big in the 80s, weren’t they?), Midnight Oil, and a long string of other Aussies culminating in Xavier Rudd and the Waifs. I even like Olivia Newton John, just because she has that great accent.

Lately I’ve been taken with a song I keep hearing on KFOG. They’re not good with group names on that station, but I finally listened long enough to discover that it’s a song called “Sly,” by the Cat Empire. They’re from Melbourne. I don’t know much about them, but I know that the song has two of the four elements that to me, ensure musical perfection: It’s catchy, and the band looks like it’s having a lot of fun doing what it does. (The other two essential elements are a lapse into “Sha la las” or other nonsense lyrics, and exotic place names. A song can still be really good with less than the full complement, though.)

All this is a long way of saying that Australia just bumped up several more places on my list of countries I really want to visit. As I’ve said before, I really do want to visit all of them, but realistically, there are some I want to see more than others, and Australia is definitely top five. I don’t know when it will happen, but someday I will get there.

And I’m bringing a tape recorder with me.


Don Clausing said...

And then there's vegamite. No worries?

Nicole said...

Vegemite actually worries me a great deal. I'm just going to have to be brave, though. I probably won't have to eat it every day, right?