The View From Down Here #108: Scandal And Music

Football is getting to the pointy bit of the seasons. Finals are looming large. And so I shall regale you with some Australian music acts I think you should check out. Yep, it’s another view!

Australian Rules Football
AFL Round 22
Last round before the finals!
Fremantle 13.15 (93) def Carlton 13.9 (87)
Geelong 16.16 (112) def West Coast 10.8 (68)
Hawthorn 15.8 (98) def in an upset Collingwood 13.17 (95)
Adelaide 9.11 (65) def in another upset St Kilda 5.7 (37)
Brisbane 10.8 (68) def by Sydney 16.10 (106)
Western Bulldogs 17.5 (107) def Essendon 11.12 (78)
Richmond 16.16 (112) def by Port Adelaide 18.14 (122)
Melbourne 15.13 (103) def by North Melbourne 17.11 (113)
Ladder (at end of the regular season):
1. Collingwood
2. Geelong
3. St. Kilda
4. Bulldogs
5. Sydney
6. Fremantle
7. Hawthorn
8. Carlton
9. Kangaroos
10. Port Adelaide
11. Adelaide
12. Melbourne
13. Brisbane
14. Essendon
15. Richmond
16. West Coast
The first part of the much touted Ben Cousins documentary aired this week to mixed reviews. The fact he was so honest and open, as was his father, was widely applauded; the fact that he appears to have got away with a life of drugs and debauchery is a risky thing to show a bunch of teenagers who idolise their sporting heroes. Which was the right way to look at it? I really think that remains to be seen. But I think more should have been made of how much Cousins lost. Maybe in part two, but is it then too late? And who comes out of this the worst? The AFL. Their much-lauded drugs policy did not catch him. And if it had, he would not have got any help because their policy is the first time you are caught no one – not even your club, who would be in a position to help and get you back on track, or stop you going off the tracks – is told. It’s as though they want their players using drugs to fall in a heap like Cousins. Does the AFL care about player well-being? Looking at this – no.
And the first of the blood letting has occurred with Essendon coach Matthew Knights being fired and paid out of the remaining two years of his contract less than a day after their final round loss. Of course, it’s all the coach. Not the administration or the prima donna players – it’s just the coach.
SANFL Round 22
South Adelaide 5.13 (43) def by West Adelaide 12.10 (82)
North Adelaide 15.6 (96) def Woodville-West Torrens 11.11 (77)
Glenelg 15.11 (101) def Norwood 11.5 (71)
Sturt 12.14 (86) def in an upset Central Districts 10.11 (71)
Bye: Port Adelaide
None of interest.

Rugby League
NRL – Round 25
Warriors 36 hammered Brisbane 4
South Sydney 24 def Parramatta 16
Cronulla 30 def Gold Coast 16
Newcastle 18 def by St George Illawarra 26
Canberra 48 hammered North Queensland 4
Wests Tigers 26 def Melbourne 14
Sydney Roosters 30 def Manly 14
Canterbury-Bankstown 18 def by Penrith 24
Rugby League… is everyone involved in the sport trying to kill it? Now there is an investigation into some large, anomalous bets placed before a game last weekend. I won’t mention anyone involved because the examination is still under way (even though I’m not media, I am still wary of the increasingly litigious nature of Australia – thanks for that, America – and the fact the NRL seem to have lawyers on tap), but it does seem like some one is panicking. The whole thing centres on a penalty. But surely that would mean, to get to that point, the whole game was set up. No, things don’t work that way with these thick-necked Neanderthals. But by making this public and giving those who raised these allegations something to hang their hat on, rugby officials are just making things worse. Sure, investigate if you must, but to make it so damn public is just crapping in your own nest. And that is something the NRL is becoming increasingly good at.
Oh, and another group of league players had a drunken rampage through the suburbs; this time the players were allegedly from St George-Illawarra and the venue was a KFC outlet. The club is denying it was out of control, complaints were made, people are investigating… just another week in rugby league. Nest, crap… you know the drill.

No results, but some HUGE news. It appears that the entire (or near to it) Pakistani cricket team has been caught out taking bribes to throw matches, get no balls at specific times, score a certain amount of runs. The only proof, sure, is a sting arranged by a London media outlet, but this casts yet another shadow over the entire world of cricket. Having said that, you cannot really blame the Pakistanis for feathering their nests when they have the opportunity. They roam the world playing cricket, unable to play in their own country because no other team will go there, getting paid maybe by their own administration. When an opportunity like this comes up given their circumstances, which of us really could look at it and take the high moral ground and say we would never, ever do anything like that? The problem is the power of the subcontinent over world cricket has meant that this will keep on going on because Indian cricket is run by gambling money and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan are virtually behoven to India for everything they have. So who do we blame? India. Simple.

A-League Round 4
Brisbane Roar 1 def Wellington Phoenix FC 0
North Queensland Fury 2 def by Adelaide United 3
Sydney 1 drew with Central Coast Mariners 1
Gold Coast United 0 def by Melbourne Victory 1
Melbourne Heart 2 drew with Perth Glory 2
Nothing to keep awake for.

International Test
Australia 48 def New Zealand 43 (in a damn entertaining game)
A rule change has come into effect for all games… to start from the first Australia-New Zealand test. The new rule states that coaches can now coach during stoppages and intervals. So what? you may ask. Well, at least something happened!

Other Sport
Rugby Union
South Africa 44 def Australia 31
Formula One
Belgian Grand Prix
1st Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes)
2nd Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing-Renault)
3rd Robert Kubica (Renault)

I’m not going to talk about the continuing state of our so-called elected leaders. The politics of this country is so puerile that my local high school’s debating team could do a better job. And cheaper too.
No, this week, let’s look at some music.
Australia is renowned for its rock and roll bands. Which is odd in a way because the first synthesiser was actually invented in this country, and two of our biggest selling groups are the Hilltop Hoods, a rap trio, and the Wiggles, who play for children, our biggest selling female artists is pop diva Kylie Minogue, and our biggest selling band of the 60s was The Seekers, a folk trio (the Australian Peter, Paul and Mary, if you will). However, you only have to look at bands like AC/DC, INXS, and The Easybeats – Australian bands which have made it big overseas over the past decades – to see where what is considered Australia’s modern musical heritage.
And to that end, let me introduce you to five Australian bands that I feel – if you like classic rock – you should check out.
First is Cold Chisel. Fronted by Jimmy Barnes – a legitimate solo star ever since, starting with his classic anthem ‘Working Class Man’ – and with underrated guitarist Ian Moss on lead, this band epitomised what Australian pub rock was in the late 1970s, early 1980s. Their rocking sound was not too hard, played easily on radio, and had sing along choruses every drunk knows at three in the morning. Get the hits on Chisel […1610&sr=8-1 ].
Next up, try Skyhooks. Australian glam rock from the 1970s (spotted with a few sporadic comeback albums until the death of lead singer Shirley Strachan in a helicopter accident), they still have the distinction of having the most songs banned from commercial radio in Australia. Good pub rock, with that OTT touch that marks them as something different. Get the hits on The Latest And Greatest […1877&sr=1-5 ]. (Although the only place to find their classic ‘Why Dontacha All Get F*cked’ is on Live! Be In It, also available through Amazon.)
Then have a go at Noiseworks. A 1980s pop-rock band whose song ‘Hot Chilli Woman’ deserved to be more of an international success than it was, they still have that 80s sound (albeit with an edgier feel) with some great guitar work and a fantastic lead singer in Jon Stevens. Get the hits on Greatest Hits […4024&sr=1-1 ].
Fourth, try The Black Sorrows. Blues/folk based rock with catchy hooks and tunes, led by Joe Camilleri, they are a band that you could not avoid in the late 1980s, early 1990s. Get the hits on Essential […4170&sr=1-3 ].
And finally, Powderfinger. From the 1990s through to their break-up earlier this year, they are the latest in a long line of rock acts. Led by Bernand Fanning, their songs are well structured and all of their albums are worth trying. They have not yet released a definitive hits album, but most of their output is still available […4457&sr=1-8 ].
Some Australian rock music to keep you going. Hope you all enjoy.

And that’s the View through to August 30

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,