Having Abandoned Any Thought of Writing Anything of Substance Here Today, I Send You Off With a Woefully Underappreciated Australian Band

Falling Joys, “Lock It”:

Yes, of course, I have all their albums. Heck, I even have Susie Higgie’s 1998 album How Soon Will Be Tomorrow. As if I wouldn’t have that. And before you ask, I’m listening to Songs of Habit even as I type this. What do you take me for, a dilettante? Sheesh.

27 Comments on “Having Abandoned Any Thought of Writing Anything of Substance Here Today, I Send You Off With a Woefully Underappreciated Australian Band”

  1. Slightly reminiscent of the song at the end of Juno in some spots, just not crappy or annoying

  2. I always thought Icehouse was the most woefully-underappreciated Australian band.

    I still remember getting a 45 demo of theirs in early 1987, way before they broke out in the states with “Man of Colours”.

  3. *Whoa* They’re upside down!

    Men At Work get my vote for the most woefully underappreciated Australian band. When you throw in a shoutout for vegemite in your song, you take the cake!

  4. The most woefully underappreciated Australian band is Hunters & Collectors. True, they stumbled there at the end of their career, but up until then…great stuff.

  5. Oh, that was great stuff; thanks for the introduction! I’ll have to throw a few of their albums (do we still call them that?) on my Amazon list.

  6. If I google and wiki correctly, it appears to be Suzie Higgie (z not s). For the record…

    This is one I haven’t heard of before, which is odd considering how well our musical tastes appear to converge, based on your past musical postings.

    In the spirit of that, have you seen/heard Rebecca Timmons. Highly recommended.



    Sidebar: Is it better to include a bunch of links to ensure eyes, or do I just post and assume it will be read?

  7. Icehouse was from New Zealand, IIRC. Great stuff.

    The Cruel Sea, and the Swingers, two other great underappreciated Aussie bands.

  8. STOP! STOP! STOP! Enough with the unimportant video!

    The brotherhood(And sisterhood, since they went co-ed in 1992) of Ohio-based Pirates have been dispatched to your house with a plank. You will walk it.

  9. If it’s Scalzi and Australian music, how about the Divinyls – Science Fiction?

    If you’re not familiar with their work, you should check them out. Eighties, hot female singer, songs like “Pleasure and Pain”, and “I Touch Myself”, though I like Boys in Town best.

    Certainly not unappreciated in Oz, but I don’t know how well known they are outside of here.

  10. It’s a small world. I haven’t seen Suzie for many years, but we have a number of mutual friends, and I worked in a bookstore with her sister Jenny (now an artist and author in the UK) in Canberra in the late 80s.

    Since I know (or knew) Suzie, and we met briefly at the LA worldcon, John, that’s only two degrees of separation between you and The Falling Joys . . .

    You might also be aware of another relatively under-appreciated Australian band, The Gadflys, which for several years included my brother Jonathan on double bass and other instruments, and his (now) wife Kathryn on violin.

  11. Garth:

    As it happens, I actually met the band (including Suzie) when they toured the States for Wish List, because I interviewed her for the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper. She and they seemed very cool. It is indeed a small world!

  12. Icehouse is most definitely Australian. The Kiwis can not have this one. Iva Davies was born in Oz and Icehouse, originally Flowers, born in Sydney in 1977.

    Nearly all our bands are under appreciated. Aus Music Month currently on Triple J (Non commercial government funded “Youth Network”). Free streaming of Aussie musical goodness can be found here:

    The big Aus music festival, Homebake, is on in a couple of weeks. Last year the Divinyls reformed for the gig (they went off!). This year Crowded House is headlining. One of the most underrated Oz bands ever, Died Pretty, is also reforming for Homebake and The Big Day Out.

  13. Boing Boing siting of Zoe’s Tale review: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/11/12/zoes-tale-scalzis-sm.html

    I don’t recall this band, and I’m in Adelaide. Chalk it up to poor taste I guess.

    Speaking of small worlds: many, many years ago I used to play some Play-by-Mail games — I think one was called “Feudal”, and there was an SF game as well. I may be imagining it, but I’m pretty sure in one game I was in there was a “Garth Nix”. Could be wrong, it was *coughcoughcough* years ago.

  14. Is that the real Garth Nix? If it is do other authors come on here too?

    Uh, I have to be on topic to redeem this comment…uh uh…..Australian bands? Uhhhhh….Wolfmother? They just broke up and had a horrible name. They were fairly new though and I liked all (13) of their songs. Here’s a song that’s not Woman or Joker and the Thief http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZajUzLY–iQ

    They’re not really underappreciated though, for just one album they were doing pretty well.

  15. Scalzi @ 13: It is a very, very small world, indeed.

    Marty @ 15: Yes I’ve played a number of PBM games over the years, though none recently. I pretty much started my professional writing career doing stuff for RPG magazines, here in Australia, and a few things for WHITE DWARF and others in the UK. All a very long time ago.

    Matt @17: I don’t think anybody would bother to impersonate me here. But if they did, the SF/F world is smaller still, and Scalzi’s blog is read by many authors who are friends or at least acquaintances, and one of them would be bound to e-mail and say “Hey Garth, someone is pretending to be you on Whatever.”

    I read quite a few blogs though I rarely comment. But then I don’t often see posts about The Falling Joys in a SF writer’s blog . . . and I guess I am also avoiding writing. I’d better get back to it.

  16. That’s a crazy blast from the past. I busted out my copy of Psycohum just last week and got transported back to 1992. Want to talk about small world? Pat Hayes (on bass) is my uncle, from the same grandmother that gave the world Bernie Hayes (of Club Hoy and The Shouties) and Tony Hayes, AKA Stevie Plunder of The Whitlams.

    Keep on truckin’, John.

  17. Wow… much love for Australian bands in this thread. Nice to see.

    Though I guess, if you’re from Australia, none of these bands seem particularly unknown or unappreciated, but it’s all relative I guess :)

    I’d recommend The Whitlams as another underappreciated Aussie band (though not in Australia, naturally). But I’d really only recommend their first three albums up to Eternal Nightcap. And since they featured the previously mentioned Stevie Plunder (Hayes) on the first two albums, and the third (Eternal Nightcap) was written about him, it keeps in theme with the previous posts.

    Though another Aussie band to mention in this thread would be Hoodoo Gurus …

  18. Underappreciated aussie bands: What no mention of The Scientists, The Beasts of Bourbon, Crime and the City Solution, These Immortal Souls, The New Christs, Died Pretty, Lime Spiders, well I could go on, but I wont.

  19. Mark, Died Pretty got mentioned at #14. ;-)

    Totally agree about the others though too. Also got to put in a mention for Grinderman and the king of cool himself… Nick Cave.

  20. Juice Newton all grown up on valium & wellbutrin?

    after the killers (The Cure merged with Hall&Oates?) entry, I am beginning to suspect you of trying to kick start an ’80’s revival. At least go with the Ramones Aussie cousins the Lime Spiders.

    Or maybe we can talk Green Day or Smash Mouth into doing a double album cover of the Hawkwind oeuvre….

  21. “Icehouse was from New Zealand, IIRC. Great stuff.”

    you must be thinking of Crowded House; Icehouse were most definitely Aussies.

    As someone who grew up in Australia but doesn’t live there anymore, I’d say nearly all good Australian music is underrated. Only the big commercial acts make it overseas; most of the edgy or indie stuff stays local. But then, you could say that about most countries.

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