Monday, October 13, 2003


we watched the first Love is is In The Air - stories of Australian Pop Music and a couple of minutes in knew it was going to be rather dumb. Never trust the long-winded intro or quasi overture that concludes by saying Ladies and Gentlemen we present... (Yeah yeah, we kinda get that tacit bit of the televsion contract by now)
There's always something disturbing about history done dumb. Even the history of Pop - or maybe especially so. As this review in The Australian suggests, we've all got pop songs that resonate with great moments in our lives, and we don't like to see the soundtrack or slideshow of our lives shuffled randomly or trifled with, damned with faint praise, mismatched. Maybe it doesn't always need the micro treatment of a Ken Burns - maybe Pennies From Heaven and other films of Dennis Potter catch something deeper about Pop and culture and nostalgia than a documentary, but you know when you're getting short-changed. And you want at least a glimpse of the bigger picture. Way back when boynton remembers watching All You Need is Love - and this pretty much set the benchmark for this sub genre.

Comments: pop

I saw bits of Love is in the Air when cooking dinner. It was trash.

Something to do with rock coming into the country from England then Australia exporting pop once they stopped doing covers and learnt to write songs.

Brian Cadd was the hero. He was successful overseas because he made a left turn to the USA rather than the right turn to the UK.

Nothing about the development of Australian pop culture in opposition to the snobby British high culture.

There is a story in that.
Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at October 15, 2003 09:23 PM

Yes I shouldn't have minced words,Gary. It was trash.

And maybe the dumbing-down is even more depressing when it's Pop.

There is certainly a story in the oppositional cultural wars, beyond the recycled slogans. And there are stories everywhere if they were serious about it. Get some historians onto it.

I gained more of a glimpse into the social mores from this brief story on a local history web site:
Posted by boynton at October 16, 2003 12:25 AM


yes. that's really good local history. There must be heaps of similar stuff buried in the archives.

the textures of these stories need to be woven into the glamour pop shows to show how a pop culture developed; and why it was so meaningful for so many Australians.

It was much more than muscular working class lads yelling their songs to loud guitars in the suburban pub, whose floor was covered in vomit and cigarette butts. That's the standard myth from what I can make out.
Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at October 16, 2003 01:52 PM

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