David Meagher (Content Production Development Assistant) kicks off a discussion about many an Australian’s fantasy – to program ABC’s rage.
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be in the audience of ACMI’s Live in the Studio, which featured a special on ABC’s music show rage. Speakers on the night were award-winning music video director Sarah-Jane Woulahan, rage producer/programmer team Sophie Zoellner and Madeline Palmer, and comedian and documentarian John Safran. One of the highlights of the night for me was hearing Madeline talk about some of her more interesting moments with Saturday night guest presenters, such as an awkward encounter with Xavier Rudd, and dealing with an extremely hungover (i.e. bucket at the ready) band The Kills. Ah rock stars: always drinking to excess…
But it did get me thinking a thought I have had many times over the years, since I experienced my very first rage way back in 1990. I was in year 7 at a slumber party. We made a boy wet his bed while he slept by placing one of his fingers in a cup of warm water… but I digress.
So many Saturday nights have I stayed up ’til all hours, making lists in my head of what my rage set-list would be comprised of. Would I go for a theme? Would it be chronological or era-based? Would I play songs that I wanted to hear, or try to educate my audience with songs I think they should hear? Would I choose videos that were brilliant and engaging, even though I found the music boring and annoying (and vice versa)? So many questions.
Alas, most of us will never get the chance to program rage. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still let others know what we would play, if we were given the chance. So I put it to you ACMI readers: If you were given the opportunity to sit on the red couch and present to the world your selection, what would be your top three rage videos and why?
Three videos. Three reasons (or more, if so inclined)
I’ll get you started…
SONG: Six Months in a Leaky Boat
ARTIST: Split Enz
WHY?: The very first music video I can remember – and my first realisation that music can be scary, beautiful, enchanting and humorous all at the same time!
SONG: Cheap Wine
ARTIST: Cold Chisel
WHY?: I grew up in the outer suburbs of Melbourne and have 3 older brothers – Chisel was inescapable. I’ve shunned this band for most of my teenage and adult life but i’ll come clean to you good people now: I am a Chisel fan. There. It’s been said. Let’s move on.
ARTIST: Johnny Cash
WHY?: A friend of mine says the older you get, the more you warm to country music. I tend to agree. It also helps when your father plays it every Saturday morning of your childhood… Talking about old – sheesh! This video really captures the whole life and death thing. Brings me to tears nearly everytime. RIP JC.
SONG: House of Cards
WHY?: This band continues to evolve, with each evolution more exciting than the last. What I particularly love about them is the effort they make in taking their videos to interesting places. No cameras were used in the making of this video. Fantastic.
SONG: The Scientist
WHY?: Ok, so I’ll admit Chris Martin is slightly annoying and wants to be Bono, with all his moral crusading and international charity hoo-haa, but this is a well-executed video. Song is nice too. Always wear you seatbelt kids – even when on a countryside love holiday!
SONG: Wake Up
ARTIST: Eskimo Joe
WHY?: It’s such a simple concept for a video and it makes me smile everytime.
SONG: My Hero
ARTIST: Foo Fighters
WHY?: These guys made great videos back in their early days. I’m not a big fan of seeing a band performing in a video, but when it’s in a burning house with a poor, faceless hero saving everyone and everthing around them – I can work with that.
SONG: November Rain
ARTIST: Guns N’ Roses
WHY?: A wedding. A mini-skirt wedding dress. A guitar solo in front of a church in the desert shot from a helicopter? Show me production values used today that match those used in this clip and I’ll eat my hat. A question for die-hard fans (or anyone for that matter): How does wifey die? Surely there’s a large part of the storyline missing there?
ARTIST: Duran Duran
WHY?: If I could travel in time, one of the places I would choose to go would be a Duran Duran video shoot in the early ’80s.
SONG: Brown Paper Bag
ARTIST: Roni Size
WHY?: Yes yes video nerds, I know how they done it too. It still messes with my mind though.
Ok and over to you. The floor is yours.