Jump onto your podcast platforms and give these a go as you sip your mojitos at the beach this summer.
One of the joys of 2022 was the embracing of music fandom and storytelling as the wave of 90s nostalgia broke. Three podcasts in particular were standouts as long-time music nerds found people just like them to rally around. Online communities like Sound As Ever led the charge, showing the world just how many people out there are still serious about their 90s music. Those of us who were at shows every night. Those of us that collected ARIA Charts. Those of us that stayed up late to watch Rage or woke up early to see the chart on Video Hits. Those of us that knew their Violetine from their Pretty Violet Stain. Or our Twenty 4 Seven from our 5, 6, 7, 8.
The pure unadulterated joy of the new 'media' that has emerged to fill the void left by disappearing blogs and street press (this illustrious publication aside of course... cough) is starting to take shape in the form of a new kind of community-driven media and we're all here for it. These three podcasts embody the spirit of the 90s, where as adults we no longer need to pretend to be cool, but can celebrate the good, the bad and the ugly of the scenes we grew up in. Jump onto your podcast platforms and give these a go as you sip your mojitos at the beach this summer.
Put together by industry stalwart Danny Yau, this podcast is unique in that it tells the story of the 90s Australian alternative music scene (whatever that means) from the perspective of an individual. Yau manages to weave well-researched histories and anecdotes about bands like Ratcat, Clouds, Died Pretty and more while also plotting the rise (and fall) of the CD, the rise (and fall) of street press, the rise (and fall) of The Big Day Out and much more. The stories are well-told, but also include personal recollections and perspectives. Yau isn't pretending this is a history book. It's a rollicking journey through the early 90s through the eyes of one man and when you've had the experience that Yau has had working in record stores, major labels, Channel V and even ARIA, you know the eyes are pretty unique. It could have become self-indulgent, but Yau's way with telling stories ensures that while his interesting perspectives spice up the narrative, they never overshadow the listener's own experiences of the time. The joy and pure love that reaches through the headphones and embraces you into a world you'd forgotten (and in some cases were never in) is a more than worthy use of both his time and yours as the listener. Season two is coming in 2023 but for now there's twelve episodes of nostalgic bliss.
FOR FANS OF: Early 90s triple j, Big Day Out, 90s indie record stores
MORE INFO: www.justace90s.com
SUPPORT IT: Patreon for just $3 a month
100% HITS VOLUME POD / POD MACHINE
The brainchild of comedian Josh Earl, best known to the music community as the host of the ill-fated Spicks and Specks reboot after the departure of Adam Hills, this duo of podcasts is a journey through the incredible 90s pop compilation series 100% Hits and Hit Machine. 100% Hits Volume Pod is available for free through wherever you get your podcasts, while Pod Machine is a Patreon subscriber only series. Anyone around for the 100% Hits Vs Hit Machine wars of the 90s knows that you're in one camp or the other and lucky for Earl's Patreon, the cool kids preferred Hit Machine (I'll fight you for it). Real music nerds will occasionally wince at the odd garbled fact and sometimes having a guest that's never heard any of the songs before can frustrate those looking for real insight, but the original idea behind the series, friends catching up and discussing music, is joyously embraced every week. Earl obviously puts a huge amount of effort into researching and if you're the kind of person who thinks they know everything, there's bound to be at least something in each episode that catches you off guard. If you want to know that Pauline Henry became a lawyer after the success of Feel Like Making Love disipated or that Greg Arnold from Things of Stone and Wood went on to play for the Geneva Jets AFL football club in Switzerland, then this duo of podcasts is tailor made for you. Then there's the additional benefit of screaming at your iPhone screen when Josh and / or the guest doesn't understand just how great Mozaic's Nothing In The World really is or that 7 Seconds by Youssou N'Dour and Neneh Cherry is actually a banger. It's a reminder of how subjective music really is and being able to celebrate your own taste as you listen along with someone who is obviously just as nerdy as you are is a rare treat. You'll find yourself hanging out for the next weekly episode, but for now you've got a LOT to catch up on.
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FOR FANS OF: Anyone who finds it fascinating that Rednex had more than one hit and anyone that wondered what ever happened to Jeremy Jordan.
MORE INFORMATION: www.joshearl.com.au
SUPPORT IT: Patreon at various tiers (Pod Machine is available to all subscribers over $7.50 a month)
CHARTBEATS: A JOURNEY THROUGH AUSSIE POP
In what when it started must have seemed like a very small niche, Chartbeats has created an amazing community of pop-lovers and this podcast focuses on the untold stories of Australian music. A lot of these interview subjects are artists that have largely been forgotten by the history books as the Australian industry likes to dwell on its guitar-rock past. Chartbeats brainchild Gavin Scott is an ex-editor of Smash Hits magazine and his leadership to enable those of us that love cheesy pop music to come out of the closet is unparalelled. The fantastic Chartbeats website has spent the last few years painstakingly going through EVERY ARIA Chart from the 80s through to 1997 (so far), taking a look at every single that entered the top 100 every week. If that sounds exciting to you, then you're probably already on the site and listening to 100% Volume Pod. A Journey Through Aussie Pop sees Scott team up with Robbie Molinari from Joy 94.9's Turn the Beat Around program. Robbie's radio and interview sensibility and encyclopaedic brain along with Gavin's deep knowledge to create a dynamic duo that knows the right questions to ask to make hour-long deep dives on artists many have forgotten essential listening.
From bigger artists like Darren Hayes and Peter Andre through to forgotten hitmakers like Euphoria, Girlfriend, Indecent Obsession and Radio Freedom, every episode is as it says on the tin- a real journey as you get to know the always surprising, often heartbreaking careers of Australian pop stars being chewed up and spat out by the 80s and 90s recorded music scene.
FOR FANS OF: Anyone who can name Melissa Tkautz's single discography or had a poster of Indecent Obsession on their wall
SUPPORT IT: Subscribe from $8 a month and get bonus content and access to the charts website