Here’s what I know about Australia independent of Men At Work’s “Down Under”: our seasons run opposite to one another, it’s the only continent that’s also a country, it was founded as a penal colony, INXS, Crocodile Dundee, koala bears, Steve Irwin, my friend Brittany lives there, Andrew Gaze the basketball player (he was at Seton Hall during the time period I was super into college ball). Also, there was a guy I picked up on the subway once who happened to be from Australia. And I know that New Zealand is NOT Australia. So I will not be adding Crowded House and my co-worker Shaine to this list.
Every other thing (from its place on a map to whatever the hell Vegemite is) came from the four minutes of amazingness that is Men At Work’s “Down Under”. Many other Americans agreed: “Down Under” sped to the top of the Billboard charts in early 1983. Colin Hay’s joyful ode to his homeland was the best education a 6 year old who barely knew places outside his own city could have gotten about a part of the world that’s much, much different than New York City. Just ask Paul Hogan.
Also, Vegemite looks fucking gross.
NOT QUITE FIVE STARS…
“Down Here In Hell (With You)” by Van Hunt (2004) : Van Hunt can rock, he can be funky, he can be salacious, he can be sultry…almost like some other multi-instrumentalist songwriter/producer guy from the Midwest whose name I’m conveniently forgetting right now. “Down Here In Hell” finds Van in sultry mode, using his whispery tenor to try and figure out why he enjoys fighting with his mate so much. “What would I do if things were perfect?” he asks. “Where would I go for disappointment?” Sometimes drama is fucking hot, and Van Hunt definitely makes a good case for it.