5 highlights that remind me 2016 wasn't all bad
It has been a weird year. With the loss of two musical greats, Bowie and Prince, it’s been hard to find the light amongst the dark.
So now, in an attempt to end the year on a positive note, here are a few things that I’ll remember fondly about 2016.
Our collective, lounge room singalong
Twenty years after that legendary Crowded House gig at the Sydney Opera House, they did it all again, and it was broadcast all across Australia on ABC TV and Double J.
What a wonderful moment in Australian history to have what seemed like most of the country singing along in their lounge rooms to the band’s much loved songs.
Here’s hoping it’s the first of many national musical bonding moments in the future.
Interviewing Iggy Pop at midnight on a Saturday
There aren’t many folk I’d go to work at midnight for on a Saturday night, other than the great man Iggy Pop.
When I mildly chastised him for the time and date, he responded as only Iggy Pop could. “Well it’s pretty fucking early here too.”
As well, this year saw the introduction of Iggy’s cockatoo’s Instagram, Biggy Pop. The Kardashians should be shaking in their shoes.
Watching old farts play rock’n’roll in the desert
I was a little worried about attending what was affectionately known as Oldchella, the Desert Trip Festival, featuring The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Neil Young and Bob Dylan in the Coachella Valley in the US.
I thought the dude rock fest could be fun, but possibly a depressing retro fest that would serve to baby feed the masses in the worst possible musical way.
Fortunately, all artists gave it their all and it felt like a celebration of their longevity and talent rather than the latter. Would go again.
My new favourite festival: Barunga in Central Australia
Want a life changing experience? Head to Barunga Festival, five hours south of Darwin in the indigenous community of Barunga.
Here, I overcame my hatred of camping festivals and had my mind blown about what a festival could be. I heard bush bands from all over the Territory that I’d never seen before, and in the daytime, enjoyed local tours, watched basketball and footy and participated in damper making, basket weaving and spear making.
The entire weekend was booze free too which I thought I could never do. I’ll be back.
Women got woke
It was undoubtedly the year of female artists.
It was the year when those reticent to acknowledge the creative genius of R&B/pop sensation Beyonce had to reassess after she released one of the most interesting feminist documents/art project of the year.
As well, Madonna used her Billboard Woman of the Year speech to criticise those who have mistreated in a sexist music industry that has different rules for men and women.
It’s exciting times that will see us all reassess what is right and good as we begin to look at old structures with new eyes.