The simplest way to develop your hatred of triple j is to slowly move out of the station’s target demographic – some cultures refer to this process as “aging” – but to help you hate on triple j more effectively here’s FL’s foolproof guide to (irrationally) hating on triple j. (Note: This is an updated version of an article originally published in November 2012)
The best thing about triple j is that it’s incredibly easy to hate. It’s a strange hybrid of beast that can be redefined in so many different and gloriously hateable ways. triple j is too commercial. triple j has lost touch with its target demographic – “the kids” – by not being commercial enough. triple j plays too much hip-hop. triple j plays too much indie landfill. triple j won’t play your band if musical director Richard Kingsmill doesn’t like it. triple j has fallen from the glory days of the ‘90s. triple j insists on lowercase.
We’ve already shown you a foolproof way to hate on that other hate-able entity – festival lineups – so now we move onto the next logical target for irrational hate mongering: our national youth broadcaster.
There are many conspiracy theories about triple j but only one fact – Richard Kingsmill, Kim Jong Un and Bashar Hafez al-Assad regularly call each other to discuss the latest in cargo pants fashion and the new San Cisco tunes. (al-Assad reportedly has a crush on the drummer.)
Everyone knows that Richard Kingsmill calls all the shots at triple j from an ivory tower that is literally made from ivory. His office is at the end of a long dark corridor and making an appointment with him is about as easy as getting a table at The Fat Duck i.e. it’s actually really, really hard. Not many people know this but Richard Kingsmill selects every song played on triple j. Yes, even the unsigned grindcore you hear during graveyard shifts. He’s also responsible for The Beards.
If you’re lucky enough to land an appointment with “The King”, you have to observe these three rules: Don’t make eye contact; place your CD-R and one-sheet in a large green tub with wheels on it; and don’t under any circumstances mention The Basics unless it’s in the context of a conversation you didn’t initiate about Gotye.
Kingsmill started at triple j in 1988, which means that he’s been an authority on teenage pop, rock and slop for longer than most of his current listeners have been alive. But experience counts for nothing in a cut-throat world populated by upstarts likes Lewis McKirdy and Sam Simmons. Kingsmill is now on the wrong side of 50 and anyone that old is no longer musically relevant. The coming years are likely to be nightmarish for the music business with Dave Grohl and Trent Reznor both edging closer to the abyss of relevance. In 2018 Mike Patton, Thom Yorke, and Damon Albarn will all turn 50 and music as we know it will cease to exist.
You know what triple j really needs? It needs to re-employ all the old hosts. Sure you could listen to ex-triple j presenters over on Radio National where they’ll tell you all about neo-baroque architecture and the proposal to reduce commercial fishing quotas in the northern Murray River catchment area, but wouldn’t it be better if they did that back where they belong – back on triple j? Unlike Richard Kingsmill, ex-triple j presenters never age.
Look at your album collection – it’s 100 percent homegrown, right? Why would you listen to music from anywhere else when there’s so much good stuff produced right here? Our hard-working musicians might even be able to afford fancy truck-stop dim-sims if triple j would just ignore the rest of the world. Why listen to The Black Keys when you can listen to The Rubens? Who needs Florence + The Machine when you have Sarah Blasko? James Blake is just a pale beardless imitation of Chet Faker. Loon Lake write better songs than The Strokes. Hungry Kids of Hungary eat Vampire Weekend for breakfast. And so on.
Oh, what’s that? triple j plays over 40 percent local content when they only need to play 25. Not bloody good enough: They should play nothing but local content, except for that skip-hop rubbish. That’s crap.
As for November’s Ausmusic Month, everyone knows that’s just to fill the local content quotas they already exceed by 15 percent. Either way, Ausmusic Month is tokenistic and should be replaced by something that properly recognises our great local scene like Ausmusic Year or Ausmusic Millennium.
Your favourite band would be everyone’s favourite band if triple j was doing its job properly. They probably don’t even have a cassette deck in the triple j office, which is a shame because that’s the only format relevant music is being released on in 1984 right now. Sure, your Sunn O)))) records sound great at home on 180-gram vinyl, but there’s nothing quite like hearing it booming out of your office radio compressed to bits. That way you can assert your musical superiority when your colleagues yell out from behind their cubicle, “What the fuck is this!?” The flipside is that when triple j starts playing your favourite band that’s the moment you start hating them.
Remember when you swore to yourself that you’d never get old and complain about the music the younger generation listens too? Remember how you thought you’d be cool forever. Sadly for you the world of musical innovation peaked at the exact moment you made that promise (1998) and it’s been a struggle to remain true to your oath ever since. If you could have predicted how bad music on triple j would get once you turned 25 you never would have made that promise.
You only need to look at the quality of the entries on the inaugural Hottest 100 countdown in 1993 to see how far triple j has fallen from its glory days. In ‘93 the likes of Chaka Demus & Pliers, East 17, Ace Of Base, Apache Indian’s ‘Boom Shack-A-Lak’, Culture Beat’s ‘Mr Vain’ and Dennis Leary’s ‘Asshole’ – unarguably the finest piece of music released that year – all made it onto the countdown. Now compare that to the rubbish that triple j serves up now. Downhill my friends, downhill.
There is never enough metal. NEVER. \m/
How crap is it when you hear your own voice played back to you? Aussie hip-hop is like that except with the added bonus of old soul samples played at warp speed and lyrics about BBQs, dim-sims, and fish and chips. The lyrics are cringe-y and uncomfortable, especially when they deal with things that don’t exist in this country like racism and poverty. triple j has a three-hour show at 10pm on a Monday dedicated to this niche genre. Isn’t that enough for those backwards cap-wearing graffiti vandals?
As Robin Williams taught us in Patch Adams laughter is the best medicine. It’s a message that triple j takes very seriously delivering a life saving dose of novelty songs on their playlist every year. Without triple j we’d never have split our sides as we considered having sex with bearded men, joining the bovine revolution, chowing down on chocolate salty balls or detaching our penises. Without novelty songs the world is a sad colourless place – imagine Dr Karl’s favourite day-glo shirt, now drain all the colours from it. That’s how sad a world without novelty is.
To fund the “yoof” radio station the government traces your credit card to find out if you’ve spent any money on music in the past 12 months. If you’ve been to a gig – any gig, from a Foo Fighters stadium show to an open mic night that your cousin was singing at – then the government takes all your tax and funnels it directly into triple j. The station then uses this cash to push its sinister agenda of flooding the Australian music industry with inferior music produced by the sons and daughters of tax agents. When you look at your next paycheck focus on the tax and feed your triple j rage fire.
triple j has a monopoly on new music. The internet – phhft! Community radio – double phhft. triple j is the only way for anyone to hear new bands, but the sad reality of the situation is that triple j only plays new Australian bands so that they can manipulate what teenagers listen to and embed secret hidden messages in the songs. When you play any unearthed band backwards you can clearly hear the mantra “Bow down to the altar of the supreme being Richard Kingsmill and his minions of musical doom.” There was a time back before “The Great Change” when triple j did unearth great bands – unlike that junk they serve up today. That era peaked back in the ‘90s when they discovered The Tenants.