Are You F’ing Kidding Me?!
Warning: I’m gonna cuss. So’s Ms. Miller-Heidke. Cover your children’s eyes and ears. Maybe the cat’s, too.
My parents were born in 1949 and 1951; they are Boomers. Like, hardcore Boomers. Dirty hippies, the both of ’em! (Actually they’re pretty well-groomed.) Growing up I heard a lot about the Age of the Boomers (or Aquarius). A lot. Like, a whole hell of a lot. Ugh, soooo much. The fucking 60s hung over my head like an apple just out of reach, but which managed to keep hitting me in the head anyway.
When I was finally old enough to do something about it, I rebelled against the 60s and everything they stood for… by doing drugs and going to protests. Probably in a Hendrix t-shirt. OK, so I’m not very good at rebelling. But fuck it, I felt really apathetic while I did drugs and went to protests, so take that, 60s!
Why am I telling you this? Like I need a reason to talk about myself. Come on, don’t ask silly questions.
Actually, I do have a reason. One day not so long ago, while I was wandering aimlessly around the web in a decidedly non-60s way, I stumbled upon this:
“The sixties were 50 years ago, you know? Get over it!” Yes! Yes, yes, yes! A thousand times yes! Fucking yes! (I told you I was going to cuss.) This may be the best Gen-X theme song ever:
Are you alright?
Are you okay?
You got your health?
You know the way?
You know your limit?
Are you the man?
Pretty much, pretty much.
I’m not gonna be polite anymore
Cause everybody’s got bad manners.
I’m not gonna make any plans anymore
Cause the works are full of spanners.
I’m not gonna meditate anymore
The revolution is off the agenda.
I’m a baby boomer’s daughter
And I’m never gonna reach nirvana.
Also, what the hell? Was she opera singing? On Congress Avenue? Yes she was, and I was in love — in a purely Platonic, music-fan sort of way.
So who is this Kate Miller-Heidke, and how does she understand me so well*? Turns out she’s a classically-trained (aren’t they all) song-writer from Australia, some placed called Brisbon, but spelled Brisbane (not as bad as Wuster, spelled Worcester). And she’s really talented. Plus, and this may be her most important trait (other than getting me), she has a sense of humor:
If there’s one thing I find really annoying about Boomers, it’s that they take them self soooooooo seriously, and think that their time was soooooooo important, what with its major advances in Civil Rights and ending the Vietnam War (in the 70s, damn they were slow; No Politics!). So I definitely appreciate artists who don’t take themselves too seriously.
That doesn’t mean she can’t be serious, of course. And it’s beautiful when she is:
Sometimes really serious:
But most of the time, ya just want to have fun, right?
If that doesn’t do it for you, try rocking, with the same song:
Or all accoustic-y:
These three versions are so different that I don’t feel at all bad posting all of them.
That guy killing it on the guitar, by the way, is her husband Keir Nuttal, also Australian, though he doesn’t do opera. He’s got his own band called Transport, with a sound straight out of the 90s, which weren’t the 60s, so that’s cool:
Anyway, I like his wife better:
So, how much do you hate the 60s and Boomers? Got any good Generation X theme songs? Pop songs with opera singing?
You can see a lot more of K-M-H and her husband, including an interview, here.
*Adorno, in his writings about music, talks about how one of the ways we fetishize music is by thinking mass-produced music is speaking to us, individually, but Adorno was really popular among intellectuals in the 60s, so screw him!