Frenzal Rhomb guitarist, ex-Triple J presenter, media man about town and renowned nonsense-talker Lindsay ‘The Doctor’ McDougall brings his seasoned take on the latest bullshit in the music world to Music Feeds.
Fucken sellouts. How dare they. How dare triple j play Beyoncé. How dare triple j play Beyoncé!
A successful singer-songwriter who’s been making and performing music for twenty years, who writes her own songs and just put out one motherfucker of an album on her own label AND through her own music streaming service, in an era where albums are a thing of the past and most people only care about the new big thing.
How. Fucking. Dare. They.
That is probably all I need to say. But a lot of people have been sucking lemons over this, and in the words of Sara Silverman… (Yes I’m aware that the following isn’t on topic, but quoting Sara Silverman early and often is a good way to write anything.)
I worked at triple j for ten years, and while I was working there I didn’t really comment on the music we played, except to be gratingly hyperbolic about stuff that I liked. And that’s because I really liked it! I tried not to weigh into playlist conversations in public (and certainly not on social media) because we all knew that the smallest comment can be taken as the official word of the station, and sometimes become the impetus for “AN ENTIRE NEWS STORY.”
But now that I’m not working at triple j (or anywhere, for that matter. I’m so poor), I can finally spill my sordid guts on triple j’s programming. And here it is: I fucken love it.
I may not like every song. But that’s because not every song is programmed for me. I may like less songs that I hear these days but that’s because NOT EVERY SONG IS PROGRAMMED FOR ME AND I’M GETTING OLD.
triple j is a radio station mandated by the government to be for eighteen to twenty-five years olds. Not for me, OR YOU, serial triple j-hater.
“SJW feminazi marxists smdh” *clicks post* *masturbates furiously*
And seriously, don’t get me started on the people who reckon the station should be programmed by someone in that age bracket. HAVE YOU MET ANY OF THEM? They couldn’t program a video recorder (told you I was old), let alone a nationwide radio station that broadcasts to over a million people a day.
To program songs for that many different people all over a gigantic country like Australia (“and around the world if you’re listening online” – every newsreaders padding out the end of the news) takes experience, not some pimply kid who thinks because they got retweeted by Danny Brown once they know everything about music.
My time at triple j opened my ears up to artists, bands and types of music I never would have thought of listening to when I was younger, and that’s because someone older and more experienced directed the programming of it. (I don’t even need to look, I know Music Feeds have put that Seymour Skinner meme just below this paragraph.)
Anyway, back to the subject at hand, which is that of Mrs Knowles-Carter getting big triple j love. Firstly for those who ask “why now?”, it’s not the first time. A quick trip(le j) down memory lane (or the @triplejplays feed) will tell you that Crazy In Love, Drunk In Love, This Boy’s In Love* AND Who Run The World (Girls) have all been played.
And it doesn’t stop there, because triple j was there at the beginning. Sadly I can’t find internet proof of this, but Beyoncé’s old band, Destiny’s Child, were played on triple j back when Arnold Frolows was picking the tunes. You know, the good old days. Or the bad old days. Or what can pretty objectively just be called “the old days”. So if you reckon that triple j has slid way too far into the mainstream then to quote Beyoncé (who was probably quoting Eric Cartman) “Suck on my balls”.
Destiny’s Child – as played on triple j (and every Dave Callan gig for the last 5 years)
*I know it’s a Presets song but I got sucked into the rhythm.
So triple j plays The Weeknd, goes nuts over Drake and pretty much live-tweets Kanye’s every move (which they’ve done since College Dropout), but now they’re playing Beyoncé you’re all up in arms? Okay you may have been up in arms about them too, but they were also added to triple j rotation on their own merits, not because some record label sweet-talked someone up in accounts. (Trust me, I’ve been in the music library when Richard Kingsmill is talking to record label people and they’ll admit it too, no one’s sweet-talking Kingsmill.)
“But what about T-Swizzle?” You ask, using a humorous nickname to ask about Taylor Swift. Good point, so edgy. Since triple j have made the decision to play Beyoncé, they must now automatically play every pop star of a similar status. Better get ready for K-Pezzle, H-Stazzle and J-Bizzle etc… Or perhaps it’s just because triple j reckons that Lemonade is FUCKEN GOOD. Which, all things considered, it fucken is.
*’What About Me’ plays softly in the background*
What an album. Raw, personal but majestic. Jumping from hip hop to rock to RnB and even country?! Opening her heart but still opening up that amazing voice. Getting down with some legends like Jack White, James Blake, DIPLO and Kendrick Lamar, as well as a whole bunch of other musicians and producers. But mostly, getting down with herself.
Telling a big story that is resonating with people all over the world. And telling it in style. And who cares whether that story, of infidelity and marriage problems, is real or constructed for the album: it’s a ripper, and along with the blunt and heavy themes of racism and sexism, it’s another important story in the lives of all tough-as-fuck women.
Okay so the trailer’s a bit glitchy Paranormal Activity vibes. But the album’s really good!
And triple j plays heaps of amazing tough-as-fuck women. Sia, Bertie Blackman, Ngaiire, Montaigne, Abbe May, Tkay Maidza, Meg Mac, Ecca Vandal, Sampa The Great, Joy, East, Emma Louise, Missy Higgins, Sarah Blasko, fucken heaps.
Could they play more? Probably, and they are. Add Beyoncé to the list of amazing women triple j is playing because they’re amazing. And with good bloody reason. And remember, if you’ve ever yelled out All The Single Ladies, or repeated “to the left” after hearing someone say it, then you’re already a Beyoncé fan. So shoosh, and just enjoy the sweet music.