Bleats

You And The Nation Were Stricken With Short Stack Fever This Time In 2009

As a band, they were amazing hair models.

It seems like even longer ago, but back in 2009 Short Stack ruled the country with standy-uppy hair, flawless skin and Stack Is The New Black containing songs like… um, you can’t actually remember them, can you?

Yeah, that video really hasn’t dated well.

It’s been ten years this week since the band – singer/guitarist Shaun Diviney, bassist Andy Clemmensen and drummer Bradie Webb – released the aforementioned massive-selling and chart topping album which contained a genuinely awful title and singles like ‘Sway Sway Baby’, ‘Sweet December’ and other songs which were as international in sound as they were unmemorable in content.

But dear god, it’s easy to forget that a decade ago, they were absolutely massive.

There were honest-to-goodness riots at their TV appearances as Stackmania gripped the country, including one particularly nutso performance for Sunrise. There was even a Rolling Stone cover story, despite the critical appraisal of the band being less than entirely flattering.

And that wasn’t exactly helped by that time that Clemmenson wrote a review of a Kanye West album which was uncannily similar to one which Australian music critic Craig Matheson had just published in the Fairfact papers.

He later claimed that a friend had written the review because… um, that’s better, somehow?

The trio split suddenly in March 2012 midway through making their third album (which was eventually nudged onto digital platforms the following year as Art Vandelay) but reformed in 2015 for a sold out tour and a fourth album. And then split again.

That last split was for all the usual reasons why people in their late 20s stop doing things – travel, jobs, kids, etc – and who knows, maybe they’re reappear and OH MY GOD THEY’RE BEHIND YOU RIGHT NOW!

Still, Short Stack were pioneers in 2009. They paved the way for the likes of 5 Seconds of Summer in showing that pop-punk sensibilities could be melded into mainstream pop music, but perhaps most importantly they taught a generation of Australian men they could wear makeup and emote.

And for that, gents, we salute you. See you at the next reunion.

Look, Chance The Rapper Likes His Wife No Matter What You Reckon

Is… is this an unusual way to feel about one's spouse? Because we're on board.

Now, you might not think this is a controversial position to take but Chance The Rapper is very into his wife and has been on the internet emphasising this.

But then again, you may not have released an album called The Big Day which is all themed around your wedding. Or maybe you have; that’s information we simply do not possess.

In any case people have been throwing love-shade at Chancelor Jonathan Bennett, aka Chance (The Rapper), for expressing quite how much he adores his wife Kristen Corley (The Not The Rapper) via various memes:

And he took to Twitter to express his dislike of such disrespectful memery in no uncertain terms:

It’s a nice sentiment, but we’re still left thinking “Man, I wish the Big Day Out was still happening.”

The TL;DR version is that he loves his wife, which is nice. Although not necessarily surprising or newsworthy but hey, more power to him.

And to be fair, he and Corley had a colourful relationship including a split, a bitter custody dispute, a reconciliation and now this, so you can understand why he’d be a bit pleased where things have landed.

And look, albums that seem directed at an audience of one don’t historically do that great, as Robin Thicke discovered with his dozens-selling Paula (which, memorably, cleared 158 copies total in Australia in its debut week). So at least Chance is having a better run of it.

Eww.

And for the record: we’re delighted the Chance The Rapper likes his wife. And that he’s… um, grateful for her not having sex with him? Weird thing to celebrate, but sure, OK!

Hey, every relationship is its own country, man, with borders and regulations that look weird from outside…

An Almost Famous Musical Is Coming, Which Defeats The Movie's Entire Point

"I'm intrigued by the mysterious alchemy of music - which I shall now explain via this vocally-challenging ballad!"

Cameron Crowe has turned his semi-autobiographical 2000 movie into a musical because it’s 2019 and that’s what happens now. But… we’d like to suggest that making a musical of a film about music rather defeats the point of Almost Famous.

First things first: it’s making its stage debut in San Diego in September, Crowe’s written the libretto and the lyrics of the songs with composer Tom Kitt, and stage stars Russell Hammond and Casey Likes are in the lead roles.

But… why?

If you’ve not seen the film in a while, the plot is as follows: precocious teen falls in love with rock music after being denied it by his overprotective mother, unexpectedly goes on the road with a band for a Rolling Stone feature story, and learns all about life, love and music, if very little about actual journalism. Why do films have so few proofreading scenes, that’s what we want to know.

Also, Almost Famous (the not musical) most significant as The Movie Which Explains Why So Many People Have Unshakable Crushes On Kate Hudson, whose Penny Lane is the only character anyone can remember.

And most music-related films should be easy to take to the stage, right? We assume there’ll be loads of versions of ‘Fever Dog’. And ‘Tiny Dancer’, presumably.

OK, this bit will work in the Almost Famous musical, we accept that.

However: the reason the film is such a beloved cult classic is that it stars Patrick Fugit as Crowe’s thinly-veiled William Miller, an outsider obsessed with the magical, transformational power of music who then becomes immersed in that world and discovers the (very stylised) reality behind the facade.

Miller is a blank slate with which the audience identify, and it’s through him they enter the world of Stillwater and the life of touring musicians etcetera etcetera.

Also, the film posits a fantasy world where music press exist, have budgets and send journalists off on the road with bands. In the media of 2019, that’s less realistic than singing lions.

“Seriously, how haven’t I killed and eaten you chumps yet?”

Anyway: the problem with turning this into a musical is that it’s a bit hard for the William character to make the case that he’s an outsider to whom music is a tantalising mystery if he’s literally bursting into song the first time the audience sees him.

Almost Famous the Musical would be like a character sinking a three pointer while delivering a monologue about how basketball is a complete mystery that no-one can understand.

Mind you, maybe that’s the opening scene from Space Jam: The Arena Spectacular, which we assume will premiere in 2020. It makes at least as much sense.

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