i wish life could be - The I-94 Bar
I Wish Life Could Be… - Swedish Magazines (Rubber Records)
Underground rock on Australia’s East Coast really needed a well-organised interstate exchange program in the 2000s.
Despite a smoothed-out Hume Highway between Melbourne and Sydney making long-haul road-trips safer and a flood of cheap airfares, the flow of bands between the two big smokes slowed, largely in part to Sydney’s declining number of live music venues.
After all, bands can’t do reciprocal deals to play in each other’s cities if one hometown has 20 venues and the other has four. If the balance had been more equitable and audiences less fragmented, it’s a fair bet that Melbourne’s Swedish Magazines would have household names across the nation in the mid-00s and not juist in Melbourne.
+ Thee Cha Cha Chas
Old Bar, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Friday, 3 December 2021
When Nick Carraway suggests the impossibility of recreating the past, F Scott Fitzgerald’s nouveu-riche protagonist Jay Gatsby is incredulous. “Can’t recreate the past? Why of course you can!” Gatsby, of course, is wrong. The past, as vivid and real as it may seem to us, cannot be dialled up like an old movie on the latest streaming service. At best there are flashes of lived experience, memories that loom large in consciousness, recollections skewed and exaggerated.
I can’t remember exactly when I first saw the Swedish Magazines. Probably about 2003 or so, I think, in a world that seems quaint by comparison to today. Van and Cal Walker had already been in Melbourne for a couple of years or so. They’d been noticed by the right people around town, if not the people with the money and connections to catapult them down the road of commercial success.