Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder?
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover.
If the above Men At Work lyric is your only connection to Australia, you’re not alone. Almost anybody has an idea of how it looks on a map, how far it is from Chicago (easily googleable, by the way), and so on. But what Australia truly is?
Or even more importantly – at least in the context of this website – how does it sound? Is it like Midnight Oil? Crowded House? Perhaps Yothu Yindi, a bunch of Aboriginal and balanda musicians?
Maybe. But these were the eighties. Today, even Down Under has a new sound, something much better suited for current coffee shop counter culture. They’re called Ocean Alley and should Qantas Airways need a new jingle, any four bars of this six-piece should do. Seriously: these guys can take you to Australia from anywhere, including Schubas, a music venue we Chicagoans have come to love so much.
If you need to fill your life with stereotypes – sun burnt boys racing the rising tide, bonfires and roasted marshmallows – then Ocean Alley has it all. But it doesn’t stop there, much to a cockier melomaniac’s surprise. So, what else is in store? Well, that is kind of difficult to express, in words at least. And that’s the beauty of it.
“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture,” someone has famously said. Well, in this case, describing the Ocean Alley experience is like being silent about something genuinely intoxicating.