A few months back I found myself lounging in a good friend’s south Minneapolis home, sipping on some wine and going over the mundane experiences that we had encountered on whatever mundane weekday it happened to be. I noticed that the music playing in the background was interesting. It was alternative yet not the over-played alternative that tends to happen on The Current or Cities 97. I asked her what this strange, lovely, and interesting concoction of tunes was. She jumped at the chance to explain that she was streaming the one and only Triple J.
I should note that when I say “she”, I mean “they”. My good friend, with whom I regularly recount my daily, mundane activities, is married to a guy she met seven years ago on a study abroad experience they had in Australia where they in turn learned the majesty of Triple J. I tend to hang out with the both of them and over the years I’ve found they like to reminisce about the land down under whenever they get the chance. On this particular evening my question of what exactly this Triple J magic was happened to be answered with enthusiasm, nostalgia, and an almost cult-like pressure for me to join the masses that take it on a daily basis.
Ok, it probably wasn’t cult-like. But it was intense. And while there was no kool-aid to drink, there was plenty of wine and we all know that both of those beverages are known for their regrettable after-effects one way or another.
I digress. Triple J! At this point you’re probably dying to know what the hell it is. Sorry for the build up but I like these things to be revealing; even if it’s just the best radio station to stream ever in this world ever. I acknowledge that might be a bit of an overexaggeration to the awesomeness that Triple J offers, but at the same time I know I have to do my best to articulate the greatness of this entity. I, for one, am a person who enjoys the opportunities the internet gives us to stream radio, music, podcasts, tv, what have you. Triple J is just another one of those opportunities.
Triple J is to Australia as Radio One is to England. It’s a networked radio station broadcast throughout the country. It brings everyone together with the magic of music. It has no ironically low budget jewelry commercials or overplayed McDonalds ads. It’s just fun music and occasional newsbreaks with a national feel. In short, it is NPR only better.
There are a few reasons why Triple J is worth a gander. First of all, if you’re looking for new music but don’t quite know how to go about it, you should at least give a listen to Triple J Unearthed. This is a streaming station that is dedicated solely to underground and local Australian bands who are looking to get their stuff out there and exposed to the masses. If you’re looking for what the Aussies are listening to, complete with weather reports in Centigrade, you can tune into the main Triple J stream.
This brings me to another reason why Triple J is great. I happen to have one of those boring desk jobs where I like to zone out to music whenever I can while I perform the mundane daily tasks that I later recount with my friends over wine (or kool-aid depending on how you’re interpreting this article). This especially rings true for me in the morning. The trouble with streaming local radio is that there are usually morning shows that end up with lots of distracting Dj dialogue and commercials. Triple J is Australia’s radio station and I don’t know if you knew this, but Australia happens to be on the other side of the world. The time difference puts my morning work hours on par with their nocturnal Djs whose main jobs are to spin the tunes. And while Australian summers happen in January and believe it or not they still technically reside under the Queen, they still have night owl style radio broadcasts. Over here in the States, we can certainly take advantage; especially when we are waking up to a day that Australians discarded just a few hours prior.
Of course there are a million other reasons as to why I’d recommend Triple J as a fun streaming opportunity. There are fun Australian accents, fun Australian music, fun Australian weather that is balmier and dreamier than the snowless and dismal winter we’ve been both cursed and blessed with. Mostly I’ve been finding it to be a breath of fresh, southern-hemisphere air; both music and news wise. While it’s great to get the local scoop on our own stations stateside, I find it novel and comforting to hear leading headlines on the other side of the world. And even though it’s been just a few weeks since I started listening regularly, I’ve already learned about artists like Gotye, Friends, Roots Manuva, and my new personal favorite Ainslie Wills.
As for my friends who introduced me to Triple J among other things Australian, they are currently visiting the land down under for their honeymoon. I like to imagine that they are appropriately tuning their car stereo as they drive along the western coast to some vinyard that makes all that wine we’ve been drinking stateside.
Samantha Veldhouse is the Arts & Entertainment Editor of Secret Laboratory. Originally from rural North Dakota, Ms. Veldhouse went to school for literature and writing at Bemidji State University, but fell into the theater community while she was there. After graduating with a BA in English, she moved to Minneapolis where she has been known to tap into Twin Cities theater performing with the Brave New Institute and Huge Theater; she also produces independently with the Minnesota Fringe Festival. When Samantha isn’t creatively displaying herself on stage, she’s documenting her life on her blog at intheveldhouse.blogspot.com. She currently works as an Academic Advisor at Capella University and lives in her trusty uptown studio with her laptop.
E-mail Ms. Veldhouse at firstname.lastname@example.org.