Classic Albums: What Are Rock Stars Doing Today by Magic Dirt

Magic Dirt are now got to be rated as one of the greatest Aussie band ever, maybe ever the best from the 90’s too. I guess they’re are biggest names who always is talked about before them but to me they’re always a fave so I’ve got to write a little about them here. The Aussie radio station Double J does this thing called J File and for their Ausmusic month last month the featured artists were Silverchair, Crowded House (even if the songwriter is a Kiwi) and then surprising Magic Dirt so I guess they’re up there with the big names now. What Are Rock Stars Doing Today was the third album by them and was release in late Oct. in 2000 and is what I’m mainly writing about today.

After saying that about the 90’s I seem to like their 2000’s output a little better than the 90’s and this one is the album right at the very start of then the new decade. If you know everything about them or not, I’ll tell you a little about them here because you need a little context doing something like this. By the end of that decade the Dirt had gone on hiatus but they seem to have broken up really but that’s a nice way to put it. Bass player Dean Turner passed away in 2009 of a rare form of tissue cancer. Frontwoman Adalita has had two solo album and it sound like she got new one is coming next year, Raul Sanchez i Jorge has formed new bands River Of Snakes, The Ape and the drummer Adam Robertson has played on a few vinyl singles by Adam Harding but maybe he’s done more things, I don’t know what the hell he’s been up to so does anyone know?

Anyway this would be my fave album so I’m including it in my Classic Albums list. I don’t know what the grand total number of gigs I when to back in the day? But it would be a lot of them with headlining pubs, clubs plus some Big Day Out fest shows plus supporting much bigger bands at the time which no one cares about now, they always kicked ass much better than all of them maybe only Blues Explosion was better live band but they’re kind of do an outer space live performs anyway. So many great memories of seeing Magic Dirt live. I don’t know how well they’re known oversea, they did do tours but how much did it pay off I’m a bit in the dark. Maybe someone who’s a fan who lives somewhere over there can let me know in the comments?

Dirty Jeans was the big hit from the album, it’s one everyone remembers from the album or if you were not a big fan of the band you still know this song. Well, you would if you grew-up in the Australia. At this point when they did this album a lot of fans, even media was saying they sold-out because they went from indie record labels band to signing with Warner Bros. Telling even now this album is somewhat kicked to the side, say I did notice on the J File show only Dirty Jeans made the playlist on the night. So I’m sending some love it’s way now but I can’t be the only one who loves this album a little more that the other Magic Dirt albums, can I? It was a top 40 album at the time and Dirty Jeans did end up number 12 on that year’s Triple J’s hottest 100 songs. A couple years ago for an indie Aussie comp album this song was the title track too. Sometime when a big hit single is on an album, it does take away from the rest of the songs.

They’re from Geelong, Victoria which is about an hour or so from Melbourne. Most likely the most well known band from there or is that just me again, is there a bigger band from Geelong? It’s a bit of a working class town and not as hip and happening as the big city a little bit away. This does seem like a bit of thing from me back then, liking bands/artists that are not from Melbourne or Sydney. In the next few Aussie records I’m going to tag Classic Albums that I’m planning to post in the next few weeks all of them seem to be from somewhere than those two big main Australian city. Those bands do have maybe something else or something more, what’s the right word? You know because they have to work a bit hard to get gigs because they’re fewer venues or something and it’s a bit hard to made a record but maybe that’s why a lot of bands just move there too.

I do love all these songs even if the feedback noisy band was gone but I guess it’s just a band moving on, trying something a bit new. Some did say it was too poppy and slick but I would say to that they always had great songs that had a bit of pop to them. What 90’s didn’t do the slick album production at one point too? When you listen to it now the hand-claps and poppy hooks do jumps out but saying it’s over produced is a hard stretch really, compared to some of glossy records produced today by hip indie type bands this album has nothing on those. Having a look on the internet to find anyone, everyone who loves this album I’ve came across in middle of 2014 on the now defunct Aussie website Mess+Noise had a short run feature called Classic which Pork Chop Party, Melbourne’s punk-country band named this album one of five they were ask to pick but after that it seems unfortunately pretty hard to find. So I should have made this little write up a bit better really, hey?

I really dig those more rocker numbers but poppy songs are kind of cute and then the kind-of slower ones are great too, it really works as a whole album. The length is forty one minutes but if anything it feels too short but leaving you wanting more is a good thing, right? You can always play it again and again like I do at times. I really couldn’t pick a fave track from all of them, that’s too hard I want to listen them all which does make it a great album when you can’t pick but just want to listen to all of them. Maybe if a gun was point at my head I would choose Supagloo. It’s got no less than four promo video clips plus then I’ve found three more live clip because they were a such a great live band but it does lose something off course watching it on YouTube but you’re remembering good times too. I think this might be the most clips I’ve included one of these posts since I wrote about Nirvana. That album cover is pretty funny, with Raul putting a silly face, Adalita rolling her eyes to the heavens, Adam wearing a Motörhead t-shirt but it’s just all so very 90’s really and I don’t know if you could find a record cover like this these days. No band today would be that mad to use something like that.

So for a band from the 90’s they only did had two real albums in that time, then there’s a comp of singles/EPs or you might be lucky to still have those original releases. I guess the 2000’s albums by Magic Dirt after this album can be a mix bag but I would rated mid-2000’s Snow White album and then swan song album called Girl as two of their best too so that’s if someone read this and never heard them before and want a recommended but because these Classic Albums posts are my least viewed out of everything, I don’t think anyone but some fans of the band will look at this. It’s funny because they’re my most fave posts to write so I think I’m going to be doing a lot more because there’s not going to be much new music until next year, maybe I should see just how much I can posts under this tag from the rest of 2016 then Jan. and even Feb. 2017. Who cares about the hits anyway!

So does everyone else think about What Are Rock Stars Doing Today by Magic Dirt now? Is it your fave or is it another one by them? Why not leave a reply below?

What Are Rock Stars Doing Today track listing and times

1. City Trash – 3:36
2. Teenage Vampire – 3:45
3. Dirty Jeans – 3:41
4. Pace It – 3:26
5. Competition Girl – 3:44
6. Nightingale – 3:04
7. Rockstars – 3:44
8. Come On The Scene – 3:44
9. Supagloo – 2:21
10. For A Second – 6:13
11. Smoulder – 3:44


All my Classic Albums posts are linked below, off course it’s a work in progress:

 Tales From The Australian Underground – Volume 1 & 2 by Various Artists

 Station To Station by David Bowie

Unplugged In New York by Nirvana

 Rust In Peace by Megadeth

Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs by Marty Robbins

 Henry’s Dream by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

 Whatever You Love, You Are by Dirty Three

 Gala Mill by The Drones

 Black Monk Time by The Monks

Ex Tropical by Lost Animal

 Work (Work, Work) by HTRK

 In The Wee Small Hours by Frank Sinatra

The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn by Pink Floyd

 Songs Of Love And Hate by Leonard Cohen

 Warm Leatherette by Grace Jones

 The White House by The Dead C

 Silence Is Sexy by Einstürzende Neubauten

 Lulu by Lou Reed & Metallica

 Kaira by Toumani Diabaté

 Kings Of The Wild Frontier by Adam And The Ants

 Drowning In The Fountain Of Youth by Dan Kelly And The Alpha Males

 Aerial by Kate Bush

 The Future by Leonard Cohen

 Rock For Light by Bad Brains

 Last Splash by The Breeders

 Sex by The Necks

 Emergency Ward by Nina Simone

 Paradise by My Disco

 Batman by Prince

Sings Christmas Carols by Mark Kozelek

What Are Rock Stars Doing Today by Magic Dirt

So, this was the reason I started this blog. The idea is simply to write page/post about one of my fave album each that I consider a classic album. Please leave your own comments below about each album because I would love to hear what everyone think and has to say about them? cheers!


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