BARBECUES, beers, the Australian flag, a weird sense of patriotism, and the Hottest 100 on Triple J - these are the things Musicology associates with Australia Day.
And although I'm becoming an old geezer with a rapidly decreasing interest in "what the kids are listening to", it would be un-Australian not to vote in and listen to the countdown of the world's largest annual music poll.
So here are five of my ten votes in this year's Triple J's Hottest 100 (PS. Voting closes on Sunday).
Death By Diamonds & Pearls - Band Of Skulls
EVER wondered what The White Stripes would sound like if they had a) a bass player and b) a good drummer? Well, this track is the answer. A stop-start blast of garage-rock riffs, drenched in slap-back reverb and doubled-up vocals, it's a highlight from this UK trio's debut album, the charmingly named Baby Darling Doll Face Honey. Strangely, this was a late single from the album - sure, the other singles (I Know What I Am, Patterns, Blood) are good, but they don't kick as much arse as this snide ode to snooty rich girls.
As We Enter - Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley & Nas
THE son of reggae legend Bob Marley teamed with New York rapper Nas to make Distant Relatives, an album that not only combined their substantial skills but also raised money to build schools in Africa. This track, with its bouncey, organ-driven backdrop, was the first single, and it's something special. Their interweaving rapping stands head and shoulders above most similar collaborations because feels like an actual collaboration, rather than just two rappers taking turns. Their entwined rhymes flow effortlessly over a killer head-bopping groove, makin this one of the best hip-hop tracks of the year.
Coming Around - Hungry Kids Of Hungary
AFTER winning a Triple J UnEarthed competition, this Brisbane four-piece deserve to graduate into the big leagues on the strength of this poppy ballad about disfunctional relationships. With a beautiful gliding falsetto harmony backing Kane Mazlin's strong vocal performance and Beatlesy piano progressions, Coming Around is as close to summery pop perfection as you can get. The opening track of their debut album Escapades, this song is wonderfully spritely, neatly off-setting the darker undertones of its lyrics.
This Too Shall Pass - OK Go
STILL dismissed by many as 'that YouTube band on the treadmills', OK Go were in danger of having their great songwriting overwhelmed by their great film clips. In fact, this track from Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky has not one but two awesome videos to go with it. But even without their visual brilliance, this is a great track, riding high on a simple circular chord progression, a dirty break-beat, some Flaming Lips-style vocals and a great shouty chorus hook. The song even sounds great when performed by a marching band (as happens in one of the film clips).
Stay Too Long - Plan B
SOME of his old school fans saw red over Plan B's transition from grime-rap hero to soul-rock star, but there's no denying how good this song is. Part-dirty funk, part-soul, part-rock, part hip-hop and all cool, it gets even better when Plan B (aka Ben Drew) ditches his flawless Stax-sound falsetto and drops into an equally flawless ballsy London flow. His ever-escalating rhymes build in the song's climax unlike any rap you've heard before, but the beauty of Stay Too Long is not only that it effortlessly smashes together so many genres and feels, but that it's damned catchy too.
And my other votes went to: End Of July - The Chemist, Bindi Irwin Apocalypse Jam - Dan Kelly, Rock It - Little Red, Urlo Negro - Mike Patton, Oh Sam - The Vasco Era.