What is jjjcore? A few weeks back there was an article floating around accusing national broadcaster Triple J of homogenising the nation’s musical landscape by only rotating singles and songs from Australian artists that fit a certain sound. This (apparently) in turn caused bands formed purely to sound like Dune Rats or Vance Joy to get airplay on the red and white national radio syndicate. I’m not going to comment on the validity of the claims made by the prosecution, but I am going to confirm the existence of a genre called jjjcore (pronounced Triple J core). Jjjcore replaces the old and now irrelevant definition of music as alternative and isn’t defined by tempo or drum pattern or the use of a certain vocal style. It’s a cross generic musical field that can incorporate anything from Hip Hop to Twee to Country, toeing the line between mainstream and edgy – embodying the carefree Australian attitude of the self depreciating yet self aware modern larrikin.
Australia Day is a celebration of jjjcore in all it’s marketable, yet still quite underground glory through their Hottest 100 competition and where better to celebrate the day than at St Kilda’s The Espy where the act of counting down the list of the nation’s favourite jjjcore songs will be taking over all of the venue’s three stages. Showcasing the broad range of the radio station’s own genre, the day’s celebrations will feature indie dance group World’s End Press, unearthed electro-pop Tasmanian Asta, bedroom Macbook artist Willow Beats and post-Muse rock outfit Papa vs Pretty – the latter of whom put on a pretty awesome live show that I can attest to.
Joining the showcase are some up and coming artists with more core than jjj: Client Liason, Drunk Mums, Glass Towers and our personal faves Bad//Dreems and Flyying Colours. The former will be representing the badlands of South Australia – Adelaide perhaps being the country’s next big cultural centre judging from the awesome sounds we’ve been hearing from it recently. If by some misfortune you rock up too late for Flyying Colours, you’ll be able to catch them again on Australia Night at the Evelyn Hotel with Atolls and Esc. Music fans should get down early to catch these guys before Kingsmill laps them up and they get a taste of the bright lights and wall street size paychecks of Like A Version and ARIA awards show performances.
The tickets cost a big fat $0.00 and the festivities kick off from 12:00pm when the 100th best (edit: most popular) song of 2013 will be officially announced. In the meantime, you can ruin the countdown for yourself here (The lord almighty of spoiler alerts for that link) and listen to our picks for the afternoon below.
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Disclaimer: This isn’t a dig at Triple J or the bands they support, and while jjjcore can be interpreted as a negative for a band who look for an edgier image, it’s a badge that shows awareness of music markets and youth culture – one that bands should wear with pride. As for the J’s themselves, they do awesome work and the music of Australia wouldn’t be the same without them. I’m merely giving them credit they deserve for inventing a genre, joining the ranks of musical institutions and landmarks such as C86 (indie), Ibiza (dance) and New Orleans (jazz). Onya Triple J!