My standout heroes back then were Ray Anh and Quan Yeomans
September 18, 2020 7:46 AM   Subscribe

Filipino-Australian indie musician Bryan Estepa writes about finding a home in the Sydney indie scene of the 1990s, and being one of the few Asian-Australian alternative/indie musicians at the time.
posted by acb (7 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Cool, thanks!

My main exposure to the Australian music scene is through the official Spotify playlist Women of AU & NZ, which was created in 2018 and completely updated in 2019 and again just a month or so ago (relevant because unless you download/favorite the tracks you like you might lose them). It's such an awesome collection of songs and talent, highly recommend if you use Spotify. There are a bunch of other "Women of..." Spotify created playlists that are definitely worth checking out too.

My partner and I were actually talking about how strong the newly updated AU&NZ playlist is yesterday and wondering if anyone had used the theory of 'island biogeography' to study the evolution of pop music in various parts of the world.

Glad to hear the author of this piece found the music scene so welcoming and positive. Going to check out some of the artists they mentioned now (and Estepa themself).

P.S. Shoutout to Native Guns, Filipino rappers out of LA whose only album (2006's Barrel Men) is one of my all time faves and as politically relevant today as ever.
posted by soy bean at 9:47 AM on September 18, 2020

THEY NAMED THEIR ALBUM "BARREL MEN" oh man that's funny and excellent, I'll have to listen to that

This author and I are around the same age and while I'm in the US and had an even smaller community of Filipinos around, I still relate to this pretty deeply. When grunge hit, that was kinda it for me, I started playing guitar and writing songs while most of the other Asian kids at my school were following the same trends Estepa writes about here. It's really _really_ nice to read a story that resonates on a personal level—I don't find that a lot with my background, so thank you for posting!
posted by Maaik at 9:54 AM on September 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

Bands like You Am I, Smudge, The Clouds, Front End Loader and venues such as The Hopetoun Hotel and Annandale Hotel were driving the scene to greatness.
You Am I - Heavy Heart
Smudge - Divan
Clouds - Hieronymus
Front End Loader - Pulse
You Am I - Hopetoun Hotel, Sydney 1991
The Whitlams - Annandale Hotel 1993
My standout Asian-Australian heroes back then were Ray Anh (The Hard Ons) and Quan Yeomans (Regurgitator).
Hard-Ons - Crazy Crazy Eyes
Regurgitator - Blubber Boy (NB: Blubber Boy is peak pre-Unit Regurgitator, but the Nanook of the North video clip hasn't aged well, so you get a 1997 Recovery performance instead.)
posted by zamboni at 1:32 PM on September 18, 2020 [3 favorites]

Personally I'd go with Kong Fu Sing but hey, I got to see 'em play the Espy so I'm happy :-)

Yes, I realize that Xers getting nostalgic about the 90s is bad, but it's what I've got :-/
posted by nickzoic at 5:38 PM on September 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

Interview with Ray Ahn.
posted by awfurby at 9:38 PM on September 19, 2020

Ray Ahn also has a blog. He doesn't write often but like his writing style.
posted by awfurby at 9:40 PM on September 19, 2020

This is excellent, and I'm loving the links others have added in the comments too. Thanks for posting!
posted by harriet vane at 8:17 AM on September 20, 2020

« Older Zadie Smith on the urge "to be good. To be seen to...   |   Wikipedia Tourist Agency Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments