Whose Hottest 100 is it Anyway?

Less than thirteen hours remain for you to submit your vote in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2013.  Less than thirteen hours for you to whittle down your long list into a top 10, only to discover that Triple J have only seven of your songs on their list, and to ponder whether it’s worth wasting three whole votes on write-ins.  Less than thirteen hours to post your final list to facebook, and receive enough confirmation via likes and positive comments to know that you’ve made the right choices.  Less than thirteen hours to go… so why am I struggling to care?

Triple J have been the subject of quite a bit of media attention of late.  People are publicly questioning the station’s music selection, and it’s about bloody time.  For a station with the tagline “we love music”, Triple J don’t always practise what they preach.  If they love music so much, why is there so little variation in their playlists?  It’s for this reason that despite still fitting neatly into their target demographic, I stopped regularly listening a couple of years ago.

Take, for example, Triple J’s official candidates list for this year’s Hottest 100.  Supposedly, this list encompasses everything worth voting for from the past twelve months.  While we are given the option to write in our own selections, it’s pretty much a given that every song in the top 100 will be taken from the aforementioned list.

Fun fact: in 1995, Alanis Morissette managed to get three songs into the Hottest 100 without ever being played on Triple J.  In 2004, U2 managed to sneak one unplayed track in at #38 [“Vertigo”].  As far as I’m aware, these are the only successful “write-ins” in the countdown’s history.

While submitting my own votes for the Hottest 100 of 2013, I was very frustrated to find some artists under-represented in Triple J’s list of songs.  I don’t understand why Hanni El Khatib only earned one song from his 2013 album Head in the Dirt on Triple J’s list, while Major Lazer were given what looked like their entire album.  Including this:

I would have thought that the involvement of Bruno Mars and 2 Chainz would immediately render a song ineligible for the Hottest 100 – as they’re not exactly “credible” – but apparently I was wrong.  In Triple J land it makes perfect sense to listen to a song with the refrain “bubble butt, bubble bubble bubble butt” – but wanting to vote for Miley Cyrus is just ridiculous.  Never mind that “Wrecking Ball” is one million times better than “Bubble Butt” or Kanye’s “Bound 2” [another artist whose entire album made it onto the Triple J list].  As is the other song I wrote in to my Hottest 100 vote: “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake.

Sidenote: I thought of Drake as a joke until I heard the Arctic Monkeys perform a cover of this song.  But it’s damn good.  Even if the video is completely ridiculous.

So what did I vote for in the end?  A small selection of the music I enjoyed from the past twelve months.  Sticking to my self-invoked rule of only two write-ins, I left out Robin Thicke and Taylor Swift, and ended up with a list that looked something like this:

Arctic Monkeys – “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”
Davey Lane – “You’re The Cops, I’m The Crime”
Haim – “The Wire”
Hanni El Khatib – “Family”
Lily Allen – “Hard Out Here”
Lorde – “Royals”
The Preatures – “Is This How You Feel?”
Stonefield – “Love You Deserve”
Drake – “Hold On, We’re Going Home”
Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball”

Have you voted yet?  If so, I’d like to hear what songs you picked.  And if not – hurry!  There’s less than thirteen hours to go…

Further reading:Tonedeaf: It’s Time Triple J Stop Being Successful & Start Being Accountable
Faster Louder: Whitley slams triple j’s“excruciatinglynarrow-minded playlist”
Mess and Noise: Are Musicians “Manufacturing A Sound” To Get On Triple J?
Crikey: Razer’s defence of Triple J: it’s all in the mix, and the kids like it
A Doll’s Drivellings: Hottest 10(0) Picks for 2013


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