Category Archives: Music Matters

Top tunes and industry issues. Keeping your ears happy!

Chrissy Amphlett: 1959 – 2013

This is the worst article I have ever had to write. The news is still fresh in my senses, and I’m still yet to fully believe it.

Chrissy Amphlett, Divinyls frontwoman and queen of Australian rock, is gone.

The hole she has left behind is enormous. I’m stuck in a loop of watching old Divinyls videos on YouTube and reading tributes on Facebook and Twitter. It isn’t making me any less sad, but it is fortifying to see just how spectacular she was, and to know this is how she will be remembered. She truly was amazing. Continue reading



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Dubbo’s One Night Stand – A Local’s Perspective

Noni, our main music writer and sub-editor, was in Dubbo for triple j’s One Night Stand last week, covering the weekend’s events for her local music blog, Gigs Out West. This piece was first published there, and has been reproduced with Noni’s permission.

This is my town. She is tidy, quiet, and restrained. To this would-be free spirit, she has never truly felt like home. She can be hot and dry and barren, occasionally exploding into short bursts of colour that remind me of all the potential she has.

We have a complicated relationship, my town and I. When she is raised in conversation, I often blush and avoid the speaker’s gaze, stuck on the fence between the disdain dealt out by strangers and the almost excessive praise heaped upon her by her most devoted residents. I want to fall somewhere in the middle, recognising her strengths without whitewashing her shortcomings. I rarely feel at peace in her embrace; I have often found my adventures elsewhere.

But for better or for worse, she is my town. Seventeen years of residence mean that I can never shake that fact. She is mine, and I am hers.

Dubbo is my town.

And yet, for almost 48 hours, I barely recognised her.

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Gadgets at Gigs: Living Live or Phoning It In?

I was lucky enough to have a very exciting week last week. Three concerts in four days, starting with a “red-headed yeti with multiple arms” that goes by the name of Newton Faulkner, then my favourite band, Counting Crows and finishing up with amazing young talent, Birdy. All concerts were amazing; I didn’t want any if them to end. On Monday morning, a co-worker said he wanted to see Birdy live again before he even said hello. It was a very good week.

Yet, something lingers… something I can’t quite understand and I don’t know if it’s because I am “old” or not “cool”: why did everyone watch the concerts through their phones? Continue reading


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Hymns for Her – A Playlist for International Women’s Day 2013

Google's 'doodle' for International Women's Day 2013

Google’s ‘doodle’ for International Women’s Day 2013

In case you missed it, today is March 8th.

It doesn’t sound like much when you put it like that, does it? But for most of my life, that is what this date has always been. Just plain old March 8th.

Today is so much more than a month and a number, though. Today is International Women’s Day, a UN-supported celebration of all the fantastic work females do all around the world, and a day for the recognition of all the challenges they face, be it the struggle for equal pay, the right to a career and education, the high percentage of women who will be raped in their lifetimes, or the destruction of severe penalties for those deemed ‘immodest’. It is a day to say thanks to your mum for bringing you into the world, to thank your female teachers for giving you knowledge, to thank women of every age, colour and creed for doing the best they can to get by in the world.

Here at Cheaper Than Rubies, a website that is run entirely by young women, we simply couldn’t let the day go past without some sort of celebration of our own, and every good party needs a playlist, right?

That’s why this week, we’ve got ten fantastic songs by women for women (and anyone else who wants to join in). Some of them address issues that are faced by women around the world every day, some of them are just magnificent anthems to get you through to the weekend. Either way, you’re in for a damn good time!

1. Hymn To Her – The Pretenders

A soft start this week, with this gentle ode to feminine nurturing, be it as a lover, as a daughter, as a mother or as a friend. The admiration for the female is delicate and all-encompassing, making this arguably one of the best tracks for such an occasion as today. Continue reading

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Songs for the Single: Another Playlist for Valentine’s Day 2013

Source: unknown.

It’s that time of year again. The 14th of February, when everyone in love is ‘obligated’ to demonstrate those feelings in ways worthy of a Hallmark card or a romantic comedy, and all the Unloved feel like second class citizens (should they have the energy to care at all). As has become a Cheaper Than Rubies custom over the past few months, we intend to engage with the occasion in the best way possible: through music.

This playlist is all about appreciating the single life, but if you’re looking for something a little more romantic, you’ll find our list for lovers here!

Valentine’s Day can be quite an oppressive day for those without a partner, or it can be brilliant: YES! I don’t have to buy someone a present/card/flowers! I am going to get drunk all by myself! I will eat all of the chocolate and I won’t have to share the remote! YES.

So while all those couples are busy throwing their relationship about, trying to score points from greeting card companies and discussing whether there are enough candles illuminating their evening meal, we the free are allowed to just… well, keep being awesome!

This playlist, unlike its sister, is all about the bright side of being alone (but not lonely), and remembering why we dropped our last partner and why love is bunk. It’s a bit fun, it’s a bit cynical and yes, sometimes it’s a bit difficult to see the light, but that’s what single life is all about, right? Continue reading

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A List for Lovers: Ten Tracks for Valentine’s Day 2013

Source:’s that time of year again. The 14th of February, when everyone in love is ‘obligated’ to demonstrate those feelings in ways worthy of a Hallmark card or a romantic comedy, and all the Unloved feel like second class citizens (should they have the energy to care at all).

As has become a Cheaper Than Rubies custom over the past few months, we intend to engage with the occasion in the best way possible: through music. (Don’t worry singletons – there’s a playlist for you too!)

This playlist is unashamedly for the lovers amongst us. It doesn’t matter if you’re newly-weds, have a significant number of years under your shared belt, or if you are still reeling in the first flutterings of infatuation. If you are currently experiencing the greatest thing you’ll ever learn, these songs are for you.

Perhaps you’ll listen to them with your significant other over a candlelit dinner, or curled up in front of the TV with a bag of Malteasers, or maybe they’ll ease the heartache of a long-distance relationship. However you choose to use them, all these songs have an element of the romantic about them, working together to make you feel all gooey inside, and maybe even get you laid… You just never know when it comes to affairs of the heart.

But be warned: the following post may contain cheese.

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Ten Travelling Tunes for Friday, February 8

I’ve been stuck at home for a while now, and I confess, I am longing for some kind of adventure. It doesn’t have to be a big one; a jaunt to Sydney and back will do be just fine, but a change of scene is definitely required for this little Ruby.

Our Editor-in-Chief, Miranda is off doing just that at the moment, enjoying a well earned break from hustle and bustle in Thailand. I’ve never been particularly keen to visit south-east Asia, but the photos that are bouncing back through Facebook are quickly turning me into a little green-eyed monster. So many things to see and do, and I’m stuck at home with my computer and a chip on my shoulder.

How best to comfort myself during times like these? With a playlist of tunes about scouting the Great Wide Yonder, of course!

This week’s list will take you across oceans, send you spiraling into location-based love affairs and leave you with the itchiest of feet.  All you have to do is take that first step to the mystical, musical land that resides After The Jump. Continue reading

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Ten Tunes for Tuesday, 29th January: Back to School!

January is drawing to a lazy close, and for those of a certain age, that means that the greatest of horrors has returned for another year: the holidays are over and it’s time to head back to the classroom.

Whether you’re a student heading back for another term, a recent leaver preparing for your university experience, or a teacher dreading the first day back at work, we’ve compiled an eclectic list of songs to get you through the next ten weeks of hard study.

You can find the playlist right here, but if you want the videos that go with them, you’ll have to read on. Who knows? You might even learn something!

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Ten Topical Tunes for Australia Day 2013

StrayaAlmost all Australians have some kind of emotional attachment to January 26th. For some, it’s a great opportunity to celebrate the great things our nation and our fellow Aussies have achieved across a range of fields. For others, it’s an excuse to have a barbeque and a piss-up, all while listening to the triple j Hottest 100 and keeping cool in a child-size paddling pool. For some Australians, it’s not a day of celebration, but rather a reminder of the darker side of our history and of the horror that is the ever-present threat of bogan culture.

In this Australia Day playlist, we’ve tried to address all of those themes and more, in an attempt to find a sound that sums up a true reflection of life in this Great Southern Land. Wherever you are from the Tropic of Capricorn, all the way past Bass Strait to the bottom of the Island State, you’re sure to find a tune to suit your personal Australia Day experience.

You can find all ten tracks after the jump… Continue reading

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Ten Incredible Instrumentals for Tuesday, January 15

(source unknown)

I must confess, when it comes to music, I usually stick to tunes with lyrics. It’s definitely a flaw in my music nerd credentials, but probably one that’s quite understandable given my affection for the written word.

This week, I’m aiming to rectify that balance, with ten instrumentals that prove you don’t need a vocal track to move people. From classical masters to more modern moods, from the littlest dance halls to the biggest of screens, this playlist aims to celebrate those musicians who manage to say it best without saying a word.

1. Gunnamatta – Paul Kelly

The opening track to Kelly’s 2004 double album Ways & Means, is a regal surf-guitar piece, with a video to match. Named after either Gunnamatta Bay in Sydney, or a beach of the same name on the Mornington Peninsula, it’s a soundtrack for the more casual surfer, lacking the urgency often found in this style. This tune’s lazy, flowing sound took a little while to wriggle its way into my heart, but my recent education in the genre, care of Mikelangelo and the Tin Star, has led to this track being the first one to jump into my head upon commencing the compilation of this list.

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