28 June 2008

Reverberating Song Inside My Head: Gabriella Cilmi's "Sweet About Me"

There's a really beautiful thing about internet radio: you hear stuff that's popular elsewhere that, for whatever reason, has not/will not invade your own local airwaves. So, unless I'm tuning in to NPR or the local talk station from Greensboro, FM 101.1, or 96 Rock (which I can't listen to at work as it can be a bit 'hard core' for a medical setting) during the work hours I find myself more and more scouring the internet radio stations. I truly have become that displeased with all other local radio market options. Thank God for Surfmusic is all I can say, otherwise my existence in a no-window, one-door, poorly-ventilated workroom would indeed make me batty.

If it's early in the day here, I can listen to the Aussie stations as they're still in a late evening/overnight mode and generally play a lot of music...but as the morning dawns there and their morning talk crews come on, I need to switch gears sometimes. (While I clearly love words, I've never been a big fan of having a lot of talk on my music stations. Talk is for talk radio, music is for music.) While looking around one day on the lunch break, I recently found a good Top 40 station over in Glasgow, Scotland, Clyde 1, 102.5 FM. I'm not sure if it's the special pleasure to hear my family's ancient (almost 'singsongy') accent or the chuckles I get about how seriously they take their weather and traffic reports, but I've taken to this station quite nicely...and I generally don't listen to Top 40 music anymore. And unlike so many American radio stations nowadays, they seem to be fairly involved in the community and in promoting a good community image to boot.

(Dear God, I do wish we had something even somewhat akin to Clyde over here...instead, we've been overrun by the Borg-like Clear Channel offspring or 'classic rock' stations that believe classic rock only compromises the same 50 songs, and all from 1968 or newer, and all of them from American or British performers. On a sad note and further reminder of how we're trying to invade their culture, Clear Channel now has 11 radio stations throughout Australia. We should have stopped them here, when we still had a chance to do so...but we didn't, and now greed and cookie-cutter radio for the masses has gone global. To see such a proudly individual country as Oz (and others, too, unfortunately) being steadily 'colonized' by the American 'me-too' media...TV, radio, movies...is a shameful sight.)

And it was on Clyde that I heard (and now cannot escape from) this wonderful little song: "Sweet About Me". The singer is this charming sweetheart named Gabriella Cilmi (NOTE: link launches music snippet, adjust your speakers), who hails from Melbourne (Australia) originally but now lives in the UK. She's far more appealing to me than Amy Winehouse is, and aside from the 'watch...the train wreck's a comin' allure, what is the appeal of Winehouse anymore, anyway?? Winehouse, sadly, is a great talent that is slipping away to drugs and countless other vices right before our eyes. But back to the positive, back to Cilmi: I love the sound, love the vibe, and love the fact that this budding talent is only 16 years old. Can't wait to see what else she can do with those honey-drenched tones.

Gabriella Cilmi in "Sweet About Me". The video's a bit iffy to this child of 1980s MTV, but the song sure stays with you. Video from YouTube, as usual.

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