Aussie Time: The Australian Open and Courtney Barnett’s “Avant Gardener” Tennis Video

Jan 17th, 2014 in Music


It’s that time of year:  all-hours are being spent watching the Australian Open tennis tournament.  We are hopeless tennis addicts dating back to the days of Stan Smith, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, et. seq.  So after a Major absence following the U.S. Open in August, we’ve sat in abeyance waiting for the Aussie Open and its heat treatment.  And now we’re all good again.

In addition to being Aussie Open addicts, we’ve also been big fans of Australian music starting with The Saints and Radio Birdman, moving into The Go-Betweens and The Church, and (most recently) the (part-)Australian band Allo Darlin’ (which released our Best Album of 2012).  And recently, while properly preparing for the Australian Open, we stumbled across Courtney Barnett and her song Avant Gardener.  The tennis motif in Barnett’s official video for the song (see below) also provided the perfect tie-in with the Open.

Barnett is a 25-year-old singer-songwriter guitarist who last year combined several recordings into the well-received The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas.  That recording’s lead single Avant Gardener tells the story of an anaphylactic panic-attack in the midst of an Australian heatwave (such as happened this week at the Open), with clever lyrics such as “The paramedic thinks I’m clever cos I play guitar, I think she’s clever cos she stops people dying.”  We’re just getting to know Barnett, but it’s clear in Avant Gardener that she shows great promise as a songwriter, lyricist and performer.  We love her deadpan delivery and the instrumental flourishes in the song.  Check it out below (the song’s lyrics follow the video).  We’ll have more about Courtney Barnett in the future.


“I sleep in late
Another day
Oh what a wonder
Oh what a waste.
It’s a monday
It’s so mundane
What exciting things
Will happen today?
The yard is full of hard rubbish it’s a mess and
I guess the neighbours must think we run a meth lab
We should ammend that
I pull the sheets back
It’s 40 degrees
And i feel like i’m dying.
Life’s getting hard in here
So i do some gardening
Anything to take my mind away from where it’s sposed to be.
The nice lady next door talks of green beds
And all the nice things that she wants to plant in them
I wanna grow tomatoes on the front steps.
Sunflowers, bean sprouts, sweet corn and radishes.
I feel pro-active
I pull out weeds
All of a sudden
I’m having trouble breathing in.

My hands are shaky
My knees are weak
I can’t seem to stand
On my own two feet
I’m breathing but i’m wheezing
Feel like i’m emphysem-in’
My throat feels like a funnel
Filled with weet bix and kerosene and
Oh no, next thing i know
They call up triple o
I’d rather die than owe the hospital
Till I get old
I get adrenalin
Straight to the heart
I feel like Uma Thurman
Post-overdosing kick start
Reminds me of the time
When i was really sick and i
Had too much psuedoefedryn and i
Couldn’t sleep at night
Halfway down high street, andy looks ambivalent
He’s probably wondering what i’m doing getting in an ambulance
The paramedic thinks i’m clever cos i play guitar
I think she’s clever cos she stops people dying
Anaphylactic and super hypocondriactic
Should’ve stayed in bed today
I much prefer the mundane.
I take a hit from
An asthma puffer
I do it wrong
I was never good at smoking bongs.
I’m not that good at breathing in.”

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