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Googling For Gurrumul


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Date: Tue, 28 Apr 2009 01:04:58 +1000

Recently, your humble blogger went in search of some recorded music. In particular, the top selling Australian album of last year, called Gurrumul, which some of you may have heard of.

For reasons already related in this humble blog, and because it was intended as a gift, your humble blogger was attempting to purchase a CD rather then download the album, and so decided to begin this quest at the well known franchise Sanity, which claims to be Australia's leading retailer of recorded music. Certainly they are one of the largest, if not the largest.

The local Sanity outlet was not crowded and there was no queue at the front desk. So since there were no immediately obvious copies of Gurrumul on display, your humble blogger approached the counter and asked for assistance. However the young lady at the counter said she had not heard of "Gurrumul". And Who was the artist?

Well, it's by the artist of the same name, your humble blogger replied.

Is that a first name? asked the young sales assistant. Because our catalogue goes by Last name - How do you spell it?.

Now dear reader, your humble blogger was a trifle bemused to discover that a sales assistant in a record store did not know about the platinum certified, ARIA top-selling album of 2008 sung by the EG-nominated top male singer of the same year. But being of a humble and contented disposition, your blogger accepted this without protest and informed the young sales assistant that Yes, it was his first name, which your humble blogger spelled for her. And then added, that his last name was spelled ....

And at this point your humble blogger hesitated. Because the truth is dear reader, yours humbly did not know how to spell Gurrumul's second name. The only reason it is spelt correctly in this humble blog is because your humble blogger typed "gurrumul" into Google. Try it now dear reader, and Google (and Firefox) will suggest Yunupingu before you even finish typing! Such is the magical, all knowing oracular powers of the mighty Google! This advice was humbly proffered to the young lass behind the counter, along with a nod in the direction of the computer screen and keyboard in front of her as the quickest source of a definitive answer to the question surrounding the spelling of his second name.

But we can't get Google on our computers -- we can only get our intranet!, she lamented.

This left your humble blogger quite nonplussed.

Now it may be possible to make allowances for her not knowing about Gurrumul. After all this might be a generational thing. Perhaps if your humble blogger had asked for artists whose first name were Avril, Brittney, Maria or Rhianna she would have gone straight to the appropriate shelf. But it does seem rather strange to setup a computer network in a record shop that deprived young employees of the one skill that many of her generation do possess ... Namely the ability to Google for answers.

And if one was to work in a record store, the single most important tool of the trade, apart from a broad knowledge of most musical genres and an excellent memory, would have to be Google!

And so your humble blogger spent a little time trying to suggest various spellings of Gurrumul's second name. And then for the sake of his sanity gave up on Sanity, and departed from the store.

But not willing to give up the quest entirely, your humble blogger went into K-mart, which happened to be a couple of doors away. And there in the audo/visual section, on the shelf marked Top Selling Albums was Gurrumul by Gurrumul Yunupingu. The price $22.95.


Update 2005-05-07

A Google search for "Gurruml" returns about 110,000 matches (in 0.05 seconds). The page with the highest ranking was Gurrumul's home page (www.gurrumul.com). The second highest page was the Wikipedia entry on Gurrumul which states:

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu (born 1970) is an indigenous Australian musician, who sings in the Yolngu language.

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