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THE BUTLER DID IT
Great music is often about magic combinations - Lennon and
McCartney, Jagger/Richards, Forster/McLennan, Page and Plant,
Chrissy Amphlett and Mark McEntee, Elton John and Bernie
Taupin … Died Pretty's Ron S. Peno and Brett Myers are another
magic combination. A ball of uninhibited energy mixed with
a gentle giant, they were responsible for some of Australian
music's most intoxicating rock. And their recent performance
at Cherry Rock showed they'd lost none of their majestic
An artist is blessed to be part of a magic combination;
to be part of two means you are truly special - and lucky.
A couple of years ago, Ron S. Peno was at Yah Yah's. It
was very late at night, or early in the morning, depending
on your perspective. The details are fuzzy, but Ron can't
say the terrain is entirely unfamiliar. His friend Penny
Ikinger introduced him to a fellow musician. "I know who
you are," Ron said. By the end of the night, a new songwriting
partnership was forged: Ron S. Peno and Cam Butler. Ronnie
was a fan of Cam's work with Silver Ray, and, of course,
Cam was aware of Ron's history. "I loved Died Pretty," he
says. "I actually played in a band in Brisbane with their
first drummer. I had seen the Darling Downs, but I'd never
actually met Ron until that night." Cam had also never collaborated
with a singer, preferring to work on instrumental music.
But the combination clicked, and soon Cam would put together
Ronnie's new band, who became known as The Superstitions
(with Cam on guitar, Tim Deane on piano, Andy Papadopoulos
on bass, and Mark Dawson on drums).
As with all great combinations, they are very different
people. Superstitions? "I can't think of any," Cam says,
while Ronnie lists several: "If I see a ladder, I'll walk
around it, if I spill salt, I'll have to throw some over
my left shoulder …" Cam is methodical, Ron is unpredictable.
Cam crafts glorious instrumentals, while Ron creates magical
melodies on the spot. "Ron is unfettered," Cam says. "It's
all about emotion with Ron, and he can encapsulate a mood.
There's a world in his voice."
The resulting album is a landmark in more ways than one.
It's seen as Ron's solo debut - 25 years after Died Pretty's
debut, and it's also the first time Ron has worked with
a string section. Cam did the string arrangements for three
songs - New Blood, Gameplan and My Own Fire To Light. "We
didn't want to overdo it, but Cam insisted that we have
real strings - he didn't want synth strings. So we got a
12-piece string section. It was incredible." Ron actually
thought about calling the album "Strings Attached", but
then he saw a doco on the cosmos, where a guy stated: "There
will be a future universe." It's the perfect title for an
album by an artist with an imposing past but who's very
much living in and for the moment. Ron S. Peno and The Superstitions
launch Future Universe at the Northcote Social Club on Friday.
A CERTAIN KIND OF SADNESS
Sure, it takes a while to get to the chorus. But Gotye and
Kimbra's Somebody That I Used To Know might just be 2011's
finest single. It sounds like a classic '80s tune, kind
of The Reels meets Howard Jones, with a touch of Peter Gabriel
and Sting. It's headed for number one (jumping from five
to three this week) and here's the tip - it'll take the
ARIA for Single of the Year, as well as top spot in Triple
J's Hottest 100.
FREQUENT FLYER MYLES
It's been a big year for Howzat!'s favourite Adelaide artist
Myles Mayo - he's become a dad and given birth to his first
solo album. Myles returns to Melbourne this week, to play
with Loon Lake at the Toff on Saturday.
She looks like the girl next door - if the girl next door
was carrying a switchblade. There's something delightfully
dark about Hayley Couper. She lands in Melbourne via Tasmania
and we caught the first night of her Thursday residency
at the Grace Darling last week. Definitely an artist to
DON'T FORGET TO SUBSCRRRIBE
Now, more than ever, independent media is vital. If you
can, throw a few dollars Triple R's way this week - the
Radiothon starts on Friday.
Jessica Mauboy scores her fifth Top 10 hit.
Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE (number three)
Inescapable JESSICA MAUBOY (10)
We Run The Night HAVANA BROWN (24)
Yes I Am JACK VIDGEN (35, debut)
Loud STAN WALKER (38)
Always A Winner PETE MURRAY (39)
The Panics land at seven.
Rain On The Humming Wire THE PANICS (number seven, debut)
The Ending Is Just The Beginning Repeating THE LIVING END
Seeker Lover Keeper SEEKER LOVER KEEPER (14)
Roy DAMIEN LEITH (15)
Like Drawing Blood GOTYE (19)
God Is Able HILLSONG LIVE (20)
Soft Universe PNAU (23)
Live At Red Rocks JOHN BUTLER TRIO (27)
Double Platinum THE TEN TENORS (33)
Angry Boys soundtrack (36, debut)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (37)
East COLD CHISEL (39)
New Blood RON S. PENO
Black And Blue HAYLEY COUPER
Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE
Dark Magic SAND PEBBLES
Leave The Party MYLES MAYO
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