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Howzat! Archive - July 10th 2013

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Well, it's not exactly Horsehead. But two members of Howzat!'s all-time favourite band are making a new album. Singer Andy McLean and guitarist Scott Kingman have launched a Pledge campaign to help fund a new album (which might also feature Horsehead drummer Max War). "This is an offshoot but it's not Horsehead," Andy points out. He and Scotty recently returned to their spiritual home, the Espy, for a photo-shoot, and snippets of three songs have been posted at - Free, Better You and Man At The Door. This is going to be a great album.

When Bruce Milne conducts his Leaps and Bounds' magical mystery bus tour, chances are it will be 11 degrees. But, sadly, as the bus drives past the Nylex Clock, Bruce won't be able to point to the clock and say, "And way up on high, the clock on the silo says 11 degrees." We're loving the Leaps and Bounds Music Festival. It's great to see local government supporting music and live venues. But it's ironic that the festival takes its name from an iconic song that refers to a landmark that lies dormant. The Nylex Clock, which was erected in 1961, has been switched off since 2008, when Nylex went broke. The Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, reckons it would cost about $40,000 a year to switch it back on and keep it running - surely, a small price to pay for a landmark? There's even a Facebook page, Return The Power To The Nylex Clock, which has more than 3000 likes. Skipping Girl Vinegar helped get Audrey skipping again; it's time to get the Nylex Clock ticking again. Many years ago, Paul Kelly told Howzat! he would always sneak a peek at the clock when he drove down Punt Road, "and I always get a little buzz when it's 11 degrees". Paul also revealed that Leaps and Bounds was not a sports song, even though it mentioned the MCG. "It's kind of a song about nothing, about feeling good, for no particular reason just some days you feel like you're floating." It's Greg Arnold's favourite "Melbourne" song. "And my love of the song is increased by a mate mishearing the lyrics," the Things of Stone and Wood singer says. "He always thought it was a song about a guy being refused entry to the MCG and he's yelling, 'But I'm a member, I'm a member!'" Bruce Milne is doing three more bus tours of City of Yarra music sites - today (Wednesday) and next Tuesday and Wednesday. Howzat! is also excited about the Popboomerang Records' day, "It's Not The Singer, But The Song", at the Yarra Hotel on Saturday. Head to for more info.

Howzat!'s all-time favourite album, Stephen Cummings' Lovetown, turns 25 this year. Stephen - back in Lovetown after a tour of France - is playing Saturdays in July at Pure Pop (6pm). Meanwhile, director Mike Brook is turning Stephen's 2009 memoir, Will It Be Funny Tomorrow, Billy?, into a film called Don't Throw Stones.

Howzat! is loving the new Josh Pyke album, The Beginning And The End Of Everything (out now on Ivy League). With a title like that, Josh has been forced to deny it's his last album. And why would he call it quits when he's at the peak of his powers? Josh is doing two shows at the Corner on August 17 and 18.

More than 60 per cent of the Australian songs to hit the Top 40 this year have been Voice-related. Howzat!'s mid-season report reveals that, love or hate it, The Voice is making a major impact on the charts. In the first half of 2013, 57 Australian songs cracked the Top 40, 35 of them Voice-related. But just 10 homegrown hits have cracked the Top 10, compared to 20 for the same period last year, and not one local song has topped the charts. The story is brighter on the albums chart, with six chart-topping Aussie albums and 17 local releases hitting the Top 10 (compared to 15 last year). Scoring number one albums in the first half of this year: Flume, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Hillsong United, Birds of Tokyo, Bernard Fanning and Harrison Craig.

Samantha Jade - who's playing Kylie in the upcoming INXS mini-series - starts a fire at number nine.

Parachute TIMOMATIC (number four)
Fire Starter SAMANTHA JADE (nine, debut)
Resolution MATT CORBY (10)
Sheppard EP SHEPPARD (19)
Riptide VANCE JOY (24)
Heart Hypnotic DELTA GOODREM (31)

Bliss N Eso become the seventh Aussie act to have a number one album this year.

Circus In The Sky BLISS N ESO (number one, debut)
More Than A Dream HARRISON CRAIG (two)
Glorious Ruins HILLSONG LIVE (three, debut)
The Great Country Songbook TROY CASSAR-DALEY & ADAM HARVEY (six)
Departures BERNARD FANNING (11)
Ice On The Dune EMPIRE OF THE SUN (15)
Sharkmouth RUSSELL MORRIS (23)
Loveless DREAM ON DREAMER (29, debut)
Flume FLUME (30)
Not Art BIG SCARY (32, debut)

Shiver and Shake SWEET JEAN
The Beginning And The End Of Everything JOSH PYKE

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