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Aussie artists
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Howzat! Archive - November 10th 2010

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PUTTING THE FUN IN DYSFUNCTIONALITY
Georgia Fields looked like a cross between Amy Winehouse, The B-52s and a geisha girl when Howzat! last saw her. As she struggled to put on her guitar, she joked that she needed a hair roadie. Georgia is an extraordinary new talent. She's quirky and accessible - a marvellous combination. Just when Georgia thought she would never finish her debut album (she even sings: "So I'm waving a white flag/ Yeah, I'm throwing the towel in"), she received a Vic Rocks grant. Georgia had food poisoning when the letter arrived. "I had never felt so happy, violently convulsing my gut out into a bucket, clutching my letter of funding acceptance." Georgia is launching the self-titled album (out now on Popboomerang Records) with a special "indoor picnic" at the Thornbury Theatre on Friday. About a dozen people will be on stage as part of Georgia's "Mini-Indie Orchestra". The bill also includes Angie Hart, Charles Jenkins and D. Rogers.
In a SYN interview earlier this year, you talked about wanting to pick a title for the album, but you ended up going self-titled. How come? "I nearly snapped my brain in half trying to decide on the right title! It plagued me for months. The closest contender was 'Putting The Fun In Dysfunctionality', which is a line in the album's closing track, Cold War. I really liked that one, but people who don't know me might take it the wrong way. The album is actually quite sombre overall, but the test audience for that title thought it sounded too jovial."
What feelings did you have when you finally got a copy of the album? "I went home by myself and played it really loud on the stereo with the window open. Then my boyfriend came over to surprise me with flowers and totally busted me singing and dancing to my own record. Let's just say it was a little awkward, but a wonderful way to wrap up a huge chapter in my life."
The album opens with a song called Seven Years, which documents your time in a "cult". Can you tell us a bit about that? "When I shared the meaning of Seven Years with producer Greg Arnold, he was quite taken with the sentiment, and said that if I was prepared to talk about the song, it'd be a very engaging story. I didn't think much of it, because I'm quite comfortable discussing it with friends, but as this topic has come up in interviews, I've been a little rattled. I guess the best description I can give is, from age 13 to 20, I was a part of a Pentecostal Christian 'church' that used very manipulative and controlling tactics to pilfer money, services and - as I later discovered - some hanky-panky from its pretty, young members. I'd be grossly underestimating it to say it was a very, very crummy time in my life. It felt like someone had their hand over my mouth; suffocating."

Your influences listed on MySpace include "mum's advice". What's the best advice your mum has given you?
"Stand up straight. And sing your songs like you mean it."


VALE JAMES FREUD
He was a great rock star.


SOME THOUGHTS ON THE ARIAS
Tim Rogers seemed to reflect the mood when he said: "But please can you tell me what the hell we're doing here?" Credit to the producers for trying something different, but will it be enough to save the ARIAs? The night saw some of the worst autocue reading in the history of television. Does Jessica Mauboy seriously think that "debut" is pronounced "de-but"? Are Angus & Julia Stoned for real? This was their entire speech after winning Single Of The Year: Julia - "Good, good, nervous, but good." Their mum - "They're not nervous, they're not nervous." Angus - "Yeah, good thanks, man" Sia delivered a speech to rank alongside Paul Mac thanking "Sydney's ecstasy dealers" in 1995. Clutching the pointy trophy, Sia thanked her manager, saying: "This is for you, you can put it up your bum later", which prompted Craig from The Chaser to say, "I'm not sure Bob [Katter] approves of that" Dan Sultan is a star The quality of the "comedy" writing was reflected by the Rebel Wilson line: "Powderfinger? More like Powder awesome" Meanwhile, the 'finger gave the finger to the new "public voted" awards when they asked, "What did we win, we weren't listening" after they were declared Most Popular Australian Artist ARIAs producer Mark Pope promised a tribute to James Freud that would be "simple, graceful and understated, yet powerful and resonant". All we got was Marcia Hines' awkward acknowledgement and a pic on the video screen. James deserved much better.


CHART WATCH
No Aussie singles in the national Top 10.

Freefallin' ZOE BADWI (number 12)
Planets SHORT STACK (19)
Plans BIRDS OF TOKYO (20)
Clap Your Hands SIA (26)
Rock It LITTLE RED (31)
Choose You STAN WALKER (36)

Sixteen Aussie albums in the Top 40.

Jack JOHN FARNHAM (number six)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (10)
Tangier BILLY THORPE (17)
Little Bird KASEY CHAMBERS (19)
Birds Of Tokyo BIRDS OF TOKYO (20)
The Very Best Of CROWDED HOUSE (23)
The Chase ILLY (25, debut)
Running On Air BLISS N ESO (26)
Immersion PENDULUM (29)
Angel Without Wings CAM HENDERSON (30)
April Uprising THE JOHN BUTLER TRIO (31)
Hillsong Chapel: Yahewh HILLSONG LIVE (32)
Gurrumul GURRUMUL (34)
I Believe You Liar WASHINGTON (35)
Marcia Sings Tapestry MARCIA HINES (38)
We Are Born SIA (39)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Seven Years GEORGIA FIELDS
Everything You Need NICK BATTERHAM
Mascara THE WEEKEND PEOPLE
Comfort Me THE AUDREYS
Barbados MODELS

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