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BRING IT ON
There's a lot to look forward to in 2012, including a new
album from Sydney's finest songwriter, Perry Keyes. Also
coming soon is the long-awaited debut for The Hello Morning.
And it should be a big year for Boy In A Box, Stonefield,
Animaux, Tenielle and Caitlin Harnett. Look out for blockbuster
albums from Chisel, Delta, Missy Higgins (produced by Butterfly
Boucher), Hilltop Hoods, Something For Kate and Spiderbait.
And The Black Sorrows are releasing Crooked Little Thoughts,
a deluxe three-CD and book package. 2012 will also bring
new albums from Stephen Cummings, Jim Keays, Underground
Lovers, The Temper Trap, James Reyne, The Mark of Cain,
The Fauves, Sophie Koh, Michael Meeking, Bobby Flynn and,
who knows, maybe even that second album from The Avalanches.
Some wishes for 2012 - Stephen Cummings inducted into the
ARIA Hall of Fame, Paul Kelly performing at the Grand Final,
and the return of the Nylex Clock. It's time.
DARK MAGIC, SURPRISE ENDING?
Should bands break up or just take a break? That question
is at the heart of Dino Scatena's Powderfinger book, Footprints.
Howzat! was shocked to see a tweet from Sand Pebbles drummer
Wes Holland last week: "Andrew and Tor are quitting. Come
watch their last Melbourne show tomorrow night." He followed
with another tweet: "The rumours are true! Although Andy
is using 'indefinite hiatus' as the official line." It's
hard to replace two singers - Andrew Tanner has family commitments,
while Tor Larsen wants to travel. But another Pebbles member
tells Howzat!: "We're just taking a break. People are getting
ahead of themselves saying it's the end. It could well be
over, but I doubt it."
THE DEBATE WE HAVE TO HAVE
Paul Cashmere put it succinctly at Noise11.com: "2011, what
a pathetic year for Australian music". Paul pointed to the
fact that only one Australian song (Gotye's Somebody That
I Used To Know) made the 2011 Top 20. In fact, just nine
Australian songs featured in ARIA's year-end Top 100. Only
one local album (again from Gotye) made the 2011 Top 10,
while 22 Aussie albums made the Top 100. Paul argues the
figures are "more a statement about media support than it
is about quality of the music. Commercial radio should hang
its head in shame for the support it gave the local music
industry in 2011." His comments prompted a Facebook debate.
Music executive Michael Parisi wrote: "Have been reading
articles and posts about the demise of Australian music
on radio. Whatever! Radio has never done us any favours!
Make some noise, the right noise, and radio will cross the
road to us!" RocKwiz producer Peter Bain-Hogg called for
an all-Australian network, "Triple A - All Australian Artists.
Non-stop 24-hour Australian music." TV and radio presenter
Jane Gazzo added, "We have the stars in this country, we
need the right media to help glorify them." But Peter says
"forcing programmers to play Australian music is not the
answer. It's a tacit admission that our music isn't good
enough to compete on its own merits. They should want to
play it because it is good." Fox, Nova and Triple M are
required to play at least 25 per cent Australian content
between 6am and midnight. Mix, as a "hot/mainstream adult
contemporary" station, has a 20 per cent local quota, while
Gold's quota is15 per cent. Artist and producer Darren Glen
suggests playing American songs is "a safer bet for a spineless
radio programmer. They can argue to the board of directors,
'Well, don't sack me … it was a hit in the US, here's the
paperwork.' You could give radio an Australian equivalent
of Billie Jean and every time the next US hit will look
like a safer bet." Inpress founder Andrew Watt responded:
"It is pointless for the music business to bleat that the
media business [commercial radio] should be made to support
us. The 'beer business' benefits from the 'salted peanut
business', but the business manages to find other ways to
make people drink beer without force-feeding them salted
peanuts." Howzat! believes quotas should be increased. But
an intriguing question to ponder: Would commercial radio
play more local music if quotas were removed? Do they simply
play the bare minimum because that's what they're forced
to do? Fox FM boss Dave Cameron told The Music Network last
year, "It would be terrific to have our whole playlist 100
per cent Australian, 100 per cent of the time. It's unrealistic.
We respond to the supply from record companies, the demand
from listeners and, as a Top 40 network, we respond to the
Timomatic is headed for the Top 10.
Good Night REECE MASTIN (number five)
Don't Worry Be Happy GUY SEBASTIAN (seven)
Set It Off TIMOMATIC (12)
Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE (15)
I Love It HILLTOP HOODS & SIA (23)
Galaxy JESSICA MAUBOY & STAN WALKER (25)
The Red Dog soundtrack cracks the Top 40.
Reece Mastin REECE MASTIN (number three)
Making Mirrors GOTYE (seven)
All For You COLD CHISEL (14)
Moonfire BOY & BEAR (16)
Falling & Flying 360 (22)
Vows KIMBRA (26)
Red Dog SOUNDTRACK (37)
Dark Magic SAND PEBBLES
Nothing On The Go THE FAUVES
Do Ya JIM KEAYS
No Star EVEN
Turtledove JAIME ROBBIE REYNE
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