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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - January 11th 2012

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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 music charts."


CHART WATCH
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)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
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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