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BALL … YES!
You gotta love the Melbourne music community. "It's a real
force, isn't it?" says Charles Jenkins. Already this year
we've had the SLAM Rally, the Community Cup and Ash Naylor's
surprise 40th. Now, Chuck is going back-to-back with his
Balls. Last year's Blue Atlas Winter Ball was voted local
Gig of the Year by Off The Record listeners on RRR. "See
you next year," Chuck declared at the end of the all-star
jam version of Dylan's Baby Let Me Follow You Down. True
to his word, the Charles Jenkins and the Zhivagos' 2010
Winter Ball is happening at the Corner on Saturday, with
an incredible cast, including Stephen Cummings, Rebecca
Barnard, Nick Barker, Rob Craw, Rob Snarski, Suzannah Espie,
Ash Naylor, Kat Spazzy, Jeff Lang, Angie Hart, Davey Lane,
Georgia Fields, as well as the return of the redoubtable
Ron Peno. As well as singing with Chuck, Ron will do two
sets with his new band, RSVP and The Return To Senders.
He agrees that the Ball is another great example of the
beauty of the Melbourne music community. "It is beautiful,"
Ron remarks. "I came here in 2003, and I'm never leaving."
The Winter Ball is also a celebration of Chuck's songwriting
genius. Rebecca Barnard says: "Charles Jenkins is one of
those rare generous musicians who wants to see us all doing
well. He is a beautiful songwriter and it's a pleasure to
be singing one of his songs at the Ball."
Last year's Winter Ball was unforgettable. Howzat!'s friend
Michael mentioned that he hadn't seen so many pretty girls
in the one room in a long time. But Chuck's memories are
a little, er, hazy. "The very large backstage bar tab still
haunts me," he laughs. But when pressed for the 2009 highlights,
he lists: "The stunning crowd, the way the venue was dressed
… Davey Lane's white suit was pretty cool, I reckon, and
Zhivagos drummer Dave Milne was heroic, I thought."
The 2009 Ball was filmed, so will there be a DVD release?
"I don't know, perhaps," Chuck says. "There were some real
performance peaks, but, unfortunately, a lot of the footage
involved my appearance, so I think we would struggle to
get a decent censorship classification."
Howzat! can reveal that the new Charles Jenkins and The
Zhivagos album - to be released late September - will be
called The Diamond Light. "The title comes from a John Pilger
description of his boyhood spent at the beach," Chuck explains.
"It's a big, beautiful, sprawling record made at a sheep
station homestead near the South Australian border and mixed
in St Kilda." Expect to hear some big hooks. "Prior to writing
the album, Zhivagos bass player Art Starr mentioned to me
the idea of putting choruses and riffs into songs, a practice
I'd long abandoned! Anyhow, I started to take a shine to
that novel concept, and the album is littered with the things."
Remarkably, two Chuck gems, In Your Arms and I Booked An
Ambulance, failed to make the cut. "I don't know why," Chuck
says. You can find them in the "Songs Lost At Sea" section
Fresh from re-forming The Dead Salesmen, Hap Hayward is
now focusing on his other band, Underminers, who are getting
set to release their third album, Heart Part Of Mind. "It's
a beautiful thing," Hap tells Howzat! "It's right up there
with [The Dead Salesmen's] Amen, in my books. I haven't
been able to write anything since we finished recording
it. I feel like I've literally said it all now. If it does
nothing, I will know in my heart that I didn't get it wrong
and that's just the way it is." Heart Part Of Mind is being
released by Popboomerang Records and will be launched at
the start of October.
READ ABOUT IT
So what's the greatest Australian album of all time? A new
book is sure to generate plenty of debate. Three former
Juice editors - John O'Donnell, Toby Creswell and Craig
Mathieson - have teamed up to compile 100 Best Australian
Albums, which will be out in November ($59.95, Hardie Grant).
Meanwhile, the Paul Kelly book, How To Make Gravy, will
be published by Penguin at the end of September. Paul describes
the book as "a mongrel memoir". Word is it'll be a whopping
576 pages (retailing for $49.95). It will be accompanied
by a box set of Paul's A-Z recordings.
Kyle Sandilands' wife lands at 38.
We No Speak Americano, YOLANDA BE COOL (number nine)
All The Lovers, KYLIE MINOGUE (18)
Lying, AMY MEREDITH (24)
Mousetrap Heart, THIRSTY MERC (30)
iYiYi CODY, SIMPSON (32)
Big Jet Plane, ANGUS & JULIA STONE (34)
Baby, I'm Getting' Better, GYROSCOPE (36)
Closure, SCARLETT BELLE (38)
Kylie sells 15,000 albums, but can't knock off Eminem.
Aphrodite, KYLIE MINOGUE (number two, debut)
A Beautiful Exchange, HILLSONG LIVE (three, debut)
Cinema, THE CAT EMPIRE (six)
Deep Blue, PARKWAY DRIVE (seven)
Restless, AMY MEREDITH (eight, debut)
Down The Way, ANGUS & JULIA STONE (12)
We Are Born, SIA (13)
Immersion, PENDULUM (21)
Iron Man 2, AC/DC (23)
Mousetrap Heart, THIRSTY MERC (24)
April Uprising, THE JOHN BUTLER TRIO (29)
Intriguer, CROWDED HOUSE (35)
Golden Rule, POWDERFINGER (40)
Shelley Winters, CHARLES JENKINS
Everybody's In Debt, JASON WALKER
I Come In Peace, ROSS WILSON
Always Coming Down, CORDRAZINE
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