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Howzat! Archive - December 15th 2010

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It was a pivotal scene in Neighbours last week. As Andrew Robinson revealed to Tash that he didn't love her, and he sent Facebook messages to the third member of the love triangle, Summer, the soundtrack was provided by Sydney singer-songwriter Caitlin Harnett. "Watch us breaking, folding beneath the fire," Caitlin sang, "a battle between what we have and what we desire." Before Now is the achingly beautiful opening cut on Caitlin's second EP, All In The Golden Afternoon. You wonder how one so young - Caitlin has just said goodbye to her teenage years - can write something so melancholic and poetic. "I love you is just another thing we said to make it right," Caitlin sings, "You tell me this is dying, well, I've been dying for too long now."

Howzat! compared the cute pop of Caitlin's debut EP, Tiny Spark, to Lisa Loeb, but there is something altogether deeper about her new EP, exquisitely produced by Matt Fell. Many artists are doing the fey pop thing, but few are doing it with as much depth and poetic insight. And there is something beautifully organic about Caitlin's career. She's not rushing into releasing an album; the EP is self-distributed (via and, with the support of Mushroom Publishing, she's taking her music to the world. Caitlin didn't get to see the Neighbours episode because she's in New Zealand, doing 18 shows in 18 days. Caitlin Harnett is going to be a star, it's just a matter of when.

Scotty "Pop" Thurling is a lover of Australian pop. And he's had a huge 2010 running Popboomerang Records. "The toughest thing about running a label is simply staying financially afloat," Scotty tells Howzat! The label has had 11 releases this year, including albums from Georgia Fields, The Bon Scotts, Young Werther and Underminers. Two of those albums will make it on to Howzat!'s year-end "best of" list, so what's been Scotty Pop's favourite Aussie album of 2010? "The album I played most (non Popboomerang) was by Matt Purcell & The Blessed Curse. Great jangle crunchy pop from Sydney that evokes memories of the classic Orange Humble Band debut. The new Cordrazine album was also pretty amazing." And what about Scotty's personal music highlight of 2010? "It has not really occurred yet, but the news that the Hummingbirds are playing a reformation show in January 2011 stands out. The Punters Club reunion with Frente and the Hollowmen was also a highlight." Popboomerang is celebrating its big year with a Christmas gig at the Cornish Arms on Friday, with live appearances from Underminers, D. Rogers, Georgia Fields, The Bon Scotts, Greg Williams and more. A gold coin donation will get you in.

Murray Engleheart might be Australia's premier rock journalist. Fresh from his AC/DC biography, Murray has documented the rise of Australian pub rock, focusing on Billy Thorpe, Rose Tattoo, X and The Angels. Blood, Sweat & Beers ($35, HarperCollins) is a tale tinged with tragedy, considering how many Tatts and X members are no longer with us. Fortunately, Murray was working on the book for a long time, so he has interviews with all the key players. The highlight is his chat with Ian Rilen and Mick Cocks - it's laugh-out-loud funny and revealing. Mick reflects on his drunken "kiss" with Angry Anderson, which saw the Tatts banned by Countdown for three years: "I had to go to my sister's school and actually have a little yak and say, 'Look, we're just grown men and it's theatre and don't give my sister a hard time about this and I'm not a poofter.' I had politicians ringing my mother. It was a fucking huge thing!" Howzat! loved Countdown, but the late-great Lobby Loyde savages the show: "The death of music was Countdown. All they ever talked to you about was how it looked, what colour shirts you were going to wear, and was your makeup right We just thought it was fucking definite Satan land. Everybody that I knew pathologically hated that show. Yet today they talk about it like it was the birth of rock 'n' roll. It was a shit show and everybody knows it it was the beginning of the fucking end." Neil Rogers will interview Murray Engleheart on RRR's The Australian Mood on Thursday, December 30 at 8pm.

Drapht moves from 37 to 33 with his first Top 40 hit.

Who's That Girl GUY SEBASTIAN (number three)
Saturday Night JESSICA MAUBOY (14)
Somewhere In The World ALTIYAN CHILDS (25)
Planets SHORT STACK (27)
Rapunzel DRAPHT (33)
Freefallin' ZOE BADWI (35)

Just one Aussie album in the Top 10 at the business-end of the year.

Twenty Ten GUY SEBASTIAN (number nine)
Celebrating 50 Glorious Years HAMISH & ANDY (11)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (17)
He Will Have His Way VARIOUS (19)
Get Closer KEITH URBAN (21)
Vegas Songs From Sin City HUMAN NATURE (22)
The Great Tenor Songbook MARK VINCENT (24)
This Is Bat Country SHORT STACK (26)
Birds Of Tokyo BIRDS OF TOKYO (33)
I Believe You Liar WASHINGTON (36)
Get 'Em Girls JESSICA MAUBOY (38)
Merry Christmas KATE CEBERANO (40)

Everything You Need NICK BATTERHAM
Rapunzel DRAPHT

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