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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - December 16th 2015

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AGILE NATION
"There has never been a more exciting time to be alive." So said Malcolm Turnbull at the time of his ascension. And 2015 was certainly great if you were Courtney Barnett, Tame Impala and 5 Seconds Of Summer. But as a mate recently remarked, it's a shame that Courtney had to go overseas to get some prime time TV exposure. Isn't it crazy that it's 2015 and we don't have one tonight show? Fortunately, this didn't stop a dozen Aussie albums from topping the charts, from artists as diverse as Lee Kernaghan, Hermitude, Hillsong and Northlane.


ARTIST OF THE YEAR
He's one of those acts we stupidly take for granted, because he's always around, making music. And when he plays, it's as if heaven's coming through his hands. He's alive and he's got a great new album. Ross Hannaford is Howzat!'s Artist Of The Year.


BIG GIGS
Is Tinder killing live music? Are young people using their phones to pick up instead of going to pubs and clubs? It was one of 2015's great debates. Howzat! didn't worry about picking up, but we did catch some great gigs. Sydney's finest songwriter, Perry Keyes, came to Melbourne four times, Ben Lee did two shows, The Fauves made a rare appearance at the excellent Leaps & Bounds festival, Mark Seymour did a theatre gig, Ron S. Peno was regularly remarkable, and Methyl Ethel were best first-year players.


COME BACK AGAIN
Everything old was new again. Returning bands included The Sports, Klinger, The Badloves, Icecream Hands, Epicure, Mondo Rock, The Meanies, Pray TV, Cold Chisel, The Bo-Weevils, Dave Graney 'n' the Coral Snakes, and Things of Stone and Wood. Sadly, the original LRB was unable to celebrate its 40th anniversary.


QUOTE OF THE YEAR
"I implore Australian radio to base your playlists on the quality of the song and not the age of the artist Radio, please don't meet your Australian quotas because you have to. Exceed them because you really want to." - Tina Arena.


READ ABOUT IT
Some top tomes hit bookstores, including Peter Garrett's autobiography, Jane Gazzo's Farnham bio, Stuart Coupe's Gudinski book, Clinton Walker's updated Buried Country, and 100 Greatest Australian Singles Of The '60s. But Howzat!'s favourite music book was Catherine Fleming and John Tait's Captain Matchbox & Beyond, the story of Mic and Jim Conway. Beautifully presented and a ripper read.


HOT LINE OF THE YEAR
"Put me on a pedestal and I'll only disappoint you" - Courtney Barnett, Pedestrian At Best.

*Next week: Howzat!'s favourite 2015 albums


CHART WATCH
Hilltop Hoods have a Top 10 debut.

Higher HILLTOP HOODS (number nine, debut)
The Trouble With Us MARCUS MARR & CHET FAKER (13)
Who You Lovin CONRAD SEWELL (19)
Stone CYRUS (22)
Fire And The Flood VANCE JOY (25)
Black & Blue GUY SEBASTIAN (27)
Alive SIA (32)

Troye Sivan lands at number six.

Blue Neighbourhood TROYE SIVAN (number six, debut)
The Very Best Of Richie THE 12TH MAN (seven)
The Christmas Album HUMAN NATURE (10)
Kylie Christmas KYLIE MINOGUE (12)
Cyrus CYRUS (14, debut)
Our Christmas Wish THE TEN TENORS (17)
Eleven TINA ARENA (19)
Molly VARIOUS ARTISTS (20)
Dream Your Life Away VANCE JOY (21)
Triple J Like A Version Vol. 11 VARIOUS (24)
Currents TAME IMPALA (30)
Sounds Good Feels Good 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER (32)
Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit COURTNEY BARNETT (35)

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