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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - February 16th 2011

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THREE DOWNLOW VOTES
The intro reminds Howzat! of LRB's Help Is On Its Way. The opening guitars sound a little like the Hoodoo Gurus' Bittersweet. Overall, the guitars jangle like Tom Petty, and the production dips its lid to the genius of Jeff Lynne. And then there's a cosmic synth break that reminds of Heart and Kiss and maybe Kenny Rogers. Sounds incongruous, but it's the new Wagons single, Downlow (Spunk/EMI), and it's a cracker. "Your mamma don't like me none," Henry Wagons sings, "she got every reason under the sun." But this is a song that'll satisfy the entire Wagons demographic. Downlow is the first single from the new Wagons album, due out in May. The band is launching the single as well as the vinyl version of their previous album, The Rise And Fall Of Goodtown, at the Corner on March 4.


NOT SO COOL WORLD
Australian legend Ross Wilson has taken a swipe at Sony and iTunes in a savage piece at his excellent website, rosswilson.com.au. Ross' latest best-of, Mr Eagle Rock, is not available on iTunes because Sony own the original Daddy Cool tracks and won't allow Shock to make them available for download. "They also have a bad attitude when it comes to Daddy Cool's compilation The Essential Daddy Cool," Ross writes, "you can't download the entire collection as an album, only track by track, and the biggest DC hits cost $2.19 instead of $1.69! I swear it's pissing off fans and it's pissing off moi. This is exploitation at its worst. Hello Sony, hello iTunes Australia, our dollar is now worth $US1.00 so shouldn't our iTunes tracks now cost $0.99 like they do in the US? And they wonder why we shop online offshore. These guys are supposed to be selling my music - reasonable prices would lead to more sales and happier customers." Hear, hear.


CLIP OF THE YEAR
Head to YouTube right now to check out the video for The Little Stevies' Feel It. It's fabulous.


GRANEY DAYS AHEAD
New record deal! New book! New album! 2011 is going to be a big year for Dave Graney. He's signed to Liberation, who are releasing a new Dave Graney and the Lurid Yellow Mist album, Rock 'N' Roll Is Where I Hide, in April. Dave says it's a "full on rock 'n' roll album", featuring re-recordings of songs such as Night Of The Wolverine, Feelin' Kinda Sporty, I'm Not Afraid To Be Heavy and I'm Gonna Release Your Soul. The album will coincide with Dave's memoir, 1001 Australian Nights. "Not so much a personal slant, but everything gets all mixed up along the way."


SKATER BOYS
As the Xanadu musical hits town, nouveau yacht rockers The Vaudeville Smash are launching a single called Roller Disco, a summer smash about falling in love, with a smooth groove and tasty horns. "I have watched Xanadu and I love the soundtrack," says singer Marc Lucchesi. "I also think Olivia looks pretty nice. But Roller Disco is actually a song about my early teens, when I would go to the ice skating rink every week with my first girlfriend. A coming-of-age song, if you will. I thought falling in love 'at the roller disco' had a better ring than 'at the ice rink', hence the change from hard water to hard wood." The video shoot at the Eltham roller rink saw keys player Ben Timmis suffer for his art - he broke his leg, even though he wasn't on skates. The Vaudeville Smash are playing this Saturday at the Toff.


NICK ROCKS, GEORGIA FIELDS
You would have seen the logo on many local releases: Victoria Rocks. It means that the disc was made with the assistance of Arts Victoria's Vic Rocks funding program. Two grant recipients - Nick Batterham and Georgia Fields - are doing a gig this Friday at the Empress. "Vic Rocks is great," Nick says. "It certainly filled my sails. The grant allowed me to mix the record [Second Lovers] using a decent desk, which turned my home recordings into a coherent record. Working in isolation, any positive feedback from the outside world gives you a lift." Georgia was suffering from food poisoning when she got her Arts Vic letter. "I had never felt so happy, violently convulsing my gut out into a bucket, clutching my letter of funding acceptance," she recalls. The deadline for the next round of funding is March 7.

CHART WATCH
No homegrown hits in the national Top 10.

Who's That Girl GUY SEBASTIAN (number 14)
Friday To Sunday JUSTICE CREW (19)
Rapunzel DRAPHT (20)
Saturday Night JESSICA MAUBOY (30)
Big Jet Plane ANGUS & JULIA STONE (37)
Rock It LITTLE RED (38)

Cut Copy debut at number three.

Zonoscope CUT COPY (number three, debut)
Twenty Ten GUY SEBASTIAN (eight)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (10)
Altiyan Childs ALTIYAN CHILDS (14)
Birds Of Tokyo BIRDS OF TOKYO (16)
Gilgamesh GYPSY & THE CAT (26)
Running On Air BLISS N ESO (27)
He Will Have His Way VARIOUS (30)
Get Closer KEITH URBAN (32)
Immersion PENDULUM (33)
We Are Born SIA (34)
Midnight Remember LITTLE RED (36)
I Believe You Liar WASHINGTON (39)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Downlow WAGONS
Roller Disco THE VAUDEVILLE SMASH
Feel It THE LITTLE STEVIES
Seven Years GEORGIA FIELDS
I Got You ROSS WILSON

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