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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - November 16th 2016

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WHY I LOVE BEN LEE
What a career Ben Lee has had. He's only 38, but he's already up to his 12th solo album. He has refused to follow a predictable path, with his output including an album of Against Me! covers, and records about dreams (Deeper Into Dream) and mind-altering substances (Ayahuasca: Welcome To The Work). Ben certainly polarises people. Maybe it's because he's hung out with indie rock stars and Hollywood starlets, and has an essential oils business with his wife, Ione Skye. "A precocious little cunt," Bernard Fanning infamously called him, while Klinger sang: "And you're lucky that you met me because I'm arrogant like Ben Lee/ And some people they don't get me 'cause I'm a genius like Ben Lee." Howzat! was indifferent to Ben's work until 2005's Awake Is The New Sleep. Sure, we'd enjoyed his teenage work with Noise Addict, the "punk" version of Silverchair. But Awake was a masterwork. Moving and melodic, it documents loss and longing, heartache and healing. "You broke my fucking heart," Ben declared. "But I still want you." The great songwriters allow us into their world, and Ben has taken us on quite a trip. "My music has often been both an exploration and a diary of my attempts to open my own heart and mind," he explains. His latest work has a title that will please the Ben Lee detractors: Freedom, Love And The Recuperation Of The Human Mind. His most intimate album yet, it's like he's singing just for you, in your lounge room. It's a gloriously simple but powerful record. After years of searching, Ben has found that the answer might be within. Just as Michael Hutchence sang in INXS's Listen Like Thieves, "You are all you need", Ben concludes: "Just know the saviour saves himself. It can't be done by someone else." At a time when pop stars are beige, Ben is multi-coloured. When most other acts say nothing, for fear of alienating potential fans, Ben is not afraid to voice an opinion, and occasionally it's outlandish. And, best of all, he can deliver genuine pop thrills. Yep, Ben Lee is one of the greats. He's playing at the Caravan Club on Friday.


KATE THE GREAT
Happy Birthday to Kate Ceberano, who turns 50 on 17 Nov.


HOT LINE
"A new beginning has begun, a great idea whose time has come" - Ben Lee, Cosmic Science.


CHART WATCH
No homegrown hits in the national Top 10.

Stranger PEKING DUK FEATURING ELLIPHANT (number 12)
The Greatest SIA (13)
Catch 22 ILLY FEATURING ANNE-MARIE (14)
Set In Stone GUY SEBASTIAN (21)
Papercuts ILLY FEATURING VERA BLUE (29)


After three weeks on top, Jessica Mauboy slips to number two. And ARIA Hall of Famers Crowded House place eight albums in the Top 100: The Very Very Best Of (39), Woodface (45), Crowded House (46), Temple Of Low Men (53), Together Alone (54), Afterglow (61), Intriguer (66) and Time On Earth (96).

The Secret Daughter JESSICA MAUBOY (number two)
Brace BIRDS OF TOKYO (three, debut)
Don't Look Down PEZ (seven, debut)
Triple J's Like A Version 12 VARIOUS (nine)
Ripcord KEITH URBAN (10)
Let There Be Light HILLSONG WORSHIP (11)
Diplomatic Immunity CLIENT LIAISON (15, debut)
Wings Of The Wild DELTA GOODREM (16)
Gimme Some Lovin': Jukebox Vol II HUMAN NATURE (22)
This Is Acting SIA (30)
Two Vines EMPIRE OF THE SUN (31)
Kings Of Vegas HARRISON CRAIG (36, debut)
50 Best Songs PLAY SCHOOL (37)
Dream Lover - The Bobby Darin Musical AUSTRALIAN CAST FEATURING DAVID CAMPBELL (38)
The Very Very Best Of CROWDED HOUSE (39)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Learning To Love BEN LEE
Struck By Lightning KINGS OF THE SUN
Save BENNY WALKER
Drive GRETTA RAY
Already Home ALEX THE ASTRONAUT

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