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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - December 18th 2013

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THANK GOD IT'S OVER
Nick Cave scored his first number one album. Gotye won three Grammys. A Herald Sun poll had John Farnham as the greatest voice in Australian music; Doc Neeson failed to make the Top 100. The Voice judges didn't turn for Abby Dobson. A record 14 Aussie albums topped the charts, but only Harrison Craig spent more than one week on top. Kylie split with her manager of 26 years. Angry Anderson was a National Party candidate, and James Blundell ran for Katter's Australian Party. Yep, 2013 was an unusual year. It was the year of crowdfunding and streaming. An American industry friend, who has battled music piracy for years, told Howzat!: "People can't even be bothered downloading music anymore, they just stream it. They no longer have time to steal our stuff, which is kind of insulting."


ARTIST OF THE YEAR
He explored a new genre - Australian blues. The album was rejected by every major label before becoming his first Top 10 album - 46 years after his first release. Sharkmouth was one of 2013's biggest local sellers, going platinum. He won his first ARIA Award, but the producers insulted him - and us - by giving One Direction and Alicia Keys more airtime. But he had the last laugh. His old mate Glenn Shorrock called and said, "Mate, what are you doing? We're has-beens, we're not meant to be in the Top 10!" It was a remarkable year for Russell Morris. He is Howzat!'s Artist of the Year.


BIG GIGS
Festivals were falling over all over the place (apart from, ironically, The Falls). Maybe people are realising the best gigs are in dark rooms with sticky carpets? The Fauves' 25th birthday show at the Corner was a triumph. Paul Kelly and Neil Finn at the Palais was magical. And on a balmy May evening, Skipping Girl Vinegar got to play next to the Skipping Girl Vinegar sign in Abbotsford. In a year of great gigs, these are the three shows Howzat! will never forget.


ROCK IN PEACE
We mourn the passing of Chrissy Amphlett, Chris Bailey (The Angels/GANGgajang), Wendy Saddington, Bill Putt (Spectrum), Dr Yunupingu (Yothu Yindi), Greg Quill (Country Radio) and producer Mike Shipley. Doc Neeson is battling a brain tumour, while Judith Durham survived a brain haemorrhage to go back on the road with The Seekers. And the great Jim Keays had brutal donor stem cell transplant treatment to beat myeloma. He's now working on a sequel to Dirty, Dirty. Can't wait to hear it. Thanks for reading Howzat! See you in 2014.

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