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Howzat! Archive - May 1st 2013

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Marty McFly: "If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything."

"Because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person," American author Sarah Dessen said. Vaudeville Smash's debut album, Dancing For The Girl (out Friday), is like a musical version of Back To The Future. It's a brand new album, but it manages to take you back to Blue Light Discos, roller-skating, first kisses and lost loves. "Do you remember?" singer Marc Lucchesi asks in the title-track. As the bio says, Dancing For The Girl manages to sound both wonderfully nostalgic and right now. It's one of 2013's great albums.

Anyone who's caught Vaudeville Smash live knows they're highly entertaining. But sometimes they can be heavy on the cheese. The album is a surprise because it's much deeper and darker than their live show, while maintaining the huge pop hooks. Just check out the latest single, Don't Say A Word. With dark '80s synths, it's a tale of love and infidelity. Not all nostalgia is cheesy. Sometimes the past is a painful place.

While listening to Dancing For The Girl, Howzat! had another flashback, to a conversation with a German friend in 1989. "Hey, do you want to go see Wa Wa Nee?" we asked. "Wow," our friend replied, "but how much will it cost and how will we get tickets?" He couldn't believe it when we revealed it was a free gig. No other Australian band sounded exactly like Wa Wa Nee. Fortunately, the local scene is more diverse and broad-minded than it was in the '80s. But, still, no other Australian band sounds quite like Vaudeville Smash. Here's hoping they manage to find their own niche locally, without having to go overseas, because Dancing For The Girl -which they're launching at the Corner on 14 June - is far too good to fall between the cracks.

Lorraine: "Marty, will we ever see you again?"
Marty: "I guarantee it."

If only Twitter was used more often for good and not evil … It's great to see superstars use social media to spread the word about things they like. Rod Stewart tweeted last week: "Saw one of the greatest rock n roll movies for the 3rd time last night, The Sapphires. I've seen it w/my band & w/my kids. They all cheered." And Missy Higgins raved after seeing Ainslie Wills: "Saw this lady play 2 nights ago for her debut album launch and her voice just blew me away."

Former Inpress music editor Martin Jones recently reviewed Heath Cullen's second album, The Still And The Steep (out now on Five By Nine Records through Fuse), in Rhythms, calling him "one of those inordinately talented musicians who is far too tasteful to make it in Australia". Heath launches the album at the Thornbury Theatre on Saturday, with special guest Emma Heeney.

She was wild and she was wicked. And she was a pioneering performer, our greatest rock chick. And we should also celebrate Chrissy Amphlett's wonderful sense of humour. The day after Chrissy's death, Howzat! was chatting with Ron Peno. Chrissy always loved catching up with the Died Pretty singer. "Ah," she would exclaim when giving him a big hug, "it's Ronnie Peanut!" Howzat! also laughed when we re-read two classic quotes from Chrissy's autobiography, Pleasure And Pain. Before she was a star, Chrissy had a role in the musical Let My People Come. In one scene, she had large rollers in her pubic hair. She said: "After wearing rollers in my pubes, how could I ever be inhibited again?" And Chrissy knocked back a chance to be a body double in the movie Dawn!, saying: "You could never pay me enough to play Dawn Fraser's arse!" I'm sure Chrissy would have got a kick out of the media's reporting of her passing - at the age of 53. If you read the account of Chrissy's early days, there's no doubt she was closer to 60 than 50. She talked of supporting Zoot, who broke up in 1971. Chrissy was young when her career started, but I don't think she was supporting Zoot when she was 12. She also went to high school with Denis Walter, who was reportedly born in 1955, not 1959. But Chrissy's life was an incredible story - she could tell it whichever way she wanted. Howzat!'s good buddy Mark Opitz signed Divinyls and produced their first two albums. "To me, Christina Amphlett has always been beautiful; even when she wasn't," Mark writes in his new book, Sophisto-punk. "Vivacious, wild, independent. It made no difference that she was working in a man's world; Chrissy wasn't intimidated by anybody. She was intense and talented, a diva in the purest sense of the word."

Just one Aussie hit in the top 20.

Hello STAFFORD BROTHERS (number nine)
Big Banana HAVANA BROWN (22)
Holdin On FLUME (25)
A Thousand Years CELIA PAVEY (33, debut)
You Raise Me Up HARRISON CRAIG (40, debut)

Renée Geyer swings into the Top 40 with the 25th album of her 40-year career.

Flume FLUME (number four)
Sharkmouth RUSSELL MORRIS (six)
The Essential DIVINYLS (14, debut)
Swing RENEE GEYER (22, debut)
Armageddon GUY SEBASTIAN (27)
Nightswim OWL EYES (28, debut)
March Fires BIRDS OF TOKYO (34)

Human On The Inside DIVINYLS

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