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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - December 21st 2011

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Howzat!'s 2011 wrap continues

ALBUMS OF THE YEAR

1. SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR - KEEP CALM, CARRY THE MONKEY
Deeper and darker than their debut, SGV deliver an edgy pop masterpiece.

2. RON S. PENO AND THE SUPERSTITIONS - FUTURE UNIVERSE
Moody and majestic, haunting and unsettling, Ron S. Peno declares, "I'm all dressed up to kill". Indeed, he is.

3. MYLES MAYO - MYLES MAYO
Magical melodies and terrific tales from Adelaide's finest songwriter, ex-Special Patrol.

4. SAND PEBBLES - DARK MAGIC
Deliciously dippy, a little bit hippie and often trippy. Dark magic, indeed.

5. DEAD LETTER CHORUS - YEARLINGS
Sublime folk pop. The single, Run, Wild, found a following via a Toyota ad. The rest of the album is even better.

6. JD LOVE - TWO DAYS
The former Ferret crafts a rootsy classic in just two days. It sounds gentle, but these songs will haunt you.

7. WAGONS - RUMBLE, SHAKE AND TUMBLE
Melbourne's cosmic cowboy continues to blaze his own trail. As he sings, "it's sizzlin', cracklin', smokin' and fizzling".

8. DAVE GRANEY - ROCK 'N' ROLL IS WHERE I HIDE
The world's forgotten boy revisits and re-imagines some '90s gems. A sweet ride.

9. THE SWAMP DANDIES - FALL
"I still got fire left in my belly," declares Dr Folk Rock, Greg Arnold, on an album that's deceptively dark.

10. THE FAUVES - JAPANESE ENGINES
The idiosyncratic Peninsula boys complete the perfect 10, with their 10th album purring beautifully.

11. BIG SCARY - VACATION
A compelling collection that refuses to be pigeonholed. 2011's best debut.

12. D. ROGERS - NATURAL DISASTERS
Suburban struggle - where "unpaid bills dress the refrigerator" - never sounded so sweet.

FIVE FAVOURITE 2011 SONGS
BOY IN A BOX - Glitter, Gold, Ruin
THE LITTLE STEVIES - Accidentally
WAGONS - Downlow
DEAD LETTER CHORUS - Covered By Snow
THE RICH AND FAMOUS - Power Of This


FIVE FAVOURITE 2011 GIGS
SAND PEBBLES & DAVE GRANEY, Northcote Social Club
SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR, Fairfax Studio
DRAPHT, Billboard
WAGONS, Forum
CAITLIN HARNETT, East Melbourne Library


CHART NEWS
Thank God for Gotye. Otherwise, it was a wasteland on the charts for Aussie acts.
Gotye set a stack of records, becoming the first Aussie male artist with just one name to have a number one single, the only Belgian-born artist to top the Australian charts, and the only local male without a reality show or comedy connection (think Chris Franklin and The 12th Man) to top the charts since Daryl Braithwaite's The Horses in 1991. Gotye became the first Aussie act to have the number one single and album in the same week since Silverchair did the double in 2007. And no other Aussie artist has had his name pronounced in so many different ways on the radio. Three Aussie singles topped the 2011 charts (compared to one last year, and three in 2009). And only seven homegrown hits reached the Top 10, surely the worst result ever. In fact, just 31 local singles hit the 2011 Top 40 (compared to 45 a decade ago, and 56 in 1991). Disastrous. Meanwhile, Drapht became the first local solo hip hop artist to have a number one album. It was one of only two local albums to go all the way (compared to four last year, and six in 2009).

NUMBER ONE SINGLES
Guy Sebastian - Who's That Girl (one week)
Gotye & Kimbra - Somebody That I Used To Know (eight weeks)
Reece Mastin - Good Night (two weeks)

NUMBER ONE ALBUMS
Drapht - The Life of Riley (one week)
Gotye - Making Mirrors (one week)


HIP HIP
2011 was a major year for milestones. Eagle Rock and Dannii Minogue turned 40. Davey Lane, Guy Sebastian, Vanessa Amorosi and the Tote turned 30. The ARIAs and Whispering Jack turned 25. Keith Urban won his fourth Grammy - equalling Olivia Newton-John's Aussie record, while The Temper Trap and Kylie scored Brit Award nominations. Angus & Julia Stone's Big Jet Plane became the first local song to land on top of Triple J's Hottest 100 since Augie March's One Crowded Hour in 2007 (and the first to feature a female vocalist since The Cranberries' Zombie in 1995). Cloud Control's debut, Bliss Release, won the Australian Music Prize for album of the year. Kylie and The Wiggles were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. Triple J started a new digital station, Unearthed. And Brian Mannix turned 50. Where will we be in 50 years?

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