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Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - April 24th 2013

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NO ORDINARY GUY
"It's coming on winter, I love this place " Tim Guy's new album, Dreaming Of A Night Mango (out now on Lost and Lonesome), features a fine Melbourne song called Many People I Know. Is it ironic or sarcastic? "No," says Tim, "I love the Melbourne winter, it's my favourite season, for sure." Tim is a true troubadour, having spent his musical life travelling. His passion flickered in Papua New Guinea, where he sold his bike to buy a guitar. Soon he was playing songs by Chuck Berry, The Beatles, AC/DC and Barnesy. He then started writing on the Gold Coast. When his band, The Burrows, folded, a chance sound-check meeting with Kiwi star Bic Runga in Melbourne led to a deal with Bic's label. Tim relocated to Auckland, played at WOMAD NZ and signed a publishing deal with Mushroom. He's now been back in Melbourne for three years. Is it home? "It is, yeah," he smiles. "I'm settling in."

Tim, who is launching his fourth album at the Grace Darling tonight (Wednesday), loves Melbourne's live scene. "You can play a lot here and never get out of town! It's like being on tour in the city for eight months." It's an intriguing title: Dreaming Of A Night Mango. "My uncle came up with the title while trying to describe the sort of album title I needed," Tim reveals. The record sounds real and raw, like Tim is playing in your lounge room. He was inspired by Bonnie Prince Billy's covers EP, Ask Forgiveness. "It had a lot to grip onto, and was still really quiet as well."

Asked to list his favourite local songwriters, Tim mentions Gareth Liddiard. "I like listening to his album in the car by myself on the open road. Jae Laffer from The Panics is good, too. I heard that Don't Fight It song on the radio the other week and it's stayed with me every day since. And I'm getting right into the Warumpi Band at the moment, the way George sang Neil Murray's songs." Tim's album concludes with Everyone But Me's Got A Radio Song. Has Tim - who says PBS breakfast is his favourite radio show - deliberately set out to write a radio song during his career? "Not really, but yeah, maybe," he laughs. "It would be something else to have one, but I haven't fashioned a song to be where radio goes. But, wow, there are so many things that sound great on radio."

It's appropriate that the launch is on Anzac Day eve, because the album features a song called Armour Weight, which Tim wrote for his grandfather, an old digger. Did he tell Tim many war stories? "He doesn't talk about it. But he did once tell me about Australian soldiers swimming in a crocodile-infested waterhole in the mountains of New Guinea." Many People I Know also mentions the MCG, where Tim's team, Collingwood, will be battling the mighty Bombers on Anzac Day.


WILLS THRILLS
One of the most acclaimed albums so far this year has been Ainslie Wills' debut, You Go Your Way, I'll Go Mine (available on iTunes). And deservedly so. If k.d. lang made an album in a beach house in Blairgowrie, it would probably sound like this: breezy, jazz-tinged and exquisite. As Mrs Marsh explained, "Just like the liquid gets into this chalk", these songs do get in; in fact, they will stay with you for days. Ainslie is launching the album tonight (Wednesday) at the Northcote Social Club.


LOVE YOUR CROOKED NEIGHBOURS
There are obviously some music fans in Ramsay Street. It was great to see a Charles Jenkins poster on the bedroom wall of Lou's grandson Mason.


VOICING CONCERNS
When recently gushing about Abby Dobson's gorgeous duet with Mark Seymour, which appears on Mark's new album, Seventh Heaven Club, Howzat! pondered: What next for Abby? Surprisingly, she has appeared on The Voice, not as a mentor but as a contestant. Sydney musician Brendan Maclean admits he's puzzled. "Abby Dobson is valued by her peers as one of Australia's top 100 vocalists," Brendan wrote in an opinion piece for Faster Louder. "It seems a pity anyone of this noted talent feels compelled to surrender their skills to the likes of KFC spokesperson Joel Madden. Yuck." Singer-songwriter Sarah Humphreys was similarly dismayed, tweeting: "The absolutely incredible and forever inspiring Abby Dobson will be auditioning for The Voice? To try and turn Delta Goodrem's chair around? Wow. Just wow. Please, go and support artists so they don't have to do shit like this to pay the bills. My heart hurts."


CHART WATCH
The Stafford Brothers are sitting steady at number four.

Hello STAFFORD BROTHERS (number four)
Big Banana HAVANA BROWN (19)
Holdin On FLUME (23)
Lanterns BIRDS OF TOKYO (32)

Russell Morris spends a third week in the Top 10.

Flume FLUME (number six)
Sharkmouth RUSSELL MORRIS (10)
Armageddon GUY SEBASTIAN (16)
The Rubens THE RUBENS (26)
March Fires BIRDS OF TOKYO (32)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Many People I Know TIM GUY
Riding UNDERGROUND LOVERS
Don't Say A Word VAUDEVILLE SMASH
Breathe LAUREN BRUCE
Something I Prepared Earlier AINSLIE WILLS

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