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POP GOES THE RARITIES
Popboomerang is one of Howzat!'s favourite labels. How could
you not love a label that's home to Skipping Girl Vinegar,
Underminers and D. Rogers? The label has compiled a "rarities"
compilation, Electric & Eclectic, which they're launching
at the Workers Club on Saturday, with Celadore, The Bon
Scotts, Underminers, Splurge and Adrian Whitehead. The disc
opens with Russell Crawford and Caitlin Harnett's cover
of Tom Petty's Straight Into Darkness. "I love Tom Petty,"
Caitlin says. "Over the last year my boyfriend went through
a Tom Petty phase so I was listening to him a lot and my
love has grown even stronger." Meanwhile, Caitlin is launching
her new EP, All In The Golden Afternoon, at the Edinburgh
Castle on Thursday, May 5.
TROUBLE IN PARADISE
The Popboomerang rarities disc also includes an alternate
version of Trouble Man, a song that first appeared on the
Underminers' 2010 album, Heart Part Of Your Mind. As always,
it's a striking lyric from singer Justin "Hap" Hayward:
Lost his wife and lost his kids and, oh well, that's showbiz
for Trouble Man. "The person I wrote that about has no idea,"
Hap says. "That one goes to the grave, I'm afraid. I think
it's a song that shows my great love and care for that person."
Underminers remain based in Ballarat. When Howzat! was a
kid, we lived in a small town called Avoca and visited Ballarat
for a day. It was freezing. That memory has stayed with
me forever. Does the Ballarat weather drive Hap bananas?
"Most of my nervous breakdowns occur in summer, so I start
to look at the end of winter with a bit of anxiety. You
know where you stand in winter in Ballarat. No one expects
a lot from you because they just want to stay in and keep
warm. It's familiar and safe to me. I am a bit odd."
BACK TO BEING ME
The Fauves, the thinking man's sex symbols and pop stars,
are gearing up to release not one, but two new albums. And
they've also updated thefauves.com.
"Freedom of speech will not be denied and our website is
back online," the home page states. "A message to 'The Man':
You will never silence the maverick voice that is The Fauves.
Granted, the site hasn't been updated in two years and these
days visitors are measured in fractions, but the truth will
not be denied." The site also hints at upcoming gigs: "All
shows will support Fauveaid and all proceeds derived therefrom
will issue directly to our bank accounts."
FOR THOSE ABOUT TO CHERRY ROCK
Speaking of Howzat!'s favourite bands, don't forget that
Died Pretty are re-forming for one show only at Cherry Rock
on Sunday. Ron Peno will then focus on the release of his
debut solo album.
TALL BUILDINGS, BIG LAUNCH
Howzat! asked Tall Buildings drummer Danny Tulen to nominate
his three favourite Australian songwriters. "I would have
to say Tim Rogers, Grant McLennan and [Knievel's] Wayne
Connolly. Hearing their music is comforting to me; sometimes
they can be the drunk uncle at a distant relative's wedding
and sometimes they're the best friend you never knew you
had." The Tall Buildings debut album, Light The Shallows
- which they launch at the Grace Darling tomorrow (Thursday)
- also sounds familiar and special. "The record is a small
take on the little bits of our everyday lives," Danny explains.
"It's about 'shining a light' on these things and realising
how important they are, and, I guess, how easily they can
R.I.P. MARGOT SMITH
The music business is filled with artists who don't get
the success they deserve. Howzat! has fond memories of interviewing
Margot Smith in the early '90s, when EMI released her debut
album, Sleeping With The Lion, which was produced by Steve
Kilbey and Eddie Rayner, and saw her score a Best New Talent
nomination at the 1994 ARIAs. Margot did many gigs at the
Arcadia in South Yarra, before releasing a second Kilbey-produced
album, Taste, in 1998. Her MySpace page recently featured
the message: "I am currently living in Sydney and fighting
as hard as I can." Sadly, Margot Smith died last week. Steve
Kilbey has written a moving tribute at his blog, thetimebeing.com.
"Fucking alcohol claims another victim," Steve writes. "I
hate alcohol, I hate what it does … sad, tragic, inevitable,
useless, pointless waste of a rare and fabulous gift. I
hope heaven treats ya better than earth."
It's last drinks at The Arthouse. It will be sorely missed.
Howzat!'s buddy Julian Agius (from bands such as Colonel
Buttfire, Hugo & the Red Room and The Mimps) provides these
memories: "We must have done 10 out of our first 20 gigs
there ... playing the pinball till all hours, plastering
the toilet wall with our stickers. The thing that sticks
in my mind probably sums up the spirit of the place. It
must have been one of those early-in-the-week 11pm gigs
that nobody goes to. We literally played to the guy behind
the bar, the band on before us and a backpacker and his
old Labrador. We were expecting it to be our last gig there.
Most pubs we played were only interested in re-booking you
if you brought a crowd. But I got a call the next day from
Adam the Arthouse booker. He said the bar guy had told him
how much he liked us and he offered us a Friday support
spot. It really was a pub that was all about the music."
Tenderness TALL BUILDINGS
Trouble Man UNDERMINERS
Glitter, Gold, Ruin BOY IN A BOX
New Blood RON S. PENO
Adored MARGOT SMITH
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