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Howzat! Archive - May 27th 2015

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Maurice Oberstein, who ran CBS Records in the UK, once said: "Running a record company hardly seems a sensible thing for a grown man to be doing." And aside from owning a video store, it's probably one of the worst career options in the modern entertainment business. But Melbourne's Popboomerang Records is celebrating its lucky 13th year with its 100th release, a compilation called PB:100, which is being launched at the Yarra Hotel on 30 May. Howzat! salutes Popboom's head honcho, Scotty "Pop" Thurling, one of this city's greatest music people. A lack of chart success has never deterred Scotty; he remains a massive music fan, saying: "In music history, some of the best albums only sold a handful of copies during their time of release but have become important and iconic over time." To celebrate the most courageous century since Kim Hughes' ton against the Windies on Boxing Day in 1981, we put Scotty in the Howzat! hot seat:

Your three favourite Popboom moments? "Hearing the first ever Popboom song on triple j (Sarah Sarah's Old Blue Sweater); seeing Remake Remodel take the stage at the Big Day Out in 2004; and releasing music from so many artists I grew up listening to, including The Killjoys, Steinbecks, Frente, Mick Thomas, Tim Rogers, Paul Kelly, Stephen Cummings and The Earthmen." Which act has had the most Popboom releases? "Tamas Wells holds that title with five full albums (he's also been the label's biggest international act, with licensing deals in Japan, China and Korea)." The biggest seller? "Splendid's States of Awake probably holds that title; the lead track, Asleep, is an underground classic." The worst seller? "A couple of releases have sold well under 50 copies (no names necessary)." What's been your favourite Popboom release, the CD you've played the most? "A tie between Modern Giant's debut album and the first Aerial Maps release. Albums full of atmospheric, emotive, epic, uniquely Australian anthems." You've signed a lot of great acts; what's the one that got away? "I don't have a horror story as such, however Courtney Barnett played our Christmas show in 2010, but she was very keen on forming her own label, so I don't feel she slipped through our fingers." What would be your advice to someone starting a label today? "Don't give up your day job, and if you don't have one, go get one." What's next? "PB:101 will be a retrospective release from The Earthmen. The band has reconvened to record new versions of four unreleased songs and will launch the album live on stage this year."

Finally, will Tim Reid's second album - the Popboom version of Chinese Democracy - ever be released? "It's been 11 years since the debut record," Scotty smiles. "I'm sure Tim dreads my phone calls and emails. A while back, I decided to reserve PB:077, to put the pressure on him to deliver. The sophomore album, Lines, will see the light of day. I have heard the near-finished mixes and they are amazing!"

"Popboomerang, keep me coming back for more" - Kelly's Heels, Popboomerang.


No Aussie entries in the national Top 10.

Big Girls Cry SIA (number 16)
Do You Remember JARRYD JAMES (18)
The Buzz HERMITUDE (20)
Georgia VANCE JOY (36)

Hermitude become the second Aussie act to score a number one album in 2015.

Dark Night Sweet Light HERMITUDE (number one, debut)
1000 Forms Of Fear SIA (10)
Spirit Of The Anzacs LEE KERNAGHAN (18)
Dead Set KING PARROT (21, debut)
Walking Under Stars HILLTOP HOODS (23)
Skydancer IN HEARTS WAKE (27)
Dream Your Life Away VANCE JOY (28)
Gracetown SAN CISCO (32)
The Positions GANG OF YOUTHS (33)
Beat The Drum, Celebrating 40 Years Of Triple J VARIOUS (40)

Two Dollar Punter MARK SEYMOUR
Background Noises SHELLEY SEGAL
I'll Live And I'll Die DAN PARSONS
Wrap Me In A Fever RUBY BOOTS
Old Blue Sweater SARAH SARAH

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