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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - December 28th 2010

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Howzat!'s 2010 wrap continues

ALBUMS OF THE YEAR

1. PERRY KEYES - JOHNNY RAY'S DOWNTOWN
It's bleak, it's beautiful and it's brilliant. The third album for this Sydney singer-songwriter is the Redfern version of Born To Run, a cinematic rock 'n' roll epic.

2. CHARLES JENKINS AND THE ZHIVAGOS - WALK THIS OCEAN
The addition of the amazing Davey Lane gave The Zhivagos added muscle, and the result is a masterpiece, arguably Charles Jenkins' finest album.

3. LAZY SUSAN - PLACES THAT MADE US
With a knack for turning the mundane into melodic masterpieces, Lazy Susan - the Sydney version of the Icecream Hands - delivered the pop album of the year.

4. BRITISH INDIA - AVALANCHE
Wonderful nervous energy, marvellous momentum and a great guitar sound my favourite rock album of 2010.

5. NICK BATTERHAM - SECOND LOVERS
The year's most pleasant surprise - an unexpected solo album from this former Earthmen and Blindside member. A thrilling mix of soul, folk, blues and dramatic pop. Nick also produced Cordrazine's classic comeback, Always Coming Down.

6. BEK-JEAN STEWART - WINTER SUMMER SUBURBAN EXILE
The former Eva Trout singer gave us 11 heartbreaking and heroic suburban stories. And every song sounds like an epic.

7. THE AUDREYS - SOMETIMES THE STARS
It copped mixed reviews, but this is an alluring adult contemporary gem, highlighted by the beautiful voice of Taasha Coates and the genius production of Shane O'Mara, the master of subtlety.

8. UNDERMINERS - HEART PART OF YOUR MIND
The third Underminers album should have come with a warning sticker: Adult Themes. An unsettling examination of growing up and settling down.

9. TOBIAS CUMMINGS - A TROPHY
He might be too smart for the masses (when was the last time a pop album mentioned Tiresias and referred to apotheosis?), but Tobias takes the trophy for fine intelligent pop.

10. GEORGIA FIELDS - GEORGIA FIELDS
Some wacky instrumentation (ukuleles, power tools and toys) never overshadows some vivid songs. A star is born.

11. REBECCA BARNARD - EVERLASTING
An exquisite album about the heroism of everyday life was also one of the year's sexiest records, with Bec Barnard's beautiful, breathy voice.

12. THE TIGER AND ME - FROM A LIAR TO A THIEF
A remarkable debut; part circus, part cabaret, with wonderful, adventurous songs.


BEST COMPILATION
Howzat! knew that Maurice Frawley was a good songwriter, but we didn't know just how good until we got the tribute album, Long Gone Whistle, The Songs of Maurice Frawley. There's never been a better local tribute.


OUR FIVE FAVOURITE SINGLES OF 2010
LILITH LANE - In My Fortress
SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR - One Long Week
AN HORSE - Camp Out
ROSS WILSON - I Come In Peace
JASON WALKER - Everybody's In Debt


CHART NEWS
No blockbuster homegrown hits in 2010. In fact, when it comes to chart-toppers, it was a disastrous year for Aussie acts. In fact, it took until the final week of the year for a local single to hit top spot. This compares to three local chart-toppers last year, two in 2008, and six in 2007. Five Aussie albums went to number one (compared to six last year, seven in 2008, and nine in 2007). No local album spent longer than two weeks on top. Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP had the year's biggest international hit with We No Speak Americano going gold in the US (500,000 sales). The song topped the US dance charts and went to number one in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and the UK. And Kylie made UK chart history, becoming the first artist to have a number one album in four consecutive decades (1988's Kylie, 1992's Greatest Hits, 2001's Fever and 2010's Aphrodite). As for radio play, The John Butler Trio's Close To You was the most-played local song, according to The Music Network. It comes in at three on their 2010 airplay chart (behind Train's Hey, Soul Sister and Lifehouse's Halfway Gone). The JB Trio and Powderfinger both have three entries in the Top 100, which features 26 homegrown hits. Five of the entries come from "new" artists: Amy Meredith (at 29), Michael Paynter (38), Orianthi (39), Zoe Badwi (87) and Yolanda Be Cool (100).

NUMBER ONE SINGLES
Guy Sebastian - Who's That Girl

NUMBER ONE ALBUMS
Angus & Julia Stone - Down The Way (two weeks)
The John Butler Trio - April Uprising (one week)
AC/DC - Iron Man 2 (one week)
Crowded House - Intriguer (one week)
Bliss n Eso - Running On Air (one week)


HIP HIP
2010 saw some significant milestones: The Big Day Out celebrated its 100th show. ARIA Hall of Famers The Church celebrated their 30th anniversary. Even turned 16, The Meanies turned 21 and Inertia turned 10. Stephen Cummings got married. FM radio turned 30. Ash Naylor turned 40, and Michael Hutchence would have been 50. And AC/DC's tour coincided with the 30th anniversary of Bon Scott's death.


BRING ON 2011
There's a lot to look forward to in 2011, including Perry Keyes' fourth album (word is it could arrive in August). Ron Peno is hard at work on his eagerly-awaited solo debut, and we'll also get solo albums from Adalita, Fiona Lee Maynard, Tiltmeter's Andrew McDonald and Special Patrol's Myles Mayo. The Life of Riley will turn Drapht into a hip hop star. And we'll get new albums from Cold Chisel, Wagons, Even, Skipping Girl Vinegar, Silverchair, Bobby Flynn, Delta Goodrem, Marcel Borrack, Michael Meeking and James Reyne. And we're looking forward to debut albums from The Hello Morning and Ryan Meeking and the debut solo EP from former Epicure singer Juan Alban. And, who knows, we might even get to see the second album from the Spazzys. Another wish for 2011 - Stephen Cummings inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. Finally.

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