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HERE COMES THE REYNE AGAIN
"To the myriad of golden opportunities I failed to recognise"
- James Reyne, Capsize
Regrets? He's had a few. But as he sings on his new album,
Thirteen (out now on Hammerhead Records through MGM), James
Reyne doesn't "sweat 'em". And it seems to be paying off.
Capsize has been added to MMM, he's playing at the Boogie
festival and, most importantly, Thirteen - which comes 25
years after his solo debut - is as good as any of his solo
"Capsize is me getting older and wiser - and smarter, I
hope," says James, who's playing at Trak on Friday with
Daryl Braithwaite. "People say you should never have any
regrets, but sometimes you can't help it. Sometimes I think
of the things I could have been doing if I hadn't been such
a dickhead." "You couldn't save me from myself," he sings.
"But then, if I'd done all those things, maybe I wouldn't
be doing what I'm doing now. And I'm very happy now."
"Here's to wailing at the world, and the benefit of my two-pennies
Thirteen - which is James' 13th album - is his most adventurous
record yet. The first half is classic Reyne: memorable melodies
and razor-sharp wordplay. And then the album takes a strange
detour. Australian Crawl was Howzat!'s favourite band when
we were growing up. Our all-time favourite band is Horsehead.
The two bands collide on The P.A.'s P.A., with an enormous
guitar sound courtesy of Horsehead's Scotty Kingman, who
is now James' producer. "That riff is all Scott," James
smiles. The song itself is styled on Edgar Allan Poe's Annabel
Lee, with James recalling an appearance on the Channel 10
morning show co-hosted by his brother, David. James wasn't
expecting any special treatment, but he encountered "a mustering
maiden", a studio P.A. with attitude. "Girls with a clipboard,"
James laughs, "you see them everywhere and this one had
serious attitude. Dealing with us seemed to be just so beneath
her." "Came to push us around with no other thought than
of her fool job."
The P.A.'s P.A. is followed by I Could Have Been Your Dad,
Son, an incongruous mix of country, rap and disco. Strangely,
it works. Then the album concludes with a savage spoken-word
piece, Tijuana Bibles, of which Dave Graney would be proud.
James shoots down an unnamed rock journalist, "some sad,
rusty, ornery, moose-knuckling dilettante scribbler … so
grotesque and misshapen and irrelevant". James thought about
having it as track one, but it was suggested he might want
"to lull people into the album and not freak them out too
early". The words "spurted out" after James saw the writer
link a rock star's depression to a fall from grace. As for
Thirteen, I'm not sure you can call it a remarkable return,
because I guess James Reyne has never really been away.
But this is the sound of a songwriter at the top of his
game. One of the year's best.
BEN LEE HAS GOT A WEIRD DICK
If you've ever dreamed of seeing Ben Lee naked, you should
check out Slideshow of Wieners: A Love Story (on YouTube
now). Like Ben's latest album, this short film - directed
by Ben's wife, Ione Skye, and starring Selma Blair - is
a sweet meditation on dreams and love. It's also a look
at the perverse world of the internet and Chatroulette,
with Ben playing the "guitar guy with the weird dick".
Is there a record for the most bands played in on the one
stage in the one night? For his 40th birthday on Friday,
Cory O'Bryan decided to re-form every band he's ever played
in for a massive gig. It's not called the Workers Club for
no reason - Cory will be playing in Airhorn, Interstater,
Gudgeon, Mo Black and Hedge. Five bands, five riders and
five sets of groupies … good luck, Cory!
FOR DUCK'S SAKE
For as long as Howzat! can remember, Laurie Levy has been
campaigning against duck shooting. Laurie also has a music
link - he was a rock photographer in the '60s, working with
many great acts, including the Masters Apprentices. Adding
his voice to Laurie's campaign is The Fauves frontman Andrew
Cox. "And what capital sport it is," Coxy wrote in The Age
last week. "Blowing defenceless creatures from the sky and
standing splay-legged over the broken carcasses in quiet
WEDDINGS WAGONS ANYTHING
It's not every week that you appear on the Conan show and
get married by not one, but two Elvis Presleys in Vegas
… congratulations to Henry Wagons and his new Brisbane Lions
bride, Mel "Melvis" Crawford (ex-Gaslight and Aztec Music).
Just one Aussie hit in the Top 10.
Boys Like You 360 & GOSSLING (number eight)
Into The Flame EP MATT CORBY (12)
Set It Off TIMOMATIC (23)
I Love It HILLTOP HOODS & SIA (28)
100% No Modern Talking EP KNIFE PARTY (34)
Hilltop Hoods spend a second week on top.
Drinking From The Sun HILLTOP HOODS (number one)
Falling & Flying 360 (10)
Gold Watch HOODOO GURUS (15, debut)
Country Proud McALISTER KEMP (18, debut)
Home TROY CASSAR-DALEY (23)
Vows KIMBRA (24)
Making Mirrors GOTYE (30)
Moonfire BOY & BEAR (32)
All For You COLD CHISEL (39)
Tijuana Bibles JAMES REYNE
The Preacher JULITHA RYAN
Crocodile ALEKS AND THE RAMPS
Behind Every Door JACK HOWARD
5678! BUTTERFLY BOUCHER
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