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Howzat! Archive - June 29th 2011

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The Tiger & Me's debut album, From a Liar to a Thief, was one of Howzat!'s 2010 faves. A thrilling adventure, we called it "circus folk". For their next hat-trick The Tiger & Me are unleashing three EPs, "exploring a descent into madness, the ensuing struggle and ultimate embrace of insanity". Heavy concept. Singer Jane Hendry, aka "The Tiger", explains that the songs are about delusion, realisation and acceptance. "Some songs explore the minds and actions of characters who are, slightly or otherwise, unhinged and blissfully unaware; other songs reflect their emotional response to realising that things aren't what they thought, and others tell the story of acceptance and moving forward, imperfect but self-aware."

So, it's a concept series of EPs. What's Jane's favourite concept album? "Easy - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

You're a young band, what do you do: an album or an EP? "Interesting question. I think it really depends on your circumstances. It's important to get your stuff out there and EPs allow you to release material more regularly. Having said that, an album is often seen as a more serious endeavour and I think it enables a band to show more depth than an EP. After releasing and touring From a Liar to a Thief, we were really keen to get back into the studio and we definitely wanted to keep the momentum going. The EP series enables us to generate more momentum than if we went back to the studio to do a second album. However, by early next year, the series will be complete and will be an album in three parts."

The Tiger & Me - who launch The Howling Fire EP at the Toff on Saturday, July 9 - have done a mix of pub gigs and festivals; what do they prefer? "I don't think we have a preference. Getting on the festival scene was a goal of ours and we've revelled in the opportunity. But we love doing the Melbourne pub gigs, particularly the residencies we've had at the Builders Arms and the Sporting Club. The crowds are just fantastic - we even have a dedicated bunch of swing dancers who come to the shows and carve it up. It's messy and noisy and sweaty. It feels like a riot could break out at any time - a swing dancing riot!"

The Tiger & Me are like the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac, insomuch as they have three lead singers - Jane, Ade Vincent and Tobias Selkirk. "I'm a big lover of harmonies and we're very conscious that with three lead singers and three great backing vocalists we've got a lot of scope for a full vocal sound." What's Jane's all-time favourite duet? "Simon and Garfunkel. I also like David Bowie and Freddie Mercury's Under Pressure, and Ade insists that I mention Aerosmith and Run DMC (Walk This Way)."

After the stunning success of last week's cover of Elton John and Kiki Dee's Don't Go Breaking My Heart, D. Rogers and Emma Heeney might be doing another duet this Thursday as their Builders Arms residency climaxes. Last week's winning "cover me" suggestion came from Sophie Koh's manager, Tom Collins, who proposed Bright Eyes' Lua. Fans are hoping that Dave and Emma do the Conor Oberst/Gillian Welch version. This week's support act is Duke Batavia, the new project for Dave's old Klinger buddy Ben Birchall.

James Freud was a genuine rock star. The industry needs more personalities like him. Sadly, James died last November. He would have been 52 today (June 29).

Just like the Bombers, the Australian music industry is having a mid-season slump. Howzat! has compiled a mid-year report and the chart results make for sad reading:
- Just three Australian singles have reached the Top 10 in 2011 (Guy Sebastian's Who's That Girl, Havana Brown's We Run The Night and Stan Walker's Loud).
- A total of 13 Australian singles have reached the Top 40. The only chart years to have a worse start are 1956, '57, '58 and '59.
- Eight songs have topped the 2011 charts; just one of them is a homegrown hit. Who's That Girl is the only local chart-topper for the past 20 months.
- Ten albums have topped the Australian charts this year; just one of them is a local release (Drapht's The Life of Riley, which spent one week on top).
- A total of 12 Australian albums have made the Top 10.
Howzat knows that a lot of fine Australian music has been released this year, so why isn't it charting?

Howzat!'s favourite Adelaide artist, the magnificent Myles Mayo, hits Melbourne this week, to support Micah P Hinson at the Toff on Thursday. It's a duo show, but Myles will be back with a full band in August.

Wes Carr's new single parks itself at 33.

We Run The Night HAVANA BROWN (number eight)
From The Music THE POTBELLEEZ (25)
Been A Long Time WES CARR (33, debut)

The Grates arrive at 11.

Seeker Lover Keeper SEEKER LOVER KEEPER (number seven)
Secret Rituals THE GRATES (11, debut)
Aphrodite KYLIE MINOGUE (35)
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (36)
Midnight Remember LITTLE RED (40)

So, Let It Go THE TIGER & ME
Buyer's Remorse D. ROGERS
My Little Tokyo MYLES MAYO

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