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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - April 30th 2014

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FITTING THE BILL
Sometimes we can have too many choices. Too many bands, too many songs, too many sounds. When Bill McDonald embarked upon Four Hours Sleep's third album, he wrote a list of rules, including "no acoustic guitar" and "no country strum". "One thing I really find irritating about music-making is the illusion of having unlimited options," Bill explains. "I really hate listening to someone scroll through 256 organ sounds, so when I decided to do the album, I gave myself limitations and rules in an effort to break out of my own habits and make decisions faster. The 'no acoustic guitar' rule was tough, but I stuck to it." At the top of Bill's list of rules was "Move Over, Progress". "That was something my girlfriend said, a joke at my expense. It was a possible title, but [drummer] Peter Luscombe always warns against joke or pun titles - he says they wear pretty thin pretty fast." The new album ended up being self-titled, following 1996's More Of Her and 2006's Love Specifics. Three albums in 18 years reflects 4HS's quality-not-quantity approach. "I think I'm ready," Stephen Cummings sings in the opening track. Bill and Stephen are two members of the 4HS collective, which includes Angie Hart and Peter and Dan Luscombe. This album also features vocal contributions from Lilith Lane and Vika and Linda Bull. "I just love Lilith's voice," Bill says. "It's so soulful to me. She came 'round one day for a jam and I just recorded some stuff and built a song around her vocal." Bill sometimes plays in Vika and Linda's band, and they're all part of Paul Kelly's band. "Sometimes, they just make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. They have that sibling blend that money can't buy." There's a lot of cross-pollination in 4HS - Bill and Peter will be playing with Frente on their upcoming tour. Before that, the Four Hours Sleep album is being launched at The Toff In Town on Wednesday, 7 May.


EXPRESS LANE
What's next if Yarra Council agrees to naming an Abbotsford lane "Davey Lane"? There are a lot of Lanes in Australian music. How 'bout Jordie Lane? Lilith Lane? Lanie Lane? Seriously, local councils and the state government need to do more to celebrate Melbourne as a music city.


TO THE MAX
Happy birthday to the great Max Merritt, who's 73 today [30 April].


YOU'RE THE VOICE
As the new series of The Voice kicks off, two of the 2013 finalists, Alex Gibson and Nick Kingswell, are doing a gig at Revolver on Thursday [1 May]. What was the question everyone wanted to ask Alex after The Voice? "Is Delta as hot in real life as she is on the telly?"


WEDDINGS PARTIES ANYTHING

Congratulations to former Weddings Parties Anything bass player Pete Lawler (also known as Dr Pump) who got married last weekend.


HOT LINE
"Lightning and thunder will give this life an edge" - Alex Gibson, The Dreamer.


CHART WATCH

Sheppard spend a third week at number one.

Geronimo SHEPPARD (number one)
Chandelier SIA (two)
Never Be The Same JESSICA MAUBOY (seven)
High PEKING DUK (eight)
She Looks So Perfect 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER (13)
Fancy IGGY AZALEA (17)
When You Were Mine TAYLOR HENDERSON (23)
Loco JOEL FLETCHER & SEANY B (29)
Up! SAMANTHA JADE (30)
Live It Up 360 FEATURING PEZ (31)
Pittsburgh THE AMITY AFFLICTION (39)

Chet Faker spends a second week on top.

Built On Glass CHET FAKER (number one)
The Very Best INXS (three)
Beautiful JESSICA MAUBOY (four)
L.O.V.E HARRISON CRAIG (five)
Van Diemen's Land RUSSELL MORRIS (seven)
Blackbird DAN SULTAN (eight)
Hungry Ghost VIOLENT SOHO (21)
Circus In The Sky BLISS N ESO (23)
Kiss Me Once KYLIE MINOGUE (27)
In A Breath NEW EMPIRE (28, debut)
Flesh & Blood JOHN BUTLER (33)
Puddinghead BALL PARK MUSIC (37)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Think I'm Ready FOUR HOURS SLEEP
Let's Fall In Love JACK HOWARD
Let It Be Now THE ALTERNATIVE
Like This AL PARKINSON
Things You Like PSEUDO ECHO

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