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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - November 30th 2011

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GRANEY VISION
Dave Graney knows a good venue when he sees one. Last week, he tweeted: "Greyhound in St Kilda should be supported by locals. Is great to have somewhere for live music back in the area. Make it your own." Hear, hear. Howzat! recently caught the Goddess gig at the Greyhound with Fiona Lee Maynard and the venue's transformation left us stunned. We had many great nights at the old venue, but this Greyhound is a Melbourne Cup winner. Dave Graney and the Lurid Yellow Mist celebrate being crowned Best Victorian Band at the EG Awards with a gig at the Greyhound this Sunday, kicking off at 6pm.


FACING THE MUSIC
Howzat! loves hearing music people talk about what they do. The recent Face The Music conference was both thought-provoking and entertaining. Here are some highlights of the keynote interview with ARIA and PPCA boss Dan Rosen: "It's incredibly important that we maintain local quotas. I think commercial radio needs to do more. There is only so much that triple j can do. We're saying quotas [which range between five and 25 per cent, depending on the station's format] have got to be maintained or increased and they should also apply to online and digital. We'll be fighting that very strongly over the next 12 to 18 months." ARIA and the PPCA also want radio to pay more to play music. Under the 1968 Copyright Act, commercial radio is forced to pay one per cent of its gross revenue to record companies (in reality, Rosen claims, the figure is more like 0.4 per cent). He says the Act is outdated. "Back in 1968, commercial radio in Australia was a fledgling industry, but now it's bigger than the record industry." Rosen says if the cap was three or four per cent, an extra $20 to $30 million would flow to the record industry. The PPCA challenged the Act in the High Court in May; a decision is expected early next year. And if the music industry loses? "We go back to the government to try to get them to overturn the legislation." Rosen says 30 to 40 per cent of Australians access music illegally, but he is "cautiously optimistic" that things will improve as more people use their mobile phones to source music, "because people are comfortable paying for stuff on their phones". Will the record industry still be around in five years? "Absolutely."


(I'M) STRANDED
David Briggs - who produced one of Howzat!'s favourite albums, Australian Crawl's debut - has a good description of what a record producer does: "I view myself as a taxi driver who takes people where they want to go," he told Face The Music's producer panel. Unfortunately, many Melbourne gig-goers are forced to rely on taxis. At another panel, associate professor Shane Homan from Monash Uni called on the government to improve public transport. "We have first-world venues but second-world transport," he said. "The lack of late-night transport is a big problem for Melbourne's music scene."


SOME THOUGHTS ON THE ARIAS
It was the ARIAs we had to have. After last year's debacle - which Marieke Hardy called a "hollow-eyed, soulless karaoke funeral" - this year's event was solid, controversy-free and unspectacular The numbers: 18 awards, eight live performances, 105 ads Maybe the show could have done with one main host. It definitely needed a climactic live performance Overall, the worst batch of nominees in ARIA history? Will any of the Best Album contenders be viewed as classics? How good is Guy Sebastian? The original Idol is still the best and he brought some class to the stage It's a sad reflection of the sales world that Altiyan Childs took the trophy for Highest Selling Album After last year's dog-thanking speeches by Angus & Julia Stone, this year's speeches were good ARIA doesn't seem to recognise Kimbra as an Aussie artist on its charts, yet she wins Best Female Artist. Strange The Sydney Morning Herald's Bernard Zuel pondered, "Are the ARIAs serious? Are the ARIAs sane? Are the ARIAs relevant?" The big question is: Can they return to a major free-to-air channel? Well, if the PM inducting our biggest pop star is not enough for the main stations, it's doubtful Maybe they should be on the ABC?


CHART WATCH
X Factor winner Reece Mastin becomes the third Aussie act to have a 2011 number one single.

Good Night REECE MASTIN (number one, debut)
Don't Worry Be Happy GUY SEBASTIAN (seven, debut)
Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE (19)
Galaxy JESSICA MAUBOY & STAN WALKER (23)
Party Up ISRAEL CRUZ (33, debut)
Raining Diamonds RICKI-LEE (36)

Stan Walker arrives at 18, while David Campbell's collection of '80s covers lands at 23. Overall, it's a bad week for Aussie albums - last week's Top 40 had 13 local entries; this week, just seven.

All For You COLD CHISEL (number 10)
Making Mirrors GOTYE (16)
Let The Music Play STAN WALKER (18, debut)
Let's Go DAVID CAMPBELL (23, debut)
Fingerprints & Footprints POWDERFINGER (30)
Footprints - The Best Of POWDERFINGER (33)
Falling & Flying 360 (35)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Already Said Goodbye JD LOVE
The Smoke THE TIGER AND ME
Almost ASHLEY NAYLOR
Kinks In Armour CELADORE
Man On The Make DAVE GRANEY

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