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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - December 4th 2013

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READ ABOUT IT
Australian music deserves more books. Rock Country ($75, Hardie Grant) sets the standard. I doubt there's been a better Australian music book. Howzat! is perhaps biased, because we contribute a piece on how Ian Meldrum became Molly, but it's an honour to be in this book. It's funny (Coxy from The Fauves writes about being lost on the publicity trail), sad (Samantha Trenoweth documents the death of Marc Hunter's longtime girlfriend) and revealing (Tony Wilson tracks down Keith Richards' "Melbourne wife"). "I wanted to make a book where the words and photos are equal," explains editor Christian Ryan. "Where Colin Beard's wrenching photo of Gerry Humphrys roaring sits a page away from a Clinton Walker essay on the genius of Barry Gibb; where the young Olivia Newton-John posing in the long grass, or Martin Philbey's shot of a sweat-flecked Tim Rogers glittering, bounce off a David McComb essay called 'Fanlessness', built from never-published fragments. I hoped the effect would be a book that feels and reads exhilarating, thrilling." It also features a unique poll - Christian asked every local artist who'd had a number one to vote for the greatest Australian rock star. "I wanted a poll that's democratic-feeling - Dick Diamonde gets a vote, Garry Gary Beers gets a vote, Melissa Tkautz gets a vote " And the five greatest, according to the chart-toppers? Michael Hutchence, John Farnham, Bon Scott, Johnny O'Keefe and Chrissy Amphlett. Rock Country is big, wild and unpredictable - like Australian music. "The book is built on revelation," Christian says. "Right now, the line that's slaying me - though deep down I did know it already - is Tyrone Noonan's on the late Grant McLennan: 'Grant felt that if he could write a song with enough longing and tenderness in it, his ex might hear it and come back to him.'" Explaining the title, Christian says Rock Country "implies there's something about this place, its geographic location, the quality of the light, the feeling within its cities, that helps explain all this music. It's not blind chance."

REED ABOUT IT
Tune into Jonathan Alley's Under The Sun (RRR, 6.30pm Sunday) for "Some Kinda Love", a live all-Aussie tribute to Lou Reed, featuring Mick Harvey, Lisa Miller, Dave Graney, Kerri Simpson, Rob Snarski, Harry Howard, Black Cab's Andrew Coates and The Spoils.


KING TIDE
Kings of the Sun haven't played in Melbourne since May 1998. But Clifford Hoad's Kings of the Sun will be at Cherry on 22 February, launching their aptly titled new album Rock Til Ya Die.


HOT LINE
"And I always go unnoticed to everyone but myself" - Melody Pool, Somebody You've Never Met Before.


CHART WATCH
Flume caps his ARIAs success with a new chart entry, at number 21.

Like A Drum GUY SEBASTIAN (number six)
Everybody JUSTICE CREW (nine)
Borrow My Heart TAYLOR HENDERSON (12)
Warrior HAVANA BROWN (13)
You NATHANIEL (16)
Drop The Game FLUME FEATURING CHET FAKER (21, debut)
Swing JOEL FLETCHER FEATURING SAVAGE (24)
Soldier SAMANTHA JADE (28)
Alive DAMI IM (34)
Riptide VANCE JOY (38)


Got him no! The 12th Man's run of number one albums comes to a close, with his best-of album landing at four.

Dami Im DAMI IM (number three)
Willy Nilly THE 12TH MAN (four, debut)
The Christmas Album HUMAN NATURE (six)
Reset TINA ARENA (10)
The Very Best INXS (14)
iTunes Sessions BERNARD FANNING (19, debut)
Flume FLUME (20)
Goin' Your Way NEIL FINN & PAUL KELLY (23)
Triple J Like A Version 9 VARIOUS (26)
The Live Tapes Vol. 1 COLD CHISEL (27, debut)
Beautiful JESSICA MAUBOY (31)
Cinematic ILLY (39)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Somebody You've Never Met Before MELODY POOL
Rocktown KINGS OF THE SUN
A Death In The Family JUAN ALBAN
Can't Hide Sad DARREN MIDDLETON
Say It Isn't So RON S. PENO & THE SUPERSTITIONS

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