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Aussie artists
Welcome to Living in the Land of Oz

Howzat! Archive - August 5th 2015

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HIDE AND SEEK
Dave Graney has never needed music critics. As he wrote in his memoir, 1001 Australian Nights, "I've always seen their role as redundant. I didn't need anybody to translate my story for anybody else. I was telling it. Shaddup! Zip it!" In the '90s, as the alternative became the mainstream, the "outsiders" suddenly became stars. As Dave's band, the Coral Snakes, found mainstream acceptance, he loved quoting Morris Day, Prince's rival in Purple Rain: "As a concept, I'm incredible, but I'm a reality!" Dave delighted in doing his own thing, later explaining: "Music is denim, and I wasn't denim."

One of the Coral Snakes' most-loved songs is about being the ultimate outsider. Inspired by a gig The Moodists did in Hamburg in 1984 with an East German band sponsored by that country's communist government, Dave imagined a rock star who was really a spy, and he wrote Rock 'n' Roll Is Where I Hide. The song climaxes with Dave listing several pseudonyms. Most listeners believe he's singing about himself, especially the nod to "the best dressed chicken in town", but he's actually referring to some of his favourite artists, including Johnny Thunders ("a pirate of love"), Mel Tormé ("the velvet fog"), and Johnnie Ray ("the little cloud that cried"). Because the line "Rock 'n' roll is where I hide" never actually appears in the song, most fans don't even know the title, often referring to it as "The Chicken Song". A couple of years back, Dave was confronted by an inebriated punter at a Melbourne pub. "Are you gonna play that fucking song?" the drunk guy demanded. "What fucking song?" Dave replied. "You know, that fucking song." Dave knew which song the guy was requesting, but told him: "If you don't know the name of the song, how do I know it?" The guy later reappeared with a drunken mate. "Are you gonna play his fucking song?" the friend insisted. "What song's that?" The mate was not happy. "You know, his fucking song." It was like a musical version of "Who's on first?", with Dave amused that the song had now become his song. Then things took a serious turn. "Are you gonna play his fucking song, or are we gonna have to knock you around a bit?" Dave was unmoved. Sober, he looked at his drunken combatants and said simply, "Well, that's not going to happen, is it?" Dave didn't play the song that night. The spirit of the '90s lives on in Dave Graney: refusing to be dictated to, continuing to do his own thing. And the '90s are back. If you need any proof, just check out Courtney Barnett's album. And we're pleased to report that Dave has re-formed the Coral Snakes. They're playing at Memo Music Hall on 7 & 8 Aug.


HOT LINE
"What better place to disappear? What a cover - a lead singer in a rock 'n' roll band" - Dave Graney 'n' the Coral Snakes, Rock 'n' Roll Is Where I Hide.


CHART WATCH
Delta flies into the Top 10.

Wings DELTA GOODREM (number eight, debut)
Fire And The Flood VANCE JOY (21, debut)
Start Again CONRAD SEWELL (26)
You Don't Own Me GRACE (35)
Say My Name PEKING DUK (39)
She's Kinda Hot 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER (40)

Northlane knock off Tame Impala to score their first number one album, while Holy Holy, Suze DeMarchi and Katie Noonan have Top 40 debuts.

Node NORTHLANE (number one, debut)
Currents TAME IMPALA (three)
Two Strong Hearts Live JOHN FARNHAM & OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN (10)
When The Storms Would Come HOLY HOLY (11, debut)
1000 Forms Of Fear SIA (16)
Down To Earth FLIGHT FACILITIES (22)
The Very Best INXS (25)
Home SUZE DEMARCHI (26, debut)
Empires HILLSONG UNITED (30)
Transmutant KATIE NOONAN'S VANGUARD (33, debut)
Dark Night Sweet Light HERMITUDE (37)
Dream Your Life Away VANCE JOY (40)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Rock 'n' Roll Is Where I Hide DAVE GRANEY 'N' THE CORAL SNAKES
Finding Gold HELEN SHANAHAN
Hollering Hearts JOSH PYKE
You Got Fever BEK-JEAN STEWART
Our House SUZE DEMARCHI & RUSSELL MORRIS

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