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Howzat! Archive - July 5th 2017

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The '90s are back. Double J has released a compilation, The 90s: The Greatest Decade In Music? Def FX were one of the decade's most intriguing acts, a thrilling fusion of grunge and electronic rock, fronted by Fiona Horne, who has just issued her autobiography, The Naked Witch. Fiona explains that the title refers to a witch "with nothing to hide behind". Part memoir, part self-help book, it's a revealing read, at times heartbreakingly honest, with Fiona revealing she was sexually abused by her grandfather and taunted at school. "Small tits, massive lips, Mrs Fish, Fiona Horne," her schoolmates would sing. "For decades, I was convinced that you had to pay for happiness with sadness," she writes. She didn't find contentment until she became a witch. Before then, Fiona dabbled in drugs, had a band in Adelaide called Sister Sludge, then an all-girl punk band, The Mothers, in Sydney, who released a single on Waterfront Records, Drives Me Wild, which Fiona wrote about her then boyfriend, Blackie from the Hard-Ons. Fiona was a feisty frontwoman. When Def FX hecklers yelled, "Show us your tits!", she'd reply, "I will if you show me your dick. Wanna borrow my tweezers to find it?" Along the way, Fiona befriended Billy Corgan. "You are pretty," Billy told her. "But from certain angles, you look incredibly plain." They remain friends, but Fiona says the comment confirmed her insecurities. "Again I knew I was cursed to be good but not good enough." After Def FX broke up, Fiona posed for Playboy ("Witches have always been exhibitionists"), moved to Melbourne, dated Matt from The Mavis's (inspiring their hit Cry) and Geelong footballer Clint Bizzell, shared management with Kylie, and became a regular on TV, including appearances on Celebrity Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and Burke's Backyard with Don Burke, "the most vulgar man I've ever met". She had a fling with Tom Jones, who encouraged her to move to LA. "Tom was a very generous lover - in every way," Fiona writes. "He had a huge voice, a huge heart a huge everything, actually!" The Naked Witch is certainly no fairytale, but Fiona has had a full and fascinating life. And it's not over yet, with Fiona now doing humanitarian work on a Caribbean island, where she's also a witch, pilot, fire dancer and yogini.

After a six-year hiatus, Melbourne's magical rockers Sand Pebbles are back, with a new album, Pleasure Maps, to be released on 11 Aug, with a launch at the Spotted Mallard on 26 Aug.

"May you know what to do when the time comes" - Charles Jenkins & The Zhivagos, The Last Polaroid.

Jessica Mauboy has a Top 20 debut.

Fallin' JESSICA MAUBOY (number 20, debut)
Waves DEAN LEWIS (27)
Moments BLISS N ESO (40)

King Gizzard score their second Top 5 album.

Murder Of The Universe KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD (number three, debut)
Guide To Better Living GRINSPOON (eight)
Off The Grid BLISS N ESO (25)
The Great Country Songbook Vol II ADAM HARVEY & BECCY COLE (32)
Ripcord KEITH URBAN (35)
Camacho PETE MURRAY (39)

Running Second AINSLIE WILLS
I'll Forget Yr Name DAVEY LANE
Firewood and Candles PAUL KELLY

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