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Howzat! Archive - December 7th 2016

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READ ABOUT IT
It's been a stellar year for music books and music-related books. Here are four that have caught Howzat!'s eye:

Working Class Boy by Jimmy Barnes
Jimmy Barnes turned 60 this year. Working Class Boy is like a book version of his underrated 1999 album, Love and Fear. Raw and revealing, it sees Barnesy confronting his demons and offering an explanation for his wild behaviour. "All I had to do to not think or feel was get fucked up," he writes. In rock star bios, the reader usually skims through the childhood pages to get to the action. Don't bore us, get to the chorus. But here, you can't look away. "Some of what I have done has not been pretty to watch. Imagine what it was like to live through it."

Goodwood by Holly Throsby
"Goodwood was a peaceful town before the tragedies." After five solo albums, including a collection of children's songs, and an album with Seeker Lover Keeper, Sydney's Holly Throsby gets straight to the action with her first novel, which tells the tale of small town secrets and lies. "Two people from Goodwood - two very different people - inexplicably gone. And the rest of town holding its breath." Holly can certainly write; Goodwood should be a TV series.

Press Escape by Shaun Carney
Shaun Carney is known as a political columnist but he was also an astute music reviewer for The Age. In this moving memoir, Shaun reveals he stopped writing about music when his daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia. This book is about the demise of many things, including music reviewing. "When I first started writing for the Green Guide in 1990, the pop music CD reviews took up an entire tabloid page there was room for about 800 words. By the time I finished 17 years later, there was room for one review of a little over 200 words. The gig didn't seem to mean much any more." Press Escape is sad but beautiful.

Grant & I by Robert Forster
There's also a sadness at the heart of Robert Forster's memoir. Amidst all the albums, producers, band members and record companies, this is a story of friendship, documenting Robert's remarkable relationship with his Go-Betweens partner, Grant McLennan, who died a decade ago. "We created the most romantic thing two heterosexual men can, a pop group," Robert writes, adding: "I found out that when someone dies the conversation with them doesn't necessarily end there."


CHART WATCH
Still no Aussie acts in the Top 10.

Stranger PEKING DUK FEATURING ELLIPHANT (number 11)
Catch 22 ILLY FEATURING ANNE-MARIE (13)
The Greatest SIA (14)
Papercuts ILLY FEATURING VERA BLUE (28)
Skin Companion EP I FLUME (29, debut)
On Your Side THE VERONICAS (31)
Set In Stone GUY SEBASTIAN (34)

Three Aussie Christmas albums are in the Top 40.

Friends For Christmas JOHN FARNHAM & OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN (number four)
The Very Very Best CROWDED HOUSE (five)
The Secret Daughter JESSICA MAUBOY (seven)
Reclaim Australia A.B. ORIGINAL (10, debut)
Ripcord KEITH URBAN (17)
Skin FLUME (19)
Triple J's Like A Version 12 VARIOUS (20)
Two Degrees ILLY (27)
Kylie Christmas KYLIE MINOGUE (30)
This Is Acting SIA (32)
Gimme Some Lovin': Jukebox Vol II HUMAN NATURE (33)
The Christmas Album HUMAN NATURE (38)


HOWZAT! PLAYLIST
Flying Blind SEAN KELLY/PESKY BONES
Already Home ALEX THE ASTRONAUT
Everything (Is You) FRIDA
Field Of Green MICHAEL MEEKING & THE LOST SOULS
Save BENNY WALKER

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