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Howzat! Archive - March 7th 2012

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"Hats off for going it alone," Piers Twomey sings at the start of his debut solo album, Strange Advice (out now on Laughing Outlaw Records), "for taking what you know and making new things grow." The album is different to Piers' previous work with indie rock band Transporter, who became known as The Fragments. "It's like folk music turned upside down," said Triple J's Dom Alessio, comparing the Strange Advice sound to Grand Salvo and Rufus Wainwright. Rolling Stone called the record "quietly charming", referencing Bon Iver and Sun Kil Moon; The Sydney Morning Herald's Bernard Zuel compared Piers to Kings of Convenience and Angus and Julia Stone; Drum Media's Ross Clelland called the record "luminous"; while Howzat! hailed the album as "intimate and intriguing". "I've definitely been thrilled with the reaction," Piers says, adding that all the comparisons "have been apt for the most part. Everyone's got an opinion, that's what the song Strange Advice is about. When everyone's throwing advice at you, you've just got to listen to the voice in your own head. If you follow your inner-voice, you'll be okay."

Piers has already started work on his second solo album, working with his old Transporter buddy Damian Press, who's now a member of Expatriate. "I want to keep it as acoustic folk, but push the boundaries," he says. Piers and Damian are also members of "post-rock" instrumental band Grun. Piers is clearly a multi-faceted artist. His prized possession is a copy of Boston's More Than A Feeling, which he loves "throwing on at parties and singing". He also has a Sepultura CD, signed by the drummer.

Piers wife, Joy Howard, was a member of acclaimed Sydney pop band The Whipper Snappers. She provides some delightful backing vocals on the album, and she'll be playing with Piers at his Melbourne shows: this Sunday at the Empress; Tuesday at the Toff, supporting Krystle Warren; and next Wednesday at the Toff, supporting Ben Sollee.

It was great to read the credits of the new Working Dog movie, Any Questions For Ben?, to find "Vehicle Wrangler: Juno Roxas". Juno, one of the great personalities in Oz rock, fronted Roxus, who released their debut album 21 years ago.

It's one of the great untold stories in Australian music - how a Melbourne teenager ended up hanging out with Davy Jones and going on the road with The Monkees and Jimi Hendrix. Sadly, both Lynne Randell and Davy have now left us. Lynne checked out in 2007, aged 57, while Davy, 66, died of a heart attack last week. In October 1966, Lynne, 16, did an interview in Hawaii. "What do you think of The Monkees?" the DJ asked. "Monkeys," Lynne replied, "are there monkeys in Hawaii?" Soon after, she went to a Dusty Springfield show in New York. A short guy with a big entourage walked in; Lynne got a waiter to give him a note: "I'm the number one singer from Australia, I would like to meet you." She was invited to Davy's table, and went out for coffee with Davy and Carole Bayer after the show. The next morning, Davy introduced Lynne to Gloria Stavers, the editor of teenybopper bible 16 Magazine. She took photos of Davy and Lynne, calling Australia's Miss Mod "the Monkees' friend". Go-Set's Ian Meldrum jumped on the story, asking Lynne, "Is there any truth to the rumour that you are going steady with Davy of The Monkees?" Lynne later revealed to Howzat!: "I did stay with Davy at his place in LA. I don't think I was what he was used to. My idea of sexy was wearing a chiffon nightie. I remember we had a big Friday night out on the town with his mates Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, who wrote several of the Monkees' hits. It consisted of Davy getting really stoned and driving up and down Sunset Boulevard. Me, I was bored out of my brain." Lynne confirmed there was some Monkee business, but recalled she "was no big thrill, in my nightie and white cotton knickers. And Davy wasn't a particularly good host - I had to leave his house because twin strippers were arriving from Vegas." Lynne went to stay with Peter Tork instead, but that's another story.

Gotye has conquered the world, but will he win the Australian Music Prize for Album of the Year? All will be revealed this Thursday when the seventh Amp winner is announced. Gotye is vying with Abbe May, Adalita, Boy & Bear, Gurrumul, Jack Ladder, The Jezabels, Kimbra and The Middle East. The winner gets $30,000.

New dad Guy Sebastian spends his 15th week in the Top 30.

Boys Like You 360 & GOSSLING (number four)
Into The Flame EP MATT CORBY (16)
Set It Off TIMOMATIC (17)
Don't Worry Be Happy GUY SEBASTIAN (30)
Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE (31)

Dirty Three arrive at 31.

Falling & Flying 360 (number seven)
Moonfire BOY & BEAR (18)
Making Mirrors GOTYE (23)
Vows KIMBRA (24)
Toward The Low Sun DIRTY THREE (31, debut)
The Best Of COLD CHISEL (40)

Strange Advice PIERS TWOMEY
Dirty, Dirty JIM KEAYS
Going Straight LACHLAN BRYAN

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