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Howzat! Archive - June 8th 2011

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After stints with Jaime Robbie Reyne & The Paradise Three and Rushcutter, was it time for Jaime Robbie Reyne to have just his name on the cover? "I don't know," Jaime laughs. "After Rushcutter ended, I felt rather emancipated and just wanted to be out there on my own for a bit; maybe forever, who knows. I just didn't want to be tied down to a project name; that or I'm just really boring and unimaginative!"

There's nothing boring or unimaginative about Jaime's debut solo single, Remember To Breathe. It's a fine slice of rollicking pop. You get the feeling that after a few years of struggling for direction, Jaime is back on track. He took the title from a "cheesy movie". "It just stuck for some reason," he explains. "I very rarely have specific subject matter when I sit down to write a song - I usually just go with what feels right at the time. Got to let it come naturally." Remember To Breathe was inspired by everyday life. "Pretty much every vignette in the song is from me looking out the tour van window," Jaime says, "trucks, massive shopping complexes, families coming home from work, cities on the horizon ... and compiling it into my own little version of Australian life."

Jaime loves touring - "It always feels good to keep moving along." He even spent his recent 26th birthday on the road, having a few quiet XXXXs before his Gold Coast show. After the 25-date Remember To Breathe tour, Jaime plans to base himself in the US, where he'll finish his debut album with Niko Bolas.

Jaime calls Niko "an absolute dude of the highest-order". He's produced a stack of classic albums, including Neil Young's Freedom and Warren Zevon's Sentimental Hygiene, and he mixed Don Henley's The Boys of Summer. Jaime reveals that Niko also has a signature move. "He'll do this kind of sway-dance when he's into a tune or an idea. If you see him doing that, you know it ain't half bad."

Niko produced the Rushcutter EP, Call High Water, which was the band's only release for Mercury/Universal. "Rushcutter had just run its course," Jaime says. "We all ended up wanting different things about a year or so before we broke up. The end of the band allowed us to go out and try other things; spread our wings, so to speak."

Jaime was in Neighbours when we got to know him. His character, schoolboy Taj, even had a fling with Libby Kennedy. Jaime hopes to do more acting, but right now, he's focused on music. "It's a cliché, but you're always learning," he says. "Honestly, the more I learn from doing this, the more I realise how little I really know." Jaime Robbie Reyne's "power trio" (bass player Mike O'Dowd and drummer Leigh Baines) plays the Thornbury Theatre this Thursday, and Revolver on June 18.

Steve Kilbey has a great voice, managing to sound both reassuring and menacing. His GB3 collaboration with the Underground Lovers' Glenn Bennie, Damaged/Controlled, has pulsating energy. It threatens to explode into big choruses, but never quite does, which gives the album genuine tension. Steve and Glenn launch the new single, How Do You Glow?, at the East Brunswick Club on Friday.

Sony boss Denis Handlin believes in it so much, he even had personalised numberplates made - ATD. No Australian band has greater "attention to detail" than Skipping Girl Vinegar. "Who would have thought we'd see so much hard rubbish at the Arts Centre," singer Mark Lang said at the band's album launch. The set was adorned with recycled goods, including an old phone, a wooden tennis racquet and a drum case with the scrawled message, "Has anyone seen my keys?" The first 50 online buyers of Keep Calm, Carry The Monkey got a special op-shop gift from the band, and one lucky punter at Saturday's show got a Flashdance cassette. "The hipsters are into vinyl," Mark remarked, "we're trying to bring back the cassette." Another highlight was keyboard player Amanthi's baked treats. She delivered not one but four slices - Raspberry Blondie, Mars Bar, Pistachio and Lemon. Beautiful.

Howzat! loves a good residency. D. Rogers - who's released one of 2011's great albums, Natural Disasters - is doing the next four Thursdays at the Builders Arms. And Bobby Flynn, who's getting set to release his second album, is doing Espy Mondays and Empress Thursdays.

Canada has given us some great things - Ron Sexsmith, ice hockey and Tracy McNeil. Coming from a cold climate, Tracy, who now calls Melbourne home, obviously has a thing for fire. Her duo with Jordie Lane was called Fireside Bellows and her new solo album is Fire from Burning. Tracy launches the album on Saturday at Bella Union, before returning to Canada to get married.

Havana Brown hits the Top 5.

We Run The Night HAVANA BROWN (number five)
From The Music THE POTBELLEEZ (18)

The Potbelleez album has a Top 20 debut.

Roy DAMIEN LEITH (number eight)
Destination Now THE POTBELLEEZ (17, debut)
Rrakala GURRUMUL (19)
Icehouse FLOWERS (21)
The Life of Riley DRAPHT (28)
Aphrodite KYLIE MINOGUE (31)
You're A Revhead ADAM BRAND (39, debut)
United In Isolation PAPA VS PRETTY (40, debut)

Remember To Breathe JAIME ROBBIE REYNE
Buyer's Remorse D. ROGERS
How Do You Glow? GB3

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