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Aussie artists
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Howzat! Archive - May 8th 2013

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Not many radio announcers can say they've married more than one of their listeners. The theme for this year's PBS radio festival is "Romance Your Radio". Jenny O'Keefe, who presents the excellent Homebrew show (Mondays at 3pm), can relate. Like RRR's Jon von Goes, Jenny is also a wedding celebrant. "I have married a few listeners," she laughs. "Often there's this real intimacy because I've been in their house or cars or showers for years, even though we've never met. It's not creepy at all, even though it sounds a little bit wrongtown."

After presenting PBS's Breakfast Spread for two years, Jenny has been spinning the homegrown hits since the start of 2012. What does she love most about community radio? "Where do I start? I can't imagine life without it - it's the lifeblood of culture and good tunes. Community radio creates connections and gives a voice to so many people. It's accessible and real and I want to love it and hug it and call it George."

Jenny - who some call "J O'K" ("though I have horrible memories of being called 'Jock Strap' in primary school and it reminds me of that") - is a clever communicator. "There was this one artist who came in for an interview and they were super-dooper shy. It was quite awkward, but we muddled through and then they picked up their guitar and sang. It was like the sun had come out, such beautiful talent emanated from them. I learned that day that musicians are often at their best when they're communicating through song, and asking questions about their gifts can be a bit redundant. You have to pick your moments."

What's Jenny's favourite wedding song? "One couple used Welcome To The Jungle as their processional. It was unreal." And the wedding song she never wants to hear again? "I'm pretty lucky that I don't seem to attract people with music taste that I object to. I would probably have an issue if any Shania Twain came up, but to each their own." What's been Jenny's most unusual wedding location? "I've heard of celebrants who marry people while skydiving or in a helicopter or scuba diving, but the weirdest thing that's happened to me was doing a wedding in NSW. I got attacked by leeches and bled everywhere. It happened at the rehearsal and the ceremony. I was the only one out of 250 people who got leeched. Awkward."

Jenny hesitates when asked for her three all-time favourite Aussie acts. "Oh, man, that's a tough one. I'm not very good at naming favourites because I love everyone and I'm really crap at remembering names. But all-time favourites off the top of my head - Paul Kelly, Crowded House and Clare Bowditch. And right now I'm loving Courtney Barnett, Ainslie Wills and Mojo Juju." Ainslie's album, You Go Your Way, I'll Go Mine, is her 2013 fave - "it's sublime, different, lush and an absolute work of art". Jenny nominates Spender as an artist to watch. "He's going to go absolutely gangbusters over the next year or so. He's made this ace video for Never Again where he eats an entire wedding cake backwards. Seriously, look it up. He even plays sexy saxophone." Of course, Jenny can't stop at naming just one emerging talent - she also mentions The Little Sisters, Aluka, Olympia, Sweet Jean, Jess Ribeiro and the Bone Collectors, and Georgia Fields. "Just tune in to Homebrew because I can't mention everyone who deserves it," she says, "and they all deserve it." The PBS radio festival runs from 13 to 26 May. More info at And if you'd like Jenny to marry you, head to

Fancy a guitar lesson with Kim Salmon? Or how 'bout a beer with Ron Peno? The Darling Downs have just finished their first album in six years and to release it, they've launched a crowd-funding campaign at For $120, you can have a lesson with Kim (pay $1000 and you get to keep the guitar). For $75, you can have a drink with Ron (though we're not sure who pays for the drinks). The Darling Downs' third album is called In The Days When The World Was Wide.

Angry Anderson is aiming to be the biggest musician turned conservative politician since The Seekers' Athol Guy was a Liberal member of state parliament in the '70s. News of Angry running for the National Party for the NSW seat of Throsby split fans. Comments at included: "He can be beaten Instead of running for office, Angry should be running the dodgem cars in a sideshow alley Peter Garrett's Mini-Me All hail Angry The Pauline Hanson of rock."

No Aussie hits in the Top 10.

Hello STAFFORD BROTHERS (number 11)
A Thousand Years CELIA PAVEY (23)
Holdin On FLUME (24)
Big Banana HAVANA BROWN (25)
Lanterns BIRDS OF TOKYO (26)

Anthony Callea's third album, Thirty, arrives at 18.

Universus SHOCKONE (number two, debut)
Flume FLUME (four)
Life Is A Highway JASON OWEN (five, debut)
Romantique RACHAEL LEAHCAR (13, debut)
Sharkmouth RUSSELL MORRIS (14)
Thirty ANTHONY CALLEA (18, debut)
The Essential DIVINYLS (21)
March Fires BIRDS OF TOKYO (35)
The Rubens THE RUBENS (38)
The Golden Jubilee Album THE SEEKERS (39)


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