Industrial Strength: The biggest stories in the music biz this week
COLLABORATIONS RULE AT LANEWAY
The first Laneway run in Brisbane and Sydney had its share of onstage love-ins.
Fresh off two shows together in Darwin and Cairns, Courtney Barnett joined Camp Cope, while the Cope’s Georgia Maq returned the favour during Barnett’s set.
It was inevitable that KIAN would jump up during Baker Boy’s set.
Daniel Johns made a triumphant entry for his collab with What So Not, emerging from a stand-up coffin for ‘Freak’ and then their joint tracks ‘Be Ok Again’ and ‘If You Only Knew’.
Laneway continues this weekend in Adelaide, Melbourne and Fremantle.
It returns to Harts Mill in Port Adelaide, but has new digs this year at Footscray Park in Melbourne and finishes up at Esplanade Reserve and West End in Fremantle.
So far the first-timers – A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Jorja Smith, Rex Orange County, Clairo, Ravyn Lenae, Masego and Yellow Days – have been redeeming themselves.
We’ll wait until the weekend to see which one(s) made the most impact with the punters.
TASSIE FESTIVALS PULL THEM IN
Party in the Paddock in White Hills, which kicked off yesterday, sold out its 7,500 ticket allocation.
The two-day tickets disappeared earlier in the week, while the single-days won’t last past the morning.
The sell-out comes in the wake of Mona Foma, whose move to Launceston got the thumbs-up from the masses, with 10,000 forking out for the ticketed events and 20,000 for the free ones.
Festivale continued to hit 25,000 punters. Last year, 84.3% were Taswegians, 14% trekked from the mainland and international visitors made up 1.6%.
No data is released yet about the breakdown for 2019.
Meantime, next month’s Ten Days on the Island launched its program in Hobart, offering 89 events.
CASSIAN JOINS ROSE AVENUE
UNDR Ctrl announced the signing of producer, DJ and mixing engineer Cassian to RÜFÜS DU SOL’s recently launched Rose Avenue label.
Cassian developed his skills in Sydney, starting with his Ram Jam parties at Kings Cross’ Candys Apartment nightclub where he appeared with the likes of Alison Wonderland and What So Not. He’s since relocated to Los Angeles.
Cassian recently worked with RÜFÜS DU SOL, mixing their latest album, Bloom, and will supporting them on their upcoming Australian shows.
This latest track, ‘Same Things’ ft. Gabrielle Current has picked up a spot on triple j.
DIVINYLS CANCEL TOUR
There were grumblings in some quarters when guitarist Mark McEntee announced he was taking The Divinyls back on the road, with LA singer Lauren Ruth Ward and original Blondie guitarist Frank Infante.
18 shows were booked around the country between February 27 and March 25.
These have all been cancelled, with out old friend “Unforeseen Circumstances” copping the blame.
NEWCASTLE VENUE CHANGES HANDS
Newcastle’s live music showcasing Belmont Hotel has changed hands.
Irvin Group sod it off to Sydney publican Don Hodge for an undisclosed sum.
PLEDGE TO GET MORE FEMALES IN RECORDING BOOTHS
Over 200 artists and music industry organisations signed a pledge to increase the presence of females in recording booths.
The Producer and Engineering Inclusion Initiative calls on those people booking recording sessions to include at least two females, and also to consider emerging female talent when they are working out whom to mentor.
The artists included Justin Bieber, Pharell, Ryan Tedder, Quincy Jones, Brandi Carlile, Chance the Rapper, Mary J. Blige, Lady Gaga, Ryan Adams, Yann Huff and Max Martin.
The companies were Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, Capitol Records, Republic Records, RCA Records and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, among others, while a host of management companies also took on the commitment.
DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR ‘DEMOS FROM THE WHEATBELT’
Perth music association WAM has extended to this Monday the deadline for registrations for 10 Wheatbelt songwriters to submit songs for its newest regional compilation, Demos From The Wheatbelt.
It is the first of nine new regional recording projects set to record an impressive 90 regional artists over the next three years.
KELLY TWEET GONE
Look under your bed and see if it’s there!
That defiant tweet from R. Kelly stating he was going to tour Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka has disappeared.
But not before politicians, victim groups, media columnists shrieked for the singer’s blood and insisted the fellow not be allowed anywhere near here.
A bit like Philadelphia which has symbolically banned him from putting one foot on its streets.
Faced with heat in the US, R. Kelly was obviously testing the winds to see if he was loved elsewhere.
He got the message loud and clear: NO!
Just as well he hadn’t got around to applying for a visa to come here.
The promoter said to be involved in the new tour is Melbourne-based Flamingo Dreamz.
Meantime, a petition to put a ‘verboten’ stamp on two shows in Germany in April drew 22,000 signatures.
New Zealand too began a petition to head him off at the pass.
* First Australians festival Boomerang curators Rhoda Roberts and Peter Noble welcome aboard Jane Fuller as festival producer. The first lineup was announced this week,
* Priya Pavri is new general manager of the Next Wave festival.
With a background in Law and Arts, Pavri has led community projects in the not-for-profit and government sector in urban and remote Australia, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
She also managed frontline emergency medical care in Iraq, worked as a consultant at Price Waterhouse Coopers and advised a Member of the Parliament in South Australia.
* Velvet Winter, previous online editor of The Music Network, is now digital producer at SBS’ The Feed.
* The Orchard’s co-founder Scott Cohen is retiring after 22 years at the now-Sony Music-owned distribution company.
* Australian Radio Network promoted Millie Michael to executive producer of Sydney’s WSFM’s Jonesy & Amanda in the Morning. She was its senior producer for the past year.
* Peter Green, who ran the Split Enz, Crowded House, Neil Finn and Skyhooks fan clubs for the past 38 years, has decided to retire. What he does with the thousands of items he had collected through the years remains to be seen.
* Less than two weeks after Kenneth Lampl departed as its director, the Australian National University School of Music in Canberra announced associate professor in composition and convenor of musicology Kim Cunio as replacement.
* Matthias Schack-Arnott stepped down as artistic associate of Speak Percussion after eight years but remains as a core artist with the company.
HOTA YEAR LATER
The Gold Coast’s Home of the Arts (HOTA) celebrated its first year under its rebrand after 30 years as the Arts Centre.
Selling over 275,000 tickets and welcoming more than 146,000 visitors to the cinema, HOTA was also the centre point of community events and school holiday activity.
Twelve exhibitions, showcasing works by more than 534 artists was visited by more than 38,600 people.
THE FIGHT RETURNS
After a 12 year hiatus, The Art of Fighting are back in the fast lane, with a new single, ‘Genie’, and return dates at Sydney’s Lansdowne (April 4) and Melbourne’s Howler (11).
THE PUSH COMES TO SHOVE
Victorian youth music organisation The Push has been given a state government grant of $250,000.
The sum will provide more opportunities for artists to play all-ages gigs across the state, an all-ages tour across the state from September, the staging of the Live At The Steps event in November as part of Melbourne Music Week and expansion of the two-day Changes summit which returns this year for a second time in July.
BLACK SORROWS BACK OVERSEAS
“I’m on my 49th album. 21st with the Black Sorrows,” says Joe Camilleri. “So there’s a lot of sins I got to repent.”
The band is to drop a new album Citizen John, which it follows with a run of Australian shows starting next weekend and including Bluesfest, before heading back to Europe for a string of dates in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
Camilleri emphasises: “I’m not a heritage act. I’ve never been a heritage act. I’ve always been a constant player.
“The Sorrows continue to thrive and grow not because we’re an ‘80s band, or a ‘90s band, or any other kind of band.
“We exist because of the now. Just treat me like a new act. It’s just that this one’s got a very old face.”
OCEAN PARTY BID FAREWELL
After the passing of band member Zac Denton late last year, The Ocean Party are splitting up, saying “We felt that writing new material without him wouldn’t feel right and the time has come to call it quits.”
Denton had written an EP before his death. It will be released under the title Nothing Grows through Spunk Records on March 14.
There’ll be farewell dates during which “we’re going to ask some friends to help us sing Zac’s EP, then we’re going to play a second set that we’re calling (very liberally) ‘The Greatest Hits’.”
FESTICKET BOOSTED BY £3.5M INVESTMENT
UK based travel booking site Festicket, which entered the Australian market last year, has picked up £3.5 million in fresh investment.
It partners with festivals to provide travel packages combining tickets, accommodation and transfers.
The investment will allow it to expand into more markets, primarily North America and Asia, alongside development of the underlying technology platform.
SONY/ATV SIGNS CATHY DENNIS
Sony/ATV Music Publishing signed a worldwide deal with multiple award winning British songwriter Cathy Dennis.
The prolific writer penned worldwide hits as ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ for Kylie Minogue, ‘I Kissed A Girl’ for Katy Perry and ‘Toxic’ for Britney Spears as well as for Christina Aguilera, Celine Dion, David Guetta, Janet Jackson, Little Mix, Pink, Mark Ronson and the Spice Girls.
ALTFEST BOWS IN ADELAIDE IN WINTER
The refurbished Woodville Town Hall in Adelaide, which is aiming to be a significant music hub, hosts the inaugural Altfest on Saturday June 29.
Its director, Abby Edwards of Soapbox, says acts booked “are all independent, have a powerful voice, and something to say as artists and social commentators, don’t conform to music genres or stereotypes, and get you up on your feet,”
They are Dallas Frasca, Z-Star Trinity, Sahara Beck and Marz.
PAUL VAN DYK GETS $12.5M FOR STAGE FALL
A court has decided that German DJ superstar Paul van Dyk should get US$12.5 million compensation from promoter Alda Events after a serious accident onstage at A State Of Trance in Utrecht, Holland.
He says that the accident curtailed the length of his sets.
According to theblast.com, the sum included $2 million for future medical expenses, $1.2 million for lost profits in 2016/2017 and $2.47 million for losses in the next 10 years.
PERTH’S 78 RECORDS TO STOP REVOLVING
After 47 years as one of Perth’s best record stores and a place where music fans headed to hang out and discover new music, 78 Records is closing on March 3.
Andrew de Lang who runs the Murray Street Mall outlet, blamed “the current economic and retail climate, with a substantial increase in streaming services at the expense of physical products.”
“He added, It has been a pleasure to have played a considerable and significant part in the WA music retail industry since 1971.
“Keep the faith people.”
In the meantime, Adelaide lost two more DVD stores this week, one of them the last in the Eastern Suburbs.
REGURGITATOR PARTNER WITH ABC FOR KIDS ALBUM
Regurgitator have entered a partnership with ABC Music for their new kids’ project, Regurgitator’s Pogogo Show.
Its first album is out on March 1 and comes with the title The Really, Really, Really, Really Boring Album.
The music for the ankle-biters covers punk, hip-hop, funk, and electro-pop, and comes with tracks as ‘The Box’, ‘Pogogo Theme’, ‘Pigeon on a Motorcycle’ and ‘Games on my Computer’.
Quan explains the project’s conception: “We had such a great time playing at Sydney’s kids festival, ‘Dress Up Attack!’, in late 2013 that we came off stage so inspired there had to be a kid’s album and show off the back of this.
“Ben and I started doodling around with miniature tape decks in Hong Kong whilst we were working on the Dirty Pop Fantasy Record and jammed on quite a few of the kids ideas that would finally find their way on to this record in some form.
“A lot of the initial ideas were songs Ben had written for and with his kids who were about 11 or 12 at the time.”
MEMORIAL FOR FRED WEILAND
A celebration of the life of Fred Weiland is held in Melbourne at the Emerald Hotel in Clarendon Street on Sunday Feb 24 from 1 pm.
Weiland died in Spain from lung cancer in November.
In the mid-60s, he was a member of The Strangers appearing weekly as resident band on TV’s The GO!! Show.
He later joined The Mixtures who had a hit in the UK with ‘The Pushbike Song’.
* Tony Featherstone was a TV and radio presenter on a number of media outlets, including the ABC TV music show The Pop Scene in 1969 and the ABC’s radio version of The Hit Scene.
He was the voice of ABC TV until 2011.
He recently suffered a stroke, but passed away peacefully in Sydney aged 72.
* Peter Posa was a prominent New Zealand guitarist who had a hit in the early 60s with the instrumental ‘The White Rabbit’ which led to him touring through Australia and the US.
He went on to release 28 singles, 15 EP’s and 23 albums.
His career was affected by tragedies including a car crash and a stroke. He was 78 when he passed.
In 2013, his greatest hits was highest selling album at the NZ Music Awards, beating nominees Lorde, Aaradhna and Fat Freddy’s Drop.
AND A FEW OTHER THINGS…
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are set to play their biggest gig in London on October 5, at the 10,000-capacity London’s Alexandra Palace. They promise “a new set, new songs and a whole new visual experience.”
News.com.au discovered that Amy Shark and her husband Shane Billings paid $2.25 million late last year for a massive 908sq m waterfront property on Broadbeach on the Gold Coast, with a five-bedroom house, “an inground pool, am 8m pontoon and views of the Gold Coast skyline.”
CNN is working on a story that soul brother James Brown (yow! Sock it to me!) may have been murdered rather than dying in a hospital from pneumonia.
Dido appeared on British TV to address long-time rumours she named her six year old son after the Eminem song ‘Stan’ on which she appeared. She said she’d always liked the name Stanley from her teen days.
Missy Higgins has never cancelled a show in 15 years. But looking ill and with a scratchy voice, she appeared on an Instagram video to explain she had to pull out of her sold-out show with the John Butler Trio at King’s Park in Perth just hours before showtime because of a severe throat infection. I” can barely croak today and unfortunately all the medical help hasn’t made much of a difference,” she relayed. The Butler Trio played an extended set, Stella Donnelly moved up to main support, and new Perth singer songwriter Carla Geneve was rushed in as a last minute addition.
There was an additional drama when a couple celebrating their anniversary were told they could not enter unless they bought a $110 ticket for their newborn kid. They sold the tix to another couple and went home. Promoter Mellen Events explained it has a “babe in arms policy” on its website which states: “All patrons, including minors and babies must have a valid ticket for entry.”
Accompanying the acts to Ultra Australia is #1 DJ photographer Rukes.
Brian May has refuted rumours that Queen were asked to play the Oscars but declined. Bohemian Rhapsody is up for five wins, but there is apprehension that the Brian Singer sex controversy could affect the voting. In the meantime, the British film awards BAFTA dropped Singer’s nominations.
P!NK is to get outstanding contribution award at the BRIT awards.
Imagine Dragons’ vid for ‘Radioactive’ has hit 1 billion YouTube views.
Shops in Napier, New Zealand, sold out of rain ponchos before Phil Collins’ show, and were reduced to selling garbage bags in lieu.
Due to a change in scheduling, THRICE’s Australian tour has been rescheduled to May 2019.