Iain Shedden’s Spin Doctor and album reviews
THERE have been a couple of developments in the crazy world of pop recently, both directly related to how artists sell their wares. The first of them is the proliferation of naked breasts and buttocks popping up on videos for hit songs by male artists, namely Americans Robin Thicke and Justin Timberlake. It will have escaped few people’s attention that the accompanying, explicit-warning videos for Blurred Lines by Thicke, alongside Pharrell Williams, and now Timberlake’s Tunnel Vision feature the blokes singing in smart casual attire while a handful of attractive women get in the groove around them wearing little more than a smile. Nudity is nothing new in pop, and that includes by the artists of both sexes who like to push that particular envelope as far as it is legally allowed. This is slightly different, however. The talent is keeping its kit on, while the supporting cast of beautiful women cavorts around sexily in barely a stitch. There’s a trend developing here, admittedly not for the first time. Who knows where this one will end.
SYDNEY singer Josh Pyke, whose new album The Beginning and the End of Everything was reviewed on this page last week, has chosen not to go down the path of naked ladies for his latest video, for the single Leeward Side, but, like any savvy record company executive, he is aware exposure of one’s product on commercial television is not to be sniffed at as a promotional tool. That’s why the mildmannered songwriter found himself singing
Leeward Side on Ten’s late news last week and answering questions put to him by not one but three of the program’s anchors. It was hard to decide who looked most uncomfortable, but perhaps Pyke had the upper hand, knowing that — unlike his interviewers — he wouldn’t have to do the channel’s music segment again this week. The reason Pyke was there is that he has little choice when it comes to flogging product on commercial networks. It’s a predicament faced by the Australian music industry. Opportunities have been rare since the demise of Ten’s Rove — if you don’t count the talent quest franchises — for a local act or one visiting from overseas to plug their latest product on prime-time telly. And that’s how we ended up with Pyke following the weather last Thursday night. Now that Ten has gone down that path, will Seven and Nine follow suit? Perhaps the artists could be encouraged to do the weather as well, or the sport, or the whole thing. ‘‘We’ll bring you more from Afghanistan later in the program, but now . . . Guy Sebastian!’’ Can’t wait to see how they’ll segue into it if Justin Timberlake chooses to come down and re-enact his arty film clip for Ten’s cameras.
THE good people of ARIA, the Australian Recording Industry Association, have bounced back from the stuff-up a few weeks ago of announcing Troy Cassar-Daley and Adam Harvey as being No 1 on the charts with their album The Great Country Songbook, only to admit a few days later it should have been Kanye West’s Yeezus. It’s all smiles down ARIA avenue this week, as the industry body celebrates 30 years of the ARIA charts. Some entertaining statistics have emerged from ARIA chart statistician Ian Wallace’s bunker to mark the occasion. Dire Straits’ album Brothers in
Arms is the longest running album in the No 1 spot (34 weeks), while Coolio’s Gangsta’s
Paradise is the longest running No 1 single (13 weeks). Madonna and Kylie Minogue topped the No 1 singles tally with 10 each.