Iain Shed­den’s Spin Doc­tor and al­bum re­views

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Contents - Iain Shed­den spin­doc@theaus­tralian.com.au

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.

Justin Tim­ber­lake

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