SD spent the best part of the week ensconced with the music industry cognoscenti at Big Sound, the annual music biz powwow in Brisbane that showcases the best new talent from across the country, as well as featuring debate on every aspect of making, managing, buying, marketing, sending and listening to music. There was a fine array of keynote speakers, among them Billy Bragg, who likes a speak, along with former Cocteau Twin and head of Bella Union record label Simon Raymonde and, by satellite in conversation with our own Julia Zemiro, the forever dry, witty and just a little bit testy Nick Cave. The Cavester addressed the Big Sound throng from a giant screen at the city’s conference home, the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, and didn’t always see eye to eye with his questioner, particularly when she asked about his sartorial elegance and the regular use of religious imagery in his songs. He did have a couple of magnificent one-liners though, notably ‘‘ I’m different from the Rolling Stones because I still make decent music’’ and, back on the matter of clothing, ‘‘ I went to buy a camouflage jacket once, but I couldn’t find it’’. Boom . . . and indeed . . . boom. Is there anything this man cannot do? THE announcement of festival line-ups has gone into overdrive in the past few weeks, with Falls, bluesfest, the Big Day Out, Meredith and Soundwave all revealing their line-ups, in full or in part. The question is asked as to whether Australia can sustain an increasing number of festivals in the rock calendar and the announcement by promoter AJ Maddah, via Twitter, that his touring Harvest Festival in November isn’t selling well is a further indicator the festival bubble could be wearing thin. Maddah says the BDO is affecting Harvest sales. An announcement on whether Harvest, featuring Massive Attack, Franz Ferdinand and Goldfrapp, will go ahead is expected next week. CANNY tunesmith Neil Finn took to the Twittersphere this week to answer questions about a variety of topics, few of them relating to music. We learned, for instance, that Neil doesn’t watch Breaking Bad (why not?), that Crowded House hasn’t broken up but ‘‘ the car is in the garage and up on blocks’’, that if he could go back in time to see an act in its prime it would be to catch the Beatles (quelle surprise) and Bob Marley, and that he buys his cardigans from Liberty in London. On a more topical note, the Kiwi songwriter did reveal that his new album, which he has been working on for a year and which features his wife, Sharon, and sons Liam and Elroy, is to be called Dizzy Heights. No word yet on when we might reach them. READERS would have noted from this column last week that Hunters & Collectors are leading the entertainment at the AFL grand final on September 28. Following that, however, the band’s singer Mark Seymour has a smaller but no less extraordinary engagement. As part of the Centenary of Canberra celebrations, Seymour and his band for the occasion, the Petrolsexuals, will close the Spin Saturday event in Fyshwick on October 19 that is a tip of the hat to a notable invention, the wheel. To that end, all the material in the Petrolsexuals’ set will be in tribute to cars, with, we hear, Born to Be Wild and Roadhouse Blues among them.
Neil Finn reveals not quite all on Twitter