Spin doc­tor

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

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

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