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Please don’t rock around the Christmas tree

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at … zzzzzz snooooore. It’s that time of year again, and at the risk of promoting bah humbug over chestnuts roasting, I’m very Ebenezer Scrooge when…
‘Real Love’, originally written by John Lennon, gets us hooked on Monty. John Lewis

Sounds like Christmas: why advertisers are all ears this year

There’s no holding back now: the gloves are well and truly off in the run up to Christmas as major advertisers continue their fight for a slice of your seasonal spend. Over the past few weeks, audiences…
Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride is a milestone in opera history – and Pinchgut’s production is marvellous. Photo: Keith Saunders. Pinchgut Opera

Pinchgut’s Iphigénie en Tauride: a work of pure theatrical magic

In any Opera History 101 course, Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787) is cited as one of the most influential figures in the development of opera. And, of course, this is true. Gluck’s operas, and his…
Do Yourself a Favour recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of the music show Countdown. ABC

Rebooting Countdown would help the Australian music industry

Are there lessons to be learnt from the success of the seminal Australian music program Countdown, and the ways in which it bolstered the Australian music industry during the 70s and 80s? Do Yourself a…
Singer, songwriter, poet and writer, Steve Kilbey has recently released his memoir, Something Quite Peculiar. debra/Flickr

Speaking with: Steve Kilbey, lead singer of The Church

Bassist and lead singer of The Church, Steve Kilbey is one of Australia’s most prolific musicians. The band released their 25th album, Further Deeper, in October and will play The Queenscliff Music Festival…
Breakdown was an interactive audiovisual dance performance at Ears Eyes and Feet in May this year, Austin Texas. Rodrigo Carvalho, Yago de Quay, Sunny Shen

Explainer: interactive composition

Computers have shaken up how we create and listen to music, and there is more radical transformation to come. The potential for digital music to be interactive is leading to new ways to experience and…
ABC Radio plans to cut back on the number of concerts recorded on Classic FM. Ryan Egan/Flickr

ABC’s Classic FM faces cuts: it’s time to change the tune

Today, in a statement to his staff, ABC Managing Director Mark Scott said: ABC Radio plans to cut back on the number of concerts recorded on Classic FM. This is a prudent efficiency measure that still…
Keeping the neighbours happy is what rock’s all about … kind of. Maria Nayef/Flickr

It’s oh so quiet: how to soundproof live venues and keep rocking hard

As high-density urban living becomes more common in Australia’s larger cities, many live music venues are under increasing pressure to restrict noise levels. In an industry that’s already feeling the pinch…
Band Aid is an apt name, addressing the symptoms of the Ebola crisis rather than the underlying reasons. EPA/ Hannah McKay

Should you buy Band Aid 30?

It really doesn’t matter if you don’t like this song. It doesn’t matter if you hate the artists. What matters is that you buy the record. So said the Irish songwriter Bob Geldof last weekend, in anticipation…
Jimi Hendrix is a member of the so-called 27 Club – a very exclusive club, as it turns out. EPA/Eduardo Miranda

The 27 Club is a myth: 56 is the bum note for musicians

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. – Groucho Marx Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club. I told him not to … – Kurt Cobain’s mother upon hearing of the death of her son What…
Rock ‘n’ roll is never just about the music. EPA/ Abir Sultan

Long players: secrets of the Rolling Stones longevity

The Rolling Stones are currently nearing the end of their seventh (and quite possibly last) tour of Australia and – despite cancelling the Hanging Rock gig due to Mick Jagger’s throat infection – are still…
The ‘EasyJet set’ get on inexpensive flights each weekend for some techno tourism. EPA/Michael Hanschke

The Berlin Wall’s fall saw the rise of techno tourism

Some 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall – on November 9 1989 – Berlin is a utopia for many people. In otherwise precarious and uncertain lives, Berlin holds out the hope of pursuing creative work…
Johnny Cash’s pertinent social commentary is likely to be lost in Tex Perkins’ translation Far From Folsom. AAP/Dean Lewins

The Parramatta Folsom Prison Blues: what’s wrong with that?

Last week, Sydney Festival launched its 2015 program – under Belgium born director Lieven Bertels – and it was revealed that Australian rocker Tex Perkins will recreate Johnny Cash’s 1968 Folsom Prison…
Musicians such as Amy Winehouse die young at much higher rates than the rest of the population. EPA/Andy Rain

Stairway to hell: life and death in the pop music industry

Art is a cry of distress from those who live out within themselves the destiny of humanity … Inside them turns the movement of the world; only an echo of it leaks out – the work of art Arnold Schoenberg…
Remarkably, Rodriguez has not released any new material since his first two albums in the early 70s. Wikimedia Commons

Rodriguez in Australia: peaking at the ripe old age of 72

Searching for Sugar Man (2012) brought worldwide attention to the music of Detroit singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez. The academy award-winning documentary focused on the efforts of South African fans…
Learning a musical instrument begins with the act of making music with our bodies. AAP/Yonhap

It takes more than singing to strike a chord in music education

Yesterday, Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne and Arts Minister George Brandis announced A$594,000 in funding for a new national music teachers mentorship program. The details have sent music…

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