In this week's column: Universal and the Parker & Mr. French group team up, Ed Sheeran tops the album chart after nearly a year meandering in it, an opportunity to write music for next year's Sydney Festival, and news from three industry awards nights that occurred last week!
Parker and Mr. French, the Sydney based music management company has announced a vanguard arrangement with Universal Music Australia, establishing a new multi-tiered distribution avenue for their artists. Parker and Mr. French include Gypsy and the Cat, Evermore, The Vines, Bluejuice and new projects Jagwar Ma and Danco.
ARIA CHART WRAP
Ed Sheeran has enjoyed some pretty good benefits from his recent Australian visit, his album ‘+’ has jumped from number three to number one on this week’s album chart after 46 weeks in the top 100 (which is a long and winding road to the top in all honesty). In the process it has achieved sales in excess of double platinum and spawned a number of hit singles, including the latest offering ‘Drunk’, which climbs to #11 on the singles chart this week. The only debut on the chart was the soundtrack to instantly memorable film Step Up 4: Miami Heat in at #28.
Australian dance troupe Justice Crew maintain their hold on peak position on the singles chart with ‘Boom Boom’ for a second week, the track earning a platinum accreditation alongside the ARIA #1 Chart Award they picked up in Sydney last Friday. Other new entries include two Australian entries: 360’s ‘Run Alone’ coming in at #37 and Havana Brown with ‘When The Lights Go Out’ in at #40, while overseas debuts included Birdy with ‘People Help The People’ debuts at #35 and 50 Cent’s collaboration with Dr. Dre and Alicia Keys, ‘New Day’ debuts at #44.
OPPORTUNITIES: A NEW SOUNDTRACK FOR SYDNEY FESTIVAL
Sydney Festival is asking songwriters and musicians to write a new soundtrack for the 2013 Festival. A $5000 cash prize to the writer is being offered to the one who creates a song that best captures the essence of the Festival. The winning tune will be used to promote Sydney Festival in videos, online and on the various radio programs and should reflect the tone of the festival’s motto: “This Is Our City In Summer”. The competition closes on September the 7th. Musicians can enter here.
THE MEDICS SWEEP AWAY THE NATIONAL INDIGENOUS MUSIC AWARDS
QLD rock four-piece The Medics won three awards at the recent 2012 National Indigenous Music Awards that took place on Saturday 11th August. The Medics album Foundations received gongs for Album of the Year, New Talent of the Year and Song of the Year for ‘Griffin’.
Newly formed Arnhem Land band East Journey who have been guided by the legendary Mandawuy Yunupingu from Yothu Yindi, took out two highly contested awards: The NT Film Clip of the Year for the film clip ‘Ngarrpiya’, filmed around their home country in Yirrkala. East Journey also picked up the prestigious G.R. Bururrawanga Memorial Award for their contribution to the NT music industry. Other winners included Gurrumul for Artist of the Year for the second year in a row. Gurrumul’s collaboration with Sarah Blasko ‘Bayini’ also won cover art of the year, which was designed by Carlo Santone from Blue King Brown.
INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS ARE CALLING OUT
The Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) have announced that the seventh annual Jagermeister Independent Music Awards will be held on Tuesday October 16th this year at Revolt Art Space in Kensington, Melbourne. The regular segments of Best Independent Dance / Electronic Release, Best Independent Artist, Best Independent Hip Hop/Urban Release and Best Independent Hard Rock/Punk Release among others will be presented on the night while a new category for Best Australian Independent Label will debut for the nights.
For those wanting to nominate, you must have material released between 1st August 2011 and 31st July 2012, and the recording must be owned by the artist, or by an entirely Australian owned independent record label. More info at www.ausindies.com
QUEENSLAND GETS THEIR SLICE OF AWARD PIE
In further award show news, artists from out of Queensland were awarded for contributions to that state’s scene at the annual Queensland Music Awards. The night belonged to Cub Scouts who picked up two awards including Song of the Year and the Pop Award for their song – ‘Do You Hear’. Ben Salter collected the Album of The Year Award for his debut solo effort The Cat whilst Jeremy Neale picked up the Rock Award for "Winter Was The Time".
Meanwhile, Kate Miller-Heidke picked up the public voted Most Popular Female Award - voted for by the public – while Pete Murray collected the Most Popular Male Award and The Grates were voted Most Popular Group. Harmony James took out the Country Award, while Marialy Pacheco, who recently took out the solo pianist award at the Montreux Jazz Festival, received the Jazz Award.
FROM LITTLE THINGS RDIO THINGS GROW
The battle between online music players Spotify and Rdio continues on in Australia. Rdio, the digital music service started by the creators of Skype, have announced two music deals with CD Baby and TuneCore, the largest aggregators of independent music, bringing Rdio’s catalogue to over 18 million songs and giving a much more wider scope for independent music to be included on their service.
PENY BOHAN WINS TELSTRA’S ROAD TO RECOVERY
Peny Bohan, a songwriter from Melbourne, has won the chance to have her music heard on a national stage and network with music industry contacts after winning the Melbourne heat of the Telstra Road to Discovery music development program. She performed at Melbourne University on the 16th August with two tracks: ‘Wrapped Around Your Finger’ and ‘Love Song’. She will take part in an intensive three-day music-mentoring workshop in November as well, plus perform in the competition’s semi final at the Queenscliff Music Festival in Victoria on 24th November.
RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY IS NO BULL
Two of the lucky golden ticket winners will be flying to NYC from Melbourne for the Red Bull Music Academy. Andy Donnelly (aka Kloke) and Julien Love will each experience two weeks of music making, where like-minded and forward-thinking producers, instrumentalists, vocalists and DJs from every conceivable genre come together for intensive semesters of workshops, concerts, club nights and studio time. This year, it all takes place from the 30th September until 2nd November.
ALL HALE FREEDMAN JAZZ FELLOWSHIP
Christopher Hale has been announced as the winner of the 2012 MCA/Freedman Fellowship for Jazz, after a four-part concert showcasing some great hip cats. Haleplays bass guitar (among many other instruments) with his trio, the Christopher Hale Ensemble, as well as numerous well know groups and singers over the world. He’s won a $15,000 cash prize plus support from Music Council for any personnel for the duration of their Fellowship period.