Music

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Festival faces the music

Are fast cars and classical music incompatible? Organisers of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music are reconsidering the timing of next year's event following an announcement that the V8 Supercar Festival will be happening in Townsville in July 2009. July has been classical music month in the northern Queensland city for the past 18 years and it seems extraordinary that another major event should try to muscle in on its turf. In a media release, festival boss Marg O'Donnell* says the V8 Supercar event will take up significant accommodation and marketing space in the four week lead up to the actual event, not to mention sponsorship dollars and infrastructure changes. "We understand it will take the city at least two weeks to recover from the event, this means we would have to reschedule our festival many weeks later than usual. This has serious ramifications regarding the availability of our artists; Winterschool students; rehearsal space costs, and even of our wonderful artistic director, Piers Lane."
* The actual release calls Ms O'Donnell the festival "chair", but I refuse to refer to a person as a piece of furniture.

What's in a name

"There's nothing weird about calling your baby Chewbacca if that's what you want to call your baby. It's no stranger than Sarah." So says Coldplay's Chris Martin, in defending Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman's choice of Sunday for their baby girl - and, of course, his own choice with Gywneth Paltrow of the name Apple for their daughter. Of course Chris and Ketih and Nicole (although I'm not so sure about Gwynnie) probably never got their head stuck down a toilet at school because they had a stupid name.

Sunday's child

You want to ready about Sunday Rose Kidman Urban, the child of Our Nicole Kidman and Our Keith Urban who was actually born on a Monday? It's not here but it is here and here and here and hundreds of other places. Oh, and Madonna has issued a statement to People magazine saying she and Guy Ritchie are not getting divorced. She says: “I have learned over the years not to take accusations and the many false reports about me very seriously. I also appreciate how fiction and fact seem to be perceived as one and the same by people who read both newspapers and the Internet." So there.

Facing the music

While I do feel for the musicians - and retailers - caught up in all this, I can't feel sorry for the record companies in the wake of the dramatic slump in CD sales. They are whingeing about illegal downloads of songs, but the music giants conveniently forget that they were ridiculously slow in embracing the technology that would allow legal downloads. Like ostriches with their heads in the sands, they thought the online threat would go away if they just ignored it. They are huffing and puffing now because they realise that musicians don't need them any more. Any act with good music to offer, decent marketing skills and an internet connection can pocket the profits directly - or, at least, dictate their own terms to the hitherto overpaid, meddlesome middlemen. So sad, too bad.

Abba dabba do

Every boy who grew up in the 1970s and 80s remembers Agnetha and Annafrid (Frida) from Abba, possibly for how they looked and what they wore more than for their music. Well, I'm happy to report that they are live, well and mingling with Meryl Streep at the Mamma Mia premiere in Stockholm. The story and pictures are here.

I should be so lucky

A royal gong for Kylie Minogue; how did that happen? As an Australian, shouldn't she be content with one of those dinki-di Australian honours that nobody understands?
PS: I think she was cheated by just getting an OBE. She should be Dame Kylie.

Beat goes on

A Beatles interview that was recorded in 1964 and only ever aired in Scotland has resurfaced. It includes this revealing quote from Paul McCartney about the authorship of the band's songs:

"Normally we sit down and try and bash one out—but then again, there's no formula, because he [John Lennon] could come up with one one day, completely finished. We still say we both wrote it though."

Will Yoko Ono now be pursuing a bigger cut of the royalties?

Bye bye Guy?

Am I the only person in the world who doesn't want hourly updates on the status of the Guy Ritchie-Madonna marriage?

From bad to verse

Is Celine Dion's version of AC/DC's You Shook Me All Night Long really the worst cover version ever?

Big Downunder

The latest line-up for Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band includes Colin Hay, better known as the singer-songwriter for Men at Work.

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