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Queenslander! (Orchestra)

Methinks the publicist for the Queensland Orchestra has become a bit carried away with State of Origin fever. How else could you explain a press release headed: "He’s led The Queensland Orchestra to victory before… Can Pietari Inkinen do it again with Berman on keys?" Details of the Berman Plays Brahms concerts on June 21 and 22 - and other events, including a gig with Judith Durham (right) - are here.

Pause for reflection

The "Oxford comma" is not just something sub-editors like to debate, it's also now the name of a song by the New York band Vampire Weekend.

Famous in Belgium

In Beijing on the weekend, where I visited the great Wall with a group of European students, I was teasing a Belgian bloke by saying that the two most famous people from his country were fictional — Hercule Poirot and Tin Tin. But I was gracious enough to admit that they probably couldn't think of a famous Australian. A young woman from the group came up with "Vanessa Amorosi and that dead guy who used to wrestle crocodiles".

Woodford Dreaming

The Dreaming Festival will be held at Woodford, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, from June 6-9. Preliminary details are here

More Maske magic

Robert McHatton, the manager of sexy Brisbane-based electric violin trio Maske, tells me the girls have been globe-trotting again. He writes:

Maske have just returned from some fantastic overseas events these included launching Turkey's number one wine maker Kayra Wine's new wine academy in Istanbul. While they were there they also had a full day of media commitments which included closing Turkey's #1 news program ATV and then off to perform on Turkey's #1 late night show, the Beyaz Show. Over 20 million watched the girls in action that day! Mexico City was the girls next stop, Maske was invited to perform at a private birthday event which attracted the who's who of Mexico and abroad. Maske opened the after party and then performed with DJ Max Chipchase from London/LA. It was a very cool night! Their last stop was in Singapore, Samsung must have loved the girls from last year so much they invited Maske back to take part in their 2008 AV road show held at Singapore's #1 hotel the Shangri-La.

Congratulations to a true Queensland success story!

Kidman as Springfield? Yikes!

Please tell me this report is untrue. It says Nicole Kidman is tipped to play Dusty Springfield in a film. When will the movie world wake up to the fact that Ms Kidman is what used to be known as a "leading lady" rather than an actual actor? (Let's face it, the Oscar for The Hours was actually for the prosthetic nose). I say to the producers: Give the role to somebody ballsy who can really belt out a tune - it'll cost you less and you might just have a chance at a smash hit.

Rock pig on the loose

"This Roger Waters fellow is simply irresponsible. He must really use safer means to spread his political views without resorting to this blatant act of careless self indulgence." So says one of the comments on a New York Times about the former Pink Floyd star's inflatable pig floating away from a gig and being found in tatters. To quote a different band, it's only rock 'n' roll, but I like it.

Farewell, John Cargher

John Cargher has died at the age of 89, within a week of recording his last Singers of Renown program for Radio National. The program - a labour of love for its presenter - began in 1966, and his is a broadcasting record that is unlikely to be broken.

Too much too young

A debate is raging in the US over Vanity Fair magazine photos of teen star Miley Cyrus, which appear to show her naked except for a strategically placed bed sheet. Former child star Jamie Lee Curtis blames Cyrus's minders, which presumably includes her father, Billy Ray, the country singer who inflicted Achy Breaky Heart on an unsuspecting world. Curtis wrote: "... there were people at the shoot that should have been looking out to make sure this didn't happen." I blame the mindset that prevails in America, and is gaining hold elsewhere, that stardom is something to be pursued no matter what the cost. Kids have a right to a childhood - and if that means protecting them from their own fame-hungry parents, then so be it. Are you listening, Terri Irwin?

Dangerous surf

No doubt there will be, or perhaps already are, calls for crowd surfing to be banned after a man was injured when someone fell on him at a Foo Fighters concert in Brisbane last night. But, of course, you can't legislate against reckless fun - or stupidity.

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