With Mediaweek’s Brian Watson
1. San Andreas in 3D is no disaster
San Andreas romped home as the #1 movie on Australian screens last weekend. In the US, its distributor Warner Bros predicted a first-weekend take of around US$40m but it beat that by US$15m. It’s interesting to note that 44% of that came from 3D screenings, reversing the recent trend away from that format. Good news for Aussie artist Sia, who gets a piece of the action by singing “California Dreamin’” on the soundtrack. West Coast 70s music is so hot right now.
2. Dawes is all your favourite 70s bands
Dawes is a folk-rock band that belongs to another time and place, specifically California in the 1970s. Their fourth album in five years, “All Your Favorite Bands”, was released this week, produced by Dave Rawlings of Gillian Welch fame. These four beautiful albums remind me a lot of Jackson Browne, with sweet memorable hooks and interesting lyrics (no cover versions). From the title song: “I hope your brother’s El Camino runs forever, and may all your favourite bands stay together.”
3. David Duchovny’s meaty new role
More West Coast music features on the soundtrack of David Duchovny’s new cop show Aquarius, available here for streaming on Presto. Think of such groups as The Byrds and The Mamas & The Papas. Set in Los Angeles in the 60s and dealing with attempts to put serial killer Charles Manson behind bars, the grungy storyline is a far cry from the ideals of the age of Aquarius. From the two episodes I’ve seen (of thirteen), Duchovny playing a tough cop is a convincing flawed hero and costar Grey Damon’s hair seems to have a role all its own. Well worth a look.
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4. Seriously, Shamir’s voice is no gimmick
I first heard 19-year-old Shamir singing cover versions of Kacey Musgraves and Miranda Lambert and thought someone’s found a great new female country singer. No, Shamir Bailey is a dreadlocked black kid from the northern suburbs of Las Vegas with a natural counter-tenor voice, which means he hits those high notes without breaking a sweat, unlike Justin Bieber or Sam Smith or Ed Sheeran. This glorious instrument first hit the iTunes store in last year’s Northtown EP – its cover version of Lindi Ortega’s “Lived And Died Alone” is still my favourite. Shamir’s first full album, Ratchet, was released last month and is very much a dance album, almost disco at times, with a striking first single that is hard to categorise. Check it out here.
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5. Say Aloha to Cameron Crowe
Sony Pictures’ Aloha was notoriously ridiculed last year in leaked emails from a Sony executive and here it is in Australia released by 20th Century Fox. Go figure. The cast includes Bill Murray and Alex Baldwin and features the star power of Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams and Emma Stone. Unfortunately Stone plays a character named Allison Ng and the director has now apologised on his own website for his insensitivity in casting such a very white actress as his Asian-American heroine. For fuck’s sake, Aloha is just a Hollywood rom-com, filmed in beautiful Hawaiian locations and written and directed by Oscar-winner Cameron Crowe, who was responsible for writing and directing such pleasures as Say Anything, Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire. I’ll pay my eight bucks to see it.