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The Age

Monday February 28, 2011


It's not all bad newsHORROR stats from the Australian Recording Industry Association crunched down to a 13.9 per cent drop in revenue in 2010. But the demise of the music industry is somewhat exaggerated, according to the Australian Independent Record Labels Association, which last week queried 10 areas of apparent growth not reported by ARIA's old-school accounting system. High among them is the escalating phenomenon of direct sales from artists to fans at gigs and festivals or via websites. One significant example would be Radiohead, who made their new album The King of Limbs, exclusively available (for $9 to $14) on their site 10 days ago. An ARIA chartroom check confirms the title is "not in the system".Jazz festival go-aheadONE of Australia's most successful regional festivals and the most prominent celebration of contemporary jazz, the Wangaratta festival, is going ahead in October under the direction of its long-term head, Adrian Jackson. The festival has struggled financially for the past two years following the loss of its main sponsor, TAC. There is a new council-appointed board with a "significant cash injection" to allow it to plan the 22nd festival with a clean slate after meeting all its debts. The new chairman of the festival is Paul Carrick, who is also chairman of the North-East Regional Tourism Board.Brunswick's 11 days of festival fareTHE multicultural symphony that is the Brunswick Music Festival is tuning up for 11 days of gigs, beginning with Boston bluegrass outfit Crooked Still on March 16. Among 2011's more vibrant attractions is the rare 1935 Technicolor film Legong: Dance of the Virgins, with a live soundtrack by Rome-based blues-folk musician Mike Cooper (below).Filmed on location in Bali by silent movie legend Henri de la Falaise, the oft-censored curiosity of exotica will be screened complete at the Mechanics Institute on March 27, with Cooper juggling lap steel guitar, thumb pianos, insect field recordings and live sampling gadgetry. of FriendsSYDNEY chamber group Selby and Friends begin their fifth annual concert series on Wednesday at Melba Hall with guest Natsuko Yoshimoto, formerly lead violinist in the Australian and Grainger string quartets. She joins Kathryn Selby on piano and cellist Emma-Jane Murphy in a program beginning with Suk's trio, followed by the rarely performed Vitebsk by 20th century American composer Aaron Copland, which explores his Jewish-Russian heritage. The second half is designed to appeal to traditional lovers of the piano trio with one of Selby's favourite works by Debussy and Beethoven's massive Archduke Trio. Book online or phone 02 9969 7039Fab four-handerMELBOURNE will be the first Australian city to experience the four-fisted splendour of Tokyo piano superstars Les Freres at BMW Edge on Friday. Though clearly not French, Moriya and Keito Saito really are brothers, and close enough to sculpt their delicate melodies entangled over one piano. The mop-tops' theatrical flair and Beatlesque reception at home are evident on YouTube. Now the Japan Foundation is helping them spread the love worldwide. Les Freres reckon we'll believe "the piano itself is singing and dancing".

© 2011 The Age

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