Keeping up with any kind of news this year can be tough. Even music news is getting stranger and harder to track.
Rather than exhaust yourself trying to swallow an endless stream of push notification updates, MTV Australia have knocked up a bite-sized rundown of the most important happenings in the Aussie music biz this week – and every week – and why they matter.
australian idol is coming back to our tv screens. like, really.
Go get your throat nodules checked and go and stretch that touchdown arm because Australian Idol is headed back to our television screens in 2022, thanks to Seven.
Taking the nostalgia bull by the horns and doing a Dean Geyer-style backflip with it, the director of programming for the network, Angus Ross has said "Idol is the granddaddy of them all." Christ.
"The biggest show in the world comes to Seven in 2022, and we know Australians are going to love it. We can't wait to bring Idol back to Australian audiences in 2022, putting our prime time content line-up even further ahead of the competition."
Strangely, this news comes mere weeks after OG Idol judge, Mark Holden, announced a new podcast titled The Idol Archives where he interviews past contestants on the show – Anthony Callea, Damien Leith, COSIMA THEE DEVITO – about their experiences, and the hurdles they faced coming off the back, and in some cases winning, a reality television talent show.
While we don't know who will judge or host the revamped series, which has been off the air since late 2009. We do know that we will continue the fight to avenge Ricki-Lee's heinous elimination.
and the first australian idol winner wants answers from scomo
Guy Sebastian, who took out the first season of Australian Idol with his fro in check (see above), stood besides Prime Minister Scott Morrison in June as the PM announced a $250 million relief package for the arts industry in an effort to help it get back on its feet after it was decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.
One problem: less than a fifth of that money has actually been released. This is especially rich because, as Twitter user @BelindaJones68 calculated, $250 million equates to an average of around $416 per arts worker. Cool cool cool cool.
Sebastian was heavily criticised for standing alongside the PM, with comments saying the package is not nearly enough to really help the industry. And now, he's pushing the PM for answers. If only someone had warned him.
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young called the funding delay out on Twitter this week, saying "Remember that fancy press conference Scott Morrison did with Guy Sebastian promising money to help artists during Covid? Well guess what? Still nothing has been spent."
Sebastian later responded to Hanson-Young's tweet, saying he had contacted the Prime Minister's office concerning the delay. "Once I receive the most recent information, I will pass it on," he said. "I have no ties to anyone in politics on a personal or professional level."
festival promoters are calling for the government to help out with insurance woes
Elsewhere, the brains behind the country's festivals are asking the government for an insurance scheme that covers pandemics so they can run as normal, once it's actually safe to do so.
Groovin The Moo was set to go ahead in April of this year before, well, everything, and their insurance policy didn't have a cover for 'communicable disease'.
Speaking to the ABC, GTM general manager Kathryn Holloway said, "Virtually everything was gone overnight."
"In terms of finances, there were all the costs that are sunk that you can't recoup. Deposits to suppliers. Deposits to artists. Payments to insurance. The government needs to step in and provide us with an interruption fund," she said.
The government is accepting applications for a $50 million temporary interruption fund, which comes as a part of the aforementioned $250 million arts relief package. Needless to say, no-one's received it.
In even bleaker news, insurance broker Ian Stack said it'll be difficult for festivals to purchase the cover from now on. "Unfortunately now that COVID-19 is a known risk," he said, "all the insurance companies are actually excluding communicable disease and not allowing it to be bought out."
bluesfest adds even more artists, reckon lineup is "greatest assembly of australian artists" ever
One festival that did have communicable disease cover, however, was Bluefest, after the Byron Bay area endured a gastro outbreak and medical officers had advised it. And, given the festival didn't suffer the exact same type of losses other events did, Bluesfest have their sights set on 2021 with a lineup they reckon is the "greatest assembly of Australian artists" at one event ever.
This statement that is not at all hyperbolic** comes off the back of the event adding a stack more acts to the 2021 bill. Ocean Alley, Vika And Linda, Tex Perkins, Josh Teskey, Ash Grunwald and more have all been added to the huge lineup, which also features Jimmy Barnes, Tash Sultana, Kate Miller-Heidke, Briggs and many, many more.
The festival is also set to be headlined by Bon Iver and Patti Smith, though that obviously pends on our borders to other nations opening up which... bless their cotton socks.
But, even if those international artists can't make it to the event, Bluesfest director Peter Noble OAM is supremely confident in the 2021 lineup.
"Time will tell, but it is being said that the 2021 Bluesfest line up is the greatest assembly of Australian artists to ever perform at one event," he said in a press statement.
Talk about backing yourself.
**It absolutely is.
kylie minogue is doing a live-stream performance because there is good in this world after all
While she won't be playing Bluesfest (that we know of), Kylie Minogue is on the cusp of releasing her new album, Disco - and we all fucking need it, let's be honest.
To celebrate the album's release on Friday, November 6, she'll be performing a live-stream concert that'll see her play fresh cuts as well as fun new spins on all of her classics arranged by her and songwriters Biff Stannard and Steve Anderson.
Billed as 'Infinite Disco', Minogue says the performance will take place in a visual world that she created along with Studio Moross and Sinclair/Wilkinson. Hopefully it's a world far, far, far, far away from here.
It is set to go down the day after her album drops – Saturday, November 7 – at 7pm AEDT. It'a ticketed event - even though seeing Kylie live is a priceless experience - and is set to go for 50 minutes. Conveniently enough, that's about how long it takes me to finish a bottle of red.
Bottoms up, ladies!
aussie album of the week: ball park music – ball park music
Ball Park Music's sixth studio album was a long time coming for the Brisbane outfit. It was delayed thanks to the pandemic, and changed the title from 'Mostly Sunny' to their own name due to potential tonedeaf-ness. Good call. Despite all that, the band have delivered a shimmering collection of songs that act as perfect escapism. They have fully taken flight, leaving their roots of late 00's indie pop behind and are setting their sights on whatever they see fit: strutting guitar lines on "Spark Up!", a 90s-inspired interlude with "Katkit", speedy melodies on "I Feel Nothing" and even a hazy recollection of the year that was with "Obit 2020".
aussie single of the week: odette – "dwell"
It's been a long time coming, but Odette has finally announced details of her second album, Herald. And with that announcement comes her latest single, "Dwell". The single is layered meticulously with production that stretches and snaps powerfully as Odette's effortless voice ponders on the toxic and destructive parts of her own personality.
aussie music tweet of the week
Camp Cope drummer Sarah Thompson calls out the bizarre anti-mask rhetoric many Aussie bands of yesteryear held during the peak of the pandemic. Onya.
also: the full nominations list for the 2020 mtv emas has arrived – now it's time to vote.
Awards season continues, with the 2020 MTV EMAs nominations landing a few weeks back. Up for best Aussie act is The Kid Laroi, Baker Boy, G Flip, Tones & I and Hayden James. Have your own say at mtvema.com, with votes open until November 2. The two-hour awards show will air globally on MTV on Monday, November 9 at 7am AEDT.