10% rise in profit for JB Hi-Fi
Electronics and music retailer JB Hi-Fi announced its net profit for the six months to the end of December was $90.3 million – a 10% rise on the previous corresponding period’s net profit of $82.1 million. Total sales in this period were up by 6% to $1.94 billion. The news yesterday (Tuesday) saw the company’s shares rise by 8.8% to $19.90.
Business analysts said that the figures do not indicate a recovery in retail but more a reflection of JB Hi-Fi’s strong business model and management.
During the 2012/3 financial year, the chain opened 13 new stores and closed three. Given that its sales have held up during January, JB Hi-Fi estimates that it’s on track to post a 6% to 8% growth for the full financial year.
Two more venues close
Two more live music venues have closed, both admitting they weren’t drawing enough punters. Blue Beat in Sydney’s Double Bay brought down the shutters on the weekend. It was set up by former Basement manager and booker Christopher Richards and promotions and venue consultant Nicholas Rice. In the meantime in Melbourne, the Barley Corn in Collingwood has also turned off the music. It will focus on the back packers accommodation it runs in the building.
New 7-part Aussie country music doco launches
A seven-part documentary on the Australian country music scene has launched online as a free-to-view. Dream Out Loud was made by David Weston and Lyndall Lee Arnold of Sydney-based production company MediaCraft. It follows the “determination and drive” of young performers attending the 2012 Australian Academy of Country Music. They are mentored by music identities Merelyn and David Carter, Tamara Stewart, Felicity Urquhart and Kevin Bennett as well as Academy director Peter Winkler. The final episode catches up with the hopefuls at the 2013 Tamworth country festival to monitor how their careers have progressed. The episodes are available here.
Aussies abroad: Boy & Bear, Vance Joy, Barefoot Divas,
Boy & Bear’s single Southern Sun is set to become a radio hit in the US and the UK. In the US, it was the #2 Most Added track on the Triple A format, added to 62 official CMJ 200 college stations, and the Most Added track to non-commercial radio. In the UK, BBC2 and the alternative arm BBC 6 are playing it. This comes at a good time as the band kicks off a tour in Glasgow on February 20, swings through the UK and Europe throughout late February and March, and hits the US for a run of March and April dates.
Vance Joy’s Riptide has gone into the Top 20 in the UK, on the eve of shows in the UK, Europe and North America starting in London on February 11.
Barefoot Divas, one of the hits of this summer’s festival circuit (we’re talking four standing ovations at the Mullum Music Festival, for instance) make their North American debut this week. Six Indigenous performers from Australia (Ursula Yovich, Emma Donovan), New Zealand (Whirimako Black, Maisey Rika, Merenia) and New Guinea (Ngaiire) were put together by Sydney-based artist manager Vicki Gordon for the show Walk A Mile In My Shoes for the Sydney and New Zealand International Arts Festivals in 2012. They combined six-part harmonies and original songs and stories in five indigenous languages. The North American dates, which ends Feb 17, sees them outreach to disadvantaged women, youth and First Nations communities.
DJ poll topping Queensland clubland spinner TYDI is relocating to America after scoring a deal with Rondor Universal.
Nick Cave documentary wins two awards
The Nick Cave documentary 20,000 Days On Earth won two awards in the World Cinema Documentary category at the Sundance Film Festival in the US. Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard took out the directing category while Jonathan Amos won the Editing award.
How soon before Netflix announces the launch of its Australian operation?
How soon before England’s Mail Online goes live in Australia? They’re already posting Australian stories in their showbiz section.
Which major performer was ear marked for a car sponsorship until they discovered that he, ummm, doesn’t drive?
Just before the Grammys, Lorde got a tweet from the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key: “All the best to @lordemusic at today’s Grammy Awards. NZ is cheering you on.” Key also turned up at the Parachute festival where he addressed the 25,000 fans and then manned a BBQ stand. Can you imagine any of our Australian PMs ever doing that?
Come to think of it, how many Aussie politicians are as cool as New Zealand Labor MP Jacinda Ardern? She did a 45-minute DJ set at Laneway Auckland. It was her second set only, but she got cheered on by the 10,000 attendees and got offers for more DJ-work from club promoters. “I’ve got a day job and a really important one,” she pointed out.
The new regional festival Infinity in October is having some issues, with Sydney Skip Films Productions warning some regional councils that its promoter Dene Mussillon. aka Dene Broadbelt owes it $2,500 from a previous project. Mussillon. Is planning legal action but already Narromine Council is holding off its decision, the local Daily Liberal newspaper reported.
At their Myer Music Bowl show in Melbourne, Arcade Fire commemorated what would have been Michael Hutchence’s 54th birthday by doing a version of INXS’ The Devil Inside towards the end of their set.
Anberlin confirmed they will visit Australia as part of their farewell world tour.
How true claims by members of the security industry that nightclubs are reluctant to report incidents of bouncers being bashed by patrons because it may put them in a “high-risk venue” category?
Virgin Australia has decided not to renew its sponsorship for Mackay’s stadium.
The British recorded music industry is backing a new licensing scheme where venues must pay acts and labels to play pre-recorded music videos. Under current rules, pubs and clubs that don’t charge a door fee can screen videos free.
Born: son for KIIS 1065 / Mix 101.1 drive host Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross and wife Michelle, on Australia Day. Their first son Bugsy was born mid-2011.
Jailed: a Perth online concert ticket scalper who made a profit of $10,000 was sentenced to 12 months in jail. Adam William Bogers pleaded guilty in the District Court to 36 charges related to dishonesty. He sold concerts to two concerts on the Gumtree site, using a fake email, a phone under a false name and credit cards that did not belong to him.
Sued: Gold Coast DJs The Stafford Brothers are being hit with a bill for $US125,000 by the owner of a house who rented his pad out to them in which to shoot their new Hello video. TMZ reported that the suit claims the dance act and their video cast and crew served alcohol, poured live nitrogen in the house, installed a skate ramp and allowed a kangaroo to jump around the gardens.
Died: a 35-year-old woman from Yarraville, outside Melbourne, was found dead in a tent at a mini-music festival in Rochester, in country Victoria. A 24-year man has been charged with culpable driving, dangerous driving causing death, driving while under the influence of alcohol, and failing to stop and render assistance at the scene. He is expected to appear at the Bendigo Magistrates Court on Friday.
Died: Johnny Crash aka Janis Friedenfelds, influential drummer in the Australian new wave experimental scene. He started out in Adelaide in 1976 with JAB (arguably the first Aussie act to combine punk and electronica sounds) before moving to Melbourne. Crash was in the original member of The Models, appearing on their debut album Alphabravocharliedeltafoxtrotgolf in 1980, before moving on to the more confrontational Sacred Cowboys and Slaughtermen.
Kylie Minogue album set for March 14 release
Kylie Minogue’s album Kiss Me Once will be released here on March 14, Warner Music Australia announced this week. Her 12th studio album is Minogue’s first since signing to Roc Nation Management and was executive-produced by Kylie and Sia, who co-wrote the title track. Kiss Me Once was recorded through last year in the US and the UK with a host of producers. They included Pharrell who wrote and produced I Was Gonna Cancel, MNEK (Rudimental) on Feels So Good, Ariel Rechtshaid (Charli XCX, Haim) on If Only and Greg Kurstin (P!NK, Katy Perry, Ellie Goulding) on bonus track Sleeping With The Enemy. The singer said, “2013 was a year of big change, planning and preparation for me and I’m so excited that 2014 is finally here so I can share this new music.”
Other tracks include the new single Into The Blue, as well as Million Miles, Sexy Love, Sexercize, Les Sex and Beautiful. The deluxe version includes the bonus Sleeping With The Enemy and Mr. President with exclusive video footage.
Into The Blue was rushed out this week after it leaked online. It comes with remixes by Vanilla Ace, Roger Sanchez and Patrick Haggenar. The lyric video is online now and the official video, which features actor Clement Sibony, will be revealed soon.
Architecture In Helsinki team with body architect Lucy McRae on video
Architecture In Helsinki teamed with globally acclaimed “body architect” Lucy McRae for the video of their new single Dream A Little Crazy. Trained as a classical ballerina and architect, McRae’s work straddles fashion, sci-fi, technology, the environment and the body. Her approach is to invent imaginary worlds. A video teaser is here. The band’s Cameron Bird said, “Working with Lucy and her team was such a pure creative joy, for a while there I forgot who I was. It is very rare to work with someone for the first time and have such a fantastic creative chemistry and this clip truly is a testament to that.” The track is off the NOW + 4EVA album, due March 28 through its own imprint, Casual Workout, via Inertia. It was co-produced by the band and Francois Tetaz and mixed in Los Angeles and Montreal by Tetaz and Damian Taylor (Bjork , The Killers, Arcade Fire). Their last album, Moment Bends from 2011, peaked at # 12 on the ARIA chart.
Lior to drop Scattered Reflections in March
Singer songwriter Lior will release his fourth studio album Scattered Reflections on March 7. It is released independently and financed largely through a PledgeMusic campaign. The songs were written and inspired by recent travels, and he posted raw footage of some recording sessions. The title track is described as “(exploring) the juxtaposed feelings inherent in travel; the immense feeling of mortality and insignificance intertwined with an overwhelming sense of a connected and shared humanity.” During the making of the album last year with new producer Lachlan Carrick, Lior also collaborated with renowned composer and conductor Nigel Westlake on Compassion, a song cycle for voice and orchestra commissioned by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Following its premiere at the Sydney Opera House, Lior and Westlake were invited to perform the piece with the other Australian orchestras around the country with further performances slated for Adelaide and Melbourne in 2014. A recording of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performance was released in late 2013 and debuted at number one on the Classical charts.