Jeff Lang was high as a kite when his Carried In Mind won best blues & roots album at last month's ARIAs. The Melbourne guitar giant was flying home from 13 gigs in 15 days in France and learnt of his triumph at Hong Kong airport. "Not a bad record: 10 nominations, three wins, zero attendances," he reflects on his ARIA history. Lang's back shed studio produced about 10 albums by local artists in 2012. He's at present composing the soundtrack to The Gods of Wheat Street, a "quirky" six-part ABC drama about an Aboriginal family now being filmed in New South Wales. He plays the Portsea Hotel on January 4 before boarding another plane to China.
NEW SHOW FOR HUMPHRIES:
With Dame Edna Everage's spectacularly gaudy musical tastes in retirement, Barry Humphries will air his passion for the music of Berlin's Weimar Republic era with the Australian Chamber Orchestra at Hamer Hall on May 5 and 6. The ACO's A. J. Benson says he was struck by Humphries' love and knowledge of the works of Kurt Weill, Hans Eisler, Erwin Schulhoff and others, based on the profound cultural influence of Melbourne's Jewish community when he was a child. The show is "in development" but Humphries' role as conferencier will include a duet with guest star Meow Meow.
POINTING THE FINGER
Morrissey's venom towards the British royal family went on the record when he cast Prince Charles as a social-climbing cross-dresser in The Queen is Dead in 1986. "Fascist and very, very cruel," was how he then described them to Time Out. "Benefit scroungers, nothing else," was his BBC quote before last year's lavish royal wedding. Fresh outrage has erupted after last week's interview with New Zealand's 3 News, in which he decried the royals' "staggering arrogance" and the travesty that Princess Kate "feels no shame" over the tragic death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha. Morrissey braves a royalist backlash at Festival Hall on Wednesday.
Tim Freedman will enjoy a last whirl as lone piano man at Bennett's Lane on Friday at 7pm. The Whitlams frontman will conclude his year of flying solo by revisiting his "favourite rooms and pianos" to play requests solicited via Facebook. "A lot of people requested love songs," he says, but "I've found when I do three or four of those in a row people get a little bit of vomit in their mouths so I generally do a love song followed immediately by heartwreck." The Whitlams will return from a three-year hiatus with a full orchestral bang at Hamer Hall in June.
Christmas concert shoppers are spoiled for choice this weekend with Orchestra Victoria's Concert de Noel at the Town Hall on Saturday and Human Nature snowing up Hamer Hall with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Saturday and Sunday (afternoon) ahead of the traditional Carols By Candlelight at Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Monday. Humbuggers could do worse than Joel's Annual Goddamn Goodtime Hoodangin' Dagnabbit Black Xmas Eve at the Old Bar in Fitzroy, where one-man-band Made For Chickens By Robots leads a non-denominational cast of bands, DJs and last-minute photos with Santa.