Australian News 3/23

Income Down For Arts Companies

The Australia Council for the Arts’ annual report, "Securing the Future," showed that Australia’s 29 major performing arts companies registered some growth.

The companies – covering major theatre, dance, opera and orchestral – drew 2.1 million patrons, and raised approximately $152.2 million at the box office.

But a closer look at the figures showed a slightly downward trend.

Box office and income from the year before showed a less than 1 percent rise, while private donations dropped by 0.9 percent. The total number of new works had also the second lowest in five years.


50 Cent For MTV Awards, Noms Announced

Rapper 50 Cent was confirmed as a performer and presenter at the Australian MTV Awards, held in Sydney April 26.

His appearance will coincide with his Australian tour with his G-Unit crew.

They are set to play Sydney April 23, Auckland April 25 and Melbourne April 27. The rapper last visited Australia in 2006.

It looks as though Lindsay Lohan has turned down MTV’s invitation to appear.

U.K. hip-hopper Dizzee Rascal joins New Zealand’s MC Scribe in performing at 37,000 feet on an Air New Zealand flight carting fans to the awards. The MTV Mile High Gig departs Auckland for Sydney on April 25.

Nominees for the Live Performance Award category include Foo Fighters’ Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace Tour; Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveShow Tour; Pink’s I’m Not Dead Tour; Lupe Fiasco on Snow Jam and Juliette & the Licks on The Lair.


Tribute To Alan Corbet

Perth’s jazz community is holding a tribute concert to Alan Corbet on April 21 at the Charles Hotel.

Corbet set up and managed the Web site Jazz Australia and coordinated the JazzWA society since 2001. He died February 22 at age 44.

Peter Kenyon, chair of JazzWA, said Corbet introduced initiatives in recording opportunities, jazz camps for young acts and touring regional areas.


Piracy Unit Warns Clubs

The Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) unit warned that nightclubs and bars that employ DJs have a responsibility to ensure that the disc spinners are not music pirates.

The music industry set up a new DJ license allowing them to legally transfer music to their laptops.

"There is no more excuse to play illegal music at gigs," said MIPI general manager Sabiene Heindl.

DJs involved in music piracy face up to $60,500 in fines and five years imprisonment per offense.


Nightclub Owner Acquitted

A nightclub owner in Canberra was acquitted of the stabbing murder of a man outside the Cube nightclub in 2006.

Justice Malcolm Gray found that Maurizio Rao acted in "self defense" when he stabbed Nato Seuala, 23.

The court heard that on July 15, 2006, Seuala and four friends – all of Pacific Islander descent – arrived at 4:30 a.m. and were refused entry.

As they left, Rao allegedly made a racist comment. In an ensuing brawl, Seuala attacked Rao and was stabbed in the abdomen and head. He died three weeks later.

Justice Gray said that despite Rao’s racist comment, he had not initiated the brawl. Rao still faces charges of unlawful possession of a flick knife at the club and of a baton in his car.


Short Notes

New York City-based Australian alternative rock band Mink will perform at 18 Hard Rock Cafe locations across America to help raise money and awareness for Musicians On Call, a charity that delivers music to healthcare facilities.

Country music singer Adam James will perform at the North American Indigenous Games in Canada later this year.

Rock band Skybombers open for punk band X’s 14 dates through the U.S. March 17 to April 12.The Satellite Nation, which relocated to Vancouver last year, is scheduled to play New Music West in Vancouver in May (they headline the Aussie showcase) and North by Northeast in Toronto in June. These will be followed by U.S. dates.

Sheila Maloney of market research company Sensis took over as sales manager at online ticketing company, which was set up three years ago to help consumers find music, theatre and sporting tickets. She replaces David Lawrence, who moves to Vietnam hunting excitement as a tour operator.

George Harrison’s three-bedroom waterfront hideaway on Queensland’s Hamilton Island sold for $8 million – a record price for the tropical location – to a Melbourne developer. The Beatle, who visited Australia frequently as a race car enthusiast, seldom used the home after the media revealed its location.

Sydney trio Lowride is donating the proceeds of its new EP to David Taylor, drummer of ‘70s Aussie glitter punk band Lipstick Killers. Taylor, an uncle of Lowride lead singer/guitarist Owen, is recovering from a car accident that left him with severe brain damage and requiring 24-hour nursing care.