Complete archive: my daily music industry column


For a three-month stretch (May-July, 2018 AD), I wrote a daily column for The Industry Observer which was a mix of historical curios, music industry ramblings/rantings, and jokes. If you enjoy thinking, arguing, and talking about music-nerd things, please enjoy the complete archive of these columns. There are 56 of them (plus a few ‘bonus tracks’), ‘cos weekends aren’t days, I started writing them a week into May, and sometimes I took a day off.

In 2019, your face will be your concert ticket.

Frank Sinatra: the godfather of the concept album

The NSW Government doesn’t support its artists

Isn’t it weird how triple j lost its way as soon as I got older?

When Madonna leaked a fake version of her album to thwart pirates

Wanna know the real reason for Sydney lockout laws? Follow the money

Bands that wouldn’t have gotten far with their shitty early band names

How ‘Staying Alive’ helps people to stay alive: the song’s role in CPR

That time Evel Knievel sued Kanye West

That time Ted Bundy attempted to abduct Deborah Harry in the ’70s

It’s time to convict Eminem for all the murders he’s admitted to in his songs

In radio, no amount of money can buy on-air chemistry

When John Fogerty was sued for sounding too much like John Fogerty

Why do people assume most music is non-fiction?

Are Spotify-curated playlists just advertising?

The song that has inspired over 100 suicides

Inside Ween’s extremely offensive (and extremely rejected) Pizza Hut jingle

The lockout laws may have started in Newcastle, but so did the thing that will save Sydney culture

Everything is forgiven after death

It’s time to admit that Bluetooth is a failure

The most unwittingly funny boasts in hip hop history

Conspiracy theory: Nicki Minaj is actually just Jay-Z sped up

When novelty packaging goes very badly part two: rocking and rolling (off shelves)

“The cops shot the kid”: Inside the most-sampled hip hop song ever

Punk-O-Rama: a gateway drug

Will higher Australian music quotas for radio make people buy Australian music?

A collection of the least “rock and roll” words included in rock and roll songs

Your foolproof guide to writing a song for the season finale of a drama

The evergreen value of creating a perennial seller

The Rolling Stones, and when novelty packaging goes very badly

In praise of short albums

Mastering albums: Listening to how people actually listen to music

Cops will now refuse festival entry if a sniffer dog sits near you – even if they don’t find drugs

Maybe I would steal a car: the extreme uselessness of anti-piracy campaigns

The story of the first album to include the lyrics printed with it

Should actual sales count for a lot more in the ARIA charts?

The more cutting-edge it sounds, the quicker it’ll date

Cults, conspiracy theorists, and television

Here are a bunch of the feature articles I’ve written over the past few months.

The Weather Underground: I interviewed genius Bill Ayers about the current U.S. election, his revolutionary days with The Weather Underground, and all number of other things.

Who Put Bella In The Wych Elm? One of the weirdest dead body mysteries in history.

20 years on, is Happy Gilmore still a good film? (Spoiler: It is). Also about Sandler’s legacy

The QLD man who thinks he is Jesus (Spoiler: he probably isn’t)

Inside the Aetherius Society: An interview with the leaders of my favourite UFO cult

Which show spawned more Hollywood stars, Neighbours or Home and Away? A scientific analysis.

Reefer Madness: Laughing at the old marijuana propaganda films.

In praise of the Daria soundtrack

Gotta CAPTCHA them all. How those annoying things are helping to digitalise historical texts

Daniel Amalm – how being on Home and Away in the ’90s was rough on him.

Interview with Harvey from Sabrina. (What a dude)

Heartbreak High stars – where are they now? (I tracked a bunch of them down for your reading pleasure)

Meet Ellie, the robot therapist treating soldiers with PTSD

The sweeter side of South Park. (It’s not all dick jokes)

Oh, and buy my new book ‘Sydney Is For Strangers’, why don’t you?
Paperback | Kindle | Excerpt


Serial killers, 90210, Friends, and food

More recent features:

An interview with Asia McClain, about how the ‘Serial’ podcast blowing up made her fear for her safety.

About how our environment completely tricks us into eating more. Spoke to an interesting scientist from Cornell University over the phone and his enthusiasm was infectious.

About Edward Wayne Edwards, who was probably America’s worst serial killer, with links to the West Memphis Three, Jon Benet Ramsey, Teresa Halbach… oh, and he may have been the Zodiac Killer!

An interview with Christine Elise – who played Emily Valentine on 90210 – about dealing with mental fans, and mental co-stars.

Storylines from ‘Friends’ that would be the subject of a million angry opinion pieces the next day in the current super P.C. climate.


Prince, Kings, Finns and concussions

A few recent articles, all written for