Hugs and Kisses 60: Big Sound, Abbe May, Eleanor Angel


Dear Eleanor Angel, the ‘Legendary’ journalist Everett True DOES NOT LIKE YOU.

Another week, another episode of Hugs and Kisses from Mr. Everett True, Plan B editor at large, Friend of Kurt, the guy who may’ve coined the term “grunge,” whose Wikipedia entry says it all, so we’ll stop now. His adoring Big Sound public can reach him at

Hugs and Kisses

The Relocated Outbursts of Everett True

This week: Everett listens to the CDs he was handed at Big Sound

So I’ve just spent three days and nights at Brisbane’s Big Sound conference being glad-handed and gladly being handed free alcohol and the odd spurt of appreciation. “Wow, you’re so funny.” “Wow, you’re so honest.” “Wow, you’re so interesting.” Local paper The Courier-Mail stated that when ‘controversial,’ ‘legendary’ music journalist Everett True took the stage, he was afforded a “rock star’s welcome.” Nothing to do with the fact I was accompanying Sub Pop CEO Jonathan Poneman at the time — the cheers were for me, and me alone.

There’s nothing wrong with such dewy-eyed and blatantly false bonhomie, of course: it is what the music industry is built upon. But I got to thinking afterwards that it would be a bit of a shame if all the promises of help and friendship made these balmy winter nights down Fortitude Valley were to disappear into the ether, and so I thought that — just this once — I could break with time-honoured tradition and actually review some of the myriad CDs that were pressed upon me by fluttering-eyed tempters and serious white boys.

My eye is immediately drawn to Eleanor Angel‘s sultry artwork on Rain On The Street — she’s perched on some rocks in a cave, with an extremely white back on the reverse. The voice of an angel indeed! Sadly, the music sounds dreary and weary and, um, ‘heartfelt’, like Ms Angel wishes she were a Corr or perhaps Ms Amos; and hence I DO NOT LIKE IT. It will probably sell a million.

Next up is Francesca de Valence, who looks a little cheekier and more homely than Ms Angel on From The Outside In, a rather ordinary slice of country rock. It will probably sell a million.

The Abbe May, CD looks more hopeful — fangs bared on her T-shirt on the sleeve to the Western Australia state government-financed Howl & Moan. A cursory listen proves that Ms May is a fan of the same sort of scuzzy, fuzzed-down blues that Ms Polly Jean H is also a fan of — and hey. As I kept telling my five fans, who needs more than a cursory listen? Most musicians only have half an idea anyway, and that’s usually somebody else’s. She’ll probably sell a thousand.

John Meyer is a dude, so he has to content himself with a picture of a lady on the sleeve to Silver Bullets Don’t Work On Vampires. Sadly, what ‘legendary’ ‘controversial’ rock journalist Everett True makes of Mr Meyer’s music is lost to the mists of time, as he has to momentarily step outside to take delivery of the new Danny Goldberg book (four mentions in the index) and the sound of the FedEx van reversing outside masks Meyer’s anaemic music.

8 Ball Aitken was here, there and every bloody where at Big Sound — couldn’t really miss the dude, seven-foot tall and stringy with long orange hair and full cowboy regalia. Good on him for being so in-your-face. Rebel With A Cause sounds like Garth Brooks with all the edge removed.

Then there’s Louise Isackson, CC The Cat, Brianna Carpenter‘s fetchingly coloured Harlequin, Abbie Cardwell‘s breathy and halfway insistent, theatrical By Hook Or By Crook…lovely folk all, I’m sure, and very glad to have made contact and everything, but it really is a lovely day outside and I am intrigued by the Danny Goldberg book, and I’ve some Italian meatballs to prepare for later, so if you don’t mind I’ll extricate myself here and leave.

Perhaps I’ll continue next week.

Perhaps not.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 18, 2008

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