Newcastle Writers Festival! A New Home City! And Other Stuff!

Dear The Internet,

So anyway, we live in Adelaide now. More accurately, I’ve lived here for a few weeks after abandoning Sydney and writing scathing pieces about why m’family made the leap south-west (such as this one and also this one), and while much of the last little while has involved either unpacking boxes or ineptly building kit furniture, it’s all pretty lovely.

Look, it’s a classic for a reason.

I am, however, popping back presently to NSW in order to appear at the Newcastle Writers Festival to talk about m’book The Long and Winding Way to The Top: Fifty (Or So) Songs That Made Australia on Saturday 7 April: all the details are here. And if you’e not going to be there but you’d like a (signed and personalised) copy of the thing, you totally can get one – I’ll even mail it to you! Using the post!

And I’m writing this from the airport as I zip down to Hobart to, ahem, make some music with the Majestic Horses, the band of which I am a third along with Kate “her out of the Holy Soul” Wilson and Kellie “she from Screamfeeder” Lloyd. I am, as that makes clear, the minor third.

And there’s a bit of other news to announce but… y’know what? I’ll get to that in a bit. But in the meantime, if you don’t already subscribe to m’Patreon column or follow me on Twitter or Facebook you… um, can. You know, if you fancy it.

Anyway, must pop over to that plane and get ready to play me some bass. Will update again, honest.

Yours ever,

APS

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What I’m doing on Patreon! Long and Winding Way To The Top stuff! Things what are happening generally!

Dear the Internet,

We did it, humanity! We made it to 2018! Looked pretty iffy for a while there, but we got there in the end. Good on us!

This is a bit of an update just in case anyone’s popping by this site wondering what the actual hell I’m up to, which is a fair question.

Short version: still writing a lot for for loads of places, including getting sciency at Cosmos Magazine, being snide about Australian property at Domain, talking dad stuff at Direct Advice for Dads, ranting about music in The Australian and doing all sorts of other bits and pieces. You’re very welcome to follow me on Twitter and Facebook in order to be occasionally prodded about whatever stuff has been published that might pique your interest.

But right now the big stuff is as follows:

THRICE-WEEKLY LEFTY SCREEDS ON PATREON!

Three times a week I do a little rant about whatever eye-catching stuff is going on in politics, much as I did with my old View from the Street column in the Sydney Morning Herald but, typically, with rather more swearing and gifs of Spider-man.

If you’d like to try before you buy you can read almost everything that’s been written so far FOR FREE! at my Patreon page, since they’re available to everyone after a week. But if you’d rather not wait seven days for my hot takes on whatever dumbarsery has just happened in Canberra then you can subscribe and get it right to your inbox the second I publish – and it will cost you a mere $3 per month! (That’s US, since it’s an American site. So… $3.26, at the current rates? Man, that’s still stupidly cheap).

Come embrace the terrifying subscriber-led future of tomorrow’s journalism – today!

THE LONG AND WINDING WAY TO THE TOP!

Look, if you’d had a book launch where Jimmy Barnes cuddled your one year old son, you’d shamelessly post photos of it too.

My third book The Long and Winding Way to the Top: Fifty (Or So) Songs that Made Australia is getting very nice reviews and being totally buyable at shops, including Big W which is weird, and through people like Booktopia. And, of course, the indie bookstores that are the nation’s literary lifeblood.

If you’re interested in knowing what the actual hell it’s about, Rolling Stone have a nice thing about it, and the Age/SMH published an edited excerpt of some chapters. Oh, and here’s a Spotify playlist of lots of the things in it. And if you missed my appearance on Conversations on ABC radio discussing it with the genuinely magnificent Richard Fidler, then you can listen to it right now!

And, of course, you can buy a signed and personalised copy directly from me right here. It’s the perfect gift for that person for whom you can’t think of anything else to get!

And while everyone’s going on about Australia/Invasion Day in increasingly strident tones, it’s a nice reminder that Australian music is one thing about which we can all be unambiguously proud. Goddamn, we have some amazing artists – and fifty (or so) of them get celebrated in m’book.

AND THERE’S A NEW THING COMNG!

…which I will let you know about shortly, honestly. God, this is already shaping up to be a frantic year.

It’s nice to have you around, you know. Thanks for being there: I literally couldn’t do a damn thing without you.

Yours ever,

APS

The new book has a cover and a title and a release date and a playlist!

Dear the Internet,

As promised, the third book is done. DONE!

It’s called The Long and Winding Way To The Top: 50 (or so) Songs That Made Australia, it’s out November 28 through Allen & Unwin, and it’s the perfect Xmas present for literally everyone in your life for whom you can’t think of something better to buy.

And to get your appetite whet, most of the songs mentioned in the book are in this here Spotify playlist – most get a full chapter, some just get referenced in some detail and a few aren’t on Spotify, annoyingly enough – which should bring you no end of joy. Aside from the genuinely awful songs on it, and there are a few.

I’m really proud of it, and it contains at least one really solid joke about wedge tailed eagles. How many other books on Australian music can say the same?

And if it seems like a wild left-turn from the previous books, there’s a similar spirit in there. These are horribly divided and aggressive times, and I think there’s value in pausing every so often and reflecting on things we can be proud of as Australians – and nothing does that for me like Australian music.

I say this in the book, but if you want to know what Australia was like at any point in history, you could do worse than to look at the records that were being made at the time. So this is something of a cultural history of the last 60-something years, told in a typically rambling and unnecessarily footnote-heavy way*.

I’ll link to pre-orders and any upcoming launch events as things fall into place, but be assured: it’s definitely a real thing and it’ll be on shelves TERRIFYINGLY SOON.

Yours ever,

APS

*Yes, there are SO MANY FOOTNOTES. I think there are as many in this as were in the first two books combined. My next book will be NOTHING BUT FOOTNOTES.