December 2010

2010 round up

the MoMos launch their debut album No No No Not Like That at the Annandale Hotel on Friday 28th January.

Nic Dalton and his Gloomchasers review of Play All Night in the Sydney Morning Herald (January 14).

Who said independent record labels were a dying breed? Not here at Half A Cow. In the last twelve months we've released, re-released and made available on iTunes more music than we have in a long time. Not as much as those crazy days of the mid-90s when a Half A Cow album or single was released every TWO WEEKS (along with accompanying videos, colour posters and nation-wide street press). No wonder we were dropped from a couple of major labels! For the entire time of the this first decade of the new millennium, Half A Cow has gone back to being 100% independent and these days is more of a community minded joint venture with the bands chosen to be part of it. "We're all in this together" to quote a one-time work experience kid at the label.

Well, what a year this Melbourne band had in 2010. A number one on the iTunes charts in Spain - that's the mainstream charts - keeping Muse, the Killers and Radiohead off the top spot. Applejack, from the Magic Johnson album, was heard on your tv courtesy off a beer ad in Spain and an airline in Australia.

Like a good wine, these guys just get better and better. Or do they? Fans of their last three albums on Half A Cow are tossing and turning at night deciding which Dog Trumpet they like the best and are going to buy their friends for Christmas. The self-titled one? Antisocial Tendencies? Or the one released this year River of Flowers? Top shelf folk-pop from the Brothers O'Doherty, Peter and Reg Mombassa.

Dog Trumpet playing on Thursday evening (23rd Dec) at the Annandale Hotel, Sydney with King Tide (reggae kings) and Big $20

And on New Years Eve the Dog Trumpet duo - Reg Mombassa & Peter O'Doherty are playing an intimate show at the wonderful Clarendon Guest House in Katoomba, with special guests David Lane (with Amanda Brown and Richard Boxhall). Bookings for dinner or show and even accommodation can be made
on their website or ph 02 4782 1322.

Julie Stenton and Kat Borghetti make lovely, dreamy, whimsical pop music with two guitars and beautiful harmonies. These Sydneysiders are joined by their delightful double bassist and drummer on their debut, nine-track mini-album called Catching Bream. They also like to play live - lots - from folk festivals to Baz Luhrmann's mum's wedding!

Ruby for Lucy playing Jan 13-16 Illawarra Folk Festival, Slacky Flat Bar
NSW Jan 30 Notes, Newtown
Feb 26-27 Cobargo Folk Festival, Cobargo NSW
Mar 5-6 Nannup Music Festival, Nannup NSW

Now Smudge... some call it a 'comeback of the year', some say they never went away... but you can't deny they made a huge dent in 2010 with the long-awaited career overview This Smudge Is True album being released and celebrated with a UK/Europe and Australian East Coast tour. The band finished off the year with two shows in Sydney and Melbourne with their old buddy Evan Dando and his Lemonheads.

Next year Smudge will be playing the Sydney Big Day Out in late January and supporting the Clean at the Factory Theatre, Sydney on March 9th.

The Momos - the brainchild of Drew Thomason - have been playing around Sydney for a few years and now, with a solidified lineup including Pat 'Falling Joys' Hayes and Justin 'Whopping Big Naughty' Hayes, they have recorded their debut album No No No Not Like That featuring Sarah Moore on the drums. You could file the MoMos under 'alternative rock' but the band is too original, too mysterious and too weird to be left at that. Lead solos, prog riffs and beautiful harmonies abound on this special album.

Young, modern, connected to the internet and using phrases like 'we totally smashed it' that we don't understand BUT playing spot-on psychedelic pop like no other band around. They are Sydney's Love Parade and they have a new six track mini-album out called A Strawberry Situation that is making all the old freaks wonder who still sells the five-dollar ratsack trips anymore.

At the top of the year we released an incredible folk-rock album The Honeymoon Periodby Melbourne band the Brutals. Made by most of the members of the ill-fated Treetops, this is close as you'll get to a full-lengther from this extremely talented mob (until someone puts out the still-as-yet-unreleased Treetops one). Half A Cow label boss Nic Dalton is quoted as saying this is pretty close to being his favourite album he has released on Half A Cow (don't tell Bernie Hayes' Every Tuesday, Sometimes Sunday that though!)

This classic Sydney band from the 90s have been rehearsing for some shows next year and Half A Cow has been celebrating this by re-releasing (most of) their records they put out way back when. A double album of EP, single, compilation and live tracks called
Satellites is available on iTunes, as is the incredible Last Unicorn and Aurora albums.

NICOLA SCHULTZ from Swirl has released her debut album called Union and you can get it from Half A Cow

Half A Cow re-released the following best-seller 'Classic reissues'in your standard jewel case format:
THE EASTERN DARK Where Are All The Single Girls?
THE MISSING LINKS Driving You Insane

Following on from 2005's Home of the Big Regret is this 12 tracker Play All Night from Nic Dalton and his Gloomchasers. Against a backdrop of late 60s-style folk-rock and featuring banjo and mandolin on every track, swamps of backing vocals and special guest - Australian living legend - Bernie McGann on saxophone. Includes versions of Skyhooks' All My Friends Are Getting Married and Danny O'Keefe's I'm Sober Now. Just in! 3RRR's Hit album of the week. And a lot of stations around the country are going crazy over the track Okay Sydney, You Beat Me. Available on 12inch vinyl (hand painted/silkscreened covers plus cd-r) and cd and on iTunes (up any day now)

playing with his bands
Thursday 23rd at the Annandale (Dog Trumpet)
Wed 29th at the Sando (Dead Marines)
New Years Eve at the Botany View (the Shouties).

So there you have it. 2010's Half A Cow releases. Been a great year. Big thanks to Mark and MGM distribution, Sandra for keeping the website in check, Jillian and Robyn for helping out occasionally, Mark and everyone at iDigital, Brian McDonald at Rish Publicity, Sophie for keeping the office tidy and Kylie for putting up with someone who loves their Australian music maybe a little bit more than they realistically (read financially) should! And lastly, to all the bands and solo artists on the label, all the community stations and supportive record stores around the world...and YOU!

No thanks to Shock Exports for not paying us for over $4000 worth of export stock (and continuing to buy cds off us even when they knew they were going under). And no thanks to Shock Records for pulping stock they didn't even own. See you at the bar, David!

until next year,
Nic Dalton
Half A Cow Records
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Half A Cow
Half A Cow Records
PO Box 1100 STRAWBERRY HILLS NSW 2012 Australia
Email: haclabel(at)
Phone: +61-2-8097 5857
ABN 93 300 971 980