Categories
Opinion/Commentary

Hillsong slammed for concert in the middle of pandemic

Hillsong Church
Image: iStock

Australian music artists have condemned Hillsong for a concert at a youth camp. At the camp, around 200 people were singing without masks. The camp took south of Newcastle last Thursday.

Artist, Catherine Alcorn condemned the event as a “complete slap in the face” and a  “disgrace” on Sky News Australia.

However, despite the controversy, the New South Wales police didn’t fine Hillsong. 

Hillsong has issued an apology, but has also claimed that covid protocols were in place. 

Youth at a worship concert
Image: iStock

 

 

Australian artists express outrage over camp

The Australian music industry has taken a major hit the past two years. This year, organisers cancelled Grapevine Gathering in the Hunter Valley.

It isn’t surprising artists were outraged over Hillsong’s camp and their special treatment.

Country singer Troy Cassar – Daley expressed outrage on social media:

While all other music festivals are heading down the toilet same as last year, Hillsong are no masks, singing and dancing like we’ve all been told not to do. 

Montaigne accused the New South Wales government of double standards.

Governments give churches special treatment

Technicalities aside, one thing seems clear here. Hillsong have been given special treatment. And they (as well as other churches), have received special treatment for years. 

The most obvious, is the tax exemptions. And while, yes, many churches do charity work and work with limited resources, Hillsong should be treated as a business. I’m sorry, but they should be.

Over the years, Australian churches and church – run institutions such as schools, have been exempt from sections of laws such as the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.

Sections 37 and 38 of the Sex Discrimination Act allow Christian organisations the right to refuse to employ or fire openly LGBTQ+ people if in “good faith”.

Is it any wonder why religious organisations flout rules and laws? From anti – discrimination, to covid restrictions? 

Jesus didn’t bend public rules

Before people come on here and slam me for “persecuting Christians” (I am one, by the way), let me just say this.

While Jesus was on earth, he didn’t advocate for anyone to flout the law. He demanded that his followers pay taxes. And they were under Rome.

Not once did he seek special favours from the government (again, they were under Rome).

Do you think he would have breached — or at least arrogantly taken advantage of grey areas in safety protocol? I can’t see it myself.

True worship

True worship happens in the heart. It happens in Spirit. True worship doesn’t demand that we take the law into our own hands. It doesn’t require us to expose loopholes in health mandates.

 

Christians should be a beacon of God’s light. And, yes, plenty of them are. However, it’s a shame that too often, scandals and law – bending are what Christians known for. Let’s reverse it. Go back to shining Christ’s light again. Within restraints of the law and to an extent, public expectations.

What do you think? Was Hillsong in the wrong? Should have they been fined? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Categories
Music News

Michael Gudinski launches new show and album

The COVID-19 isolation lockdown has seen many people, including myself, embrace music.

From the tone – deaf rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine, and musical parodies of the Bee Gees, Pink Floyd and Queen songs online. Many people  have embraced the music bug.

I myself, have been teaching myself keyboard using the Joytunes’ SimplyPiano app. It’s been both frustrating, but quite fun.

61 key Casio keyboard
This has been my way to embrace my musical side during isolation

I’ve also been listening to a fair bit of music, (which admittedly, isn’t new for me). About a month ago, I ordered myself Metallica’s S & M DVD and A Collection of Roxette Hits CD/ DVD.

 

 

 Online show to launch

According to Herald Sun, Mushroom Records co – founder, Michael Gudinski, with the help of the Victorian Government, is set to launch State of Music, as part of a entertainment/ tourism campaign, Victoria Together. It’s aim is to bring Victoria to tourists and show live performances from isolation. Gudinski’s project was in response to the halt to Melbourne’s entertainment culture due to the coronavirus.

While originating in Melbourne, any musical act from Australia or New Zealand can take part.

Livestream aims to attract young audience

Gudinski told Herald Sun that he wanted to use the Internet, including Facebook  to attract a younger audience.

The artist lineup is a mixture ‘80’s and contemporary artists. The first livestream will feature, Diesel, Birds of Tokyo, James Reyna and G – Flip.

According to Gudinski, artists are free to choose the songs they perform. The live-streams will not feature ads. Interviews are also a part of the shows.

The first livestream will begin at 7.30 p.m AEST tonight. Six more live-streams will occur in the following weeks at the same time.

Gudinski is also producing a 3- CD set and vinyl of  Music From the Homefront. Proceeds will go to the charity, Support Act.

JB Hifi has agreed to sell the album without profit

 

Millennials may get taste of Countdown

When the livestream was compared to Countdown, I knew I had to write something about it.

Unfortunately, I was born two years after the show ended. However, I have the Countdown Spectacular on DVD, which was performed in 2006.

The performances were brilliant. Some of my favourite songs were Hush, John Paul Young and Leo Sayer.

DVD Countdown Spectacular (from 2006)
This was my first taste of the show Countdown. I absolutely love it.

My picks for future live live-streams

Here’s who I think would be great for future live- streams:

  • Leo Sayer
  • Cheetah
  • Eskimo Joe
  • 5 Seconds of Summer
  • Justice Crew
  •  Bernard Fanning (is a Powderfinger reunion a bit of a stretch?)

I know some of these acts, like Eskimo Joe have been around for a while, but a boost for them won’t hur. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard songs from them for a while.

Overall, I think this is a real cool initiative. Hopefully, I’ll be able to see some of the shows. It will be a great way to escape the turmoil that’s going on at the moment.

 

Will you watch Gudinski’s livestream show? Also, what acts would you like to see perform and be interviewed? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

 

 

 

 

Categories
Opinion/Commentary

Drag Queen Story Hour protester dies

Content warning: bullying and suicide

Last week, University of Queensland’s Liberal National Club member, Wilson Gavin was found dead.

His death has been reported as a suicide.

Drag Queen Story Hour protests

On Sunday, 12 June, University of Queensland’s the Liberal National Club protested Drag QueenStory Hour at the Brisbane SquareLibrary.

The confrontation between drag queen, Diamond Goodrim  and Wilson Gavin, among others got heated. Children who were at the library reportedly got scared and distressed. The Liberal National Club protesters faced backlash over their conduct and timing of the protest. Some of the criticisms were from members of the Liberal/ National Party,

Footage of the protest was taken and posted on social media. The footage featured Gavin at the front of the protest having a heated confrontation with drag queen Diamond Good Rim.

 

I feel for Gavin’s family and friends. I can only imagine what they are going through. Suicide is tragic for everyone who knew the person.Things will never be the same for those left behind.

For a person to take their own lives, it’s highly likely that they were suffering terribly. Mental illness is listed as one of the biggest risk factors for suicide.

At only twenty – one, Gavin was also in the most vulnerable age bracket. While suicide can happen at any age, the age group with one of the highest suicide rate is 15 – 29.

Same – sex marriage campaign

Gavin was a vocal opponent of same – sex marriage in 2017.

LGBTQ+ opponents of same – sex marriage were unfairly accused of ‘betraying’ their own. Some were accused of having ‘internal homophobia’.

The public spat between Liberal staffer, Josh Manuatu and Mamamia founder, Mia Freedman was about just that. Freedman wrote a tweet about Manuatu’s relationship with MP, Eric Abetz and his public opposition to same – sex marriage. She ended the tweet with the rhetorical question if Manuatu had ‘internalised homophobia”.

I was critical of Freedman for that. LGBTQ+ people are bound to have a variety of social and political opinions.

The debate leading up to the postal vote was hard on LGBTQ+ people. Counselling services saw a spike in calls for help. I wonder how many LGBTQ+ people who opposed same – sex marriage also found the debate hard.

 

Conservatives respond

News of Gavin’s death has spread to the U.S. Many people have showed shock and dismay at the news like many Australians have.

Conservative Christian public speaker and author Elizabeth Johnson, a.k.a ‘The Activist Mommy’ wrote a post on her website lamenting Gavin’s death. I find it a bit hypocritical, considering she advocates ex – gay conversion, which has proven to contribute to LGBTQ+ youth suicide.

 

Whatever you think of Gavin’s actions that day, most can agree that what happened afterwards was tragic. It should send a warning to anyone thinking about bullying another person, including online.

 

 

If you are struggling with your mental health, you can contact:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

For LGBTQ+ people, you can  contact Q Life: 1800 184 157 or via their webchat.

If you or anyone you know is in immediate danger, call 000 (or your national emergency number).

Categories
Pop Culture

Did you know these ’90’s hits were covers?

I didn’t know that Natalie Imbruglia’s hit Torn was a cover until this morning. It doesn’t surprise me, though. Growing up in the 1990’s, I remember that many songs that were hits were covers (as in being sung by another artist before), or had been written by someone else.

How many of these do you know that were covers?

All 4 One: I swear

This All – 4 – One hit was an R’n’B rendition of a country hit originally sung by John Michael Montgomery in 1993, while All – 4 – One did it the following year. The song is written by Gary Baker and Frank J Myers.

Daryl Braithwaite: Horses

This song is as Aussie as Vegemite! Or wait, no it’s not, actually.  The former singer of Sherbet did covered this song in 1991. The song was originally recorded in 1989 by Rickie Lee Jones. It was written by Rickie Lee Jones and Walter Baker.

Nothing Compares 2 U: Sinead O’Connor

Does everyone know this song was originally by Prince?

Baby Give It Up – Cut’n’Move

This cover from the Danish dance pop group in 1993 is my favourite. It was originally done by disco group KC and the Sunshine Band in 1982. Written by frontman, Harry Casey.

Without You – Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey was massive when I was a kid. I had a video of one of her live performances and used to (try) and sing along to it every time I watched it. This song was originally released by Harry Nilsson in 1971. It was written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans. (Sorry can’t embed the video at the moment. For some reason it always embeds the Cut’n’Move one).

 

What covers do you remember from the ’90’s? Which one is your favourite? Let me know in the comments below.

Yes! Prog rock pioneers to be inducted into the Rock’n’roll Hall of Fame

English progressive rock pioneers, Yes are going to be inducted in the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame on April 7, (Yes, We’re in the Hall, Kim Wilson, Sunday Herald Sun, April 2, p. 13). They have sold over 50 million albums since the release of their self – titled album in 1969. Despite their success, they only had one U.S. No. 1 in 1983 with their pop song, ‘Owner of a lonely heart’.

Almost fifty years later, the band has kept a loyal fan base, while attracting new ones. Lead singer, Jon Anderson, puts their success down to the ability to grow as musicians:

Music shouldn’t just be a commodity. It’s about evolving as a musicianand a group of musicians. And that’s what Yes did.

I’ve personally only heard ‘owner of a lonely heart’… at least that’s the only one I know of (I might have heard others sometimes without recognising who they were). I’m familiar with other progressive rock bands at the time, especially Pink Floyd and Eletric Lighting Orchestra.

It’s amazing how many singers/ bands from the ’60’s, ’70’s and ’80’s have made such an impact. Unfortunately, we’ve lost a few recently: Prince, David Bowie, Glen Frey (Eagles), George Michael, and one of my favourites, guiatarist, Rick Parfitt from Status Quo. Others have kept going. Rock legend Suzi Quatro came out of ‘retirement’ this year and performed in Australia earlier this year. I saw her for the fifth time, (yep, you read that right – four times in Melbourne, once in Mulwala). Fleetwood Mac performed in Australia earlier this year, despite a health scare that rocked the band.

Do you like the band Yes? What’s your favourite song?