Tame Impala Takes Home Australia's J Award; Mushroom Group's Michael Gudinski Hosts Birthday Bash
Tame Impala Takes Home Australia's J Award; Mushroom Group's Michael Gudinski Hosts Birthday Bash

australia Billboard's Australia correspondent Lars Brandle (left) partied on Monday night with Mushroom Group chairman Michael Gudinski, Tina Brandle and Mushroom Music Publishing managing director Ian James.

Psychedelic revivalists Tame Impala on Friday won the prestigious J Award, an honor which recognizes the Australian album of the year. The gong, for the group's sophomore album Lonerism, was handed out by the state-funded national broadcaster during in a ceremony in Melbourne.

It's Tame Impala's second J Award, the Perth-based outfit also having won the trophy for their debut Innerspeaker back in 2010. With Lonerism, Tame Impala has exploded out of the remote capital of Western Australia to serious critical and commercial success abroad. The album last month bowed at No. 14 in the U.K., where critics at The Guardian newspaper gave the recording a 5-star review and the influential NME gave it 9-out-of-10. Lonerism opened at No. 34 on The Billboard 200.

Tame Impala is signed to Steve Pavlovic's Modular Recordings, the label home to the likes of the Avalanches, Ladyhawke, Wolfmother, the Presets and Cut Copy.

Now in its 8th year, previous recipients of the J Award include Wolfmother, Hilltop Hoods, the Panics, The Presets, Sarah Blasko and Gotye.

A panel of Triple J personnel decided the shortlist of twelve J Award nominees and the three main trophies handed out on the night, which included Australian music video of the year (won by Kris Moyes for Kirin J Callinan's "Way II War") and Unearthed artist of the year (won by The Rubens).


The J Awards cap a particularly big week for parties across Melbourne, as the summer festival and awards season switches into gear.

On Monday night at the APRA Screen Music Awards, Lisa Gerrard of world fusion music act Dead Can Dance took the top honor, winning feature film score of the year for her work on the Australian drama "Burning Man."

Gerrard gave the audience at the inner-city BMW Edge venue a taste of her craft. "With my sound engineer," she said, "we go through some of the darkest hours of our lives doing this work. But it's rewarding. I send you courage for your next project."

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Director Bruce Beresford was on hand to receive the international achievement award, in recognition of his memorable career, which has included helming "Breaker Morant," "Mao's Last Dancer" and "Driving Miss Daisy," which in 1990 won five Oscars including best film.

The Screen Music Awards are staged jointly by collecting rights society APRA and the Australian Guild of Screen Composers, and this year it recognized composers across thirteen categories.


Across town on Monday night, Mushroom Group chairman Michael Gudinski hosted an action-packed party at his Toorak home, a joint birthday celebration for himself, his wife Sue and for a "big year" for his company.

"We try and think of the future, and we try to set the pace," the evergreen 60-year-old exec told guests, who included the legendary media personality Molly Meldrum, ARIA Hall of Famer Ross Wilson and celebrated artist Adalita.

Video tributes flowed in from the likes of Live Nation Entertainment chairman and Frontline Management Group CEO Irving Azoff, AEG Live president Randy Phillips, Sting and Garbage. Onlookers were treated to performances from a string of artists from the Mushroom stable, including Bliss N Eso, the Rubens, Archie Roach, Dan Sultan, Shane Howard, Lanie Lane and Kate Alexa.

The event was the culmination of three non-consecutive nights of festivities, all hosted by Gudinski. Gudinski is a living legend in Australia's music industry, and is perhaps the only household name among music industry professionals in these parts. In a function at Melbourne Town Hall back in August, the Frontier Touring Company founder was named Melburnian of the Year and he was separately declared No. 1 on the Australian Music Industry Directory's inaugural "Power 50" list.

The parties move on to Sydney this week for the "ARIA Week" of concerts, masterclasses and a new EDM conference, all of which serve as entrees for the main course that is the record industry's flagship ARIA Awards next Thursday night (Nov. 29).