Powderfinger


Powderfinger

Infobox musical artist
Name = Powderfinger


Img_capt = Powderfinger performing "These Days" on the "Across the Great Divide" tour in September 2007, in Sydney, Australia.
Landscape = yes
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Brisbane, Australia
Genre = Alternative rock, Pop rock
Years_active = 1989–present
Label = Polydor, Universal
Associated_acts = Drag Far Out Corporation The Predators
URL = [http://www.powderfinger.com/ www.powderfinger.com]
Current_members = Bernard Fanning Darren Middleton Ian Haug John Collins Jon Coghill
Past_members = Steven Bishop

Powderfinger is an Australian rock band. The band formed in Brisbane in 1989, and since 1992 their line-up has consisted of vocalist Bernard Fanning, guitarists Darren Middleton and Ian Haug, bassist John Collins, and drummer Jon Coghill.cite web|url=http://www.ozmusic-central.com.au/powderfinger/faqfile.htm#1p1|title=Who is in the band?|work=The Powderfinger FAQ|date=23 September 2002|accessdate=2007-10-25|author=Rice, Stephen; et al|publisher=Powderfinger Central]

Powderfinger became a commercial success with their third studio album "Internationalist" in 1998. Since then they have released several hit singles and award-winning works earning them a total of fifteen ARIA Awards.cite web|url=http://ariaawards.com.au/history-by-artist.php?letter=P&artist=Powderfinger|title=Powderfinger ARIA awards history|accessdate=2007-08-08|publisher=Australian Recording Industry Association] Numerous Powderfinger albums have reached platinum status multiple times, and rankings in the top 100 of Australian music charts. [cite web|url=http://www.australian-charts.com/search.asp?search=powderfinger&cat=a|title=Powderfinger albums chart rankings|accessdate=2007-10-20|publisher=australian-charts.com] "Odyssey Number Five", Powderfinger's most successful album to date, earned over eight platinum certifications and ARIA Awards in five different categories.cite web|url=http://www.aria.com.au/pages/aria-charts-accreditations-albums-2004.htm|title=2004 Album Accreditations|publisher=Australian Recording Industry Association|accessdate=2007-11-03]

After the release of their first DVD "" and a "best of" release, Powderfinger announced a in 2005. The announcement of a two month-long nationwide tour with Silverchair entitled "Across the Great Divide" tour followed the release of their sixth studio album, "Dream Days at the Hotel Existence" in June 2007.

Across their sixteen year career, Powderfinger has been actively involved in philanthropic causes. In 2005, Powderfinger performed at a WaveAid concert in Sydney, to help raise funds for areas affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Another performance at the Sydney Opera House in October 2007 raised funds for breast cancer victims and their families. The aim of their recent Across the Great Divide tour was to promote the efforts of Reconciliation Australia, and to promote awareness of the seventeen year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children.

History

Formation and early releases (1989–1993)

Powderfinger was formed in 1989 by vocalist and guitarist Ian Haug, bassist John Collins and drummer Steven Bishop,cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A695531|title=Powderfinger - The Band|accessdate=2007-10-25|date=13 February 2002|publisher=BBC h2g2] who took their name from the Neil Young song "Powderfinger". [cite news|title=Internationalists|publisher=JUICE Magazine|date=November 2001|author=Munro, Kelsey|accessdate=2007-10-25] Before the band's formation, the members had all played in other Brisbane-based outfits.cite web|url=http://www.ozmusic-central.com.au/powderfinger/history.htm|title=Band history|accessdate=2007-10-25|publisher=Powderfinger Central|year=2007] The band later sought an extra guitarist, Bernard Fanning, who Haug had met in a university class.cite web|url=http://www.hindleysite.com/bios/bios.htm#Bernard%20Fanning|title=Bernard Fanning biography|publisher=Hindley Site|accessdate=2007-10-24] Fanning took over the role of lead vocals from Haug, and at the same time Jon Coghill joined the band, replacing Bishop after a "mutual leaving." [cite news|title=Powder Pick Up To Cure All Your Allergies.|publisher=Concrete Press|date=14 May 1996|author=Budden, Matt|accessdate=2007-12-21] Powderfinger's final line-up change came with the addition of guitarist Darren Middleton into the band.cite web|url=http://www.rockdetector.com/artist,6959.sm;jsessionid=EAFDD28E94BFB39BE30184BC24855E3D.rd1|title=Powderfinger biography|accessdate=2007-10-24|date=25 September 2006|publisher=Rockdetector|author=Sharpe-Young, Gary] The group consisting of Fanning, Collins, Haug, Middleton and Coghill has remained as such since 1992.cite web|url=http://wm07.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:kjfpxq8gldfe~T0|title=Powderfinger profile|publisher=Allmusic|accessdate=2007-10-24]

Powderfinger initially performed cover versions of other artists' songs, but gradually developed into writing and performing their own material. Playing a heavy metal show in Newcastle in 1990, Powderfinger was booed off the stage. [cite news|title=My Happiness review|author=Watson, Chad|publisher="The Newcastle Herald"|date=10 August 2000|page=46] In 1992, the group self-funded a recording of their early works and released them as a self-titled extended play, more commonly known as the "Blue EP". The EP became successful and the group was signed by Polydor Records. Upon its release in 1993, "Transfusion" reached the #1 spot on the Alternative ARIA Charts, [cite news|title=Powderfinger|publisher="Rolling Stone"|author=McPherson, Matthew|date=January 1994|accessdate=2007-10-25] replacing Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box".cite web|url=http://www.hindleysite.com/history/history.htm|title=Powderfinger band history|publisher=Hindley Site|accessdate=2007-11-12] The group recorded their first music video for the EP's lead track "Reap What You Sow". It was directed by David Barker, who went on to direct the next seven videos for the group.Cite web|url=http://www.ozmusic-central.com.au/powderfinger/faqfile.htm#2p1|title=Have powderfinger made any video clips for their singles?|work=The Powderfinger FAQ|author=Rice, Stephen; et al|accessdate=2007-10-18|date=23 September 2003|publisher=Powderfinger Central]

Early albums (1994–1998)

Powderfinger released their debut studio album "Parables for Wooden Ears" under Polydor on 18 July 1994. The album, which Fanning describes as the band's "dark days," received limited radio coverage. Following the release, the band toured heavily appearing at the Livid and Homebake music festivals, [cite news|title=Make mine a double|author=Lawrence, Angie|accessdate=2007-10-25|year=1996|publisher="Rave"] including an appearance at one of Australia's largest music festivals, Big Day Out, in 1994. [cite web|url=http://www.bigdayout.com/history/pastlineups.php#1994|title=Big Day Out lineups history|publisher=Big Day Out|accessdate=2007-11-23] Three singles were released from the album — "Tail", "Grave Concern", and "Save Your Skin". "Parables for Wooden Ears" was regarded by many as Powderfinger's worst album, and its poor reviews are indicative of this. [cite web|url=http://www.pubsandclubs.net.au/articles/index/118|title=Powderfinger: A Rock Band That Have Withstood The Test Of Time|accessdate=2007-08-01|publisher=Pubs and Clubs Australia|date=25 July 2007] Following the album's release, the group recorded and released another EP entitled "Mr Kneebone" in 1995.

The band released the highly successful "Double Allergic" on 2 September 1996. This, their second album, reached double platinum status in Australia.cite web|url=http://www.aria.com.au/pages/httpwww.aria.com.aupagesARIACharts-Accreditations-2007Albums.htm|title=2007 Album Accreditations|publisher=Australian Recording Industry Association|accessdate=2007-10-31] Four singles were released from the album — "Pick You Up", "D.A.F.", "Living Type" and "Take Me In". "Take Me In" was released as a video-single featuring several other music videos by the group. "Double Allergic" debuted at #7 on the Australian charts and remained in the top 20 for seven weeks. [cite news|title=I is not met|accessdate=2007-10-25|author=Blythe, Peter|date=29 October 1996|publisher=Drum Media] A reviewer for FasterLouder, a music review web site, commented that "when Double Allergic was released in 1996, it showed the band were here for the long haul to become arguably one of the best of the decade." [cite web|url=http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/reviews/music/2598/|title=Double Allergic|publisher=FasterLouder|accessdate=2007-08-01]

Critical acclaim and chart success (1998–2003)

In September 1998, Powderfinger released "Internationalist", their third studio album. It propelled Powderfinger to a prominent position on the Australian music scene, reaching #1 and later spending 100 weeks on the ARIA Albums Chart. [cite web|url=http://www.take40.com/artist/facts/Powderfinger|title=Powderfinger - Audio, Video, News, Biography, Quick and Juicy facts|work=Powderfinger - Top 5 Facts|publisher=Take 40|accessdate=2007-11-18] The album, which sold over 280,000 copies and went over five times platinum domestically,cite web|url=http://www.ozmusic-central.com.au/powderfinger/faqfile.htm#3p9|date=23 September 2002|title=How many copies of the albums have been sold?|work=The Powderfinger FAQ|author=Rice, Stephen; et al|publisher=Powderfinger Central|accessdate=2007-08-08] reached European audiences for the first time. [cite news|title=Day Dream Believers|author=Six, Nicola|accessdate=2007-10-26|date=19 November 1998|publisher="The Courier Mail"|work=Pulse] "Internationalist" was the first Powderfinger album to win the ARIA Music Awards. In 1999, it won "Album of the Year", "Best Rock Album" and "Best Cover Art", and "The Day You Come" won "Single of the Year". [cite web|url=http://www.alldownunder.com/oz-p/aria/1999-aria.htm|title=Australia 1999 ARIA Awards|publisher=ALLdownunder.com|accessdate=2007-10-31] "Passenger", which was among the singles released from "Internationalist", was also nominated for three other ARIA Awards in 2000.cite web|url=http://www.ariaawards.com.au/history-by-artist.php?letter=P&artist=Powderfinger|title=Winners by artist: Powderfinger|publisher=Australian Record Industry Association|work=History|accessdate=2007-11-18]

The band received much praise and criticism for their political views on several tracks on "Internationalist". In an interview with Benedict Watts, guitarist Ian Haug said that the political messages in "The Day You Come" were not something they were just preaching about, but rather were something they saw as a responsibility. [cite news|title=The Beckoning Finger|date=November 1998|publisher=JUICE Magazine|accessdate=2007-10-25|author=Watts, Benedict]

Powderfinger's fourth studio album, "Odyssey Number Five", was released in September 2000, shortly after they were asked to write songs for the soundtracks of two films; "Two Hands" and "". The song "These Days" was written for "Two Hands" [cite web|url=http://www.soundtrackcollector.com/catalog/soundtrackdetail.php?movieid=10528|title="Two Hands" soundtrack|publisher=Soundtrack Collector|accessdate=2007-10-26] and "My Kind of Scene" was written for "Mission: Impossible II". [cite web|url=http://www.hindleysite.com/songs/mykindascene.htm|title="My Kind of Scene"|publisher=Hindley Site|accessdate=2007-06-19] "Odyssey Number Five" was Powderfinger's most successful album to-date, selling 560,000 copies. "My Kind of Scene" was also released as a single from the album, as were "My Happiness", "Like a Dog", "The Metre", and "Waiting for the Sun". ["The Metre" and "Waiting for the Sun" were released as a double A-side.] "Odyssey Number Five" won "Album of the Year", "Highest Selling Album", "Best Rock Album", "Best Cover Art", and "Best Group" at the ARIA Awards in 2001. [cite web|url=http://www.alldownunder.com/oz-p/aria/2001-aria.htm|title=2001 ARIA Award Winners|publisher=ALLdownunder.com|accessdate=2007-10-27] "My Happiness" was also awarded "Single of the Year", [cite web|url=http://www.ariaawards.com.au/history-by-year.php?year=2001|title=ARIA Awards 2001|work=History|publisher=Australian Recording Industry Association|accessdate=2007-11-12] and other songs were nominated for ARIA Awards in various other categories.cite web|url=http://www.alldownunder.com/oz-p/aria/total-aria.htm|title=Australia ARIA Award Winners|publisher=ALLdownunder.com|accessdate=2007-08-06]

Many songs from this era of Powderfinger were ranked on Triple J's Hottest 100 list. "These Days", "Already Gone", "Good-Day Ray", and "Passenger" were ranked in 1999,cite web|url=http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hottest100/history/1999.htm|title=Hottest 100 History 1999|publisher=Triple J|accessdate=2007-11-03] and "My Happiness" and "My Kind of Scene" in 2000.cite web|url=http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hottest100/history/2000.htm|title=Hottest 100 History 2000|publisher=Triple J|accessdate=2007-09-18]

Rock resurgence (2003–2005)

"Vulture Street" was released on 4 July 2003. The album, recorded in January and February 2003, was named after a street in Woolloongabba, Queensland, which was the location of the band's first recording room. The album was described by critics as "a rawer, louder, but by no means unrefined, album", and that it featured guitarists Middleton and Haug dominating in a way they had not since their 1994 debut.cite web|url=http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/07/10/1057783275797.html|title=Powderfinger, Vulture Street|author=Zuel, Bernard|publisher=Sydney Morning Herald|accessdate=2007-08-07] Simon Evans of musicOMH.com described the band as having "opted for a visceral live feel, adding a real punch to songs". [cite web|url=http://www.musicomh.com/albums/powderfinger.htm|title=Vulture Street album review|publisher=musicOMH.com|accessdate=2007-11-28|author=Evans, Simon]

"(Baby I've Got You) On My Mind", "Since You've Been Gone", "Love Your Way", and "Sunsets" from "Vulture Street" were released as singles. Like earlier Powderfinger albums, "Vulture Street" won several ARIA Awards. It won "Album of the Year", "Best Group", "Best Rock Album" and "Best Cover Art" in 2003. Several songs on the album were also nominated for awards in 2003 and 2004.

' was the first live release by Powderfinger. Both the CD and DVD versions were released in late-2004. One single,"Stumblin'" a song which originally appeared on "Vulture Street" as a normal track, was also released from the album. Powderfinger released a "best of" album entitled ' a few weeks later. It included many of the band's singles to-date as well as non-singles "Thrilloilogy" and "Belter" and a re-release of "These Days". "These Days", although never officially released as a single, was ranked at #1 on the Triple J Hottest 100 poll of 1999. The album also included two new songs; "Bless My Soul" and "Process This", although only "Bless My Soul" was released as a single.

Following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, Powderfinger appeared at the WaveAid fund raising concert in Sydney, to raise funds for aid organisations working in the disaster affected areas.cite web|url=http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/reviews/events/1673/|title=WaveAid @ Sydney Cricket Ground|publisher=FasterLouder|accessdate=2007-08-08|date=30 January 2005] Fanning sang for The Wrights when they performed "Evie" at the concert and released a studio version of the song as a single, with the proceeds from the sale also going to tsunami relief efforts. [cite web|url=http://www.amo.org.au/artist.asp?id=3923|title=The Wrights|publisher=Australian Music Online|author=EMI|accessdate=2007-12-03]

Era of side projects (2005–2007)

Powderfinger had a period of hiatus after the release of "Fingerprints: The Best of Powderfinger" in 2005. During that time, several band members pursued other musical projects. Darren Middleton and Ian Haug both had children during this time and Fanning married his girlfriend Andrea. [cite web|url=http://au.blogs.yahoo.com/marie-claire/1621/dream-team/|title=Dream Team|publisher=Yahoo!7|accessdate=2007-11-03|date=6 June 2007|author=Parry, Jessica]

Middleton and his side project Drag released their debut album, a follow-up to their 2002 EP "Gas Food Lodging".cite web| url=http://music.ninemsn.com.au/artistfeature/default.aspx?aid=115| title=Artist feature: Drag|publisher=ninemsn|accessdate=2007-08-08] The album, titled "The Way Out", was released on 10 July 2005.cite web|url=http://www.dew-process.com/artists-releases.cfm?id=5|title=Drag|publisher=Dew Process|accessdate=2007-08-08] Shortly after this, guitarist Ian Haug and bassist John Collins formed the group The Predators with Powderfinger's former drummer, Steven Bishop, on drums and lead vocals. The group released a six-track EP, "Pick Up the Pace", in 2005 and performed a short tour around Australia. [cite web|url=http://www.amo.org.au/qa_interview.asp?id=1203|title=Interviews: The Predators|publisher=Australian Music Online|accessdate=2007-08-08]

Bernard Fanning released his solo album, "Tea & Sympathy", in October 2005, [cite web|url=http://www.last.fm/music/Bernard+Fanning/Tea%2B%2526%2BSympathy|title=Tea & Sympathy - Bernard Fanning|publisher=Last.fm|accessdate=2007-07-30] reaching the top of the Australian charts and earning Fanning numerous ARIA Music Awards,cite web|url=http://www.ariaawards.com.au/history-by-artist.php?letter=B&artist=Bernard%20Fanning|title=Bernard Fanning award history|publisher=Australian Recording Industry Association|accessdate=2007-11-03] including the coveted award for "Album of the Year". [cite web|url=http://www.australian-charts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Bernard+Fanning&titel=Tea+%26+Sympathy&cat=a| title=Bernard Fanning, "Tea & Sympathy" details |accessate=2007-10-26| publisher=australian-charts.com] The lead single from album, "Wish You Well", was ranked at #1 on the Triple J Hottest 100 poll in 2005. [cite web|url=http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hottest100/history/2005.htm|title= Triple J Hottest 100 - 2005|publisher=Triple J|accessdate=2007-07-30]

Return from hiatus (2007–present)

Powderfinger's sixth studio album, "Dream Days at the Hotel Existence" was released on 2 June 2007. Debuting at #1 on the ARIA Albums Chart,cite web|url=http://www.australian-charts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Powderfinger&titel=Dream+Days+At+The+Hotel+Existence&cat=a|title="Dream Days at the Hotel Existence"|publisher=australian-charts.com|accessdate=2007-10-25] it broke the Australian digital sales record, with over 3000 copies sold online. [cite web|url=http://www.powderfinger.com/newsletters/newsletter_13-06-2007.htm|title=Another record and a chance to win tickets to see Powderfinger live on TV and Nova|publisher=Powderfinger|accessdate=2007-10-25|date=13 June 2007] Reviewers, however, did not rate it as highly as its predecessor, "Vulture Street", with Cameron Adams of the "Herald Sun" HiT describing it as "consistent."cite web|url=http://www.heraldsunhit.com.au/product/dream_days_at_the_hotel_existence_1489161_11722.html|title="Dream Days at the Hotel Existence" review|publisher=Herald Sun Hit|accessdate=2007-10-25|author=Adams, Cameron] Bernard Zuel, who reviewed "Vulture Street" in 2003, described "Dream Days at the Hotel Existence" as "Powderfinger's first dull album", but the band as "the biggest rock band in the country."cite web|url=http://www.smh.com.au/news/cd-reviews/dream-days-at-the-hotel-existence/2007/06/01/1180205488126.html|title="Dream Days at the Hotel Existence" review|publisher="Sydney Morning Herald|accessdate=2007-10-27|date=1 June 2007|author=Zuel, Bernard]

On 12 June, 2007, Powderfinger and Australian rock group Silverchair announced a nine-week tour titled Across the Great Divide tour, an effort to promote reconciliation with Indigenous Australians. The tour appeared in all state capital cities and fourteen regional centres across Australia, and included four performances in New Zealand.cite web|url=http://thedwarf.com.au/nd/news/sydney/powderfinger_and_silverchair_announce_across_the_great_divide_national_tour|title=Powderfinger and Silverchair announce 'Across the Great Divide' National Tour|publisher=The Dwarf|accessdate=2007-10-25|date=12 June 2007] The first single from the album, "Lost and Running", was released on 12 May, 2007, and reached #5 on the ARIA Singles Chart on 21 May, 2007. [cite web|url=http://www.gatago.org/aus/music/45545865.html|title=Australian top 50 singles|accessdate=2007-10-25] A second single, "I Don't Remember", was released on 4 August, 2007. A song from the album, "Black Tears", was amended following concerns that it could prejudice a trial over the 2004 Palm Island death in custody case. Bernard Fanning said in a statement that an alternative version of the song would now be featured on the album as a result of the claims. [cite web|url=http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=175633|title=New Powderfinger lyrics okay|publisher=Ninemsn|accessdate=2007-10-25|author=AAP|date=6 May 2007]

"Dream Days at the Hotel Existence" was the recipient of the ARIA Award for "Best Cover Art" in 2007. [cite web|url=http://www.designfederation.net/news/?p=344|title=Debaser win ARIA award for 2007 album cover art|publisher=Design Federation|accessdate=2007-10-06|date=28 September 2007] It was nominated for "Album of the Year", "Best Rock Album" and "Best Group", while "Lost and Running" received nominations for "Single of the Year" and "Best Video". [cite web|url=http://music.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=297226|title=ARIA Awards 2007 Nominees|publisher=Ninemsn|accessdate=2007-10-06] The album failed to win any of the awards it was nominations for, losing to Silverchair, who won all five awards they were nominated for. [cite web|url=http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22662012-661,00.html?from=mostpop|title=Silverchair cleans up at ARIAs|publisher="The Herald Sun"|accessdate=2007-10-29|date=28 October 2007] The awards were announced at the Acer Arena in Sydney on 28 October, and Powderfinger performed their single "Lost and Running". [cite web|url=http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,22664487-7642,00.html|title=Silverchair scoop ARIA awards|publisher="The Courier-Mail"|accessdate=2007-10-29|date=28 October 2007|author=Connors, Matt]

On 18 August 2007, Powderfinger performed a concert in Karratha, Western Australia, to thousands of fans as part of Triple J's AWOL Series. [cite web|url=http://www.abc.net.au/jtv/txt/2007/2070525.htm|title=Powderfinger goes AWOL (Karratha)|work=Triple J|publisher=Australian Broadcasting Corporation|accessdate=2007-11-24|date=15 November 2007] The band were accompanied by performances from Australian bands The Grates and Muph N Plutonic and other local acts. [cite web|url=http://blogs.abc.net.au/triplejawol/2007/08/would-you-eat-a.html#more|title=Would you eat a cockroach?|work=Triple J|publisher=Australian Broadcasting Corporation|accessdate=2007-11-24|date=17 August 2007] While in Karratha, Fanning and Coghill visited Gumala Mirnuwarni, a local school in Roebourne that encourages children to stay in school. [cite web|url=http://www.abc.net.au/jtv/video/P.htm?clip=powderproject|title=Powderfinger's visit to Roebourne|work=Triple J|publisher=Australian Broadcasting Corporation|accessdate=2007-11-24|date=7 September 2007] On 27 September 2008, Powderfinger performed "(Baby I've Got You) On My Mind" and AC/DC's "Long Way to the Top" at the AFL Grand Final. [cite web|url=http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24412922-661,00.html |title=Stadium rocks to old-style show|publisher=news.com.au|work=The Herald Sun|author=Stephen Drill|date=28 September 2008|accessdate=2008-09-28]

Musical style

In an interview with Paul Cashmere after the release of "Vulture Street", guitarist Darren Middleton stated that a couple of songs they had written "were just too "Odyssey Number Five" based," and that the first track, "Rockin' Rocks", was "probably the start of where we were heading" with the album.cite web|url=http://www.undercover.com.au/idol/powderfinger.html|title=Powderfinger, Interview|author=Cashmere, Paul|accessdate=2007-11-07|archivedate=2007-12-12|archiveurl=http://www.webcitation.org/5U1bvrQZw] Cashmere stated in the interview that the album was "the toughest [he has] heard Powderfinger sound".

Bernard Zuel of "The Sydney Morning Herald" reviewed both of Powderfinger's more recent albums. Describing "Vulture Street" as "a rawer, louder" album in comparison to "Odyssey Number Five", Zuel highlighted Fanning's "talent as a lyricist" and stated that it featured guitarists Haug and Middleton "dominating in a way they haven't since their 1994 debut." Zuel stated that there is a "real energy here that has some connections to early Powderfinger," and described "On My Mind" as having "AC/DC meatiness", and "Love Your Way" as "acoustic tumbling into weaving Zeppelin lines."

In his review of "Dream Days at the Hotel Existence", Zuel described it as " [having] high-gloss and muscular framework," and stated that that was what "American radio considers serious rock."

Clayton Bolger of Allmusic stated in his review of "Dream Days at the Hotel Existence" that Powderfinger "largely revisit the sound of their "Internationalist" album, leaving behind much of the glam and swagger of 2003's "Vulture Street"."cite web|url=http://wm09.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:gnfrxz95ldfe~T1|title="Dream Days at the Hotel Existence" review|publisher=Allmusic|author=Bolger, Clayton|accessdate=2007-11-11] He commented on Fanning's "commanding and distinctive vocals," the "twin-guitar attack" of Middleton and Haug, Collins' "innovative basslines," and the "powerhouse drum work" of Coghill.

Philanthropy

In their time as a band, Powderfinger have been active in supporting causes or opposing actions taken in charitable, philanthropic, disaster, and political circumstances.

In 1996, Crowded House decided to break up, and organised a farewell concert as a charity event for the Sydney Children's Hospital, to be held on 24 November 1996. [cite web|url=http://wc07.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:fxfwxqtdldse|title=Farewell to the World review|publisher=Allmusic|accessdate=2007-11-12|author=Erlewine, Stephen Thomas] They approached Powderfinger and Australian acts Custard and You Am I to contribute by appearing in the concert to be held on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. [cite web|url=http://www.maxtv.com.au/Max/Artist.aspx?ID=66|publisher= [Channel V|Channel [V] |title=Crowded House Biography|work=MAX|accessdate=2007-11-07] The concert, which was recorded and later released as a live album titled "Farewell to the World", was believed to be the largest Australian live concert, with estimates of between 100,000 and 250,000 people in attendance. [Cite book|last=Hepworth|first=David|title="Farewell to the World" CD liner notes|publisher=Parlophone|year=2006] Cite book|last=Bourke|first=Chris|title=Something So Strong|publisher=Macmillan Australia|year=1997|isbn=0732908868]

In the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, also known as the "Boxing Day Tsunami", Powderfinger performed at the WaveAid fund-raising concert in Sydney in January 2005. The disaster killed more than 225,000 people from 11 countries in the area. [cite web|url=http://www.redcross.org.uk/standard.asp?id=46361|title=Boxing Day tsunami, 2004|publisher=Red Cross|accessdate=2007-11-06|date=31 May 2005] The total profit from the funds raised from ticket sales and donations was AUD$2,300,000. [cite web|url=http://www.waveaid.com.au/waveaid_profit_and_loss_statement.pdf|title=Projected profit & loss statement|publisher=WaveAid|accessdate=2007-11-06|date=15 February 2005|format=PDF]

The song "Black Tears" from the album "Dream Days at the Hotel Existence" featured the lyric "An island watchhouse bed, a black man's lying dead"cite web|url=http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,21838719-5005368,00.html|title=Black tears|publisher=PerthNow|accessdate=2007-11-10|date=2 June 2007|author=Adams, Cameron] which sparked fears that it might prejudice the trial of the former Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley over the 2004 Palm Island death in custody case.cite web|url=http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,21659128-952,00.html|title=Powderfinger faces album ban|publisher="The Courier-Mail"|accessdate=2007-11-06|date=2 May 2007] The band claimed that the lyrics were primarily based on the climbing of Uluru by tourists despite requests from the Indigenous people of the area to not do so. [cite web|url=http://www.pariahnt.org/news/content/view/32/1/|title=Media statement from Powderfinger|publisher=PARIAH|accessdate=2007-11-06|date=4 May 2007] The original version of the song was retracted from the album, and replaced with an alternate version with the criticised material removed. [Cite web|url=http://www.generationq.net/articles/POWDERFINGER-ANNOUNCE-DREAM-DAYS-AT-THE-HOTEL-EXISTENCE-ALBUM-LAUNCH-PARTIES-00001.html?PHPSESSID=703d2349d19fdd5140cd75a50a2365dd|title=Powderfinger announce "Dream Days at the Hotel Existence" album launch parties|publisher=GenerationQ|accessdate=2007-11-06|author=Kalow, Natalie|date=5 May 2007]

The legal team for Hurley, who was charged with manslaughter over the death of Mulrunji in 2004, referred the song to the Attorney-General of Queensland Kerry Shine in their attempt at altering the track.cite web|url=http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21659164-1702,00.html|title=Powderfinger facing lyrics ban|publisher="The Australian"|accessdate=2007-11-07|date=3 May 2007|author=Lion, Patrick] Lawyer Glen Cranny stated that "the content and proposed timing of the song's release raises some serious concerns regarding Mr Hurley's trial." Powderfinger's band manager, Paul Piticco, stated that Fanning had confirmed that the song was related to the case. However, he added that the lyric in question could refer to "a watchhouse in The Bahamas or something."

In June 2007, Powderfinger announced a nationwide tour featuring Australian rock band Silverchair titled the Across the Great Divide tour. The tour was an attempt to promote the efforts of Reconciliation Australia, a foundation helping to improve the welfare of the Indigenous people of Australia and to "show [that] both bands are behind the idea of reconciliation." [cite web|url=http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/music/in-concert--rock-and-reconciliation/2007/06/12/1181414306040.html|title=In concert - rock and reconciliation|publisher=Brisbane Times|accessdate=2007-11-06|date=13 June 2007|author=Dunn, Emily] Reconciliation Australia aims to promote awareness of the 17-year difference in life expectancy between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous children of Australia. [cite web|url=http://www.studentguild.com.au/docs/TheHonk/2007/06/across-great-divide-tour.html|title=Powderfinger and Silverchair to embark on Australia's biggest national tour|publisher=University of Southern Queensland|accessdate=2007-11-25|date=13 June 2007]

The "Across the Great Divide" tour, which included 34 concerts in 26 towns across Australia, lasted over two months with an estimated 220,000 people in attendance. [cite web|url=http://undercover.com.au/News-Story.aspx?id=3464|title=Silverchair and Powderfinger to Release Joint DVD|publisher=Undercover|accessdate=2007-11-24|date=18 November 2007|author=Cashmere, Paul] Powderfinger and Silverchair announced the release of a limited edition tour DVD, featuring two Melbourne concerts and a 90-minute documentary following both bands during each concert. [cite web|url=http://www.powderfinger.com/newsletters/newsletter_19-11-2007.htm|title=Across the Great Divide — The Movie|publisher=Powderfinger|accessdate=2007-11-24|date=19 November 2007] The DVD was released on 1 December 2007, [cite web|url=http://au.launch.yahoo.com/071119/10/1hraw.html|title=Powderfinger and Silverchair Announce One More Gig - In Your Loungeroom!|publisher=Soundbuzz|accessdate=2007-11-24|date=20 November 2007] and shared its release date with that of the third single from "Dream Days at the Hotel Existence", "Nobody Sees". [cite web|url=http://www.powderfinger.com/newsletters/newsletter_16-11-2007.htm|title=Nobody Sees to be the next Powderfinger single|publisher=Powderfinger|accessdate=2007-11-24|date=16 November 2007]

In October 2007, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Powderfinger performed at a concert on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. [cite web|url=http://www.thewest.com.au/aapstory.aspx?StoryName=432526|title=Powderfinger, Missy Higgins, join forces|publisher=West Australian Newspapers|accessdate=2007-11-07|date=31 October 2007] The concert was for invitees only — only breast cancer patients and survivors and their families were eligible to attend. [cite web|url=http://www.powderfinger.com/newsletters/newsletter_02-11-2007.htm|title=Powderfinger MAX session on your TV this Saturday|publisher=Powderfinger|accessdate=2007-11-07|date=2 November 2007] Powderfinger performed alongside Silverchair, Missy Higgins, and other artists to an audience of 700. [cite web|url=http://www.smh.com.au/news/music/rock-acts-in-the-pink-for-breast-cancer-month/2007/10/31/1193618972188.html|title=Rock acts in the pink for breast cancer month|publisher="The Sydney Morning Herald"|accessdate=2007-11-07|date=1 November 2007|author=Dunn, Emily] The concert was filmed and later broadcast as a "MAX Session" on Foxtel channel MAX on 3 November. [cite press release|url=http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/About/MRE_2007_MAXSessions.aspx|title=Powderfinger: MAX sessions take over Sydney Harbour|publisher=Sydney Opera House|date=26 October 2007|accessdate=2007-11-07]

Personnel

Powderfinger consists of five members: vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist and harmonicist Bernard Fanning, bass guitarist John Collins, guitarist and backing vocalist Ian Haug, guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist Darren Middleton, and drummer and percussionist Jon Coghill. This has remained the lineup of the band since 1992. Steven Bishop had been the group's drummer before this, but had left wanting to focus on his studies. The band often refers to one another with partial pseudonyms. Most notably John Collins and Jon Coghill, presumably to avoid confusion, are referred to as JC and Cogsy respectively.

Powderfinger have collaborated with few artists, but have had pianist Benmont Tench play on "Dream Days at the Hotel Existence". [cite web|url=http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/musicnews/s1898994.htm|title=New Powderfinger album details|publisher=Australian Broadcasting Corporation|author=Triple J|accessdate=2007-10-26|date=17 April 2007] For their second album, "Double Allergic", the group enlisted producer Tim Whitten. Powderfinger approached American expatriate Nick DiDia as their producer for "Internationalist", and recorded with him at Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne. [cite web|url=http://www.ozmusic-central.com.au/powderfinger/discog/inter.htm|title="Internationalist"|work=Powderfinger discography|publisher=Powderfinger Central|accessdate=2007-10-25] DiDia also produced the following two albums. In 2007 Rob Schnapf, producer for Beck, was asked to produce their sixth studio album in Los Angeles. [cite web|url=http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/review/album/s1932552.htm|title="Dream Days at the Hotel Existence|publisher=Australian Broadcasting Corporation|accessdate=2007-10-25|date=25 May 2007]

Powderfinger's first music video for the song "Reap What You Sow" in 1993 was directed by David Barker, an award-winning director. [cite web|url=http://www.if.com.au/News/View.aspx?newsid=430|title=Australian Directors Guild announces 2007 ADG winners|date=15 October 2007|accessdate=2007-10-19|publisher=InFilm] Film companies who directed other videos of the group include Fifty Fifty Films,cite web|url=http://www.fiftyfifty.tv/cgi-bin/CMS.pl?T=1&P=0|title=www.fiftyfifty.tv|publisher=Fifty Fifty films|accessdate=2007-10-18] and Head Pictures. [cite web|publisher=NineMSN|month=June | year=2007|url=http://music.ninemsn.com.au/MediaPopup.aspx?MediaID=103064&Playlist=16|title=Lost and Running video clip|accessdate=2007-06-25]

Discography

* 1994: "Parables for Wooden Ears"
* 1996: "Double Allergic"
* 1998: "Internationalist"
* 2000: "Odyssey Number Five"
* 2003: "Vulture Street"
* 2007: "Dream Days at the Hotel Existence"

Awards and accolades

Powderfinger is highly successful in the Australian recording industry, being a recipient of the industry's flagship awards, the ARIA Music Awards, fifteen times. [cite web|url=http://ariaawards.com.au/history-by-artist.php?letter=P&artist=Powderfinger|title=Powderfinger award history|publisher=Australian Recording Industry Association|accessdate=2007-10-26] "These Days" and "My Happiness" were ranked #1 on the Triple J Hottest 100 list in 1999 and 2000 respectively, and 21 other Powderfinger tracks have ranked on the list in other years. [Triple J Hottest 100 by year: [http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hottest100/history/1996.htm 1996] , [http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hottest100/history/1997.htm 1997] , [http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hottest100/history/1998.htm 1998] , [http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hottest100/history/1999.htm 1999] , [http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hottest100/history/2000.htm 2000] , [http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hottest100/history/2003.htm 2003] & [http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/hottest100/history/2004.htm 2004] . Triple J. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved on 2007-10-31.]

See also

* Music of Australia
* Popular entertainment in Brisbane

References

External links

* [http://www.powderfinger.com/ Official website] :* [http://www.powderfinger.com/site.php#releases Discography] on official website


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