Music Consumption in the MP3 Era
Music Consumption in the MP3 Era

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Name: uao
Location: California

uao is also a contributor to Blogcritics.org, Rhapsody Radish. and FIQL.com.

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A Sampling of Articles, Reviews, and Essays:

Feel free to dig through the Deep Freeze for more, but stuff dated before mid-March 2005 is still formative and impressionistic, and not really worth the effort.

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I grew up reading Robert Christgau, Village Voice, and Lester Bangs, Creem, Punk, various others.

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Note: the copyrighted audio material on this site is for listening only, and is not downloadable. It is provided as illustrations to the articles, and to interest people in the legal purchase of these artists' material. Any copyright holder who would like their material removed should contact me, and I'll remove it.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005
 

Don't Dream It's Over

Crowded house: Crowded House (1986)


Paul Hester, 46, who played drums in a late edition of Split Enz and a founding member of Crowded House died Friday after he hanged himself in a park in southern Australia.

Hester had failed to return home after taking his two dogs for a walk on Friday night. The drummer's body was later found in a park near his home in the southern city of Melbourne.

According to a Metropolitan Ambulance Service spokeswoman, Hester had apparently "attempted suicide" and then suffered strangulation. Some reports have said he was discovered hanging from a tree.
Split Enz: True Colors (1979)
Hester played in several small bands before joining the group Split Enz in 1983. Split Enz (originally Split Ends) was formed in 1972 in Auckland, New Zealand, by Brian Timothy Finn and Phil Judd. The band began life as an acoustic combo, and eventually took on progressive and neo-classical arrangements, via classically-trained violinist and bandmember Miles Golding. The band released 4 albums from 1975-1979 during which they underwent numerous lineup changes, and a complete change in musical direction, emerging as a poppish New Wave band.
Split Enz: See Ya Round (1984)
Their biggest album in America was True Colors which charted at #40 and earned the band their biggest Stateside hit "I Got You", which peaked at #53 in 1980. Despite these mediocre numbers, the band developed a significant cult following in America. They were much bigger in New Zealand/Australia, where "My Mistake" was their first hit in 1977, and were among the first groups to regularly release promotional videos to accompany each single.

Hester was a late addition to the band, joining in 1983, just prior to the sessions for what would be their final LP, See Ya Round. Founder Tim Finn quit just before its release, his brother Neil Finn, a bandmember since 1977, led the band.
Crowded House: Temple Of Low Men (1988)
Hester and Neil Finn formed Crowded House in 1985 with bass player Nick Seymour and guitarist Craig Hooper, who was dropped shortly after. The band was huge in Australia, and racked up a number of hits in America from 1987-1994, including the #2 "Don't Dream It's Over" and #7 "Something So Strong"; "Chocolate Cake", "It's Only Natural" and "Locked Out" all made the top-10 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart. Hester left the group in 1993 to spend time with his family; the band dissolved in 1995. Tim and Neil Finn have continued to release solo albums, and albums as a duo. By 1997, Paul Hester had formed a new band, Largest Living Things, which released two EPs and played regular gigs in Australia.

Hester is survived by his girlfriend Mardi Sommerfield and their two daughters aged 8 and 10.
 
Comments:
So sad you have to do so many obits...
 
Alas, sometimes obits are the only chance I get to mention a lot of older bands (there's only so many hours in a day). That's why I started devoting entire articles to particular artists a few times a week; I'd like to give some of them their due while they're still alive.

I was never deep into Split Enz or Crowded House myself, but I enjoyed their most well-known songs.

This obituary was actually in answer to a request from a reader who emailed me last night; a giant fan of both groups.

Her enthusiasm for their music has inspired me to give them a second listen, and dig a little deeper.

As a sidenote: it appears that little by little "suicide" has been increasing as a cause of death among rock musicians. It's still rare, but no longer almost unheard of.
 
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