Dennis Atkins

Dennis Atkins

Dennis Atkins is the national affairs editor at Brisbane’s Courier-Mail where he writes the regular political column Party Games, mostly analysing and laughing at the antics of our federal politicians.

He’s been a journalist for about 35 years, having started in Adelaide as editor of the children’s section of The Sunday Mail, Possum’s Pages.

Since then his writing has been divided between politics and music, two great passions. After two long periods living in the national capital, he’s escaped to the riverside tranquillity of Brisbane.

Articles by Dennis Atkins

We may have been late but we caught up quick

We may have been late but we caught up quick

24 Nov 12 Moseley Square is the end of the line for Adelaide’s only tram, with the ocean and St Vincent’s Gulf to…... Read more

Dylan: Brilliant songwriter, brilliant songs, but…

Dylan: Brilliant songwriter, brilliant songs, but…

27 Sep 12 Who can forget the gunshot snare drum bang that ushers in Like a Rolling Stone? When Bruce Springsteen gave his…... Read more

Political commentary with an emphatic rhythm

Political commentary with an emphatic rhythm

20 Sep 12 Ryland Cooder has been around for ever. He’s played with everyone from the Monkees to the Rolling Stones, dug up…... Read more

Simone Felice - a new musical force at the helm

Simone Felice - a new musical force at the helm

05 Jul 12 At about the same time the legendary drummer, singer and songwriter Levon Helm - best known for his work with…... Read more

The artist whose music grows younger every day

The artist whose music grows younger every day

22 Jun 12 It’s a musical image that plays with your mind. A teenage Neil Young playing matinee shows in his hometown of…... Read more

A rocky upbringing but a bright future for son of a star

A rocky upbringing but a bright future for son of a star

20 Apr 12 You don’t have to read very far into Steve Earle’s 2001 short story collection, Doghouse Roses, to know he might…... Read more

A complete course in modern culture in one album

A complete course in modern culture in one album

13 Apr 12 Brisbane songwriter maestro Robert Forster fell into an old but reliable trap last month when he used Bruce Springsteen as…... Read more

The mud Labor flung swung back in their faces

The mud Labor flung swung back in their faces

26 Mar 12 Queensland’s ground-breaking election at the weekend did one thing above all else. Voters had an overriding message about the nasty,…... Read more

Queensland: Labor one day, Liberal the next

Queensland: Labor one day, Liberal the next

25 Mar 12 The smash-up arrived. A hyper-powered LNP vote - not just above 50 per cent but half way to 60 per…... Read more

Labor will be left with nothing but crumbs

Labor will be left with nothing but crumbs

24 Mar 12 In his six types of ill-fated armies, the brilliant Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu identified one called “crumbling”. “If the…... Read more

Anna Bligh’s been reduced to begging for votes

Anna Bligh’s been reduced to begging for votes

22 Mar 12 Someone deep inside the Labor bunker provided an exquisite campaign truth this week. Discussing the increasingly desperate Labor tactics -…... Read more

The inauthenticity of the new political “authenticity”

The inauthenticity of the new political “authenticity”

21 Mar 12 At the South by South-West music conference in Austin, Texas, last Thursday, Bruce Springsteen let a brilliant cat out of…... Read more

Serious music for serious times

Serious music for serious times

09 Mar 12 No ads on the ABC? Don’t believe it for a minute. Last Sunday’s Insiders was chockers with ads. The political…... Read more

What happened on the road to Splendour in the Grass

What happened on the road to Splendour in the Grass

10 Feb 12 It was a moment that cut me but I tried so hard not to show it. In 2007 on a…... Read more

The Boss is still the boss

The Boss is still the boss

03 Feb 12 Springsteen has done it again. You’ve got to look for the silver lining in these troubled times and if the…... Read more

A quirky southern folk rock that will send you into a spin

A quirky southern folk rock that will send you into a spin

27 Jan 12 Half a dozen years ago I regularly attended concerts in the dark and smaller halls of inner-Brisbane with a guy…... Read more

Here’s to drinking songs, they’re true blue…

Here’s to drinking songs, they’re true blue…

06 May 11 It was when the Captain Matchbox Whoopie Band let fly with its dated fart joke interlude that I started thinking…... Read more

Blessed by the presence of Lucinda Williams

Blessed by the presence of Lucinda Williams

12 Apr 11 Suicide among musicians is, sadly, far too common. Artistic temperaments, self-medication and substance abuse, depressive personalities and the ease with…... Read more

Throw your panties at the CD player, Tom Jones is back

Throw your panties at the CD player, Tom Jones is back

14 Oct 10 In these troubled times anything that makes your feet move involuntarily is a good thing. That’s what happened when I…... Read more

The Band that holds under the weight of time

The Band that holds under the weight of time

08 Oct 10 Throughout my high school years I used to walk to Brighton High in Adelaide’s beach suburbs with my mate Andy…... Read more

Bring Le Noise: Neil Young is back in the ditch

Bring Le Noise: Neil Young is back in the ditch

24 Sep 10 Neil Young is back in the ditch. Next Tuesday as our new paradigm Parliament shuffles towards getting stampy over who’s…... Read more

Why Brisvegas totally rocks

Why Brisvegas totally rocks

16 Sep 10 Great music cities don’t just suddenly emerge, although some have their genesis in rebellion or in the emergence of some…... Read more

There is a guy from North Ontario

There is a guy from North Ontario

10 Sep 10 It was this statement that caught my attention: “There’s no band, but I got in there with my sonics. There’s…... Read more

Quality vinyl: the top 25 side one track ones of all time

Quality vinyl: the top 25 side one track ones of all time

26 Aug 10 It’s possible no-one under 25 will get this article. But the joy of side one, track one is one of…... Read more

Micah P. Hinson: Don’t mess with this Texan

Micah P. Hinson: Don’t mess with this Texan

09 Apr 10 Micah P Hinson is a Texas-raised singer songwriter – although born in Memphis, Tennessee - who should have been on…... Read more

The boy who was better than the Beatles

The boy who was better than the Beatles

31 Mar 10 The thing about Alex Chilton is that he was a musician from the south of the United States. The hardest…... Read more

The Sydney cabbie who’s writing the songs of our lives

The Sydney cabbie who’s writing the songs of our lives

05 Mar 10 Peter Corris’s Glebe PI Cliff Hardy has a modern Australian playlist in his latest adventure, Torn Apart, including the Whitlams,…... Read more

Seven ages of rock will have you arguing for ages

Seven ages of rock will have you arguing for ages

05 Feb 10 Forget Hank Williams singing Move It On Over in 1947. And that ground- breaking 1939 boogie tune, Rockin’ Rollin’ Mama…... Read more

The best bands you’ve never heard of

The best bands you’ve never heard of

21 Jan 10 Here’s proof of the abundance of great new music. The great benefit of those end of the year lists of…... Read more

Tragic end for the talented victim of a failed system

Tragic end for the talented victim of a failed system

06 Jan 10 The just gone year was crowded with bad news and the chances are this one will be the same. As…... Read more

This is Rosanne Cash’s Patsy Cline record

This is Rosanne Cash’s Patsy Cline record

22 Oct 09 I saw Rosanne Cash play at Dooley’s Hotel in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley in the early 90s, on a bill to…... Read more

When David Letterman’s sex scandal does you a favour

When David Letterman’s sex scandal does you a favour

08 Oct 09 Sometimes luck just runs. Consider California-born, Texan-by-conviction and New York resident Tom Russell, a singer-songwriter who has been making music…... Read more

The record label that helped abolish the death penalty

The record label that helped abolish the death penalty

17 Sep 09 It’s a record label that carries a quote from muck-raking journalist H.L. Mencken as its motto, was largely responsible for…... Read more

At the roundabout, turn left and revisit Highway 61

At the roundabout, turn left and revisit Highway 61

04 Sep 09 Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour, which broadcasts on New York’s Sirius XM satellite radio and the BBC, produces some…... Read more

Mavis Staples and a whole bunch of other talented folk

Mavis Staples and a whole bunch of other talented folk

19 Aug 09 WHAT a life Mavis Staples has had. Her father, Roebuck “Pops” Staples, was a gospel/soul/pop singer, ace guitarist and songwriter…... Read more

You may have heard of his family, but listen to him

30 Jul 09 Most music fans first heard about the Felice Brothers – especially us blokes – with a reference to the opening…... Read more

The hottest 100, for the slightly elderly

16 Jul 09 THERE was a time any song list from the ABC’s Triple J would be a talking point for at least…... Read more

Music from a time before coffee shops and laptops

02 Jul 09 East Nashville is a lovely part of the world. It’s nicely gentrified, full of neat houses with neat gardens. There…... Read more

Wilco has grown up

18 Jun 09 The Hideout is a bar in the ostentatiously hip inner north western suburbs of Chicago, although its dead-end location in…... Read more

Star-struck in Austin: Meeting my musical hero

04 Jun 09 Maria’s Taco Express sits on a busy expressway in south Austin, Texas, snuggled in between car yards and furniture stores.…... Read more

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Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

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