Boom Crash Opera’s Peter Farnan has assembled one of the most impressive collections of Guest vocalists I’ve seen in some time for his latest musical project, Pesky Bones. Paul Kelly, Deborah Conway, Paul Capsis, Tim Rogers, Rebecca Barnard, Simon Burke, and heaps more appear on Pesky Bones – Volume One.

“Pesky Bones is like a personal music player on shuffle. Rather than one sound and point of view there are diverse musical styles and singers,” Peter explained. “The themes cover accumulated experience, memory, age, sex, family, mortality, aching limbs, regret and, above all, transcendence.”

You can help support the release through the Pesky Bones PledgeMusic campaign. Depending on your donation, you could get something as small as a digital or physical copy of the album or as impressive as a house concert, songwriting workshop, or tickets to the listening party at Ginger Studios. You’ve got until the end of September to lend your support.

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Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife are reminding me why Thieves is one of my favourite albums of the year with the release of the video for the first single “Paradise.”

The Melbourne band filmed the retro clip at the historic Winton Motor Raceway. Its vintage feel is the perfect foil for the band’s classic sound.

“Evoking images of the open road, the video was heavily influenced by Terrence Malick’s 1973 film “Badlands”. However I wanted to place our narrative in a distinctly Australian context,” explained the clip’s director, Roxanne Halley. “Allowing the camera to float along through the different spaces helped to create a feeling of intimacy, enabling us to play around with the idea of strangers locking eyes for the first time.”

What do you think of this track and the awesome music video?

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The Cat Empire, Tash Sultana, The Correspondents, and Dub FX are among the big names set to entertain crowds at the first ever The Pleasure Garden Festival in St Kilda this December.

Much more than just another music festival, The Pleasure Garden aims to be an immersive creative arts experience, with roving theatrical performances, art installations, carnival rides, and plenty of shady places for kicking back with your friends.

The Pleasure Garden Festival hits Catani Gardens on St Kilda’s foreshore on December 10. Discounted early bird tickets are available until the end of the month. Head to The Pleasure Garden Festival website to get yours.

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With The Peeks winding down their Grow Up/Grow Down tour, I figured it was about time I sat down and listened to the album that shares its name. I adored the most recent single “Wanaka,” so my expectations were high for this release. The Melbourne indie folk act does not disappoint.

I love the way the band goes beyond the usual acoustic guitar strumming we hear on so many folk albums, adding gentle strings to a track like “Postman” and some brass to “Don’t Tell Your Mama.” The latter song is a real standout, with guest vocals from the sublime Annabelle Kay. This rollicking country-folk gem compelled me to tap my toes and clap my hands in time to the beat. Annabelle returns again later in the album for the poignant “Aubergine Sewing Machine.” “Night Owl” is another master stroke. I love the way it starts so small, then builds into an almost orchestral crescendo before melting away.

Grow Up/Grow Down is full of music that feels so good to listen to. It’s calming, folky, acoustic, organic heaven, perfect for slipping on during a lazy day or when you need a break from the hustle and bustle of life. The lyrics are insightful and poetic and Fraser Henry’s voice is always on point. His soaring falsetto is especially affecting.

Grow Up/Grow Down is available now.

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Stop what you’re doing a take a little moment to watch the video for Tom Lee-Richards’ new single “Madness.” This is the sort of song and clip that deserve much more than the background for your workday or household chores. It demands your attention.

This song is so beautifully executed, delicate and tender, like nothing I’ve heard in some time. I love the way Tom’s velvety voice combines with that of fellow Kiwi Monique Shelford. The clip, which takes an unflinching look at life on the streets for Australia’s homeless, is also a masterstroke.

Tom Lee-Richards will take his very special songs to the people of the East Coast with a series of intimate shows next month.

4 September 2016 – The Gasometer, Melbourne
9 September 2016 – Ulverstone Live at the Wharf, Ulverstone
10 September 2016 – The Otis Room, Burnie
11 September 2016 – The Homestead, Hobart
16 September 2016 – Smiths Alternative, Canberra
17 September 2016 – Church on the Hill, Bendigo
21 September 2016 – Folkswagen, Sydney
22 September 2016 – Pier on Clarence, Port Macquarie
23 September 2016 – Treehouse, Byron Bay
24 September 2016 – 5 Church St, Bellingen
29 September 2016 – Milk Factory, Brisbane
1 October 2016 – Mandela Organic Arts Cafe, Mermaid Beach

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Acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter Gavin James is making his first visit to Australia for a string of shows next month.

Gavin has enjoyed a rapid rise since releasing his first single “Say Hello” in 2013. That track won the Meteor Choice Award for song of the year and other songs from his debut EP garnered radio in his native Ireland.
A chance meeting with Ed Sheeran in a Dublin pub the following year saw the pair jamming and drinking whisky all night. Ed tweeted that record labels were missing out if they didn’t sign James, and they listened. He soon found himself supporting Ed as well as Taylor Swift and Sam Smith. His live album Live at Whelan’s also became a hit in the United States, where its only cover, a stunning version of Magnetic Fields’ “The Book of Love,” became a radio staple.

“The crazy bit is that ‘Book Of Love’ wasn’t supposed to be on the album,” Gavin said. “It was just my warm-up song. But when I’d finished the encore and the crowd was leaving, for some reason, I ran back on stage, called people back in and added it to my set. It was a real ‘fate’ moment. And funny – because I said I’d quit doing covers then my only cover takes off.”

But you won’t hear Gavin complaining.“Never,” he says. “I’m loving every minute of this. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted and I can’t wait to know what comes next.”

What comes next is that Aussie tour. Tickets are available from Troubadour Music for the following shows.

22 September 2016 – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
23 September 2016 – Plan B, Sydney
24 September 2016 – Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne
25 September 2016 – The Boston, Perth

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The passing of Prince in April rocked me like no celebrity death ever has. I have thought of him every single day and cried more tears than perhaps anyone should over a celebrity they didn’t know. When I saw Andrew de Silva was paying tribute to the Purple One at a club a couple of minutes from my house, I knew I had to be there. Tribute shows tend to get a bad name. They’re the crowd-pleasing entertainment of RSLs, pleasant but ultimately unforgettable. However, when a talent like Andrew de Silva puts on a tribute show, it’s always going to be a cut above the average.

Don’t get me wrong. No one can match Prince. I’m pretty sure Andrew knows that. But he can sing very well and he’s got a real charisma. He’s also assembled an excellent band, especially the lead guitarist who was much better than I imagined. Again, no Prince, but someone capable of taking on the challenge.

It was only fitting that Prince’s own voice boomed from the speakers, the “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life” monologue so familiar to fans, to kick start the show. “Let’s Go Crazy” was the perfect opener, a track that quickly had the dancefloor full with the true fans and the folks who seem to have stumbled in because it was a cheap show. Andrew played to them and the faithful, with a set featuring hits and some of the lesser-known tracks I didn’t expect to hear. A woman I was dancing with leaned over to me during “Money Don’t Matter 2 Night” and asked me whether it was a Prince song. There were a lot of blank faces during “Shhh” a song Prince wrote for Tevin Campbell’s album I’m Ready, but I was in raptures.

Ettalong Diggers probably wasn’t the best venue for a show like this. The dancefloor was always going to fill, and since the floor was flat anyone who wanted to sit couldn’t see. I was never going to sit down for long though. Every time I planned to take a rest, Andrew would launch into another favourite song. Tracks like “1999,” “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man,” “I Would Die 4 U,” and “Baby I’m a Star” were faithfully delivered and so much fun. I did question the inclusion of Lenny Kravitz’ “Fly Away” though. While Lenny was influenced by Prince and the song is fine, playing it meant we got one less Prince song. With 39 studio albums, it’s not like Andrew should have been short on material.

Since Prince’s passing, I’ve often marvelled at the positivity of his musical legacy. As fans we miss him so terribly, yet listening to his music it’s impossible to wallow. A tribute night just months after the passing of such a talent could get maudlin if we weren’t left with such feel-good songs. I did feel a moment of sadness though during “Purple Rain.” Watching Prince perform this song in Brisbane in 2012, with purple glitter falling from the ceiling, was as close to a religious experience as I’ve ever had. Again earlier this year, this song was a real highlight of his Piano and a Microphone show at the State Theatre in Sydney. Andrew de Silva and his band did as good a job as anyone covering this song could do, yet I felt that wave of sadness wash over me. Because as good as it was, it wasn’t Prince. And I will never get to see him play that song and move me and everyone in the room that way again. I couldn’t help but wipe away a few tears at that. But before I could become the weird blubbering girl, we had “Little Red Corvette.” More positivity. Another wonderful song to lift me up.

No one can replace Prince. No one will ever touch him musically. And Andrew de Silva doesn’t try. He just keeps that music alive in the live area. He brings it to the diehard fans and to the people who just stumble in to the room because it’s an affordable way to spend a night. If you’re thinking about seeing the Purple Revolution show but you’re worried about it falling short, put your doubts aside. They might not be the originals, but Andrew de Silva and his band do an excellent job at celebrating the music of Prince.

Andrew de Silva will bring his Purple Revolution show to the following venues.

27 August 2016 – Matthew Flinders Hotel, Chadstone
17 September 2016 – SSA Club, Albury
30 September 2016 – Satellite Lounge @ Wheelers Hill Hotel, Wheelers Hill
22 October 2016 – Caledonian Hotel, Wonthaggi
28 October 2016 – Moama RSL, Echuca
19 November 2016 – Memo Music Hall, St Kilda
25 November 2016 – Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast

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The pride of Gympie, The Amity Affliction, has scored their third consecutive number one album. This Could Be Heartbreak debuted at number one this week. Notably, this is the 14th local release to hit the top of the albums charts this year. This equals 2013’s record of the most Aussie number one albums in a calendar year. And it’s only August!

Human Nature’s Gimme Some Lovin’: Jukebox Vol. II, one of those chart-topping 14, has held steady at number three. Bernard Fanning’s newie Civil Dusk has slipped from number two to four this week.
Another previous number one, Ripcord by Keith Urban, is back on its way up the charts, climbing two spots to land at number six this week. So too is another chart-topper, Wings of the Wild. Delta Goodrem’s most recent release jumps three spots to sit at number eight.

Meanwhile on the singles charts, Illy’s single with Vera Blue, “Papercuts,” has dropped one spot to number five this week. Betty Who’s debuted at number nine with her take on Donna Lewis’ ‘90s smash, “I Love You Always Forever.”

Here are this week’s top 10s.

Top 10 Albums
1. This Could Be Heartbreak – The Amity Affliction
2. Suicide Squad: The Album – Soundtrack
3. Gimme Some Lovin’: Jukebox Vol. II – Human Nature
4. Civil Dusk – Bernard Fanning
5. 25 – Adele
6. Ripcord – Keith Urban
7. Blurryface – Twenty One Pilots
8. Wings of the Wild – Delta Goodrem
9. Lemonade – Beyonce
10. This Unruly Mess I’ve Made – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Top 10 Singles
1. “Closer” – The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey
2. “Let Me Love You” – DJ Snake feat. Justin Bieber
3. “Cold Water” – Major Lazer feat. Justin Bieber and MO
4. “Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots
5. “Papercuts” – Illy feat. Vera Blue
6. “Perfect Strangers” – Jonas Blue
7. “Treat You Better” – Shawn Mendes
8. “Alarm” – Anne Marie
9. “I Love You Always Forever” – Betty Who
10. “This is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna

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The Snowdroppers are known for keeping a relentless touring schedule, but they seem to have dropped off our radars in 2016. If you’ve been yearning for a Snowdroppers show, there’s good news. The Sydney foursome will play four intimate shows in the coming months to celebrate the imminent release of their first live album/DVD/documentary.

The live stuff captures all the action from the Snowdroppers’ Gluttons for Punishment tour from February this year. This video gives you a little taste of the resulting doco.

Tickets are on sale for the upcoming Snowdroppers’ shows from the venues. They’re likely to sell out, so get in quick!

30 September 2016 – The Brightside, Brisbane
7 October 2016 – Newtown Social Club, Sydney
14 October 2016 – Gasometer, Melbourne
28 October 2016 – Wickham Park Hotel, Newcastle

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Anna Cordell has reminded me how much I love her EP These Walls with the release of one of the standout tracks from this recording, “Run Around.” It’s a song of deep yearning, with beautifully layered harmonies and lush strings. Rather than playing you the single version, I thought I’d get you in the mood for her upcoming tour with this live video.

Anna will celebrate the single’s release with a very different kind of tour. Rather than hitting the pubs and clubs, she’ll visit the homes of fans in regional Victoria as part of the Parlour gigs initiative. Click here if you’d like to host a show. All fans will get a chance to see her play when she ends the tour with a public show at the Retreat Hotel in Brunswick on October 27.

After that, Anna will knuckle down on recording a brand new album for release in 2017.

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