Plenty of my friends in the b5media music channel are celebrating Halloween with me today. Here’s a look at what they’vePumpkin been up to.

You all knew Scott at Metal Martyr would come up with the goods. Those hard rocking folks are just made for satanic holidays like this, right? He’s compiled a very cool metal soundtrack for the holiday, featuring tracks like Iron Maiden’s “Number of the Beast” and White Zombie’s “I’m Your Boogyman.” Spooky stuff.

If you’re after some lighter songs to add to your Halloween mix tape, Bruce at Our Digital Music has you covered. His Halloween top 10 features “Monster Mash,” “Black Magic Woman,” and one of my personal favourites, “Werewolves of London.”

As if that wasn’t enough Halloween music, Deb at She Plays Music has posted plenty of ghoulish girly music videos. Check it out to watch some Cranberries, Suzi Quatro, and Dusty Springfield.

At The Production Side, Albert serves up a little Stone Temple Pilots and Ray Parker Jr. Who you gonna call?

Bruce is also celebrating at The Rock Dose. Make sure you stop by and check out today’s quote and video featuring none other than Ozzy Osbourne. It had to be, right?

Sammi’s featuring Danny Elfman at 52 Bands. This is the guy behind the spooky soundtracks of The Corpse Bride, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and other Tim Burton classics.

Stuck for a Halloween costume? Mike at Big Apple Music Scene shows you how easy it is to look like Joey Ramone. Too cool!

Heather at Country Music Stop celebrates the season with a creepy classic from Alan Jackson.

Some say that Michael Jackson’s pretty scary today, but Roberta at Ear Sucker goes into the vault for her Halloween post. When I was little I couldn’t watch the clip for “Thriller,” and it still frightens me to this day!

Budding film makers may be interested in the cool Schoolyard Heroes contest Denise is talking about on News in Punk. You could win some creepy prizes, just for filming your Halloween party and posting it on YouTube.

Make sure you check out all these cool blogs for more thrills and chills this Halloween!

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As a kid growing up in Australia, I was always a little bit jealous of Americans celebrating Halloween. I thought how wonderful it must be to dress up in scary costumes and score loads of free lollies. I actually tried it once in primary school, but none of the neighbours I visited had any goodies to give me and I didn’t have the heart to toilet paper their houses because of it.

So this year I figured I’m going to celebrate anyway. Everyone else at b5media is doing it, so why can’t I? To get you in the mood, here’s five of the best Australian spooky songs.

I had to kick things off with a little AC/DC. It’d be unAustralian not to. “Highway to Hell” is one of their best, and scariest, with the late great Bon Scott up front.

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AFI Awards - Arrivals
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Aussie golden girl Delta Goodrem knocked Matchbox Twenty off the top spot when her new album Delta debuted at number one this week.

The single “This Life” is holding firm at number three after spending a couple of weeks at the top of the singles charts.

Local dance act Rogue Traders are also making their presence felt on the ARIA charts. Their second album Better in the Dark has slipped from number four to number five this week.

“Don’t You Wanna Feel” is holding steady at number 10 on the singles charts.

The Veronicas haven’t released their new album yet, but if the success of “Hook Me Up” is any indication it’s going to be another chart topper. After five weeks in the top ten, it’s still sitting pretty at number five on the charts.

See the complete top 10 below the cut.

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Awards Room At The Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2007
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After a tumultuous week, Tarisai Vushe is the latest contestant to leave Australian Idol.

This week Tarisai hit back at accusations from public that she was “fake.” Following another technically superb but unemotional performance, Mark and Dicko agreed that she wasn’t showing her true self.

A visibly rattled Tarisai continued the confrontation after the show by swearing at Mark, slamming a door in Dicko’s face, and telling the media the pair had sabotaged her chances in the competition.

But I can’t help thinking the only person who sabotaged Tarisai was Tarisai. For every person that appreciates what you do, there’ll be others who don’t. Part of being a star is dealing with this negativity in a constructive way rather than throwing a tantrum.

After the judges said their goodbyes and wished her luck, Tarisai replied, “Thanks, even though I don’t mean it.”

I think Tarisai needs a serious attitude readjustment if she’s going to get anywhere in this business.

Natalie Gauci and Marty Simpson joined Tarisai in the bottom three. Natalie was a big surprise considering her touchdown-worthy performance, but I guess someone has to be there.

Next week we can look forward to big band night, which is always one of my favourites. While Carl’s a natural here, it’s going to take the remaining contestants out of their comfort zones. Expect some real surprises!

Today I’m shining the spotlight on the other music blogs who’ve posted their ultimate desert island discs. I know this was aDesert Island really tough ask for many of us (how can you choose just ten?), but I hope we turn you on to some cool new records, and inspire you to rediscover some forgotten classics.

Mike’s got some great albums out of New York on Big Apple Music Scene. He’s shown just how eclectic his taste is, pulling out some cool stuff from Simon and Garfunkel, Miles Davis, The Strokes, and Jay-Z.

Dave’s not too keen on the idea of getting stuck on a desert island, but he believes the experience would be a lot more pleasant if he could take these 10 British albums. I think he could be right!

Like me, Jennifer at Hippie Sounds struggled to whittle her favourite albums down to just ten. But those ten are doozies. I’d hope to be marooned on the same desert island so I could listen to hers!

While Jennifer prefers her music chilled out, Scott at Metal Martyr loves to rock. So as you’d expect, his top 10 offers some must-have metal recordings. Rock on!

Roberta also loves to rock. While Ear Sucker tends to serve up news about poppier fare, Roberta apparently prefers to listen to some Megadeth, Metallica, and Slayer. But her desert island list isn’t all about heavy metal. Check it out! Her list gets a thumbs up from me for including Matchbox Twenty’s “Mad Season.”

Bruce at Our Digital Music offers up a real mixed bag. While he has the freedom to choose virtually anything, it was obviously challenging to come up with his top 10. I hated to leave Ray LaMontagne behind (Aussies only you know!), so I’m thrilled that “Trouble” made Bruce’s list.

Deb at She Plays Music serves up some wondeful albums from the girls with her desert island list. From Bonnie Raitt to Melissa Etheridge and Aretha Franklin, there’s a lot of diversity and cool music here.

Sammi stuck to fairly modern releases to compile her desert island list at 52 Bands. She’s got a great collection of music here, including some of my favourites like Rufus Wainwright and Barenaked Ladies.

So we know what the b5media crew think, but what about you? If you were stranded on a desert island with only 10 albums, what would they be?

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Here at the b5media music channel, we’ve been chatting about the albums we’d take if we were stranded on a desert island. Sure this list isn’t entirely practical. After all, we rarely get to take the things we want when we’re stranded, and when we get there the batteries in our discman probably won’t last very long.

Honestly, the only purpose such a list does serve is to clue our readers into some of our favourite albums around. They may not be the coolest, or the most critically acclaimed, but each recording means something to us. My Aussie-flavoured list is below. When you finish reading it, make sure you check out some of the other desert island must-haves around the music channel today!

East cover

East by Cold Chisel
This classic album from Cold Chisel is almost like a best of recording, with songs like “Choir Girl,” “Rising Sun,” “Ita” and “Cheap Wine.” It’s the perfect showcase of Don Walker’s lyrical genius, Mossy’s guitar prowess, and Barnesy’s trademark rock rasp.
Standout track: “Cheap Wine”

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White Monkey cover

White Monkey by Danielle Spencer
She’s better known as Mrs Russell Crowe these days, but in the early part of this decade Danielle Spencer was making some brilliant music. White Monkey features ethereal vocals, lyrics steeped in fairy-tale allusions, electronic melodies, and a whole lot of feminine angst.
Standout track: “White Monkey”

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Silverchair on the ARIAs red carpet, Source: Matthew Packer @ Flickr became the most celebrated artist in ARIA history last night taking home five trophies, including their first album of the year title for Young Modern.

The album was also named best rock album. The record’s first single, “Straight Lines” was awarded trophies for single of the year and highest-selling single of the year, while the lads from Newcastle were fittingly named best band. This takes their total ARIA haul to a whopping 19 gongs.

While Silverchair stole the show with their clean sweep, the rest of the awards were fairly evenly distributed. Missy Higgins was the obvious choice for best female artist, while Gotye upset more fancied competition to take home the best male artist award.

Sneaky Sound System were nominated for more awards than anyone else, but as it turned out they only left with two gongs. They were named best breakthrough artist, while their self-titled debut was named best dance album.

John Butler Trio’s fantastic Grand National was named best blues and roots album and best independent release. John took the opportunity to say how proud he is to be part of the socially and environmentally conscious Australian music community.

Operator Please are tipped to be the next big thing all over the world, so it was little surprise to see them take home the breakthrough single award for “A Song About Ping Pong.” They had just about everyone in the audience on their feet when they gave an energetic performance of the song later in the night.

Keith Urban took home the best country album for Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing, but he was almost upstaged by wife Nicole Kidman. While all eyes were on the Hollywood actress for much of the night, Keith took the spotlight with a killer duet with John Butler. The pair played a fantastic rendition of “Funky Tonight,” which I couldn’t resist including here in case you missed it!

Nick Cave may have been the only person formally inducted into the Hall of Fame last night, but he used his acceptance speech to unofficially induct his former Bad Seeds and Birthday Party bandmates. As his presentation was close to the end of the night, it’s unknown whether Nick managed to get that kebab after all.

Look under the cut for a complete list of winners.

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Last night was all about Australian music on Channel Ten, and Australian Idol was no exception. The final five honoured our country’s great music by performing some classic hits and new Aussie tunes.

Judge Mark Holden stepped out from behind the desk this week to mentor the Idols in the studio. All the aspiring singers said they benefited from Mark’s experience.

Matt Corby kicked off the night with a cover of Thirsty Merc’s “20 Good Reasons.” This should have been a good song for Matt, at least if you believe the rumours about his recent split with his girlfriend. However, I didn’t really feel this performance. It was competent, but I think he needs to take it to the next level if he’s going to live up to the hype and be there at the Opera House.

While Matt’s performance was lacklustre, Natalie Gauci’s was sensational. When I heard she was performing “Boys in Town” I was pretty excited, and she didn’t let me down. This is such a strong, gutsy song, and she really delivered it. I was actually a little choked up when she finished! She’s showing more of herself every week, and I’m really enjoying watching her.

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ARIAs logoIt’s ARIAs day, a time to reflect on the awesome music Australia has produced over the past year. If you love our own version of the Grammys as much as me, you’ll want to stay glued to Channel Ten tonight.

At 7 pm they’ve got the red carpet special. This is mostly an opportunity to gawk at the sexy dresses and see who came with who. The Veronicas and Ricki-Lee Coulter will also perform, reminding us that while the fashions are nice this is about the music!

Then at 7:30 pm Australian Idol will serve up some homegrown hits. This week the Idols will each tackle a song made famous by an Australian artist. I’m particularly looking forward to Natalie Gauci tearing up The Divinyls’ “Boys in Town.”

Then at 8:30pm there’s the big one, the 21st Annual ARIA Music Awards. Can Sneaky Sound System sweep the pool as predicted, or will we see a few upsets? This dynamic dance outfit will perform during the awards, as will Silverchair, Powderfinger, Gotye, Operator Please, Kate Miller-Heidke, and Missy Higgins. But the stand-out should be a duet between Keith Urban and John Butler – look out for it!

Image source: ARIA website 

My latest song obsession is from 18-year-old soul singer Eran James. He first caught my eye when he released his debut album three years ago. I couldn’t believe how much talent this teen had.

Now he’s back with this summery slice of blue-eyed soul, “Touched By Love.” It’s the perfect soundtrack for a chilled-out weekend at home, don’t you think? Speaking of, I think it’s about time that I started enjoying mine!