Kate Miller-Heidke is showing her sensitive side with her latest single “Caught in the Crowd.” This moving song about bullying is a world away from her most recent anti-dance hit “Can’t Shake It.”

The tune is currently featured in a nation-wide anti-bullying campaign in conjunction with MySpace, the Department of Education, The Daily Telegraph and Kids Helpline. In conjunction with the awareness campaign, students have the chance to win some awesome prizes including a Kate Miller-Heidke concert at their school and a Sony professional video hardware pack. To enter students should make a video for “Caught in the Crowd” and upload it to www.myspace.com/caughtinthecrowd.

But the MySpace profile is about more than this competition. It’s also a forum for people of any age to share their stories about bullying.With one in six Australian students bullied every week, it sounds like a great cause.

Kate will play shows in support of the single in April and May. You can catch the “Caught in the Crowd” tour at the following venues.

30 April 2009 – Prince of Wales Bandroom, Melbourne
1 May 2009 – Hi Fi Bar, Melbourne
2 May 2009 – Hi Fi Bar, Brisbane
7 May 2009 – The Metro, Sydney
8 May 2009 – The Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide

The sun may be setting on the summer festival season, but that’s no reason to pout. Winter festivals are just around the corner! Leading the pack is We Love Sounds, and with the first round of announcements it’s promising to be bigger and better than 2008.

DJ Mag’s number one DJ Armin Van Buuren will play an ‘exclusive’ Sydney show at We Love Sounds. You can catch him performing an extended set in the special Armin Only Arena. US dance god Armand Van Helden is also returning to Oz for the first time since his sellout tour in 2007. We Love Sounds favourite James Zabiela will unleash his never-before-seen light show, and Laidback Luke will also be there.

We can expect at least another 45 techno, electro, house, and nu-disco acts to join them. Dates are still being confirmed but here’s one to mark in your diary: tickets go on sale on March 16.

Image source: Newscom

Billy Thorpe Memorial Service

Tomorrow marks two years since the death of Australian music legend Billy Thorpe.

When we lost this music icon he was working on his most ambitious project to date, an album called Tangier. Close friends Michael Chugg and Amanda Pelman took over the project on Billy’s death, and soon they’ll deliver this important work.

“We have lived with Billy’s gestation of this remarkable work for so many years now, upon his passing it just seemed ‘normal’ to proceed with its completion,” they said in a statement.

“More than simply a duty of care, it became an imperative that his fans should hear this extraordinary tapestry of song. We were lucky to find in producer Daniel Denholm someone as ‘in tune’ with Billy, without ever having known him, that the project is about to have its realisation. Stay tuned.”

Billy’s wife Lynn is also excited that fans will soon hear the final chapter of Billy’s legacy.

“Billy’s magnificent Tangier reflects the many aspects of ‘Thorpie’ that not many knew – the deep thinker, the marveller at the wonders of the universe and the nature of love and the fleetingness of life, and the ever curious and enthusiastic musical traveller and adventurer,” she said.

“He never stopped trying to break the boundaries. Come on the journey that has been our life since the turn of the century. It will blow you away.”

Shortly before he died, Billy said, “From my experiences in a 40-year international music and recording career, I know instinctively when something really special comes along. I feel it in my joints and it won’t let go. I wake and sleep in its rhythm and cadence. It consumes me and simply demands to be brought to life. And that’s Tangier.”

Tommorow will be a sad day for Australian music fans as we all pause to remember what a talent we lost. But it’s wonderful to know that there’s a little more to come.

Since you’re here, I already know you love Australia and it’s world famous music scene. But more likely than not you also enjoy music from other places and other genres I haven’t even touched on here at Oz Music Scene. But fear not, this blog is part of the b5 Media blog network, which features some of the best music sites out there.

My b5 music comrades have rather outstanding posts up which are worth a read:

It goes without saying that NYC’s finest will be in attendance at the upcoming SXSW music festival. b5′s Big Apple Music Scene has talked with Motel Motel and Lemonade, both SXSW showcasing artists. Motel Motel will be performing three times that week, while Lemonade hopes to impress with their first South-By appearance.

The Rock Dose has a feature on Jump Back Jake, the Nashville southern rockers who will also be performing at SXSW.

Austin Sound Check is embracing the latest tech craze and checking out other local musicians who love to Twitter. The blog also tells us why celebrity chef Rachel Ray needs to keep her oven mitts off the famous SXSW festival.

On Metal Martyr, read three reviews of hard-hitting instrumental albums from Scale the Summit, American Draft and Pegataur.

Image source: Rodolfo Clix @ Stock.xchng

Australian Face to Face fans have waited ten long years for the Californian pop-punk band to return to our shores. Now their patience has been rewarded, with the band playing around the country as part of the massive Soundwave festival. I caught up with frontman Trever Keith to talk about the festival, what it’s like to play with his bandmates after a four-year hiatus, and why that return to Australia took so long!

You’re out here to play Soundwave. How have the shows been so far?
They’ve been great. We’ve only done two, in Brisbane and Sydney, but last night we did a Sidewave show in Sydney in a club and that was a lot of fun also.

How has the reaction been from the crowds?

It’s been really, really good. Despite the fact that we haven’t been to Australia in over ten years the audiences are singing along, singing the words to the songs and going crazy. We’re having a great time. It’s awesome.

That was actually my next question. I’m sure the fans are wondering, why has it taken you so long to get back here?
You know, I don’t know why it’s taken us so long. We definitely haven’t done the work out here that we should have been doing, and I can see that now. We should have been coming down here all along. We’re not going to let ten years slip by before we get back out here on a headline tour.

What’s it like to be part of a big festival like Soundwave?
You know, it’s got its good and bad points. I will say it’s incredibly well organised, and everyone is getting flipped from their destinations like a well-oiled machine. The stages are great, the sound is great. My only complaint about being on festival shows is you just feel a bit more disconnected from the audience because you’ve got the really high tall stages and the barricade that’s really far from the crowd and all that. I like to get a little more up close and personal with the audience. But that would be my only small complaint and that’s not a fault of Soundwave. It’s just the nature of doing a festival.

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The Veronicas have become the first Australian act in the 21st century to become platinum-selling artists in the United States.

“Untouched” sold 67, 000 digital units in the last week in the US, bringing its total sales to 1.01 million.

No other Australian act has even cracked the top 20 in the US since Kylie released “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” in 2003. This new milestone is definitely worth celebrating. Well done girls!

Image source: Newscom

As teenagers Charlotte Cooper and her Subways bandmates got their start playing Nirvana covers around their English neighbourhood. Now they’re part of the Soundwave Festival touring Australia. Today I chatted to this uber-cool bass player about her guitar heroes, working with legendary producer Butch Vig, and her love for Oz.

You’re out here to play Soundwave. How have the local crowds been so far?
It’s been really amazing so far. We’re just so, so happy to be in Australia. We all love the country so much and it’s so great to get the chance to play here. This is only our second time touring here. We’ve obviously been here separately, but this is only our second time playing here – we were here in 2006 for The Big Day Out – so we’re just glad to play here.

So what keeps you coming back to Australia?
Well we’ve all got family here and we’ve been coming over since we were kids, so I think we’re always going to have that connection to the country. And I absolutely love being here. I’m not really sure what it is about it, but I think it’s the only other place in the world I could live other than the UK.

Have you been able to see much your family or play tourist while you’ve been here?
I did, I got to stay with my aunt for night, which was good. Now we’ve got a couple of days off in Melbourne so we’ve all got different ideas of what we want to do and see.

What are you planning to get up to?

Well my first thing is shopping. That’s my days planned.
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Living legend Tony Joe White is returning to Australia in April. The gravelly voiced singer known as the Swamp Fox is a regular visitor to these shores, but we love having him here!

This time around he’ll play the blues festivals in Byron Bay and Perth, the Boogie festival in rural Victoria, and an amazing show with Dan Auerbach at Melbourne’s Corner Hotel.

The tour coincides with Tony Joe’s latest album Deep Cuts, which features reworkings of all his classic songs. The album doesn’t just update these iconic songs, it reframes them for a whole new audience. The album will be available exclusively at all Tony Joe’s Australian shows. Here are the dates!

7 April 2009 – Ruby’s Lounge, Belgrave
8 April 2009 – Toff in the Town, Melbourne
9 April 2009 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
10 April 2009 – Boogie Festival, Tallarook
12 & 13 April 2009 – East Coast Blues and Roots Festival, Byron Bay
15 April 2009 – The Basement, Sydney
17 April 2009 – Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL
18 April 2009 – West Coast Blues and Roots Festival, Fremantle
19 April 2009 – The Gov, Adelaide

Image source: Tostadilla @ Flickr

The Australian music community, and some exceptional international artists, have rallied together to organize two massive concerts on March 14 to raise funds for the Victorian bushfire and Queensland flood victims. Sound Relief shows will be held at the Sydney and Melbourne Cricket Grounds.

Coldplay will perform an acoustic set in Sydney, while Kings of Leon will play Melbourne. Jack Johnson will also make the long trek from his Hawaiian home to play the Melbourne show.

That’s the young music fans taken care of, but there are plenty of reunions to excite the older generation. Icehouse will reform for the Sydney show, while Melbourne gets a triple treat with Hunters & Collectors, Split Enz, and Midnight Oil all earning a spot on the bill.

Jet and Wolfmother willdo more than their fair share, playing both cities. Each band will perform one city at the start, then jump on a plane to play the other gig. Now that’s dedication!

Tickets for the Sound Relief shows are a very reasonable $75, and all proceeds will benefit the Victorian Bushfire Appeal and The Premier’s Disaster Relief Fund Appeal in Queensland. Tickets go on sale next Wednesday March 4 from Ticketek.

We can apparently expect more artists to be added to the bill before then, but here’s the line-ups as they stand!

Melbourne

  • Augie March
  • Bliss N Eno with Paris Wells
  • Gabriella Cilmi
  • Hunters & Collectors
  • Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson with Troy Cassar-Daley
  • Jack Johnson
  • Jet
  • Kings Of Leon
  • Liam Finn
  • Midnight Oil
  • Paul Kelly
  • Split Enz
  • Wolfmother

Sydney:

  • Coldplay
  • Eskimo Joe
  • Hoodoo Gurus
  • Icehouse
  • Jet
  • Josh Pyke
  • Little Birdy
  • Midnight Juggernauts
  • The Presets
  • Wolfmother
  • You Am I

Image source: Sound Relief website

Melbourne Zoo’s Roar Sounds 2009 concert series is going out with a bang this Thursday.

Queensland urban outfit Resin Dogs will headline with special guest MC N’fa from 1200 Techniques. The hip-hop act will be supported by hometown hero Phrase and Alexx The Kidd.

This week’s show is kicking off a little earlier than the previous weeks. Alexx The Kidd will take the stage from 6:30 pm, but you can visit the animals until 7. Gates open at 5:30 pm.

The BYO policy means you can bring along a few beers and nibblies and save cash, or you can grab refreshments at the zoo. Just remember to pack plastic cups because glass ones aren’t permitted.

Tickets are on sale from Melbourne Zoo in person, by calling 1300 ZOOSVIC, or visiting zoos.org.au.

Image used with permission from AmpHead Music