I always get such a kick out of discovering new Aussie talent. The latest lad to cross my path and excite my ears is Matt Walters, a laidback folkster from southwest Victoria.

“Echo On” is the title track from Matt’s debut EP, which is set to drop in July. It’s indicative of this talented gent’s amazing sound, unadorned, acoustic, free of studio trickery, and utterly beautiful.

You can grab a free download of this stunning song by pointing your browser here. If you like what you hear, and you’re lucky enough to live in Melbourne or Sydney, make sure you catch Matt live at the following shows next month.

2, 9, 16, 23, 30 June 2009 – Birmingham Hotel, Melbourne
7, 14, 21, 28 June 2009 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney

Image used with permission from Delinquents

The Sundance Kids are a band on the brink, earning rave reviews for their shows with End of Fashion and Evermore and preparing to release their debut album Fall Into Place in August. Bass guitarist Jeremy Wright took some time out from the tour to chat to me about the band’s wild ride.

You’re on the road with End of Fashion and Evermore at the moment. Are you excited about the shows?

Yeah, definitely. These are two amazing bands and we’re excited to share the stage with them every night! We’ve been cooped up in the rehearsal studio for months so we’re excited to be getting out and on the road!

What can music fans expect from your set?
We put a lot of ourselves into our performance. It’s pretty dynamic. Our main aim is to connect with people. And a little bit of crowd participation.

How do you win over people who may have come to your shows to see the other bands on the bill?
We like to hang out after shows and meet as many people as we can. So make sure you come and say hi!

This tour is massive. Where are you looking forward to visiting?
This week we’re looking forward to visiting the Big Pineapple. Actually, we’re keen to be anywhere that’s not flooded! The last two days of driving have been hectic, dodging flooded roads, missing bridges and fallen trees. But that just shows our dedication to the rock and roll cause!
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Guy Sebastian has released his first music in the United States, a digitally-downloadable EP.

The three-track recording including new songs “All To Myself” and “Like It Like That” from Guy’s forthcoming album, also called Like It Like That, as well as his cover of “Take Me To The River” from the Memphis Album.

Like It Like That will be Guy’s first full-length album released in the United States. It is scheduled to hit stores in January 2010.

Image source: The Harbour Agency

Massive Neighbours fan Lily Allen is heading to Ramsey Street. The British popette will film a guest role on the soapie while on tour in Australia next month.

Lily will make a cameo appearance as herself in a scene with Matt Werkmeister, who plays Zeke.

“I’m freaking out. I’ll be starstruck for sure but will try my hardest to stay professional!” said Matt. “I definitely want her autograph but will probably be too scared, so I’ll ask someone to get it for me.”

If Lily’s such a fan of the show, maybe they could just do a trade?

Image source: INF

John Farnham Announces Live By Demand National Tour

As I’m sure you’ve all heard, Jack’s back. Mr Whispering Jack himself, John Farnham is “tired of being retired” so he’s hitting the road again.

Farnsy insists this isn’t a “comeback,” but said getting back on stage feels right now.

“I want to do this, I want to be on those stages because I really have missed it. Everything about it feels right just now,” he said.

This time around he’s getting up close and personal with his loyal fans, playing intimate venues and lots of them. Expect plenty of sing-along hits and a really good time. Tickets for the Live by Demand shows go on sale Monday June 15.

3-5, 7-9 September 2009 – Lyric Theatre @ Star City, Sydney
19 September 2009 – Hope Estate Winery, Hunter Valley
24 September 2009 – Derwent Entertainment Centre, Hobart
28-30 September 2009 – Lyric Theatre @ QPAC, Brisbane
8-10 October 2009 – Burswood Theatre, Perth
17 October 2009 – Barossa Under The Stars, Barossa Valley
19, 20, 22-24 October 2009 – Palais Theatre, Melbourne

The Toohey’s Extra Dry uncharTED semi finals are on!

Sydney’s Bridgeprimary Kiss, The Falls, OnlyTheSeaSlugs, and The Deer Republic, join Melbourne’s Foxx on Fire, and Perth outfit French rockets as the public’s favorites. They’ll battle it out with the media picks: Ellington from Brisbane, Death Mattel and Sui Zhen from Sydney, and Hot Little Hands from Melbourne. The victor will receive a slot at this year’s Splendour in the Grass and an artist development package worth $25, 000.

You can help them on their way by voting for your favourites at the uncharTED website. The voting slates are wiped clean, so if you’ve voted before make sure you vote again. You can vote once every hour, and the more you vote the more chance you have of taking home some great prizes.

While you’re at the site make sure you check out details of SMS voting, the new mobile website, and downloadable artist widgets. There’s plenty to see!

Image used with permission from Peer Group Media

My Year Without Sex sounds like it could be the latest gross-out comedy geared at frustrated American college kids. Instead it’s a heartwarming Australian film starring acclaimed actors Sacha Horler and Matt Day.

The film tells the story of Natalie, a mother of two who unexpectedly suffers a brain embolism. Physical exertion is out, and that includes sex. It’s a depressing premise, but one that the film never dwells on. The outstanding soundtrack reflects that, with Banarama’s girl anthem “Venus” standing alongside jaunty indie ditties like Little Birdy’s “You’re Beautiful” and Bob Evans’ “Don’t Walk Alone.”

The soundtrack isn’t without its dark moments. Emily Hayes’ acapella take on the gospel classic “Soon I Will Be Done” is gutwrenching, and El Perro Del Mar’s “Glory To The World” isn’t much cheerier. But these sad moments are fleeting, reminding us that the clouds always part to show sunshine.

The soundtrack to My Year Without Sex is a texturally rich album, with equal measures of light and shade. It takes a gifted director like Sarah Watt to make a film with illness at its core easy to watch. And it takes a gifted person to create a soundtrack inspired by such a dramatic muse so listenable.

Image source: own scan

Sony Music has just released a teaser clip for Wes Carr’s new music video, “Fearless.” It’s a star-studded affair, with Wes playing 1920s gangster with some of Australia’s biggest stars. How can a clip go wrong with starring turns from Pia Miranda, Underbelly’s Matthew Newton and Vince Colosimo, and So You Think You Can Dance favourite Tim-O-Matic. Not to mention Wes’ rollicking blues soundtrack! I can’t wait to see the full length version!

I remember Paul Dempsey as the brooding singer-songwriter of 90s indie darlings Something for Kate. These days he seems to have lightened up a little, and it’s a really good thing. But lightness definitely doesn’t mean lightweight. His new single “Out of the Airlock” is a beautiful ditty, and the clip’s every bit as cool. I love seeing him as some kind of giant guitar god, quietly strumming above the miniature town of Lloydhurst.

We all knew AC/DC tickets would be popular, but I’m not sure anyone expected the aging rockers to break records. But the Aussie lads have defied expectation, selling out shows in record time.

A third show has gone on sale in both Sydney and Melbourne, after the originally scheduled shows sold out without 15 minutes this morning.

In the band’s home state, tickets for the first Perth show sold out in seven minutes, while the second sold out soon after.

Fans queuing up at the venues had the best luck, with the Ticketek website experiencing a major meltdown.

It’s great to see Australian artists being supported so fervently, but the darker side to all this is the scalpers.
eBay’s been flooded with tickets with inflated price tags.

“It’s very frustrating,” promoter Gary Van Egmond said of the eBay tickets.

“It’s impossible to combat. People were selling on eBay last week before the actual tickets had gone on sale and we had them taken off. But there’s nothing we can do. I feel sorry for the public. Fortunately there’s still tickets available for the third show in Melbourne (and Sydney) so they don’t need to buy them on eBay. It’s not fair.”

But Mr Van Egmond said he’s thrilled by the response to the Black Ice tour.

“We didn’t expect this kind of response, it’s been incredible. People were sleeping out overnight for tickets, which hasn’t happened for a long time.”

Here are the shows with tickets still on sale. Get in quick folks!

15 February 2010 – Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
22 February 2010 – ANZ Stadium, Sydney
25 & 27 February 2010 – QSAC Stadium, Brisbane
2 March 2010 – Adelaide Oval