It seems when I announced our Australian Grammys hopefuls, I missed one. I actually hadn’t heard of The Greencards, featuring Aussies Carol Young and Kym Warner, but they’ve been releasing critically acclaimed albums in the states for years.

The locals are up for their second successive Grammy Award in the Best Country Instrumental category. Their track “The Crystal Merchant” is up against tunes from Alison Brown, Sarah Jarosz, and Steve Wariner.

“We just can’t believe we’ve been nominated for a Grammy again this year. We honestly thought our 2008 nomination was a once in a lifetime moment … we’re very humbled by the whole thing,” Kym Warner said in a statement.

Whether they win or lose at tonight’s awards ceremony, we’ll welcome them back to Oz with open arms later this year. They’re scheduled to play the Port Fairy Folk festival in March and the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival in April before heading back to the States for Merlefest.

“We’ve been very keen to play Port Fairy Folk Festival for a long time, and it’s finally going to happen in March. And being invited back to play Byron Bay’s Blues & Roots Festival, truly one of the great festivals in the world, is just the cream on top! I can’t wait to play our music to Australian audiences, and get my hands on a cold Carlton Draught and a meat pie!”

Here are The Greencards local dates. Make sure you see this exciting country act at home while you can!

6-8 March 2010 – Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC
2 & 3 April 2010 – Byron Bay Blues & Roots Festival, NSW

The-Greencards

Image used with Thrillhill Entertainment

Have you heard about JUMP? This exciting new mentor program looks to hook young Aussie artists up with industry leaders.

Thirty-six mentorship places of up to 10 months are available for artists aged 18 to 30 in the first five years of their career. Applicants will be accepted across a wide range of artistic areas, including music, acting, dance, and more.

It sounds like a great opportunity, with successful applicants receiving funding to realise a creative project with their mentor, access to professional skills development, online profiling, showcasing of projects, and opportunities to participate in national artistic networks.

“Our priority is to help artists build sustainable careers and for many young professional artists getting established can be challenging and isolating,” explained Libby Christie, the Executive Director of Arts Funding for the Australia Council for the Arts. “Who better to help grow the skills and networks of an emerging artist than those who are already established and willing to share their hard-won knowledge?”

Applications close on February 26, so if you want to be in with a chance it’s time to get your stuff together. Head to the JUMP website for full application details and more information about this exciting new program.

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Image used with permission from Emma Heath Public Relations & Management

Evermore are back with a brand new single, “Underground,” which picks up right where the lads’ last album, Truth of the World left off. It seems they’ve left their early whiny songs behind and replaced them with a healthy dose of edge. I for one am happy to see how these New Zealand born lads have manned up!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLVnc8Wo8OY]

They’ve barely left their teenage years behind, but already Short Stack have achieved more than most seasoned bands can dream of. The lads from Budgewoi on the New South Wales Central Coast already have a number one album under their belt and a swag of sell out tours. They’re preparing to play the biggest venues of their career, but before they set off I caught up with the band’s very cheeky lead singer Shaun Diviney to talk about the upcoming tour, their highly anticipated second album, and their loyal fans.

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You’re one of the hardest working bands in Australia. It seems you’re always on the road, and you’re just about to head off again. What do you love most about playing live?
My favourite thing about being able to tour is not only going to the capital cities, but rural towns as well. And knowing that your music has made an impact on people of all walks of life. It’s the greatest feeling having people every night screaming lyrics you have wrote that have some how resonated with them.

I imagine a couple of young guys travelling the country would get up to some wild things. Can you share any crazy tour stories?
Once we killed a hooker with a shoelace and VCR player [laughs]. But seriously, we just usually push the party boundaries as much as we can and have some crazy night out on the town. What happens on tour stays on tour.

Your debut album Stack Is The New Black was massive, with a number one debut and gold status. Did that take you by surprise?
It did at first, but now it has sunk in I think it is just testimony to how loyal and amazing our fan base is.

I heard that you personally called every person who pre-ordered the CD to thank them. What inspired you to do that?
Bands don’t get anywhere with out their fans. some people ignore it but we feel it is important to embrace it.
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Homegrown rockers AC/DC will add some edge to the Iron Man 2 soundtrack, with 15 of the bands song set to feature in the movie.

The soundtrack, which spans the band’s career, will be released as a deluxe CD/DVD package and a two-disc vinyl set.

“Music is an integral part of the Tony Stark and Iron Man experience, and we are pleased that Columbia and AC/DC are taking part in the franchise’s phenomenon. Through this relationship, the band is delivering fans supercharged Iron Man branded music through all our combined consumer touch points, from the movie to retail outlets and even virally with the debut of the new video,” said Tim Connors, Chief Operating Officer, Marvel Studios.

That video, for “Shoot to Thrill,” was shot last month in Buenos Aires.

The soundtrack will hit stores on April 22 ahead of the movie’s April 29 release.

Image used with permission from Sony Music Australia

You could spend Easter at another boring bash with the rellies, or you could take off to Tallarook and enjoy some cool sounds and vibes.

The small town in regional Victoria will host the Boogie Festival from April 2 to 4. The bill is an eclectic feast for the ears, with American troubadour Justin Townes Earle, Adelaide retro rockers Leader Cheetah, and local act Wagons all on the bill. Add Ooga Boogas, The Dacios, Boy & Bear, The Frowning Clowns, and heaps more and you’ve got the recipe for a great weekend out. And that’s just for starters. We can expect another announcement in February, which is sure to add value to the already busy bill.

Melbournians can enjoy free return train travel from any suburban station, and there’s also free camping, so why not kick back and stay a while? Tickets are available now from the Boogie Festival website.

Justin Townes Earle

Justin Townes Earle

Image source: RS @ Wikipedia Commons

With a new single set to explode on radio and a spot on the national Rock the Schools tour, we’ll be hearing a lot more about Brisbane pop-rockers Finabah. Before all the craziness begins I caught up with bass guitarist and songwriter Brendan Langfield to chat about the band’s upcoming tour, their dedicated fan base, and why he can’t wait to quit his day job.

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While you’ve got a loyal following, most of Australia probably aren’t familiar with your music. How would you describe your sound?
I like to describe us as if you mash together Fall Out Boy and Kisschasy, you get a Finabah sort of sound. It’s sort of Americanised pop-rock. Obviously we’re Aussies, and we like to think that we sing about reasonably deep and meaningful stuff, and have some decent lyrics and that sort of thing. So I think if you take a Fall Out Boy sound with some Kisschasy elements, that’s pretty much where we’re at.

You recently won the rock category of New Artist to Radio awards which will see your new single “Everyone Jump” all over radio next week. Are you going to be glued to your radio waiting to hear it?
Yeah, definitely. We recently got some play on a lot of the digital radio stations and we’ve been glued to that, let alone the actual stations when it comes out. I think we’re getting reports about which stations are adding it, so we’ll definitely be sitting closely by the radio with our ear to it on the day single comes out.

You’re soon heading out on the road to support the single. I noticed you’re playing plenty of all ages shows which is so refreshing. What made you want to do that?
I think we’ve got a very modern pop-rock sound, and obviously our demographic is an underage fan base. So it’s good if you’ve got an underage fan base to get out there and play to them. It’s difficult these days with the liquor licensing laws and all of these terrible things, all the under-age venues are disappearing unfortunately. I think it’s just pretty important to actually get out there and play to the younger fan base.

And then, in saying that it’s important to not just categorise yourself as an underage band because a lot of bands do that and end up going down the gurgler because their fans grow up and there’s nothing left. So I think we’ve got a good spread of AA and 18+ fans, and thus we’ve done a good spread of AA and 18+ shows.
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It’s been a little quiet on the Gyroscope front, but not for much longer. I caught up with drummer Rob Nassif today to chat about the band’s upcoming appearance at Queensland’s The Lost Weekend festival, album number four, and their dedicated, and tattooed, fanbase.

gyropromo1

You’re one of the headliners of The Lost Weekend festival, which seems a lot more chilled out than a Big Day Out or Homebake. What made you want to do this kind of show?
We love this sort of festival. For some reason Gyro, I guess because we do have quite a rocking live show and we are quite a loud band, we sometimes miss out on these sort of festivals, the Merediths and the Golden Plains of the world. I think they look at Gyro and think “Oh gee, bit of a loud rock band.” And we are, definitely. But when we got offered the chance to play this festival and we saw the line-up we really wanted to be part of it. And credit to the organisers for asking us, because we’re really looking forward to it.

So will you be camping with the rest of the punters?
I’m working it out. We might actually! I camped at Pyramid Rock about two years ago. That was lots of fun, so there’s a chance. I’m just working it out with my girlfriend at the moment. We’re thinking, because we’re playing on the Friday night I think, so we’re going to possibly stay and hang out. It looks like a fun little festival.

You mentioned the line-up, which has some brilliant local and international acts. Is there anyone you’re particularly looking forward to watching?
We’re all very excited to watch Tumbleweed actually. We all loved Tumbleweed a lot when we were growing up, and when Gyroscope first started they were definitely a big influence on us. As a matter of fact, our name Gyroscope was taken directly from a Tumbleweed song called “Gyroscope.” For years whenever we’d play in Wollongong, we’d always dedicate a song to Tumbleweed because that’s where they’re from. So to actually finally be sharing a bill with them, playing with them, it’s going to be great.

It’s so nice to see them back in action after all these years.
Yeah, it’s great man. I think they were always a little bit underrated, Tumbleweed. They’re a great rock band. We might pluck up the courage and go say g’day to Richie or whoever, and say “Hey man, we stole our name off one of your songs.” That’d be cool.
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The annual Aussie BBQ at SXSW has a new venue for 2010. It will join forces with Sounds Australia for a massive Aussie showcase at Maggie Mae’s on March 20.

The daytime schedule is currently being finalised, but the night time show looks brilliant. Kate Miller-Heidke, Dappled Cities, Karnivool, and Philadelphia Grand Jury are all on the bill.

If you’re anywhere near Austin, Texas, in March, I suggest checking it out!

Image source: ZUMA Press

After taking time off to write songs for her new EP, Leena is heading back on the road. LEENA058

You might have caught her supporting Joshua Radin, Paul Dempsey, or Tim Finn last year. This time around she’s playing on the same bill as Carus Thompson on the road, as well as headlining her first show in Sydney.

Here are all the dates!

9 February 2010 – The Grace Emily, Adelaide
18 February 2010 – The Troubadour, Brisbane
19 February 2010 – The Sound Lounge, Currumbin
20 February 2010 – Joe’s Waterhole, Eumundi
25 February 2010 – The Toff in Town, Melbourne
26 February 2010 – Ruby’s Lounge, Belgrave
27 February 2010 – Raval, Surry Hills

Image used with permission from Repertoire Publicity