Nursing a post-Eurovision hangover, I needed just the right music to survive my Monday morning. I found it in Beard of Bees, the fantastic fourth album from Jez Mead.

It’s amazing that this guy has been releasing albums for so many years, yet he hasn’t crossed my radar until now. It’s a case of better late than never though. This record is accessible yet rich, just like Jez’s voice. His bluesy rasp brings a depth to the stripped back songs. The raw delivery is perfect for creating an air of honesty and spontaneity; I imagine these songs wouldn’t sound very different if you saw them performed in your local pub. There’s that same electricity that you feel while listening to a live set, that impalpable feeling that anything could happen.

The tunes are an eclectic mix, yet the pieces fit together beautifully. The title track is a rollicking acoustic alt-country number. “Town’s Too Small” feels as if it could have been plucked straight from the Deep South, with its hand-clapping rhythm and swampy feel. As with anything that Julia Stone touches, the duet “Devil” is delicate and gorgeous. The tender closer “Crooked” is blessedly understated and lovely.

Beard of Bees is a lush, complex album that has quite simply cast a spell over me. If like me you’d never heard of Jez Mead, this should be the record to change all that. Beard of Bees will be released on June 25.

Sydney dance pop star Damien Mancell is following up his international digital smash hit “Be with You Tonight” with the release of his new single, “Shine.”

“Shine” has already become a firm club favourite, and is expected to do big things on its official release. The single features the standard version and remixes by DJ Mark Loasby, Robot Diaries and T-Shirt Death to keep the clubbers happy.

If you want to hear “Shine,” register on Damien’s website and you’ll receive a special remix for free. If you like what you hear make sure you purchase the track at any of the major digital retailers; you could even win a Samsung K3 MP3 player for your trouble!

Image used with permission from AKA Entertainment

You might remember Matt Corby as the reluctant sex symbol of Australia Idol Season 5. Losing out on the main prize seemed to be a blessing for Matt, who’s spent time away from the spotlight to hone his craft and create some incredible songs.

One such track is “Lighthome,” a live version of which is currently available as a free download at Matt’s website. If you like what you hear make sure you check out Matt on his first national tour this June and July.

Following those shows, Matt will join Mumford and Sons as support on their sold out Sydney shows. I’ve got myself some tickets to the Tuesday night gig, and am thrilled at Matt’s inclusion on the bill.

Here are all the places you can catch Mr Matt Corby in the coming months.

30 June 2010 – Brass Monkey, Cronulla
1 July 2010 – Raval, Sydney
2 July 2010 – Heritage Hotel, Wollongong
3 July 2010 – Northern Star Hotel, Newcastle
8 July 2010 – The Toff in Town, Melbourne
9 July 2010 – National Hotel, Geelong
10 July 2010 – Baby Black Café, Bacchus Marsh
15 July 2010 – The Troubadour, Brisbane
16 July 2010 – Bon Amici Cafe, Toowoomba
17 July 2010 – Hard Rock Café, Surfers Paradise
22 July 2010 – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River
23 July 2010 – Ellington Jazz Club, Perth
24 July 2010 – Norfolk Basement, Fremantle
3 August 2010 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney (supporting Mumford and Sons)
4 August 2010 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney (supporting Mumford and Sons)

Image source: The Harbour Agency

After a small hiatus, Princess One Point Five (P1.5) are preparing for the release of their highly anticipated fourth album What Doesn’t Kill You.

It won’t hit stores until June 11, but fans in their hometown of Melbourne can enjoy a sneak peek of the new material, and some old favourites, with the band’s Thursday night residency at The Builder’s Arms Hotel in Fitzroy.

Catch the P1.5, and their rotating cast of super support acts, at the following Builder’s Arms shows. Tickets are $8 at the door.

3 June 2010 – with Sophie Koh and Tash Parker
10 June 2010 – with Flying Scribble and Patinka Cha Cha
17 June 2010 – with Georgia Fields and Ben Montero
24 June 2010 – with Cuba is Japan and Lehmann B. Smith

Melbourne lads Calling All Cars are becoming a go-to support act for some of the country’s best rock acts. After touring with AC/DC and Grinspoon earlier in the year, they’ll now join The Butterfly Effect for 24 mid-year shows.

Refreshingly this tour is barely touching the major capitals, instead focusing on the country’s regional centers and oft forgotten locations. Almost as if to prove a point, the double-header tour will wrap up in Darwin!

Get ready to rock with The Butterfly Effect and Calling all Cars at the following shows.

25 June 2010 – The Bridgeway Hotel, Adelaide
26 June 2010 – The Sandbar, Mildura
27 June 2010 – The Roi Bar, Albury
30 June 2010 – Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully
1 July 2010 – Geelong, Bended Elbow
2 July 2010 – Inferno Nightclub, Traralgon
3 July 2010 – Pier Live, Frankston
4 July 2010 – The Commercial Hotel, South Morang
7 July 2010 – Station Resort, Jindabyne
8 July 2010 – Hellenic Club, Canberra
9 July 2010 – Panthers, Bathurst
10 July 2010 – Panthers, Newcastle
11 July 2010 – Mona Vale Hotel, Mona Vale
14 July 2010 – Campbelltown RSL, Campbelltown
15 July 2010 – Castle Hill RSL, Castle Hill
16 July 2010 – Entrance Leagues Club, Bateau Bay
17 July 2010 – West Tamworth Leagues Club, Tamworth
22 July 2010 – Villa Noosa Hotel, Noosaville
23 July 2010 – Surfers Paradise Beergarden, Surfers Paradise
24 July 2010 – Alexandra Hills Hotel, Alexandra Hills
25 July 2010 – Kallangur Tavern, Kallangur
30 July 2010 – Sheraton Breakwater Casino, Townsville
31 July 2010 – Magnums, Airlie Beach
6 August 2010 – Darwin Ski Club, Darwin (All Ages)

Image source: Michael Spencer @ Flickr

British India are taking their top 10 charting new album Avalanche to the masses with a run of dates, including appearances at the Come Together and Splendour in the Grass festivals.

The album features the singles “Beneath the Satellites,” “Vanilla,” and the title track “Avalanche.” Its top 10 debut was no mean feat, competing as it was with the Mothers Day rush on Susan Boyle and David Campbell CDs!

Tickets for the following shows are available from the venues now.

4 June 2010 – Charles Sturt University, Bathurst
11 June 2010 – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
12 June 2010 – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
13 June 2010 – Come Together Festival, Sydney
18 June 2010 – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane
19 June 2010 – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane
25 June 2010 – Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide
26 June 2010 – Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide
9 July 2010 – The Gaelic Club, Sydney
30 July 2010 – Splendour in the Grass, Brisbane

Image used with permission from Shiny Entertainment

The Amity Affliction have recently been holed up in New York studio recording their second album Youngbloods, but they’re wasting no time in getting back in front of local audiences.

The band has announced a swag of over 18s and all ages gigs all around the country. We’ll have a little time to get acquainted with the new material with Youngbloods hitting stores on June 18. You needn’t wait that long to get a taste though, as The Amity Affliction are giving away the first single “I Hate Hartley” for free. Visit the The Amity Affliction website to get the track.

Tickets for the following shows are available from the venues now.

2 July 2010 – Fowlers, Adelaide (Licensed All Ages)
3 July 2010 – The Hi-Fi (Under 18s, Day Show)
3 July 2010 – The Hi-Fi (18+, Night Show)
5 July 2010 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat (All Ages)
6 July 2010 – Kangaroo Flats Leisure Centre, Bendigo (All Ages)
8 July 2010 – Woden Basketball Stadium, Canberra (All Ages)
9 July 2010 – UNSW Roundhouse, Sydney (Licensed All Ages)
10 July 2010 – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane (18+)
11 July 2010 – The Hi-Fi, Brisbane (Under 18s)
17 July 2010 – Tank Arts Centre, Cairns (All Ages)
18 July 2010 – Townsville PCYC, Townsville (All Ages)
22 July 2010 – Oh Snap @ Black Betty’s, Perth (18+)
23 July 2010 – YMCA HQ, Perth (All Ages)
24 July 2010 – Prince of Wales, Bunbury (18+)
25 July 2010 – YMCA HQ, Perth (All Ages)

Image used with permission from AAA Entertainment

Sydney classical outfit Aston have been adding a touch of class to The Matty Johns Show each week. If you haven’t caught their reinterpretations of modern pop and rock songs, check out this reimagining of Rihanna’s “Rude Boy.” I’m not a fan of the original, or of classical music generally, yet I love this. If you do too, make sure you visit Aston’s YouTube page, where you can see more clips and vote for the song you want them to take on next!

Melbourne’s Brittle are generous sorts. They’re so keen for Australia to hear their brand of alternative rock, they’re giving their new EP The Owls away for free!

The five track release captures the band’s dynamic live sound, thanks in no small part to the skills of legendary producer Mark Opitz (The Angels, Cold Chisel, INXS).

“It was a massive learning curve for us as a band,” said Brittle lead vocalist Ben “Tokyo” Whiting. “That guy knows a lot and he taught us so much during our time working with him. He really made sure we got our ‘live’ sound on the EP and most importantly helped us work towards creating our own unique sound for the five tracks”.

The Owls will be available for free digital download from June 14. Its release sees the band who’ve supported the likes of Faker, Kisschasy, Snow Patrol, and Katy Perry, step out as headliners. They’ll do just that at a slew of shows around the country in June, July, and August. Here are all the dates!

25 June 2010 – Trash @ Caseys Hotel, Hawthorn (18+)
26 June 2010 – Revellers Bar, Melbourne (18+)
8 July 2010 – Snitch @ Club 299, Brisbane (18+)
9 July 2010 – Hard Rock Café, Gold Coast (18+)
10 July 2010 – Bon Amici, Toowoomba (18+)
11 July 2010 – The Hive, Brisbane (All Ages)
15 July 2010 – Kyogle Memorial Hall, Kyogle (All Ages)
16 July 2010 – Southern Cross School, Ballina (All Ages)
17 July 2010 – Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay (18+)
22 July 2010 – Grand Hotel, Wollongong (18+)
23 July 2010 – Ivanhoe Hotel, Manly (18+)
29 July 2010 – Bended Elbow, Geelong (18+)
30 July 2010 – POW @ Mynt Lounge, Werribee (18+)
31 July 2010 – Cherry Bar, Melbourne (18+)
1 August 2010 – Spanish Club, FitzroyAll Ages)
4 August 2010 – Irish Murphy’s, Launceston (18+)
5 August 2010 – The Central, Devonport (18+)
6 August 2010 – Republic Bar, Hobart (18+)
7 August 2010 – Maginty’s, Burnie (18+)
12 August 2010 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat (18+)
13 August 2010 – Louisiana Tavern, Elizabeth (18+)
14 August 2010 – Edinburgh Castle, Adelaide (18+)

Image used with permission from AAA Entertainment

Nick Cave is preparing to unveil his second album with Grinderman this September.

Not so originally titled Grinderman 2, it sees Nick reunite with Warren Wllis, Martyn Casey, and Jim Sclavunos for another serve of dirty garage rock. Acclaimed producer Nick Launay twiddled the knobs for the album which was recorded at London’s RAK, State of the Ark, and Assault and Battery studios.

To celebrate the release Grinderman will tour around the United Kingdom and Europe throughout September and October. Hopefully we’ll see some Aussie dates to follow.

All Tomorrows Parties - Cockatoo Island

25 September 2010 – Rock City, Nottingham
27 September 2010 – University, Leeds
28 September 2010 – Barrowlands, Glasgow
29 September 2010 – Academy, Manchester
1 October 2010 – Hammersmith Apollo, London
4 October 2010 – Les Docks, Lausanne
5 October 2010 – Volkshaus, Zurich
6 October 2010 – Live, Milan
7 October 2010 – Atlantico, Rome
10 October 2010 – Gasometer, Vienna
11 October 2010 – Muffathalle, Munich
13 October 2010 – Haus Auensee, Leipzig
14 October 2010 – Columbiahalle, Berlin
15 October 2010 – E-Werk, Cologne
17 October 2010 – Ancienne Belgique, Brussels
20 October 2010 – MCV, Utrecht
21 October 2010 – Docks, Hamburg
23 October 2010 – Falkoner Theatre, Copenhagen
24 October 2010 – Power Station, Randers
26 October 2010 – Cite de La Music, Paris