Often Australian Idol brings us bright new stars, who seem to fade from view almost as quickly as they appear. One artist determined not to be just a flash in the pan is Casey Barnes, who is carving out a credible career as a singer-songwriter. I caught up with Casey this morning to chat about his new EP Red Lion Motel, his experience on Australian Idol, and his surprising European club hit.

You’ve just released your new EP Red Lion Motel. What can you tell me about it?
It’s a five-track EP and I wanted to do something that was a little bit different. I’ve recorded a couple of albums in the past which have had more of that processed pop-rock vibe, and I wanted to release something a little bit raw and acoustic and real, so that’s what we came up with when we wrote this EP. But it’s all personal experiences, and each song’s a little bit different, but it’s come up really well.

What made you decide to take that back-to-basics approach on this one?
I think I just wanted it to go in a deliberate, different direction. I’d recorded a couple of albums previously and I was really happy with those, but a lot of my career has been spent playing solo, acoustic gigs. And I think I wanted to go back to acoustic, real rock, because there’s so much stuff out there that’s that processed sound. Anyone can be put in a studio and sound good. And I just wanted to do something that sounded like every instrument was recorded live, which it was, and that was just that real, acoustic sound. So that’s sort of why we decided to go in that direction.

Most Aussies probably know you from your time on Australian Idol last year. How do you feel about that experience looking back?
I think overall it was a great experience, and I got a lot out of it as a performer and especially the exposure from the show that it gives you. People obviously get to know who you are a lot more than when you’re slogging your guts out in pubs every week, trying to do it on your own. I think overall it was a positive experience. Some of it I didn’t really like. I would have liked to have been able to perform my own songs, because as you see every week you’re up there performing somebody else’s songs. And knowing that I’m a singer-songwriter and I’ve got my own material, it’d be great if there was an opportunity to play your own stuff out there. But I think overall it was definitely a worthwhile experience.

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After spending the past year as the opening act for rockers like AC/DC, Cog, and Grinspoon, Calling All Cars are stepping into the spotlight on their album launch tour.

The Melbourne boys will be promoting their recently released debut album Hold, Hold, Fire, which features the current single “Runaway.” They’ll make pit stops at all the capital cities and regional centres that have supported their career thus far.

Brisbane’s Numbers Radio and Perth’s Young Revelry will come along for the ride.

Tickets for the following shows are available from the venues.

3 September 2010 – Prince of Wales, Bunbury
4 September 2010 – The Rosemount Hotel, Perth
5 September 2010 – Hyper Festival, Perth
9 September 2010 – Wollongong University
10 September 2010 – The Annandale Hotel, Sydney
11 September 2010 – Blues, Funk ‘n’ Grooves, Pokolbin
15 September 2010 – The Loft, Warrnambool
16 September 2010 – Kay Street, Traralgon
17 September 2010 – Bluestone, Ballarat
18 September 2010 – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
24 September 2010 – Never Land Bar, Coolangatta
25 September 2010 – X&Y Bar, Brisbane
26 September 2010 – The Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay
29 September 2010 – Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga
30 September 2010 – The Roi Bar, Albury
1 October 2010 – Jive, Adelaide
2 October 2010 – The Sandbar, Mildura

Image used with permission from Shiny Entertainment

Crowded House might have lost its number one possie to Eminem this week, but the ARIA charts weren’t all bad news for local acts. The Amity Affliction have made an impressive debut, with their sophomore album Youngbloods landing at number six.

It’s good news for the Queensland six-piece who are preparing to head out on a national tour to promote the release. If you’re hoping to see the lads, you’d better be quick. Shows in Adelaide and Melbourne have already sold out, and tickets for other shows are limited. With the band heading to the United Kingdom and the United States later this year, this might be the last time we see them for a while.

Catch them while you can at the following gigs.

2 July 2010 – Fowlers, Adelaide (Licensed All Ages) (SOLD OUT)
3 July 2010 – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne (Under 18s, Day Show)
3 July 2010 – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne (18+, Night Show) (SOLD OUT)
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 Shiny Entertainment

Aussie expats Pendulum are returning to our shores on the back of the release of their third album Immersion.

The record is already going great guns, after nabbing the number one spot on the UK charts and sitting pretty in the ARIA top 30 here at home. The tour will take in capital cities around the country before concluding in the lads’ home town of Perth.

Tickets for the following shows go on sale on July 1.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 30:  Rob Swire of the band Pendulum performs on stage during the Big Day Out 2009 at the Adelaide Showground on January 30, 2009 in Adelaide, Australia.  (Photo by James Knowler/Getty Images)

29 October 2010 – AEC Theatre, Adelaide
1 November 2010 – Festival Hall, Melbourne
3 & 4 November 2010 – The Tivoli, Brisbane
5 November 2010 – Hordern Pavillion, Sydney
6 November 2010 – Challenge Stadium, Perth

When I spoke to Midnight Youth’s Jeremy Redmore last month he assured me his band would “tour the shit out of this country.” The Kiwi lads are starting to make good on that promise with dates announced in Sydney and Melbourne.

Fresh from their gigs supporting Birds of Tokyo, the band will play tracks from their number one NZ album The Brave Don’t Run. You can see them at the following venues.

23 June 2010 – Beach Road Hotel, Bondi (with Meow Kapow – Free entry)
25 June 2010 – The Ivanhoe Hotel, Manly (with Dark Bells – Free entry)
17 July 2010 – The Fitzroy Hotel, Windsor (Free Entry)
22 July 2010 – The Sandringham Hotel, Newtown (with Tales in Space and Nick Van Breda)
29 July 2010 – Revolver, Prahran
30 July 2010 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
31 July 2010 – The National Hotel, Geelong
1 August  2010 – Last Band Standing Competition @ The Elephant and Wheelbarrow, St Kilda VIC

Following the release of his third musical comedy album Songs from the 86 Tram, The Bedroom Philosopher, aka Justin Heazlewood, is rounding up his band The Awkwardstra and hitting the road.

The Bedroom Philosopher says “my live show is both a remarkably memorable life changing experience and cause for major concern.”

If that sounds like your kind of gig, make sure you grab a ticket for the following shows.

12 August 2010 – Jive Bar, Adelaide
13August 2010 – Hotel New York, Launceston
14 August 2010 – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart (All ages matinee)
14 August 2010 – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
15 August 2010 – Arts Theatre, Burnie (All ages)
18 August 2010 – ANU Bar, Canberra
19 August 2010 – Harpe Hotel, Wollongong
20 August 2010 – The Factory, Sydney (All ages)
21 August 2010 – Northern Star, Newcastle
22 August 2010 – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla
25 August 2010 – Indi Bar, Scarborough
26 August 2010 – Prince Of Wales, Bunbury
27 August 2010 – Rocketroom, Perth
28 August 2010 – Troubadour, Brisbane
29 August 2010 – Old Museum, Brisbane (All ages matinee)
30 August 2010 – The Great Northern, Byron Bay
1 September 2010 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
2 September 2010 – National Hotel, Geelong
3 September 2010 – The Palais, Hepburn Springs
4 September 2010 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
5 September 2010 – Spanish Club, Melbourne (All ages matinee)
5 September 2010 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne

There’s something irresistible about a good-looking young man at a piano. So when I heard “Way Out,” the first track to emerge from Dan Webb’s new EP Hyperspace Clearance I was smitten.

More than just a pretty face, Dan’s been pounding the keys since the tender age of five. He uses his instrument to provide a driven back beat for his unique brand of alterna-rock.

The new EP saw Dan working with producer Matt Voigt (Powderfinger, The Living End), while the final mix was done by Steve Rooke (The Beatles, Animal Collective) at the legendary Abbey Road studios. No wonder it sounds slick.

“Way Out” is slated for a July 9 release, while the Hyperspace Clearance EP should hit stores in September.

Image used with permission from AAA Entertainment

KENT, OH - APRIL 29: Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte of 3OH!3 perform at mtvU's Movies & Music Festival 'Too Fast For Love' tour at Manchester Field on April 29, 2010 in Kent, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Those naughty boys 3OH!3 will bring their cheeky brand of electropop Down Under for a quickie Aussie tour in August.

The tour will take the Colorado band to the East Coast capitals. No doubt they’ll play all the smash hits from their two big albums Want and Streets of Gold.

Tickets for the shows go on sale next Friday.

12 August 2010 – Old Museum, Brisbane
13 August 2010 – Roundhouse, Sydney
14 August 2010 – The HiFi, Melbourne (Under 18)
15 August 2010 – The HiFi, Melbourne (18+)

Most of us can only dream of attending the Glastonbury festival, but music fans in Melbourne can enjoy the next best thing. The city’s Raw Gallery is currently showing Glastonbury: Another Stage, an exhibition of the festival photographs of British snapper Venetia Dearden. The exhibition marks the 40th anniversary of the iconic festival.

A festivalgoer in costiume sits under painted flowers at the Glastonbury Festival 2010 in south west England, June 24, 2010. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY)

“As a photographer I was magnetically drawn to witness and understand what lies at [Glastonbury’s] core,” Ms Dearden said. “I decided to create an oasis amongst the crowds where I could meet and document some of the thousands of individuals who travelled from all around the world to make up this vast, eclectic gathering.”

You can see Glastonbury: Another Stage at Raw Gallery until July 24. Entry is free, so if you’re living in Victoria there’s no excuse for not checking it out!

Have you ever read my blog and thought “I could do better?” Perhaps that’s a question best left unanswered, but if you do fancy yourself as an online music journalist Optus might just be able to make your dreams come true.

The telecommunications company is looking for aspiring music writers living in regional Australia to be known as Optus Sound Scribes.

Applicants should be aged between 16 and 24 and passionate about the music in their local area. Up to 40 Optus Sound Scribes will be selected to write a blog about music in their town for a period of three months. During this time they’ll be mentored by industry leaders and able to interview top local and international musicians. These finalists will then compete for the title of Australia’s first Optus Sound Scribe of the Year.

If you think you’ve got what it takes, head to the Optus Sound Scribe website and get your entry in before July 23.

Image used with permission from Peer Group Media