Today I’m setting out and exploring the McLaren Vale. I promise that despite the track I posted yesterday, the wine won’t be “cheap.” I figured such an indulgent day deserved a song that was slow and sensual. Enter “Paradise City” by The Audreys. Enjoy it, but don’t go expecting anything like The Gunners!

Today I’m getting on a plane bound for Adelaide and taking a very well earned holiday. I could leave you all to your own devices, but I’d much rather give you something to look at while I’m gone. Keeping up with news was always going to be impossible, so I figured I’d treat you to some of my favourite music videos from Adelaide artists. The city is a wealth of musical talent after all, so sit back and enjoy the tunes!

I had to kick off with my favourite Adelaide act, Cold Chisel. There are so many tunes I could have picked here, but I settled on “Cheap Wine.” This was actually the track I fell in love with first. My sister and I got a real kick out of singing about booze as youngsters. Fun fact; it was actually released the year that I was born, yet it still sounds fresh as a daisy.

It’s not entirely coincidental that I’m posting the video for “Holiday” from Sydney’s Chaingang today. Tomorrow I’m jetting off for a well-earned break, but rest assured I’ll leave plenty of goodies for you to browse while I’m gone.

At any rate, when this song passed my desk the timing seemed too fortuitous to ignore. This is a far cry from Madonna’s poppy “Holiday.” Chaingang’s version is much dirtier, in more ways than one! I love the sexy rock notes of this, not to mention all that milk and tomato sauce in the music video! This is really fun stuff, as any good holiday should be!

Big Day Out 2011 is shaping up to be a beauty, with the first official line-up announced.

We’ve heard the names of Iggy and The Stooges, Tool, and Grinderman leaked, but it’s great to see them as confirmed starters. No Soundgarden as was previously rumoured, but Rammstein, M.I.A, Deftones, and Primal Scream playing their classic album Screamadelica all made great substitutes.

The local contingent is also strong, with PNAU, Bliss N Eso, John Butler Trio, Angus and Julia Stone, Birds of Tokyo, Operator Please, and Dead Letter Circus amongst the names preparing to make the trek around Oz.

They’ll do it at the following shows around the country. Sydneysiders can get their tickets on October 6, Gold Coast residents on the 7th, and everyone else on the 8th. They’ll go sale from the Big Day Out website at 12:01 am ahead of the 9 am sale through Ticketmaster. Now let’s see whether we get the same system meltdowns as we tend to each year!

ITAR-TASS: MOSCOW, RUSSIA. AUGUST 6, 2010. American musician Iggy Pop with the Stooges band perform at Milk Moscow Club. (Photo ITAR-TASS/ Alexei Filippov) Photo via Newscom

23 January 2011 – Parklands, Gold Coast
26 January 2011 – Showgrounds, Sydney
30 January 2011 – Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
4 February 2011 – Showgrounds, Adelaide
6 February 2011 – Claremont Showground, Perth

It was a sad X Factor night for me as my favourite in the competition, James McNally, left us.

Honestly, neither Amanda nor James deserved to be in the bottom two. Andrew, Mitchell, and Altiyan certainly turned in bottom two worthy performances, but this is the problem with relying on a public vote.

Both singers gave incredible performances when singing for their life. The judges couldn’t decide, so the public did sending James home. And put simply, the competition will be poorer for it.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 30: (L-R) The cast of 'The X Factor' Natalie Imbruglia, Ronan Keating, Kyle Sandilands and Guy Sebastian pose during a media call on July 30, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mike Flokis/Getty Images)

It’s always a struggle to ease myself back into the working week, but it’s something made easier with the accompaniment of good music. This morning I found it in Daniel Lee Kendall’s debut EP Lost in the Moment.

This Central Coast based singer-songwriter creates the sort of gentle, easy music that’s so easy to listen to. It’s understated, but so musically rich and lyrically interesting that it’d be a mistake to dismiss it as mere background music. That being said, this is exactly the kind of disc I’d pop on while sharing a meal with friends, or a few glasses of wine at the end of a night. It’s not brash or bold, but it is beautiful.

If you want to hear what Daniel’s all about before Lost in the Moment is unleashed on October 1, head over to his MySpace page to listen to a couple of tracks!

Image used with permission from Crucial Music

Tonight The X Factor contestants showed a bit more of their personalities, with a show dedicated to their own musical idols.

Sally Chatfield gave us a little Evanescence with “Bring Me To Life.” I thought it was the perfect song choice for her, showing us that she could do more than the big tearjerker ballads. I loved seeing her rock out, and watching her vocal technique getting stronger under Natalie’s guidance. What a great way to start the show.

I’ve got to respect Altiyan Childs taking a risk and singing Prince’s “Kiss.” But that man does not have the falsetto to pull it off. He might have performed the hell out of it, but it was laughable. I guess at least it was entertaining though! Entertaining, but terrible.

I’ve got to say, I thought it was pretty pathetic to see Justin Bieber on Mitchell Smith’s list of heroes. I know he’s a young kid, but really? I didn’t think I’d feel that Justin Bieber could outsing anyone, but he outsings Mitchell. And out-energises him. This was flat and absolutely terrible. He made Altiyan look good.

Listening to everyone talk before Mahogany took the stage, you’d think that “Lady Marmalade” didn’t exist before Moulin Rouge. I was actually a bit disappointed to see them go that super sexy route, but I think they definitely brought everything they needed to the table. I found all the choreography a bit distracting and over the top, but I certainly couldn’t fault the girls here.
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Brisbane three-piece The Moniters have unleashed their debut single “Exit the System,” a cracking indie electro rock track that hints at exciting things to come.

Who would have thought music like this would come from a chance meeting at a Killers concert? Frontman Jimi Lucas and drummer Matt Schrader ran into bass player Barney Gickel, who’d met Matt as a session muso years before. They began to jam together, and The Moniters was born. The band sent their demos to Melbourne producer Forrester Savall, who couldn’t wait to record with them.

“With ‘Exit The System’ (and the EP in general), we were looking for that really slick, tight sound, as the song does have those electronic components,” explained Jimi Lucas.”I was listening to a lot of She Wants Revenge and wanted to go for that dirty, sexy, baritone vocal style. The drums, bass and guitars we focused on sharp energy, aiming to keep that driving, anxious, nervy feel at the core of the song. The choruses then really open up, which releases that on-edge vibe.”

We’ll hear more from The Moniters when they release their debut EP Sex City Lovers early next year. Until then you can catch them live at the following shows along the East Coast, including their single launch in front of their Brisbane home crowd.

20 October 2010 – X & Y Bar, Brisbane
19 November 2010 – Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle
20 November 2010 – Open Arms Festival, Coffs Harbour
11 December 2010 – Cherry, Melbourne

Image used with permission from Heapsaflash

Melbourne’s Sydonia have scored the prestigious support spot for American hard rockers KoRn. The shows will help the band showcase their latest single “Ocean of Storms” and other tracks from their second album.

This band has earned the praise of some of the world’s musical heavy hitters including Slipknot and Lamb of God. Although their music is heavy, they skillfully maintain their melodic sensibility.

You can see Sydonia supporting KoRn, or headlining their own sideshows at the dates below.

1 October 2010 – Annandale Hotel, Sydney
2 October 2010 – Step Inn, Brisbane
8 October 2010 – East Brunswick Hotel, Melbourne
13 November 2010 – Enigma Bar, Adelaide
20 November 2010 – ANU Bar, Canberra
3 December 2010 – The Tivoli, Brisbane (supporting Korn)
4 December 2010 – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney (supporting Korn)
5 December 2010 – Festival Hall, Melbourne (supporting Korn)

Image used with permission Red Lounge Publicity

Those wacky, panda-loving kids from Chemical Transport are loading up the tour bus to support their single “Down, Down.” Sure the tune’s been out since April, but any excuse for a party right?

The band is steadily gaining a reputation as one of Australia’s most exciting live acts following support slots with Switchfoot, MM9, and Snob Scrilla. This is the last time we’ll see them live this year, so make sure you get out to the shows and see what all the fuss is about!

2 October 2010 – Alliance Youth, Calwell (All Ages)
7 October 2010 – Bull & Bush, Baulkham Hills (18+)
16 October 2010 – Bang @ Royal Melbourne Hotel, Melbourne (18+)
30 October 2010 – SFX, Sydney (18+)
6 November 2010 – Black Market, Adelaide (18+)
12 November 2010 – Sirens Nightclub, Terrigal (18+)
20 November 2010 – Gideon HQ, Sydney (All Ages)
26 November 2010 – Crest Hotel, Sylvania (18+)

Image used with permission from AAA Entertainment