You might remember me talking recently about Sarah McLeod’s awesome cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark.” If you haven’t downloaded it yet, or you’re just feeling particularly altruistic, there’s no better time to do so.

Until Christmas Day Sarah will donate the proceeds of each download to Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off the Streets charity. This group does such important work, giving meals, beds, and education to young people that need it most. Ministry of Sound and VDG will also match Sarah’s donations, so your $1.69 will make a much bigger difference.

I know it’s Christmas and money’s tight, but most of us wouldn’t miss $1.69. And you’ll get an amazing tune in the bargain. Click here to download the song from iTunes and make sure disadvantaged kids get a better Christmas.

Melbourne is a city where you can experience four seasons in one day. So it’s appropriate that the Victorian capital’s woolly weather has inspired the new EP of its indie rock/folk/pop duo Big Scary.

Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Tom Iansek and drummer Jo Syme went about translating the way the unpredictable climate made them feel for The Big Scary Four Seasons EP. It’ll be released on Friday through iTunes, but you can take an early listen through new Melbourne-based digital label Gaga Digi.

This band is bound to blow up soon after booking appearances at Falls, Southbound, and the Peats Ridge festival. If you’re getting along to any of those shows, make sure you don’t miss Big Scary’s sets!

Image used with permission from Light Parade

While watching Video Hits on Sunday the clip for this song, “Through the Clover” by Stonefield, caught my eye. After doing a bit of digging, I was thrilled to find that this rocking sister act is one of our own.

In a world of vacuous female pop acts with auto-tuned vocals, it’s so refreshing to see girls that make real music. This song is ballsy stuff, with some rocking guitar riffs and great raspy vocals.

This tune comes from the Melbourne band’s EP of the same name. To sound this polished and powerful before even recording an album is incredible. I’m predicting really big things from these girls.

Ordinarily, when it comes to concert going in my household I’m the decision maker. I decide what I’m going to see, and my husband either tags along or chooses to stay home and play video games. He can generally take or leave live music, so he’s never been instrumental in the process. Until now.

While the Indigo Girls have never really broken into Australia’s music mainstream, they’re big news in his native America. And so, when he got wind of their upcoming Aussie tour he insisted we had to be there.

Right now I’m aware of the Indigo Girls but I don’t know any of their tunes, but he’s got a couple of months to bring me up to speed. I’ve got a feeling I’m going to have a pretty good time discovering their music, especially in the gorgeous intimate venues they’re playing. If you want to as well you can grab some tickets for their shows on December 1.

LAS VEGAS - JUNE 08:  Musicians Amy Ray (L) and Emily Saliers from the band the Indigo Girls perform during the kickoff of the first annual True Colors Tour at the MGM Grand Garden Arena June 8, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Proceeds from the show will benefit equal rights organizations.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

21 April 2011 – Concert Hall, Perth
23 April 2011 – East Coast Blues & Roots Festival, Byron Bay
26 April 2011 – QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane
27 April 2011 – Canberra Theatre, Canberra
28 April 2011 – State Theatre, Sydney
29 April 2011 – Palais Theatre, Melbourne

Dan Webb is celebrating the silly season with a month long residency at Fitzroy’s Evelyn Hotel. The residency comes on the back of the recent release of his EP Hyperspace Clearance.

Dan’s shows are always something special as he embraces the spontaneity that comes with the live music experience.

“I’ve got a great band and I like to keep them on their toes so if I want to extend an instrumental jam or something … we’ll just go for it,” he explained. “Each show’s bursting with frenetic energy – it’s no dismal affair.”

As an added Christmas bonus, Dan will be supported by some amazing local acts including The Cuckoos, featuring some of the guys from Little Red, James Wallace’s solo project Wintercoats, The Smoke, and The Raffaellas. He’ll also be joined on stage for the last two shows by the mighty horns section from The Cat Empire.

Tickets are a meager $5, so make sure you check out at least one of these shows.

7 December 2010 – The Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy (Supported by The Raffaellas + DJs)
14 December 2010 – The Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy (Supported by Wintercoats + DJs
21 December 2010 – The Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy (Feat. The Empire Horns and supported by The Cuckoos)
28 December 2010 – The Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy (Feat. The Empire Horns and supported by The Smoke)

Image used with permission from Dan Webb

After topping the charts yet again with the release of their latest album Come Around Sundown, Kings of Leon are coming to Australia to say thanks for the support.

Last time the lads were here the shows sold out in minutes. While the larger venues this time around should prevent that, if you want to get good seats I’d get your tickets when they go on sale on December 6.

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 24: Musician Caleb Followill of the Kings of Leon performs on NBC's Today at Rockefeller Center on November 24, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

6 March 2011 – QSAC Stadium, Brisbane
8 & 10 March 2011 – Acer Arena, Sydney
13 March 2011 – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
17 & 18 March 2011 – Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
21 March 2011 – NIB Stadium, Perth

Bluejuice, Philadelphia Grand Jury, and Purple Sneaker DJs are joining forces for one almighty Aussie tour. The local lads will cruise up and down the east coast over the holiday period, and play just about everywhere imaginable on the Sizzling 2011 tour.

If your wallet is feeling a bit light in the lead up to Christmas don’t sweat it. Tickets for the shows cost just $28.60, which is real value considering all that talent.

Tickets for the following shows are on sale now from the venues.

28 December 2010 – Marlin Hotel, Ulladulla
29 December 2010 – Tathra Hotel, Tathra NSW
30 December 2010 – Entertainment Centre, Shoalhaven
2 January 2011 – The Recky, Pacific Palms
3 January 2011 – Yamba Bowling Club, Yamba
4 January 2011 – Ballina RSL, Ballina
5 January 2011 – Kings Beach Tavern, Caloundra
6 January 2011 – Coolongatta Hotel, Gold Coast
7 January 2011 – Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay
8 January 2011 – Hoey Moey Hotel, Coffs Harbour
9 January 2011 – South West Rocks Country Club, South West Rocks
11 January 2011 – Panthers, Port Macquarie
12 January 2011 – Tillgerry RSL Sports Club, Tanilba Bay
13 January 2011 – Woodport Inn, Erina
14 January 2011 – Panthers, Newcastle
18 January 2011 – Inferno Nightclub, Traralgon
19 January 2011 – Torquay Hotel,Torquay
20 January 2011 – The Flying Horseman, Warrnambool
21 January 2011 – Eureka Hotel, Geelong
22 January 2011 – The Westernport Hotel, San Remo
23 January 2011 – The Capital, Wagga Wagga

Image used with permission from Heapsaflash

Gold Coast grunge rockers Moons of Jupiter take us back to a time when slogging it out in pubs and delivering solid live sets was the only way to make it in the business. In today’s climate of polished pop acts and studio auto-tuning, their back to basics approach is pretty refreshing.

“We were inspired by the likes of “Live At Abbey Road” and “The Basement Sessions”, two UK shows that showcase bands in an honest intimate setting – live in the studio,” the band explained.

If that commitment to live excellence and real music excites you, make sure you head to the Step Inn on December 3. The band will do their stuff at the iconic Queensland hot spot with The Gonzo Show, Something Whiskey, and The Swaying Buildings. With tickets costing just $10, it’s a really cheap way to have a good night out.

Image used with permission from IFA Entertainment

After visiting our shores on promotional duty recently, it was only a matter of time before James Blunt announced a proper tour. He’ll be here in May to spruik his brand new album Some Kind of Trouble.

I’m not sure what kind of trouble the sweet British singer would ever find himself in, but I guess we might find out when he wings his way around the country. He’ll make stops at some lovely intimate venues in most capital cities.

Tickets for the following shows go on sale on December 3.

NAPA, CA - NOVEMBER 14: James Blunt performs as part of Aloft Hotels Presents Live in the Vineyard on November 14, 2010 in Napa, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images for Aloft Hotels)

14 May 2011 – Convention Centre, Brisbane
16 May 2011 – State Theatre, Sydney
18 May 2011 – Royal Theatre, Canberra
20 May 2011 – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
21 May 2011 – Plenary Hall, Melbourne
23 May 2011 – Riverside Theatre, Perth

Here are some cool hip hop grooves to brighten up your Thursday. MC Tuka has been sharing the stage with urban acts like Thundamentals, Rumpunch, and Sketch the Rhyme for the last few years, but with the recent release of his debut album Will Rap for Tuka he’s stepping into the spotlight.

I love the way the cool brass works with MC Tuka’s clever lyrics on this track “Tall Poppy.” This is so interesting and different to anything I’ve heard lately, and the good news is that there’s more where that came from. MC Tuka loves to play with genres, and the tunes on his album have obvious jazz, dub, and gypsy influences.

But MC Tuka is more than just a talented rapper. When he’s not working on his music he teaches hip hop to disadvantaged youth through the NSW TAFE Outreach Program. The classes help to improve the literacy skills of these kids who need the extra help.

What a nice guy!