The Ten Tenors are an Aussie institution, with the stuff it takes to woo mums and nannas across the country, and even a visiting Oprah Winfrey. They’ve sold around 200, 000 albums, toured five continents, and played everywhere from our own Opera House to the Royal Albert Hall. And now they’ve got a brand new album out on July 15.

Double Platinum, an ambitious double album, shows The Ten Tenors in unexpectedly eclectic mode. The usual suspects like “Nessun Dorma,” “O Fortuna,” and “Bring Him Home” from Les Mis are all represented on the second disc, but the first is pretty surprising. I never imagined I’d hear The Ten Tenors tackling Meatloaf, Queen, or Leonard Cohen, but they do.

Those musical risks should see The Ten Tenors appealing to a much younger audience when they make their way around the country this August. Here are all the places you can check out this incredible vocal group.

4 August 2011 – Derwent Entertainment Centre, Hobart
5 August 2011 – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne
6 August 2011 – Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra
8 August 2011 – Memorial Entertainment Centre, Bathurst
10 August 2011 – Panthers Leagues Club, Penrith
11 August 2011 – Civic Theatre, Newcastle
12 August 2011 – Manning Entertainment Centre, Taree
13 August 2011 – Panthers RSL, Port Macquarie
14 August 2011 – Entertainment Centre, Tamworth
16 August 2011 – Lismore City Hall, Lismore
20 August 2011 – Moncrieff Theatre, Bundaberg
21 August 2011 – Entertainment Centre, Gladstone
23 August 2011 – Civic Theatre, Cairns
24 August 2011 – Civic Theatre, Townsville
25 August 2011 – Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, Mackay
31 August 2011 – Sydney Opera House, Sydney
1 & 2 September 2011 – QPAC, Brisbane

Image source: Phil Konstantin @ Wikipedia Commons

Perth’s San Cisco definitely knows what it takes to get people tuning in to their music videos. Hot girls in lingerie will do it every time, at least for a good percentage of the population! Happily their new single “Girls Do Cry” is pretty listenable as well. If you like jangly upbeat pop-rock and/or girls wearing next to nothing, this clip is definitely worth a look!

It took just five tracks for Brisbane’s Inland Sea to make a massive impression on me. Their debut EP Traitor is truly something special.

The gorgeous harmonies are what struck me first. Perhaps that’s not surprising, as more than half of the band of ten (yes, I said ten) are vocalists. Their voices come together beautifully, creating a wall of sound the likes of which aren’t often heard.

I was also impressed that a band of ten could create music which didn’t sound cluttered or overdone. Everyone in Inland Sea seems to know their place, and they ensure the mix never gets too complicated.

This feels like the sort of music that hippies might have made while they were communing with nature in some rural setting. Rather than feeling dated, it has that organic and joyful quality to it that I associate with that time period. It’s pure and innocent, with its uplifting lyrics about hearts beating together and jangly folk sound. It feels spontaneous too, as if it came about in a jam session rather than a hard slog in the studio.

Every song is a standout, a tune that draws you in and speaks to the heart. I must have played this disc five or six times today, and I’m still not ready to take it out of my stereo. This EP will be a hard act to follow, but I’m really psyched to see what Inland Sea can create next.

Eskimo Joe Love is a DrugEskimo Joe’s new single “Love is a Drug” hit radio today, and the album to match is hot on its heels. We’ll see Ghosts of the Past, the fifth studio album from the Western Australian powerhouse, in stores on August 12.

Rather than keeping your ear glued to the radio you can check it out at the Eskimo Joe website. It’s also available for digital download if you’re so inclined. Personally I’m digging this song. It starts out with the sort of broodiness we heard on “Black Fingernails, Red Wine” but then turns into this soaring, melodic rock song. I’m predicting it’s going to be all over radio by week’s end.

We should hear more hooky songs on Ghosts of the Past, as it was recorded with the same team who worked on the brilliant Inshalla album. Fans will get a bit of a taste of it at next month’s Splendour in the Grass festival. If you’ve missed out on tickets for that, don’t worry. Eskimo Joe will tour the album all around the country before year’s end.

Image source: Eskimo Joe website

The music of Meat Loaf has always been one of my guilty pleasures, so it’s only fitting that the iconic singer is bringing his classic songs to Australia again on the Guilty Pleasures tour.

Meat’s tour will take in entertainment centers in the capitals and a few wineries to coincide with the release of his brand new album Hell in a Handbasket. The latter has to be the preferable choice. Can’t you just imagine belting out the Bat Out of Hell hits along with the big man himself, glass of red in hand? With the indoor venues being pretty large and impersonal, the wineries will definitely offer the better atmosphere.

While I love Meat Loaf’s music, I’m a bit hesitant to see him this time around though. Over the last few years whenever I’ve caught a live performance on TV the vocals have been patchy at best. Here’s hoping that he can bring it out for the fans this October. Tickets for all shows go on sale on July 4.

4 October 2011 – Entertainment Centre, Wollongong
6 October 2011 – Entertainment Centre, Brisbane
8 October 2011 – Bimbagden Winery, Hunter Valley
12 October 2011 – Entertainment Centre, Sydney
14 October 2011 – Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena
15 October 2011 – Yarra Valley, Rochford Winery
19 October 2011 – Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
22 October 2011 – NIB Stadium, Perth

Image source: Christopher Simon @ Wikipedia Commons

Melbourne’s Eagle and the Worm are celebrating the vinyl release of their critically acclaimed debut album Goodtimes with their only headlining tour of 2011.

You can get the 12-incher at the shows, along with a very limited edition 7-inch copy of the big single “Too Young.” It’s enough to get vinylphiles like myself pretty excited!

There’s something special about seeing a big eight-piece band like Eagle and the Worm doing their thing live. Tickets for the following shows are available at the venues.

13 August 2011 – Republic Bar, Hobart
18 August 2011 – The Nash, Geelong
19 August 2011 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
20 August 2011 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
24 August 2011 – Prince of Wales, Bunbury
25 August 2011 – The Bakery, Perth
26 August 2011 – Mojo’s Bar, Fremantle
27 August 2011 – Ed Castle, Adelaide
8 September 2011 – BigSound, Brisbane
9 September 2011 – Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney
10 September 2011 – The Junkyard, Maitland

Image used with permission from Warner Music Australia

The Island Vibe Festival is heading back to Stradbroke Island this October long weekend for another big year.

After he wowed crowds in 2009 former Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli star MC Chali 2na has been announced as this year’s headliner. He’ll join first class local talents Blue King Brown, Dubmarine, Bobby Alu, Opiuo, Grace Barbe from the Seychelles, and heaps more.

Island Vibe is a music festival with a difference thanks to its magnificent beachside location and focus on culture and the environment. Check it out from October 28 to 30. Fans can enjoy discounted early bird tickets through the Rudekat Records website now.

Image used with permission from Heapsaflash

The charming music just keeps finding its way onto my desk. Busby Marou wowed me with their version of “Better Be Home Soon” on He Will Have His Way, and I was impressed when I heard my first taste of their original material with the single “Biding My Time.” So my expectations were high when Busby Marou’s self-titled album album crossed my desk. Perhaps not so surprisingly, this Queensland-based duo has delivered just what I hoped they would.

This is really is back to basics music, without frills or gimmicks. In a world where Lady Gaga reigns supreme, that organic approach to music is really like a breath of fresh air. It makes this disc feel instantly familiar. It uses elements we know but don’t hear enough of these days; simple but beautiful harmonies, the driving force of an acoustic guitar, and honest lyrics that paint moving stories.

It’s a really assured debut album. Busby Marou may not have recorded a full-length disc before, but they know their craft and their instruments. It’s very polished, but not in the artificial way we see so often in the music industry. It’s just really good.

Ordinarily I have instant favourites when I listen to a disc, but it hasn’t worked that way for me this time around. I found myself appreciating the way the voices melded together in one song, the faultless guitar picking in another, but it really all works as a cohesive collection of music rather than a series of obvious singles.

Busby Marou’s self-titled album is quite simply one of the best recordings I’ve heard all year. Seek it out; I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Busby Marou hits record stores today.

After a fairly busy few weeks, I really needed a bit of R and R. I found it this week at the performance of one of my favourite singers, Joshua Radin.

Unfortunately the slow dinner service at the delicious Italian restaurant we found meant that I missed all but the final song of Jim Bianco’s set. I’m really disappointed by that. He had an awesome folky pirate thing going on that I would have loved to hear more of.

Thankfully we were all settled in for Andy Bull. I’d enjoyed the music I’d heard from Andy before, but experiencing it in a live setting brought it to another level. This is probably one of the larger venues he’s played, but he made it feel so intimate with his stories about the songs and sweet, self conscious manner. It takes a very special performer to fill a theatre with just a voice and some keyboards. Despite being excited about Joshua’s appearance, I was a little sad to see him leave the stage.

The last time I saw Joshua he was playing at the uni bar, acoustic and solo for the most part. This show was a bit of a step up, in the hallowed halls of the Enmore Theatre with plugged in band mates in tow. One of the things I’ve always loved about Joshua Radin’s music was its intimacy. These are really small songs made for minimalist treatments. We didn’t always get that at this week’s show. Some songs received frenetic finishes they didn’t really need, particularly by the Danish drummer who seemed he was just waiting to join a big rock band. But for the most part the musical treatments were understated enough to keep me happy.

My favourite moments saw Joshua on his own though, acoustic guitar in hand creating music that was stripped back enough to let his lyrics shine through. Few artists could get away with leaving us with something as mellow as “Winter,” from his first album, but for me this encore was a clear highlight. I also loved hearing “Today,” the song that made me fall for him all those years ago, and my personal favourite “You’ve Got Growing Up To Do.”

Just like Andy Bull, Joshua is one of those special singers who shares himself with his audience. Hearing the way the songs took shape helped me see them in a whole new light, and listening to him speak of his fondness for our country endeared him to me even more.

It had its flaws, but a night with Joshua Radin is always a night well spent. Whether he brings the full band or not, I’ll be queuing up for tickets on his inevitable return.

Image source: own photos

The Snowdroppers will debut their new video for “Run You Down” on Thursday, but it’s for fans’ eyes only. The clip will play as part of an online Peepshow, accessible only to members of The Snowdroppers mailing list.

On the night of the premiere, members will get e-mail instructions about how to access the show. They’ll also score a free mp3 download of the “Run You Down,” which is the third to come from The Snowdroppers’ debut album Too Late to Pray. It’s a classic tale of boy meets girl, with a dash of madness and murder thrown in.

Click here to put your e-mail address on the list, and enjoy The Snowdropper’s Peepshow!

Image used with permission from Reckoning Entertainment