Sydney’s Five Coffees are looking to take the country by storm with their funky debut EP Flatline. I caught up by the band’s resident sax man, keyboardist, composer and all round nice guy Dean Adams to chat about his band’s unique sound, their EP, and what comes next.

I’ve heard people refer to so many genres when talking to about your music. How would you describe your sound?

Predominately its jazz inspired hip hop. We have always been inspired by funk like James Brown and the Cat Empire too. 70s keyboard legend Don Blackman (Earth Wind and Fire, Parliament) last week called us funky! It was the ultimate compliment.

You all come from such different musical backgrounds. How did you find one another and form Five Coffees?
I met Guy whilst studying at the Conservatorium of Music. We recruited the rest of the band members from all areas of their lives. I used to play in a covers band with singer Ay La Garde and play weddings with bass player Dave Groves!

You’re just about to release your debut EP Flatline. What can you tell me about it?
I wrote many of the tunes in 2008 after graduating from The Con. At the time, they were just eight-bar riffs. Now they are fully laid out, proper tunes with vocals and lyrics that amaze even me!

It’s got an unlikely title for music that’s supposed to engage and excite people. Why Flatline?
“Flatline” is the name of the final track on the EP. It best summarises what Five Coffees is all about: male and female disco/funk with sharp horn lines and a ripping sax solo.

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Well the votes are in, and Australia ruled that Jacqui Newland and Tyla Bertolli didn’t party hard enough on this week’s X Factor performance show.

And that sentence above is as much as I wrote before getting the shits with Channel Seven and their drawn out coverage of The X Factor eliminations. By all means have your international guests, but when 8:30 rolls around and the bottom two contestants haven’t even sung off, let alone one eliminated, then there’s a problem.

I’m longing for the good old days of Australian Idol, when they managed to get those eliminations done in half an hour. An hour is really a stretch for these kinds of things, but more than an hour is ridiculous.

I’ve only got so many slots on my PVR, and there are Spicks and Specks and Glee both reliably starting on time. And so I decided I wasn’t going to sacrifice one of those because Seven couldn’t get his finger out. I planned to rise bright and early and just watch it on that Plus7 thing they’re always banging on about. Surprise surprise, there was no “sing for your life” performances on there. I’m not sure whether they were cut from the telecast or just the catch-up, but either way I have no clue what happened. With this week’s X Factor elimination being so drawn out I can’t say that I care. I was well and truly over it.

At the end of the day, Tyla was sent packing after only Ronan voted to keep her around. I can’t blame him; she’s quite the looker. I’d still err on that side as I remember the potential Jacqui showed us early on, but I’m really hoping she gets those nerves under control. She can’t keep singing this badly and hope to progress far.

Image source: Ernesto Ferreyra @ Stock.xchng

Given my cold, I’m not planning on partying any time soon. Thank goodness for The X Factor who brought a party to my lounge room tonight. And I didn’t even need to change out of my pyjamas!

Audio Vixen kicked off proceedings with The Zutons’ “Valerie.” I liked it but I didn’t love it. The retro styling was great, and I was thrilled that the band upped the performance factor, but there wasn’t enough harmonising for my tastes. That’s where this band really excels; when those voices came together it was amazing, but I was left wanting more. Perhaps that’s a smart move though. Could it bring them back next week?

Declan Sykes upped the ante with Panic at the Disco’s “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” I am really enjoying Declan because he’s not predictable. I love his theatricality, and while the vocals weren’t always the strongest his unique delivery to me is much more interesting than hitting all the notes just right. Talk about making a song your own.

Mitchell Callaway was up next with Kid Rock’s ”All Summer Along.” I must admit, as a musical purist I’ve always hated this mash-up of “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Werewolves of London,” but Mitchell didn’t go close to redeeming the song for me. He looked a bit scared up there, perhaps because of all those scantily clad ladies?
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I’m battling a cold at the moment. My head is pounding, my muscles are achy, and frankly I just want to sleep until it goes away. But Adam Cousens managed to cut through my malady with the good vibes of his new single “This Road Ahead.” It got a lovely folk-country sweetness to it that is infectious in the best possible way. Even though I’m feeling poorly, I couldn’t help but smile on hearing it.

The song comes from Adam’s debut album Free Flowin’ Footsteps, which apparently hit stores last October. So why is this the first I’m hearing of it? This is definitely the kind of music that deserves a bit of fanfare.

“This Road Ahead” is officially released on Friday, but you can hear it early here. If you dig it make sure you check out Adam travelling around the country with his band through October and November.

8 October 2011 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
10 October 2011 – The Phoenix, Canberra
12 October 2011 – Low 302, Sydney
13 October 2011 – The Phoenix Theatre, Wollongong
15 October 2011 – The Empress Hotel, Melbourne (Afternoon show 4 pm)
20 October 2011 – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide
21 October 2011 – Cafe Komodo, Adelaide
5 November 2011 – The Corner Venue, Bendigo
11 November 2011 – Republic Bar & Café, Hobart
13 November 2011 – Longley International, Longley (Afternoon show from 3 pm)

Image used with permission from Dario Phillips Management

Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” is proving unstoppabable, taking out the number one possie on the ARIA charts for an incredible seventh consecutive week. It’d be getting boring if he wasn’t an Aussie with the support of the country behind him. His album Making Mirrors is also performing impressively, slipping down one to land at number three this week.

I’d bitch and moan about the slide if an Aussie band wasn’t behind it. The Jezabels have zoomed into the charts with a number two debut for their first album, Prisoner. Pete Murray is also hanging on to the top ten. His newie Blue Sky Blue has dropped from six to nine this week.

Click below to see what else has been happening in the ARIA top ten.
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Three of Australia’s most exciting new acts – Inland Sea, The Rescue Ships, and Jackson McLaren – are teaming up for one massive tour. The One, Two Ten Tri-Headline dates will see the up and coming bands introducing audiences to their music.

The Inland Sea wowed me with their debut EP Traitor, so I expect big things from the ten-piece’s new EP which will drop while they’re on the road. The Rescue Ships is the latest project for Sydney jazz chanteuse Elana Stone and Canadian born virtuoso Brian Campeau. Their sound is an interesting melding of folk, rock, and pop; think Sufjan Stevens meets the Wainwrights. Jackson Mclaren rounds out the bill, a cute young thing from Warnambool who’s more interested in the classic sounds of Bob Dylan and Tom Waits than contemporary musical movements.

The bands might not be big names, but they’re making such quality music that these shows are sure to be something special.

7 October 2011 – Spotted Cow, Toowoomba
8 October 2011 – The Globe, Fortitude Valley
14 October 2011 – The National Hotel, Geelong
15 October 2011 – The Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood
20 October 2011 – Steyne Hotel, Manly (free show)
21 October 2011 – Yours & Owls, Wollongong
22 October 2011 – FBi Social @ Kings Cross Hotel, Kings Cross

Image used with permission from Footstomp Music

After impressing at this year’s Glastonbury and Big Chill Festivals, New Zealand’s dub-soul outfit Shapeshifter are turning their attentions to our shores.

They’re largely unknown here, but you might have seen them on our shores as part of the Parklife and Big Day Out festivals in years gone by. The Kiwis have released four albums, and the three most recent shot to number one on New Zealand’s indie album charts. Their Aussie tour will celebrate the release of the new single “Twin Galaxies,” which has one of the most incredible music videos I’ve seen in some time.

After producing so much well-received music and playing such high profile shows in their native New Zealand and abroad, you can expect Shapeshifter to perform like a well-oiled machine when they touch down in October.

28 October –Heavyweight Soundz @ Metro City, Perth
29 October – Forum, Melbourne
4 November – The Hi Fi, Brisbane
5 November – Metro, Sydney

Ethereal singer songwriter Danielle Spencer and former Noiseworks bass player Steve Balbi seem like an unlikely match, but the talented twosome are teaming up for a string of intimate shows next month.

As the name of the tour suggests, the Alone & Together shows will see them performing solo and as a duo. Danielle is continuing to promote her brilliant sophomore album Calling All Magicians. She’ll also undoubtedly look back to stunning debut White Monkey. She recently reworked the disc in acoustic mode for a new album co-produced with none other than Steve Balbi. The pair seem to have enjoyed their time together in the studio recently, as they also laid down a cover of David Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes.” You can download it for nix on Danielle Spencer’s Facebook page.

If you like what you hear you can catch the unusual but brilliant pair playing the following venues in October and November.

15 October 2011 – Lizotte’s Dee Why
22 October 2011 – Lizotte’s Central Coast
10 November 2011 – The Vanguard Sydney
27 November 2011 – The Toff In Town Melbourne

Image used with permission from Pod Artist Services

Sydney-based hip hoppers LHA have just released their debut album Split Decision. The disc was a real labour of love for the duo made up of Aussie MC Adikkal and Korean born producer LeeHahn. They wrote and produced the entire thing, so you know it’s got their stamp all over it.

The twosome takes their hip hop back to basics. They believe that a song should move your heart and your feet, and their sound has a real soulful bent that is so appealing. The new single “This Is Your Life,” the second to be lifted from the disc, gives you a great idea what LHA are all about. This is really polished and powerful stuff. Look for Split Decision in good music stores now.

To celebrate the October 14 release of their self-titled album, The Vasco Era are joining Sydney’s Papa vs Pretty for one big tour.

Papa vs Pretty are still riding high on the May release of their debut United in Isolation, so the time seems right for the joint venture. Special guests will join the bands at the following shows, so you’re getting plenty of musical value for your dollar. Tickets are on sale now.

26 October 2011 – ANU Bar, Canberra
27 October 2011 – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
28 October 2011 – Manning Bar, Sydney
29 October 2011 – Coolangatta Hotel, Coolangatta
30 October 2011 – The Zoo, Brisbane
10 November 2011 – Prince of Wales, Bunbury
11 November 2011 – Rosemount Hotel, Perth
12 November 2011 – Mojo’s, Fremantle
19 November 2011 – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
23 November 2011 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
24 November 2011 – The Hi Fi, Melbourne
25 November 2011 – The Bended Elbow, Geelong
26 November 2011 – Adelaide Uni Bar, Adelaide

Image used with permission from Riothouse Publicity