With just four tracks Sydney’s The Gypsy Bangles manage to transport us back to music’s heyday. Their debut EP Women & Whiskey channels a simpler time, before auto-tuning and sampling. And I love it.

It’s so refreshing to hear the band’s earthy, bluesy sound and rich, raspy vocals. The music is free and spontaneous. You get the sense listening to it that it’s just what you’d hear if The Gypsy Bangles were jamming in front of you.

The EP bursts out of the gate with its title track. It took me to one of the iconic rock festivals of the late 60s with its easy rock groove. It really sets the tone for the disc, and is probably its strongest track. But that shouldn’t take nothing away from the other songs. I particularly love the driving guitars of “Dark Haired Woman,” which are reminiscent of Cream or Deep Purple. “Love and Light” winds down softly, easing us back home to the tenteens or whatever we’re calling it. Thankfully we can always give the disc another spin and return to that world of classic rock The Gypsy Bangles have created.

Physical copies of the disc have sold out, but it will be re-released shortly. Until that time you can hear Women & Whiskey through The Gypsy Bangles Bandcamp page.

Image source: The Gypsy Bangles Bandcamp page

Sydney DJs Flight Facilities take us back to the disco era with their latest single “Foreign Language.”

I love how authentic this single is, from the sweet guest vocals of Jess Higgs to the sweet retro styled music video. Seriously, if this were a TV program I’m sure it would become my next guilty pleasure. I initially thought it might have been stock footage, but it’s been cleverly shot by French director Dimitri Basil around Waverly Cemetary, Rose Bay and The Ivy.

Honestly I find the music video distracts me from the song, which might not be as fabulous without the footage, but thanks to YouTube the two need not be separated!

After its launch in Adelaide last year, the Heatwave Festival is going national. The event will bring leading local and international hip hop artists together for shows in the major capitals.

Kid Cudi, Tech N9ne, D12, Obie Trice, CrazyTown, and Chamillionaire are all part of the revolving line-up, and there’ll be more local artists added to the bill. I know there are so many festivals encouraging us to spend up big over summer, but with tickets started from just $49 this one represents better value than most. Just make sure you check the website, as not every artist will perform at every show. Tickets for the following gigs are available now from Moshtix.

12-15 January 2012 – Airport Rd, Middleton
17 January 2012 – Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane
18 & 19 January 2012 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
20 January 2012 – Perth venue to be confirmed
21 January 2012 – Epic Arena, Canberra
22 January 2012 – Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne

Image used with permission from Heapsaflash

All good things much come to an end, and sadly that’s the case with Lan Party. After five years together the Melbourne band is parting ways.

However they’re not leaving us without a proper farewell. The band has just launched their final EP, cleverly titled Lan Party Never Existed. They’ll also play one last time for their hometown fans at The Evelyn this Friday, December 23.

If you’re a fan make sure you’re there to send this innovative band off in style!

Image used with permission from Trent Menessa

Fans of acoustic folk pop are in for a real treat next year as Busby Marou will tour the East Coast with Georgia Fair. Busby Marou were probably my favourite find of 2011, and I’ve been a Georgia Fair fan even longer than that. Needless to say, I’ve already snapped up my tickets.

Busby Marou are still riding high on the success of their self-titled debut album, while Georgia Fair are out to promote their own first record, All Through Winter. These acts both have so much natural talent, and the intimate venues should suit them down to the ground. Double bills like this don’t come along every day, so make sure you don’t miss out.

5 January 2012 – Milton Theatre, Milton
7 January 2012 – Club Sapphire, Merimbula
8 January 2012 – Bomaderry Hotel, Bomaderry
12 January 2012 – Westernport Hotel, San Remo
13 January 2012 – Torquay Hotel, Torquay
15 January 2012 – The Loft, Warrnambool
19 January 2012 – Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour
20 January 2012 – Coolangatta Hotel, Coolangatta
27 January 2012 – Lizotte’s, Kincumber
28 January 2012 – Lizotte’s, Dee Why
29 January 2012 – Lizotte’s, Newcastle

Image used with permission from Frogstomp Music

After last week’s stumble Reece Mastin is back on top of the ARIA singles charts with “Good Night.” Only Michael Buble could keep Reece out of the top spot on the album charts, but I’m sure he’s more than happy with a number two debut. It’s tough to compete with a Christmas album at this time of year!

Guy Sebastian’s also holding steady on the singles charts with “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” It’s at number six this week.

Cold Chisel’s tour has seen their latest best of album reenter the charts at number eight. Triple J’s Like a Version 7 has also reentered the top 10 this week. How exciting to see more local releases occupying those top spots!

Click below for this week’s ARIA top ten.

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Steve isn’t the only Earle heading to Oz next April. Justin Townes Earle, the son of the “Copperhead Road” singer, will also play intimate shows around the country next year.

He’s far from a household name but Justin has earned a loyal following here. In fact, this will be his fifth visit to our shoes since he first touched down in 2008.

“It’s my favourite place to tour on earth without question,” he recently said in an interview. “It’s very intriguing, and the women are very beautiful, tall and sensual. It’s awesome. It reminds me of Dr Seuss and I like that.”

I have no clue what he’s on about either, but I am impressed by his bluesy take on country and folk music. If you are too you can catch him at the following venues.

4 April 2012 – The Factory Theatre, Sydney
5 April 2012 – Menniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan
6 April 2012 – Boogie Festival, Tallarook
7-9April 2012 – Blues and Roots Festival, Byron Bay
11 April 2012 – The Regal Ballroom, Melbourne
12 April 2012 – The Prince, Melbourne
13 April 2012 – Estonian House, Adelaide
14 April 2012 – Fly by Night Club, Fremantle
15 April 2012 – The Rosemount Hotel, Perth

Image source: RS @ Wikipedia Commons

When I was in high school Sublime were one of the biggest ska bands in the world. Then in 1996 their lead singer Bradley Nowell tragically died of a heroin overdose, and it all came to an abrupt end. The band members went their separate ways, and it seemed the Sublime story was told. Not quite.

Original Sublime members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh met California’s Rome in 2008. The trio began to jam together, and suddenly Sublime were back in business. Now with the new moniker Sublime in Rome, the ska-punk act is bringing their reformed lineup to Australia next year.

“Sublime has so many fans and attracts new fans every year who were never able to see Sublime perform live after Bradley passed away,” explained Bradley Nowells’ widow, Troy Nowell-Holmes. “One of the inspirations for forming ‘Sublime with Rome’ was to bring Brad’s spirit in his music back to the fans and to give the new fans a glimpse of what it was like to see Sublime live.”

Make sure you arrive early because Mat McHugh from The Beautiful Girls will be warming up the crowds. Tickets go on sale tomorrow for the following shows.

4 April 2012 – Cooly Hotel, Gold Coast
5 April 2012 – HiFi, Brisbane
7 April 2012 – UNSW Roundhouse, Sydney
9 April 2012 – Palace Theatre, Melbourne
10 April 2012 – HQ Complex, Adelaide
11 April 2012 – Metropolis, Fremantle

Image used with permission from Riothouse Publicity

What do you get when the lads from Downhills Home, Little John, and Dynamo join forces? You get a band called Saint Jude, and some bloody good music.

The experience these musicians have behind them ensures this new act feels very seasoned. There’s something effortless about their new single “All Ways Were Lost” which is perfect for those listless summer days. I’m besotted by the jangly guitars, the seemingly casual harmonies, and the relaxed alt-country feel.

Saint Jude will launch “All Ways Were Lost” this Sunday night at Coburg’s Post Office Hotel. If the single’s any indication, anyone who can make it is in for an amazing night.

Image source: Saint Jude website copyright Amy Piesse

Fans of German experimental electronica are in for a real treat as Michael Rother is heading to Australia for a rare tour. It’s unusual for him to play anywhere, so seeing him gigging so far from home is pretty extraordinary.

Michael’s given us some of the most interesting music out of Germany with his bands Kraftwek, Neu!, and Harmonia.
Michael’s Harmonia bandmate Dieter Moebius and Neu! bandmate Hans Lampe will round out the bill on these very special Australia shows. The artists will play together and separately, so expect to hear a few Neu! and Harmonia tracks.

See these German electronic pioneers at Brisbane’s The Zoo on March 15 and Sydney’s Oxford Arts Factory on March 17. Tickets are on sale now.

Image used with permission from Singhala Music