I’m not saying that I advocate the drunkenness and debauchery that goes on at on nights like this, but I know that it happens. And I figure if you’re going to overindulge on New Year’s Eve, you might as well have a soundtrack. I also figure it’s probably my job as a music blogger to provide it.

So in the interest of giving the readers what they want, wrap your ears around “Young Drunk,” the new single from The Smith Street Band. It’s as ocker as they come, with rough vocals and the kind of chorus you know you’ll start belting out later on tonight.

This is also the first time The Smith Street Band have treated us to a music video. Sure, it’s no work of creative genius, but it does capture the energy that comes when this band hits the stage. The footage here was captured at the band’s Sunshine and Technology album launch at The Tote in August.

If it has you itching to see this band live, you’re in luck. They’ll hit the following venues next year!

31 January 2013 – Prince of Wales, Bunbury (18+)
2 February 2013 – Rosemount Hotel, Perth (18+)
7 February 2013 – X&Y Bar, Brisbane (18+)
8 February 2013 – The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba (18+ – FREE)
13 February 2013 – The Shed, Byron Bay (All Ages)
14 February 2013 – Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour (18+)
15 February 2013 – Annandale Hotel, Sydney (18+)
16 February 2013 – Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle (18+)
21 February 2013 – The Royal Oak, Lanceston (18+)
22 February 2013 – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart (18+)
23 February 2013 – Reverence Hotel, Melbourne (18+)
28 February 2013 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat (18+)
1 March 2013 – Enigma Bar, Adelaide (18+)
2 March 2013 – The Loft, Warrnambool (18+)

2012 is winding down, so before we all head off for our New Year’s Eve parties I thought I should cast my mind back to the year that was. Here’s my annual wrap up of everything musical that made 2012 special for me.

Top 10 Aussie Albums
1. King of the Sun – Jamie Hay
2. Behind the Stars – Paul Greene & The Other Colours
3. The Moment – Mia Dyson
4. Missing Person – Diefenbach
5. Happy Home – Darren Percival
6. Tall Tales – The Perch Creek Family Jugband
7. The Sapphires – Soundtrack
8. Sins of the Blessed – Transvaal Diamond Syndicate
9. It’s an Endless Desire – Penny Hewson
10. Keep Left – William Street Strikers

Top 10 Aussie Tours
1. Matchbox Twenty
2. Prince
3. Roger Waters: The Wall
4. David Campbell
5. Howie Day
6. Melissa Etheridge
7. Ben Harper
8. Darren Percival
9. Mumford & Sons
10. Busby Marou & Georgia Fair

Image source: Teresa Howes @ Stock.xchng

Amongst the pre-Christmas baking, wrapping, and general craziness it was a pleasure to sit down and relax at my favourite musical haunt, Lizotte’s. It doesn’t matter who I’m going to see, or who’s keeping me company, the evening is always stellar. And it was no exception when I stepped out to see The Trouble with Templeton.

Before the Brisbane band took the stage we were treated to a performance from Sydney duo, The Falls. I loved their debut single “Home” and was thrilled to hear more of their pitch perfect harmonies and gentle folk melodies. Melinda Kirwan is an especially compelling performer who draws you in with her conviction. Their set was sublime, and over all too soon.

Then it was time for The Trouble with Templeton, an outfit that’s grown from solo act to ensemble in recent years. I became a fan in those early days when Thomas Calder adopted his moniker and released his impressive debut Bleeders. He seems at ease with his band, a bunch of talented performers in their own right, but I’m not sure they really fit a venue like Lizotte’s. And I’m not just referring to The Cubby House’s small stage! The sound was turned way up to eleven, a jarring contrast to The Falls’ more delicate set. There’s nothing wrong with being brash and bold, but sometimes less is more. Something tells me I’d have been better able to appreciate their songs if I could catch all the lyrics. It was also disappointing to see “Bleeders” so poorly represented. The cries for “I Wrote a Novel” fell on deaf ears; it would have made the perfect encore if they’d felt like giving us one. Encores are almost mandatory these days, so I was surprised the band didn’t return to the stage.

Any night at Lizotte’s is a good night, and The Trouble With Templeton are clearly a talented band. They just need to pare things a back a bit of they hope to make the impression of their stellar support act.

Image source: own photos

Sydney pop punk bank Kiss Me! will keep the kids entertained these school holidays with plenty of all ages shows up and down the East Coast.

The band will take the opportunity to road test some new material, but they promise to play all the favourites from the sold-out demo EP they released earlier this year.

If you’d prefer to get away from the screaming youngsters, Kiss Me! will also play an over 18s gig on the Gold Coast. If you live in another state, I suggest you bring your ear plugs!

6 January 2013 – Live At The Brewhouse, Sydney (All Ages)
13 January 2013 – Mars Hill Café, Parramatta (All Ages – Acoustic)
19 January 2013 – Miami Shark Bar, Gold Coast (18+)
20 January 2013 – Upstairs at 199, Brisbane (All Ages)
16 February 2013 – Musicland, Falkner (All Ages)
17 February 2013 – Acoustic Cafe, Collingwood (All Ages – Acoustic)

Image used with permission from Insomniac Agency

I hope you’re all enjoying your Christmas Day! Wherever you are in Australia, and whoever you’re spending the festive season with, I hope it’s merry, jolly, and all of those other positive adjectives that we only trot out at this time of year.

Personally, I’ll just hope my mother doesn’t find her Peppermint Candy Kids CDs. I’d much rather listen to something like this smooth version of “O Holy Night” by Barry Southgate. Who needs a band when you can do your own backing vocals like this?

You can keep your Samantha Jades and your Jason Owens. When it came to The X Factor this year, I only had eyes for Matt Gresham. I was gutted (but frankly not surprised) when Mel B kept this soulful singer-songwriter out of her top three. Mel’s always been a bit afraid of artists that played left of centre, but I think he could have been an amazing addition to the show.

There’s no sense worrying about could have beens now though, because Matt has capitalised on his 15 minutes of fame and released a single. “See the World” is an intriguing and uplifting blend of hip hop and rootsy blues. I wouldn’t have thought this combination would work, but the proof’s in this delicious pudding. Clearly I’ve got Christmas on the brain. Perhaps it’s time to stop writing and thinking of food and just let you listen!

Music’s a labour of love for post-hardcore band Coerce. For the last five years, the lads from Adelaide have worked tirelessly and poured their hard earned savings into it. They even moved to Aussie music hub Melbourne. The result is their album Genome, a project they’re immensely proud of.

But operating as an independent act has sadly taken its toll, prompting Coerce to call it a day, at least for now.

“Independent rock and roll is hanging by the decayed skin of all of our teeth, local shows are getting less and less support,” Coerce admitted.

But they won’t go out without launching Genome. In front of their adopted hometown, Coerce will have what may be their very last gig at The Gasometer on January 11.

“Please support this local show, buy a record, a shirt, a beer and maybe some day we may deliver a new record and possibly afford to play in other towns once more,” Coerce urge fans. How could you say no?

Image used with permission from Coerce

Award winning hip hop act 360 will play shows in the United States early next year, including his first in New York City.

Considering the busy 2012 he’s had, no one would blame him if he took some time off until those dates, but it seems he wants to say goodbye to his fans in Oz properly. He’ll play a string of local gigs, including slots at the Big Day Out tour, before taking off for America’s bright lights.

More American dates will be added to 360’s schedule, but for now here are all the places we can all see him play over the coming months.

29 December 2012 – Oxford Street Party @ The Riverbank, Rockhampton
30 December 2012 – Pyramid Rock Festival, Phillip Island
31 December 2012 – Inserts to Play @ Supreme Court Gardens, Perth
18 January 2013 – Big Day Out @ Sydney Showgrounds, Sydney
20 January 2013 – Big Day Out @ Gold Coast Parklands, Gold Coast
25 January 2013 – Big Day Out @ Adelaide Showgrounds, Adelaide
26 January 2013 – Big Day Out @ Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
28 January 2013 – Big Day Out @ Claremont Showgrounds, Perth
10 March 2013 – Breath of Life @ Inversek Park, Launceston
18 March 2013 – Santos Party House, New York
23 March 2013 – Viper Room, Los Angeles

Image used with permission from Crucial Music

The Never Ever have created the kind of epic song that makes young girls swoon with their latest single “Déjà vu.” The track isn’t officially released until New Year’s Eve but with the video already on YouTube, we can take an early listen.

I must admit, I wasn’t so sure about this one when I started to listen to it. The vocals were a bit whiny, the production a bit overblown, and the whole thing just a little too earnest. But somewhere along the way I got swept up in it all. I guess no matter how old we get, we never really lose the part of ourselves that’s still a squealing teenager!

No doubt there’ll be plenty of those when The Never Ever take this song on the road. They’ve scored the support slot on the Diviney tour in January, which will no doubt earn them a new legion of young fans. After that it’s off to New York where they’ll start recording with a big name producer. It sounds like there’s big things to come from this band!

Official Soundwave photographer Kane Hibberd (or Kanye Lens as he’s sometimes called) is bringing his festival snaps to the masses with the release of his first photography book Kanye Lens Vs Soundwave Volume 1.

Kane has worked as Soundwave’s official photographer since the festival went national way back in 2008. This book showcases more than 600 of his best Soundwave photos. These capture the most exciting moments on stage and behind the scenes. Clearly the book was a labour of love for Kane who has self-funded and independently published this tome.

“From the moment I was asked to jump on board the Soundwave machine, my goal was to, one day, produce a coffee table style photography book,” Kane explained. “ I grew up watching Tony Mott create a legacy with the Big Day Out and now this is hopefully the start of my own legacy. I’ve tried to create book full of imagery that can escape the shadow of its famous inhabitants and stand alone as beautiful pieces of artwork. Hopefully the book will appeal to not only music fans, but also fans of photography.”

Kanye Lens Vs Soundwave Volume 1 will hit stores in February, but it’s worth pre-ordering a copy from his website as Kane will individually number the first 2000 copies.

Image used with permission from Riot House Publicity