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HEADLINES
Sleepy Jackson wow American audiences...Kasey Chambers returns with Wayward Angel...Hayes names new album...return of The Screaming Jets...Delta's stalker threatens reporters...Peter Andre is back (thanks England)...Kylie Minogue to marry?...Gurus/Spiderbait/Peabody launch mega-tour...another chapter in the Pete Murray success story...APRA gives hopefulls a push in the right direction...JBT set to impress in Texas...Midnight Oil return, but only on DVD...Madison Avenue diva goes solo...more news.
TOURING
Australasian artists touring internationally include Australian Invasion! (Vines, Jet & Living End), The Sleepy Jackson and Powderfinger. New dates announced for Butterfly Boucher, The Church and Intercooler.
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National tours include Pete Murray, george, Resin Dogs and Big Heavy Stuff. New dates for Sara Storer and The Seekers. *Remember: East Coast Blues & Roots Fest....more tours.
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Author Ian McFarlane is a genuine veteran of the Australian music industry, with a long history in many facets including music journalism. His Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop is the essential home for all lovers of Oz music. The book is legendary in music circles and covers the broadest range of artists imaginable - from the most mainstream to the genuinely obscure. To browse through the artist listings, simply click here.
 
THE VINES THE VINES
WINNING DAYS

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Rock and live music have made a belated comeback after club culture dwarfed pub culture. Now it seems everyone wants to grow their hair and pick up a guitar. The problem is that only a few of those people can actually write songs. One of them is Craig Nichols, much-maligned frontman of The Vines, unquestionable forerunners of 'new rock'. Winning Days follows the debut album that launched this band into Top 10 chart positions all over the world, but while temptation could have resulted in a duplication of the old formula, Rob Schnapf's production aims for the middle ground that was completely avoided on Highly Evolved, best illustrated when comparing a song like Autumn Shade with Get Free. This time the extremes are rare and thick layers of textured guitars make for a beefy backing to Nichols' undoubted flair for writing good tunes. The most obvious sacrifice is the sparse and exposed instrumentation, which added to the raw appeal of rock numbers on The Vines debut, but this is a more complex interpretation of songs and will need more than one listen. Like the single, Ride, songs like TV Pro and Evil Town don't immediately stand out; they emerge slowly, gaining appeal after numerous spins. I don't dare pass judgement on the tracks that are yet to impress because I have a feeling they'll become favourites in time. It's that type of album. Whether it was the original intention, Winning Days is a darker album that invites the listener to explore its depths; a richer-sounding effort from a band that gained instant notoriety through unbridled energy.
DAN KELLY & THE ALPHA MALES DAN KELLY & THE ALPHA MALES
SING THE TABLOID BLUES

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I've developed a theory after listening to Dan Kelly & The Alpha Males Sing The Tabloid Blues. I believe in ancient folklore, the Kelly males were cursed. The spell compels them to continually write songs for the term of their natural lives. Look at Paul. Has anyone ever actually seen him anywhere but a stage or a studio? Mm...spooky. And here's the 'prodigal nephew', stepping up for his time in the spotlight. Dan has had a musical epiphany since Man O'Mercy and it involves playing with his current backing band, The Alpha Males (Gaz Liddiard of The Drones and Tom Carlyon of The Devastations) who seem to have dragged a hidden growling beast from the pretty boy who began wooing lovers of roots music with his previous EP. Step Forward is a huge leap for Kelly into the realm of rootsy rock. We'd better get used to his dulcet tones, trashy lyrical imagery and deft touches on the old 6-string because he seems to have his own custom-built charm, complimented by an ambiguous background of Buckley-esque wayward adventures and more than a touch of mystery. Summer Wino makes a welcome return but this isn't an album of highlights; it's a consistent barrage of fine songs and believable performances. You'll find plenty of examples of Kelly flexing his lyrical muscle. Words can easily pass you by when they're accompanied by music but when this young crooner sings, you believe him. That's rare. As for the music, the Alpha Males dig deep to find the root of roots music, then squeeze it through amplifiers or dumb it down to the most primal essence; its soul. What am I saying in English? Simply this: I love it.
MIDNIGHT OIL MIDNIGHT OIL
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS (DVD & CD PACK)

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With Peter Garrett concentrating his efforts on saving the Tasmanian wilderness, you could almost forget that he was once the world’s most captivating frontman, but the ABC are about to remind us with the release of a specially packaged CD/DVD set of two classic Midnight Oil concerts. Trust me, if you were anywhere near a Midnight Oil show in the 80s, you secured tickets immediately, because Pete and the boys were the most compelling act around. Best Of Both Worlds takes us back to the fiery prime of the act as a live entity, transporting us to Goat Island (January 85) and Capitol Theatre (November 82); back to the music of Place Without A Postcard; 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1; Red Sails In The Sunset; and Species Deceases (which I still believe is the best EP I’ve ever heard). I made the mistake of mentioning this release to the folks in the office and everyone stopped working to reminisce about the old days. It seemed that anyone over the age of 30 had a story of seeing the Oils in their prime. The Goat Island footage has been enhanced, remixed for stereo and presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound. This is essential for any Midnight Oil fan but especially valuable to overseas fans that had no opportunity to see some of the classic Oils shows in Australia.
JOHN BUTLER TRIO JOHN BUTLER TRIO
SUNRISE OVER SEA

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When a talent like John Butler releases albums independently, you know he likes to do things his own way and this self-produced LP is the purest possible representation of Australia's premier purveyor of roots music. Butler promised to explore through his new efforts and he's dutifully kept his word by stretching boundaries, which may have become too restrictive after his breakthrough effort, Three. A healthy sense of humility drives the renowned singer/songwriter/guitarist to always better previous efforts and his fans will be sure to appreciate the new scope on Sunrise Over Sea. More traditional JBT (Treat Yo Mama) is married with bare-knuckle acoustics (Peaches & Cream) and more expansive studio efforts (What You Want). Elements of reggae, hip-hop and funk join his natural flair for blues, culminating in a more diverse effort. With such a strong live following, it's understandable that John produced records that sounded ‘live’ but after selling 120,000 copies of Three, it was time to explore new possibilities in the studio. The stand-out track is There'll Come A Time which shakes the listener from that bluesy trance-like state, with a fast and frenetic slab of riffing, but there are many highlights for fans of Butler's guitar work. The encouraging sign is the man's newfound talent for producing his own work; a tough task for any musician. JBT have heeded the call and raised the stakes with a new depth that offers much-needed variety as well as that tried and true sound that fans expect.
THE WAIFS THE WAIFS
BRIDAL TRAIN

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During World War II we lost some of our beautiful Australians when arranged marriages resulted in trips to the US, where young girls would eventually marry their predetermined grooms. For Vikki and Donna Simpson, the tale of their grandmother's marriage is a story that deserved telling in the only style they know: that unique brand of Australian folk that The Waifs are famous for. The pretty biographical account of the Bridal Train has the extra edge that only truth can add to a tune. With packaging and cover art featuring original telegrams and photos, the listener can easily time travel back to the sad but hopeful experience of a girl travelling to a country that must have seemed like another world. The variety of vocals within this act keeps the listener riveted and Josh Cunningham's Strings Of Steel is a perfect choice for a b-side, complimented by a raw version of Sweetness recorded live, clearly displaying the renowned appeal of this band's performances.




To celebrate the launch of our new WHAMMO DIGITAL SERVICE we have Kylie's new single Slow from her new album Body Language

WHAT'S NEW!

New releases this week include singles from Something For Kate, Alex Lloyd, The City Lights and The Popstars Live Finalists. We've got albums by The Dissociatives, J-Wess Project, Pretty Boy Crossover, Mandy Kane, The Seekers, The Panics and Popstars Live - The Finalists And Their Winning Songs compilation. Midnight Oil fans: the Best Of Both Worlds CD/DVD is out this week! The biggest releases of the year are all available on pre-order through Whammo including Tim Rogers (You Am I)' Spit Polish album, Rocket Science's Sex Call single, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' The Videos DVD, The Hampdens' Even World EP and Jet's Look What You've Done single. Make sure you secure your copies. Check our Recommended section for special offers and features. *To receive all the weekly new release info in your in-box, subscribe to Whammo's Weekly Newsletter (it's free!) 10,000 subscribers can't be wrong! Just click here.

ARTIST OF THE WEEK

PLUNJA
The name Collis is fast becoming a buzz word among the heavy rock faithful in Australia. The Plunja siblings are looming as the prodigal son and daughter of the local scene. Marc was writing songs by the age of 5, Stephanie started drumming in the band while still in primary school. That may be the reason why Marc Collis sounds impatient, despite recently signing with the world's favourite metal specialists, Roadrunner Records...click here.

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1200 Techniques
Bluebottle Kiss
Butterfly Effect
Casanovas
Cassar-Daley, Troy
Cat Empire, The
Church, The
Cog
george
Gerling
Hayes, Darren
Jet
L.F.O.
Lazy Susan
Little Birdy
Living End
Plunja
Powderfinger
Secret Life Of Us
Sleepy Jackson
Something For Kate
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