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HEADLINES
Platinum rockers return to Oz... Regurgitator set to make history as 'band in a bubble'... record number of chart-topping locals to be recognised by Aria... Jenny Morris and Hush to raise money for therapy centre... Hayes set for massive comeback with Popular... Keith Urban: new album, new label, new tour... PM gives thumbs up to Slim Dusty Centre... Goodrem's first producers reveal 'lost album'... Frenzal Rhomb V Austereo in bitter feud... Cable channel spotlights local talent... Selwyn shot by Emmy Award-winning D.O.P ...more news.
TOURING
Australasian artists touring internationally include Marty Willson-Piper, Butterfly Boucher, The Finn Brothers and Tommy Emmanuel. New dates announced for The Datsuns, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Goodshirt, Kasey Chambers, Frankenbok and Pete Murray.
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National tours include Jebediah, Dallas Crane, Gyroscope, Unpaid Debt, Spiderbait and Kasey Chambers. New dates for Jet, The Living End, Hirst and Green, Something With Numbers, The Datsuns and Fur Patrol ...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.
 
GRINSPOON GRINSPOON
HARD ACT TO FOLLOW (5 TRX ENHANCED)

Add to basket. Please note: this title is available on pre-order and orders will not be completed until the release date of 9-Aug-2004. $4.95 ($US 3.06) (£UK 1.71)
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Don't look to Grinspoon for inspiration if you'd like to become a modern, sensitive, politically correct rock lover. But if you'd like to don a pair of 'Aviators', drive a very large car and super-glue your stereo's volume to '11' you've found the right band. Every Aussie knows the story thus far: 4 close friends are 'unearthed' by Triple J, release a string of ever-increasingly popular albums and with their New Detention LP, become rock heavy-weights of the calibre of Silverchair and Powderfinger. With each new release, The Grinners pair back the sound, simplifying the formula and tap into the sound that Australian acts have mastered since the 60s: straight hard rock n roll. The sound is as easy to follow as a Home & Away plotline, but don't be deceived; it's an evolution. The band's popularity attests to the fact that their fans love the modern Grinspoon sound and as per usual, in the space of a few minutes, Phil's lyrics manage to undo the fine work of moralists, parents, priests and anti-drug campaigners. The do-gooders must cringe every time this band releases new material and that's one of the many reasons why Grinspoon will, once again, assume the mantle of Aussie rock royalty in 2004.
VARIOUS ARTISTS VARIOUS ARTISTS
FLIPSIDE - CANDLE RECORDS REMIX ALBUM

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A Candle compilation? I think this may bring me closer to these artists because previously I've only really fallen in love with the music of a few notables like Richard Easton, Jodi Phillis and The Guild League. I'm right; straight from the outset I'm hit with Owen Bolwell's remix of Ruck Rover's Wealth, Fame & Happiness: a killer tune. I also had to completely review my opinion of Anthony Atkinson after hearing his Break In The Weather filtered through the supreme musical mind of J Walker (Machine Translations). In fact, my only criticism of this album is the fact that nowhere does it clearly state that this is a remix album, apart from the title of Flipside. It definitely made me more interested when I discovered the remix credits on the liner notes. And if I get into an artist's music via a remix, so be it; the end result is the same: I like the music. The electronic edges help me to approach acts that are diametrically opposed to me personally. It all just seems too nice and cuddly over there in Candle land, but a few added beats and textures made me feel at home in their warm fuzzy ideology. The more the disc plays, the more I'm lured, feeling uncharacteristically whimsical during Golden Rough's Provenance (Jason Blackwell remix) and even Darren Hanlon, who I'd all but written off, left me stunned, remixed by a producer who is fast becoming the most impressive in the country: Qua. Flipside does more than introduce the Candle roster, it represents the turning point for acoustic and light pop as the music is absorbed by the electronic community, with startling results.
MISSY HIGGINS MISSY HIGGINS
SCAR EP, THE (4 TRX)

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Here's a singer/songwriter that deserves her reputation as a rising star; part of the new wave of rootsy acoustic crooners bumping TV-powered pop acts off the charts. Let's hope they completely succeed because, let's face it, if you like beautiful approachable and original music, a television will never be useful. Turn on your radio. Missy will be all over that medium within a few days with these finely tuned compositions, produced by John Porter (Ryan Adams, The Smiths, Los Lonely Boys) and mixed by Jay Newland (Norah Jones). The production is a major step up for Higgins, who's previous EP provided a warts and all introduction to her talents but lacked the polish of this effort. From brass to silky harmonies, the Scar EP shows the advantage of a top-shelf support cast and as for the songs, the title track is an absolute killer, closely matched by a consistent collection of b-sides. It's true that Missy's more colloquial moments - when the accent seems overdone - left me cringing, but that's what the Australian accent actually sounds like and it's time for us to accept it/embrace it instead of applauding wannabe-American parrots. Missy will be a massive and enduring star on the Australian scene and I'm guessing that her style - which swings between jazz, country and folk - will create a large and diverse audience; the type of fan base that is already leading to sold-out performances as she tours the country.
PAN AM PAN AM
PAN AM

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Pan Am's recent signing to their new Aussie label was celebrated with more than the usual enthusiasm and people seem to keep reminding me that Pan Am's self-titled album is about to come out; that Pan Am's album is out; that Pan Am's album is being sent to me; that Pan Am's album should be at my office by now...have I listened to it? Okay, okay, I get the message, I'll listen to it! I'm glad I did. At a time when I feel that there's way too much rock in the market - a flood of it - this New Zealand 3-piece have clarified the situation for me: there's not enough good rock in the market; that's the real problem. Pan Am play in one direction: directly in your face. It's not overly heavy, it doesn't have a definite scene to belong to; it isn't being sung by a transsexual; none of the members are sleeping with anyone famous (or at least I don't think so?!)...There�s nothing obvious to Pan Am's appeal as a saleable item. But their appeal is the one thing that should be obvious to us, namely: great songs, honesty and ability. What else do you want? With Supa Sam, Interstate Boy and Superman, the album starts with a bang and should leave most rock fans short of breath. Midway through the tracklisting, the mood becomes a little more melancholy with Natural, a song that had quite a beautiful melancholy feel. But this is definitely a rock album and the respite is only temporary, Song 1 picking up the pace and tracks such as the engine-like Saskatchewan making it perfectly clear that Pan Am have a definite edge. Once again, with Pan Am's recent move to Melbourne, we've snagged another great New Zealand band (insert evil laugh here) but instead of gloating, I'll point to the obvious: we're always happy when a Kiwi act defects and heads slightly west because it means one more great band is circulating through our live venues and improving the quality of shows. Pan Am will be a fine addition to our much-improved live scene and with an album of this quality, they're sure to gatecrash radio playlists and possibly threaten those pop-drenched Australian charts.
JEBEDIAH JEBEDIAH
BRAXTON HICKS

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I kind of missed the Jebediah phenomenon in the 90s but I'm not only jumping on the bandwagon this time; I'm driving it. Yep, the man who once shrugged his shoulders when folks mentioned the Jebs, is waxing lyrical, gushing compliments and berating anyone who hasn't heard the band. I've become one of those annoying latecomers I usually despise. I don't need to be an old fan to know that the scene just hasn't seemed the same without Jebediah; a band whose influence is now clearly noticeable as younger acts - especially from Western Australia - begin to make an impact. Having shed the dead weight of a major label contract and opting to return to independent status, The Jebs seem reborn and the subsequent autonomy and enthusiasm have combined to deliver the bestest Jebs album in memory: Braxton Hicks. First Time, the first single, was loaded with 4 great tracks, so I've been assuming Braxton Hicks would be a 2004 highlight. I wasn't wrong. The opening track, More Alone, is dripping with that unmistakable Jebs sound: power + melody = joy. Being a worshipper of all things distortion, I love it when this W.A. 4-piece shovel a few coals into the furnace to achieve that locomotive momentum, as on Loaded Gun, but I'm a sucker for a big chorus and the more melodic It's Over completely nailed me, giving me an insight into the type of appeal that has not only attracted a massive fanbase, but - most importantly - retained it. First Time seems like an old friend after spinning in my stereo many times, but I've made a new friend: Nothing, which brutally mashes light riffing with the hardest distorted onslaught on the album. No wonder it ends proceedings. Jebediah have reached that point where every element is under their control - from production to business - and if Braxton Hicks is the end product of that control, every signed band should rip up their major label contracts immediately.




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ARTIST OF THE WEEK

JEBEDIAH
Jebediah is burning a trail across the Aussie continent, armed with a fresh set of typically infectious tunes in the form of Braxton Hicks. We recently caught up with Chris (guitar) to discuss independence, overseas plans, fans and the Jebs' latest national tour...click here.

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