Music conquers all

One of the main reasons I want to get this blog going again is to bang on about my love of music, concerts and Triple J.

If you know me, you know that I am a vocal supporter of music I love and I try to get to as many concerts as I can.

Having said that, the first half of this year was quite slack for concerts.

The second half of this year includes: Metallica, Regurgitator, The Tongue, Powderfinger, Metallica (again), Muse, U2.

Another reason I wanted to post is because the ARIA Award Nominations are up again.

I have enjoyed commenting on previous awards and nominations as you can tell…

So, it’s time to comment on this years nominations, and I must say I am pleasantly surprised.

Gone are the days that new Australian music was dominated by Neighbours stars, dodgy guitar bands or Farnsy coming back (oh wait, he’s got a new album. WTF!?)

It seems that new music is being dictated by hard working indie (sometimes) bands and artists rather than the major label pushed carbon copies that we’ve seen in the past. This is great news for artists like Angus & Julia Stone, Tame Impala, Washington and Lisa Mitchell.

Just check out the noms for Best Album!

Album of the Year

Angus & Julia Stone – Down The Way – These guys have been so damn impressive since I first heard their EP about 4 years ago. I finally saw them live on a big stage at a festival in England and they were one of the highlights of the whole 3 days. Not just for me, but many others. Beautiful voices and very VERY talented.

Birds of Tokyo – Birds Of Tokyo – I have been torn on these guys. Their first album came out when I was in the US, so I didn’t hear it till the hype and died down and I thought they were just a little bit commericial and had that dreaded ‘Pop Rock’ vibe. A’la Nickelback, Creed etc.. Then I find out that the lead singer is Ian Kenny, of Karnivool fame. What the hell is he doing fronting this ‘soft’ rock band? This made me listen to them a little more, but still, I find it hard to get into them. They sound like a mix of Silverchair and INXS. Obviously the commercial tilt of their music helps get gigs on Sunrise and The Footy Show, so I can’t begrudge them the success, but still, not really my cup of tea.

Sia – We Are Born – What can be said about this woman. She’s done a lap of the world and now comes back to Australia to conquer with this amazing new sound. This album almost never happened as her record company wanted her to continue to release the slow, croony atmospheric music that she’s been known for. Instead she gets out of her contract, releases her poppiest album ever and blows us all away. Love the new stuff. Love the old stuff. Love Sia.

Tame Impala – Innerspeaker – If you are happy to be transported to the decade of the 1970’s, the era of wah-wah guitars, bong smoke and reverberating vocals, then you will love Tame Impala. They have been a slow burner with me. I heard their early stuff and was only slightly impressed, but after witnessing them on-stage at this years Big Day Out and then hearing their new album my eyes have opened wider to them. Not only for their new take on an old genre, but the epicness of their sound. I am happy to see them nommed here. They could have very easily been wisped away in clouds of hemp…

Washington – I Believe You Liar – Anyone that saw Megan Washington on Spicks and Specks earlier in the year would have immediately understood that this woman is going to go far. She has the charisma, personality but most importantly THE VOICE to take the world by storm. For a band to come from being unearthed by Triple J in November 2008 to being nommed for Best Album within 2 years is impressive to say the least! Admittedly I haven’t listened to this album enough to really appreciate it, but great to see them nominated.

I wonder if there are people out there that have not heard of any of these artists. I could understand if Tame Impala and Washington may not be widely played on commercial radio across the country, but I would be very disappointed if people had not heard of Sia, Birds of Tokyo and the Stone siblings.

The fact that all 5 bands are heavily rotated on Triple J is not a fluke. They are the biggets supporters of Australian music in the country. It’s almost become a machine in itself, the Triple J unearthed machine. It’s so massive that I guess you can never give exposure to every talented artist in the country, but at least, bit by bit, they get airplay, exposure and the chance to show their stuff.

The rest of the noms: (my tip to win has a ✓)

Single of the Year

Angus & Julia Stone – Big Jet Plane (Original Matters/EMI)

Birds of Tokyo – Plans (EMI)

Sia – Clap Your Hands (Monkey Puzzle/Inertia)

The Temper Trap – Love Lost (Liberation Music)

✓ Washington – How To Tame Lions (Mercury/UMA)

So hard to pick a winner in this category. They are seriously all excellent songs. I went for Washington simply because I think it’s a little bit above Big Jet Plane and Clap Your Hands in my mind. Would really be happy for any of them to win though..

Best Female Artist

Clare Bowditch – Modern Day Addiction (Island/UMA)

Kylie Minogue – Aphrodite (Mushroom Records/Warner Music)

Lisa Mitchell – Oh! Hark! (Warner Music Australia)

✓ Sia – We Are Born (Monkey Puzzle/Inertia)

Washington – I Believe You Liar (Mercury/UMA)

Have we had a stronger bunch of women nominees in recent history? I don’t think so! Great to see Clare Bowditch get a nom, as well as Kylie even. I would love and am going for Sia to claim this award, but I reckon Washington will get it.

Best Male Artist

Dan Kelly – Dan Kelly’s Dream (Shock)

✓ Dan Sultan – Get Out While You Can (MGM)

Guy Sebastian – Like It Like That (Sony Music)

John Butler – April Uprising (Jarrah Records/MGM)

Paul Dempsey – Fast Friends (EMI)

Have you heard of Dan Sultan? He sounds like Frank Sinatra Elvis Presley (oops) and looks like Adonis. Seriously, he’s got ALL that. The moves, the voice, the poses and the charisma. A deadset legend and I hope he gets this award although If Paul Dempsey got it, I would not be disappointed.

Best Group

Angus & Julia Stone – Down The Way (Original Matters/EMI)

Birds of Tokyo – Birds Of Tokyo (EMI)

Powderfinger – Golden Rule (UMA)

Tame Impala – Innerspeaker (Modular Recordings)

✓ The Temper Trap – Love Lost (Liberation Music)

Again, I would not be upset if any of these bands won, even Powderfinger, even though their last album doesn’t cut the mustard, would be worthy winners of their 16th ARIA (thanks LaLa). I am picking Temper Trap to take this one though because they have really taken the world by storm in the last year or so and it would be worthy recognition for all their hard-work. I would love Angus & Julia Stone to get it as well, but they will get their chance..

Best Independent Release

✓ Art vs Science – Magic Fountain (Green/MGM)

Dan Sultan – Get Out While You Can (MGM)

Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Rush to Relax (Suppression Records/Shock)

John Butler Trio – April Uprising (Jarrah Records/MGM)

Sia – We Are Born (Monkey Puzzle/Inertia)

Eddy Cuz get a nomination for their kick-arse album. I would love to see them get up, but I think Art vs Science will get it for their seriously awesome song, Magic Fountain. Listen to it once and it’ll be stuck in your head all day…

Best Adult Alternative Album

Angus & Julia Stone – Down The Way (Original Matters/EMI)

Basement Birds – Basement Birds (Basement Birds)

✓ Clare Bowditch – Modern Day Addiction (Island/UMA)

The Cat Empire – Cinema (EMI)

Washington – I Believe You Liar (Mercury/UMA)

Whitley – Go Forth, Find Mammoth (Dew Process/Universal Music)

Adult Alternative? What the hell is that? Is that for all us oldies that remember when Alternative music was Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam? In any case, I hope  Clare Bowditch picks this up. Not only is it a great album, but she’s a great bird and I believe in sharing the awards around 🙂

Best Dance Release

Art vs Science – Magic Fountain (Green/MGM)

✓ Miami Horror Sometimes (EMI)

Midnight Juggernauts – The Crystal Axis (Siberia/Inertia)

Pendulum – Immersion (Warner Bros UK)

Yolanda Be Cool and Dcup – We No Speak Americano (Sweat it Out/Central Station Records)

Miami Horror should win this hands-down. They’ve had a massive year and have really exploded onto the local and international scene with this album. If Pendulum or Art vs Science win, I’d accept it..

Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album

Airbourne – No Guts, No Glory (EMI)

✓ Dead Letter Circus – This is the Warning (Warner Music Australia)

Parkway Drive – Deep Blue (Resist Records/Shock)

The Amity Affliction – Youngbloods (Boomtown/Shock)

Violent Soho – Violent Soho (Liberation Music)

Airbourne? I haven’t ever heard these guys. Are they any good? What do they play? I didn’t even realise they were Australian. Some solid competition in this category. Parkway Drive could win for pure Metal brilliance, but I would love to see Dead Letter Circus win to recognise their tireless touring and quality album.

Best Pop Release

✓ Bluejuice – Head of the Hawk (Dew Process/Universal Music)

Empire of the Sun – Half Mast (EMI)

Guy Sebastian – Like It Like That (Sony Music)

Kylie Minogue – Aphrodite (Warner Music Australia)

Sia – We Are Born (Monkey Puzzle/Inertia)

Bluejuice, muthafuckas! So awesome that they have a nomination for their fantastic Head of the Hawk. I hope they win just for the simple fact that their acceptance speech will be awesome.

Best Rock Album

Birds of Tokyo – Birds Of Tokyo (EMI)

Cloud Control – Bliss Release (Ivy League Records/Universal)

Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Rush to Relax (Suppression Records/Shock)

Powderfinger – Golden Rule (UMA)

✓ Tame Impala – Innerspeaker (Modular Recordings)

At least they’ve separated Rock and Hard Rock now. Not sure how Cloud Control are Rock though. Throw this in the air and see who wants it the most. If it knocks out Bernard Fanning, he’s too old and then hand it to Tame Impala.

Best Urban Album

Bliss N Eso – Running on Air (Illusive Sounds)

Lowrider – Round the World (Illusive Sounds)

M-Phazes – Good Gracious (Obese Records)

Space Invadas – Soul-Fi (Invada/Inertia)

✓ Urthboy – Spitshine (Elefant Traks/Inertia)

My man Urthboy HAS to get this award or I will track down the voters and slap them. Legend album and legend dude.

Breakthrough Artist

Amy Meredith – Restless (Sony Music)

Cloud Control – Bliss Release (Ivy League Records/Universal)

✓ Philadelphia Grand Jury – Hope is for Hopers (Normal People Making Music/Boomtown/Shock)

Tame Impala – Innerspeaker (Modular Recordings)

Washington – I Believe You Liar (Mercury/UMA)

Hey, how did the Philly Jays get in here? I thought they’d been forgotten! I think they deserve to pick up this award. Sure, Washington will probably get it for their breakthrough stuff, but the Philly Jays have had a massive year and deserve some recognition.

————————————-

There we go. My yearly wrap-up of the nominees. If you made it to the end, I commend you!

Give me your take on the nominees and who you think should win. After-all I am just speaking out of my butt most of the time..

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About Mick

I've been around a while. I like to wrap myself around the warm security of the interwebs which have consumed me since 1993. I whinge, I rant, I crap on. Enjoy. View all posts by Mick

6 responses to “Music conquers all

  • LaLa

    I can’t believe you called Clare Bowditch a “bird” – what is this, 1968? She’s a lady ploise!

    I don’t think that Washington will actually win that many, Megan is certainly talented but I don’t think they have had the exposure that Sia & Angus and Julia Stone have had.

    My vote is for Sia – she’s fun and music takes itself too seriously sometimes. Also – go Kyles – a return to form and All the Lovers was a slice of pure, pop perfection! All that pashing.

  • Emily Jane

    FINALLY another blogger who is passionate about music! Whenever I write about it, I hear crickets! Love this, though my vote would’ve gone for Pendulum…

    One of my favourite albums this year has to be Bombay Bicycle Club’s “Flaws” – SO different from all their other stuff, but I think it’s the best yet

  • Surrogate Mother :

    i’m quite sick of listening to pop songs like lady gaga that is why i shifted to alternative music —

  • nightmare

    Dude where’s your head at? Bernard Fanning is not too old WTF!
    Just take a look at all the greatest bands in the world most of the singers are in to their 50’s and more and still rockin’ pumpin’ out some really good shit!

  • Mick

    Nah, I like Bernard. I just think that giving the award to Powderfinger would just be because they’re retiring. It’s time to give it to someone new. Powerfinger already has 15 Arias 🙂

  • Projector Lamp

    when i was younger, i always love the tune of alternative music compared to pop music ;;*

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