The Snowdroppers Accepted into SXSW 2011

The Snowdroppers
Image Courtesy of The Snowdroppers

Sydney’s favourite dirty-blues punks The Snowdroppers have just become the first Australian band to be invited and accepted to play at the 25th Anniversary SXSW Music Festival in 2011. The SXSW Music Festival, held each year in Austin, Texas is considered by many to be the standard bearer of new and upcoming music. The selection tops off an absolutely stellar year for The Snowdroppers including an EP release, headline tour and appearing at almost every festival under the sun. Don’t be surprised if these guys exploded in 2011.

New Iron and Wine Single in November

Iron and Wine
Image Courtesy of Iron and Wine

Although we’ll have to wait until next year to get our grubby little hands on Iron and Wine’s new “pop” record the singer is planning on releasing a three track single late next month. The single, containing the songs “Walking Far From Home”, “Summer in Savannah”, and “Biting Your Tail”, will be released on vinyl and CD only on the 26th November and then via digital means on the 30th November.

The release is part of an initiative by the same group who run Record Store Day, trying to get consumers back into independent music outlets and off the internet for the Christmas holidays. Other artists taking part in the offline push include Grinderman, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and many many more.

The Wedding Band (Mumford and Sons) Limited EP

Mumford and Sons

In more Mumford and Sons news the band’s collaborative side project, The Wedding Band, will release a limited edition 10″ Vinyl edition of their EP Volume 1. The EP was originally offered as a limited edition to the first 100 fans who bought tickets to their recent UK shows and features Mumford and Sons singing and playing with their “musical pals” Nick Etwell, Callum Lindsay, Jesse Quin, Adam Stockdale and David Williamson. No word as to whether the EP will be available in Australia or whether their will be a digital version at any stage.

As a taster for the EP you can listen to four very trad tracks from The Wedding Band on YouTube (embedded below):

“Thumper”

“I Take Your Hand”

“Susie”

“She Said Yes”

New Mumford and Sons Live Album. Sort Of.

Mumford and Sons

Mumford and Sons have announced they will be releasing a live album of their O2 Shepherds Bush Empire gig as part of a repackaged reissue of their wildly successful debut Sigh No More. The reissue will also feature a DVD of the documentaries the band made while in India, Europe and America as well as a brand new song “Hold On To What You Believe”. The “Deluxe” Sigh No More will be out in December and a physical copy will be available to order via the Mumford and Sons web site.

The Key of Sea Changing the Perception of Refugees

Sarah Blasko
Image Courtesy of The Key of Sea

A new album project named The Key of Sea is aiming to change people’s perception on asylum seekers and refugees through the power of music. Some of Australia’s top performers such as Sarah Blasko (above with Ajak Kwai), Old Man River, Tim Rogers, Blue King Brown, The Cat Empire and Katie Noonan are collaborating with artists that have brought their music to this country from their homelands.

The Key of Sea is available to order from the official web site where you can also hear snippets of four of the tracks and read the stories behind the incredible collaborations. All proceeds from the sale of the album will go to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Human Rights Arts and Film Festival and Refugees Survivors and Ex Detainees (RISE). The track listing for the album is as follows:

1. Tim Rogers Compania – “The Ghost”
2. Old Man River and Javier Fredes – “Merry Christmas Island”
3. Urthboy and Group 120 – “Letters From Jamshed”
4. Sarah Blasko and Ajak Kwai – “Nyiir Ienquarr”
5. Oh Mercy and Nadia Omar – “Hands Will Cradle”
6. Blue King Brown and Diafrix – “Streets are Getting Hot”
7. Katie Noonan and The Captains with Taikoz – “Fatal Shore”
8. Skipping Girl Vinegar and Tri Nguyen – “Bullets and Mango Trees”
9. Philadelphia Grand Jury and Klezmania – “Sing For The Sun”
10. The Cat Empire and Anbessa Gebrihiwot – “Zero”
11. The Vasco Era and Yousif Aziz – “Habibi”

Your Say on Splendour

This year’s Splendour in the Grass  was a wild success at the site known for the hugely popular Woodford Folk Festival, however us New South Welshmen felt some level of loss that Splendour had to move out of state this year. Well, now New South Walians and interstaters alike can help bring Splendour back to the Far North Coast of New South Wales through the Bring Splendour Home campaign.

The long story short, submissions to the NSW Department of Planning are being sought from everyday Australians to emplore the department to approve a proposal to develop the North Byron Parklands as a permanent sustainable cultural event venue to be used for events and festivals for up to 20 individual days per year, including the 3 day Splendour that we all know and love. The site is lartger than both Belongil Fields (the original Splendour site0 and the Woodfordia site and seems to be perfectly suited to the purpose.

If you feel particularly compelled, you too can make your voice heard by sending an official submission to the NSW Department of Planning before 19 November.

Fistful of Mercy’s “Father’s Son” Video

Fistful of Mercy

So far Fistful of Mercy, the supergroup consisting of Dhani Harrison, Ben Harper and Joseph Arthur, seems to be steadily gaining exposure on the roots scene, especially in the US. In case you haven’t listened to any of their stuff yet you can still stream their entire album, As I Call You Down, via RollingStone.com. And if you’re already on top of everything Fistful of Mercy then you’d be happy to hear that they’ve just released a “live studio” video for their latest single “Father’s Son”. Check it out below:

Amanda Palmer Returns to Australia

Amanda Palmer
Image Courtesy of Amanda Palmer

Avant guarde ukulele strumming performer extraordinaire Amanda Palmer has announced via her Twitter that she will be returning to Australia next January. Details are scarce but Palmer did have this to say in 140 characters or less (excusing the profanity):

“by the way SYDNEY comrades: i am coming to you. australia day, january 26th. fucking save it…..good night.”

Amanda Palmer has also been announced for Hobart’s MONA FOMA festival (curated by Violent Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie) from the 14th to the 23rd January alongside the likes of Grinderman, Wire, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Health and The Break. Check back here as we hear more details.

19 CD Sandy Denny Boxset to be Released

Sandy Denny

Universal Music in the UK have announced the release of a strictly limited 19 CD boxset featuring the entire commercially recorded works of the very much celebrated Sandy Denny. 11 of the CDs in the set contain Denny’s recordings with the likes of Alex Campbell, Johnny Silvo, Fotheringay, Strawbs and Fairport Convention plus her solo work and live recordings. The remaining CDs will be filled to the brim with outakes, demos, live tracks and previously unreleased bonus material.

To round the boxset off is a 72 page book featuring photos of Denny throughout her life, a biography and track annotations and much much more. The boxset will be released in the UK on the 1st November. Check out the gorgeous packaging below:

Sandy Denny Boxset
Image Courtesy of Spiral Earth

Sufjan Stevens to Tour Australia?

Sufjan Stevens
Image Courtesy of Sufjan Stevens

In what could be one of the biggest slips of the year the Adelaide Advertiser is reporting that everyone’s favourite indie-folkster Sufjan Stevens will be performing at Adelaide’s Festival Theatre next February. This is (probably) the first and only mention of a Sufjan Australian tour anywhere. According to the paper:

“American singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens will bring his indie folk-pop style and a full band including woodwind, brass and choir, to the Festival Theatre on February 1.”

If this turns out to be true (and lets pray it does) I think it’s safe to assume Adelaide won’t be the only stop off on Stevens’ trip (and if it is, I’m booking me a ticket to Adelaide). No other details are available but don’t be surprised if after this slip we hear something soon. Watch this space…

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