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Music (65)

One to watch out for: Damien Mancell


Damien Mancell

Sounds Like:

Australian dance singer /songwriter / producer making waves, not unlike George Michael crossing with daft punk


From the fist single "Be With You Tonight" exploding on the Euro scene, to the second single "Shine' being used in the Sydney Mardi Gras, Damien is the epitome of chic dance music. His slick style, catchy tunes and solid voice, gives him an advantage over his other pop wannabe's ( he also keeps his clothes on, unlike other pop jokers). His third single "DJ" (written about superstar US music maestro Corey Craig) blew up dance floors in mid 2012. The collaboration with Chunky Astronaut ("Air"), proved popular also. He writes and plays on his records, has an iphone app, 20,000 plus twitter followers and the "shine" video clocking up 350,000 views. He is also involved in LGBT issues after becoming a target by christian extremist cyber bullies.

His remix collection is out this week!

DJ (Take It On Down)- RC44 remix


Be With You Tonight - Chunky Astronaut Remix




One to watch out for: Loreen





Lorine Zeineb Nora Talhaoui - or just known as Loreen



Sounds Like:


Swedish (with Moroccan origins) female singer, songwriter and producer with a killer voice similar to heavy power
weight Leona Lewis




She got her start in IDOL 2004, and even though she only finished 4th Loreen still managed to cultivate a career in Music and TV. She has proven to be a success with appearances in the first semifinal of Melodifestivalen 2011 (with My Heart Is Refusing Me), and 2012. She won the national final on 10 March with a combined total of 268 points and represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan, annihilating her competition with a stunning minimalist performance. Vocally she squashed many competitors with her power and range. June 2012, Loreen's Eurovision winning entry "Euphoria" charted at No. 3 on the UK Official Singles Chart, the highest chart position for a non-UK Eurovision entry since Johnny Logan's "Hold Me Now" in 1987. She is active in human rights campaigns, even gaining criticism during the Eurovision Song contest from organisers. 2013, she was wowing crowds by performed at the Sydney Mardi Gras, declaring her long standing support for the LGBT community.



My Heart Is Refusing Me Live @ Sydney Mardi Gras 2013


Euphoria - Live - Grand Final - 2012 Eurovision Song Contest



Rosanne Cash For Homeless LGBT Kids

Singer/Songwriter Rosanne Cash has written a song entitled Jim and George, available for download exclusively through The Church of St. Luke in the Fields.


All proceeds of the music sales will benefit the Outreach programs at St. Luke's: The People Living with AIDS project, which provides a weekly meal, spiritual counsel (optional), and fellowship for clients living with HIV/AIDS, and "The Church": Art, Acceptance and a Place to Be Yourself for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/ Questioning Youth and their Allies, which provides a safe haven for LGBTQA street youth under the age of 21.

A note from Rosanne Cash about Jim and George:


"As a longtime supporter and member of the St. Luke's community, I am so happy and humbled to offer this track to help benefit the outreach programs at St. Luke's.


I wrote this song about an elderly gay couple in Chelsea who were very dear to me, and it was an exercise in compassion and awareness to see myself through their eyes, and them through my eyes. Love is Love, and love doesn't contain itself within arbitrary borders of gender, orientation, race, nationality, creed or age. Love is Love, and I send as much as I can to the outreach programs and the entire St. Luke's community."


Grab your copy here.


One to watch out for: Strange Talk

 strange talk


Gillan Gregory, Stephen Docker, Travis Constable, Gerard Sidhu


Passion Pit, Yeasayer, Phoenix ,Cut Copy with a dose of Savage Garden for pop sensibilities


Melbourne-based Australian synthpop band formed in 2010. making some extreme noise in the USA .launched into the public eye when they soared to the top as feature artist on the 2010 Triple J Unearthed competition. In April 2011 they released their self-titled EP which featured singles Climbing Walls and Eskimo Boy.

Full length album 'Cast Away' released 2013 to much critical acclaim. They are a new mix sound  with elements of electro, dance, disco and some guitars thrown in. The debut album shows heavy 80's influence from elements of Depeche Mode , New Order & Kraftwork.

Also being easy on the eyedoesn't hurt.

Killer new aussie band that is actually cool to like!

Sample For Yourself

Falling In Love


One to watch out for: The Saturdays


Frankie Sandford, Una Healy, Vanessa White, Rochelle Humes and Mollie King.


a sparkly shiny girl-band with killer voices.. a perfect blend of the best parts of the Spice Girls , Sugababes & Girls Aloud


They are THE premier girl band. Mollie , Una, Rochelle, Vanessa and Frankie are not only great vocally, but a brilliant LIVE act to boot.

They have a chemistry not seen since the Spice Girls , and if anyone can rival One direction in the Boys V's Girls game, its them.

The first album "Chasing Lights' is filled with pop gems like "If This is Love" and "up". The second album "Wordshaker" packed a punch with some great hits "Ego", "One Shot" and "Forever Is Over", The 3rd offering "Headlines" featured the smash "Higher" & "Missing You". Then the killer 4th album "On Your Radar" moved to a massive dance sound, with the smash hits "Notorious" and the anthem "All Fired Up", and the brilliant ballad  My Heart takes Over". In 2013 they dropped  "Chasing The Saturdays"  EP which featured " What About Us"... The next album "The Chase" is slated for 2013...

Also 2013 saw the group try and break America with a reality show titled "Chasing The Saturdays" . They have furthermore written a book titled, The Saturdays: Our Story and started their own line of clothing, jewellery and nail polish.

Not only are they super talented, but super camp, and very pro equality...

Sample For Yourself


All Fired Up



One to watch out for: Christophe Willem

Origin: Born on 3 August 1983 in Enghien-les-Bains, Val-d'Oise
Claim to Fame: winner of the fourth edition of Nouvelle Star (French version of Pop Idol) in 2006
Sounds Like: the perfect Kylie album, sung by a falsetto boy


After releasing 2 great pop albums in french ( Inventaire with the smash single Double Je, and the second album Caféine), Christophe solidified his name in his native France as one of the biggest pop stars created. His third album Prismophonic has some of the cream of the music worlds who's who on it... Richard X (annie), Richard "Biff" Standard ( spice Girls), Steve Anderson Hannah Robinson, Lisa Greene (kylie Minogue , Britney Spears ), Freemasons (Beyonce) and even Kylie Minogue as writer.

His first English speaking album is an audio feast, for fans of well written pop, and sexy beats.Taking cues from Kylie , Britney Spears (In fact, he even released Britneys unused track “State of Grace” in 2009– retitled “Entre Nous et le Sol.”)

sample for yourself, this is pure pop gems at its best ...


Lasers And Sparklers


Entre Nous et le Sol


Tina Arena – Symphony Of Life Live CD / DVD

altFresh from her return to Australian TV screens (as a mentor on Channel Ten’s ‘Young Talent Time’ reboot), Tina Arena announced a series of live dates where she would play prestige venues accompanied by the countries finest symphony orchestras. The tour turned out to be bigger than anticipated, selling out 4 nights at Sydney’s Opera House & serving as the grand opening of Melbourne’s newly refurbished Hamer Hall. One of these Melbourne dates was captured on film, & after a screening on Foxtel has now been released as a live CD & DVD titled ‘Symphony Of Life’.


The set list of these shows saw Tina in her absolute element. She performs a mix of signature hits (Wasn’t It Good, Burn, Symphony Of Life), selections from her ‘Songs Of Love & Loss’ albums (I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself, Only Women Bleed, Both Sides Now), & songs from musical theatre (Maybe This Time, My Husband Makes Movies, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina). Having forged a multi-million selling career in France, Tina also gives a glimpse of her many Francophone triumphs with the stunning ‘Je m’apelle Baghdad’.


The song that cemented Arena’s European success, ‘I Want To Spend My Lifetime Loving You (theme from The Mask Of Zorro)’ sees special guest Anthony Callea stepping in for Tina’s original duet partner, Marc Anthony. The pair also turns in a spellbinding duet of ‘The Prayer’ – a song that Callea first brought to the attention of Australian record buyers, & Arena most recently performed with Andrea Bocelli on his Australian tour. The sheer vocal prowess of these two duets has us hopeful for future collaborations between Arena & Callea – perhaps an original?



Making full use of her 54-piece orchestra, further inspired selections include covers of Tina Turner’s Bond theme ‘Goldeneye’ & the jazz standard ‘Cry Me A River’. Undisputedly the finest vocal talent Australia has produced, ‘Symphony Of Life’ sees Tina Arena coming into her own like never before. Sashaying around the stage in a series of knockout gowns, Tina is like a fine wine – only improving with the years.



Tina Arena will perform an encore series of live dates with full orchestra & special guest Anthony Callea as part of the Mardi Gras Festival in 2013. ‘Symphony Of Life’ is available now on DVD, Double CD & iTunes.


Anastacia – It’s A Man’s World

After far too many years in the wilderness, Anastacia is back with a new album. The last 7 years saw several label changes, new health concerns, and a revelation that she’s actually 5 years older than she originally lead us to believe (I knew those glasses were hiding something!) A failed comeback attempt was made in 2008, with the tragically overlooked ‘Heavy Rotation’ album (major producers, but minor promotion & poor single choices).


Now after signing another new deal, she seems to be testing the waters with a new covers album (as a prelude to a forthcoming album of originals due next year). Titled ‘It’s A Man’s World’, this new set is a collection of rock classics originally recorded by male vocalists.


While the tracks are perfectly suited to her gutsy vocal style, it’s hard not to giggle at the concept when you consider the gossip that swirled around “Manastacia” when she first hit the scene back in 2000.


Unlike many cover albums; here Anastacia stays completely true to the original arrangements & melodies. If anything, this makes it even more impressive that she’s still able to make each song her own without having to rework it in order to do so. The disc is produced in its entirety by Glenn Ballard – best known for co-writing & producing ball-tearers like Alanis Morrisette’s ‘Jagged Little Pill’ album, Michael Jackson’s ‘Man In The Mirror’ & Christina Aguilera’s ‘The Voice Within’. Anastacia & Ballard previously collaborated on one of her biggest hits, ‘Left Outside Alone’.


Aussie guitarist Orianthi & Dave Stewart of Eurythmics bring huge instrumentation & authenticity to the project. Highlights include Anastacia’s beautiful take on Kings Of Leon’s ‘Use Somebody’, Soundgarden’s ‘Black Hole Sun’ & ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis, along with stomping renditions of ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’, ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ & Foo Fighters ‘Best Of You’.



With the unmistakable timbre of her voice, Anastacia draws out the soulfulness that was seemingly buried deep within these songs, bringing it right to the surface. Aside from Cher, there are very few female vocalists that could tackle these classics with such authority.  


‘It’s A Man’s World’ track listing:
Ramble On (Led Zeppelin)
Best Of You (Foo Fighters)
Sweet Child O’ Mine (Guns N’ Roses)
You Can’t Get Always Get What You Want (Rolling Stones)
One (U2)
Back In Black (AC/DC)
Dream On (Aerosmith)
Use Somebody (Kings Of Leon)
You Give Love A Bad Name (Bon Jovi)
Wonderwall (Oasis)
iTunes Bonus Track: Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden)


For fans who prefer a little more "boom boom" from this diva, she also has a club track out with our friend, the legendary DJ / Producer Tony Moran. Take a listen to ‘If I Was Your Boyfriend’.



‘It’s A Man’s World’ & ‘If I Was Your Boyfriend’ are both available on iTunes.



altThey are the most hotly anticipated releases from the Fierce Angel stable globally, and there is no wonder why - with the dance label powerhouse consistently delivering compilations of some of the most sight after tunes in the dance music arena.

The quality that Fierce Angel brings to its events globally, is also replicated on this release, right down to the artwork.

The great thing with FA, is that you know that even though its primarily made upon their own releases, its a great balance thats struck between self promotion (of artists that would make ANY good compilation disc) and tracks that may not be owned by their own label.

The other thing that stands out about Disco V is of course the inclusion of Australia's own powerhouse due - The Oxford Hustlers, with their remix of Bassmonkeys Ft. Lyck - Embrace My Heart. LOVE LOVE LOVE! There is even a Deni Hines track too boot!

Two discs crammed full of FA style Disco is always a good thing - and this one is a great educator of newer and classic tracks, all given the slick production oomph and presence that these songs would demand on the dance floor.

Throw in a few Katherine Ellis tracks for good measure and baby you've sold me. Like with all dance music discs, there are names you don't know - but really, this disc is a good way to find out what rocks and what should be listened too.

Compiled by FA head honcho - Mark Doyle - he has slam dunked this one.



Mary Kiani – Little Things Mean a Lot


We in Sydney’s GLBT community love the beautiful Scottish lass Mary Kiani even more since she has made Sydney her home in recent years. Mary of course comes to us with the most wonderful calling card of enduring Top 40 dance hits including 100%, Real Love and the huge world wide hit I Imagine

Locally Mary has the fabulous credit of starring in one of the best Mardi Gras show’s of the last ten years when she sang I Imagine in a ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ themed full-on spectacular in the early hours of the 2006 party. 

Many people still talk about this with such affection so I asked Mary about this connection she has with our community and she told me “I have always been treated like a queen here by the gay and lesbian community and when I’m up singing I always feel the love. I’m sure they all feel it coming back at them”.  

Mary is now launching ‘stage two’ of her musical career by recording a collection of torch songs, jazz and classic standards on her latest album Little Things Mean A Lot. It includes songs from the 1930's through to the present day. I’ve got to say I love this CD and whilst Mary won’t know she and I sing the best duets to it at my place. 

The first half of the album is so simple it’s just the piano and Mary’s really fabulous voice. Tracks here include It Ain't Necessarily So, Good Morning Heartache the subtle build of this song in her lower register stops you in your track with the emotion behind the song, Little Things Mean a Lot is the title track and is sung with such feeling you can assume the song means so much to Mary. 

I asked Mary about these choices on this CD and she told me “these songs are very much a part of my past as I used to sing them in wine bars from the age of 17 through to about 25.  These are songs I just love singing so I really put my heart and soul into them”.  

The later songs have a tad more production and give Mary the chance to have a bit of a belt. All of Me and At Last are two of my favourite they sound contemporary and fresh. She sings the Bassey hit Apartment and puts her own personal stamp on it – stunning! 

The album also features special guest, theatre star, Michael Cormick performing a duet with Mary of the Garland/Streisand Get Happy & Happy Days Are Here Again another album highlight. Together they put new life and love into this classic; their voices together give this CD a wonderful way to conclude.  

Mary said “the songs let people know how I really sound and the reaction has been very positive.  It allows people to hear the other side of me and yes they seemed to like it”. And I’m certain like it you will, a must have CD to balance your listening pleasure.

Mary's album is available on iTunes and at ABC Shops.

You can join Mary's official Group / Artist page here.

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