The New Local Radio's annual countdown is at hand. The Hottest Ten Or So counts down the best ten (or so) songs of the year as voted by you.

Voting is simple. Send a list of up to ten of your favourite songs released in 2016 to thenewlocal@gmail.com. It is recommended you rank them in some sort of order as this helps break ties in the vote counting. 

Votes close 11:59pm on Friday 3 February. That's soon!

Tune in to the countdown from 8pm on Phoenix FM the following Saturday 4 February. You can also follow @thenewlocal on Twitter as we livetweet with the hashtag #TenOrSo.

Check out last year's countdown here. You can listen to last year's winner, "Blackstar" by David Bowie, below.


Four Lions Go Vahland

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Bendigo's own Americana rockers Four Lions have dropped their newest album Vahland. Following up their debut Charing Cross as well as their Golden Triangle EP, Vahland was recorded minimally and live in central Victoria with Alex Bennett's studio (CW Stoneking).

"Just four blokes standing in a room unrehearsed with a few old microphones," frontman Shann Lions says of the recording process.

Shann spoke more about the album's recording when he joined me on Local Chats earlier this year.

See the band launch the album at The Spotted Mallard in Brunswick on September 9 or The Golden Vine in Bendigo on September 10.

Check out fourlionsmusic.com for more information.

TNL Does BIFEM

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This weekend, BIFEM hits Bendigo.

Taking over the arts precinct on View Street and for the first time making its way into Ulumbarra Theatre, the fourth annual Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music kicks off Friday night and will power its way all through until Sunday. The New Local will be there too.

Starting with Friday night's Seeing Double event at Ulumbarra, we will be streaming highlights from the festival via Facebook Live on our Facebook page. So if you can't make it down to View Street this weekend join us over the next few days.

In the meantime, you can check out the Local Chats podcast with festival director David Chisholm.



For more about BIFEM, check out bifem.com.au.

On Sunday trainers from all over gathered in Rosalind Park for the Rotary Club of Bendigo Next Generation Pokémon Go Scavenger Hunt. Under the banner #pokemonagainstpolio, $190 was raised for the End Polio Now campaign by the day's end.

Prizes were donated by local businesses Good Versus Evil and Guf Bendigo and the winners most certainly did not leave empty handed.


Punters reported a fantastic time, one describing it as "a fun day, out and about". Even grey weather could not keep trainers from scouring the streets of Bendigo for rare, elusive Pokémon.

There are currently only twenty reported cases of polio in the world. The End Polio Now campaign is committed to see this disease completely eradicated and ensure no new cases develop.

The club thanked punters on their Facebook page, asking if anyone would be interested in a repeat event.


For more information about Rotary Bendigo Next Generation visit their Facebook page.

To help End Polio Now, visit their website.

Groovin' Guide 2016

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Another year, another Groovin' The Moo. The tour is currently making its way around regional Australia, hitting Bendigo and Townsville this weekend. It has already made its way through Maitland, Canberra, and Oakbank, and it will make its way to Bunbury next Saturday.

For those with tickets that means long lines, cold weather and great live bands. For those without, it means staying inside, warm and dry, while all of the friends are out having fun.

Of course, if you are in the unfortunate position of not possessing Groovin' tickets while everyone else in your social circle does, you are in for a long few weeks of lagging behind in conversations as all of your friends rave about what a wonderful time they had while you were sitting home alone. 

But do not despair! You have two options: You could make your way to Townsville on Sunday or Bunbury next weekend (at time of writing there are still tickets available), or you could read on!

Just like last year and the year before, I have for you the Groovin' Guide For Those Left Out. Once again, I have spent the better part of an afternoon compiling this guide of what you need to know about some of the festival's key acts so you don't have to be left afloat in a conversational winter.


Alison Wonderland

With a background in playing both the cello and the bass guitar, this Sydney DJ has been gaining a lot of steam with her 2015 album Run. She has collaborated with Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips fame, beaten The Veronicas at the ARIAs, and her stage name is a cool pun.

Tracks to check out: "I Want U", "Run".




Boy & Bear

Another act from Sydney, these cruisy lads got their start with Triple J Unearthed back in 2009. Since then, they have toured with names such as Laura Marling, Angus and Julia Stone, and Mumford & Sons. For their third album, 2015's Limit of Love, Boy & Bear teamed up with legendary producer Ethan Johns, known for his work with Gerling, Ben Kweller, Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon, Laura Marling, The Boxer Rebellion, Kaiser Chiefs, Rufus Wainwright, Counting Crows, Crowded House, Tom Jones, and Paul McCartney, among many others. Even without such heavyweights as company, these guys are likely to put on an excellent gig.

Tracks to check out: "Southern Sun", "Rabbit Song".




British India

Despite the blatant false advertising in their name (they are actually from Melbourne), British India are now veteran rockers who have come a long way from their school days performing covers of songs by Blur, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and The Beatles. They once recorded an album near (but not at) a studio owned by Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty fame.

Tracks to check out: "God Is Dead", "Tie Up My Hands".




DZ Deathrays

I could talk about how this Brisbane two-piece entirely recorded their 2009 debut EP Ruined My Life at a house party. I could also mention the glowing reviews their follow up album, 2011's Bloodstreams received from publications such as Pitchfork Media. But what I really want to talk about is this band's music videos. They are really good. I had a lot of trouble picking just one for this article. So I picked two. Bonus points for the "THRILLHOUSE" t-shirt worn in "Gina Works At Hearts".

Tracks to check out: "Gina Works At Hearts", "Less Out Of Sync".






Harts

Indian born Melbournite Darren "Harts" Hart does everything himself. He writes, records, performs all instruments, and to top it off, his music is so damn funky. His videos even caught the attention of the great Prince, who was quoted saying that the young musician reminds the Purple One of himself at that age. Rather high praise indeed.

Tracks to check out: "The Music", "Red & Blue"



MS MR

This pair of New York based dream poppers sport a cool, stylish aesthetic. The band have a string of achievements to there name but few are likely closer to their hearts than landing their track "Bones" in a trailer for television series Game of Thrones, of which they are big fans.

Tracks to check out: "Bones", "Hurricane".



Ngaiire

I first came across this Papua New Guinea born Sydneysider early this year when she was the support act for Sufjan Stevens. Her live performance was extremely good. Despite my ignorance, Ngaiire's music career has taken her in a variety of directions, from Australian Idol contestant to backup singer for acts such as Paul Mac and Chet Faker. She has actually worked quite a bit with the famed Paul Mac, as he is listed as co-writer of her single "Once" along with none other than Megan Washington.

Tracks to check out: "Once", "Dirty Hercules"



More information about Groovin' The Moo can be found at gtm.net.au.

More information about these bands can be found at Google.
Here are the Hottest 10 Or So Songs as voted by you and counted down by us on Phoenix FM:

1: "Blackstar" by David Bowie
2: "Avalanche" by Bring Me The Horizon
3: "English Girls" by The Maine
4: "I Bet My Life" by Imagine Dragons
5: "The Legend Of Chavo Guerrero" by The Mountain Goats
6: "Motherfucker" by Faith No More
7: "Victorious" by Panic! At The Disco
8: "In Plain Sight" by Dead Letter Circus
9: "Tattoo" by Hilary Duff
10: "X-Ray Visions" by Clutch
11 & 12 (tie): "Let It Go" by James Bay & "Like Soda" by Violent Soho
13: "Time, As A Symptom" by Joanna Newsom
14: "Superhero" by Faith No More
15: "Modern Life" by Tom Cartoonist
16: "Steal My Sunshine" by The Maine featuring Derek Saunders
17: "One Of Them Will Destroy The Other" by Mayday Parade featuring Dan Lambton
18: "New York" by Daniel Johns
19 & 20 (tie): "No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross" by Sufjan Stevens & "Point" by The Creases

Here is the winning song by the great David Bowie.




Thank you to everyone who voted and congratulations to all of the artists who made it in this year.
The New Local Radio's annual countdown is at hand. The Hottest Ten Or So counts down the best ten (or so) songs of the year as voted by you.

Voting is simple. Send a list of up to ten of your favourite songs released in 2015 to thenewlocal@gmail.com. It is recommended you rank them in some sort of order as this helps break ties in the vote counting. 

Votes close 11:59pm on Saturday 30 January. That is less than one week so get your votes in.

Tune in to the countdown from 10pm on Phoenix FM this Sunday 31 January. You can also follow @thenewlocal on Twitter as we livetweet with the hashtag #TenOrSo.

Check out last year's countdown here. You can listen to last year's winner, "The Rains of Castamere" by Sigur Ros, below.


Blues In Motion

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The Bendigo Blues And Roots Music Festival is not until November but there is no shortage in blues to be had in Bendigo.

This Saturday August 15 at the Old Church on the Hill, the great Shannon Bourne will take the stage. Joining him will be Alister Turrill, Jarrod Shaw, and Sarah Wilkinson.

The following Friday August 21 at Gold Dust Lounge, the Justin Yap Band will be bring us their cool tunes. This one is free entry and should be excellent.

The next Blues Tram is August 22. Featuring the likes of Luke Watt and Cass (Cassie Ward & Bianca Maes), it should be a blast. If that is not enough, in September the fantastic Rattlin' Bones Blackwood and Michael Pollitt will take the tram for a swing. Sounds like a great show.

Still not convinced? Here is the review I wrote when I rode the tram for the first time last year, along with the episode of Local Chats set entirely on the tram!

BluesTram.jpg

Check out the Bendigo Blues And Roots gig guide right here: bendigobluesandroots.com.au/events.php.

There are opportunities for young guitarists as well. Musicians under 20 are encouraged to enter the Lazenby Young Blues Guitarist Award. More information here: bendigobluesandroots.com.au/lazenbyguitaristaward.php.

Groovin' Guide 2015

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It's time again to be Groovin' The Moo! The tour kicked off last weekend in Oakbank and Bunbury and will continue this weekend in Bendigo and Canberra before heading to Maitland and Townsville to wrap up the weekend after that.

For those with tickets that means long lines, cold weather and great live bands. For those without, it means staying inside, warm and dry, while all of the friends are out having fun.

Last year I gave you the Groovin' Guide For Those Left Out, this year the trend continues as we talk about some of the cooler acts on this great regional tour.

For those attending Groovin' The Moo Bendigo, keep an eye out for the Rotary Barbeque outside the Showgrounds near Lightning Reef School in the morning. A hotdog snack to keep you going for the long day in exchange for helping out a great cause is a good deal.


Ball Park Music

I expect this band will hit it out of the park when the perform at Groovin' The Moo this year. Audiences will certainly have a ball when when these Queenslanders take the stage. Puns aside, Ball Park Music have some legitimately cool tunes and are deserving of the attention. I hope I'm somewhere in the ball park when I say that they're worth checking out.

Tracks to check out: "She Only Loves Me When I'm There", "All I Want Is You".



Broods

These siblings from New Zealand have been performing together since childhood and make very pretty tunes. They released their debut album last year and it entered the New Zealand charts at number 1. Their producer, Joel Little, has also worked with the likes of Daniel Johns and Lorde.

Tracks to check out: "Never Gonna Change", "Mother & Father".



Peaches

Merrill Beth Nisker (aka Peaches) has such an interesting career and catalogue of music that she is a must see act of the festival. Over the years she has worked with artists as diverse as Iggy Pop, R.E.M., Pink, Chicks on Speed, Christina Aguilera, Soulwax, Chilly Gonzales, and Major Lazer. M.I.A. once video documented one of Peaches tours. She has a book scheduled for release in June called "What Else Is In The Teaches Of Peaches" featuring contributions from Michael Stipe, Yoko Ono, and Ellen Page.

Tracks to check out: "Kick It" (featuring Iggy Pop), "BURST!".



The Preatures

These Sydneysiders have some pretty funky basslines and a guitarist called Gideon. How can you go wrong? They got their start when their debut EP, Shaking Hands, was picked up by Triple J Unearthed in 2012. Since then The Preatures have been on the up, even hitting a top 10 in the Triple J Hottest 100 with "Is This How You Feel?"

Tracks to check out: "Somebody's Talking", "Better Than It Ever Could Be".



San Cisco

This Fremantle band may have a leg up in the music industry due to family connections. Drummer Scarlett Stevens is the daughter of Phil Stevens, manager of John Butler Trio and The Waifs. But San Cisco will remain due to raw talent. Their addictive pop sound is complemented by clever aesthetic and cool videos. Seriously, the clip for "Too Much Time Together" is awesome. Watch it. I embedded it below.

Tracks to check out: "Too Much Time Together", "Awkward".



Wolfmother

When Wolfmother came to Bendigo two years ago, they blew the roof off this town (Keegs Scilini was there, here is what he had to say). Since Andrew Stockdale and his revolving door first got together in 2004, these guys have been compared to everyone from Led Zeppelin to Kyuss. Not much else needs to be said about them that you haven't already heard so just watch the below video featuring the band hanging out with Johnny Knoxville.

Tracks to check out: "Joker And The Thief", "Love Train".



You Me At Six

These British rockers take influence from the likes of Blink-182 and Incubus and have been a popular live act for years. But the most interesting thing about You Me At Six is the fact that most of the band now has clothing lines. Bass player Matt Barnes has a line called "Cheer Up! Clothing", frontman Josh Franceschi has one called "Down But Not Out", and rythm guitarist Max Helyer started one called "Become Antique". Be sure to check out these fashionable and savvy businessmen.

Tracks to check out: "Bite My Tongue", "Loverboy".



As of the writing of this article, tickets are still available to Canberra on May 3 and Townsville on May 10, so if you run you might make it. Otherwise remember, even if you're missing out, there's nothing stopping you from kicking up the stereo and jamming to your favourite bands in your pyjamas. Well, maybe noise complaints. But that's not my area. Happy Groovin'.

More information about Groovin' The Moo can be found at gtm.net.au.

More information about these bands can be found at Google.
Here are the Hottest 10 Or So Songs as voted by you and counted down by us on Phoenix FM:

1: "The Rains Of Castamere" by Sigur Ros
2: "Left Hand Free" by Alt-J
3: "Something From Nothing" by Foo Fighters
4: "Red Right Hand" by PJ Harvey
5: "Gold" by Chet Faker
6: "Lazaretto" by Jack White
7: "Jesus Walks" by Father Bob Maguire
8: "Ladder Song" by Lorde
9: "Girls Talk" by Garbage featuring Brody Dalle
10: "Say Goodbye" by Beck
11-15 (tie):
    "What We Loved Was Not Enough" by Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra-La-La Band
    "Shake It Off" by Talyor Swift
    "Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)" by Run The Jewels featuring Zack de la Rocha
    "Get Hurt" by The Gaslight Anthem"
    "ICFTYDLM" by Kingswood

Thank you to everyone who voted and congratulations to all of the artists who made it in this year.