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Opinion: Why Meredith is the strongest music festival in Australia

It has been just over a week since the 24th Meredith Music Festival wrapped up and the “Post Merry Depression” is still hitting hard. It’s always a bit sad when a festival ends, isn’t it? Especially those camping sorts, when you can escape the stress and drama of the real world for a few days, reunite with your friends, make new ones and enjoy good music. Then you return to reality sunburnt, tired and hungover. The depression lingers for a few days but you survive, you push on.

Arrogant? Egotistical? Too Serious? Why we shouldn't be so quick to label Tool.

Tool are a seriously heavy band; their pummelling attack and despondent lyrics certainly aren’t for timorous listeners. They’ve continued to deliver murky and unremittingly dark music throughout their time in the music industry. Their sound is distorted, mysterious and experimental; it leaves your mind spinning and your body in a state of turmoil. You can hear the crippling ache that their heavy lyrics impose in Maynard Keenan’s vocals.

What does the rise of the YouTuber as a multi-modal celebrity mean for pop culture?

At its core, YouTube remains the same as when it launched nine years ago; a site designed for everyday people to easily share videos online. It is now an enormous media platform that enables people to broadcast themselves to the world. And, with the right amount of skill, smarts and luck, users can tour the world, be granted great opportunities, become online celebrities and earn hundreds of thousands of dollars from their online presence – they are known as YouTubers.

Opinion: The end of the Big Day Out? Unlikely.

It's sad about the Big Day Out, but all these "RIP" posts on social media today, when the event is still owned by a company - albeit an American one - seems a bit premature.

SXSW Feature: Five lessons learned from my first week in Austin...

As I lie on a hotel bed with just the light of this computer screen illuminating a right arm which is heavily decorated with venue wristbands from seven nights of concerts, pub gigs and failed arena shows, I've had time to reflect on the whirlwind that has been my first SXSW experience. I'm not here to gloat about how many famous people we've seen walking down 6th or Red River (though there has been a lot, oh em gee), or how I like, totally came across an indie-thrash-folk-acoustic duo who are like, totally going to be on your radars soon dudes. Rather, the following are just a few things I've picked up from my multiple walks around downtown and interacting with some of the SXSW well-practiced - you will feel like a small fish in a big ocean here. As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas and their music festivals are no different.

Opinion: Is Kanye West allowed to be arrogant?

“Hatewagons” are not hard to understand but they still confuse me, and they always seem to snowball within those who identify as hipsters; those who disguise their cynicism as thoughtful criticism and let loose with witticisms like “douche” every time the name Kanye West is mentioned.

Hello Asia! Opinion: AKB48 - Music For Middle Aged Men?

Guest writer Yeo Xin-Yi gives her opinion on Japanese pop phenomenon AKB48.

Hello Asia! Opinion: Woe To The Ballad Fans!

I am the type of person who likes to sit in a chair at the end of the day and listen to soothing songs such as Davichi’s Two of Us or Turtle – basically songs that are great for staring into the night sky and reflecting on the day or thinking about your life and the future.

Hello Asia! Opinion: Sexy Girl Group Concepts - Are We Seeing Too Many?

Just yesterday, I came across Ga-In's teaser for her song F**K U and though I was not thoroughly shocked (I mean, the Brown Eyed Girls have been doing pretty R-rated MVs for a while), the fact that all my related videos section on YouTube all had sexy girl group teasers or MVs, ranging from Miss A's Hush all the way to Girls Day's Something.

Opinion: Shock, upsets and elation at the '14 Grammys - why we love to hate award shows.

And so it came to pass that the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards were held in Los Angeles on Sunday night (USA). The ceremony was much talked about, as it is every year, for stand out performances, memorable moments and clear upsets. 2014 was a year where there 34 couples were married onstage by Queen Latifah, Beyonce and Jay Z proved just how much of a power couple they are and Trent Reznor took to social media in launching a huge 'Fuck You' at the music institution. I have to ask though: with each ceremony (VMAs et al included) making headlines annually for some reason or another, why are we as a viewing public, so shocked and surprised?

Feature: Pearl Jam's Big Day Out tour, from the perspective of a diehard fan and AU photographer.

To say Jennifer Sando is just a Pearl Jam fan is a slight understatement. The talented Adelaide-based (and AU review) photographer is behind the Picture In a Frame book, which showed her quest to photograph the iconic frontman, Eddie Vedder, himself. A beautifully composed collection of photographs and text detailing the journey wrapped up with the pièce de résistance, a pocket of time where Sando was finally able to meet and spend time with Vedder, resulting in the portrait she'd worked hard to get. Now, a few years on, Pearl Jam are back in the country for the Big Day Out with a stomper live show and a new album. Sando gives us an insight into her experience - having travelled to Melbourne purely to be reunited with the band, before they hit her hometown this coming weekend.

Opinion: A response to Fairfax's "Calling The Tune" article.

Over the weekend, Fairfax Media published an article entitled "Calling The Tune" (read it here), which captured this moment in the Australian music industry. A moment that sees the government funded radio station triple j as the leading national voice (musically) for 18-24 year olds. With essentially no competition, no one else has the ability to break artists the way they do, in the genres and demographic they focus on. The article focuses on the criticism that the station has received as a result of all this. In my opinion, while this is an important discussion to have, I've grown tired of the negative rhetoric about a station that DOES support Australian music.

Feature: 20 tracks guaranteed to get you singing and moving at the 2013/14 Falls Festival!

Soon, thousands will be getting in their cars or jumping on planes in making the annual trip to Lorne, Marion Bay and now Byron Bay for the 2013/14 Falls Festival! There are obviously going to be a huge amount of musical highlights over the New Year's festival, but to get you keen, we've come up with a list of 20 tracks by Falls artists that are guaranteed to get bodies moving, grinding, jumping and everything else. Without further ado...

The Next Step: From Beatmaker to Producer

Right now all across the world, there are literally tens of thousands of young guns punching away at their laptops + MIDI interface of choice. Painstakingly pasting together loops, perhaps sampling some 90s tune, chopping it all together and creating exceptional track beds. I get demos from young beatmakers regularly, and am often blown away at what’s being achieved out there, and I’m also glad they’ve found a better 'distraction' than video games!