Props to Oz

Australian and an occasional resident of his mum’s homeland, this writer has a serious passion for Aussie rock. Unfortunately, it’s been a few years since he’s called Australia home and, because of that, he’s a little behind on what’s happening Down Under. For a little help, he turned to Chris Joannou of Silverchair. Here are the rocker’s five tips on what Aussie bands should show up on your iPod.

1) You Am I
We've been friends with these guys for years. Their first albums Sound As Ever and Hi-Fi Way were big influences on us when we were first starting out. I remember seeing them play at the Metro in Sydney around that time and thinking they were seriously the best band I'd ever seen in my life.

2) Dapple Cities Fly
DCF are a Sydney indie band who opened for us on some dates we did down here earlier this year. We all really loved their twisted take on rock. Their album's just been released in America on an indie label, I think, and they're doing some touring over there, too, so if you get a chance to check ´em out, make sure that you do!

3) The Mess Hall
Okay, I need to declare a conflict of interest here. I co-produced an EP and an album for these guys, but I did that because I was a fan so they're in here on merit. Honestly! Think Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, but in a duo like the Black Keys, and you'll be close. They're the perfect soundtrack for beer drinking.

4) The Presets
There's a bit of a conflict of interest with this one, too, but again, even if I didn't know them, I'd still be recommending them. The Presets are an electronica duo, but with really strong songs. Julian [Hamilton] from the band played keys with us on all our Diorama touring, and is part of the family. They've done a lot of U.S. touring over the last few years and seem to have a real buzz going on now, which is great.

5) The Living End
We've done loads of shows with these guys and they're good friends of ours, but they're a great example of the strong live orientation I was talking about earlier. They've done thousands of gigs over the years and it really shows. They're just a great live band and Chris [Cheney] is an amazing guitarist.
Wed., Nov. 21, 6:30 p.m., 2007