STAR SEARCH
Arq Sydney are searching for their newest star every Thursday night from 9pm. The grand prize includes $2,000 cash and a three month show contract in the Arena. DJs include Alex Taylor, Justin Scott, Mark Alsop and Sandi Hotrod. To enter please contact Jimmy Dee on jimmy@arqsydney.com.au or call 9380 8700.

SLIDE CABARET
Barbara Morrison from the United States will be performing memories of Ella, Sarah and Billie at Slide Bar on Wednesday 20 August. Also, on Wednesday 13 August, the venue will present a night of burlesque in a Dollies and Soldiers show. Dinner and show tickets for both events are $60 and $20 for just the show. For details go to www.slide.com.au

JAZZ SOUNDS
The Vampires bring together some of Sydney’s finest emerging musicians in a group which has been performing together for the past three years, giving energetic and original performances of reggae-infused jazz. They will play on Saturday 23 August at Sound Lounge. Tickets start at $14. For more details go to www.sima.org.au.

STEVIE EXTENDS
Tickets for Stevie Wonder’s national concert tour of Australia went on sale last week and the Sydney concert sold out. Dainty Consolidated Entertainment has just announced second and final shows in Sydney and Melbourne. Tickets will go on sale this Friday. The new concert date is Thursday 23 October at Acer Arena. Bookings on 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.

POP ACT
Adelaide fuzz-pop phenomenon Hit The Jackpot released their second album Soul Money Gang Vibe earlier this month on Chapter Music, and are now taking off around the country to launch its noisy, catchy, warm and passionate goodness. The group will play at Spectrum on Sunday 17 August. Tickets are $10.

TEA FOR TWO
On Wednesday 20 August, Twinings and the Park Hyatt Sydney are hosting prêt-a-portea -” a fashionista’s high tea. A modern high tea service at the Park Hyatt Sydney includes a welcome glass of champagne, service of a dedicated tea blend such as Lady Grey, traditional afternoon or chamomile tea, and a spread of pastries, scones and tea-inspired dishes. In support of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, for every glass of Tattinger champagne purchased, prêt-a-portea will donate the entire proceeds of $15 to the Victor Chang charity. Tickets are $80 per person. For further information on the prêt-a-portea series or to book tickets, contact the Park Hyatt Sydney on 9256 1437.

ROCKDALE OPERA
The Rockdale Opera Company is Australia’s oldest opera company, and this year celebrates its 60th anniversary with a production of Auber’s Fra Diavolo. This was once (arguably) the world’s most popular opera. For this production the story has been updated to a French village in World War II and involves a nefarious double agent posing as a famous French resistance leader but who is actually a member of the Gestapo. The next performance is on Saturday 9 August at the Rockdale Town Hall. For tickets call 1300 306 776 or visit www.mca-tix.com

BAND IT UP
Melbourne five-piece, Front Counter, hit the road this week heading to NSW for their national tour in support of the band’s debut EP titled A Toast To You and Me which is in stores Saturday 9 August. Front Counter’s goal has been simple since day one -” to make catchy, energetic rock songs. Inspired by the thriving 90s pop-punk scene, the melodic sounds of 60s pop and the punch of modern-day rock, and a diverse string of personal influences ranging from Green Day to Korn, Front Counter have moulded a sound that they are truly proud of. They will play at Luna Park this Saturday 9 August and on Sunday 10 August at Spectrum. Tickets are S10 from the venue. For more details go to www.frontcounterband.com.

FLINDERS FUN
The Flinders Hotel is proud to present Laidee Babooshka with her brand new games night Bamboozled with Babooshka. It will be a hilarious and fun-filled evening launching on Tuesday 12 August from 7pm. For more details head to www.flindershotel.com.

BLOOMIN’ GREAT
Just a reminder that the 2008 National Orchid Extravaganza is on this week starting from Friday 8 until Sunday 10 August. The event will take place at the Dural Recreation Centre at Ellerman Park. For more details head to www.ccansw.com.au.

TUJIKO NORIKO
Tujiko Noriko is the undisputed queen of Japanese avant-pop experimental music. A prolific artist who has recorded 13 albums in just eight years, she has carved a uniquely spliced vision of divergent pop. Having never played an instrument until she picked up her boyfriend’s synthesiser, this electronic songstress has cemented her position as the Bjork of the digital underground. The singer will perform at the Sydney Opera House Studio on Friday 22 August at 9pm. Tickets start at $20 and bookings on 9250 7777 or online at sydneyoperahouse.com.

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