Taking a look through the Australian gig guide listings is enough to make Kiwi music fans seethe with jealousy.
Yes, though a few international acts are touring here on the back of mid-winter Sydney festival Splendour In The Grass, including James Blake (August 2, Auckland Town Hall) and Passion Pit (July 25, the Powerstation), there are a number of big names yet to commit to shows on this side of the Tasman.
However, TimeOut has been hearing rumours about further local side shows that could be in the offing.
Acclaimed 25-year-old Louisiana R'n'B artist Frank Ocean, who released his second album Channel Orange late last year, and won himself a Grammy and Brit Award in the process, may jump across the ditch around his Splendour appearance. It would be his first performance in New Zealand.
And there are also rumours that Iceland's folk-pop band Of Monsters And Men - who seem to be growing in popularity every week on the basis of their recent hit Little Talks - could be returning after a very successful performance at Laneway Festival earlier this year. They're playing five side shows in Australia but may also have time to squeeze in one New Zealand performance.
Also playing at Splendour is The National, who recently released their excellent sixth album Trouble Will Find Me, and managed to sell out the Powerstation three nights in a row when they last performed here in 2011. Though we understand they won't be performing here as a Splendour side show, it is likely they will return later in the year.
Also likely to be performing here before years end are New York art-pop four-piece Vampire Weekend. Last here in 2010, they released their third album Modern Vampires of the City in mid-May to great reviews - it debuted at No.1 in the US - and they hope to announce a tour as soon as they can get some Australian dates lined up. In the meantime, take a look at their just-released video for Dianne Young, which features cameo appearances from an indie music who's-who double spread, including Santigold, actress/singer Sky Ferreira, Dirty Projectors frontman Dave Longstreth, and P-Thugg and Dave1 from Chromeo.
And late last week, ex-Powderfinger front-man Bernard Fanning, who also plays Splendour, announced he would be heading to New Zealand in August for his first solo tour here. Celebrating the release of his second solo album Departures (remember his 2005 summer hit Wish You Well? He went back to Powderfinger after that, but now he's out on his own again), which comes out tomorrow, he'll be performing in Auckland on August 30 and Wellington on August 31 off the back of his Australian shows.
Goblin bring their scary music to festival
When Italian prog-rock legends Goblin descend on the New Zealand International Film Festival next month, it's likely to be the scariest, most horrifying night in the history of the event.
The band, formed in 1972, will play their score to Dario Argento's 1977 horror film, Suspiria.
The film, with the tagline "the only thing more terrifying than the last 10 minutes of this film are the first 90", is a cult classic that tells the story of an American ballet student who joins a prestigious dance academy in Germany, only to find it is controlled by witches.
The screening and performance is on Friday, July 18 at The Civic as part of the film festival's Incredibly Strange programme, put together by Auckland film guru Ant Timpson.
"As far as I am concerned, this is the most exciting live film score event that Kiwi film lovers have ever had the chance to witness. Goblin's scores for Argento's films of the 70s and 80s became instant pop cultural high-points," says Timpson.
He rates Goblin's "epic electronic masterpiece" for Suspiria up there with Bernard Hermann's dissonant violins in Psycho and John Williams' iconic Jaws theme.
Tickets go on sale Thursday, June 13, at ticketek.co.nz