There aren't too many genuine rock stars left in this rock-god-forsaken world of faceless ProTooled popbots. Sure, plenty of aspiring Next Big Things cop the right poses, wear the requisite stylists-supplied hipster threads, or sing about the right clichéd topics. But pitifully few of them have "it"--that elusive, intangible, magical mix of sex, sizzle, style, and substance.
Australia's You Am I have "it," and they've had it for years. It is in fact one of the rock 'n' roll's great all-time injustices that YAI aren't rocking sold-out stadiums in every country on the map on both sides of the equator. While the band has long been an institution since the mid-'90s Down Under--where they've won ARIA Awards (Aussie Grammys), headlined festivals, topped charts, and inspired bands like Silverchair and Jet--worldwide success has frustratingly remained elusive for them. But those in know, including esteemed past tourmates like Oasis, the Strokes, Sloan, Goo Goo Dolls, and Soundgarden, can tell you: This "convict rock" combo is the real deal, everything a red-blooded rock 'n' roll band oughta be but so often sadly isn't. They really don't make 'em like this no more.
You Am I embarked a very rare tour of the Northern Hemisphere recently, on their way to Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival, and luckily one of the stops on that tour was a visit to Yahoo! Music, where mop-topped frontman Tim Rogers (the last of the red-hot rock stars and one the greatest working lyricists around) and sharp-dressed guitarist Davey Lane (who's also played in Crowded House) graced the Y! staff with four acoustic performances. And even unplugged, the YAI guys still managed to seem electric enough to shoot sparks.
If you're not yet familiar with You Am I, now's the time, as the band's self-titled ninth album is finally getting a U.S. release. Check out some performances below and find out all about Australia's best-kept secret!