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Music's Australasian Invasion Is Here. Are You Ready?

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Australasia

Everybody's heard of the British Invasion, the period in the mid-1960s when a bunch of artists and bands, led by The Beatles, crossed the Atlantic Ocean to perform in front of audiences in America for the first time. That two year span of time brought us now-household names like The Rolling Stones, The Yardbrids, The Kinks, The Who, Small Faces, and many more. The period had a large influence on popular music and culture in the United States, and British artists have been a major part of the American music scene ever since.

Is the same thing that happened in the 1960s now happening with artists from Australia and New Zealand? Are we seeing an Australasian Invasion? I believe so.

Iggy Azalea, Gotye, Lorde, Cody Simpson, and 5 Seconds of Summer Lead the Way

Even though the argument is that an Australasian Invasion is happening now, that doesn't mean that the region hasn't contributed acts in the past. In fact, Australia has brought us many of them. Acts popular in the U.S. but hailing from Oz include Olivia Newton-John, AC/DC, INXS, Tommy Emmanuel, and more recently Flight of the Conchords. The difference is that these earlier acts were relatively few and far between. For example, Newton-John and AC/DC found international success in the mid-70s, INXS in the early '80s, Tommy Emmanuel in the late '80s (as a solo artist), and Flight in the Conchords in 2009.

In contrast, the acts that seem to make up the vanguard of the Australasian Invasion — Cody Simpson, Gotye, Lorde, Iggy Azalea, and 5 Seconds of Summer — have all found an international fan base at around the same time: 2013. Gotye won a Grammy for Making Mirrors last year, while Simpson and Lorde released popular albums Surfers Paradise and Pure Heroine not long afterward. The trend has continued into 2014 with successful albums from Azalea and 5 Seconds of Summer, The New Classic and 5 Seconds of Summer, respectively. On the live side of things, all of these artists have either had successful North American tours in 2013 or 2014 or seem set do so next year, as in the case of 5 Seconds of Summer. All of that in two years, which is the same time frame of the British Invasion.

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10 Best Celebrity Ice Bucket Challenge Videos

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge seems to have taken on a life of its own within the celebrity world. Every day, new videos surface of celebs and public figures drenching themselves in ice-cold water, while simaltenously calling out other celebs and public figures to do the same. It's fun AND it's for a good cause (as I like to assume every single one of these people has also opted to donate a large sum of money to ALS).

Here are 10 of the best challenge videos that have surfaced over the last few days, starting with...

#1 - Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt, in general, is seeking world domination right now. For "Parks and Rec" fans, this is a longtime coming. There's really no one better to kick off this list.

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What's in Matthew McConaughey's Fanny Pack?

Matthew McConaughey is single-handedly trying to bring back the fanny pack. And, I guess, if ever there were a person to try, Matthew McConaughey is the man for the job.

It started when he was spotted at Fenway Park wearing a fanny pack. Was this fashion choice ironic? Was it legit? The only way to find out was to ask. McConaughey revealed that he's totally serious about his fanny packs, guys.

In the interview, he said: "I'm not afraid of the fanny pack. Instead of stuffing your pockets... you kind of got to put it on the side to make it look a little not-as-nerdy, but still, practicality wins out. I've got so much gear in here that I don't want in my pockets, I'm not afraid of the fanny pack."

TicketNetwork.com has definitely been a proponent of fanny packs (we even hosted a "Bring Back the Pack" contest back in the day). Thankfully, McConaughey is doing the legwork for us.

But what's inside of that fanny pack? Here are some of my theories...

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What People Are Talking About

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

If you've been on Facebook recently, there's no doubt in my mind that you've seen at least one video of a friend, acquaintance, or otherwise, dousing his or herself with a bucket of ice water, before promptly calling out some of their friends to do the same. It's all in an attempt to raise awareness and donations for ALS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gerig's Disease. The premise: those are tagged are asked to donate a sum of money (typically, $100) to ALS or film themselves pouring a bucket of ice-cold water on themselves. In most cases, people have opted to do both. Even celebrities and public figures have gotten in the challenge, including Justin Timberlake (video above), Mark Zuckerberg, the cast of "Grey's Anatomy," and Conan O'Brien. According to the ALS website, these donations have helped raise more than $3 million in additional donations for this time period, which is pretty awesome.

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July's Top 10 Events

I might say I'm surprised that the Ringling Bros. circus secured another month in the first spot of the TicketNetwork.com Top 10*, but as we all know by now, it's been in a stride for most of the year. So instead of focusing on Ringling Bros. for the discussion about July, I'll skip to the runner-up, Garth Brooks.

Single City and Late Announcement Success

The number of tickets for Brooks sold in July here at TN.com showed that, despite the somewhat unique manner of announcing his tour dates, fans can't wait to see him again. Although the number of tickets sold weren't at the same level as say, Jay-Z & Beyonce from earlier this year, they were at a point where I'm pretty confident saying that, had he released his entire schedule all at once, it likely would have been one of the biggest months for concerts we ever saw.

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