Strange to relate, but not long ago, plenty of people were tipping Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong as the next big thing. I was looking at the BBC Sound Of 2008 list a few minutes ago, to check up on the progress of their tips, and the Music Hack Hivemind appears to have managed a pretty good strikerate thus far this year.


Read More >>

Round these parts there’s a feeling (generated mostly, it must be admitted, from my desk) that Joanna Newsom’s second album, “Ys”, is one of the very best albums released this decade. It was with immense pleasure, then, that we discovered Newsom would be playing a special Sunday lunchtime set at Latitude.


Read More >>

An interesting post on the Endless Boogie blog over the weekend. “[Endless Boogie] Sounds like a more psyched up Stackwaddy or Edgar Broughton Band Wasa Wasa (which is a good thing),” writes Dave C, “but IMHO if you want real brain crushing psych rock you NEED to get ‘Dead In The Water’ by The Heads, easily the best thing I’ve heard all year.”


Read More >>

When we were talking about Coldplay the other day, one of the regulars, Jamesewan, posted some thoughts which suggested that the British music scene “has been in a kind of depression for a while now.” It’s not something I worry about a great deal, to be honest, since I don’t really care where the records I like come from – and they usually come from America, realistically.


Read More >>

From a British music biz perspective, it’s hard to imagine anything else going on this week beyond the small matter of that Coldplay record. This morning, though, a sobering corrective arrived in my inbox. In America, the email announced, “Lil Wayne has broken Mariah Carey’s record for the highest opening album sales of the year. He has sold in one day what Mariah sold in her entire week.” That’s 420,000 sales, incidentally; something for Chris Martin, Guy Hands and their competitive chums to aim for, I guess.


Read More >>

It’s easy to lose track of actual release dates up here in the ivory tower, but I believe tomorrow is the day that Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” finally comes out. Hence, I guess, the exponential ramping-up of all the furrowed-brow pontificating that seems to be going on about the band all over the internet today, provoked in many places by Andy Gill’s 2,000-word assassination of the band in this morning’s copy of The Independent.


Read More >>

So this is what we’ve played thus far this week: a glut of hip-hop; a few selections from the private collections of John Robinson and Mark Bentley; a Walter Becker solo album that doesn’t quite cut it next to all those wonderful Steely Dan and Donald Fagen records; and a Radiohead cover of Portishead, which makes this an uncharacteristically prophetic blog.


Read More >>

Just back from a week’s holiday, and I’m working through the backlog of post that was waiting for me. Now playing: Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III”, from which we’ve particularly enjoyed “Dr Carter”, where the rapper babbles over a generous David Axelrod sample.


Read More >>

You might remember that last week’s playlist contained a Mystery Record, sternly embargoed and so on by the record company, thoroughly underwhelming to listen to. A few of you had a decent stab at guessing the high-security identity of the artist(s), suggesting I was sat on new MP3s by The Verve, Bob Dylan produced by Rick Rubin, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, The Wu-Tang Clan, Blur, Oasis, Ride, Guns N’ Roses, Prince, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Kraftwerk or Rage Against The Machine.


Read More >>

After my first thoughts on “Stay Positive”, we’re continuing to unpick a record that I’m now suspecting is The Hold Steady’s masterpiece. Allan has been even more dedicated in the pursuit of meaning than I have, assiduously studying John Cassavetes’ “Opening Night”, since Craig Finn mentioned that it had a critical influence on his lyrics, most explicitly in "Slapped Actress".


Read More >>

Newsletter


Editor's Letter

The 46th (And Last) Playlist Of 2014


Sorry I didn't manage to post a playlist last week; a combination of germs, deadlines and various other professional/seasonal distractions meant that I ran out of time.

Here, though, is our last office list of 2014, with lots of strong new entries. A few highlights...