I was listening to some generally unfunny show on Radio 4 last week, when some comedian who should really remain nameless – but whose uselessness compels me to identify him as Mitch Benn – sang a song, notionally in the style of David Bowie, on the subject of, if memory serves, farting in space.


Read More >>

Thanks for all your responses to the Raconteurs and REM blogs yesterday. I'm glad I wasn't the only one to feel underwhelmed by the REM Albert Hall show.


Read More >>

The Raconteurs album is playing for the second time this morning, and I’ve just got round to reading the paperwork which arrived in my inbox with the download just before 9am. “Consolers Of The Lonely”, it notes, is “loud, bombastic and littered with changes of tempo.” Can’t argue with any of that.


Read More >>

A conversation last week about REM’s South By Southwest show resulted, yesterday afternoon, in me digging out my old copy of “Reckoning”. Apparently, they’d played “Second Guessing” (as well as “Auctioneer” from “Fables Of The Reconstruction”) at the show so, in preparation for the Albert Hall gig, I thought I’d revisit the album.


Read More >>

A conversation last week about REM’s South By Southwest show resulted, yesterday afternoon, in me digging out my old copy of “Reckoning”. Apparently, they’d played “Second Guessing” (as well as “Auctioneer” from “Fables Of The Reconstruction”) at the show so, in preparation for the Albert Hall gig, I thought I’d revisit the album.


Read More >>

I didn’t plan to blog today, fancying a computer-free Easter weekend and all, but this morning I felt compelled to write about Dawn Landes’ show at our first Club Uncut last night. A few days ago, I think I described her as being some kind of cross between Chan Marshall and Laura Veirs. Well, I got that completely wrong.


Read More >>

A small recurring theme here these past few weeks has been the work of John ‘Speedo’ Reis, with the release of Rocket From The Crypt’s posthumous live album, “RIP” and the appearance of a new band called The Night Marchers on Myspace. Now, the Night Marchers album has arrived, and I reckon it may be the poppiest thing Reis has ever been involved with.


Read More >>

As a general rule, I must admit to finding most of the stuff that goes by the dubious name of “nu-gaze” pretty lame. If there’s a minor boom in bands who revisit the aesthetics of shoegazing, most of them strike me as being awfully conventional, a particularly insipid kind of indie that revolves around weak vocals, predictable effects and a generally fey take on orthodoxy.


Read More >>

In the playlist yesterday, I mentioned that James Blackshaw, one of my favourite contemporary guitarists, has a new album out as part of a duo called Brethren Of The Free Spirit. Actually, Blackshaw has two new things in circulation at the moment, and both are excellent.


Read More >>

A load of new stuff again this week, much of it pretty interesting. The Brethren Of The Free Spirit, incidentally, are a duo featuring the guitarist James Blackshaw, who's received much love here over the past year.


Read More >>

Newsletter


Editor's Letter

Introducing… Elvis Costello: The Ultimate Music Guide


In June 1977, Allan Jones of the Melody Maker took a familiar route to the offices of Stiff Records in West London. His appointment, that day, was with a notably irascible young singer-songwriter from Hounslow. In the course of a frequently startling interview, the man who had chosen to call...