Just a quick bit of news to pass on. Bill Fay phoned up an hour or so ago, as he does from time to time, to let us know that he's preparing a new reissue of his two classic albums - this time with a bonus disc of unreleased material.


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I’ve just been reading your comments on yesterday’s Vampire Weekend blog – thanks for those. They helped me crystallise my thoughts about that much-vaunted African influence on the album. What’s interesting, I think, is not that they draw on African sounds, but how they point up the affinities between that spindly, melodically cartwheeling guitar sound and the indie-rock tradition.


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I know it’s a blogger’s imperative to write about albums several months before they’re actually released, but sometimes, it takes a little longer for me to get the hang of a record. Amusingly, I’m usually slow to like records which are immediately acclaimed elsewhere for their brilliance, accessibility and so on.


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Emerging from the REM binge today, we’ve had a go at the excellent debut album from Fuck Buttons, which I’ll write something about soon. And also, from a quixotic stream on a distant computer, I caught some of the Portishead record.


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Thanks for all your comments on the REM blog I posted yesterday. I thought it might be useful if I tried to answer a few of your questions – as best as I can, anyway.


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OK, then, I must admit I’ve been sceptical about this one, so disillusioned by “Around The Sun” (three good, if woefully overproduced, songs notwithstanding) that I didn’t even bother to check out any bootlegs of those “live rehearsal” gigs from Dublin last year. . . More fool me, it transpires.


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Some big new entries on this latest playlist, not least the arrival of REM's much-anticipated "Accelerate".


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By some immeasurably strong act of will, I’ve refrained from banging on about the Boredoms round these parts for the best part of three months – ever since, in fact, they played the best show I saw in 2007.


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Wandering around Pitchfork yesterday, I came across this story about one of my old favourites, John 'Speedo' Reis.


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Great title, for a start, though I have little idea what it means. I just put “Mountain Battles” on for the third, maybe fourth time, and I’m beginning to get the hang of it. For a start, it sounds like something of a departure.


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"Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye": Cosimo Matassa 1926-2014


Among my post last week, I received a nice care package from Ace Records that included one quite weird Duke Ellington album ("My People"); Volume 3 of their "Where Country Meets Soul" series (I cannot recommend Ralph ''Soul'' Jackson's version of ''Jambalaya'' highly enough); and, maybe best of...