Sometime last week, we had some kind of half-assed straw poll in the office about our best gigs of 2007. You can probably guess a lot of the stuff that came up: The White Stripes, The Hold Steady, Arctic Monkeys, Dylan, Wilco, Lou Reed’s "Berlin". Good gigs. I held off submitting any suggestions, though, not least because I suspected I’d see my favourite gig of the year on Friday night.


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I've been preparing myself today for tonight's Boredoms show at Shoreditch Town Hall by subjecting the office to a 105 minute continuous bootleg of their show with 77 drummers in New York from the summer. But it also seems like Japanese rock is much on my mind right now, since I've finally got round to reading Julian Cope's "Japrocksampler".


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A pretty tendentious post appeared on the blog last night from someone who styles themselves Sad Indeed. "After seeing the live performance download MSNBC Today show 10/24, not only is Robert Plant coming off as sad as hell - a lifetime of dedication to the mermaid has broke his heart - but Krauss and Plant had NO chemistry and were out of synchronicity," Sad Indeed spiels.


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I was playing this new album by Charalambides in the office yesterday afternoon, and someone mentioned that it would sound pretty good - and, well, pretty unnerving - on a mixtape with tracks from the recent PJ Harvey album, "White Chalk".


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The post seems to have finally sorted itself out, so a decent load of new records arrived at Uncut yesterday, making today's playlist feel a good bit fresher than some of late. Regular readers should be reassured that, though, Radiohead is uncharacteristically absent, I'll probably put it on after this Butthole Surfers reissue has finished. Some things shouldn't change for a while yet, I guess.


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Just a quick one today: I must admit that, a few months ago, it was hard to imagine Richard Ashcroft ever being involved in music I’d like again. But The Verve reunion has thrown up a few intriguing possibilities, not least the suggestion that they may sidestep all the windy balladry and return to the sort of cosmic orientation that made the band so interesting in the first place.


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After yesterday’s technical grief, I’ve now managed to play the new Black Mountain album three or four times. There’s a lot of stuff about angels laying their halos down and demons hiding in the shadows here. Blood is spreading across the walls, witchy children have black magic touches and, pointedly, Stephen McBean and Amber Webber chant in “Bright Lights”, “We love the night and all the witchery.”


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Just spent most of the afternoon in some kind of company blogging seminar (conclusion: I think I may be doing it wrong), to find the new Black Mountain album waiting for me. We're now trying to play it for the third time without it jumping. But in the meantime, here are the day's other selections: a couple of vague dogs in this lot, if memory serves.


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Something of a Robbie Basho binge in the office this morning reminded me that I’ve been sleeping on this Six Organs Of Admittance album for a few weeks now. Ben Chasny has been one of the most interesting players on the New Weird American psych/folk scene (or whatever you want to call it; chances are Chasny will try and wriggle free of any glib categories anyhow) for a few years now.


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One record that’s definitely been growing on me this past couple of weeks is the debut by a Brooklyn band called Yeasayer. At first, “All Hour Cymbals” seemed to be a nice but generic close relative to the TV On The Radio albums – insofar as anything that mixes tribal thump, dreampop textures and barbershop harmonies could be referred to as generic, of course.


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Editor's Letter

The return of The Aphex Twin, and Caustic Window


Last year, Warp Records embarked on a campaign for Boards Of Canada's "Tomorrow's Harvest" comeback that was notable for its obtuseness. Unmarked 12-inches were hidden in record stores, strings of numbers and inexplicable broadcasts were strewn enigmatically across the internet. At one point, I...