Someone from a site called Splicetoday spammed one of my old REM blogs last week, posting a link to an interesting compare-and-contrast piece on both “Accelerate” and Mark Kozelek’s new Sun Kil Moon album, “April”. It reminded me, amongst other things, that I’d been sleeping on the Sun Kil Moon record; that maybe the embracing familiarity of Kozelek’s latest doleful epic had made me take it for granted. Or maybe it was just that I’d been listening to it on one of those moody secure streams, and today a CD arrived.


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A few years ago, I spent a good while being evangelical about something that was excruciatingly, and probably briefly, labelled ‘folktronica’. Before a bunch of rather insipid bands like Tunng seemed to take up that banner in earnest, I wrote a lot about the solo work of Kieran Hebden, who as Four Tet had moved through an electronic reconfiguring of ecstatic, cosmic jazz and was (circa 2001) building new music out of his computer and a bunch of arcane folk records.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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...