A couple of quick things for your delectation today. One is a clip of Black Mountain sleepily invading the mainstream by playing “Stormy High” live on the Conan O’Brien show. Look at all that beautiful hair and how they avoid looking at the cameras at all costs. Mighty impressive.


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Hey, I've just posted a review of Vampire Weekend at London ULU, over at my own daily blog, Wild Mercury Sound. Cheers....


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Given how everyone has fixated on their Ivy League background, the sticky-floored ambience – the quintessential redbrick-ness - of ULU shouldn’t be quite right for Vampire Weekend. Surely, we should all be watching them in an immaculate marquee, in the grounds of an Oxford college, shortly before a long and intense reading party in the Cotswolds?


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Just remembered: following the blog on Plush last week, Jon Dale has sent me a link to another new Liam Hayes song.


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I was too busy last night to watch the Brits - well, OK, I was hooked on Masterchef and Grand Designs - and this excellent blog articulates perfectly the reasons why I can't bring myself to tune in, year after year. As one of the elite thousand or so who voted, however, I was pleased to see one of my ballot-spoiling choices, The Arctic Monkeys, win a couple of things.


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Morning all, here's the latest rundown. I guess the most significant new arrival this week is from Spiritualized: "Songs In A&E" just arrived. We're on Track Five right now.


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As I read yet another blog rave or lavish review, I keep returning to this Hercules & Love Affair album; a record I keenly want to like, but can never quite get on with. If you’ve somehow missed all the fuss thus far, it’s an opulent nu-disco album, populated by a cast of New York nightlife denizens (including, most conspicuously, Antony Hegarty), and released on James Murphy’s eccentric but generally trustworthy DFA imprint.


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Further to my Portishead blog last week, a CD turned up this morning, so we've finally been able to hear a couple of tracks that wouldn't work on our secure stream. Quite abrasive on first listen, but I'll report back later.


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Now that we've just about recovered from last year's wonderful, Uncut-sponsored Latitude Festival, it's time we started anticipating the 2008 event. As usual, the acclaimed three day event will be held at Henham Park in Southwold, Suffolk. The dates for your diary this year are July 17-20.


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Before I start, a couple of caveats. First, I must admit that I haven’t played either of the first two Portishead albums for a shamefully long time, so I’m going to be struggling a little to put “Third” into context. Second, we’ve been listening to “Third” on a fairly capricious secure stream, which seems to skip a couple of tracks and be a little unpredictable; consequently, if I get titles wrong and can’t give a complete picture of the album, apologies in advance.


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Editor's Letter

D'Angelo's "Black Messiah": some first thoughts


When Thom Yorke sneaked out his new solo album a few months back, I managed to hold out for 66 hours before writing a review of "Tomorrow's Modern Boxes". Since waking up...