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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The Father, The Sun And The Holy Ghost… An interview with Hiss Golden Messenger


One bright Sunday morning, MC Taylor is driving through his patch of North Carolina, past New Hope Creek and the Eno River, over the Chatham County Line and the James Taylor Bridge in Chapel Hill, near the Haw River and the valley that he has meditated upon in song these past few years. Through...