I just noticed this morning that Jack White has two albums coming out on June 18. There's the White Stripes' "Icky Thump", and then there's "Hentch-Forth.Five" by The Hentchmen.


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To Cargo in East London last night, for the long-awaited UK debut (by me, at least) of Oakley Hall. If you've not come across them before, Oakley Hall are a six-piece from Brooklyn who play a kind of driving, euphoric country psych. The two albums they released last year indicated that they were probably a pretty roistering live band.


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What seems like several months since I heard The White Stripes' "Icky Thump", I finally had a few more listens to it over the weekend. Reassuringly, my usual hysterical over-excitement seems to have been pretty justified.


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In these heady days of New Rave and such, it was heartening to be reminded this morning of the last time British bands tried to pull off that trick. "Warming Up The Brain Farm: The Best Of The Lo-Fidelity All Stars" turned up in the post. And amazingly, ten years on, it sounds great.


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Another Thursday morning just behind the Tate Modern, but today we are riding our goblin ship guided by a mermaid. Yes, the new issue of Uncut has arrived and the free CD is on our fancy new stereo. It's called "Fill Your Head With Prog", and it's just about good enough to convince you that punk was nothing more than a minor local disturbance. In 1978, surely, the only place to be was the Deeply Vale Festival with a flagon of Owsley's Peculier, watching Steve Hillage play "Hurdy Gurdy Man" for the best part of a month?


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Should we believe the rumours tonight, this is the last gig Comets Of Fire will ever play in the UK. If that's true, they've found an enterprising way to make us remember, by searing an echo of the gig on onto our eardrums forever.


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Funny that on the same day the new Robert Wyatt album turns up, the post brings three reissues by one of the British bands who learned most from him, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.


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One last contribution to the Smashing Pumpkins war, which I promise I won't write about indefinitely. In response to some comments about my review here. "Funny lot the Pumpkins fans, aren;t they?" writes Chads. "Could never understand why people take it so personally when you don't like a band they do."


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A brief dispatch, since I'm fending off hordes of enraged Smashing Pumpkins fans, some of them Argentinian. My crimes are many, but involve bad grammar, liking Zwan and, OK, disrespecting the the untouchable genius of Billy Corgan.


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First, a couple of housekeeping things. Thanks for all your comments on the Smashing Pumpkins review from last week. In response to TROY, yes, I have definitely heard the album and, yes, I guess I have bad taste according to your criteria. Sorry! If I can just point out again, though, that if I leaked my copy of "Zeitgeist", the iron fist of Warner Brothers would crush this blog instantly. So no go, guys.


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Editor's Letter

Dave Edmunds at 70! Happy birthday, boyo!


First of all, there was the somewhat staggering recent news that Captain Sensible was about to turn 60. Then a few weeks ago, Nick Lowe was 65. And today, it turns out, Dave Edmunds, Nick’s former best mate and partner in Rockpile...