Playing spot-the-reference isn’t, I guess, the most elevated game for critics to indulge in. White Denim’s music, however, suggests that the Austin quartet are conceivably America’s most exciting record store nerds. Last time they put an album out (“D”, in 2011), I wrote a review in the mag that included this paragraph:


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Not much to say here, other than I think I’ve managed to embed more tracks you can actually play into this playlist than ever before. Dig in, I guess…


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A few weeks ago, an EP turned up from the Rough Trade label, credited to a band called Trans (I’ve included some tracks below). Information was sketchy, at best: among the gnomic statements of intent on the press release, the most concrete were probably “Hard-panned stereo”, “Glasgow left/London right”, “celebrate good times” and, most pointedly, “MESSAGE: OBLIQUE”.


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Something nice in the post this morning: a copy of Donald Fagen’s memoir, “Eminent Hipsters”. It’s not always the greatest idea to judge a book by its chapter titles (though I do always think that Clive James’ “A Prong In Peril” and “The Sound Of Mucus” are a good example of delivering what they promise), but definitely looking forward to “Henry Mancini’s Anomie Deluxe” and “The Cortico-Thalamic Pause: Growing Up Sci-Fi” Gonna have a wingding, or such like, at the weekend, and will report back.


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Yesterday afternoon, I did something that I should probably, as a curious and more or less responsible music journalist, have done weeks ago: I listened to the debut album by Haim, “Days Are Gone”.


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Conspicuously wealthy blues collectors probably know about this by now, but a copy of Tommy Johnson’s “Alcohol And Jake Blues” has surfaced – only the second that’s ever been found – and is on sale at Ebay. It’ll be interesting to see how bidding shapes up before the auction closes around 10 tonight (UK time): at time of writing, the highest offer is $16,800.00.


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“I am guilty,” says Roy Harper, “of taking you on some strange journeys, I have to admit.” We are two songs into a solo Harper show to mark the release of his first new album in 13 years, taking place in a record shop (Rough Trade East) and being streamed live on the internet; a confluence of events that clearly amuses the singer on some essential and bemused level.


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I’ve just noticed it’s Jarvis Cocker’s 50th birthday, and used it as an excuse to dig this out: my NME interview with a pre-fame Pulp in June 1992. Had a look for the one I did with them just before the (at the time) last gig a decade later and couldn’t find it, annoyingly…


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I’m not, as a rule, the sort of person who reveres and memorises reviews from the notional golden age of rock journalism. But the other day, I was pondering something Nick Kent wrote in his original NME review of Television’s “Marquee Moon”. I found it online this morning, specifically this passage:


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Jams, folks. Please take ten minutes to watch the excellent clips below from Natural Child and Chris Forsyth. The image above is the cover of Forsyth’s tremendous forthcoming album, which I’ll try my damnedest to write about in the next day or two.


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The 31st Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Some logical excitement here this week about the impending Leonard Cohen and Aphex Twin albums; in the event you've missed it these past couple of days, you can hear Cohen's superb "Almost Like The Blues" further down this blog.

Worth noting, though, some strong...