After raving about the new Alasdair Roberts and White Fence albums on the past few lists, I’m pleased to have some tracks from them this week, along with really excellent new arrivals from Kevin Morby and Ryley Walker.
As you may have seen, this week’s NME features the 2013 edition of their 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. For this one, they also accepted votes from a bunch of the mag’s alumni, including me, so I thought it’d be an easy, albeit self-indulgent, blog to reproduce my Top 50 albums here.
In his excellent Uncut review of the Morrissey “Autobiography”, Michael alludes to the get-out clause afforded rock memoirists post-“Chronicles”: why bother obfuscating certain awkward details when you can, by being capricious with time and chronology, just skip the difficult stuff?
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:
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”.
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.
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.
Such has been the drooling media focus on Kate Bush this week, it might be tough to imagine British music journalists listening to anything else these past few days. I'm not, in fairness, exempt from the hysteria: here's...