Publishing imperatives being what they are, most of us have virtually forgotten about all the hair-wringing and number-crunching that went into compiling those Best Of 2007 lists. But before we completely write off the last 12 months, here's one last poll that's pretty interesting.
Nice thing turned up in the post the other day from one of my favourite labels at the moment, Tompkins Square. The New York label tends to specialise in fingerpicking guitarists who are very much in the tradition of the Takoma school, which they categorise, neatly enough, as “American Primitive Guitar”.
A few of you have been asking for me to write something about the new Drive-By Truckers album and, to be honest, I’ve been putting off doing so for weeks now, playing the record again and again to come to terms with it.
With the next issue out of the way, we had a fairly constructive bash through a backlog of new releases today, hence not much here has figured on previous playlists. As usual, please let me know what you've been listening to: further to the Cave Singers tip I mentioned the other day, I've been quite taken with Health, who cropped up in one of your posts the other day.
We were listening to the new Elbow album this morning when the first line of Track Four stood out. “I’ve been working on a cocktail called grounds for divorce,” sings Guy Garvey over a ratchety chaingang rhythm, one of those industrial-propulsive beats with which Elbow pepper their Floydian/Talk Talk reveries. Then a crisply distorted guitar cuts through it; far too controlled to be grungy, exactly, but endemic of the way this largely excellent band manage to mix up the grandiose and ethereal with something that’s much more earthy and humane.
Just as I started writing this blog, an email pinged into my inbox to let me know that Juno has now taken $60 million at the US box office and kept the Nic Cage blockbuster National Treasure 2 off the top spot.
A bit of a rush today, since we're trying to finish the next issue of Uncut. But I've been revisiting the MGMT record that turned up last year, and which features fairly prominently in the New Brooklyn Bands feature in the current issue.
A fairly fractious mix over the past day and a half, at least one of which made (for good reason, I must admit) our production editor evacuate the Uncut office at speed. A load of Kraftwerk bootlegs are currently in circulation, following the 1971 session I recommended the other day, and this one from Croydon, 1975, is tremendous.
A couple of records I’ve been meaning to blog about for weeks today. One is the new album by Earth, “The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull”, which further confirms Dylan Carlson’s drift away from absolute minimalist metal drone to a kind of slow, but surprisingly melodious desert rock.
A bit early in 2008, I think, to start talking about Albums Of The Year and such. But over the past week, I must admit I’ve been completely knocked out by the new Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks album. It’s called “Real Emotional Trash”, and it’s out in March on Domino in the UK.