Want to feel like it's the New Rock Revolution all over again? The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs have new singles out, the former lifting Heart In A Cage from the album seemingly already forgotten about, the latter back with Gold Lion, which takes its time to grow on you, as does Show Your Bones, the album getting advance mixed reviews. That's 'mixed' in the some love, some hate sense, not 'mixed' the kindly way of saying everyone hates it. Our London art division have called to mention Good Shoes' much vaunted debut We Are Not The Same, which does have a tune not a great deal away from Art Brut's back pages, and Les Incompetents' How It All Went Wrong, bringing back the scrappy sound of C96. Not unreasonably most will prefer the French art school, although Nouvelle Vague have taken their time over releasing a single from 2004's loungepunk oddity, but now that pretty much every track is on an advert here comes a double A side of Nouvelle Vague - I Melt With You and Teenage Kicks just ahead of a projected Volume 2 possibly including Ever Fallen In Love (fair enough), Bela Lugosi's Dead (whu?), A Certain Ratio's Shack Up (really want to know how that translates) and Blue Monday (there's the radio hit!) The Canadian collective tendency meanwhile throws up The Organ's Brother. If we're allowing EPs in this section, let's doff the cap to Glen Johnson (not the Chelsea one) and his now ten years to the good pan-European revolving door atmospheric synth-pop outfit Piano Magic, who produce four new tracks on Incurable. Finally, touted Loughborough Interpol the Voom Blooms are releasing a limited edition 7" of Politics And Cigarettes seemingly only available via that site there. Get to it, they're going to be big.
One of the most notable issues thrown into the wider musical world by the recent BBC4 Folk Britannia documentary series was the schism opening up in the modern folk scene between the traditional English dance/balladry size - Eliza Carthy, Kate Rusby - and those who want to take it elsewhere - Jim Moray, Adem, the Fence Collective. The argument laid down by the former camp is that you can't call yourself a proper English folkie unless you have somehow lived with folk's source material rather than take its core and throw it into a mixing pot. It's 'can white men sing the blues?' all over again! Skipping gaily over the boundary over the last 18 months or so has been Seth Lakeman, who writes songs about the myths and legends of Dartmoor and then places their arrangements squarely in the modern day. It earned him a Token Mercury nomination, and Freedom Fields continues fighting the good fight. Another boundary-hopping singer, this time between punk hip hop and not being shit, is Californian and recent English at Oxford graduate MC Lars, laptop-based joker with a literary bent and a regular spot at the Truck Festival, whose The Graduate doesn't even suffer for having a guest spot for Bowling For Soup's singer. On the reissues front Ankst are re-releasing Gorky's Zygotic Mynci's three Welsh language career openers, of which Bwyd Time is the best to look out for. We're about a month late with this one, meanwhile, but we've only just found out that the gloriously gritted teeth trad-indie of the Bitter Springs has been reactivated with That Sentimental Slush. Every home should have one.
Will Hodgkinson's Guitar Man sees the Guardian writer attempt to learn guitar with recourse only to his own six string heroes, including Johnny Marr, Bert Jansch and Roger McGuinn. If that all seems recherche, the mighty Popjustice - named in Observer Music Monthly's top 25 music websites today, a list which we're not bitter about at all, honest - is bringing out the first in what is promised to be a series of Popjustice Idols pictorial books, starting with A Girl Called Madonna, A Boy Called Marshall and A Boy Called Robbie. Presumably you'll be able to guess the attitude therein.