What is it we've been saying all along about the Summer Of Spector? Well, the summer of 60s hit factory-esque updated girl group moves at least, which now it's blazingly hot outside is nigh-on perfect. So we've dealt already with Camera Obscura's album, Sweden's El Perro Del Mar have/has crept up on the outside with the girlpop album Sarah Cracknell should have made when she briefly went solo about ten years ago, and of course their/her Memphis Industries stablemates will soon be renting the skies asunder with white on blue polka dots (Radio 2 B-list!) And even after all that, gloriously, come Lucky Soul, the Deptford fivesome bringing the Motown classicism and the icy Dusty-meets-Nina Persson vocals of Ali Howard. It's incredible to think the gorgeous, joyous pop of Lips Are Unhappy is being issued on what appears to be their own Ruffa Lane label, as this is yet another of those records that logically should be pumping out of daytime radio all the time. And at night, what should they put on? Why, Atlantis To Interzone by Klaxons, which we're actually a week late on and was limited edition 7" anyway but never mind, it needs a proper write-up as a track that, for all the hype ('new rave'? Begone with you) starts like a rocket and forgets to ever let up. The thought that this is just what Pop Will Eat Itself would sound like if they emerged now does cross your mind, but when it completely changes pace and key and re-emerges with a monstrous riff and a shoutalong chorus to make Test-Icicles cry, then changes back with even more energy than before, who can deny it? Also out this week: the Young Knives pick their weakest single to date but still retain that certain something on She's Attracted To, Radio 4, long though eaten alive by James Murphy after the post-Gotham! letdowns, pick out the one salvageable track on their new album and it's title track Enemies Like This, and here's another Editors re-release. Blood, if you must know.
As Lucky Soul and Klaxons know, to know your future you have to know your past, and there's two hugely influential pasts being put on display this week. Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era came out as a four CD box set in 1998, rather bizarrely for its CD debut, but here it is trimmed back down to how Lenny Kaye and Jac Holzman envisaged it in 1972. This is the album that arguably did as much for New York punk as Raw Power and the New York Dolls' eponymous debut. Many of these tracks had actually been small scale hits but had been forgotten by the prevailing cleaned-up sound influences of the day, meaning the likes of the Electric Prunes, Standells, Seeds, Count Five and 13th Floor Elevators really did sound like nothing else. At about the time its word was spreading the British music scene was receiving its own jolts back into life, and Paul Morley has finally found a way to make himself useful again by compiling North By North West: Liverpool & Manchester from Punk to Post-Punk & Beyond 1976-1983. One disc each for both towns and nothing hugely surprising, unless you count the Liverpool CD ending with Relax and the eventual reappropriation of the Lotus Eaters, but it's as good a starter pack as you're going to get, and the Wah! track isn't Story Of The Blues which we should be grateful for. In the pile marked New In you'll find two wordsmiths of differing strips, Frank Black's fifth album in six years (and it's a double) Fastman Raiderman finds him working with the same Memphis session legends as the last one, Honeycomb, plus other local luminaries to go further down that album's skewed almost countrified route - check the Myspace - while Neil Hannon is settling back into a world that no longer buys his Divine Comedy records in great bulk but appreciates his approach all the more, whimsical orchestrated pop album number nine being Victory For The Comic Muse.
We're always suspicious of DVDs about major influential bands that arrive with no ceremony because we're mindful of that key phrase 'this DVD features no original music by the band'. However word is that The Kinks: The Live Broadcasts, a US TV compilation, and The Clash: London's Calling, featuring Don Letts and rare live footage, might actually be more substantial. What does Letts have on his passport under occupation? If he's not contributing to documentaries about the Roxy and its inhabitants he's putting his name to DJ compilations. Meanwhile two of America's foremost musical events commit their 2005 showings to MPEG-2, Coachella featuring the Arcade Fire, Belle & Sebastian, Bjork, Bright Eyes, the Chemical Brothers, the Flaming Lips, Iggy & The Stooges, Kool Keith, The Mars Volta, Morrissey, Oasis, Pixies, the Polyphonic Spree, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Saul Williams, Spearhead, Squarepusher, the White Stripes and Zero 7 plus appearances from Beck and Josh Homme and extensive interviews, while Austin City Limits manages Thievery Corporation, the Black Keys, Kasabian, Bloc Party, the Frames, Kaiser Chiefs, Ambulance LTD, the Decemberists, Jason Mraz, Mike Doughty, Steve Earle and the Dukes, and assorted mini-documentaries.