Sunday, January 21, 2007

In shops tomorrow: 22/1


See, this is the sort of thing that gets us all confused. Through the magic of midweek lists being issued nearly every day of the week we know the hi-fi sci-fi Hard-Fi (without the overbearingness but with a whole truckload of cod-mysticism) of Klaxons' Golden Skans was number 16 last week and will more than likely be top ten tonight in a chart headed by Mika, whose single isn't even out properly until the 29th. Doing neither so far are the Shins, who in a country that didn't much care for Garden State have mere cult status to go on for the swirling Beach Boyisms of Phantom Limb, and Larrikin Love, who in a slightly complex move are releasing Well Love Does Furnish A Life from their album as a single but calling the package A Day In The Life. As mentioned just down there, the download remixes are where it's really at. These are bands you know about, of course, but from our POV the great thing about such sustained blogging is that you can pick up on bands early on and watch them slowly but surely break the nationwide interest surface and get product into the shops. Such is the case of the ever wonderful Sky Larkin, whose scratchy, charging debut 7" One Of Two emerges on Dance To The Radio.


The thing that's always struck us about Field Music is the way their songs are constructed always seems to be at odds with the way they're produced - both (well, all three) of their albums sound very middly and soft-rocky, but the content takes far too many tightly wound twists and stylistic bounds to be pinned down to Rowleycore (where are people getting the recent Steely Dan comparison from?) Suffice to say that if your finer instincts are appealed to by harmonic inventiveness and properly melodic elegant dislocation, Tones Of Town is a godsend, and we stand by our previous statement that it's the album of the three weeks of 2007 so far. Apart from the underwhelming so far at this end attempt to mash up Blur parochialism and Gorillaz atmospheres that is The Good The Bad And The Queen, it's the reissuing business that's taking up most space this week. While the remastering teams have been working overtime with yet another issue of pickings from the back catalogues of David Bowie (chiefly The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars) and Joni Mitchell (chiefly Court And Spark), we're excited that John Cooper Clarke's 1982 album Zip Style Method is getting a CD release. Produced by Martin Hannett, this is the bard of Salford's last release to date, chiefly harbouring The Day My Pad Went Mad and I Wanna Be Yours, and a Peel session of the time has been appended to the end. Less sociologically inclined, at least on the surface, Bob Kerr And His Whoopee Band were a surreal jazz offshoot from the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Kerr having split from Stanshall, Innes and co when they took a rockier direction. There's a DVD too. Pulling apart the multi-layered indiepop lunacy of Architecture In Helsinki's In Case We Die must have left it in quite a mess, but the likes of Hot Chip and New Buffalo give it a fair go on We Died, They Remixed, reinventing as it goes along. The 22nd best album of 2006 Cansei De Ser Sexy is also on the release schedules this week, having made the step up from Sub Pop to Warners. Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above is scheduled for a reissue in a couple of months, which given it's pretty much the only thing most know them for seems self-defeating. As we forgot to mention it a couple of weeks ago we must also hold high Pop Culture Presents...We're Stupid But We're Happy, a compilation available from PopCult zine featuring the band that give it its title, Los Campesinos!, plus Sky Larkin, redcarsgofaster, Shut Your Eyes And You'll Burst Into Flames, The Answering Machine, Former Bullies and many other reasons to be excited about the new wave of British bands.


You never quite know how to pitch seemingly unofficial DVDs in this bit. Are they going to be the usual flog 'em cheap waste of time or have they actually managed to licence more than ten seconds at a time of proper performance footage? A guarded mention, therefore, for Kurt Cobain: All Apologies, which promises live footage and interviews with Chad Channing, Steve Sutherland, Keith Cameron, UK PR Anton Brookes and, um, Terry Christian. We're fairly sure Blackalicious: 4/20 Live In Seattle features properly edited live footage of the much respected high speed funk hip-hop trailblazers, though.

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