FREE MUSIC: Sparrow House is the band name under which Voxtrot guitarist/keyboardist Jared Van Fleet releases his solo work. Despite the band's growing stature he's promised to make time to release four EPs this year, each based around a different season. When I Am Gone is from the one called Falls, so take a wild guess which it represents. It's another entry into the burgeoning bedroom folk genre we've just made up, sounding not unlike Iron & Wine and Elliott Smith.
HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE: Bristol's The Beatnik Filmstars have been around for ages, recording for many of your favourite low budget indies and being summoned to Maida Vale at the request of John Peel five times between 1995 and 1997. Fuzzy pop hooks, caustic lyrics and the odd experimental found sound and lo-fi dance beat variously invoke the Fall, Sebadoh and Guided By Voices. And if nothing else, take heart that the quote next to their profile picture is "razorlight are shite".
VISUAL REPRESENTATION: There's a revival of the cult audience-baffling deadpan comedian Ted Chippington going on at the moment, so it's an appropriate time to dig around and find the Vindaloo Summer Special EP's Rockin' With Rita, his collaboration with Vindaloo Records labelmates the Nightingales and a pre-dancepop makeover We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It, with a video filmed at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and featuring an inappropriately placed Pat Nevin. In the days when everyone was releasing minor novelty singles Ted had a shot with his version of She Loves You and got to essay it on Pebble Mill At One. You may wish to speculate on whether the neck-braced Paul 'game show about hills' Coia is in on the joke.
VIRAL MARKETING: We've done Neon Bible, now, haven't we, and all the really good YouTube clips from their London residency this week are of their guerilla performances of Wake Up. Let's look ahead instead to Our Earthly Pleasures, the second album from Maximo Park, set for 2nd April and previewed with some studio footage. Up for three weeks and only (to 1pm Sunday) 69 plays? Are we really that transient now?
FALLING OFF A BLOG: Another one from the Must Mention pile is One Louder, which there had to be a blog called before long. They're still working their way through end of year business at the moment, but there's some fascinating write-ups and reviews going back a bit.
EVERYBODY GET RANDOM: The Peel Tapes - Right Place, Right Time, Wrong Speed has just come back into operation after some layoff with a bounty of excellence featuring shows from December 1979 (Steel Pulse, the Cure, the Damned and others in session), January 1980 (UB40 and PiL), March 1998 (the Fall) and a four parter marking John's 40th birthday in 1979.
IN OTHER NEWS: And speaking of which, with January's contractual obligations out of the way Dandelion Radio have now posted their quasi-official 2006 Festive 50. It's a real flashback for us, to 2002 in fact as we'd never consciously heard that year's Festive 50 number one before its announcement either. It also reminded us we should have featured the Beatnik Filmstars, so there's this week's Weekender almost coming round full circle.