FREE MUSIC: No messing about this week, just an 80kbps version of one of the greatest songs ever to come from the American indie underground - Neutral Milk Hotel, Holland 1945.
HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE: Were you aware of Bikini Atoll? They released two albums on Bella Union, one recorded by Steve Albini, of darkly brooding circular guitar swarms. Frontman Joe Gideon and his sister Viva (a former Olympic rhythmic gymnast, which really is one to remember for future reference) are now Joe Gideon & The Shark, currently supporting the Archie Bronson Outfit in Europe, along some of the same lines. Put it down as Pavement taking on Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen in Sonic Youth's studio.
VISUAL REPRESENTATION: Despite what Russell Brand's acolytes would have you believe, comedy and rock'n'roll have long shared an attitude. Well, comedy and bedsitter quasi-goth alternative, at any rate. Rob Newman, when he was with David Baddiel as opposed to his current political novelist status, developed a thing on the TV version of The Mary Whitehouse Experience for reimagining Robert Smith of the Cure: once, twice, again, that one on the Wembley-straddling Newman & Baddiel tour. Eventually he ended up doing a not totally convincing atypical turn on Newman & Baddiel In Pieces, forming a dream partnership with Mariella Frostrup and Garth Crooks. Presumably there were no hard feelings as Newman, and Sean Hughes, later guested in the video to The 13th. And while we're covering the Cure, here's A Forest just for the hell of it.
VIRAL MARKETING: Mark Ronson's not as bad as feared from Stop Me - there's glowing praise - covers album Versions is out on the 16th, and being of the modern idiom he's been talked into a video podcast, here and here.
FALLING OFF A BLOG: We've just realised we've never properly inducted funfunfun into the blog list even though we've been reading it for a while now. Their last post was about STN favourite Kat Flint, the one before that about Jetplane Landing (see Weekender passim), with Bright Eyes, The Wave Pictures and Tilly And The Wall before those.
EVERYBODY GET RANDOM: From Matthew Perpetua of the ever useful Fluxblog comes Pop Songs 07, a sprawling attempt to put pretty much every REM song into context and explanatory prose. We're waiting to see what he makes of Up's Hope.
IN OTHER NEWS: Second call for More Songs To Learn And Sing, our project for the first twenty days of June in which people who didn't get a go the first time around are invited to pitch for a slot telling us about the song everyone must hear. We said last week we'd contact some regular correspondents/confidantes off-blog. We forgot. We will this month, though.