Well, this is a drought and no mistake. even in short weeks we can dredge up a couple of tiny label 7"s of interest, but all we can come up with for the 1st is MIA's Bollywood disco Jimmy, which even on a cosmopolitan record such as Kala gives the first time listener no clues as to what she really sounds like. While we're about it, though, here's a single we're a week late with, and as it's a limited edition 7" that Jo Whiley and Zane Lowe have supported it'll be sold out already, but whatever. Noah And The Whale, a band, erm, recommended by Emmy The Great to us last year and now featuring no slouch herself Laura Marling on BVs, are the latest single release subjects by Young & Lost Club, who have just agreed a backup deal with Mercury Records and as they're releasing the Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong single after this one Sarah and Nadia are probably already plotting which bit of Belize they're going to anchor their new yacht off. In the meantime they're passing on pure distilled sunshine in the shape of Five Years' Time.
Corrections and clarifications: Okkervil River's really rather sumptuously excellent The Stage Names got put back a week to tomorrow, as did the House Of Love reissue. As for records we've not previously dealt with, promos for iLiKETRAiNS' Elegies To Lessons Learnt came with a booklet of band-penned essays regarding the subjects of some of its songs, as is their wont. You're not missing out all that badly if you're not on Beggars Banquet's mailing list, though, as while it's useful to know that there are songs here inspired by Plague self-sacrifice, the Great Fire of London, Donald Crowhurst, an assassination attempt on King George III, disappearing MP John Stonehouse, the Salem Witch Trials, Berlin Wall escapees and assassinated Prime Minister Spencer Perceval, it's not important to get into the record. Plenty have tried to knit vocals into post-rock sounds, plenty have failed, but the promise of last year's mini-album Progress Reform is carried on into these huge, wracked soundscapes. Now they've even managed to downsize it into three and a half minute songs without losing the aura, and like Progress Reform the closer features a vocal chorus, featuring Napoleon IIIrd and Katie Sky Larkin. When we talk about bands being better live than they could ever hope to be on record, we usually mean they have reserves of energy and noise that could never be captured on a multitrack recorder. In Les Savy Fav's case, the music isn't the problem so much as not seeing the crash gymnastics and unique approach to breaking down the fan/band barrier of Tim Harrington, who opened the band's set at this year's ATP Versus The Fans by delivering a monologue to the audience on the rock'n'roll lifestyle option and what trust we place in musicians while having his hair cut onstage. Musically they opened the jittery post-punk door everyone else scampered through with more sellable versions of. Let's Stay Friends, featuring Eleanor Friedberger and Emily Haines in there somewhere, is perhaps as a result their most commercial album, but only within the respective relativity of these measures. Jeffrey Lewis will be bringing out a proper new album next year, but in the meantime he's scratching a long-term itch about the lyrical acumen behind messy KGB-watched anarcho-punks Crass, the inventively titled 12 Crass Songs giving them an antifolk onceover. In a year where even EMF can reform without too many dissenting voices the radio silence surrounding the return of Six By Seven is telling, but the bleak Nottingham noiseniks know what they're doing and demonstrate it on If Symptoms Persist Kill Your Doctor. In the late 90s Camden's fashionistas followed Damon Albarn to Iceland, and now Iceland is bringing the exciteable, short indiepop sarcasm of non-progged up late Britpop back to us in a reformatted format with teenagers Jakobinarina's The First Crusade. It doesn't seem hours since Idlewild emerged, but as C97 demonstrated it's ten years since their first single, so the wide world of Best Ofs raises its ugly head in Scottish Fiction. Flight of stairs falling down flights of stairs fans will be disappointed as there's nothing older than I'm A Message, but keen students of their poised Scottish REM identity will find much to identify with, and we've always thought their first three proper albums have ended up hugely underrated. Get in quick for the DVD set featuring a live gig in Aberdeen from March, a documentary, all their videos with Roddy on audio track two, rare clips and, ooh, an EPK. Seven years in, Wichita Recordings have made their name as a home for the eclectic and exciting, both terms that could be applied to the tracklisting of There's Only One T In Wichita, alphabetised so you kids with your iPod Shuffles can do the running order for yourselves. We call it laziness round here, actually. Not something that can be applied to the tracklisting, featuring Los Campesinos!, Les Savy Fav, Those Dancing Days, exclusive Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Euros Childs, The Cribs, Espers, Simian Mobile Disco, Blood Brothers and The Bronx. Tony Wilson's big idea for the Control Official Soundtrack was having emo bands covering Joy Division, but other people had stakes in it this time and talked him down for once. At least, we assume the Supersister here isn't the ridiculously camp girl group of a few years ago, and if it is they'll sound even odder alongside the Velvets, Buzzcocks, Pistols, Bowie, Cooper Clarke, Roxy Music, Kraftwerk and three new New Order instrumental pieces. They'd sound right at home alongside the Killers covering Shadowplay, obviously. No idea why the 2CD set of Elvis Costello's My Aim Is True is back out as it doesn't seem part of another extended reissue package this time around. Peter, Bjorn & John finally cracked radio at the second time of asking, so here comes Writer's Block again with a second disc of B-sides, offcuts, radio edits and videos. As it's not on their own label we can only assume Richard Fearless has been less than careful with Death In Vegas' licenses as a catalogue label is sticking out a Best Of two years after proper compilation Milk It and more to the point three since they last released anything new.
We assume Frank Turner does normal stuff like buy stamps, make sandwiches, set the video and sleep, but we only have logic to go on for that, and logic rarely plays an active part in the life of the perma-touring solo singer-songwriter. All About The Destination follows the first two years and 335 gigs of his nomadic lifestyle up to the small triumph of his Carling weekend shows, as much beteen shows as during them, as well as a set of videos, professionally made and otherwise. The Ramones got a bit further down the line, as proved by how two discs' worth of rare and unreleased live footage has been found for It's Alive! 1974-1996, stretching from two songs in CBGBs in September 1974 to River Plate Stadium, Buenos Aires in March 1996, via the Rainbow in 1977, the Old Grey Whistle Test, Musikladen and both appearances on Top Of The Pops, plus interviews and rare videos.
As well as today's Radio 1 fortieth anniversary celebrations Peel Day III isn't too far away, and this year's first cash-in is The Peel Sessions Story, an updating of the canonical list with reminiscences attached. How many colourful stories does Jools Holland actually have, do you think? Once Squeeze tours and The Tube have been dealt with, surely is more likely to be one of those extended lists of famous people the author has met that a lot of mid-ranking autobiographies are these days.