This is more like it, plenty of 7"s, CDs and downloads to go round this week. Even for those who go down the Harvey/Marshall route of the emotionally charged while not overbearing female singer-songwriter, Scout Niblett can take some getting used to, even if there's fewer drum-powered songs than before on her current album This Fool Can Die Now. The single taken from it is the closest it ever remotely comes to commercial, Kiss being a duet with Will Oldham that resembles Cat Power in an iron maiden (no, not Iron Maiden, an actual iron maiden). Brighton duo/trio/loads Restlesslist, who form quite a solid piece of the interconnected Whitecentric web of Brighton music, seem to be appealing to a wider audience then they might have expected, their last single appearing in Mixmag's top fifty tracks of 2006. Your pilled up clubber would literally shit themselves at Dirty Pint, the imaginary soundtrack to an fairground ghost train based on Hammer Horror soundtracks. Just down the road literally and musically metaphorically, the Go! Team's Proof Of Youth received some criticism for its snail-like progression from the Thunder Lightning Strike sound, but in reality their style is so singular and so indubtedly theirs that it'd be difficult to see how much further it could be stretched. Third single The Wrath Of Marcie is therefore bracing funk brass, hip hop drums, half-buried Ninja rhymes and cartoon theme interludes, this one seemingly quoting J Geils Band's Centerfold. Baby-faced quasi-rustic folk storyteller and occasional National Theatre Shakespearian actor Johnny Flynn has somehow ended up on Vertigo Records (The Killers, Razorlight, Dirty Pretty Things, Amy Macdonald, One
Not much new to speak of, evidently. We're a UK music blog, so we're forced by law to namecheck Girls Aloud's Tangled Up, even if the new single sounds for the first time in their careers (bar the covers) like A N Other Girl Group. That's what happens when you recontextualise pop, everyone works out eventually what you were doing. Meanwhile Bonnie Prince Billy, or if you're Amazon Bonnie Prince Charlie, delves into the covers stopgap drawer on Ask Forgiveness and comes out with Bjork, Danzig, R Kelly, Merle Haggard and Phil Ochs. GoodBooks are probably as well renowned for their remixes as their originals, so it's no wonder that they've commissioned download-only Control Freaks, tracks from their underrated Control album reworked by the likes of the Teenagers (inevitably, being one guitar band with remix chops reworking another), Crystal Castles, Kissy Sell Out, Minotaur Shock and Lo-Fi-Fnk. Also going the repackaging route are Gorillaz, with second odds and sods compilation D-Sides, and Bloc Party, whose A Weekend In The City has grown Flux (after I Still Remember) and a DVD of Reading set and videos. Nowhere near as frenetic but just as heartfelt, The Drift Collective documents the highly promising Devon-based with Brighton offshoot folk label's best acts, including Thirty Pounds Of Bone, Mary Hampton, The R G Morrison and Actress Hands' Matt Eaton. New Boots And Panties is about to hit thirty, and reissued best of Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll demonstrates why no home should be without some Dury. 5CD set The Brit Box catalogues most of the notables that took guitar music through the 1990s - we'll be covering this in greater detail later in the week. Sufjan Stevens' Songs For Christmas is one of many festive issues this week. For no tie-in reason that we can make out, Neko Case's country-noir second and third full-lengths, Furnace Room Lullaby and Blacklisted, also return.
"Am I going to have to do this by myself?" It had never occurred to us before that for all the words written about the TV broadcast and CD and everything read into its significance, Nirvana Unplugged In New York, recorded fourteen years ago today, has never previously been released in visual form. This has the whole thing for the first time, plus rehearsal footage and a documentary.
You've probably heard the 13th Floor Elevators' disciples more than you've heard their own garage psychedelia, and it's probable you know even more about leader Roky Erickson's subsequent RP McMurphy-esque mental breakdown and three years in a mental hospital for the criminally insane. Eye Mind: The Saga of Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators by Paul Drummond, with Julian Cope on foreword, tries to unpick legend from fact with everybody involved as interviewees.