FREE MUSIC: Chris Walla likes to keep irons in the fire - guitarist in Death Cab For Cutie, he's also made his name behind the production console with credits including the last two Decemberists albums, Nada Surf, Hot Hot Heat, The Thermals and Tegan & Sara. Now he's breaking solo, Field Manual set for a US January release despite a recent setback when his hard drive was briefly confiscated by Homeland Security while crossing the Canadian border. Sing Again will not pose a threat to your livelihood, but it is Shins-esque sunshine pop with a serrated edge just lurking beneath.
HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE: We get a lot of emails, but that's what comes of badly organised spam filters. Occasionally we do get emails alerting us to decent new bands, one such being New York's Your 33 Black Angels. Doubtless this has been around the mid-ranking mp3 blogs at least four times by now, and we're fully aware of this sort of thing in the wake of that Idolator piece, but even before that their self-released album Lonely Street had earned special commendation from Rolling Stone editor David Fricke in September. They follow in the Brooklyn area recent years garage trend, not garage in the scrappy fall-down way but in the indiepop kids in a garage getting their smarter ideas into fruition sense, with echoes of the work of Stephen Malkmus and his compadre the Silver Jews' David Berman filtered through the likes of Hot Hot Heat and on through to Lou Reed.
VISUAL REPRESENTATION: This was only ever going to be given over to one band this week, with My Bloody Valentine reformation ticket demand briefly crashing both the Roundhouse online box office and Seetickets. Why is this important? Soon, Feed Me With Your Kiss and You Made Me Realise are three examples of why it's important. Kevin Shields could never quite fully explain why himself at the time, as when interviewed in 1990 by Edward Ball and featured on Rapido two years later, although he'd got better at it by 2000 and this past month, looking back and confirming the reunion to The Make-Up/weird War/Nation Of Ulysses' Ian Svenonius. Perhaps it's best expressed live, despite the 1990-91 mic-distorting levels as with I Only Said, When You Sleep, Only Shallow and even Sunny Sundae Smile. At least, we assume it is under all the feedback.
FALLING OFF A BLOG: Who Killed The Mixtape? likes Curb Your Enthusiasm. Score one point there. They also have a wide range of mp3s and embeds. Score many more.
EVERYBODY GET RANDOM: One of the most common 'whatever happened to...?' queries, mid-90s UK subsection, has been answered by Under The Radar magazine, who have tracked down Lush's Miki Berenyi, who is very forthcoming on the band's history and reveals that bar the odd guest vocal she has no plans to take up music again. And yes, we're aware that everyone knew she worked for TV Times for a bit, but that's hardly where the smitten wanted to see her.
IN OTHER NEWS: In a quite notable set of charts (the Spice Girls Children In Need single falling? We blame Fearne Cotton), Amy Winehouse's Back To Black shot up, pun only half-intended, to number 30. Winehouse's parents, you may recall, once appealed to the public to stop buying her album and were 'rewarded' by it climbing back up to number two. All publicity really is good publicity.