One of our most inventive and colourful singer-songwriters releases their third proper single on Monday, That's right, Stan's Bin Bag Song by Stan Boardman. Oh yeah, some chancer called Emmy The Great's got a 7" out as well. Again self-released, which when Adele is getting the sort of production treatment usually reserved for Melanie C records is a very good thing, Gabriel is apparently about a teenage fan, which makes the delicacy and turn of phrase of the kind of love song slightly disturbing if you ask us. In a land where the female singer-songwriter gates are flooded, as one fan of 60s female singers might have it, it's pleasing that they're not all signing the first deal that comes their way and are actually concentrating on making their art better and more individual. Don't you think? Surprise Radcliffe & Maconie record of the week Wake The President's Remember Fun? is, depending on what you believe, out either last Monday or next Monday, and as you know in all such cases of miscommunication we take the mean average. Whichever, it's well worth taking note of their Orange Juice-meets-Felt-meets-Malcolm Middleton indiepop like momma used to make. Definitely last week, but we've only just found out, saw the release of oddball antifolkers The Bobby McGee’s latest EP, S'Amuser Com Des Fous, featuring songs called When Father Died Ferrets Licked Away the Tears, Sussex Uni Solipsists Society, CoalMine Kampf 1984 and a touching Christmas song called Danny Baker/Bob Marley. If they still make glitter and tinsel-encrusted fanzines somewhere they'd be all over them, and they'd be sharing cover space with Bearsuit, whose handclap and Casio with an undertow pop now produces 7" Foxy Boxer. Back in the world of professional musicians with record deals and production budgets, Interpol get self-serious like few others can on download only No I In Threesome
Just when you thought you could settle into top thirty of the year complacency this year of plenty still has one more surprise up its sleeve. Le Loup are a live seven piece but in essence are Washington native Sam Simkoff, who with a laptop and a bare minimum of instruments put together an album bravely titled The Throne Of The Third Heaven Of The Nations Millennium General Assembly, after a notable piece of outsider art. This is in our end of year chart, we'll tell you now, so marvellous is it, but if you want to beat the rush that will no doubt ensue you'll need to know that this takes in Sufjan Stevens' Appalachian dreaminess, Animal Collective's occasional calmness and the communal off-harmonies to the depths of just about half the bands North America currently produces. Clone Quartet may originate in Belfast but their heart is with those ever rising gangs of indie-electro kids based just outside greater London. Luckily they pull it off a lot better than most of those do, Well Oiled Machine just that, letting the electro touches enhance rather than overwhelm their Crimea-reminiscent hooks. They're also on the other new release by their label, the inestimable Smalltown America, who are also using this week for the latest in their roundup of new and unsigned talent, Public Service Broadcast #9, an album so long awaiting release that one of the 22 bands on it, Optimist Club, have split up. Also featured and still operational are Pagan Wanderer Lu, Holy Fuck, Pocketbooks, Dragonflies Draw Flame, Tiger Force, Lovvers and You And The Atom Bomb. From Upton upon Severn comes Luke Leighfield, a very English take on Ben Folds-esque poetic singer-songwriter who used to play violin for Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and now brings out Fan The Flames (mail order from here). Room for a quick Christmas album? A Very Cherry Christmas Volume 3 (mail order again) features new festive commissions from MJ Hibbett and the Validators, The Bobby McGee's, A Smile And A Ribbon and twelve bands we don't know. Why can labels never get anniversary reissues right on time? Ian Dury's seminal New Boots And Panties, an album whose themes and directness apparently shocked even seasoned punks who heard it, was released in September 1977, and thirty years and two months later it's back out with four extra tracks including Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll - a phrase Dury brought to the language, lest it be overlooked - and two rarities on CD for the first time, from an NME cassette and a competition winners' 7" B-side. Also making its proper debut, via extra DVD, is the Blockheads at Queen Mary’s College, London for the BBC, which actually was thirty years ago this week. Ah, all comes round in the end. With the Wedding Present rounding off their twentieth anniversary tour two more albums fill a shelving gap, Ye Ye (The Best Of The RCA Years) taking in the high water marks of Bizarro and the Albini-altered Seamonsters plus the twelve singles in twelve months ploy, while Shepherd's Bush Welcomes The Wedding Present is a set from just two years ago. The second leg of The Verve's reformation tour kicks off at the O2 in a week, so high time the 2004 Best Of This Is Music: The Singles 92-98 sprouted a DVD. At least Mad Richard must have signed it off - something called Music Club Deluxe has brought out a load of 2CD Best Ofs to little fanfare this week, chiefly Killing Moon: the Best of Echo & the Bunnymen, Kings of Rock 'n' Roll: the Best of Prefab Sprout and - now come on - Dandy Highwaymen: the Best of Adam and the Ants. Out in the margins Music Club Deluxe would fear to tread we have B Loves Ze, another trawling of the New York discopost-punk label's highlights including James Chance and the Contortions, Lydia Lunch, Teenage Jesus & The Jerks, Alan Vega, Cristina and Was Not Was.