- So actually out this week is the Thomas Tantrum album, for details of which see last week, as well as underwhelming albums from bands with good pasts (Emiliana Torrini, Calexico) and frankly uninteresting albums from bands with no pasts (trust us, you'll wonder what on earth came over you regarding Glasvegas in eighteen months). Top of our list, then, is The Holy Pictures, the latest departure in the never less than fascinating career arc of David Holmes, from atmospheric techno to field recorded imaginary noir soundtrack to distorted funk beats to the Free Association outing to everyone's choice of actual film soundtrack composer, is now dipping into krautrock and distortion territory with a debut shot at singing, the better to express some properly heart on sleeve lyrics. Also out this week is the second in the Broken Social Scene Presents... offshoot series, and while, like Kevin Drew's Spirit If from last year, now Brendan Canning's Something For All Of Us really make you wonder how these songs might well have been better with the other as a sounding board, this is still a fine set of low-key wonderments in the lower budget BSS sense, plus the odd funk, folk and dance curveball.
- Disturbing detail of the week: Johnny Foreigner, who we understand we ought to hate now, and Dananananaykroyd are prominently featured in the current issue of low grade not-quite-showing-breasts magazine Front. As far as extending the brand goes, extending it to the kind of bedroom onanist whose traditional serving between sessions of buffing the happy lamp is sub-Gub Smith attempts to catch the zeigeist of 1995 while blindfolded is a risky one. Berrow, Southern & Laidley, noisesmiths by appointment to the gentry, reach single number three from the no-seriously-why-don't-you-own-it? Waited Up Til It Was Light, the percussion (both natural and electronic) favouring Salt, Peppa & Spinderella, which comes on 10" with remixes from Bloc Party (Gordon, apparently), Dolby Anol feat. Acrnym (two variant pseudonyms for a mysterious moonlighting collective who might have already been mentioned in this bit) and Nibiru (some bloke who's engineered Sasha & Digweed, apparently). British Sea Power have a single out too, but it's just Waving Flags on download again and nobody's playlisted it this time either.
- In 'other stuff': David and Stephen Dewaele have plenty of buttons to push, whether as Soulwax or 2manydjs, and Part Of The Weekend Never Dies, by Klaxons, Hot Chip and Janet Jackson video director Saam Farahmand, is by extension more than a live document of their club-friendly shows supporting their Nite Versions album, recorded over 120 shows with a range of off-duty footage and testimonies. While one 80s eccentric, archdrude Julian Cope, sees his solo and Teardrop Explodes video compilation Copeulation make it to DVD, another has his personality, opinions, lyrics and cultural reference points examined by Len Brown, the former journalist who has met the subject more often than anyone else in a professional writing capacity, in Meetings With Morrissey.
- As for next week: Edinburgh raised singer-songwriter Kat Flint got fans to pay for the recording of Dirty Birds and she's repayed them with an album that's too slippery for that folky acoustic-toting female singer-songwriterly mode, dark, intelligent, captivating writing fitting off-melodic songs that unveil their full loveliness in their own time, aided with a warm, affecting voice and a knack for using unusual instrumentation in an unshowy way so you don't realise until much later that that's, say, scissors and a roll of sellotape being used there. Cold War Kids' pounding career high to date Something Is Not Right With Me leads the singles field that also features Bon Iver (For Emma), The Spinto Band (Summer Grof) and The Week That Was (The Airport Line), but the thing we'd most like to highlight from w/b 15th September is a book. Last year the Guardian's Dave Simpson set out to write an article about the Fall's celebrated turnover of members, in light of Mark E Smith's own autobiography plans. Simpson ended up spending two years attempting to track and interview all 55, with fascinating results documented in The Fallen: Searching For The Missing Members Of The Fall. It really is a wonderful and frightening world in there.
MYSPACE INVADERS: Haven't had a Cardiff band for a while, so let's have one now. Joy Of Sex are a multi-gendered trio who sound like a wired, boggle-eyed take on the fuzzily taut Pixies/Wire dynamic with criss-crossing vocals, wrecked song structures and seeming stream of conscious while still meaningful lyrics, and if all that sounds familiar to long time STN readers then it should be clarified that they do indeed share a kinship with The Victorian English Gentlemens Club. And frankly, two bands mining this seam (not that they're a straight ripoff by any means, we hasten to add) is far better than none.
VISUAL AID: So, what's this End Of The Road festival all about? Ooh, all sorts, and as we disappear ready for next weekend - come on, three day band of high pressure, just for us - these is the sort of places where you'll find us. There's the bands who seem to be making it a second home, like British Sea Power and the outfit whose frontman will inevitably join them at some stage during Rock In A, Brakes. Will this really be the sixth time in just over two years we've seen them? How many times will we nearly bodily run into Tom White this year? Place bet now! The Wave Pictures are back too and they'll doubtless be gadding about with friends Jeffrey Lewis and Darren Hayman, possibly even a revival of the latter's semi-secret Hayman Watkins Trout & Lee set from last year. Beyond those returning to the scene of past glories there's plenty of artists we'll be seeing for the first time - Mercury Rev are the most appetising of the headliners, but we'll be making sure we're present for the likes of The Mountain Goats, Tindersticks and Bon Iver, not to mention a host of new bands we've championed recently such as The Chap, The Acorn and Gossamer Albatross, plus, in a tent that won't be half big enough, Shearwater. Bon voyage!
* A few quick things: Jeffrey Lewis' music store is selling City And Eastern Tapes, a new companion to his City And Eastern Songs album in that it's that album in early lo-fi form plus a few unreleased songs. Rhodri Marsden writes lucidly on 'The Futility Of Flogging Music', while in less intelligent spheres Weebl & Bob do Ladytron. Weebl as Mira Aroyo is just worrying. Right, we're out. Back on the 16th.