Bore me again. The Beatles are finally on iTunes, and as usual it's in their own rip-off style. £10.99 for each album, £17.99 (!) for the double disc greatest hits albums and the white album.
Male Bonding are trio from London and after an early spell of pretty abrasive noise-pop they've evolved into a more well rounded band and have been scooped up by Sub Pop the lucky little beggars. Their early noise excursions still remain in the mix here but have been filled out with a delicious serving of mangy punk-rock packed full of hooks, fierce guitars, crashing cymbals, basically everything you'd want from this label. Very much in the neighborhood of bands like No Age or Abe Vigoda these guys marry perfectly the lo-fi scuzz with the garage-rock sensibility and always keeping a sideways glance in the direction of melody and structure. Nothing Hurts doesn't quite match the reckless abandon of Japandroids but it's brimming over with excitement and raw passion. Killer tracks are More Things This Way and Franklin.Read more 3.5 star reviews
Singles 2001 - 2005
Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro have conveniently rounded up their singles from 2001- 2005 in one handy CD. Following the band's departure from Beggars Banquet, this compilation has been criticised as a contract filler - but the problems with it stretch far beyond that. If a compilation of 12 radio edited singles can't sell a band I don't know what will.
Biffy Clyro's surf-drenched sound may be reasonably unique for a British band (and particularly a Scottish one), but it's a far less unique proposition on a global level. Stone Temple Pilots? Check. Nickleback? Check. Point Break soundtrack? Check. In fact the dates covered by this compilation (2001-2005) provide the most confusion, as you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd fallen through a wormhole and landed in the post-grunge mid 90's. Receiving comparisons as prestigious as 'Nirvana!' over the years, at best they are a struggling Smashing Pumpkins homage, at worst not dissimilar to our very own surf-rockers - Reef (R.I.P 1993 - 2003). This is medium heavy rock, primed and ready for use in an unleash-your-inner-rocker style mobile phone ad - as a mainstream corporate beheamoth attempts to rebrand itself as 'down with the kids'.
While the emotional lyrics are all there on paper (blackened skies, heartbreak, sitting mournfully on the beach) I'm pretty sure the troubles drift away as they paddle out into the Newquay surf. It's rarely offensive or unlistenable, but there's just not much here to recommend. You might be better off trying last year's album proper Puzzle....or Nevermind, by Nirvana.Read more 2 star reviews
A Skin, A Night / The Virginia EP
A Skin, A Night - A Film By Vincent Moon
Personally I can take or leave films about bands and the trying times they experience while putting together a record, but Vincent Moon's portrayal of The National and the long and laborious creation of their biggest selling album Boxer is compelling viewing for the most part. It has the regular lingering shots of a troubled front man in the creative process while the rest of the band sit around in the recording studio waiting for his opinion but the stuff in between is beautiful. I have always seen The National's music as cinematic and Boxer solidified this with its darkly meandering melodies and cryptic verse, so for Moon to marry this up with long shots of a city asleep or lonely subway trains creeping through hauntingly desolate stations really brings to life the missing visual half to this bands music. Each shot is filtered through a heavy grainy film and is shrouded in stark contrasting black and white.
The dialogue is interesting as we discover this band's long recording history and the insecurities that come with it. 2005's Alligator was the first real break through for this band but it merely served to identify them with their fan base and it wasn't until last years stunning Boxer that things really started to change and they became aware of their growing presence in the music scene. The mood of the lighting is mirrored by much of the dialogue provided mainly by Berninger who comes across as the shy and introverted personality we see biting his fingernails on stage. He talks of his need to drink red wine before going on stage in order to shut out the fact that he's standing in front of a throbbing crowd. The success of Boxer doesn't seem to be making things any easier for this reserved leader. The demo versions of some of the songs are interesting especially when seen from the drummers point of view. Bryan Devendorf is one of the rising stars of Boxer as his rhythm dexterity provides much of the power and pace of the record.
The film as a whole doesn't provide us with much we didn't already imagine about The National but Moon's moody cinematic portrayal of the music is stunning and gives these songs the quiet weight they deserve.
The Virginia EP
Where the film may have lacked any new insights into The National's music, this 12 track EP makes up for it. It's basically a demo/live record which ordinarily wouldn't light me up as they tend to be lesser versions of your favorite tracks cynically pumped out to die-hard fans for a quick buck. But this EP is actually quite generous. Although some of the best tracks here were featured on the Extras tour EP the whole package serves as a worthy accompaniment to the Mothership of Boxer.
There aren't many bands these days that offer B-Sides worth bothering with but the first 3 songs here are equal to many of the lucky ones that made the Boxer final cut. All originating from Alligator's various releases, You've Done It Again Virginia is from Lit Up and Santa Clara and Blank Slate are both B-Sides to the Mistaken For Strangers single and it's Blank Slate that really shines. It's a reworking of an earlier B-Side Keep It Upstairs from the Abel single but this time it's been lifted out of it's original hollow surroundings and is given a glorious rock makeover and the result is one of the best National songs to date. Boxer has really elevated their sound with added strings and drumming of epic proportion so it's so special to hear some of these demo versions that show the band in their stripped down clarity. Forever After Days simply has Berninger's lonely vocals matched with a gentle guitar and lo-fi organ while Rest Of Years is a hollow slow burner that rises to a dirty finale of electric guitar and calamitous drums. But it's the Slow Show demo that gets the prize here as it did on the Extras EP. It's one of the finest songs on Boxer and here in it's bare bones it really shines. Berninger's vocals are mumbled to the point of near indecipherability and so are rendered down to just another instrument in this rich musical tapestry.
One of the best things about this EP is hearing a retrospective of this band's back catalogue all mixed up in various formats. This is seen most notably in how Slow Show is followed by the Daytrotter Session version of Lucky You, a gem off the 2003 album Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers. This is a heart wrenching, marvelously underplayed song that stands it's ground when put up against the latest work. This is then followed by a fantastic live rendition of Springsteen's Mansion On The Hill. The Boss' melancholic tone suits Berninger's style perfectly here and it's a triumph.
The album is brought to a close by two live versions of Fake Empire and About Today and unfortunately this is where the band slip up. These are two of the strongest songs on Boxer, but my criticism of their recorded versions still stands alongside the faults of their recent live show in London. With Berninger's delicate delivery and the ever richer musical waters he swims in The National's strength has alway seeped out of their restraint. On these recent live tracks the band take the songs off into all too grand territory with bloated guitar solo finale's that undermine the subtle depths previously plumbed and force the band into a genre they don't seem to belong in. It didn't work live and it doesn't work here. Still, it isn't enough to bring this generous EP down and it gives a glimpse of the talent that lies semi dormant in this group of musicians. Their albums are growing into something quite unique and their B-Sides show a cupboard full of unused masterpieces that few bands could afford to leave out.
4/5Read more 3.5 star reviews
If there is one thing I've learnt as a deck-hand on the good ship Chimpomatic it is not to jump to hasty conclusions. The case of the Explorers Club is a perfect illustration of this truism. On hearing the opening 'be my baby'-esque beats of 'Forever' my snap assessment was 'some-one should call Phil Spector and tell him that he's been robbed'. Which would have been rather premature. From that moment onwards it was clear that it had been wise to defer judgement. It transpired that if anyone needed to be informed that their genius had been pilfered then the only person who should be called is undoubtedly Brian Wilson. The Explorers Club main man Jason Brewer appears to be on a mission to write his version of the mythical 'lost' Beach Boys' album 'Smile' seemingly unaware that Wilson himself had already re-discovered and polished it down a few years back.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then if Wilson ever hears 'Freedom Wind' he will be blushing a profuse scarlet colour. Explorer's Club are less influenced by the Beach Boys than their unofficial re-incarnation. Soaring harmonies. Tick. Orchestral arrangements. Check. Lyrics of love and innocence lost. Present and correct. It would be a wonder if Brewer didn't write his songs on a baby grand piano in a sand pit. The Explorers Club are the ultimate in tribute acts, albeit one that puts out records rather than reminiscing on a revival tours. All of which beggars the question 'what's the point?'. If you were too young to camp it up Frieda and Agnetta or sing back 'yeah yeah yeah' to John, Paul, George and Ringo then a night with Bjorn Again or the Bootleg Beatles serves a purpose. But what's the point of listening to Explorer's Club when the authentic original thing is just as easily brought or downloaded? Does anybody buy supermarket own brand cola when the 'real thing' is selling at the same price? Does the coolest kid at school ask his Mum to buy trainers with 4 stripes when the 'brand with 3 stripes' is on offer? No. And I would recommend that if you are not unfamiliar with this kind of surfing summer sound then check out Pet Sounds and Wild Honey before you even think about listening to Explorer's Club (and even then go check out the Byrds or the Mamas and Papas before you do).
Sadly the thought surfing through my mind when listening to Explorer's Club was of a sit-com I previously thought was rather forgettable. Remember when Nicholas Lyndhurst could walk back in time to the East-End during World War Two? He'd cheekily tickle the ivories of the pub Joanna with Beatles numbers passed off as his own. How we laughed as the regulars marvelled at his ear for a tune and the fresh nature of his music. It seems that Explorer's Club space-time portal has mistakenly jumped forward in time rather than turning back the clocks. Nevertheless they are still trying to palm of music from 1967 as if we'd never heard it before. Except that we have. Consequently in the 21st century these songs about 'going steady' now just sound contrived and slightly ridiculous.Read more 1.5 star reviews
After a pretty slow period, the 4AD label is revving up for expansion - mainly by taking in the bands from Beggars Group sister labels Too Pure and Beggars itself. That puts chimp favourites like The National, Tindersticks and Electrelane under the same roof as Pixes and The Breeders, which can't be a bad thing. Unfortunately it does spell the end for Too Pure and Beggars as entities... R.I.P.
The Hungry Saw
With no sign of a new album in several years, Tindersticks' one-off show at the Barbican in 2006 seemed likely to be their last outing together, serving as an acknowledgement that they were over. Perhaps Stuart A. Staples underwhelming solo releases have changed their minds, but from out of the blue a new album has arrived, featuring a stripped down line up but all the hallmarks of the old band.
It seems like longer than four years since they most recently hit the highs of Whiskey & Water, A Night In, or Travelling Light - and I'm happy to admit that I was not holding out much hope for this one. While they may have done nothing wrong, I grew tired of the Tindersticks - perhaps overloading on their various non-album releases, such as their mostly instrumental soundtracks and sprawling re-releases. On the first listen some of The Hungry Saw may seem pretty average, lacking much of the bombastic flourishes that elevate their best work, but after a little wearing-in, this album really starts to flourish - revealing many of the band signature flourishes.
Like a slumbering giant, gently waking from a cider soaked evening, Intro plays out like the soundtrack to some expressive dance, as one by one the instruments awake and the Tindertsicks welcome us back into their open arms. With the giant awakened, the band fire up the old charm and we're instantly back at their best with Yesterday Tomorrows. There's a soundtrack vibe to many songs on this very visual album - with extended passages of music often leading into, or in some case replacing the lyrics. Having a full band behind him seems to have filled in the gaps that peppered Staples' solo albums.
Single The Flicker Of A Little Girl, is illustrative of the album, but it's deceptivly upbeat - and it's the more epic songs like The Other Side Of The World and the oustanding Boobar that stand this record up with the bands best work. Melancholic. Uplifting. Soulful. Nostalgic. Over-the-top. Understated. All the best ingredients for classic Tindersticks. The only thing missing could be a Whiskey chaser to wash it all down.Read more 4 star reviews
Replicas (2008 Tour Edition)
There can be no denying that Are Friends Electric? is a slice of pop genius. A gigantic buzzsaw synth riff set against a tune that even your granny could hum, and enough oomph to put a smile on the face of rockers everywhere - this was a hook-laden pop formula that turned Numan into the star he'd always imagined himself to be. This, and two or three other notable tracks are the cornerstones of the album, and without those solid foundations Replicas would sound a bit weedy. Opening with Me, I Disconnect From You and also containing the Numan classic Down In The Park, Replicas doesn't maintain the consistent standard set by these twinkling gems. At times it sounds like Gaz was having a crack at being (pre-commercial) Human League, or even something a bit more art-punk like, say, Magazine. But it struggles to convince and sometimes comes across like pub-rock with synths plastered on.
And for die-hard fans (sorry, 'Numanoids') this could disappoint on a couple of levels. Billed as a "Redux" release, there has been some fairly efficient tidying up done. Maybe a bit too much. The original tracks were still driven by the sound of a band at work - real drums throughout, with guitar and bass guitar in strong evidence. The redux downplays this part of the mix, and much of the guitar work is quieter or even removed completely. Bafflingly, We Are So Fragile is missing - the B-side to Friends - which was included on the previous CD release of Replicas. Instead we get early versions of nearly every track, some of which sound like they've got a bit more life in them than the newer redux versions.Read more 2.5 star reviews
I've got to give this a fair trial because Bob Mould deserves it - having been a founder member of the massively influential and raw Husker Du, and then exorcising his pop demons and songwriting chops with Sugar, Mould has plenty of credit in the bank of cool. However, just taking things at face value, this album is a collection of promising but ultimately dull rock songs for grown-ups. Take the first track for example - Stupid Now - it starts out all Nirvana-in-quiet-mode with that good ol' Seattle tuning on the guitar, it has a nice modern feel to the production and Bob's voice sounds great... then along comes the chorus and the whiff of cheese becomes overwhelming; it honestly sounds like Linda Perry wrote this for a P!nk's new rockin' rekkid - it's that anthemic.
By rights, of course, no-one should deny Mould his payday. This is every bit as good as the aforementioned crafted crowd-pleasers peddled by America's one-woman tin pan alley, but somehow I don't think our Bob will get as much MTV airtime as P!nk. I hope that the ever-strong influence of FM radio in the US will help make this a success as it reaches out to middle America at drive-time, but for me personally I feel that this is rather like Francis Bacon deciding to paint like Jack Vettriano in order to have a wider appeal.Read more 2 star reviews
Elegies to Lessons Learnt
Having never heard or heard of iLiKETRAiNS, I was instantly appalled at how they chose to present their already wacky name. Making it one word was bad enough but to then have all the i’s lowercase screamed of a desperation to be unique. This pretentious attempt at making a statement is understandable, given that every band needs a name. To coin a phrase I decided not to judge a book by it’s cover, so I approached the first album by the Leeds based with little preconception.
To describe the iLiKETRAiNS sound would be best in one word, miserable. The entire album travels along at a snails pace, any descents and peaks are very slow to emerge. The overall sound is also in no way unique and is very reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky or Mogwai and many other instrumental post rock outfits. They never touch the heights of the aforementioned bands, but they do unfortunately have the addition of a vocalist. If the guitars, bass and drums sound dead, the singing only adds another dire dimension to the setup. Sung low, slow and very flat there is little reason to care for the lyrical content.
After listening to the album from start to finish just the once, I had an overwhelming feeling of life been too short to have to put myself through these eleven painful songs again. I have dipped in and out of the album hoping to catch myself off-guard and hear a song I could stomach, but I'm afraid it has never really happened - with only instrumental track Epiphany even coming close.
San Francisco's Film School are a band built around frontman Greg Bertens. Formed in the late 1990's, Bertens has recruited members and slowly put out albums and EPs before signing to Beggars and becoming a more permanent band. This album sees a few line up changes - most notably the addition of female bassist/vocalist Lorelei Plotczyk who answered a Pixies-aping personal for "Someone into Husker Du and Peter, Paul and Mary".
Swirlies, Seefeel and Bardo Pond are the name checks on this album though, and while Film School's live show and previous album had me thinking of The Cure, Hideout owes more that a passing nod to the brilliance/pretentiousness of My Bloody Valentine. Hardly surprising due to the fact that MBV's Colm O'Ciosoig appears on the album.
Opener Dear Me and follow-up Lectric set the scene perfectly, with a wall of sound that builds and builds with pounding drums. Produced by frontman Bertens and Mixed by Phil Ek (Band of Horses, Stephen Malkmus, The Shins) the album is a huge leap forward from 2006's self-title album, which confusingly was their second. Rich and textured, the records feels like a lot of time, love and attention has been put into it. The effects are set to stun and while on several occasions things look like they are going to drift away, the sonic theatrics are kept in manageable chunks and the album remains strong and focused without the directionless ramblings that MBV had a taste for. While the admittedly Cure sounding Two Kinds, with it's bass and 80's John Hughes keyboard sound starts promisingly, it's doesn't quite deliver but tracks like the juggernaut sound of Sick Hipster Nursed By Suicide Girl swirl up a pummeling sound that builds up to a crashing drum finale.
All music has a nod in one direction or another, and shoegazing is a direction that gets little attention in these skinny jeans obsessed days. In my book it would be more than welcome to mooch back into the limelight.
Seemingly rattled by Amazon's entry into the DRM-free music market, iTunes have reduced the price of their iTunes Plus tracks from 99p to 79p - in line with the DRM price, but still encoded at 256kbps in DRM-free AAC. They've also brought a bunch of indie labels on board - including Beggars and Sub Pop, so newer releases like Cease To Begin and the entire Oxford Collapse catalogue are available in the improved format.
Devastations are three Berlin based Australians whose last album, “Coal”, was well received far and wide. Now they’re back with their third full length offering - “YES, U”.
The album is a sparse, sinister affair full of dark corners and bad moods. Vocalist/bassist Conrad Standish, guitarist/vocalist Tom Carlyon, and drummer Hugo Cran prove skilful in building up moody and broody songs, all the while maintaining an intensity without it ever boiling over – I refer the reader to exhibits a and b: “The Saddest Sound” and “The Pest”.
The best bits are when they layer on feedback and white noise over their slow beats and drawled vocals - such as on ‘Oh My, Oh Me’ and ‘Misericordia’. However, I’ll have to confess that I lost interest on a couple of numbers when they take us back to the 80s with some slowed down bontempi organ beats (‘Black Ice’ and ‘As Sparks Fly Upwards’).
There are obvious comparisons that can be made with Nick Cave, which is no bad thing. I saw a live performance from the big man a couple years back. He blew me away with a depth and intensity that’s never seemed captured on the recordings I’ve heard. I’ve a feeling the same might be said for the Devastations.
While not suited to all moods or occasions (I’m thinking family parties, sunny days or gittin’ it on with a lover), on the whole this is a good album that’s a bit of a ‘grower’ (if you know what I mean, which I’m sure you all do).
Here's a bunch of new videos to distract you from work this morning:
Brakes - Beatific Visions
Pigeon Detectives - Take Her Back
Voxtrot - Firecracker
Gossip - Jealous Girls
Maximo Park - Girls Who Play Guitars
You can also win tickets to see Maximo Park at Reading here.
In what seems like a good move for everybody, Rough Trade records has joined forces with the Beggars group - already home to 4AD, Matador, XL and others. Hopefully that means we'll have a few more reviews from Rough Trade coming down the pipe....
Rough Trade, the seminal UK Independent label founded and run by Geoff Travis and Jeannette Lee, have today joined the existing labels within the Beggars Group, following the purchase by Beggars of Sanctuary's interest in the company.
The National are a rare and special commodity indeed, they seem to exist in an alternate reality all of their own. They have an almost Teflon power to repel any concrete judgments that aim to stick to their ethereal outer surface. Though they never claim to make music that breaks boundaries, creatively they exist in a bubble. Their sound recalls artists like Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen but even as I write this my head's telling me "well not really." Artistically they follow their own path religiously. You would never catch Matt Berninger penning an openly anti-war lyric, instead he expertly crafts word groupings that defy imagination and meaning yet inspire a certain magical imagery that is totally unique to them. The write up on their myspace page puts it perfectly. "The band sings about the kind of dreams that ruin lives, and they make of those dreams the kind of music that saves them."
With Alligator, their 2005 debt for Beggars Banquet, The National pricked up the ears of music critics, bloggers and any one with a heart and at their London gig at Koko they looked openly stunned as the rapturous crowd sang along ecstatically to ever line. It's easy to create honest and unadulterated art in virtual obscurity but how do you do it when your last album genuinely changed lives? Well, Boxer is how.
This follow up contains not a single trace of self awareness. It is as honest and unique as its predecessor and for that reason is like discovering the band all over again. It uses Alligator as a starting point and goes deeper, plumbing newer and far more richer depths of sound and mood. Musically they show a remarkable maturity using great washes of strings to block in their dream-like landscape then send out a resounding boom across this land with pounding piano and the best drumming this band has ever produced.
From the outset it's pretty clear we're in for a treat. Fake Empire is just the kind of opener you want to hear from a band with this much expectation. A rumbling piano counts in Berninger's voice which is gloriously baritone and heralds the first glimpse of the awesome drumming we see so often on Boxer. Mistaken For Strangers has more bite to it, with chugging guitars accompanying the pounding drums. Songs like Green Gloves and Slow Slow just ooze from the speakers with thick, all consuming quality. Slow Slow's gently strummed structure ticks along with a majestic string accompaniment and ends up soaring on a beautifully toe-tapping rhythm. Matt Berninger writes with almost stream-of-consciousness fluidity and his strange tales of diamond slippers, gay ballets on ice and rosie minded fuzz seem to drip from his tongue with such ease that it's quite hypnotic. Unlike previous albums Berninger never raises his voice on Boxer and the blood curdling scream of songs like Sad Songs' Available and Alligator's Abel has all but vanished. Instead we get a voice almost unfathomable in depth which seems to be used as much as an instrument as a conveyor of narrative.
If I had to include one slight complaint it would be the choice of ending on the record. Gospel brings things to a close on a relatively week note especially as the song preceding it is so wonderful. In my opinion Ada would end this album with more of a lasting power with its haunting melancholia and gently simmering unease. But it seems foolish to dwell on this as you'll rarely be listening to this album once and pretty soon you'll have had it on repeat so often that you wont know how it ends.
This album has a strange power. Its depth is slow releasing and after the third play you'll wonder if someone has switched cd's on you. The myriad of layers encoded in its rich tapestry will reveal themselves to you with ever emerging magnificence until its overall splendor will have you open mouthed in awe and wonder. If it hasn't got you after the fifth listen then there's something wrong with your brain or your audio equipment. You can't do much about your brain but if it's the latter then I recommend hiring a Bentley for a weekend and giving it a go on that stereo. Believe me, it'll be worth every penny.
The Luminaire, London
The Early Years just seem to be going from strength to strength (didn't I start my last review with that line?). First came their superb debut album - The Early Years - and a supporting tour, then they came right back with an EP of new songs, and now another supporting tour. The Luminaire is always a nice venue - small and friendly, with a good stage and a great atmosphere.
After some support from Beggars new signing Wolf & Cub, The Early Years took to the stage - setting up their own gear and getting ready to go. A quick test on the pedal controlled strobe light and we're off. They don't waste and time getting into it, and their brand of minimal vocals guitar powered rock makes for a great live experience.
All Ones & Zeros and The Simple Solution are just two highlights of absolute brain melting rock, with their slow building rhythms and pounding sounds. The dueling guitars are what provide the obvious power of the band, but the superb drumming is not to be overlooked, holding the whole thing together.
A quick formation change for some of the more electronic songs causes a slight glitch in the flow of things. Although the songs sound great, is there really a need to put Beckham in goal, just so David Seaman can take a free-kick?
While the often minimal vocals can occasionally make for an unfocused stage presence, I'd often find myself mesmerised and transfixed - especially when that strobe light was going - and I'm slightly suspicious that the band only played one song, hypnotised the crowd and then spent the rest of the show sipping Pina Coladas in the dressing room. Either way, they rock. Check them out.
The Great Awakening
With their debut LP only recently slipping from heavy rotation, The Early Years are already back in business. While their outstanding debut had it's fair share of 5 star classics - it did somehow have a hint that the best was yet to come with these guys. In between a lot of touring and shows (including a brief stint as the backing band to Can's Damo Suzuki), plus ramping up the debut album for release in the US, the band have still found time to record four completely new tracks for this EP.
Stomping first tune Say What I Want To plays on all of the debut albums strengths, pounding beats layer and build upon like a tidal wave. On Fire applies the same method, but with a minimal electronica slant. There's a slight Edge jangle to the guitars on those last few tracks - which give it a nice 80's indie sound, almost on a Stones Roses vibe.
As The Early Years start to meet their early promise, let's hope that things only get better and a second album builds even further in the same direction.... Viva ze Early Years!
1. Sufjan Stevens Illinoise (Asthmatic Kitty)
2. Common Be (Geffen)
3. M. Ward Transistor Radio (Merge)
4. Bright Eyes I'm Wide Awake, Its Morning (Saddle Creek)
5. Kanye West Late Registration (Roc-a-Fella)
6. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings Naturally (Daptone)
7. Devendra Banhart Cripple Crow (XL/Beggars)
8. Andrew Bird Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs (Righteous Babe)
9. Silver Jews Tanglewood Numbers (Drag City)
10. Bobby Bare Sr. The Moon was Blue (Dualtone)
Chimp 75 favourite's The National are on a UK tour in November. Playing ULU in London. Don't miss it.
Song of the Day will obviously be going to My Morning Jacket later on today... but Lyric of the Day goes to The National for this little masterpiece:
"My bodyguard shows her revolver to anyone who asks... And yeah she comes to attention when you come up to me too fast"
I know it's a bit early in the day for this but, for my own personal reference, here's a few contenders so far - as of July 14th 2005:
The Wedding Present - Take Fountain
The National - Alligator
The Arcade Fire - Funeral... let's just see how time fares on this one.
Stephen Malkmus - Face The Truth