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   Friday, May 16, 2003  
Beyond spooky...
Since this blog began few acts have featured more regularly than LA's alt-pop wonders Rilo Kiley; 2002's 2nd album rated no.1 on the reallyrather year-end list. Leading the charge here this year is scintillating troubadour M. Ward. Hitherto entirely unconnected, what are we to make of this news from Ward's US label Merge: "Look for him in your town later this summer/fall on tour with Rilo Kiley moonlighting as his backing band!" !!! at least, surely?! It's only a guess but this maybe has something to do with Bright Eyes. RK shifted to Saddle Creek Records to put out The execution of all things. Saddle Creek house producer and multi-instrumentalist Mike Mogis had a sizeable hand in how it all came out. He also featured in the Bright Eyes line-up which toured last year; support act on quite a few of the band's US dates was Matt Ward... Whatever, short of The Be Good Tanyas being roped in as backing singers, it's something of a reallyrather dream ticket, if faintly improbable. A band like, say, Tracker would have been a more obvious choice for Ward to recruit but then hey, who really wants obvious?...

...and Tracker will feature on the first compilation from new UK label Slow Noir: "Possibly the world's first Czech-Italian-Scottish co-production...the label hopes to feature and to promote some of the best atmospheric and melancholic alternative rock and electronica/post rock acts..."

Continuing the subject of odd alliances, who have REM invited, specially like, to open their UK shows in July? Only Oranger! Hopefully, San Francisco's smart retro-popsters will fit in the odd club date while they're over. The band claim to have a song from Quiet Vibration Land on the soundtrack of the spanking good drama The Secretary which opened in the UK this week. But, giving the movie it's closest attention (in the interests of Art, you understand), reallyrather failed to spot it...

"Has the little scandal about the balalaikas affected you at all?" - the official Eurovision site posts an interview with our boy Jostein Hasselgard. Oh dear, could this affair affect blog tip Norway's chances? Well, not according to the bookmakers - the 20-1 available last week has now gone...

Turning to a music contest with fractionally more cred (only fractionally, mind), it's time to play guess the Mercury Music Prize 2003 nominees. A fun game for all the family, the shortlist doesn't come out 'til late summertime, but reallyrather suggests that these will be there:
Athlete / Vehicles & animals- an almost archetypal listee. An under-exposed debut album, mildly eclectic but highly accessible, must have a fair chance of going one better than The Bees, The Coral, etc
Beth Gibbons & Rustin' Man - this may be all they need to cover the folky angle
Four Tet / Rounds - Contemporary beats but too experimental to preclude the committee having to also find a conventional dance album to list
Coldplay / A rush of blood.. - not since Pulp's Different class won in '96 has a big-time monster seller won but sadly they must be favourites
The Libertines / Up the bracket
...and possibly Hell is For Heroes' efficiently piledriving Neon handshake.
The new Radiohead, Blur and Super Furrys albums may or may not qualify. A Booker-style 'long list' it would probably rope in the likes of Mull Historical Society and Richard Hawley (but neither's latest release tops it's predecessor), and Tom Harcourt and Ed Mcrae - or should that be... A long long list might extend to Feeder and the Vessels' safe but sound debut. The tension, er, mounts...

'"This prejudice against 'too-smartness' has infected the American culture so much that even in our rareified, middle-class, nancy-boy rock world there are social pressures to be less verbal, less curious, and less accepting. In indie-rock the dumbing down manifests itself differently, as our peers outdo each other in who can be more autistic, more emotionally damaged, more gape-mouthed and stunned.' From a short essay, 'On the topic of pretentiousness' by the Long Winters John Broderick as posted recently here...

Whoo hoo! again:
Pedro the Lion's first European jaunt is now confirmed - the UK dates are:
26 June London @ The Garage
27 June Nottingham @ The Rescue Rooms
29 June Glasgow @ The Barfly
To mark this long-awaited event, a reallyrather giveaway (of sorts). A mint copy of last year's brilliant album Control awaits the sender of the most tempting reciprocal trade. Great long lists of albums you're sick of/never really liked in the first place/etc welcome at the above email until May 31...
   posted by SMc at 8:21 AM |