Sometimes it takes a re-issue of old albums to rediscover a musician that you’ve been out of touch with for a while. So it was with me last week. When a couple of re-issued Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds albums landed up, re-mastered and with bonuses such as DVDs in tow, I revisited Nick Cave and after the first couple of tracks on the re-issued Dig, Lazarus Dig!!! (originally released in 2008), I wondered how on earth could I have let so much time elapse before I re-heard Cave’s music. Read more

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A couple of weeks ago, within days of each other, two of my iPods breathed their last. The 160 GB Classic (circa 2009) gave up the ghost first. It simply lost all of the 120 GB or so of music that it had on it. And then, my all-time favourite, the eight-year-old 40 GB went kaput. On both of these I’d stashed away loads of songs, many of which were un-backed up; there were carefully (at least that’s what I think!) curated playlists: clustered according to genres, live recordings, year of recording, favourites, and so on. And then poof! All gone. Read more

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I don’t remember waiting for any album as eagerly as I have been for The Black Keys’ new album, El Camino. In October, I heard a track from it, Lonely Boys, and ever since I have wanted to lay my hands on the blues duo’s seventh full-length album. Seven albums in less than nine years is a staggering achievement by any standard but not only have guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney been relentless with their releases, each of which is followed by hectic touring, but on each of their albums, they have tweaked and evolved the minimalist, near-purist blues sound that has become their hallmark. Read more

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I’d never have thought songs about breaking up could be so sonically joyous if I hadn’t heard Fitz and The Tantrums’ debut extended play album titled Songs For A Break Up Volume I. Fitz And The Tantrums are a Los Angeles band and their debut work is actually downloadable for free off their website. They’re a soul band that recreates the purity of the sound of that genre as it was in the nineteen-sixties and seventies.

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