It was a ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ reference.

Regular readers of the blog may be aware of my penchant for record shopping on a Bank Holiday Monday. It just seems so right. Not that it ever seems particularly wrong. Hmm, this may just be a thinly veiled excuse for buying more records. Anyhoo, as I had a wander round my nearest music emporiums of choice I noticed that Elvis Costello‘s ‘Momofuku‘ had indeed crept into the UK shops. Fopp were blasting it out at a quite magnificent volume and had it prominently displayed on their new releases shelf. However, the most disturbing moment of the whole process was the discovery of a copy of the vinyl in their meagre racks. £13! Bargain. Pretty much the price I paid for the US import that’s not proved to be particularly speedy. It’s moments like this, moments when you think that you’ve cleverly circumvented the machinations of ‘the man’ only to have your face – or ears, I guess, as this is music related – very much rubbed in it (whatever the figurative ‘it’ is), that really piss me off. I shouldn’t be annoyed. I’ll have the album in no time at all on vinyl, a kind soul shared their bonus download code with me so that I can actually enjoy it already and yet, there I was smarting at its presence in the racks. I have to confess, dear reader, that I did spend a minute or two attempting to conjure a reason why I needed two copies of ‘Momofuku’ on vinyl thus rendering the purchase of this copy an absolute necessity. Thankfully, common sense kicked in (a new experience in a record shop) and I left without it. That said, if it doesn’t turn up soon I may lose the plot.

Fopp are in the middle of a big clearout, with plenty of CDs at £3. Once the price is this low, I find it quite hard to avoid temptation and duly left with six titles from the vast range on offer. I still feel a little dirty shopping in Fopp in the same quantities I used to. It’s a bit like when you see celebrities so desperate to appear ‘trendy’ that they start wearing a Stooges T-shirt for every TV interview they do. Fopp is HMV in a Sex Pistols T-shirt, and it’s not quite right.

Oh, and this blog proved how scarily instant the interweb can be yesterday. Mere hours after I’d posted about the new Costello album, a quote of the entire post appeared on the exact forums I referred to, link and everything. Kind of appropriate once you’ve heard the lyrics to ‘No Hiding Place’, the opener on ‘Momofuku‘. Hi all. Be regular readers, won’t you?

In a nutshell, I’ve bought lots of records.

I’ve had a thoroughly enjoyable week, piling up CDs wherever there was space remaining. After getting hooked on the Trashcan Sinatras last weekend, the three albums of theirs I didn’t own arrived from various different parts of the UK. DVD.co.uk have an insane 4 for £15 offer on that, at the time I ordered, included the deluxe edition of Joy Division‘s ‘Still‘ amongst the spoils. Add in The Loose Salute, The Blue Nile, Northern Portrait and Ladybug Transistor after hearing them played on Gideon Coe‘s show and it’s been rather a splendid week for new tunes.

The Northern Portrait EP , ‘The Fallen Aristocracy‘ is a little charmer. Four songs of prime British indie jangle a la The Smiths, only made by a trio from Denmark. Even the cover looks like a Smiths record, which earns them a bonus points or two. Sample a track via the mux if you happen to be interested. See the previous post about this EP to order yourself a copy.

I’m now incredibly glad that I pursued The Trashcan Sinatras after ‘How Can I Apply?‘ piqued my interest last week. Its parent album, ‘A Happy Pocket’ is a total charmer of Teenage Fanclub proportions, while ‘I’ve Seen Everything’ – their second album – also has a touch of late Beatles to it. The harmonies are divine and every last second is so delicately constructed I can’t help but wonder why I didn’t know about it before this week. That said, when you look at it on Amazon, most of the reviewers seem intent upon mentioning Travis, which is enough to make you think again. The aforementioned, ‘How Can I Apply?‘ has also made it to the mux this week, and their first three albums, while not in print, can be tracked down for reasonable prices by trawling all of the different online outlets for second-hand music.

Momofuku‘ to you and you and ba-ba-bahh. Bonkers name for an album, even more bonkers approach to distribution in the UK, but nevertheless, the new Elvis Costello is upon us. It’s actually really rather good. It was supposed to be double vinyl and download only, but it didn’t quite work out like that and a CD copy will be in all good stores from tomorrow. Which is more than can be said about the vinyl edition. That said, it would seem that it has just reached British shores as Amazon briefly had two copies in stock on Friday. HMV are knocking it out cheap too, but to me it seems like the sort of thing you should buy from an indie store. You know, one of the shops that carried on supporting vinyl even when the big stores were trying to persuade us that we didn’t need it anymore. The ones who haven’t just come flooding back to it because they sense the opportunity for a quick buck. Anyway, despite the fact that the album actually came out in the US on April 22nd didn’t seem to bother the distributors in the UK who, despite seemingly having told most shops that the UK release date would essentially be the same, have been unable to supply any copies to any shops until the last couple of days, thus bringing the vinyl release date, at least in the UK, in line with the CD’s appearance. Dopey, if you ask me. I ended up buying my vinyl from the US because I was tired of waiting, and it’s this kind of balls-up that the industry could do without right now. Some of the more charming if neurotic types over at the Elvis Costello forums have decided it’s all a deliberate part of Costello’s plan to piss off the UK because some posh people went to Glastonbury the other year. Is it fuck.

Oh, and the Portishead album’s actually rather good. There had been mumblings about the record after a sub-standard leak appeared some time ago, but the beefy and brutal sound of the double vinyl has made me sit up and take notice. ‘The Rip’ may well be one of the finest tunes released this year. Still think that £40 boxset’s a big old load of bollocks though.