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.

Duffing is very much the anti-shabba

Attentive readers of the blog will have noticed the new clickable banner at the bottom of the page. It refers to Gideon Coe‘s quite brilliant radio show on BBC 6Music. I get nothing from doing this, naturally, I just love the show and think you might do so too. I was always rather fond of Mr Coe when he was in the mid-morning slot on the station, a gig he occupied from the station’s launch in 2002 until October of last year. At that point, a straight swap was made George Lamb, then-host of the station’s late show. I have to confess that I was actually quite pleased, as previously I’d had bugger all chance of hearing Gideon as I was in no position to listen to his daytime show at work. Catching his show when enjoying time off was always a delight, but it always seemed a shame that I couldn’t hear more of it.

Gideon has created a wonderful show in the 10pm-1am slot and I cannot think of another radio programme being broadcast anywhere in the world that I rate higher than this one. The music is absolutely spot on and the sense of community is right up there with the work of the late, great Peelie. With regard to the music; as a reader of this blog I’m guessing we have at least vaguely similar tastes in tunes and therefore I should utter some brief words of caution. Unless you can afford to dispense with a tenner a week as a result of hearing something great that you previously didn’t know existed, don’t tune in. Only last night, I sent $8, via Paypal, to Matinee Recordings for the debut EP by Northern Portrait as a result of hearing one of the tracks on Gid’s show.

The listener interaction makes for one of the most pleasant ends to a day I can think of, and it’s not just about inviting emails and texts. Far from it. In fact, it’s all about the topics he chooses to pursue and the quaint regular features such as ‘Paintbox Jury’ (famous-ish albums covers, re-done in Paint) and ‘Duffing’ (listeners’ emails in which they have a gentle moan about the world – all ages welcome.) On top of all of this, Gideon is, quite simply, a very witty man. At a time when silly little catchphrases and tales of getting drunk constitute ‘radio banter’, it’s a relief to listen to a show where it’s acceptable to:

a) give a shit about music

and

b) have at least a modicum of intelligence

It’s rarer than you’d think these days.

Were this blog a school playground, at least one person would now be shouting, ‘Why don’t you just marry him if you love him that much?’ such is my eulogising about the show. But it’s all perfectly sincere. It’s nice to hear a show that seems designed for you. If it was bollocks then I wouldn’t waste your precious time with it, but I genuinely believe you should have a listen. You may well like it muchly.

Gideon’s video manifesto for the late show

Last Night’s Show

Oh, and don’t, whatever you do, play the new Portishead 12″, ‘Machine Gun’, at 33 1/3 rpm. It’ll fair make you shit yourself.