>> Angular post-punkers Bloc Party, whose hotly anticipated and recently leaked sophomore set A Weekend In The City will be released next month, has initiated a video podcast series to promote the title. The first of a half-dozen episodes allegedly shows the band working on the record at a studio in Dublin. We're downloading the thing now, so we can't say what else happens. But an email from the band suggests future episodes will show the band finish the record and tour, and along the way new tracks will be debuted on the 'cast. Curiously, the video podcast is "brought to you by icast" -- ICast to us is a local company that flamed out during the dot-com boom after being acquired by CMGI, a holding company which itself sort of flamed out after acquiring the naming rights to the stadium where the local NFL franchise plays. Maybe "icast" means something different in British? Anyway, you can subscribe to it here. If all that sounds like a lot of work, you can just go to NME.com here and watch the making of the band's recently issued video for the tune "The Prayer."
>> Notable European label CitySlang has finally launched its own ecommerce operation, SlangStore. The label states it sells vinyl, MP3s and DVDs via the operation, and even promises sales of rarities, limited edition, tour-only and out-of-print titles. And they take PayPal. Sweet. Hopefully Santa saw that new Notwist DVD on our list.
>> Speaking of commerce, the latest missive from Warp alerts us to the existence of some things we did not know existed. First, there is a DVD of Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto performing their genius minimalist electronic set from 2005 Insen. Insen Live, as the DVD is called, includes a performance from 2006 at the Sonar Festival in Barcelona. The DVD is in Dolby 5.1 sound, features unreleases tracks "Xerox" and "Barco," and touts a laser-engraved cardboard package that we're sure is dreamy. Hey Santa, pick us up one of these, too. Also on sale at Warp is Fennesz' Endless Summer Definitive Edition, a remixed and expanded version of Fennesz's star-making electronic masterpiece originally released in 2001 on Mego. Bonus tracks include "Badminton Girl," which was previously only available on a split 12" released in 2001, and a previously unreleased track "Endless."