>> We're back. The Zappa bio we said we'd be reading? Superlative. Chock full of interesting information, and doesn't go out of its way to make Frank Zappa appear any greater or lesser of a man than he was. The Lydon bio? Pretty good. We think our primary qualm with it is the presentation -- the prose seems to be solely comprised of transcribed recordings, which results in very choppy sentences. It helps to imagine Lydon, who fronted both Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd., speaking the words, and you do get used to it after a while. Still, would it have killed Lydon to have succumbed to great editorial oversight? Actually, given what we read, perhaps it would. Anyhow. Both books are well worth reading.
>> That relative silence you'll hear this week belies the preparation going into what will be a torrent of amazing releases this fall: Interpol, New Pornographers, Spoon, A-Sides, Meneguar, and on and on and on. Right now it seems like we don't have a lot on our plate (the vacation helped), but we expect things are going to be crazy and full of excellent music between now and the end of October. We can't wait.
>> Let's just come out and say it: if you like the peppy new New Pornographers promo track "My Rights Versus Yours," then you will like '70s pop sensations E.L.O.'s "Turn To Stone." The New Pornographers' new set Challengers will be released Aug. 21; Electric Light Orchestra released "Turn To Stone" on Out Of The Blue in 1977. And -- because one of our favorite Philadelphia-based bands just did a WOXY Lounge Act session and will release their sophomore album soon -- let's talk about The A-Sides for a minute. First of all, hit the link supra and grab the band's WOXY session, which includes new tracks from the band's long awaited sophomore set Silver Storms [Vagrant] including "Diamonds." Speaking of "Diamonds," Spinner recently published here a link to an MP3 of the album version of the track (we detest the term "leak" when the track hasn't actually "leaked" in the traditional sense of the term, sorry AOL Music Indi... errrr... Spinner). The song is awesome -- stop at nothing to acquire it. Anyway, if you like British shoegaze dynamo Ride's "Nowhere" (the albumer ender, not the album itself), then you will like The A-Sides' "Here Or There," the album ender from the latter band's debut Hello, Hello. Here's an MP3 and a few streams to illustrate our assertions above.
New Pornographers -- "My Rights Versus Yours" -- Challengers
[right click and save as]
[pre-order one of the various versions of Challengers right here]
[Imeem player removed.]
>> Shoegazy Brooklyn foursome Dirty On Purpose report it is recording an EP with a duo whose production credits include drone rockers Dead Meadow, noise merchants Liars and The National, a band everyone likes but us. An email from Dirty On Purpose states the new recordings sound "like when you're in a room and a loud rock band is playing and it's awesome." Sounds pretty great to us. No word on a release date. Dirty On Purpose's Sleep Late For A Better Tomorrow EP and full-length Hallelujah Sirens were released on North Street in 2004 and 2006, respectively; the label will also release the planned EP.
>> Stars are aligning. It would seem, according to a MySpace missive, that Birmingham, UK noise pop trio Johnny Foreigner have gotten on one of Meneguar's fall tour dates in the UK (posted here, lest you forget). That will be one hot show in Cambridge, England Oct. 4. Now if only we could figure out a reason for our day job to send us to England that week... Meneguar releases its long-anticipated sophomore set Strangers In Our House on Troubleman Unlimited in August. Remember before vacation when we said we didn't know how "limited" the pressing of the European release of the set on Release The Bats would be? Well, our old friend Google reveals only 500 copies were pressed. You can see the track listing and cover art right here.