Inevitably, then, it's beginning to look like, having signed to a major label, GoodBooks then get trampled underfoot in Columbia's attempt to take, well, other acts towards the big time instead. In this case, the current priority promotion of chancer du jour (jour being some time last summer for a couple of hours) Ali Love. A shame, of course, especially as they've now got up to the big one, Passchendaele, released two weeks before the ninetieth anniversary of the titular battle and the first/best evocation of their combination of the smart end of 2005's International Year Of Jerky Post-Punk with something 'other', more electronic and somehow romantic. Radio's loss. On the other hand, you can see why daytime radio would want nothing to do with The Victorian English Gentlemens Club, abrasive cross-purpose artrock in a blender whose debut album came from nearly nowhere to blow us away nearly a year ago. Apparently they're getting set for album two before the end of the year, preceded by a limited edition double A-sided 7" of La Mer, which we haven't heard, and Stupid As Wood, which we have as it was the one of the eponymous debut's Santiago-and-Deal-breed-Colin Newman highlights. Still no online sign of Bang The Tin, the Pancake Mountain acoustic revision of Ban The Gin. And if they're never going to become Edith Bowman's Top Rated choice, then we have about as much of a chance of Virgin playlisting as XX Teens, whose Darlin' has earned them Fall comparisons that seem barely warranted until you hear how the usual jumble of Norman Collier effect guitars and slurred shouting has been augmented by steel drums, synth-brass and little regard for a mix that seperates any of it out. And to think they just stand there. BC Camplight made a cognescenti splash early last year with his Brian Wilson/Todd Rundgren debut album, and the first sight of his second collection of experimental chamber-pop is Lord I’ve Been On Fire; Loney, Dear backs up his own rising standing on Saturday Waits; well after the album event Jarvis sneaks Fat Children out on both sizes of vinyl; and the Rakes, currently to be found in the folder marked 'Big First Album, All But Forgotten By Second', release what should have been the hit had they not first given it to a Hedi Slimane compilation, The World Was A Mess But His Hair Was Perfect.
Blimey, really not a lot about this week. It's so quiet out there, especially for new releases, that we're shoehorning in an import-only album released in North America on Tuesday. It is, however, Sticking Fingers Into Sockets, Arts & Crafts' six song entry into the glorious world of Los Campesinos! Completists note, it's both sides of the two British 7"s, a cover of Pavement's Frontwards (it's on the Watery, Domestic EP, which now forms part of Slanted and Enchanted: Luxe & Reduxe, which you have in your collection because you're good people) and Clunk-Rewind-Clunk-Play-Clunk, a new song that, while boasting a great title, doesn't have quite as great a title as some of the unreleased songs down the bottom of the charts on their last.fm page. There have been moments in the couple of months since we've made this discovery when we've considered not sleeping until we've heard Snap! Crackle! They Put Me In A Foster Home! As for records you can buy over the counter in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, while we wait for a new dEUS album - being recorded in their own studio for release early next year, apparently - Pawlowski Trouve And Ward is a three way split album of solo material by Mauro, Rudy and Craig, the three lead guitarists in the band's history, all unsurprisingly but no less welcomingly leaning towards the sphere of avantgarde indiepop the Belgian outfit have long made their own. The Tindersticks were believed to have stopped being a glamorous glum-chamber rock concern when Stuart Staples took his Vic Reeves club singer basso profundo on a solo sojourn, but word is that he merely split the band around him and is planning to put out a record under the band name with his current touring compatriots. Worked for Status Quo. The Complete BBC Sessions happily includes the sessions they did for Mark Radcliffe's first and last Graveyard Shifts and reminds us that we once saw Melanie Sykes introducing their video on MTV. Even a cult concern can have a Return To Form Album, and Robyn Hitchcock's was 1999's Jewels For Sophia, back out in its full Cheese Alarm glorious oddness pomp. Having left Peter Buck and the other Venusian 3 to REM duties he's currently touring with backup from John Paul Jones. You know that the sportswear/rap crossover has hit a pretty pass when MF Doom gets to personalise some Nikes, so reserve your DOOM Dunks and kick back with the CD and DVD reissue of Mm.. Food, his food-as-metaphor concept breakthrough of 2004.
What differentiates Inside The Smiths from the rest of the low budget, low copyright-adhering unofficial DVD biography brigade - Johnny Cash: Music In Review, for instance - is that Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce are the centrepiece of it. So no, no music, but plenty of unheard stories, the odd local luminary (Hook, Shelley, E Smith, erm, Ricky Wilson) backing up the claims to greatness and no sense whatsoever that, whatever small talk Morrissey and Marr retain, this is paving the way for a reunion.
A good ska group needs a good bassman, and fulfilling the danciest of bottom ends in the Specials dance party was Sir Horace Gentleman, also known as Horace Panter (which isn't his real name either, but no time for that now). Apparently he was one of the stumbling blocks behind the planned 2004 reformation, which seems odd as he was in the late 90s version of the band, but anything that pisses Simon Jordan off is fine by us. He's got an autobiography out, Ska'd for Life the uninventive title, telling the story from Coventry Automatics to post-Dammers collapse. Perverted By Language: Fiction Inspired By The Fall has been out for a couple of weeks but we didn't get round to mentioning it before - 22 short stories inspired by Fall song titles, penned by Stewart Lee, Kevin 'Local Man Ruins Everything' MacNeil and some people we've never heard of.