It hasn’t been a great music month for yours truly, because the amp is in for repairs again, but there have been a couple of exceptions. I’ve finally discovered the Killers (via the US special edition of Hot Fuss, which for no discernable reason has a different track order and several different tracks from the UK special edition) and have been re-acquainting myself with Lloyd Cole’s Rattlesnakes, which I first heard way back in 1984 but had never bought on CD; it still sounds pretty good.

Album of the month for January, though, was Spoon’s Gimme Fiction, a hot tip from Bill that pushes all the right alternative buttons. Shades of the New Pornographers, the Pixies, all that stuff, you know the drill. They have next to no profile on this side of the Atlantic, although the album has had a UK release. I liked it so much that I went scouting for more and ended up buying their previous albums A Series of Sneaks, Girls Can Tell and Kill the Moonlight online. (Their debut, Telephono, is out of print and goes for $50 or more, which is almost as annoying as track listings that change from country to country.)

If you’re as clueless about them as I was, though, you won’t want to shell out for four albums without trying the music first, so here are some places to sample the goods:

  • I Turn My Camera On, a free download from Gimme Fiction at Amazon;
  • The band’s own mp3 page, especially “Believing is Art” and “Paper Tiger”;
  • Epitonic’s selection of Spoon mp3s;
  • The Creative Commons track Revenge! at Wired;
  • And, if you can be bothered installing Rhapsody, the whole of Telephono and Soft Effects streamed for free at Rolling Stone.

15 February 2006 · Music

You need album tips?

Okay, if you haven't already:

The Go! Team, "Thunder, Lightning, Strike."

The Books, "Lost and Safe"

The Hold Steady, "Separation Sunday"

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Yeah, "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Yeah"

My Morning Jacket, "Z"

Added by ed on 15 February 2006.

Thanks for the tips, Ed. Clap Your Hands have been getting a lot of press here, and I'd been planning to sample them sometime. I’ll seek out the others, too.

(By the way, I got the Lloyd Cole date wrong, now fixed; it came out in 1984, not 1986.)

Added by Rory on 16 February 2006.

Deary me. I took my eyes off the Snail when the test-card came up in (now that I check) November and now I find you've been all round the world in my absense, and redecorated, and all sorts of things.

Sorry to hear about your ailing amp.

Added by Kirsten on 17 February 2006.

Well, I’ve been so busy with the round-the-worlding that you haven’t missed a lot. But I’m gradually getting back into the swing of it.

Added by Rory on 17 February 2006.

Do check CYH out, Rory. If you don't bounce happily to "The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth," I'll be convinced that you're not human. :)

Added by ed on 19 February 2006.

TV's Adam Buxton gave me a compilation of Spoon tracks a few months ago. I haven't listened to all of it but what I've heard I like a lot.

And if you fancy a bit of an old school Sonic Youth/MBV fix may I recommend Autolux's excellent 'Future Perfect' album. That and José González's 'Veneer' are my fun finds of the last few months.

Added by James on 22 February 2006.

Oh, and CYHSY are great. Not a very consistent album but some real highlights. (cf. Wolf Parade's 'Apologies To The Queen Mary')

Added by James on 22 February 2006.

Righto Ed (and now TV’s James Bachman), I checked out the CYHSY mp3s on their site and liked what I heard, so I’ve plunked down ten cold hard pounds for their CD and will report back soon.

Added by Rory on 22 February 2006.

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