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Tuesday, January 4th, 2005

Lazarus

Sanctuary Records continues to corner the market as the official archivists of anything Creation. After releasing compilations for Slowdive and Hurricane #1 (?!?), the next Creation acts to have their respective vaults raided are Liverpool’s Boo Radleys and Oxford’s Swervedriver. The Boos’ Anthology and Swervies’ Juggernaut Rides will both be out on February 28 in the UK, and presumably follow the pattern of including both singles and rarities.

If you were to draw out their respective styles Venn diagram-like, they’d both intersect the shoegaze circle, but the Boos would also have a foot in the Britpop grouping while Swerverdriver had a fair bit of rock in their recipe. Even their common ground was pretty different, the Boo Radleys trading in melodic pop wrapped in walls of fuzz, Swervedriver in a leaner, more driving psychedelic sound. Both had brief windows of success (Giant Steps and Wake Up! were critical and commercial hits, respectively, and Swervedriver’s Mezcal Head is fairly essential), but never quite managed to establish themselves as much more than also-rans in the annals of music history. Which is a shame, cause they both had some great tunes – mayhap the compilations will earn them some critical reappraisals. I may look to pick up the Swervies one if they become available over here – I’ve only got Mezcal Head and their other albums are somewhat difficult to find. The Boos, I’ve got loads of their stuff already, don’t really need any more to be honest.

Neither act is currently active, the Boos officially disbanded and Swerverdriver on indefinite hiatus. Since the Boos split, guitarist and songwriter Martin Carr has been plugging away under the name of Brave Captain while Swervedriver frontman Adam Franklin now operates as Toshack Highway. Oh, and if you wanted some Swervedriver stuff, they’ve got live versions of all their albums available to download, gratis, on their website.

The New York Times tries to figure out just who Nellie McKay is. Via Pop (All Love).

TTIKTDA offers up an aural history of Colin Meloy. And for everyone who’s been trading leaked copies of Picaresque, Colin is very very disappointed in you.

Moving Units will be supporting The Secret Machines at the Mod Club February 2, and Autolux should also be on that tour but I haven’t seen them listed for the Toronto show yet. Also, Hood from Leeds, England are at the Drake on March 15, tickets $10. Either of these shows worth my attention?

NME lists off some of the confirmed acts for SXSW this year. Getting tingly!

According to this Chicago Sun-Times piece on the massive tastemaking influence of Pitchfork (read in as much sarcasm as you see fit), Arcade Fire – the darlings of the indie rock world and the most hyped act since, um, The Beatles, have sold a whopping 28,000 units in the USA. I don’t really have a perspective on what is and isn’t a lot of units sold, but that seems awful low to me. Like, Britney Spears probably sells that many from a single Wal-Mart store.

Nominations for the 2005 Bloggies are open. You’ll note they’ve folded several categories, including “Best Music”, into a new single category, “Best Entertainment”. I’m not gonna be all disingenuous here and pretend I wouldn’t like to be nominated again – I’m itching for a rematch with Moby. However, with the broader category definition, I imagine there’ll be tougher competition for nominations let alone prizes. Oh well, we do what we can do. You know, looking over the nomination form, I realize just how few different blogs I actually read. Sad, really.

np – Interpol / Antics

By : Frank Yang at 9:26 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Matthew says:

    Weird that they would eliminate the music category when 2004 was the first year that music blogs really blew up and got some mainstream attention.

  2. Torr says:

    Here’s a frame of reference for selling 28,000 copies in the U.S.

    Elliott Smith From A Basement on a Hill 43,000

    Gomez In Our Gun 40,000

    Stereolab Margarine Eclipse 40,000

    Sun Kil Moon Ghost of the Great Highway 35,000

    Elbow Cast of Thousands 35,000

    The The Naked Self 34,636

    The Coral Self-Titled 33,000

    Elbow Asleep In The Back 30,000

    Longwave The Strangest Things 30,000

    South With The Tides 26,000

    Manic Street Preachers This Is My Truth 25,000

    Red House Painters Old Ramon 25,000

    Super Furry Animals Phantom Power 22,000

    Manitoba Up In Flames 20,000

    Cooper Temple Clause Kick Up The Fires 15,000

    Ian Brown Golden Greats 11,500

    The Coral Magic and Medicine 11,000

    JJ72 self-titled 10,465

    Plenty more where that came from. I love this stuff.

  3. solace says:

    that 28k is only soundscan, which for independent labels like Merge, isn’t very accurate.

    from what i recall, Merge sold out of their initial pressing of 60k in under one month. so i’d honestly estimate it’s between 60-80k sold.

  4. D. says:

    Where’d you get dem figures? Here in Blighty we’re forever being told that the Manics are absolutely unknown in the States while the Furries – another Welsh band – are supposed to have a significant cult following. Hardly the case then. I suppose its depends on where you put your goalposts.

    Frank – Hood have one absolutely killer avant-rock tune that I recommend you get your mits on. It will genuinely blow your mind: ‘They Removed All Trace That Anything Had Ever Happened Here’ (on the Cold House LP and various comps). Unfortunately the rest of the gig won’t be anywhere near this good.

  5. Torr says:

    The figures I posted are u.s. soundscan sales figures which includes sales at indie record stores and via indie labels. "This is my truth" is the manics best selling u.s. album, all the rest of their albums sold less than 25,000, and the new album looks like it might not ever come out here. SFA’s "Phantom Power" did indeed only sell less than 25,000, so the bands sales are about equal in the u.s. Never let anyone in the UK try to tell you what is selling in the u.s. cause they’re always way wrong.

  6. Jake says:

    28,000 is a lot of records. Consider the fact that Pavement’s "Crooked Rain" had only sold 234,000 US copies in in the first 10 years of its release:

    http://…/

    Yes, Britney sells more. But damn, it’s tough for unknown bands to sell anything. Most (truly) independent bands don’t sell out of their initial run of 1,000.

    And man, what I wouldn’t give for some access to the Soundscan data…

  7. James says:

    Are you going to SXSW Music only or are you going to try to come early for the Interactive conference?

  8. Frank says:

    I’m doing this all out of my own pocket and vacation time, so it’s only for the 17th through the 20th. I’d love to go down for the whole thing someday, but it’d have to be on someone else’s nickel.

  9. bryan says:

    Arcade Fire is big on the internet, and everyone knows just how many CDs internet people buy.

  10. bryan says:

    Also, may I suggest that you put your URL in the ID3 tag notes of the MP3s you host and post because by the time I get around to listening to some of the songs I’ve downloaded, I forget where I got them and who to thank.

  11. Geert says:

    Of course you should go and see Hood!!! Seriously underestimated band that brings you anything from lo-fi rock to brilliant electronic soundscaping and musique concrète. They are not always that reliable live, but their 2 most recent albums were full of heartbreaking beauty and I’m eagerly anticpating their next release this month.

  12. kathryn says:

    i, too, am dismayed at the folding of the best music weblog category into best entertainment — for music, movies, tv, theater, etc. however, i just nominated you for best canadian weblog! go chromewaves!

  13. Carla says:

    Thanks for that news about the Boo Radley’s Anthology. Did you know frontman Sice also released a solo album under the moniker "Eggman"? This was before they officially broke up. I have his autograph lying around somewhere…

  14. JOSH says:

    I saw HOOD on their last US tour and intend to catch them again when the come to Los Angeles this March. They were first described to me as "the thinking man’s Radiohead" but I think it’s more accurate to call them the English Notwist. It’s the same kind of lap-pop/electro-rock, but a bit more dreary. And they pull it off well enough live.

  15. Torr says:

    Updated Aracade Fire #s:

    Scanned: 46k+

    Shipped: 77k+