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Saturday, December 24th, 2005

Winter Wooskie

Belle & Sebastian have released details about the first single from their new album The Life Pursuit, out February 7. Funny Little Frog will be out on January 16 in the UK and will be available in not one, not two, but three different formats. There’s the CD single, which will feature b-sides “Meat & Potatoes” and “I Took A Long Hard Look”, a 7″ flipsided by “The Eighth Station of the Cross Kebab House” and a DVD single featuring a video of the single and a live performance of “Lazy Line Painter Jane”.

This is the first B&S single since This Is Just A Modern Rock Song to not get a North American release, but completists like myself should note that RecordStore.co.uk are offering all three singles in a special package deal for 5 pounds sterling (plus shipping). Thankfully, the package deal counts as one item as far as shipping is concerned, so it’s only an extra 3.39 quid postage (I asked). For those of you refusing to do math over the holidays, that’s a total of 8.39, or $17 Canadian ($14.50 USD). Not bad. I also asked about the DVD, and while it should be region-free, it’s also in PAL format so North American players may not be able to play it. I read the manual for mine and it said that while it can play PAL DVDs, the TV has to be PAL as well. I don’t know what any of this nonsense means, to be honest. Technology confounds me.

“Funny Little Frog” has been kicking around for a while – the band performed it on a Peel Session for the BBC as far back as 2004, which you can here below (MP3 courtesy of Revolution In The Head. I would imagine the album version sounds considerably different – after all, it had a year to evolved. Angloplugging has an embaressingly enthusiastic review/press release of the single, if you’re in the mood for hyperbole. And really, who isn’t?

MP3: Belle & Sebastian – “Funny Little Frog” (Peel Session)

And whilst on the topic of Belle & Sebastian and the late, great John Peel, ’tis the season to pull out their 2002 Christmas Peel Session in which they pulled out originals, covers and standards and generally had a good time. Each Note Secure currently has the whole thing wrapped (zipped) up with a bow for you to download. The BBC considerately has the set list and photos from the party still archived.

So I’m leafing through the new issue of Magnet and what do I see on page 7 but a full-page, full-colour ad for hardcore porn DVDs. At first I thought it was an ironic Matador ad, but no. Porn. How… odd.

But a few pages later there was a brief sidebar with Dean Wareham about his post-Luna projects and it revealed that Tell Me Do You Miss Me, the DVD chronicling Luna’s final tour over the Fall of 2004 and Winter of 2005, will be getting a release in March via Rhino. Yes, Luna, I do miss you. Sniff. Oh, Dean and Britta have reposted their Christmas track “Old Toy Trains”, a cover of an old Roger Miller tune.

MP3: Dean Wareham & Britta Phillips – “Old Toy Trains”

So it’s back to the old homestead today for Christmas festivities, which should involve rewiring my mom’s byzantine VCR system (don’t ask), watching the bonus features on The Life Aquatic DVD and perusing the latest Big Takeover for last-minute additions to the Boxing Day shopping list. It’s looking really meagre right now, which makes me antsy in that “I don’t feel as though I’m taking full advantage of the sales” sort of way. But hey, beats working. Which I won’t be doing until the first week of January… Vacation! Whoooo.

But for now, I have to go try and do some Christmas shopping. Yeah, shut up.

np – The Zephyrs / Bright Yellow Flowers On A Dark Double Bed

By : Frank Yang at 8:57 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. christmas eve shopper says:

    was it magnet that had a problem with the malkmus ad or was it another magazine?

  2. Frank says:

    no, it was Paste that objected to the Malkmus ad. Magnet is apparently down with all kinds of freaky stuff.

  3. sam says:

    your computer should be able to play PAL.
    or would your screen enter into the equation?

  4. rachel says:

    Yay, B&S!!!

  5. Joe says:

    I learned a good bit about PAL and NTSC stuff a couple of years ago when I bought a DVD from Amazon.co.uk without realizing that European movies have different formats and regions than ours.

    A little research helped me crack the region settings on my DVD player. And fortunately, our cheap-ass TV can play whatever you throw at it.

    So yeah, you can probably set up your TV to play PAL discs. Just go into the setup menu and see if you can change between PAL and NTSC. It’s pretty easy, really. You may not even have to change settings.

    If your TV has a PAL option, and your DVD player can handle PAL, then you’re good to go. And yeah, your computer can probably handle PAL with little or no messing about from you.

    So there’s always that.