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Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Look Inside America

Blur reunion looks vaguely across the Atlantic

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceThough of no relevance whatsoever to the contents of the actual post, some discussion emerged in the comments one of last week’s posts wherein the ongoing V Fest-spotting games turned to the possibility of Blur possibly making an appearance at the Ontario edition, unofficially set to happen August 29 and 30 in Burl’s Creek near Orillia. As much as I’d like that to happen – they’re on a very short list of acts who could get me to venture up that way and endure all the logistical joys that go along with it – I didn’t think it likely on account of the fact that though they’d surely be greeted like gods here, their profile in the US isn’t terrific, probably not known as anything but the “woo-hoo!” band outside of your major markets. The point being that I questioned whether it’d make financial sense to extend their reunion tour to this side of the Atlantic, and on top of that none of the press I’d read about their Summer appearances in the UK had hinted they’d intended to bring things across the pond.

Well it appears I spoke a bit too soon. Billboard reports that the band are indeed considering options in America with a Live Nation UK representative is quoted as saying, “There are no plans beyond T in the Park [July 12] and Oxegen [July 10]. They are talking about some American shows still in the same time frame. There are possibilities of some European ones as well.” It’s hardly an official declaration of intent, and sounds a bit non-committal to imagine they’ll be participating in a festival that should be set to announce their lineup (hopefully) soon – never mind the question of whether the people who’d see Blur are the same audience the now top-40 radio skewed fest is targeting. But it certainly offers some hope that those of us who missed ever seeing the band live their first time around might get a second chance, at some point.

Also Blur-related, to coincide with their reunion shows the band is releasing a double-disc best of to supplant the circa-2000 Best Of Blur which, I’m not ashamed to admit, gets more rotation with me than any of their individual studio albums. Midlife: A Beginners Guide To Blur will be released on June 15 and while its 25 tracks is obviously more than Best‘s 18, but I cannot endorse any collection that excludes “End Of A Century”. Sorry. Details on the comp at NME.

Returned prodigal guitarist Graham Coxon appears to have been designated band spokesperson leading up to the reunion shows, which is curious since he’s always been the most recalcitrant of the four. But I suppose it gives him a chance to also talk up his new solo record, The Spinning Top. He tells News Of The World that Alex James’ memoirs encouraged him to return to the fold, talks to This Is Nottingham about what it’s like to be back together, talks mainly solo works with The Sun and Drowned In Sound and covers both bases with BBC.

And because it’s one of Graham’s and also one of the best Blur tunes to say nothing of one of my favourite videos ever – “Coffee & TV”.

Video: Blur – “Coffee & TV”

The Pop Cop scores an interview with Stuart Murdoch about God Help The Girl, which I’ve elected to not write in italics because it’s in reference to the project and not the possible accompanying film/musical/whatever. But if I reference God Help The Girl the album, out June 23, such as in the context of Drowned In Sound doing an extensive review and analysis of the record, it will be noted in italics what with it being a proper title. I know you care about these little OCD things as much as I do.

With the UK release of The Bachelor just over a week away, Patrick Wolf is streaming the whole thing on his MySpace and I’m not afraid to say this will likely be one of my favourite albums of the year. He gives a three-part interview to Drowned in Sound, a video interview to NYLON – his North American label – and talks about his London to This Is London. The Bachelor gets a North American release on August 11 but if you’re able to resist getting an import version before then, you’re stronger than I. He plays The Mod Club on June 15.

Stream: Patrick Wolf / The Bachelor

NPR has a World Cafe session with Bat For Lashes.

The first video from Florence & The Machine’s debut Lungs is now available. The record is out July 6.

Video: Florence & The Machine – “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)”

The Chester Chronicle talks to Little Boots’ Victoria Hesketh about Hands, out June 8.

Polly Scattergood discusses her debut self-titled album, out this week in North America, with The Yorkshire Evening Post.

Jimi Goodwin of Doves reviews his musical upbringing with Pitchfork. They play the Kool Haus on June 1.

The Times and Irish Times talk to Jarvis Cocker.

NME reports that Radiohead have begun work on their next album.

PitchforkTV is broadcasting a Tindersticks show recorded in New York – if you missed their last tour, this is worth your time. They’re magnificent.

Aversion interviews The Horrors.

Check out the new video from Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3.

Video: Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 – “I’m Falling”

The Scotsman and The Line Of Best Fit profile My Latest Novel. Their second album Death & Entrances was released this week.

Pitchfork talks to The Twilight Sad’s James Graham about their forthcoming album Forget The Night Ahead, out September 22.

Former Boo Radleys songwriter Martin Carr asks ten questions of Mogwai. Carr will release his first solo album under his own name – previous efforts came out as Brave Captain – on July 13. NME has details on Ye Gods (And Little Fishes).

Under The Radar interviews Los Campesinos.

By : Frank Yang at 8:16 am
Category: General

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