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Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

To The End

Blur turn 21, clearly believe adage about leaving a beautiful corpse. In a box.

Photo via FacebookFacebookIf you accept that Damon Albarn is speaking truth and that these are the end times for Blur, you have to admit they’re doing it right. They’ve got their August 12 date at Hyde Park in London earmarked as the swan song, a lovely new (final) single in “Under The Westway” in the can and ready to surely top the charts one last time, and before they go, they’re clearing out the archival cupboards well and proper.

On July 31, to mark the 21st anniversary of their debut album Leisure and presumably the end of their career, they’ll release Blur 21 – a massive, career-spanning box set that will be made available in two formats. The digital box will contain all seven studio albums in remastered and expanded double-CD format, four discs of rarities not redundant to the material on each album’s bonus disc, three DVDs of live performances and videos, a 7″ of a Seymour-era single, and a fancy hardbound book about the band. The vinyl box will contain all seven albums on vinyl. And for the fans who aren’t insane collectors, each gussied-up album will be available individually in both CD and LP formats.

Yes that is a lot of Blur, but if you’re any degree of fan, try watching the trailer for the set and not thinking, “man I want that set”. If you’re curious, the pricing in Canada comes in at around $320 for either the vinyl box or the digital.

Trailer: Blur 21

If you’re interested in what Albarn will do with himself since he’s bringing the curtain down on both Blur and Gorillaz, then this stream at NPR of his Dr. Dee solo album/opera might offer some idea of his direction.

Stream: Damon Albarn / Dr. Dee

And while on the topic of reissues from seminal British bands from the ’90s, Exclaim points out that Ride are marking the 20th anniversary of Going Blank Again with a deluxe reissue consisting of a remaster of the album and a DVD of their 1992 show at the Brixton Academy (though probably in Region 1 and PAL format). It was also just pointed out to me that Going Blank Again got a vinyl reissue in February of this year thanks to Japanese archival label Obscure Alternatives.

Video: Ride – “Twisterella”

The Guardian and The Independent talk to Tim Burgess of The Charlatans about his forthcoming memoirs Tellin’ Stories, due out May 29. Slicing Up Eyeballs reports that their 1997 album of the same name will get its own 15th anniversary reissue on May 28 in double-disc format.

Video: The Charlatans – “North Country Boy”

Exclaim talks to Jason Pierce of Spiritualized. They’re at The Phoenix on May 5.

Austin City Limits is offering a tease of their recent Radiohead performance which was recorded in March but won’t air until the Fall. They’re at Downsview Park on June 16.

Video: Radiohead – “Lotus Flower” (live on Austin City Limits)

Pitchfork gets Jonny Marr to recount his musical influences through the years.

Clash talks literary influences with Gerard Love of Lightships.

Pitchfork talks to Bob Stanley of Saint Etienne about their new album Words And Music By Saint Etienne, due out on May 21; they’ve also got a stream of a new song from the album.

Stream: Saint Etienne – “Answer Song”

Pitchfork reports that Field Music will be collecting all the covers they’ve recorded over the years and releasing them in album form this Fall. I like Field Music covers. This pleases me.

State and Metro talk to Mystery Jets about their new record Radlands, out May 1, while NME has a stream of the whole thing. They’re at The Sound Academy on June 19 opening up for Keane.

Stream: Mystery Jets / Radlands

The Big Pink have released a new video from Future This.

Video: The Big Pink – “Lose Your Mind”

DIY has both a stream of Europe, the lovely new record from Allo Darlin’, and song-by-song commentary by the band. It’s out on May 1 over here but if you were to get it in the UK via Rough Trade, you could get it with a limited edition bonus CD containing six cover songs including this Go-Betweens tune, which they’re also offering as a stream.

Stream: Allo Darlin’ – “Dive For Your Memory”
Stream: Allo Darlin’ / Europe

We don’t have details on her second album yet, but Little Boots has released a second MP3 from it (“Shake” was offered up as a stream last November).

MP3: Little Boots – “Every Night I Say A Prayer”

Emmy The Great has released the second of her “God Of Loneliess” comics at Drowned In Sound along with another remix; that’s the third, another came out late last week. The Virtue deluxe edition and “God Of Loneliness” single are both out May 7.

MP3: Emmy The Great – “God Of Loneliness” (Dems remix)

Glide has a chat with Dry The River, who’ve released a new video from their debut Shallow Bed.

Video: Dry The River – “No Rest”

Daytrotter has posted a session with Johnny Flynn and The Guardian has an interview.

By : Frank Yang at 8:28 am
Category: General

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RSS Feed for this post3 Responses.
  1. Patrick says:

    I’m not sure why it is so expensive in Canada (Blur vinyl boxset), as Amazon.co.uk is much cheaper. I just pre-ordered it, with shipping, for 135 GBP (translates roughly to $215 CAD).

    Now to just hope I don’t get dinged with over $100 in duty and it should be alright. You can also cancel your order before July 31 if it does pop up cheaper elsewhere.

  2. Ricky says:

    I enjoy the UKness of this post.

  3. Pris says:

    ‘Under the Westway’ is a good song, but I’d rather see them go out with a bang, not a ballad.

    Even though I already have most of Blur albums, the box set looks very tempting …