Don’t you just love it when your favourite band announces a new album

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Really excited to hear that The Clientele are back with a new album in October, called Bonfires on the Heath. They are a genius band who somehow manage to merge US Byrdsy psych with classic 80s indie like this

There’s a track from the new album on their MySpace page http://www.myspace.com/theclienteleofficial which sounds like they have been listening to Forever Changes, David Axelrod and a smidgeon on Burt Bacharach too. Hope they play live again soon.

Here’s their ‘hit’ from a couple of years back. Great retro cafe and quality dancing from Mel.

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The best song Debbie Harry never wrote Cocktail Slippers – “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre”

I am loving the output of Wicked Cool records at the moment. The label, owned by Little Steven, yep him of Broooce fame, has been putting out some really great garage pop tunes.

There’s an album by amazing Len Price 3 next week

and to keep me going in the meantime I am playing The Cocktail Slippers St Valentine’s Day on permanent rotation. It sounds like a cross between Blondie, Joan Jett, The Shangri-Las and this lot

They are from Norway, have had a couple of killer albums out and can boast an incredibly iconic lead singer in Modesty Blaze. Love to see them in the UK

Why I am kinda sad that Noel Gallagher is quitting Oasis

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/aug/28/noel-gallagher-leaves-oasis He has left the band many times before, but everyone, with the exception of Natalie Appleton seems to think this time it is for good – http://www.nme.com/news/daily-gossip/46951

I have never been much of an Oasis fan. I loved the first album, hummed along to a couple of tracks on the second and then hated the bloated Cocaine-hungry monster they became on Be Here Now. For me they were always only ever going to play second fiddle to this lot http://www.blur.co.uk/

However I am sad to see them split for a couple of reasons.

1 On their day they are an incredible live band. I have seen them three times and they always put on a great show. Friends who have seen them recently attest that they have lost none of their magic.

2 The last album – Dig Out Your Soul – was actually rather good. The songs on the album like Out of Time and this one http://ashleynorris.posterous.com/tag/cliffrichard kept all their Beatley signatures but actually sounded fresh and innovative.

So while I think Noel should go off and produce a solo album – think Wonderwall the album http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonderwall_Music – now that would be something – they also ought to pencil in a reunion tour for 2012 with an album following a year later.

James Murdoch goes for the BBC says its ‘ambition is chilling’

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What took him so long? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8227915.stm I think the key here is the line about plurality of news sources. As a nation the UK lacks the diversity of online – news sources that other countries – especially the US has. And this has a lot to do with this.

“The BBC is dominant,” Mr Murdoch said. “Other organisations might rise and fall but the BBC’s income is guaranteed and growing.”

“The scope of its activities and ambitions is chilling.”

Murdoch also talked about the dilemma facing media providers about charging for content.

Mr Murdoch said free news on the web provided by the BBC made it “incredibly difficult” for private news organisations to ask people to pay for their news.

“It is essential for the future of independent digital journalism that a fair price can be charged for news to people who value it,” he said.

News Corporation has said it will start charging online customers for news content across all its websites

My feeling is that a Cameron/Murdoch deal is on the cards that maybe looks a bit like this http://ashleynorris.posterous.com/why-i-think-well-be-paying-for-the-bbc-news-w

btw James Murdoch once named me as his favourite blogger in an interview for the FT. http://www.shinymedia.com/2006/01/and_james_murdo.html

That was a very very long time ago

Ellie Greenwich RIP – the genius behind those Shangri-Las hits

Very gutted to heard that Ellie Greenwich is not with us anymore – obit here http://popjunkietv.com/2009/08/27/ellie-greenwich-co-writer-of-river-deep-mou…

I have always loved The Shangri-Las and she was jointly responsible for a fair few of their hits, plus a load of other classics like River Deep Mountain High. My two and six year old girls are obsessed with The Shangri-Las – they have such great taste.

Their favourite is Train from Kansas Cty – covered so memorably by the Shop Assistants. RIP Ellie