Mew And The Glass Handed Kites


Details of the new Mew album have just been confirmed. Thankfully the band have bowed to the nearly universal negative reaction to the album's working title, Saviours of Jazz Ballet, and decided instead to call it Mew and the Glass Handed Kites, which I like much more. The tracklisting of the album also sounds promising:

01. Circuitry Of The Wolf
02. Chinaberry Tree
03. Why Are You Looking Grave
04. Fox Club
05. Apocalypso
06. Special
07. The Zookeeper’s Boy
08. A Dark Design
09. Saviours Of Jazz Ballet (Fear Me December)
10. An Envoy To The Open Fields
11. Small Ambulance
12. The Seething Rain Weeps For You (Uda Pruda)
13. White Lips Kissed
14. Louise Louisa

The full album is released on September 12. The first single, Apocalypso, is already the most played song on leading tastemaker station DR Barometer (ahead of new tracks by The Arcade Fire and Spoon), and is available now as a digital download on iTunes and other online services. The song will also be released on July 18 as a limited 7" vinyl.

Still no word of U.S. tour or release plans, but the band does have four U.K. shows scheduled for July:

July 25 - London ICA (020 7930 3647, £9)
July 26 - Manchester Academy (0161 832 1111, £8)
July 27 - Nottingham Rescue Rooms (0115 958 8484, £8)
July 28 - Glasgow ABC (0870 903 3444, £8.50)

Meanwhile, the band just finished a short tour of Scandinavia in support of R.E.M. Michael Stipe apparently first saw Mew play at their now legendary show at the Mercury Lounge two years ago and was appropriately impressed. As he put it: "They are not just good. They are.... AWESOME!!"


Your Weekly Pete Doherty Fix

In a nod to producer Mick Jones, Babyshambles played Clash classic White Riot at Glastonbury. Full story here. An mp3 of Babyshambles' version of White Riot, performed live on Radio 1, is available at Untouched By Work or Duty.

In related cover news, Pete is scheduled to duet with Elton John at Live 8 on a version of another 70s classic, T. Rex's Children of the Revolution. Full story here.

Finally, proving once again that he not only is a great musician and lyricist, but also his own best publicist, Pete chose to spend his free time at Glastonbury (in between playing two sets) getting married to Kate Moss in a "one day" mock wedding. Full story here.

Mourning Morning Becomes Eclectic

Having never actually listened to KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, I used to live under the blissfully ignorant belief that the show was American radio's last surviving champion of good, cutting-edge music. After reading this article, however, I now understand that I was wrong.

While the very fact that the show is profiled in the New York Times Magazine is strong evidence of its mainstream appeal, the most stinging indictment has to be the show's own playlist, which includes such "favorite" artists as The Blue bloody Nile! Add to that DJ Nic Harcourt's vigorous patting of himself on the back for "discovering" such AAA drivel as Norah Jones, David Gray and Dido, and my whiskers begin to wilt with disappointment. Surely this show is not the best American broadcasters have to offer?

For those of you who really want to discover new music that will make you realise we are living in another 1966-68 or 1989-91 style golden age, I highly recommend listening to BBC6 and DR Barometer (click netradio on the upper right to play, or netradio on the upper left to view the playlist).


What About Art Brut?

Are there any budding Morrisseys or Jarvis Cockers among the latest wave of British songwriters? In setting out to answer this question, The Guardian asked a professor of Modern English Literature to study the lyrics of today's leading bands. He gives high marks to Arctic Monkeys and Bloc Party (who he compares to Sylvia Plath). Coldplay's Chris Martin is not so fortunate. Full story here.


For Those Who Have The Means

6/24 Stars at Maxwell's
6/25 New Pornographers and Stars at Prospect Park Bandshell
6/25 Feist at Bowery Ballroom
6/25 Mary Timony at Northsix
6/26 Tegan and Sara at Central Park Summerstage
6/26 Ted Leo & the Pharmacists and Radio 4 at Irving Plaza
6/27 Ted Leo & the Pharmacists and Radio 4 at Maxwell's
6/28 Annie at Hiro Ballroom (RSVP here)
6/29 Annie at Scenic
6/30 My Favorite at Rothko
7/4 Yo La Tengo and Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks at Battery Park Lawn
7/7 Bettie Serveert at Maxwell's
7/7 Charles Bissell (The Wrens) at Pete's Candy Store
7/13 The Bravery and The Dead 60's at Webster Hall
7/13 Royksopp at Irving Plaza
7/13 Bridget Jones' Diarrhea (Scissor Sisters) at Mercury Lounge
7/14 Dinosaur Jr. and Broken Social Scene at Central Park Summerstage
7/14 The Caesars and The Sights at Southpaw
7/14 Turin Brakes at Bowery Ballroom
7/14 Dungen at Maxwell's
7/15 Robbers on High Street and King of France at Mercury Lounge
7/16 Spoon and Brendan Benson and The Dears and Nine Black Alps at Siren Festival
7/16 Ta Det Lugnt (Dungen) at Mercury Lounge
7/19 The Cribs and Nine Black Alps at Mercury Lounge
7/20 Dirty on Purpose and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at Southpaw
7/20 Keren Ann, Danya Kurtz at Bowery Ballroom
7/20 Megapussi (Scissor Sisters) at Mercury Lounge
7/21 Kaiser Chiefs and The Cribs at Webster Hall
7/21 The Wrens at Maxwell's
7/22 Joy Zipper at Mercury Lounge
7/22-23 Teenage Fanclub at Bowery Ballroom
7/27 CocoRosie at Joe's Pub
7/27 Regina Spektor at Tonic
7/27 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at Mercury Lounge
7/28 Antony & The Johnsons at Town Hall
7/30 MC5 at Central Park Summerstage
7/30 Brian Jonestown Massacre at Bowery Ballroom
8/1-2 Liz Phair at Joe's Pub
8/2 Brian Jonestown Massacre at Maxwell's
8/2-3 Olivia Tremor Control and Tall Dwarfs at Bowery Ballroom
8/4 Patti Smith at Central Park Summerstage
8/8 Kings of Leon and Secret Machines at Roseland
8/10 Devo at Hammerstein Ballroom
8/10 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at South Street Seaport
8/11 Juliana Hatfield at Maxwell's
8/13 The Pernice Brothers at Bowery Ballroom
8/15 Colleen at Other Music
8/16 Holly Golightly at Northsix
8/18 Death Cab For Cutie and The Decemberists and Stars at Central Park Summerstage
8/19-21 Sufjan Stevens at Bowery Ballroom
8/25 Jesse Malin at Bowery Ballroom
8/26 Ted Leo & the Pharmacists and I Am Kloot at South Street Seaport
8/27 Of Montreal at Northsix
9/6-7 Coldplay and Rilo Kiley at Madison Square Garden
9/7 Idlewild at Irving Plaza
9/12 a-ha at Irving Plaza
9/13 Nouvelle Vague at Joe's Pub
9/14 Nouvelle Vague at Canal Room
9/24-26 The White Stripes at Key Span Park
10/8 Dead Can Dance at Radio City Music Hall
10/12-13 New Pornographers and Destroyer at Webster Hall

Your Weekly Pete Doherty Fix

Pete fails to turn up for Vogue photoshoot with former Libertines bandmate Carl Barat. Full story here.

While the on-again/off-again saga of Pete and Carl's inevitable reunion never fails to capture my imagination, others are more interested in engaging in a heated debate over the proper pronunciation of Pete's surname.

A bit more insightful is this interview with the Socialist Worker about Pete's involvement in the "anti-capitalist movement." In the interview, Pete talks about how What Katy Did was not written as a Libertines song, but ended up on the band's last album as a peace offering to Carl. Interestingly, it is one of the few Libertines songs that Pete still plays live with Babyshambles, and its sequel, What Katy Did Next, is expected to be one of the tracks on the Babyshambles debut album. For those who do not already know, both songs reference a series of 19th century children's books by Susan Coolidge.


Don't be surprised if the other book in the series, What Katy Did at School, becomes a future Doherty classic.

Meanwhile, Sadie Frost, former wife of Jude Law and best friend of Kate Moss, has refused to invite Pete to a party for fear that his "druggie antics" would spoil the night. According to a friend of Sadie's, "She's all for having a good time but some people go too far." Needless to say, it's the scandal du jour of London society. Full story here.

Finally, NME have confirmed the details of the next Babyshambles single, Fuck Forever. The CD is set to be released on July 25, with b-side Monkey Casino, while the 7” inch will include Black Boy Lane.
The single will also be released in Maxi-CD edition, which will include songs East Of Eden and Babyshambles, along with a short film.


In Praise Of Jonathan Coe


The rapier swift Untouched By Work Or Duty has struck again whilst the rest of us good soldiers were sleeping, scoring an exclusive interview with the most exciting figure in literature today, Jonathan Coe. Coe's work is littered with music references, including the title of his greatest work, The Rotters' Club (an album by British prog rockers Hatfield & the North).


Work or Duty's interview provides some extremely interesting and long-overdue insight into Coe's musical leanings. For fans of The Rotters' Club, this interview with Coe regarding the inspiration behind the book is also a must read. The BBC also recently made a miniseries of The Rotters' Club. No word on when (or if) it will be released on DVD, but you can read an episode guide here.

The sequel to The Rotters' Club, The Closed Circle, is now out in the U.S.

Also newly released and highly recommended is Coe's biography of the great experimental novelist B.S. Johnson.

Finally, don't miss Coe's wonderful tale of Thatcher-era England, What a Carve Up!.


Does This Man Hold The Fate Of Modern Music In His Hands? Should We Be Scared?


NME Editor Conor McNicholas

Judge for yourself after reading this interview.


Your Weekly Pete Doherty Fix

Pete has confirmed that the eagerly awaited Babyshambles debut album is now completed and calls it "the best record I’ve ever made by a long shot." He also has confirmed that Fuck Forever will be the first single, with the track Albion following soon thereafter.

Pete also has lashed out at his former band, claiming: “Apart from the Sex Pistols, The Libertines were probably the most manufactured band ever. It was just a case of let’s get the best looking people and be as much like The Strokes as possible. That was the idea at the time.”

Doherty also has finally publicly reacted to the recent Max Carlish documentary, Stalking Pete Doherty, calling it a "disgrace."

The full interview can be found here.

Meanwhile, the debate over whether or not Pete has successfully kicked his crack habit continues to percolate. The Mirror reports that Pete is back on crack, including the very disgusting detail that girlfriend Kate Moss made a spliff for him out of a tampon tube. Kate's mum has also put in her two pence, saying that she refuses to go on holiday with "crackhead Pete." Full story here. For his own part, Pete claims: "I did do drugs but that's all in the past now. That's not me any more. My drug is babies now - I love them."

Finally, Pete has taken a swipe at Franz Ferdinand, claiming they stole the riff for Take Me Out from Ringo Starr's 1972 hit Back Off Boogaloo. Full story here.




Oh how I have waited these past two years for the arrival of new material from Denmark's Mew, whose last album, Frengers, is probably my favourite since Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. Well, the day is finally upon us! The first single from the band's as-yet-untitled new LP just started receiving airplay on the always cutting-edge DR Barometer (Danish Radio's alternative Internet radio station). The song is called Apocalypso, and can be streamed here. The single is set to be released on July 4, with the full record, again produced by Michael Beinhorn, to follow in September. Still no U.S. tour dates, but a show at the ICA in London on July 25 was just announced. Details here.

Decent Days And Nights

The Futureheads played a free acoustic show at Pianos last night. Was it the loudest "acoustic" show ever? Yes. Did they play all the hits? See for yourself...

Photo Library - 691


A Brush With Greatness

I have enjoyed several moments of extraordinary pride during my many years of service, yet none set my whiskers alight quite as much as receiving the following note from Beth of Trembling Blue Stars, who honoured this humble site and all who frequent it by leaving the following comment last week to an earlier post regarding the band's tour plans:

Hi Hugo, The TBS tour was cancelled because nothing came together basically. The booking agent was told to run with dates before our label (Bar-None) had worked anything else out so it all had to be scrapped. Sad really, I love The Ocean Blue!!! We've not been on SubPop since "Alive to Every Smile" and have since signed to Elefant Records in Spain for the last LP and 2 Eps. Bar-None released the LP in the US, with the first EP (Southern Skies...) tagged on at the end. We tried to sort out having a website, when someone called Jef from The Philippines offered (rather enthusiastically) to do a site for us last year. He went on and on about how he was doing it (I even sent him some money to hold a domain and offered to send more!) and how it's "nearly up" and in the end all we got was a splash page so we gave up trying to have a site and trusting people! Elefant.com has a page on us and bar-none.com has a little page. Better than nothing really. Take care, Beth/TBS

Anyone interested in restoring the band's faith in mankind by offering to make a long overdue Trembling Blue Stars website that is as wonderful as the band itself?