The Null Device
Bad news. I just read in local street paper Beat's indie column that independent UK record label Nude Records has gone into liquidation. They were home to a number of bands including Gloss, Suede and Black Box Recorder, who are working on a new album.
I just picked up a copy of a CD titled Popshopping. It's a compilation of music from German TV commercials between 1960 and 1975; it's surprisingly groovy, in a retro/lounge background music kind of way. (I heard that there is also a remix album based on it. I wonder what it sounds like; I imagine glitchy laptop beats mixed with retro-kitschy commercial lounge-jazz loops.)
I went to the Empress this evening to see some musicians play, and the music was very good indeed. First up, a chap named Richard Andrew did a set, playing guitar and singing some nice minor-key numbers (of which I caught the last 2, noticing that he used an unusual tuning for one). Then Seth Rees played, doing a set of vaguely shoegazey ambient guitar pieces, and entrancing the audience. (The pieces are hard to describe in words, but one of them was vaguely reminiscent of that interlude on Swirl's The Last Unicorn). (A word of advice: Seth Rees is well worth seeing live.) Finally, Jesse Jackson Shepherd from Sir went on, and played some rather melancholy songs (on piano, with quietish, understated vocals; the overall effect is something that would sit nicely next to A Silver Mt. Zion or Departure Lounge or somesuch).
A piece about the rise of DJs from humble record-spinners to the rock stars of the new millennium:
So pervasive has club culture become that toy maker Mattel has given Barbie a new boyfriend called DJ Blaine, who dresses in baggy shorts, a retro shirt, necklace and sunnies. He comes with headphone accessories.