Caught In The Net - Gremlins beset Russian fairy
Even three years since her breakthrough album 'Begin to Hope' was described as "one of the rare albums where the talent practically sears the speakers" by The Onion's AV club, Regina Spektor's quirky piano pop is still as bizarre as anything indie music has to offer. It's been a busy week for the Russian pop fairy (left), with her new record release beset with artwork problems after the wrong images were distributed, leading Spektor to speculate on the chances of her forthcoming album, "Far", being released with a "t" added to the end of its title. "We had a million comps, ideas, and we posted the wrong ones," the starlet mused on her MySpace blog, adding: "I'm giving up trying to make things perfect, because they never are". Gastric mix-ups aside, though the album doesn't hit the shelves until 23 June, anyone looking for a sneak preview can check out the star's MySpace page for the brand new "Laughing With", described by the Spektor herself as "a new song that I never played for people at shows before". Along with some older hits, it's available at tinyurl.com/nypxo
With the White House locks changed and George Bush out to pasture, following up the politically incendiary rock opera masterpiece 'American Idiot' might seem a tall task for grown-up punks Green Day. The album which attempted to voice the concerns of a generation is followed up this week with the scarily titled '21st Century Breakdown', which ruminates on "the era in which we live as we question and try to make sense of the selfish manipulation going on around us". The band have released videos of some ferocious live performances of their new material at tinyurl.com/cuwnwh and the new album in its entirety is at tinyurl.com/ont9bx
Grizzly task ahead
Brooklyn-based Grizzly Bear are very much the band of the moment, and with recent endorsements from Jools Holland and ATP festival crowds still ringing in their ears, the Twitter-addicted group will release their second album, entitled 'Veckatimest', at the end of the month. They've made the first single from the new record, "Two Weeks" available to listen to on the Pitchfork web site, along with a remix by French DJ Fred Falke, both at tinyurl.com/obsr6x
White heat of a busy little frontman
Jack White is keeping even busier than usual, with the kooky White Stripes frontman involved in two more projects this week to add to an impressive collection already including The Raconteurs. As well as guesting with The Dex Romweber Duo, The Dead Weather, for whom White plays drums, have announced a tour and album 'Horehound' out 13 July. See the many faces of Jack White at tinyurl.com/o5l9wl and listen at tinyurl.com/df476s
Meaning of music
Disregarding the recent controversy over Jarvis Cocker's political affiliations, you have to have respect for anyone who manages to graduate from working as a Sheffield fishmonger to live the life of a Parisian bon viveur. But then, Jarvis has always been an exception, as new material from excellent solo album 'Further Complications' attests. In a recent feat of artistic innovation, the Pulp frontman took part in a six-day art project at Paris' Galerie Chappe in which he invited the public to help him answer the question "what is music?"; watch the results, featuring pidgin French and the skinny rocker trying to corral hungry Parisian children into something approaching a dance sequence at tinyurl.com/o7pkyj
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