Caught in the Net: Tender is the night for Blur

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The Independent Culture

As the hype surrounding Blur's summer reunion reaches a crescendo, it's worth noting something Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth said in 2007 while surveying the reunion tours of contemporaries The Pixies and Dinosaur Jr.

He quipped that, monetarily, Sonic Youth's "biggest career faux-pas" was not splitting up in the early 90s after recording some of their best records. If they had done so, they could named their price on the comeback trail.

While Blur (left) didn't officially split, it's nine years since the full band played together and absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder. Seeing footage emerge this week from their first warm-up gigs, it was like seeing some old friends return from a long trip away. There's a slew of videos from their intimate weekend show at the East Anglian Railway Museum near Colchester. Graham Coxon looks particularly chipper in his jaunt through "Coffee & TV" - tinyurl.com/ mjkosy. More reunion teasers can be found on their website, where a number of videos of the band rehearsing have been posted - www.blur.co.uk.

Beasties liven up

The Beastie Boys have been visible lately off the back of a reissue of their 1992 album 'Check Your Head' and in advance of a new record, 'Hot Sauce Committee', slated to land in September. Last weekend at the Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee they debuted a song with guest vocals from Nas. It's not clear whether the track is on the new album or what its name is, but footage of the performance can be seen at tinyurl.com/ nyy8nq.

Meanwhile, Wu-Tang's most prolific member, Ghostface, returns with "Forever". It sees the rapper put his signature vocals over some slow soul string samples and a languid beat - tinyurl.com/pdn9g6.

Tributes pour in...

The defunct alt-rock band the Afghan Whigs are getting some reverential treatment. Three years ago Summerkiss, a fan site for the band, put out a call for cover versions of their songs. Now an album, 'Summers Kiss: A Tribute to the Afghan Whigs', will be released, featuring 13 songs (whittled down from 100 offerings) by artists of varying fame. Hear snippets at summerskissrecords. com. A standout is Mark Lanegan's (right) dusty take on "Tonight", streamed in full at tinyurl.com/lgu58c.

Lightning Dust singled out

Lightning Dust are Vancouver duo Amber Webber and Joshua Wells. They released their first album in 2007 and a second, 'Infinite Light', arrives on Jajaguqar in August. Racing out of the traps prior to that is "I Knew", the first track from the album and a free MP3 at tinyurl.com/lrx9el. It's a glorious piece of surging psych-pop combining looping keyboards and bursts of guitar and drums with Webber's trembling voice squeezing out over the top.

Bye-bye to idiots

There have been endless stories of celebrities using Twitter to ramble about their lives, not to mention musicians using the site to leak new songs. However, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails (twitter.com/trent_reznor) - who has been gung-ho about embracing all things web 2.0 - recently signed out of Twitter for good after growing tired of some of the strange attention he was attracting. He typed out a long missive on the band's website, tinyurl.com/ l7el5u, which would seem to slam the door on his Twitter life: "I will be tuning out of the social networking sites because at the end of the day it's now doing more harm than good in the bigger picture and the experiment seems to have yielded a result. Idiots rule."

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