I'm a bit behind on this one, but you can't keep up with them all. Hook and the Twin are an interesting new duo, whose first single "Race for the Bone" has been getting a decent amount of attention. It's a neat package of minimal, angular post-punk sounding funk that comes on like ESG in their early Eighties heyday; though this is less a South Bronx story and more an east London one, predictably enough. But don't hold that against them. It's a fine tune and can be picked up on iTunes or heard on their MySpace, www.myspace.com/hookandthetwin. Look out too for the rather strange video for the song made by graphic artist William Hall, which utilises lashings of an odd "non-newtonian" sludge called oobleck, which I'm told is made from corn syrup and water – tinyurl.com/ktyr4b. Another song by the band can be picked up for free from RCRD LBL – tinyurl.com/l4627k. Called "Transport", it's a nice effort which follows in a similar vain as the previous track, but also has more of a robotic electronic chug to it. They play at Bar Music Hall in London tonight.
When Sonic Youth release a new album music fans of a certain stripe go all warm inside. Aptly named, 'The Eternal' was released this week and was streamed all last week on iLike at tinyurl.com/ooggry. The handy website also has plenty of streams from the band's extensive back catalogue. Over on Pitchfork.com it's been Sonic Youth week too, with footage of exclusive new performances by the band, as well as interviews and a screening of 'Drift', an experimental film made by the band's guitarist Lee Ranaldo and his visual artist wife Leigh Singer. See Sonic Youth videos and hear a Spotify playlist of their music at independent.co.uk/mixtape.
In 2004 Nouvelle Vague wooed many with their sultry and playful bossa nova – by way of a Parisian lounge – covers of new wave hits of the Eighties. Their third album, 'Nouvelle Vague 3', arrives this month, featuring covers of Talking Heads and the Violent Femmes among others. Ian McCulloch, Terry Hall and Barry Adamson also provide backing vocals on recreations of their own songs. The whole thing is being streamed at www.myspace.com/nouvellevague.
A timely sermon from the Reverend
John McClure, he of Reverand and the Makers, has never been a shrinking violet when it comes to expressing his political views. In the wake of the BNP's recent dispiriting victories in the European elections, it is no surprise that the musician would have something to say. On Tuesday he leaked a powerful anti-BNP song on his Twitter account – twitter.com/jonmcclure. Called "Manifesto/The People Shapers", it can be downloaded at tinyurl.com/l4hjx5.
Tuning out at last
With the ascent of T Pain and the release of Kayne West's '808s & Heartbreak', it seemed rap's obsession with the controversial Auto-Tune was becoming all encompassing. Now, however, Jay-Z is leading the push back, with "D.O.A (Death Of Auto-Tune)", the first track from his much-anticipated new album 'The Blueprint 3'. Backed by a conversely languid beat, he's in combative form taking on users of the vocal correcting device: "I know we're facing a recession but the music y'all making gonna make it the great depression". Given that Kayne gets a production credit on the track it seems to be more of a relaxed "beef" than ones from before, and it can be downloaded from Kayne's blog – tinyurl.com/nej8k8.