Yet again we are graced with their presents/presence!

It has been claimed that they invented gravity as a practical joke and that their only source of moisture is morning dew. Others have said that if you cut them in half and count the rings you can work out how old they are. Whatever the truth, the reality is that they are the true purveyors of music. Word on the street is that they were recently responsible for reducing a building in the Clapham North area to a mere pile of rubble using nothing more than their music collection and a volume button. Allegedly, they had been holding a s?ance, or celebration of some kind, because one of their members had finally bitten off his eunuch shackles and was being welcomed into the Council of Elders.

Eager to discover their sacrificial alms at the alter of choice tunes, I doused myself in the appropriate disinfectant and donned the necessary protective clothing before approaching the group. Confusingly, a revolt had broken out amongst their ranks. The rulebook had been taken off the shelf and given a ruddy good torching!

Through the medium of mime and charcoal drawings one member told me that, “Unless we relax the rules, our club will contain a high percentage of ‘The Top 50 Albums Of The Year/Decade/Century That You Must Have In Your Collection Or Else You Are A No Good Over The Hill Loser Who Is Out Of Touch With The Kids And You Smell Funny Too.’”

From what I could gather a new order had been struck whereby their only requirement now was that the music they brought was new to them and not necessarily a new release. I feared for my life so I did not question them.

It seems Shaky Hands is STILL in marital bliss and evaded yet another CD Club meeting. Talk is rife amongst the group that Shaky Hands is actually a practicing polygamist and the reason for his absence is yet another (his 12th) wife.

Silver Fox (Hiphop pensioner)
Dustin’s Bar Mitzvah – Dial M for Mitzvah
“Any good punk album should be less than 30 minutes long. This album is less than 30 minutes long. Punks don’t have the time to sit around listening to music all day – being anti-establishment is hard work! Standout tracks include To The Ramones, Kick Him Out and Get Your Mood On because I sing along with it at home wearing my Elvis sunglasses when no one is watching. Actually, I’m pretending to be Vic Reeves wearing Elvis sunglasses singing in my living room. The only thing that is surprising about Dustins Bar Mitzvah is that they are popular in Japan. And Japan is the only place you can buy this album on local release. Why? Why not!”
Next month will be reviewing – Tiga’s ‘Sexor’

el Pres (Ambassador for New Zealand music)
Kelley Polar – Love Songs of the Hanging Gardens
“Croatian-born Kelley Polar, a classically trained viola-playing recluse, has teamed up with Morgan Geist of Metro Area to make an album of complex stuttering basslines and haunting vocals. Like a disco party in a stately home, this album rattles the dusty chandeliers of the dance genre.”
Next month will be reviewing – The Black Seeds’ ‘On The Sun’

A-Train (Drop him like he’s hot)
Suicide Sports Club – Electric Mistress
“Suicide Sports Club is the latest project of Luke Brancaccio and Bruce Aisher, two names that may sound familiar if, like me, you had a bit of a soft spot for pumping Balearic Trance back in the ‘90s. SSC is quite a different proposition though, their debut album, Electric Mistress, is an eclectic mix of hip-hop and rock wrapped up with slick production to create an atmospheric, wide-screen sound, hinting at the spiritual isolation of modern urban life.”
Next month will be reviewing – Layo & Bushwacka’s ‘Feels Closer’

Trucker (The Northern Soul)
Sway – This is My Demo
“This Sway album is wicked – someone with a sense of humour that isn’t afraid to big-up where he is from. In the world of UK Hip-hop/Grime it seems like Africa is the big un-cool topic you never mention, even though its where most of the artists come from. Sway’s attitude reminds me of the way NZ hip-hop people like King Kapisi and Nesian Mystic refer to their home countries – its definitely a breath of fresh air in a genre that can tend to get a little dark and negative. It might well be yet another foray into the world of grime for me, but Sway’s effort deserves to sell a few copies. Comparable to the Streets, or even Arctic Monkeys. He’s got wit, a sense of irony and less of the big up, big up.”
Next month will be reviewing – Prince’s ‘3121’

Ghost (Diamond geezer in the rough)
Infadels – We Are Not The Infadels
“Every man and his scruffy, over-biting dog should have heard of this East London quartet by now thanks mainly to the huge underground fan base they’ve gathered after two years of purely live shows. Allegedly, a gig they did last year in Glasgow had to be shut down for being too loud. Give me some that!
This synth-loaded shopping bag of indie rock comes with free Nectar rewards – thumping basslines, cranky rhythms and pop-loaded geezer-hooks. It melts together the disco-digging of Radio 4, the retro-fetish of The Killers, the punk hangover of The Rakes and the Bohmenian raps-silly of the Audio Bullys. This is post funk, post ska, post trance, all dance. Shining tracks – Jagger ‘67 and Murder That Sound, one paying homage to LCD Soundsystem, the other to The Cure.”

Next month will be reviewing – Regina Spektor’s ‘Mary Ann Meets the Gravediggers & other short stories’

Dr Dave (He’s a baby)
Flaming Lips – At War With The Mystics
“Judging by the title and the cover artwork these American soldiers are after a bit of biff with The Zutons. You’ll see, its all too close to be comfortable. But seeing as they’ve been around since before the dawn of time and seeing as they caused such a sensation at the now-famous, integral-to-music and impossible to get a ticket for, SouthBySouthWest festival in Austin, Texas late last month (balloons on the stage n’ all), I thought I’d splash out for the first time on a Lips album (having never previously enjoying their gossamer kind of music).
Initially the album slices you up with a double-edged pop-sword of the Yeah Yeah Yeah Song and Free Radicals – the first a humanist happy clap jingle, the second ordering at the counter of a funkadelicatessen, but what follows is an almost melancholic justification for not releasing an album for at least 3 years. Obviously they’ve been careful to get this right on the money. My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion gives poignant credence to this point as a touching end-of-summer gaze at, what can be best described as, the cartoon Rhurbarb through the cranky eyes of an Arcade Fire re-write.”

Next month will be reviewing – Nothing because ‘I’m too busy’

Badger (Psychosomatic Saffa insane)
Tipper – Relish the Trough
“I’ve often discovered interesting albums from listening to a newly released single which is out of our ‘2 month’ range at CD Club. So I suggested we might want to select music that was from the last 12 months rather than the last 2. I think it would open up a lot more options and more interesting music. Often things slip under the radar 1st time around. Saying that though, this time I enlightened the group with Tipper, which is so new you can only get it as a European import on Amazon at the moment (I got it from the Juno website back in February), which makes it even cooler.
Dave Tipper sends us on a lovely bouncy ride. Well produced, ebbing and flowing breaks allows this one to be used as a brutal party maker, while still being soft and complex enough to sit back unwind to. And he owns the loudest car in the world too. Sublime.”

Next month will be reviewing – Ellen Allien’s ‘Thrills’

Von Pijinstein (Too shy-shy, hush-hush, eye-to-eye)
The Open – Statues
“If you’re looking for an analogy, as most people do because they make music choices by association, The Open are like Doves jamming along to the jazz-filled soundscape at the beginning of Mike Figgis’ film, Leaving Las Vegas. But if you’re looking for my customary cricket analogy, then The Open are the 2nd day of the 3rd test in a 5-match series. There are dark skies all around the ground, the air is cool. It’s jumper weather. The play is slow but tense. A tug of war…in fact trench warfare. The Nirvana-esque hidden grunge track ultimately makes sure of that.”
Next month will be reviewing – Mystery Jets’ ‘Making Dens’

Rhys-o-matic (5th gear nomad)
Broken Social Scene – Broken Social Scene
“I like them a lot. There is something about a few tracks that takes me
back to earlier days. Just like Arcade Fire does. I can imagine
listening to bands like this in my teens, but back then they came from
Dunedin. That’s in New Zealand.”

Next month will be reviewing – Minuit’s ‘The Guards Themselves’