So I'm musing on the best release this year and I narrow it down to a toss up between the Animal Collective's Strawberry Jam, a strange avant garde pop/electronic hybrid (with some of the best screaming I've heard this side of Headbutt) and Jeffrey Lewis's 12 Crass Songs, a folked-up set of those early 1980s anarcho-punksters, Crass, when a friend calls round and lends me Jeffrey Lewis' back catalogue. So they are now ripped and awaiting scrutiny on my iPod this week and I decide to search for some Jeffrey Lewis stuff on YouTube and I stumble across this - an anti-folk masterpiece telling of the history of New York punk rock by the man himself. Well worth 8.23 minutes of anyones time!
I haven't heard Strawberry Jam yet (hint, hint). I saw AC at the Elephant earlier this year, expectations raised by reports of their live wonderfulness and being a BIG fan of their Sung Tongs a few years back, although slightly less enthused but still feeling Feels, found them utterly disappointing, their usual exuberance dragged down through self-indulgent opaque ketamine slushy dub, or so it seemed. There was a distinct lack of connection with the audience.
I just looked at that Jeffrey Lewis video and I must say it's pretty much an orthodox history, it would be nice if he'd done a historiographical excavation of something truly unknown and underground. Spirited performance but.
I can't even think of what might be my favourite this year. I'm excited by the discovery of the Ghost Box label releases The Owl's Map by Belbury Poly and We Are All Pan's People by The Focus Group, also Comicopera and Burial's Untrue. But I'd go for just one 12", Poison Dart by The Bug feat. Warrior Queen, which has been played all damn year at Dubstep nights and on mixtapes and on The Bug's MySpace but has only just been released on vinyl by Ninja Tune alongside a 12 of remixes inc a great one by young Skream - just purchased on the weekend so still feeling it big time.
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