I don’t quite know why, but I actually still care about the NME end of year lists, even though I stopped buying the magazine regularly sometime in 2000. Anyway, here’s their take on the year 2009:

NME’s 50 best albums of 2009

NME’s 50 best tracks of 2009

And if you can’t be bothered with looking at those, the number one’s are Horrors – Primary Colours & Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Zero. Not bad choices all up

In these harsh economic times, it’s nice to know that you can still get luxury items. Pixies fans, start saving! From http://www.4ad.com/news/boxset/:

Five classic 4AD releases from Pixies are going to be reissued as both Limited Edition and Deluxe Edition collector’s sets entitled Minotaur. Spearheaded by Jeff Anderson, founder of A+R (Artist in Residence), who has put together expansive and eye-catching versions of releases by Nine Inch Nails, Beck and Sigur Ros – Minotaur will be available for pre-order at www.ainr.com beginning Monday, June 15, 2009. The Minotaur Deluxe Edition will retail for $175, while the Minotaur Limited Edition will be priced at $450.

The Deluxe Edition will include all five Pixies studio albums – Come On Pilgrim (1987), Surfer Rosa (1988), Doolittle (1989), Bossanova (1990), and Trompe le Monde (1991) – on 24k layered CD and Blu-ray (five discs total), with reinterpreted artwork by Vaughan Oliver, the graphic designer who created all of the artwork that accompanied the Pixies’ studio albums. Also included in the Deluxe Edition will be a DVD of a Pixies 1991 performance at the Brixton Academy in London, the group’s videos, possible live tracks, and a 54-page book, all housed in a custom slipcase. The Minotaur Limited Edition version will include everything in the Deluxe Edition, as well as all five albums on 180 gram vinyl, a Giclee print of Oliver’s artwork, and a 72-page hardcover book, all housed in an oversized custom clamshell cover.

It does look awesome – photos here

Pixies Minotaur Box Set

If you happen to be in Glasgow any time between now & the 31st of May, stop in at The Tramway to check this exhibition by Phil Collins (no, not that Phil Collins) – The World Won’t Listen, a karaoke video trilogy produced in Colombia, Turkey and Indonesia with fans of ‘indie-rock’ band The Smiths.

Sounds like a treat, tho I don’t know whether I’d describe The Smiths as being ‘indie-rock’, tho I don’t want to get into genre fascism…


A map of locations namechecked in the collected works of Half Man Half Biscuit, the greatest group of recent times who are quite rightly (in the words of the late great John Peel) “A British institution”.

Created by Stuart Vallantine and a band of other HMHB fans who are just as anal in picking out place names in the collected works of Messrs Blackwell and Crossley.

Venture here if you dare…

From Norman Records

The humble 7″ is the smallest of the vinyl formats (not including the ridiculous 5″) and it’s the perfect medium for transporting a couple of new songs by up and coming bands straight into your ears. They’re fun and they take up less space in your house than something bigger would. They come in a plethora of exciting colours and fantastical packages, and you can fit about 14 minutes onto one 7″. You may have to get up every few minutes to put a new record on but think of the exercise. Don’t forget every record you buy plays at least 2 speeds (depending on your stereo) and you need to play all records on all speeds to get the maximum joy from your purchase.