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This week, nobody’s laughing.While only the most curmudgeonly and uptight of souls would argue that there’s absolutely no place for humour in music, even the easily tickled would have to admit that there are very few artists who’ve managed to create a happy marriage twixt melody and chuckles. Sultans Of Ping FC, Goldie Lookin’ Chain, Frank bleedin’ Zappa – the world of comedy-rock has long been a barren, mirthless place, full of knowing smirks and tortured puns.
Praise be to Jeebus then, for Art Brut, whose new single Good Weekend (Fierce Panda) carries a whole lorry-load of startling and unselfconscious funniness. They don’t deal in actual gags as such, there’s just something inherently hilarious about the combination of singer Eddie Argos’ bug-eyed-yet-inane lyrics and the one-fingered two-step pub-rock that accompanies them.
Oh wait, Half Man Half Biscuit – they’re funny as well. But you get the point.
From the funniest single of the week to the loveliest. Sebastian Tellier’s La Ritournelle (Lucky Number). In fact, this is quite possibly the loveliest single of the year so far, and in a fair and just world it’d spend the next six weeks perched atop the charts and blasting out of every radio in the land. A gorgeous, heady breeze of funky drums, rolling pianos and back-of-the-hand-on-the-forehead vocals, La Ritournelle has been slowly, surely building itself a cult following over the last few months, with its release as a single being due to popular demand as much as anything. If you’re trying to woo somebody at the moment, buy them a copy and they’ll be putty in your hands.
Right, let’s round up the rest of this week’s contenders. LCD Soundsystem release another one of those ultra-New Yorky, punk electro stormers in Tribulations (DFA); The Go! Team revive the joyful cartoonishness of the missing-in-action Avalanches on the double-cheery Bottle Rocket (Memphis Industries); X-Press 2 do their super-tasteful, slightly-anaemic dad-house thing (with vocals from Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner) on Give It (Skint); and Thievery Corporation continue to plod ceaselessly on inna coffee-table fashion on The Time We Lost Our Way (Eighteenth Street Lounge).
Download time. If you enjoyed the Bassbin mix last week (in fact, even if you didn’t) then we’ve got another treat from the outer reaches of dance music for you. For those unfamiliar with dubstep – and given the microscopic nature of this fledging scene, that’s probably most people – it can be described in the simplest terms as Grime’s older brother, with the angular aggressiveness and screw-faced MC-ing replaced by echo-chamber haziness and a reggae-like groove. Label owner, music journalist and dubstep evangelist Martin Clark (aka, Blackdown) has put together a mix of the rolling-est new tunes to emerge from the scene, which you can download for gratis, from Blackdown's blog. Crank it loud and wake your neighbour’s baby up.
All singles are released on 26 September 05.
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