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What’s New With You? – Recession Special!

It’s not nice out there, is it? It’s a whole maelstrom of seething indignation, corrupt financiers and incompetent ministers. If you were of that sort of mind, you’d be forgiven for thinking the apocalypse is approaching. Oo-er Missus. Grim up North? Completely f#cked everywhere, more like.

But, dear reader, here at ELM Towers we felt it was time to say ‘Enough!’ and to introduce a little cheer, like a single dandelion growing in a post-nuclear wasteland. Except that would most likely be impossible. So forget that, it’s stupid. But anyhoo, you get where I’m coming from here. Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. The Onion. Worcester Sauce flavoured crisps. The Damned United movie.

But this was born a music site, it was raised a music site and, goddammit, it’s gonna die a music site*. So here are a few things which have been making us happy.

(*Not for a while!)

The Red Hot (AIDS) Charity Compilation ‘Dark Was The Night’ – Been slightly overshadowed by the Warchild CD, as one would imagine, but this double album compilation of mostly American Indie kings is truly worth getting. Foregoing the usual charity worthiness, the acts, in the main, decide to go mental and actually give some top tracks over. Featuring the Arcade Fire, Beirut, Andrew Bird, Feist, My Morning Jacket, Jose Gonzalez, the New Pornographers and Sufjan Stevens amongst others, there’s a care in the idea which makes it an essential purchase even before the feelgood aspect of doing your bit comes into play. Standout tracks are Conor Oberst and Gillian Welch re-working his incredible Bright Eyes track ‘Lua’ and, if it’s possible, making it even more beautiful. The next is Yo La Tengo, ignoring the commercial rules which state ‘crappy odds and sods given to worthwhile charity records; best stuff saved for albums’ and have donated one of their best ever tracks ‘Gentle Hours’. It’s five minutes of stunning beauty and could be the best thing they have ever done.

The mentalism of Boston’s Passion Pit, who sound like someone assaulting the Scissor Sisters. In a good way. Again, there is a lovely aspect to this, before the shrieking and the thunderous drums. Come on, what’s not to love?

U2′s new record. I’m kidding, it’s pish. But what isn’t pish is Aidan Moffatt’s new album ‘How To Get To Heaven From Scotland’, which is lovelorn, filthy, funny and really rather wonderful. Check out ‘Big Blonde’, a rather touching little ditty about, erm, a big blonde.

Right, share with the group. And if you haven’t brought enough for the whole of the class, I shall be very disappointed…

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