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Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – The Best of…

Label: Mute Format: CD, 2CD

The Best of Nick Cave and The Bad SeedsThere’s a problem I always have with “Best Of” albums. To me, at least, they always bring to mind images of motorway service stations, racks filled to overflowing with Greatest Hits, The Very Best Of, or, worse, The Best (insert allegedly zeitgeist-defining noun here) Album in the World, Ever!. They suggest something a little too posthumous, a little too much like an obituary- “Here are their best songs- forget the rest and forget the future!” But the Bad Seeds? I mean- the Bad Seeds? The wonderfully shambolic, beautifully idiosyncratic Bad Seeds, inventors of a whole new brand of suave; lounge for lifers, uneasy listening? Where do you begin?

Well, with “Deanna”, obviously- rockabilly heaven by way of

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Edward Ka-Spel – The Blue Room

Label: Soleilmoon Format: CD,Limited 2LP

Edward Ka-Spel - The Blue Room sleeve detailIn his inimitable style, master mythologer and spinner of eerie Millenial tales for The Legendary Pink Dots here presents some further solo efforts. There’s the hissing, steaming clockwork music box of “Supper At J’s” with unsettling reflections on the state of virtual 1999, which rises and falls from song into semi- orchestral concrète-samplescapes as the lead-in for an album which includes the disturbingly groovy “Cause and FX”, with its misguided protagonist with his “cute Colt .45/splits a mole-hill from a mile” and a penchant for saving the world, whether it wants it or not. Edward Ka-Spel knows his psychopaths as well as he knows his lyrical dreamers, and The Blue Room features several of each.

The arrhythmic drum machine and mocking New Ageisms of “A Roman Candle” combines scathing, sardonic half-believed

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Bobby Conn – Rise Up!

Label: Truckstop/Atavistic Format: CD, LP

Bobby Conn – Rise UpComing across like Jesus Christ Superstar on (more) acid, Chicago’s favourite Judeo-Christian Edutainer Bobby Conn is out to save your soul and wallet from resisting temptation. Aided in his Millenialist assault on reason by sundry members of (among others) Brise-Glase, Flying Luttenbachers, Rome and the production efforts of Jim O’Rourke, Conn conjours a straight-faced vision of an alternate universe where Seventies meet Nineties. Counterpointed by the string arrangements of Monica BouBou, Rise Up! is a concept album which exhorts America to destroy itself in readiness for the End Times, revelling in the decadence and urging further excess, just to tip the balance towards Apocalypse. That this is is acheived through alarmingly accurate pastiches of Glam Rock, Pop and Soul tunes is remarkable enough, all wrapped up in

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