I spent an interesting day yesterday substituting for my holidaying daughter: she's a sub-editor for PlayGround - a Spanish-based but now bilingual net music magazine. So I spent the day reading and adjusting reviews, interviews and news items about all sorts of performers, including many I hadn't heard of before.
Two discoveries to share with you:
A German band Pretty Lightning who are about to release their first album. I couldn't resist the description of their style 'moving between the psychedelic blues of people like Wooden Shjips or Moon Duo, the freak-folk of Sunburned Hand Of The Man, the primitive sounds of International Harvester and the Kraut-rock of Amon Duul II'. And the audio sample sounds pretty decent - atmospheric, droney and intriguing. I'll be looking out for the album.
Another irresistible bit of copy was a piece about French dance duo Justice, who had apparently managed to draw on 54 primarily rock tracks - including a whole slew of my personal favourites - in compiling a 5 minute minimix. It's really impressive and can be heard here (the PlayGround piece I subbed doesn't seem to be up yet). '21st Century Schizoid Man' and 'Ohio' nicely recognisable, but I could have done with a bit more of Todd Rundgren's 'Izzat Love' at the expense of some of the other 51...
A final bit of serendipity was checking a reference in a PlayGround piece to Shabazz Palaces, learning that they are 'a Seattle-based hiphop collective' and hearing some encouraging sounds from them, and then seeing them in the list of bands who are going to be playing at the Great Escape festival in Brighton in May. I'd been a little underwhelmed by the intial GE line-up announcement (ie I'd barely heard of anyone on it), but the second list includes Beth Jeans Houghton, Jonquil and Alabama Shakes...I know it's the new discoveries that are often the most rewarding, but it's good to have a few fixed points in the programme.