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22 May
“A contender for electronic album of the year”

BBC posted a fine review for “Play Music.” Read below…

“As might be expected from a trio who collectively name themselves after a New Order song Thieves Like Us are keen to blend lyrically themes of love and alienation with pulsing synths and banging beats.

A certain melancholy is evident straight away on Play Music when American vocalist Andy Grier repeats, ‘The light you give out”, with fierce intent like a post acid-house Ian Curtis amid bubbles of Kraftwerk synth supplied by Swede Bjorn Berglund.

Drugs In My Body is a different beast. An exciting, more minimal take on the French house made by producers like Alan Braxe, and a terrific slab of 2009 disco.

Fass is even better, as one would be expected from a tune that steals much of its melody and construction from Depeche Mode’s Just Can’t Get Enough and, yes, New Order’s Blue Monday. At least it has a nicely poetic line in despair with lines like, ”This slack parade of days/This empty city space/I’m left paralysed”.

From here on this debut album is of a high quality even if nothing really hits the heights of its brilliant opening trio.

Lady is an epic, ominous whirl of sparse beats and synth doom that sounds like John Carpenter scoring Saturday Night Fever.

Your Heart Feels is full of distorted M83 waves of sound and obsessive love demands’ ”See me after dark/show me all you scars/show me all your thoughts”, while Miss You is a smart mix of glam and dark, like Steve mason in his Black Affair guise collaborating with Miss Kittin.

Thieves Like Us deserve credit for making such a consistently exciting album that’s arguably already a contender for electronic album of the year.”
– Lou Thomas (BBC)

19 May
Champagne Riot US Tour Dates

Champagne Riot will be supporting Northern Portrait this month for their first US tour. Can’t wait to see Caspar perform on Saturday at the popfest!

May 23 – San Francisco, CA at House of Shields (San Francisco Popfest) – 3PM
w/ Gregory Webster, Brilliant Colors, Sourpatch

May 25 – Sacramento, CA at Old Ironside – 8PM
w/ Northern Portrait, Gregory Webster, Baby Grand
Tickets available at the door.

May 28 – Los Angeles, CA at The Knitting Factory AlterKnit Lounge – 8PM
w/ Northern Portrait, The Tartans (a Matinée Recordings/Yay! Records night)
Advance tickets available via Ticketweb.

May 29 – Oxnard, CA at The Kenji Shack – 8PM
w/ Northern Portrait, Catwalk (a Matinée Recordings/Yay! Records night)
Tickets available at the door.

May 30 – Santa Barbara, CA at Reds Tapas and Wine Bar – 5PM
w/ Northern Portrait, Catwalk (a Matinée Recordings/Yay! Records night)
All ages happy hour show; advance tickets coming soon right here.

19 May
Socialist Leisure Party

The new 8 track EP “Tactical POP! for Coffee Cadets” is released on Shelflife today from ex-Action Painting Socialist Leisure Party! It’s a stunning release that we’re so proud to be part of. Limited to 300 copies in our 1000 series CD+7″ format. The art alone might be one of my favorites of the series so far. Here’s the tracklisting…

Compact Disc
1. Scented Crowbar
2. No Tattoos
3. Mondayland
4. Socialist Leisure Party
5. Down with the Kids
6. Recession

Seven-Inch (+ free mp3s)
A. Head in the Hay
B. Mondayland (instrumental)

Artwork by Andrew Holder.

$15.00 + shipping

Listen to Socialist Leisure Party – Head in the Hay

18 May
Burning Hearts – NYC Popfest

Burning Hearts played their first US show last weekend at the NYC Popfest. Sadly we couldn’t be there, but if you also missed it, some YouTube videos are showing up. Here’s two I just found:

“Various Lives”

“Sea Birds”

Also, if anyone has any pictures from this show, please send them our way. Thanks!

18 May
Days on Menina Infinito

We’re just back from our ATP/Nice trip. We had a lovely time! Met some new friends, saw some great bands and maybe drank a bit too much. Nice, France was the highlight of the trip for me. We can’t wait to go back!

I’m currently fighting jetlag, so I’m catching up with some things here. First I want to mention that there’s a new Brazilian comic book called Menina Infinito by Fabio Lyra that has an illustration of a record store featuring the Days “Downhill” EP (in her hand). It’s pretty incredible that our release is included here alongside The Jesus & Mary Chain, Teenage Fanclub, Television, Primal Scream, Big Star, etc. Thanks to Gilberto for letting us know about it and for the scan above.

Tomorrow the Socialist Leisure Party release is out. More on that then!

6 May
Shelflife Vacation

We’re taking a much needed break this month, heading to two weekends of ATP concerts in Minehead, UK and a quick trip to Nice, France in between. I’ll be back with regular posts the week of May 18th. Loads of good stuff happening on the label when we return including a 1000 series release by Socialist Leisure Party (ex Action Painting!) out May 19th, a new 4 track 12″ by Thieves Like Us on June 9th and a 1000 series release by Horse Shoes following in the summer. Until then…

4 May
Friends of the Family – Rotten To The Core

I’ve been wanting to do a Friends of the Family blog post for a while now. I usually don’t like to put anything up until I have all my facts straight, but unfortunately there’s not much I can go on. Info on this band is seriously hard to come by (next to none in fanzines or online). So if you know anything about them, please feel free to comment below.

Friends of the Family were from Yorkshire (I believe) and seemed to be together from 1986-88. They released two singles on Ediesta Records: “Rotten To The Core” 7″/12″ (CALC 017) and “Three Fat Men (On a Bicycle)” 12″ (CALC 039). Apparently Matthew Eaton was in the band, who was the original bass player in Delta, and later in Pram. They played some shows with The Sea Urchins in 1988 (I found a great post here about that).

I recently saw on Facebook that Stephen from the Please Rain Fall blog is also planning on writing a post about them and I surely hope he can fill in the blanks.

Listen to “Rotten To The Core” below which is my favorite track. It’s quite fantastic! It always reminded me a bit of “Talulah Gosh” by Talulah Gosh, which is never a bad thing in my book.

Friends of the Family – Rotten To The Core

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