In June 1977, Allan Jones of the Melody Maker took a familiar route to the offices of Stiff Records in West London. His appointment, that day, was with a notably irascible young singer-songwriter from Hounslow. In the course of a frequently startling interview, the man who had chosen to call himself Elvis Costello railed against pretty much everything he could think of, beginning a sequence of encounters that would be among the sharpest and most volatile to appear in the music press over the next few years.


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Instant albums do not, as a rule, encourage reflection. There is surprise, sometimes indignation, a social media flame war, a lot of static about delivery systems. Once the 38 minutes of, say, Thom Yorke's "Tomorrow's Modern Boxes" have passed, it can all suddenly be over. What happens next?


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No point in messing about this week: scroll down to hear new music from, among others, Neil Young, Cool Ghouls, Bryan Ferry, Frazey Ford, Kendrick Lamar, Joan Shelley and the extremely promising D.D. Dumbo, plus a couple of amazing full gigs from Hiss Golden Messenger and a Purling Hiss/Spacin' supersession, both courtesy of the invaluable www.nyctaper.com.


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A month, perhaps, of surprises. On the rather intimidating new Scott Walker and Sunn O))) album, there appears to be a joke about Michael Flatley's testicles. Somewhere in the elevated aesthetics of Kate Bush's Before The Dawn, there's an equally dubious comedy routine that hinges on the punchline, "HP and mayo, it's the badger's nadgers." And then, just as we were finishing the new issue of Uncut (out today in the UK, as you may have seen), a U2 album suddenly materialised in iTunes, a bullish play to reassert them as the biggest pop group in the world.


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Weird serendipities aplenty this week: versions of "O, Death" on two albums I downloaded one after another, by Mike & Cara Gangloff and Bessie Jones; dovetailing into Sea Island overlap between Jones and Loscil. It makes for a nice blurring between time and genre with, say, the Gangloffs using esoteric strategies to achieve a similar kind of transcendence that Jones and the Georgia Sea Island Singers reach through more orthodox, albeit uncommonly raw, Gospel routes in these Lomax recordings from the early '60s.


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Among my post last week, I received a nice care package from Ace Records that included one quite weird Duke Ellington album ("My People"); Volume 3 of their "Where Country Meets Soul" series (I cannot recommend Ralph ''Soul'' Jackson's version of ''Jambalaya'' highly enough); and, maybe best of all, "Cracking The Cosimo Code", a collection of extraordinary music originating from Cosimo Matassa's New Orleans studio in the 1960s.


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Thanks for all the nice feedback about the Liam Hayes/Plush piece I wrote earlier in the week. Lots of other good new arrivals in the list here, and you could do worse than start off by listening to the Cool Ghouls from San Francisco, especially if you're interested in the Allah-Las, the Ty Segall axis, Nuggets ad nauseam and so on.


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I received an email last week from an old college friend, with a link to the Souncloud page of Liam Hayes & Plush, and an amused/irate message along the lines of, "One of your two jobs in life was meant to be to flag me when he releases anything/makes any move out of his lair."


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After my blog about the Aphex Twin the other week, it's a real pleasure to embed the first leaked track from "Syro" this morning. It's called "minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]", and I think it's excellent.


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On Sunday, Kate Bush inadvertently staged a one-woman assault on the British charts. This week, 11 records in the Official UK Albums Chart are by Bush – not bad, really, for a woman who has only really released nine new studio albums in the past 36 years.


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Introducing… Elvis Costello: The Ultimate Music Guide


In June 1977, Allan Jones of the Melody Maker took a familiar route to the offices of Stiff Records in West London. His appointment, that day, was with a notably irascible young singer-songwriter from Hounslow. In the course of a frequently startling interview, the man who had chosen to call...