As I mentioned the other day, there seems to be a covert return to the musical fray from Jim O’Rourke afoot. From being everywhere, not least in Sonic Youth, a few years ago, O’Rourke appeared to “retire” from music two or three years ago.


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It occurred to me this morning, in an anal sort of way, that we should probably talk about the best records of 2008's first six months. To that end, I've just been through my blog archive and come up with my ten favourites of the year up 'til the end of June.


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One day, I imagine turning up at a festival and being confronted by a dedicated Wainwright/McGarrigle And Related Folk Families stage. There’ll be Rufus and Loudon and Kate & Anna. There’ll be Rufus’ good friend Teddy Thompson, and maybe his mum and dad and sister. There could, ideally, be Rufus’ other friend, Lorca Cohen, and her dad, the born-again road animal, Leonard.


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It is, by most standards, quite an entrance. Joan Wasser arrives onstage at Club Uncut with a mug of tea in one hand, a bouquet of flowers in the other, and a pair of giant plastic sunglasses that appear to have some kind of beaklike noseguard attachment. They’re so preposterous, in fact, that Wasser can’t bring herself to sing in them. For the rest of the long, hot night of this Joan As Police Woman solo show (her bandmates are waiting for her in Florence), they’ll act as an occasional prop to add emphasis to her between-song chats. About Uncut, say, and what she always thinks of first when she hears the magazine’s name. . .


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It is, by most standards, quite an entrance. Joan Wasser arrives onstage at Club Uncut with a mug of tea in one hand, a bouquet of flowers in the other, and a pair of giant plastic sunglasses that appear to have some kind of beaklike noseguard attachment. They’re so preposterous, in fact, that Wasser can’t bring herself to sing in them. For the rest of the long, hot night of this Joan As Police Woman solo show (her bandmates are waiting for her in Florence), they’ll act as an occasional prop to add emphasis to her between-song chats. About Uncut, say, and what she always thinks of first when she hears the magazine’s name. . .


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A degree of anxiety in the air following yesterday’s blog: I can reassure you that, on first listen at least, the new Calexico album sounds pretty strong, being a return to the border territory of “Feast Of Wire”. Apologies for being a little mysterious about this stuff, but one or two other anticipated entries on that playlist aren’t working for me at the moment. Let me listen some more and I’ll report back.


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One of the highlights of Latitude 2008 is sure to be, we reckon, a sighting of the enduring miracle of indie-rock that is Kim Deal. It was Deal, rumour has it, who called time on the Pixies reunion because she would rather be expending her energies on her own band, The Breeders.


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A strange one, this. Nick Cave has been workaholically juggling multiple projects over the past couple of years: The Bad Seeds, of course; his comparatively pensive soundtrack work with Warren Ellis; and the rambunctious, Stoogesy garage rock of Grinderman. A betting man or woman might have put money on him turning up at Latitude in the company of the Bad Seeds, on the back of their superb “Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!” album from earlier this year.


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First off, a brand new Brightblack Morning Light track, complete with visuals, has appeared, and it’s fantastic. The second Brightblack album – West Coast acid-folk-funk infused with gris-gris and a sort of horizontal, post-Spiritualized drone-funk, if any of that makes sense – was a huge hit here at Uncut during the ferociously sticky summer of 2006, and “Hologram Buffalo” is every bit as good.


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Sometime in 2002, I ridiculously managed to convince Uncut’s then-Reviews Ed to let me write a lead review of a CD I’d just bought online from a record label in Japan. According to the press release which accompanies this belated UK release for the same album, Plush’s “Fed”, I wrote that it was “The dazzling masterpiece he [Liam Hayes, Plush’s sole constant member] always threatened to produce.” Evidently not enough of a “dazzling masterpiece” for it to merit a UK release for six whole years.


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Robert Wyatt interviewed: "I'm not a born rebel..."


Today (January 28, 2015), social media reliably informs me that Robert Wyatt is 70, which seems a reasonable justification for reposting this long and, I hope, interesting transcript of an interview I did with him at home in Louth back in 2007, a little before the marvellous “Comicopera” was...