As a general rule, music doesn’t have that much of a nostalgic function for me. Without sounding too bloodless, I’m only interested in a record if it sounds good to me right now; the fact that it might have soundtracked various epiphanies/crises/whatevers in my life is, by and large, irrelevant. If I were ever to end up, God forbid, on some “Desert Island Discs” thing, I’d maybe choose something from “On The Beach” (a review of Neil's first Manchester show is over at the Reviews Blog, incidentally), even though I might have actually spent 1974 listening to Mud. I’m not ashamed of my musical past, I just don’t like those records any more.


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I have to admit to a certain amount of anxiety tonight. It’s not just the weather, which is, of course, rotten, the wind howling like it’s fit to tear chunks from rooftops from miles around.


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It’s been something like four months since I first mentioned the debut album by Bon Iver, and since then, there have been few records I’ve played as much. In Uncut’s world, I suspect “For Emma, Forever Ago” may turn out to be one of the most significant albums released in the UK in 2008. I certainly hope so, anyway.


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The playlist comes a bit earlier than usual this week, since we've been finishing the next issue today, and I haven't had a chance to write a proper preview. You probably should know, though, that the new Fall album on first listen appears to include, besides the usual murky paranoia, a faintly jazzy song about crows (and possibly "J-Loaded Brown", though we could have misheard that) called "Alton Towers".


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We've just heard from Festival Republic that they'll be announcing the line-up for this year's Latitude on March 19. That's also the day when tickets will go on sale.


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The last time I saw Neil Young at the Apollo was in 2003, when he was touring to promote his ecological country rock opera, Greendale, still unreleased at the time, which meant no one had heard any of the songs. The unfamiliarity of what he then played provoked among the audience a certain restlessness that quickly gave way to collective dismay when it dawned on them that he wasn’t going to play merely a selection of songs from the record, but the album in what turned out to be its indigestible entirety.


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In the midst of Neil Young fever this week, I’ve been distracted by another Canadian musical superstar. While I was waiting for my useless computer to fire up this morning, I finished the last pages of “Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey To The End Of Taste”, a fascinating book by the Canadian music journalist, Carl Wilson.


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So, the start of Neil Young’s six-night stand in London, and a lot of the schtick will be familiar to anyone who’s read Damien’s review of the Edinburgh show. Neil bumbles around the stage in what we might optimistically call a Proustian reverie, warms his hands on a stage light, plays “Ambulance Blues” and stops time dead in its tracks.


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So, the start of Neil Young’s six-night stand in London, and a lot of the schtick will be familiar to anyone who’s read Damien’s review of the Edinburgh show. Neil bumbles around the stage in what we might optimistically call a Proustian reverie, warms his hands on a stage light, plays “Ambulance Blues” and stops time dead in its tracks.


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As you might imagine, a fair amount of excitement round these parts at the prospect of a six-hour Neil Young gig tonight. I'll report back first thing tomorrow; it's going to be interesting to see how much the show resembles the one Damien saw in Edinburgh. Please keep filing your reviews of the shows, too - I'm fascinated to know how - or if - the spectacle will evolve as the month progresses. Maybe "No Hidden Path" will just get longer and longer?


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Editor's Letter

The new Uncut revealed! Arctic Monkeys, Neil Young, Kate Bush and Warren Zevon in new issue


Next month, Arctic Monkeys play two shows at London’s Finsbury Park to more than 100,000 people, which makes it a reasonable moment to look back at the band’s journey from the Sheffield suburb of High Green to their current all-conquering place in a rock pantheon where they are...