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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One of the weirder and more heartening musical shifts of the past few years has been the way post-rockers have moved into looser, hairier, trad rock terrain. I’m thinking of records like Jim O’Rourke’s southern-tinged “Insignificance”, perhaps (Incidentally, O’Rourke has broken his musical exile, after a fashion, with something called Osorezan; more on that soon), as well as that palpable move towards heavy jams and psych by any number of college rock types in the wake of Stephen Malkmus. And so on.


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“Class of ’88 reunion,” announces Sonic Boom. He has just played “Transparent Radiation” and is about to launch – launch may not be the right word, exactly; slope, perhaps? – into an excellent “When Tomorrow Hits”. In front of me, someone is wearing a “Goo” t-shirt. On the way to the Roundhouse, someone randomly proffered an open bottle of amyl. Only Sonic Boom’s haircut appears to have changed, slightly, in the intervening 20 years.


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“Class of ’88 reunion,” announces Sonic Boom. He has just played “Transparent Radiation” and is about to launch – launch may not be the right word, exactly; slope, perhaps? – into an excellent “When Tomorrow Hits”. In front of me, someone is wearing a “Goo” t-shirt. On the way to the Roundhouse, someone randomly proffered an open bottle of amyl. Only Sonic Boom’s haircut appears to have changed, slightly, in the intervening 20 years.


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Editor's Letter

The 3rd Uncut Playlist Of 2015


Still at that stage of the year where I nearly type 2014 every time instead of 2015, but time moves on - swifter, perhaps, than Bjork for one would've liked this week, given how an unauthorised leak forced the release of "Vulnicura" a couple of months ahead of schedule.

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