A bit of a rush today, since we're trying to finish the next issue of Uncut. But I've been revisiting the MGMT record that turned up last year, and which features fairly prominently in the New Brooklyn Bands feature in the current issue.


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A fairly fractious mix over the past day and a half, at least one of which made (for good reason, I must admit) our production editor evacuate the Uncut office at speed. A load of Kraftwerk bootlegs are currently in circulation, following the 1971 session I recommended the other day, and this one from Croydon, 1975, is tremendous.


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A couple of records I’ve been meaning to blog about for weeks today. One is the new album by Earth, “The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull”, which further confirms Dylan Carlson’s drift away from absolute minimalist metal drone to a kind of slow, but surprisingly melodious desert rock.


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A bit early in 2008, I think, to start talking about Albums Of The Year and such. But over the past week, I must admit I’ve been completely knocked out by the new Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks album. It’s called “Real Emotional Trash”, and it’s out in March on Domino in the UK.


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Strange telephone call a couple of hours ago, from someone called Bobbie who was looking for some coverage of her band. It turned out, amazingly, to be Bobbie Watson from Comus, of all people, who have reformed for a gig in March.


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The music business is in unseasonal heat today, with the publishing of the BBC's Sound Of 2008 poll. The winner, unsurprisingly, is Adele, who's OK. But I must admit I'm a bit suspicious of the whole self-perpetuating hype of all this - I agree with most of this piece from The Observer from last month. Tellingly, Kitty guessed eight out of ten right in the BBC list, proving how predictable these things have become.


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A surprising amount of good post was waiting for us at the office yesterday, which means a lot of stuff we've played thus far this year has been brand new. There are a handful of disappointments on the list which follows, but the undisputed favourite at the moment is the new Stephen Malkmus album. I'll try and write something more substantial about the Jicks' monumental jams in the next few days. In the meantime, here's the rundown:


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Happy New Year, everyone, and many thanks for all your responses to the Bruce Springsteen and Favourite Albums Of The Year blogs I posted just before Christmas.


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It is, I guess, a quintessential Bruce moment. The house lights are on, and as I walk across the floor of the O2 Arena, everyone is bellowing along unself-consciously to “Born To Run”. For the best part of two and a half hours, the E Street Band have played with a thickness, a relentlessness, a charged virtuosity that is pretty astounding. Now, they’re peaking, and it seems conceivable that they could keep going all night.


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As promised on this Albums Of The Year blog, here are my favourite reissues and compilations of 2007. Again, feel free to add your own selections below.


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Editor's Letter

Reviewed: Respect Yourself: Stax Records And The Soul Explosion by Robert Gordon


As Robert Gordon reminds us in Respect Yourself: Stax Records And The Soul Explosion, his terrific account of the rise and fall of the great Memphis soul imprint, the Stax story is more than a record-label history. “It is an American story,” Gordon writes,”...