For many who’ve seen Cat Power gigs over the years, calmness is not a word that immediately springs to mind when trying to describe Chan Marshall. Neither has she been, for large tracts of her confounding and exceptional career, much of a populist, exactly. Her distrait otherness might have been part of the appeal to some of us, but it would hardly work as a mainstream draw.


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We just had one of those weirdly serendipitous moments on the stereo, accidentally finding affinities, as you don't, between Kanye West and Jackie O Motherfucker.


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Just looking at the booklet which comes with the new Aidan John Moffat (out of Arab Strap) CD. Opposite the page which begins, in big letters, “PART ONE: POOP”, there’s something that isn’t a disclaimer, more a claimer, I suppose. “The characters portrayed in this work are non-fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is entirely intentional.”


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Mild frenzy at Uncut today as we put the finishing touches to our end-of-year issue. As a consequence, I've not had a chance to do the full blog, but here's the music we've played in the office. Favourites?


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Which comeback is this again? As The Verve mooch onto the stage at the Roundhouse, I’m reminded of a night at Glasgow Barrowlands maybe ten years ago. Nick McCabe had just rejoined the band, and I guess “Bittersweet Symphony” was about to be released. The lights went down, and the impeccable DJ played David Axelrod’s “Holy Are You”. Then the band came on: Simon Jones lunging at the crowd triumphantly; Ashcroft imperious, transported; McCabe a self-effacing figure consumed with his work. Men spilled beer and hugged each other. They’re back!


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After living with the new Hot Chip album for the best part of a week, it feels like my thoughts about it are finally beginning to coalesce. They’re a curious band, I think: a consummate, bright pop band on the one hand; a group whose songs gradually insinuate themselves over time. What initially appears slight, eventually becomes unforgettable.


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I've been gently kicking myself for the past few days after discovering The Necks were playing a couple of shows just down the road from me in Dalston. By the time I tried to get tickets on Sunday afternoon, they'd long sold out. Their new album, "Townsville", is compensation of a kind, but it also makes me regret missing them more than ever.


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I've been keeping a list of the records we've played for the past couple of days. Kept away from American Music Club's "Golden Age" after some heavy rotation last week, and I'm contemplating having another go at its predecessor, "Lovesongs For Patriots", after some insinuated reprimands on the blog.


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We've just been playing the excellent forthcoming Kelley Stoltz album to start the week (I'll write about it soon), which reminded me of another Sub Pop album I've liked in the past few weeks.


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Some interesting things turned up from you this week, not least a couple of impassioned defences of the Robert Plant & Alison Krauss album, which seemed to be getting a rough ride from some unreconstructed old Led Zep fans.


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Editor's Letter

The 43rd Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...