I was maybe halfway through the entirely improvised new live album by Ghost, when it occurred to me that I might have been fixating on the new psych/folk/freak jams a bit much this past week or so. It was then that I turned to the new album by Beirut, as I have done for the past two or three weeks when I feel the need for tunes, of all things.


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Around the turn of the decade, I used to go and see a Brooklyn band called Les Savy Fav every time they played London. They were a fantastic night out. The singer, Tim Harrington, occasionally behaved like a cross between Iggy Pop, Salvador Dali and Captain Birdseye.


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These seem to be quite popular, so here are the fairly eclectic records we've played in the Uncut office today. Unlike last week's rundown, I think we're broadly behind all of this lot. . .


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I could be mistaken about this, but there's a point in this really fine Six Organs Of Admittance show when Ben Chasny and his new foil, Elisa Ambrogio, appear to be whispering sweet nothings to each other. Then the hushed, gentle duet becomes clearer. "They may even eat the horse that you're riding," they're singing.


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As I've mentioned before here, the marketing department next door aren't too fond of the primordial swamp jams that come out of the New Weird America, and for the past couple of weeks they've been particularly aggravated by the new album by Sunburned Hand Of The Man.


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Sad news of course this weekend, with the passing of Tony Wilson. I can't add much to Stephen Dalton's excellent obit. But I thought it'd be a useful tribute to put online the full Factory Catalogue that we compiled for Uncut's recent Book Of Revelations.


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I must admit, I never thought I'd end up at the Cross Kings pub in King's Cross, North London. It used to be a place called The Backpackers, and every time I drove past it there appeared to be 200 Australians in a heap outside. Very macho, very rugby. Not really for me.


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The first time I heard Devendra Banhart, I remember thinking that there was something ineffably creepy about him. I loved "Oh Me Oh My. . .", but it felt an eerie, almost malign record, and the impression was compounded at his first London show, supporting Michael Gira. Banhart didn't seem dangerous, exactly, but his otherness was somehow disturbing, as well as compelling.


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I remembered to bring in some Lee Hazlewood this morning, so we're starting the day with "Requiem For An Almost Lady". John Robinson, our Reviews Editor, just told me how he once received a "hate fax" from the great man, after calling him, affectionately, a "prickly old bastard" in a live preview.


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It's been a couple of months since I wrote about Robert Wyatt's excellent "Comicopera", which still isn't out until October. In the meantime, one of Wyatt's old sparring partners has sneaked under the wire ahead of him. Kevin Ayers, of all people, has a new album out at the start of September, and it's rather good.


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Editor's Letter

Introducing… Elvis Costello: The Ultimate Music Guide


In June 1977, Allan Jones of the Melody Maker took a familiar route to the offices of Stiff Records in West London. His appointment, that day, was with a notably irascible young singer-songwriter from Hounslow. In the course of a frequently startling interview, the man who had chosen to call...