I just found one of the coolest stages I can remember seeing at a British festival. There’s a lake in the middle of Latitude, and a densely wooded slope that runs down to it. Somewhere fairly deep into these woods is the Sunrise Stage, and it’s here that I find Alberta Cross.


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I just found one of the coolest stages I can remember seeing at a British festival. There’s a lake in the middle of Latitude, and a densely wooded slope that runs down to it. Somewhere fairly deep into these woods is the Sunrise Stage, and it’s here that I find Alberta Cross.


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Afternoon all. By some dark miracle, it seems that East Anglia may be the hottest place in the UK today. Which is pretty handy for us, since we're here at the Latitude festival, with the pastel-coloured sheep and the posh burger vans and the bijou dog kennels to sleep in. It's lovely, actually.


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Just a quick note to say that I'll be heading off to deepest East Anglia tomorrow to report on the Latitude Festival, which we're sponsoring. Instead of posting here, I'll...


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Looking back over the past few months of writing Wild Mercury Sound, it does seem like I go on again and again about Sonic Youth and Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label. I guess I can be a bit fanboyish over the whole business, but then there are few bands who've shaped my musical aesthetics as profoundly as the Youth, and the wild and varied music that Moore has been putting out on his imprint of late (from Wooden Wand to Turbo Fruits, from MV + EE And The Bummer Road to Sunburned Hand Of Man, to Awesome Color) means they've kept me excited and engaged more, perhaps, than any other label in 2007.


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A few interesting posts turned up on the blogs these past few days. The Super Furry Animals love continues, and Harri writes, "On first listen it sounded good, but maybe little bland by SFA's lofty standards; by the 4th or 5th listen I realised how much depth it actually has. Another SFA classic then, in my opinion - here's hoping one of the two on the way is the long lost techno record!"


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I'm starting today with "Strawberry Jam", the new album by the Animal Collective, and it's quite a thing of joy. "For Reverend Green" is playing as I write (the Reverend Al, perhaps?), and it's pretty typical of the album (their seventh, perhaps). Over rippling noise and tribal patter, they lay a kind of kindergarten sing-song that has a passionate, ingenuous, euphoric quality. It's a pop song, born out of the avant-garde, and the Animal Collective are a pop group who've kept an experimental imperative. I love them.


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A lot of festival activity this weekend, and Uncut's legions have reported back from T In The Park, Live Earth and Cornbury over at our Festivals Blog. Every time I switched on Live Earth, I managed to catch something worse and worse: Paolo Nutini singing "What A Wonderful World" with what sounded like most of his internal organs rattling around the back of his throat; James Blunt joylessly dying on his arse; Madonna cavorting with the prize dicks of Gogol Bordello in the manner of a geography teacher after her annual joint at Glastonbury.


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Cornbury, or Poshstock as it’s sometimes known, is like a mini Knebworth, held in the bucolic grounds of a very big house in the Cotswold country 20 miles from Oxford. There’s champagne by the bottle in the VIP bar and past Cornbury Fests have proved celeb heaven with Prince Harry, Kate Moss (she’s a local) and Jeremy Clarkson all stumping up in 2006.
No famous faces ligging here so far today but we’ll keep ‘em peeled.
Here’s how it’s panning out so far:


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After a muddy and murky start on Friday, Brian Wilson ended the first full day of this year's T In The Park festival by bringing the sunshine to Scotland. Not literally, but it's as close as we'd come so far.


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Editor's Letter

D'Angelo's "Black Messiah": some first thoughts


When Thom Yorke sneaked out his new solo album a few months back, I managed to hold out for 66 hours before writing a review of "Tomorrow's Modern Boxes". Since waking up...