Three weeks and a few hours ago, I found myself on a small plane from Richmond, Virginia, to Washington DC. Most of the other passengers were members of the Harvard baseball team, who had spent the past three hours being harassed by schoolgirls making innumerable Harlem Shake videos. I, though, was sat next to a woman from Colorado, who was studying the use of horses in Gestalt therapy.


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Plenty to listen to here again this week, and less dubious content than there was in the 11th playlist. One off-the-scale stinker, though…


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On their fine "Light Up Gold" album from the end of last year, Parquet Courts often come across like a kind of self-mythologising, self-effacing Brooklynish hipster band, allbeit one who are, of course, a) disdainful of the term 'hipster'; b) focused on a rather old-fashioned hipster sound that, until they became hip, was probably too hip, or not hip enough, for hipsters; c) snarky about self-mythologising, self-effacing Brooklynish hipsters; d) probably reflexively quite snarky about themselves.


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Reading about the South By Southwest festival tends to produce, in me at least, a mix of empathetic fatigue and terrible envy, and last week’s bombardment of tweets, blogs, news stories was no different.


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The distraction of a Laura Marling blog yesterday has had the knock-on effect of making this week’s playlist longer than usual: 27 tracks/albums in all.


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It’s easy – and probably useful, sometimes – to lambast major labels for what looks from the outside like chronic short-termism. The climate is, understandably I guess, a neurotic one, and those days are long gone when labels would work long-term with a select group of trophy artists, whose usefulness to the company was more silvery and nebulous, more about cachet than quick profit.


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Rather a long time after the event, I thought it worthwhile posting my live review of Kraftwerk at the Tate Modern (it was published in Uncut's print edition a couple of weeks ago). It was Trans Europe Express night, by the way...


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Maybe not as much here as some weeks, thanks I guess to the Daft Punk loop that I’ve been playing for at least an hour a day. Try it…


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Swiftly this week, as I have a heap of proofs to read for the next Uncut Ultimate Music Guide (the subject this time is The Smiths and Morrissey, hence the appearance of “Hatful Of Hollow” below).


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A recording of Kraftwerk’s “Trans-Europe Express” night at the Tate Modern seems to have fallen off the back of the internet this morning: genuinely not sure where one of my colleagues found it, before you ask.


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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...