What strange music Jack White makes these days. At the end of this hot, compelling, tempestuous show, he stands triumphantly on a monitor, guitar held high above head like the hammer of Thor, every inch the conquering stadium rocker.


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One of those weeks when the office playlist is taken to a whole new level at the very last moment, thanks to the arrival this morning of the new Steve Gunn album. A couple of previously redacted records can now be revealed, too, as the new efforts by Ryan Adams and Goat


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Sunday night I was not, I must admit, watching Kasabian on the BBC’s coverage of Glastonbury. Instead, I was… well, gripped would be the wrong word, but somehow compelled to watch every last hideous minute of the match between Greece and Costa Rica, a game that acted as kind of evil payback for all the good football karma this World Cup has accrued. Applying this logic to rock music, a friend pointed out, I probably should have been watching Kasabian, too.


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Lots to dig into this week, not least a song to sample from the Hiss Golden Messenger album that I’ve been alluding to for so long. Strong Ronnie Lane vibes there, perhaps. Among some biggish new entries here, some lesser known names to check out, too: Jennifer Castle; 75 Dollar Bill’s weird adaptation of desert blues; the new Blonde Redhead album that increasingly feels like their strongest in an age; and Hurray For The Riff Raff, magnificent on Letterman.


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When Graeme Thomson sent us his interview with Eric Clapton, it was not, to be honest, quite what we expected. We anticipated a poignant chat about Clapton’s old friend JJ Cale, to tie in with the forthcoming tribute album, “The Breeze”. As it transpired, though, the album was just a jumping-off point for one of the most unexpected and revealing Clapton pieces most of us can remember.


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I suspect I wasn’t the only one who, last night, came out of the World Cup rabbit hole to discover that Gerry Goffin had died. As has become a slightly weird but nonetheless heartfelt tradition – a public display of mourning and taste, I suppose – I posted a favourite song onto Twitter: the Byrds’ version of “Goin’ Back”.


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It’s not a situation I could have predicted 20 years ago, I’ll admit, but there’s a point I reach quite often on Friday afternoons when all I really want to hear is The Grateful Dead. As default, I’ll cue up something from 1972 – the Wembley Empire Pool set from that year, say – mention it on Twitter, then receive a lot of static from my Dead friends who see me as something of a lightweight for clinging so conservatively to that year.


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After the Best Albums Of 2014: Halftime Report business earlier in the week, it’s good to push on today with a bunch of very fine new arrivals, many of which you can hear at least tracks from below.


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Yesterday, after I posted this list of my favourite albums of 2014, I received a few messages complaining that there were too many Youtube and Soundcloud clips embedded here, preventing the page from loading properly. Forgive the repetition, then, but I thought it worth reposting the list as three separate blogs; hopefully it’ll work better this time…

Previously: The Best Albums Of 2014: Halftime Report Part One

Previously: The Best Albums Of 2014: Halftime Report Part Two


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Yesterday, after I posted this list of my favourite albums of 2014, I received a few messages complaining that there were too many Youtube and Soundcloud clips embedded here, preventing the page from loading properly. Forgive the repetition, then, but I thought it worth reposting the list as three separate blogs; hopefully it’ll work better this time…

Previously: The Best Albums Of 2014: Halftime Report Part One


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Editor's Letter

Some more thoughts on Kate Bush and Alice Gerrard


On Sunday, Kate Bush inadvertently staged a one-woman assault on the British charts. This week, 11 records in the Official UK Albums Chart are by Bush – not bad, really, for a woman who has only really released nine new studio albums in the past 36 years.

Apart...