2014 has already got off to a good start, I think, with American Hustle and Inside Llewyn Davis.


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Apologies - I've been a little late posting my Best Albums Of 2013 list. In mitigation, at least I managed to post my Best Films Of 2013 last week, which you can read here.


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The bulk of the action takes place in retrospect, prominently soundtracked by music from that era. There’s a knowing narration from a central character who is attracted to an exhilarating lifestyle fuelled by crime, money and drugs. There is a terrible fall, and a redemption of sorts.


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Early on in Lawrence Of Arabia, the head of the Arab bureau, Mr Dryden, calls Lawrence into his office and invites him to investigate the progress of the Arab Revolt against Constantinople and to appraise the strength of the Arab tribes.


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Oddly, perhaps, I've just signed off my film pages for the first issue of 2014. January is traditionally a strong month for releases, as the studios hit heavy for the big awards season push, all the same it looks like next year is off to a strong start with new releases from the Coen brothers, Steve McQueen and Spike Jonze.


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There have been plenty of surprises and revelations in music during the last twelve months. Admittedly, perhaps not all of them have had the same impact as the sudden arrival of records by David Bowie or My Bloody Valentine; nevertheless, a Tweet on June 3 from Edwyn Collins’ label AED carried its own quietly momentous piece of breaking news. “A new @RoddyFrame record in the wind, on AED, early 2014. It’s a lovely thing, just wait til you hear it. Watch this space, popsters.”


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Looking back on the ways in which Hollywood had changed since he started out as an actor, Bruce Dern told Uncut in 2004, “Where are the people? Where are the stories? That’s what the ‘70s was, and each of us who survived, those are the kind of movies we always wanted to make. And always will try and make. And whenever there’s one out there like that – look for us to be involved in it. I’m still trying to be a better actor. I’m still hoping I’m growing. Y’know, there’s no retirement. Shit, if you’re 80 play 80!”


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“You Brits need an injection!” rages the Australian in the gents’ toilet.


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I wrote a Throwing Muses feature for the November 2013 issue of Uncut, for which I spoke to all Muses past and present. The key interview, of course, was with Kristin Hersh, which ended up taking place over two lengthy sessions.


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Apologies for the brevity of this blog - we're on deadlines - but I thought I'd share this, a new seven minute short film from Wes Anderson.


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Editor's Letter

Steve Gunn, "Way Out Weather"/Nathan Bowles, "Nansemond"


How does a questing psychedelic guitarist transform themselves into a classic singer-songwriter? By compromising, in many cases. Steve Gunn, however, is managing the transition with uncanny elegance. Maybe you've already heard the latest album from this languidly prolific Brooklyn guitarist: it'...