After spending last weekend catching up with what seems like a veritable deluge of great new music, I had a yen for some old favourites this weekend, among them two albums by the cult singer-songwriter, Paul Siebel, Woodsmoke & Oranges and Jack-Knife Gypsy.


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A little over a month into 2012 and great new albums seem to be a-popping up all over the shop, something arriving in the post every day almost that either thrills or beguiles, demanding our attention and more often than not handsomely rewarding it.

Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas was rightly applauded in last month's Uncut, and in the current issue similar praise is lavished on Lambchop’s Mr M, which reminds us why we have loved them for so long and also what it was in the first place that got us so excited about Kurt Wagner’s Nashville country-soul collective.


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Phew and all that. I’ve just been listening again to the 37 minute stream of new music by Neil Young and Crazy Horse that was posted at the weekend on neilyoung.com. I’m sure there were more important things I could have been doing throughout the day, like filling in health and safety reports and similarly essential tasks. But after reading John’s Wild Mercury Blog on the Neil and Crazy Horse jams, which are titled, tantalisingly, ‘Horse Back’, I haven’t needed much encouragement to utterly neglect such housekeeping duties to further take in the roiling brilliance of Neil and Crazy Horse.


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Post-war Los Angeles was doubtless a swell place to live if you were a movie star, Hollywood mogul, business tycoon, captain of industry, political big-wig, gangster or otherwise a money-bags, cosseted by wealth, not much in life you couldn’t afford.


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The highlight of the week gone by, for me at least, was, of course, attending the playback of Leonard Cohen’s new album Old Ideas. Cohen was there, as you’ve no doubt heard by now, and if he had so chosen he could have kept his audience hanging on his every word for many more hours than he did. I’ve already written about the vent, but it seemed also timely to revisit this piece, written originally for my Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before column in Uncut, about meeting Cohen in somewhat unusual circumstances in June 1974.


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The clock was ticking yesterday afternoon as we approached the final deadlines for the next issue of Uncut. But we were finished early enough for me to rush hot-foot across London to The May Fair hotel, near Hyde Park, where Leonard Cohen was due to present a playback of his new album, Old Ideas, to a specially invited audience.


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You may have seen in the current Uncut that The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn will shortly be releasing his first solo album, Clear Heart Full Eyes, recorded in Austin, Texas, with Spoon producer Mike McCarthy and a band including White Denim drummer Josh Block.


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Martin Scorsese was a special guest last night at the Critics' Choice Awards in Hollywood last night, where he picked up the Best Documentary Feature prize for his George Harrison documentary, Living In The Material World and was further honoured with the Critics' Choice Music And Film Award.


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We’re still just about at that time of the year when there’s ample of it left to look forward to what’s coming up in the rest of it. Everybody’s at it, of course, it’s one of the things we do annually around now.


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I’m not sure what happens on Saturday towards the end of the first night of Bob Dylan’s three shows at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. Suddenly, though, he’s blazing through one of the songs he traditionally reserves for encores, “All Along The Watchtower”, with no break between it and the roaring version of “Ballad Of A Thin Man” that normally you’d have expected to be the show’s climax, the band then taking a well-deserved bow and a quick break before coming back for one, two or three more songs, further lapping up of the crowd’s applause prior to a final wave goodnight, perhaps even a nod from Bob in the general direction of a crowd he otherwise doesn’t go too far out of his way to acknowledge.


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Editor's Letter

Dave Edmunds at 70! Happy birthday, boyo!


First of all, there was the somewhat staggering recent news that Captain Sensible was about to turn 60. Then a few weeks ago, Nick Lowe was 65. And today, it turns out, Dave Edmunds, Nick’s former best mate and partner in Rockpile...