I was just settling down to watch the football last night, when the phone rang. I picked up the receiver, but it was one of those – usually incredibly annoying – calls from a gig, where you can just hear a song reverberating around the venue. After a few seconds I could make out a baritone invocation, some ethereal harmonies in the far distance, and a generally spectral air that was uncannily enhanced by the phoneline. Leonard Cohen, singing “Who By Fire” in Manchester, at his first British date for some 15 years.


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It’s hard to remember the last time the venerable Archdrude played a major British festival – I have a faint memory of some brilliant, mildly alarming show one Reading afternoon in the mid ‘90s. But it’s testimony to Latitude’s cultured charms that Julian Cope – author, ancient historian, Gnostic adventurer and, lest we forget, a tremendous rock star – will be playing the Uncut Arena on Friday July 17.


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Strange to relate, but not long ago, plenty of people were tipping Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong as the next big thing. I was looking at the BBC Sound Of 2008 list a few minutes ago, to check up on the progress of their tips, and the Music Hack Hivemind appears to have managed a pretty good strikerate thus far this year.


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Strange to relate, but not long ago, plenty of people were tipping Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong as the next big thing. I was looking at the BBC Sound Of 2008 list a few minutes ago, to check up on the progress of their tips, and the Music Hack Hivemind appears to have managed a pretty good strikerate thus far this year.


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Round these parts there’s a feeling (generated mostly, it must be admitted, from my desk) that Joanna Newsom’s second album, “Ys”, is one of the very best albums released this decade. It was with immense pleasure, then, that we discovered Newsom would be playing a special Sunday lunchtime set at Latitude.


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An interesting post on the Endless Boogie blog over the weekend. “[Endless Boogie] Sounds like a more psyched up Stackwaddy or Edgar Broughton Band Wasa Wasa (which is a good thing),” writes Dave C, “but IMHO if you want real brain crushing psych rock you NEED to get ‘Dead In The Water’ by The Heads, easily the best thing I’ve heard all year.”


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When we were talking about Coldplay the other day, one of the regulars, Jamesewan, posted some thoughts which suggested that the British music scene “has been in a kind of depression for a while now.” It’s not something I worry about a great deal, to be honest, since I don’t really care where the records I like come from – and they usually come from America, realistically.


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From a British music biz perspective, it’s hard to imagine anything else going on this week beyond the small matter of that Coldplay record. This morning, though, a sobering corrective arrived in my inbox. In America, the email announced, “Lil Wayne has broken Mariah Carey’s record for the highest opening album sales of the year. He has sold in one day what Mariah sold in her entire week.” That’s 420,000 sales, incidentally; something for Chris Martin, Guy Hands and their competitive chums to aim for, I guess.


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It’s easy to lose track of actual release dates up here in the ivory tower, but I believe tomorrow is the day that Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” finally comes out. Hence, I guess, the exponential ramping-up of all the furrowed-brow pontificating that seems to be going on about the band all over the internet today, provoked in many places by Andy Gill’s 2,000-word assassination of the band in this morning’s copy of The Independent.


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So this is what we’ve played thus far this week: a glut of hip-hop; a few selections from the private collections of John Robinson and Mark Bentley; a Walter Becker solo album that doesn’t quite cut it next to all those wonderful Steely Dan and Donald Fagen records; and a Radiohead cover of Portishead, which makes this an uncharacteristically prophetic blog.


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The 43rd Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...