Reading a magazine this morning, I noticed that there are a bunch of tribute shows to Elliott Smith coming up; ostensibly I guess to commemorate the fact that, horrifyingly, the tenth anniversary of his death is coming up in a couple of months.


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Nuts week. A lot to recommend and check out here, including plenty of Youtube and Soundcloud links. Among the auspicious comebacks, one that’s slightly obscured is Cavern Of Anti-Matter, who feature Tim Gane and his old bandmate from the first Stereolab lineup, Joe Dilworth.


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I was reading this interesting Wilco piece a few days ago, which talks about how Jeff Tweedy has parlayed cult success into what appears to be a viable business model. It made me think of the strategies used by Mark Kozelek these past few years: how he keeps a steady stream of music, predominantly live albums, coming through his Caldo Verde label to satisfy his obsessive fans (and I suspect Kozelek fans tend to be by nature obsessive; I know I am).


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The cover image of Promised Land Sound’s debut album, an old Nashville street map, clearly asserts the geographic and aesthetic loyalties of Sean Thompson, Joey Scala, Evan Scala and Ricardo Alesio, and their press biog has the requisite classy endorsement from local grandee Jack White's Third Man Records.


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The new issue of Uncut should be in UK shops today, with an exclusive in-depth look at the new entry in Dylan’s Bootleg Series, plus Nilsson, Canned Heat, Morrissey, Armando Iannucci, Linda Thompson, Julianna Barwick and, I’m particularly pleased to say, Rocket From The Crypt. More here…


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At 7pm on the first night of Atoms For Peace’s London residency, the Amok Drawing Room has already sold out of commemorative mugs. The Enterprise pub across the road from the Roundhouse has been rebranded in expressionist monochrome, and an upstairs room has been upholstered in Stanley Donwood wallpaper, the better to sell exquisite £500 prints, t-shirts screenprinted while-you-wait, and a pointedly apocalyptic jigsaw puzzle.


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Gearing up for the Atoms For Peace show tonight with this lot: please note (and in some cases listen to) new Forest Swords, Feral Ohms (another Ethan Miller band, this one very much in the Comets On Fire zone) and a reissue for Robbie Basho’s long-unavailable first Windham Hill album. The Desert Heat record sounds better with every play, too…


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No, unfortunately “Bright Phoebus” isn’t being reissued. But what prompted me to dig it out this week was the news of Bright Phoebus Revisited, a concert tour this autumn that promises the album recreated live by every Waterson they could find, along with various guests including Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley. The dates are London Barbican (11), Warwick Arts Centre (12), Liverpool Philharmonic Hall (14), Brighton Dome (15) and Bristol Colston Hall (16). Could be interesting: amazing record.


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When unpleasant right-wing governments seize control by one means or another, a lot of wishful thinking often goes on among radical artists. Hard times, they speculate, will encourage a new counterculture; angry political art will flourish in the face of oppression. We heard a lot of this rhetoric from dissenters trying to put a positive gloss on the election of David Cameron in 2010. But as yet, a provocative cultural revolt against the Tories, if there is one, remains too underground to register on most radar.


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A couple of days late this week, thanks to an epic proofreading job on the next Uncut Ultimate Music Guide; this one’s on the subject of Depeche Mode, and will be in UK shops on the last day of July.


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Editor's Letter

The 35th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Weird serendipities aplenty this week: versions of "O, Death" on two albums I downloaded one after another, by Mike & Cara Gangloff and Bessie Jones; dovetailing into Sea Island overlap between Jones and Loscil. It makes for a nice blurring between time and genre with, say, the Gangloffs...