Not uncharacteristically, I’ve spent the past few days repressing a bunch of unnecessary rage about the publicity afforded the BBC’s Sound Of 2013 poll. Not so much because of the artists selected, but because of the way it effectively presents an ultimatum to new talent: have something resembling success in the next 12 months, or else people will weary of your miserable underachievement and move on to the next batch of hopefuls.


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A pretty amazing week of new arrivals kicked off with the arrival of the beautiful thing pictured above; the Third Man/Revenant Paramount Records box set (Volume One, I should note). Lots to talk about there, not least the 800 tracks, and once I’ve had a deeper and more extensive listen I’ll try and blog about it properly.


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The new issue of Uncut arrives in UK shops this Thursday - though, if you’re a subscriber, you might receive your copy a little earlier. Morrissey, as you’ll see, is on the cover, and David Cavanagh’s ostensibly picked up the plot where Autobiography left off, uncovering the inside story on what has turned out to be a very weird year indeed for the singer.


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The Neil Young Ultimate Music Guide that I wrote about here (along with a review of the forthcoming “Live At The Cellar Door” set) is on sale now, so I thought it might be useful to post a sampler of what you might expect in this Uncut special: namely, this piece by me on 1996’s underrated “Broken Arrow”. Every Neil album is reviewed in comparable detail – you can find details of where to buy the mag here


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Moving swiftly through another craven plug for our Neil Young Ultimate Music Guide, a mostly decent list this week, with a few strong new entries from Rosanne Cash, Africa Express, Matt Baldwin, and Thee Oh Sees, plus a welcome expanded reissue from Hiss Golden Messenger.


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You are, I guess, never finished with Neil Young. A few weeks ago, as we were wrapping up an Uncut Ultimate Music Guide special dedicated to him, the news came through that Young was moving on again. Just as we thought we’d put together a comprehensive survey of all his recorded work, another Archives Performance Series release crept onto the schedules.


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Yesterday I posted an interview here with Cian Nugent that prompted a Twitter conversation about other records which operate in the fairly narrow space between Television’s “Marquee Moon” and Fairport Convention’s “A Sailor’s Life”. This morning I’ve collated all the suggestions into a Youtube playlist, which should keep you elevated for an hour or two.


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Cian Nugent & The Cosmos’ “Born With The Caul” is one of my favourite albums of the year, as I tried to explain as part of this blog from a month or so back. The album came out this week, anyhow, so I thought it was worth posting this Q&A with Cian here. Some really nice stuff on his influences, especially…


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Apologies for the frustrating gaps that appear in this week’s playlist. A lot of 2014 releases arriving in the office now, some of which haven’t been officially announced. As a consequence I have to keep their identities suppressed for the time being; I’ll try and fill in the missing words once these albums are formally unveiled.


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In haste again this week, but various delays in posting this have at least meant that the playlist has kept growing: 32 entries, with seven interesting things to listen to, including Neil Young and a couple of strong new artists, the pretty psych Morgan Delt and Matt Kivel, whose album reminds me a bit of the first one by Bon Iver.


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Editor's Letter

Introducing… Elvis Costello: The Ultimate Music Guide


In June 1977, Allan Jones of the Melody Maker took a familiar route to the offices of Stiff Records in West London. His appointment, that day, was with a notably irascible young singer-songwriter from Hounslow. In the course of a frequently startling interview, the man who had chosen to call...