A month, perhaps, of surprises. On the rather intimidating new Scott Walker and Sunn O))) album, there appears to be a joke about Michael Flatley's testicles. Somewhere in the elevated aesthetics of Kate Bush's Before The Dawn, there's an equally dubious comedy routine that hinges on the punchline, "HP and mayo, it's the badger's nadgers." And then, just as we were finishing the new issue of Uncut (out today in the UK, as you may have seen), a U2 album suddenly materialised in iTunes, a bullish play to reassert them as the biggest pop group in the world.


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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 using esoteric strategies to achieve a similar kind of transcendence that Jones and the Georgia Sea Island Singers reach through more orthodox, albeit uncommonly raw, Gospel routes in these Lomax recordings from the early '60s.


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Among my post last week, I received a nice care package from Ace Records that included one quite weird Duke Ellington album ("My People"); Volume 3 of their "Where Country Meets Soul" series (I cannot recommend Ralph ''Soul'' Jackson's version of ''Jambalaya'' highly enough); and, maybe best of all, "Cracking The Cosimo Code", a collection of extraordinary music originating from Cosimo Matassa's New Orleans studio in the 1960s.


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Thanks for all the nice feedback about the Liam Hayes/Plush piece I wrote earlier in the week. Lots of other good new arrivals in the list here, and you could do worse than start off by listening to the Cool Ghouls from San Francisco, especially if you're interested in the Allah-Las, the Ty Segall axis, Nuggets ad nauseam and so on.


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I received an email last week from an old college friend, with a link to the Souncloud page of Liam Hayes & Plush, and an amused/irate message along the lines of, "One of your two jobs in life was meant to be to flag me when he releases anything/makes any move out of his lair."


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After my blog about the Aphex Twin the other week, it's a real pleasure to embed the first leaked track from "Syro" this morning. It's called "minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]", and I think it's excellent.


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On Sunday, Kate Bush inadvertently staged a one-woman assault on the British charts. This week, 11 records in the Official UK Albums Chart are by Bush – not bad, really, for a woman who has only really released nine new studio albums in the past 36 years.


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Such has been the drooling media focus on Kate Bush this week, it might be tough to imagine British music journalists listening to anything else these past few days. I'm not, in fairness, exempt from the hysteria: here's my review of the second Before The Dawn show, in case you missed it (or avoided it) yesterday.


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Arcade Fire covered iconic blues artist Bo Diddley during their gig in Chicago on August 26.

Diddley - who passed away in 2008 - was synonymous with the Chicago blues scene, and Arcade Fire paid tribute to the legend by playing his 1957 song 'Who Do You Love?' during the first of two shows at the city's United Center. Click below to watch fan-shot footage of the cover version, which is the latest in a long line of similar performances during Arcade Fire's 'Reflektor' tour, seeing the band covering artists in their hometowns.


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Echo And The Bunnymen have announced details of UK tour dates in November and December as well as a one-off gig in Liverpool in 2015.

The band released new album 'Meteorites' in May and will start their tour in Brighton on November 25 before gigs in Sheffield, Glasgow, Nottingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Holmfirth, Newcastle and Birmingham.

Following the dates this year, the band will then play a homecoming show at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall on February 20.


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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...