Uncut Editor's Diary
Nick Cave, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead in the new Uncut
We’ve just had our copies of the new issue dropped off in the office, ahead of it going on sale later this week. Nick Cave’s on the cover, glowering menacingly. John Robinson went down to Brighton, where, as John memorably tells us, Nick lives in a house that’s ‘large and white, much as Russia in winter is large and white’. The occasion for Uncut dropping in on Cave was the release of Lawless, the terrific – and terrifically violent - new movie directed by Nick’s long-time collaborator, John Hillcoat, for which Cave has written the snappy screenplay.
John found Cave in expansive mood, however, and the interview ranges over all areas of his work, including his abiding preoccupations as a songwriter, his hilariously short-lived acting career, previous film work, including The Proposition, which he also wrote for Hillcoat, the bonkers screenplay he was asked by Russell Crowe to write for a sequel to Gladiator and the soundtracks he has composed with Warren Ellis of The Dirty Three, who are also interviewed.
There’s also a track by track guide to the brilliant Lawless soundtrack, which features contributions from Mark Lanegan, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson and 85 year-old bluegrass veteran Ralph Stanley, who turns in spellbinding covers of The Velvet Underground’s “White Light/White Heat” and Captain Beefheart’s “Sure ‘Nuff’N Yes I Do”, with the rest of the content supplied by The Bootleggers, the band specially-convened by Cave and Ellis for the project.
Elsewhere in the issue, there’s a hefty review I’ve written of Bob Dylan’s tremendous new album, Tempest, which Uncut was finally allowed to listen to again after the sneak preview we had of it a few months ago. Tempest leads off a typically busy review section, which includes new releases from Grizzly Bear, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Calexico, The xx, Animal Collective and Cat Power. In our Archive session, meanwhile, David Cavanagh gets to grips with the first 12 Frank Zappa/Mothers Of Invention albums, re-mastered as part of a reissue campaign that sees 60 of his recordings re-released in batches of a dozen a month until the end of the year, John Lewis is fascinated by the three-CD plus DVD 35th Anniversary box set of The Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks and Neil Spencer introduces Bill Wilson, whose 1973 album Ever Changing Minstrel is an obscure gem, rescued from obscurity by the admirable folk at Tompkins Square.
Among this month’s features, we have an amazing guide to the Grateful Dead’s live archive, a vast repository of material that includes over 100 official live albums and numberless bootlegs. We also drop in on David Byrne and St Vincent in New York to discuss their new Love This Giant collaboration, Andy Gill looks at the strange and wonderful world of Vivian Stanshall, Ian Hunter talks us through his classic albums, we’re up for the craic with the story of The Dubliners, Mike Nesmith holds court in An Audience With and John Cooper Clarke guides us through the writing and recording of his classic track, “Beasley Street”.
This month’s CD, before I go, is also ful of great stuff, including tracks from new albums by Calexico, Patterson Hood, Mark Eitzel, Dinosaur Jr, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Jon Spencer, Dan Stuart, James Yorkston, The Oh Sees and Catherine Irwin.
The new Uncut is on sale from Friday, August 24. Hope you enjoy it!
Nick Cave pic: Sam Jones