To be a fan of Gillian Welch, as many Uncut readers will appreciate, requires an uncommon degree of faithfulness and patience. In 18 years, she has released just five albums; given that the gap between the last one (2011’s The Harrow And The Harvest) and its predecessor (2003’s Soul Journey) ran to eight years, a follow-up may still be some way off.
Some highlights to see/hear this week: Neil Young playing “Thrasher” for the first time (technically, second time I think) in 36 years; well over an hour of amazing Can footage from 1970; the new Jack White track; and Olga Bell’s album, which seems to suggest that I prefer the Dirty Projectors, or at least their spin-offs, when the singing is in Russian.
Lots to get stuck into this week, though I think it’s worth drawing special attention to the superb William Tyler EP and, in the week the Pixies announce a newish album, a pointedly excellent Kim Deal track with Morgan Nagler.
I’ve alluded a few times in recent weeks to the excellence of the forthcoming “Spiderland” boxset, and especially to the Lance Bangs documentary, “Breadcrumb Trail”, which it contains. “Breadcrumb Trail” tells the odd, low-key, long-obfuscated tale of Slint, revealing much without entirely dismantling the band’s mystique, and focusing on the band’s drummer Britt Walford.
Being a bit of a broken record here: a proliferation of Hurray For The Riff Raff albums this week, since I’m writing a review of the fantastic “Small Town Heroes” at the moment. Plenty of new stuff as well, though, at least some of it recommended, with strong reference to Toumani Diabaté and his son Sidiki’s kora duets, and to the tantalising extract from a Fennesz album that’s being explicitly pitched as the follow-up to “Endless Summer”…
Another song this week from what’s rapidly shaping up to be one of my favourite 2014 albums, Hurray For The Riff-Raff’s “Small Town Heroes”. Have a look, too, at the trailer for Lance Bangs’ Slint documentary, “Breadcrumb Trail”, which is the music film I’ve enjoyed most since the Source Family doc.
For a while this week, it looked like I might be able to post a playlist entirely consisting of new entries, at least until I got dragged back into playing the Ryley Walker. But hey, look at all this, not least the clip of Shirley Collins’ first live performance in 30 years, which just showed up.
Another one of the annoying redacted albums uncovered this week, in the shape of Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, on the first few listens possibly superior to the last Animal Collective set. I wish you could hear more of Angel Deradoorian on it, though: her “Mind Raft” EP from a few years back is maybe my favourite release from the extended Dirty Projectors collective.
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...