George Clooney's latest film as both actor and director, The Monuments Men, opens in the UK later this week, so it seemed an appropriate moment to dig out this interview I conducted for the late Uncut DVD in New York with Clooney around the release of 2005's Good Night, And Good Luck and Syriana.
Nick Offerman, a 43-year-old actor with a splendid moustache and a key role in what might currently be America’s best sitcom, is an interesting guy. Last year, he wrote and starred in a video for the mediocre LA indie-punk band Fidlar, in which he goes on an extended urinating spree.
This week’s excuse for briskness is I have a longish review of Real Estate to write for the mag, but some good news in here: not least the appearance of a mighty stash of Fela Kuti albums on Bandcamp and some predictably weird mixtapes, compiled by John Fahey, fetching up on Soundcloud.
The new issue of Uncut went on sale at the end of last week, with a cover story by Peter Watts on The Ramones that celebrates the 40th anniversary of a band of punk misfits from Forest Hills, New York, who revolutionised rock’n’roll, the opening lines of one of whose earliest songs, “Blitzkrieg Bop”, gives its name to this month’s free CD.
Fans of BBC’s Sherlock will know that the legendary detective has what he calls a Memory Palace, in which he is given to roam around, looking usually for clues to mysteries galore. My own equivalent is a sort of Memory Shed, where I am inclined to potter, most recently after reading Peter Watts’ excellent cover story on The Ramones in the current Uncut.
If you were looking for a unifying thread running through HBO’s excellent new series, True Detective, then it might well be to do with faith: those who have it, those who don’t and those who may well be exploiting it for their own ends.
I was struck by a couple of tweets this morning from Peter Watts (@peter_watts and the author of this month’s Ramones cover story in Uncut). The first ran, “I read the word 'liminal' in the Standard the other day. I think that's psychogeography's 'hippie wigs in Woolworths' moment.”
Strong haul of rad gumbo here, as we’ve taken to saying. Never thought I’d want to hear another Hold Steady album after the last one, but “Teeth Dreams” pretty much reaffirmed the faith. And if you’re that way inclined, I can recommend the new Men album, too; their best, I think.
The new issue of Uncut arrives in UK shops this Friday – though subscribers should hopefully find their copies plonking through the letter box a day or two early. We celebrate 40 years of the Ramones with an extensive cover story by Peter Watts, who’s interviewed surviving band members as well as many of their co-conspirators, friends and peers. To compliment Peter’s terrific piece, we’ve compiled a list of the 50 Greatest American Punk Albums (plus singles and compilations), from the pivotal years of 1975 to 1983.
There’s a story about Brendan Gleeson meeting unsuccessfully with a Hollywood agent to discuss furthering his acting career overseas. This was in the mid-Nineties, and until then Gleeson had largely worked in television, mostly in his native Ireland, with only a handful of minor film roles to his credit. Admittedly, Gleeson had come late to acting: he’d been a secondary school teacher in Dublin before taking up acting full time in 1991 and was now in his early forties.
There's a song on this new Purling Hiss album, playing again now, that sounds more or less like "Debaser" played by Dinosaur Jr. Along with the intensely spirited debut by Mary Timony's Ex-Hex and a comp of the pre-...