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.
What sounded like the roof coming off the house sometime in the early hours of last Sunday morning during what you can only hope was the last of the winter’s great storms woke me with a start, stirring me from a hugely disturbing dream in which I was on Mastermind answering questions in my specialist round on The Vicar of Dibley, Seasons 1-3 (1994-2007).
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.
There’s a very good feature in the current Uncut on the making of XTC’s “Making Plans For Nigel”, which reminded me of a time when I was often in their company, usually in far flung corners of the world, far from their Swindon homes, including the following adventure.
Something like two decades ago, when I was Features Editor of NME and making some pragmatic decisions involving coverage of second and third-tier Britpop bands, I had a kind of argument with Laurence Bell, the owner of the Domino label.
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.
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...