Allan Jones

The Felice Brothers At The 100 Club



They look, famously, on the cover of last year’s Tonight At The Arizona album, like the wayward off-spring of The Band, with whose songs and music their own colourful excursions into the hinterlands of ‘the old, weird America’, as essayed by Bob and The Band on The Basement Tapes, are frequently compared.


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John Mulvey

The 22nd Uncut Playlist Of 2008



You might remember that last week’s playlist contained a Mystery Record, sternly embargoed and so on by the record company, thoroughly underwhelming to listen to. A few of you had a decent stab at guessing the high-security identity of the artist(s), suggesting I was sat on new MP3s by The Verve, Bob Dylan produced by Rick Rubin, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, The Wu-Tang Clan, Blur, Oasis, Ride, Guns N’ Roses, Prince, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Kraftwerk or Rage Against The Machine.


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John Mulvey

The Hold Steady: "Stay Positive" Continued, Plus "Ask Her For Adderall"



After my first thoughts on “Stay Positive”, we’re continuing to unpick a record that I’m now suspecting is The Hold Steady’s masterpiece. Allan has been even more dedicated in the pursuit of meaning than I have, assiduously studying John Cassavetes’ “Opening Night”, since Craig Finn mentioned that it had a critical influence on his lyrics, most explicitly in "Slapped Actress".


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John Mulvey

My Morning Jacket: More On "Evil Urges", ATO Reissues, Tortuous Hand-Wringing Etc



Since I wrote about My Morning Jacket’s “Evil Urges” a few weeks back (comparing it unfavourably to the Fleet Foxes debut), I’ve been thinking about the band and the record a lot. Picking up Billboard this morning (not a regular habit, rest assured), I found them staring awkwardly out of the cover. Jim James could barely be spotted in the accompanying feature, overwhelmed by laudatory quotes from a great swathe of on-message, optimum-strategising execs and some head-spinning stats suggesting that, yes, they were set to break into the biggish league in America sometime later in the summer.


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Win tickets to this year's Latitude Festival!



WIN! TICKETS FOR LATITUDE 2008!

Latitude is now only a matter of weeks away. And as our comrades at the summer’s best festival put the finishing touches to the bill, it seems a good time to offer you the chance to win a pair of tickets for the four-day event, held – in case you’ve forgotten – at Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk between July 17 and 20.


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Michael Bonner

Sydney Pollack, 1934 – 2008



It’s not immediately clear quite where Sydney Pollack fits into the scheme of things. As one of the generation of film-makers who flourished in the Sixties and Seventies, there’s nothing on his CV as canonical as, say, Taxi Driver or The Godfather, no real sense of him breaking the same kind of ground as his peers. Even the Evening Standard’s film critic Derek Malcolm, interviewed this morning on Radio 4’s Today programme, admitted the movies which most people would associate with Pollack – Out Of Africa and Tootsie – were ultimately rather “bland”.


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John Mulvey

James Blackshaw: "Litany Of Echoes"



I was writing, not for the first time, about Howlin Rain the other week, and admitted that my preoccupation with the band had a certain stalkerish intensity. As I begin yet another blog about James Blackshaw, a London-based guitarist and so on, it strikes me that my prosletyzing on his behalf might be somehow detrimental to his career: a random google of his name would probably bring up this great weight of waffle from me, so hyperbolic that some might suspect we must be related.


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Latitude Festival: Yet More Additions!



The cultural extravaganza that is Latitude revealed another barrowload of new additions today. The excellent comedian Mark Steel will be delivering a "lecture" in the Literary Arena, while over in the Comedy Arena, the festival will be illuminated by performances from The Fast Show's Simon Day, Scott Capurro, Hans Teeuwen and Milton Jones.


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Michael Bonner

Cannes Film Festival -- final report



Though it lacked a clear favourite in the official competition selection, and offered some weaker entries in the rival Critics Week and Directors Fortnight sections, this year's Cannes Film Festival still delivered some interesting movies.

Nothing blew anyone away, mind -- which would have been tricky after last year's amazing 60th anniversary celebrations. But there was confirmation that the newer wave of Cannes discoveries were following up on early promise (Belgium's Dardenne brothers and Turkey's Nuri Bilge Ceylan both scored on awards night, with script and directing gongs respectively). Indeed, the field was so wide open that even the favourite to win, the Israeli animated doc Waltz With Bashir, didn't drop too many jaws when it not only failed to win the Palme D'Or but anything at all. Instead, top-dog honours went to The Class by Laurence Cantet, a superb fly-on-the-wall drama about a teacher coming to terms with his downtrodden students.


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Allan Jones

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss in London



Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
London Wembley Arena
Thursday, May 22 2008

“Good evening” says Robert Plant, flinging back a mane of tangled hair from his face, early on in tonight’s extraordinary show. “And welcome to. . .” he goes on, and pauses. “Well, I don’t know what it is,” he says then with a smile that before it’s finished turns into a grin, and a big one at that, visible evidence of a man clearly enjoying what he’s doing, even if he can’t put a name to it. “But you’re welcome to it,” he adds, “whatever it is.”


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Newsletter


Editor's Letter

Robert Plant, Tom Petty, The Beatles, King Crimson, Bobby Womack: inside the new Uncut!


Welcome to the new issue of Uncut! John’s on holiday this week – he was last seen disappearing into darkest Gloucestershire – so it falls to me to show you around this month's edition instead.

Our exclusive cover story finds us catching up with Robert Plant...