Tomorrow, I'm off to the Edinburgh Film Festival. I've got loads of fond memories of previous years -- many of them, I have to admit, caught up in Scotland's marvellous, forward-thinking policy towards pub opening times -- but this year's festival promises a bundle of fine films.
As I've mentioned before here, the marketing department next door aren't too fond of the primordial swamp jams that come out of the New Weird America, and for the past couple of weeks they've been particularly aggravated by the new album by Sunburned Hand Of The Man.
This week's new festival is, in the words of promoter Tom Baker (no, not that one), a "psychedelic Summer fete".
So, we're promised welly golf, hog roasts, a jumble sale along side some Acid Folk in the shape of Vetiver and Bat For Lashes, plus a strong mix of cutting-edge names including Battles, the Aliens and Four Tet.
Sad news of course this weekend, with the passing of Tony Wilson. I can't add much to Stephen Dalton's excellent obit. But I thought it'd be a useful tribute to put online the full Factory Catalogue that we compiled for Uncut's recent Book Of Revelations.
I must admit, I never thought I'd end up at the Cross Kings pub in King's Cross, North London. It used to be a place called The Backpackers, and every time I drove past it there appeared to be 200 Australians in a heap outside. Very macho, very rugby. Not really for me.
The first time I heard Devendra Banhart, I remember thinking that there was something ineffably creepy about him. I loved "Oh Me Oh My. . .", but it felt an eerie, almost malign record, and the impression was compounded at his first London show, supporting Michael Gira. Banhart didn't seem dangerous, exactly, but his otherness was somehow disturbing, as well as compelling.
I remembered to bring in some Lee Hazlewood this morning, so we're starting the day with "Requiem For An Almost Lady". John Robinson, our Reviews Editor, just told me how he once received a "hate fax" from the great man, after calling him, affectionately, a "prickly old bastard" in a live preview.
It's been a couple of months since I wrote about Robert Wyatt's excellent "Comicopera", which still isn't out until October. In the meantime, one of Wyatt's old sparring partners has sneaked under the wire ahead of him. Kevin Ayers, of all people, has a new album out at the start of September, and it's rather good.
I haven't done one of these playlists for a week or so, and there are plenty of interesting things that have arrived here in the interim. So these are the records that have put us off work on the next issue thus far today. I'll be writing about a few of them over the next few days, apart from one which sounded pretty dull and which I won't mention here to try and retain the, y'know, positive vibes. . .
It's just occurred to me that, for the past week or so, a lot of the stuff I've been writing about has been by either female singer/songwriters (PJ Harvey, Linda Thompson) or splattery noise/drone bands from the States (Cloudland Canyon, White Rainbow, Magik Markers).
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...