There’s a scene in Cormac McCarthy's novel No Country For Old Men, where sheriff Ed Tom Bell and his deputy arrive at the site of a particularly grisly murder. “It’s a mess, ain’t it sheriff?” asks the deputy. Surveying the corpses and the wreck of a burned out SUV, Bell replies, “If it ain’t, it’ll do till a mess gets here.”
Celebrating anniversaries has, I guess, become second nature in the music industry now. A quick pass through the reviews pages in the last couple of issues of Uncut reveal anniversary reissues and special editions for Nirvana, Billy Bragg, Tears For Fears, R.E.M, Four Tet and Bob Marley.
A lot of things can happen when you watch The Necks, the magnificent Australian improvising trio, play live. Sometimes, you can become fixated on prosaic details: how does Tony Buck’s left hand keep vibrating that shaker onto his drumkit at such an ecstatic velocity for so long, for instance? Do they have hidden clocks that allow them to move so elegantly to a conclusion without appearing to even acknowledge each other’s presence, let alone look at one another? Will unzipping my coat be an unacceptably noisy intervention?
Avatar has much to answer for. Blue-skinned aliens aside, James Cameron’s film was famously heralded (at least by the PR team) as the future of cinema – a digital epic to change the shape of the modern blockbuster.
We’re all still reeling from the shocking news of Lou Reed’s death on Sunday. Reading through the tributes that have poured in over the last few days, the one that’s resonated most with me came from John Cale, who in his wise and moving testimonial to his old sparring partner, wrote: “we have the best of our fury laid out on vinyl, for the world to catch a glimpse”. We’ll be running out own full tribute to Lou in a future issue of Uncut.
After raving about the new Alasdair Roberts and White Fence albums on the past few lists, I’m pleased to have some tracks from them this week, along with really excellent new arrivals from Kevin Morby and Ryley Walker.
As you may have seen, this week’s NME features the 2013 edition of their 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. For this one, they also accepted votes from a bunch of the mag’s alumni, including me, so I thought it’d be an easy, albeit self-indulgent, blog to reproduce my Top 50 albums here.
To Hammersmith, and the launch of The Who’s super deluxe edition of Tommy at Riverside Studios. Tonight, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey are attending a special screening of Sensation – The Story Of The Who’s Tommy, a new documentary about the album due for broadcast this Friday [October 25].
In his excellent Uncut review of the Morrissey “Autobiography”, Michael alludes to the get-out clause afforded rock memoirists post-“Chronicles”: why bother obfuscating certain awkward details when you can, by being capricious with time and chronology, just skip the difficult stuff?
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...