Irish troubadour Rice distinguished himself from the weedy, confessional singer-songwriter pack early on with his debut album from 2002, ‘O’, working strings, gnarled blues and sexual frankness into his contemporary folk mix.
To be honest, the success of Rilo Kiley has been pretty bewildering to me up 'til now. Much as I liked Jenny Lewis' country solo album, "Rabbit Fur Coat", I never grasped the appeal of her band. For all her likeable LA snarkiness, their music always sounded like a grey jangle; as if the American mainstream had embraced, what, The Sundays maybe, as the future of music. Quite strange, but in quite a dull way.
Reeling somewhat from the news that Bob Dylan has permitted Mark Ronson to remix "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)", it occurs to me that there's not much time to file a blog today. Here, instead, is what we've played today in the Uncut office -
A morning for gentle music, this, after last night's Uncut birthday party where The Hold Steady played in our striking rooftop canteen. They were great, as you might imagine, barrelling through 30 minutes of songs (a fraught, euphoric "Stuck Between Stations" was my highlight) with all the gusto that, apparently, sent Glastonbury mad.
One of the first festivals I covered not long after joining Melody Maker in 1974 was in Buxton, a bleak outpost on the Yorkshire Moors, headlined by Rod Stewart and The Faces, as they were increasingly billed after the departure of Ronnie Lane and not long before Rod himself legged it to LA and a subsequent solo career of great success if variable artistic merit.
Christian rock may sound distinctly unpalatable, but Californian quartet Cold War Kids have achieved both critical credibility and a massive fan base while singing (obliquely) about such subjects as sexual abstinence, teetotalism and original sin.
I’ve mentioned here previously the time in 1979 I went to see Lou Reed at what was then still known as the Hammersmith Odeon when he reacted testily to requests from the crowd to play their favourite numbers by announcing that he would under no circumstances be playing anything else that night apart from his new album, The Bells, so there would, he repeated emphatically, no “Heroin”, “Sweet Jane”, “Walk On The Wild Side” or any of the other numbers so many people had obviously come to hear him perform.
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-...