John Mulvey

The 36th Uncut Playlist Of 2014



The 36th Uncut Playlist Of 2014

No point in messing about this week: scroll down to hear new music from, among others, Neil Young, Cool Ghouls, Bryan Ferry, Frazey Ford, Kendrick Lamar, Joan Shelley and the extremely promising D.D. Dumbo, plus a couple of amazing full gigs from Hiss Golden Messenger and a Purling Hiss/Spacin' supersession, both courtesy of the invaluable www.nyctaper.com.


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Michael Bonner

The BFI London Film Festival 2014: Music Films Preview!



The BFI London Film Festival 2014: Music Films Preview!

Björk, Nas, the French House music scene and a beguiling tribute to the work of Alan Lomax are among the highlights of this year's BFI London Film Festival. Watch the trailers below.


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John Mulvey

Inside this month's new Uncut…



Inside this month's new Uncut…

A month, perhaps, of surprises. On the rather intimidating new Scott Walker and Sunn O))) album, there appears to be a joke about Michael Flatley's testicles. Somewhere in the elevated aesthetics of Kate Bush's Before The Dawn, there's an equally dubious comedy routine that hinges on the punchline, "HP and mayo, it's the badger's nadgers." And then, just as we were finishing the new issue of Uncut (out today in the UK, as you may have seen), a U2 album suddenly materialised in iTunes, a bullish play to reassert them as the biggest pop group in the world.


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John Mulvey

The 35th Uncut Playlist Of 2014



The 35th Uncut Playlist Of 2014

Weird serendipities aplenty this week: versions of "O, Death" on two albums I downloaded one after another, by Mike & Cara Gangloff and Bessie Jones; dovetailing into Sea Island overlap between Jones and Loscil. It makes for a nice blurring between time and genre with, say, the Gangloffs using esoteric strategies to achieve a similar kind of transcendence that Jones and the Georgia Sea Island Singers reach through more orthodox, albeit uncommonly raw, Gospel routes in these Lomax recordings from the early '60s.


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Michael Bonner

"I'm a closet optimist": An audience with Leonard Cohen, September 16, 2014, London



"I'm a closet optimist": An audience with Leonard Cohen, September 16, 2014, London

All Leonard Cohen wants for his 80th birthday is a cigarette. He smoked, he estimates, for around 50 years, before he gave up a decade or so ago. “I think a lot about smoking,” he reflects. “I’m thinking about it right now.”


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Michael Bonner

On the return of Sinéad O’Connor



On the return of Sinéad O’Connor

When Sinéad O’Connor tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live in 1992, she brought into focus her gifts for music, controversy and self-publicity in one fairly explosive package.


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John Mulvey

"Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye": Cosimo Matassa 1926-2014



"Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye": Cosimo Matassa 1926-2014

Among my post last week, I received a nice care package from Ace Records that included one quite weird Duke Ellington album ("My People"); Volume 3 of their "Where Country Meets Soul" series (I cannot recommend Ralph ''Soul'' Jackson's version of ''Jambalaya'' highly enough); and, maybe best of all, "Cracking The Cosimo Code", a collection of extraordinary music originating from Cosimo Matassa's New Orleans studio in the 1960s.


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Michael Bonner

Jim Jarmusch on Neil Young, Tom Waits, Jack White and Joe Strummer...



Jim Jarmusch on Neil Young, Tom Waits, Jack White and Joe Strummer...

With Jim Jarmusch's 1986 film, Down By Law, re-released in cinemas this week, it seemed like an opportune moment to post my interview with the director, for our An Audience With... feature in the March 2014 issue of Uncut.


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John Mulvey

The 34th Uncut Playlist Of 2014



 The 34th Uncut Playlist Of 2014

Thanks for all the nice feedback about the Liam Hayes/Plush piece I wrote earlier in the week. Lots of other good new arrivals in the list here, and you could do worse than start off by listening to the Cool Ghouls from San Francisco, especially if you're interested in the Allah-Las, the Ty Segall axis, Nuggets ad nauseam and so on.


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John Mulvey

"One way to make a duck salute!" An enigma returns…



"One way to make a duck salute!" An enigma returns…

I received an email last week from an old college friend, with a link to the Souncloud page of Liam Hayes & Plush, and an amused/irate message along the lines of, "One of your two jobs in life was meant to be to flag me when he releases anything/makes any move out of his lair."


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Editor's Letter

D'Angelo's "Black Messiah": some first thoughts


When Thom Yorke sneaked out his new solo album a few months back, I managed to hold out for 66 hours before writing a review of "Tomorrow's Modern Boxes". Since waking up...