Kenny Rogers has died, aged 81

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Country music star Kenny Rogers has died, aged 81.

According to a statement, he “passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family.”

In a career spanning more than six decades, Rogers released 39 albums and 80 singles, more than 20 of which reached No. 1 on the American country music charts. Two of them also reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100: “Lady” and “Islands In The Stream”, his 1983 duet with Dolly Parton.

He also won six Country Music Association awards and three Grammys.

The statement said that Rogers’ family are planning “a small private service at this time out of concern for the national Covid-19 emergency. They look forward to celebrating Kenny’s life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date.”

Charlie Parker – The Savoy 10-Inch LP Collection

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Incredible as it might seem to us today, the recording industry’s near-total failure to document the bebop revolution of the 1940s was caused by industrial action. Twice during that decade the American Federation Of Musicians successfully imposed a ban on all commercial recording, in pursuit of an attempt to persuade record companies to compensate musicians for the threat posed by radio broadcasts to opportunities for employment in clubs and concert halls. Among the boycott’s principal victims were Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and their comrades, whose music was captured scantily and erratically in the period in which they were propelling jazz into the future at warp speed.

Parker had made his first studio recordings in 1941, as a member of the Jay McShann Orchestra. His short solos gave vivid evidence that this was a 21-year-old musician with a radically different approach: hugely adventurous in his attitude to stretching harmony and subdividing rhythm, disdaining clichéd phrases and banal moods, setting puzzles for the listener. By the time he made his first recording for the Savoy label, as a member of the guitarist Tiny Grimes’s quintet in New York in September 1944, he had emerged as the totemic figure of a new idiom which was becoming a platform for virtuosos with a gift for the oblique.

Savoy was founded by the owner of a New Jersey electrical-goods store called Herman Lubinsky, who had spotted a market for records appealing predominantly to black audiences. By all accounts he was not a man inclined to generosity towards his jazz, blues and gospel artists. But at least he had the good sense to trust the taste of a group of keen-eared A&R men employed to scout, sign and supervise the recording of new talent.

Among them was Teddy Reig, who produced Parker’s first session under his own name for Savoy in November 1945. The six tracks featured a quintet billed as Charlie Parker’s Ree-Boppers, including a young and slightly unsteady Miles Davis on trumpet, with Gillespie occupying the piano stool and Max Roach on drums. Two pieces stick out in particular, both of them composed by Parker. One, “Now’s The Time” is a medium-tempo 12-bar blues based on a simple, swaggering riff recycled, four years later, into an R&B smash for Paul Williams, a saxophonist of baser instincts, under the title “The Huckle-Buck”.

The other, for which Davis stepped aside and Gillespie switched to trumpet, is “Ko-Ko”, a hurtling, high-velocity tune that encapsulated bop’s prevailing characteristic perhaps better than any other single recording: the fiendish technical complexity – more oblique angles than a geometry textbook, more weird accents than a Hungarian dictionary – intended to keep squares at bay. The speed and clarity of Parker’s articulation, his audaciously asymmetrical phrasing and the bittersweetness of his tone were all completely new, disconcerting his elders but irresistible to a legion of young followers.

A troubled sojourn in California – incorporating six months of treatment in a psychiatric hospital – took him away from the real action. On his return to New York in the spring of 1947 he resumed recording for Savoy, again under Reig’s supervision. A series of quintets featured the fast-maturing Davis with the damaged genius Bud Powell, John Lewis or Duke Jordan on piano, Tommy Potter, Nelson Boyd or Curley Russell on bass, and always the irreplaceable Roach on drums. The titles they recorded included Parker originals which became bop classics, including “Donna Lee”, “Cheryl” and “Steeplechase”. On one four-track session, released under Davis’s name, Parker switched to tenor sax, presumably at the trumpeter’s behest, in pursuit of a different front-line sound. It was a final Savoy session, in September 1948, that gave birth to one of his masterpieces: a medium-slow 12-bar blues titled “Parker’s Mood”, on which the altoist brought all his inventiveness and humanity to bear in a performance
of disciplined emotional intensity.

He had flown the Savoy coop by 1950 when Lubinsky, keen to exploit the new market for vinyl long-players, bundled together the Grimes, Parker and Davis sides, plus one track from a Bird-and-Diz concert at Carnegie Hall, into four 10-inch albums, released separately under Parker’s name and the title New Sounds In Modern Music – As Played By Its Creator, with a rather untypical portrait of a beaming and zoot-suited Parker on the front. If you wanted a set of the originals, you’d be fighting off Japanese collectors with very deep pockets. Instead, anticipating the celebration of his centenary this coming August, Savoy’s current owners have done a slap-up job of restoring the music and reproducing the original sleeves and labels, all enclosed in a stout slip-case.

Recorded in fairly rudimentary conditions, this music generally sounds its age. But if it’s true that Parker’s flame usually burned brightest in a live setting, inspired by a sense of competition, his Savoy studio masters – which his disciples bought on 78s and played at a slower speed in order to work out what it was that he was doing – are among the foundation stones of a movement that changed almost everything, marking the end of jazz as a purely recreational music.

Nadia Reid – Out Of My Province

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With Out Of My Province, Nadia Reid has created a folk-rock symphony from a spartan seed. Writing amid the alternate freedom and isolation she felt during extensive touring for 2017’s breakthrough Preservation, Reid channels the personal to universal effect. “They say that suffering will make a woman wiser/I have been asked if I am some sort of survivor,” she sings on “High & Lonely”, just one in a series of portraits where conflict gives way to enlightenment, and wisdom is revealed in an economical few lines. “All I know is I have kept myself steady/I walk that line between the darkness and the ready,” she concludes. Hers is just one woman’s journey, but this tightrope act between cautious hope and abject despair is a tale of every woman, a precarious balancing act that comprises our everyday modern existence.

New Zealander Reid is known for her arresting guitar-and-voice recordings, sounding as if they could have been tracked in 1969, 1999 or 2019. Her singing falls somewhere between the lithe grace of Tramp-era Sharon Van Etten and the power and drama of North Star Grassman-era Sandy Denny, alternately hushed and breathy, vibratory and meteoric. And Out Of My Province retains the earthen quality of her previous works, but with an added confidence, her words enunciated with a newfound assurance. “Since making my first record in 2014, I’ve become a more confident singer,” she explains. “The vocals, clarity and diction are a result of a clearer vision in the studio, too. We all agreed ‘song’ and ‘voice’ would be the main events.”

Reid traveled to Richmond, Virginia to record at the home studio of Matthew E White’s Spacebomb Records, under the guidance of producer Trey Pollard, who’s worked with White, Natalie Prass, Helado Negro and others. Both Reid and the Spacebomb operation have distinctive and readily identifiable sonic fingerprints: she is somber and minimal, while the Richmond collective lean towards the robust and groovy. Backed by the Spacebomb house band, and longtime guitarist Sam Taylor, the two sides meet in an effortless sublimity. Reid fleshes out her stripped-down origins with whispers of instrumentation and experiments with vocal phrasing, while Spacebomb’s signature multi-layered grooves are heard throughout, but in a folky paired-back form. Each of the album’s 10 songs manage to elegantly teeter without toppling into the overly referential or experimental sides of the sonic canyon. They recall the greats while also plotting a map of the future.

“Get The Devil Out”, about self-mutilation and self-acceptance, is a bare-faced soliloquy sung out in front of guitar picking and silken strings, spotlighting Reid’s full-throated lyrical promise that the forces of the world will, “never take it from me.” On “Oh Canada” we find her narrator in the momentum of love, galloping alongside drums, organ, bass, electric and acoustic guitar, and gentle brass accents. “I Don’t Wanna Take Anything From You” places her voice over a cinematic orchestra of electric guitar picking, brushed drums, bursts of strings and slivers of slide guitar, a dramatic rendering of nostalgia and hope for love and home. Reid’s talent for slyly flipping the lyrical script is evident throughout the album, but perhaps most gloriously in “The Future”. Over a march of acoustic guitar and snare taps she sings of women – a sister, a mother, a friend – and what they have experienced and shared, their anger, worry and hope. “I was waiting for you,” Reid repeats in between these character sketches. “To be better,” she concludes after the last recitation.

Above all else, Out Of My Province is an album of reflection and rebirth, of a woman finding her footing amid change and life’s big questions. Reid not only traveled extensively during its making, she also navigated a break-up, a move and the bridge between her mid- and late-twenties. Amid such rapid transformation, it happened that the only reliable constant was herself, and her maturing sense of that self. There are times when being alone prompts loneliness, but there are also times when it leads to a deluge of riches.

Watch the first instalment of Neil Young’s Fireside Sessions

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Neil Young has released the first instalment of his promised Fireside Sessions, featuring a number of acoustic performances recorded live at his home by his wife Daryl Hannah.

The six-song session kicks off with an outdoor rendition of “Sugar Mountain” before Young moves inside to play “Vampire Blues”, “Love Art Blues”, “Tell Me Why” and “Razor Love” on acoustic guitar and harmonica, before he moves to piano for a final “Little Wing”.

Along the way, he also reveals how he built his bespoke harmonica stand. Watch the full video here (you need to be subscribed to Neil Young Archives to watch).

Hear Dirty Projectors’ cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation”

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Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth has released an apposite cover of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band’s “Isolation”. Listen below:

The song is available for streaming and purchase exclusively on Bandcamp, with proceeds through April 3 going toward MusiCares’ Covid-19 relief fund to support musicians and music industry workers whose work has been disrupted by the crisis. Longstreth writes: “I encourage you to buy it (pay-what-you-wish) so we can be a part of helping combat this together”.

Today (March 20), Bandcamp is waiving its proceeds on music downloaded from the site in support of independent artists whose revenue streams may be affected by the pandemic. More details here.

Exclusive! Hear the debut solo track by Oh Sees’ Brigid Dawson

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Former Oh Sees vocalist and keyboard player Brigid Dawson will release her debut solo album Ballet Of Apes via Castle Face on May 22.

Hear the opening track, “Is The Season For New Incarnations”, exclusively below:

Credited to Brigid Dawson & The Mothers Network, Ballet Of Apes was recorded in Australia with Mikey Young (Total Control/Eddy Current Suppression Ring), in San Francisco with Mike Donovan (ex Sic Alps), Shayde Sartin (ex Fresh & Onlys) and Mike Shoun (ex Oh Sees/Peacers), and in Brooklyn with psych-rockers Sunwatchers.

View the tracklisting below:

1. Is The Season for New Incarnations
2. The Fool
3. Carletta’s In Hats Again
4. When My Day of the Crone Comes
5. Ballet of Apes
6. Heartbreak Jazz
7. Trixxx

George Harrison: “He was on a spiritual journey”

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The new issue of Uncutavailable to order online by clicking here, with free home delivery for the UK – celebrates the remarkable solo years of George Harrison with an extensive 11-page feature. In all-new interviews with his closest collaborators, Graeme Thomson digs deep into Harrison’s working practices to cast new light on “the Quiet One” – from pioneering solo debut, Wonderwall Music, to the posthumous release, Brainwashed.

In this extract, collaborators recall the making of 1968’s Wonderwall Music – Harrison’s soundtrack to Joe Massot’s film about a mad professor and a Biba girl called Penny Lane, released three weeks before the ‘White Album’. With cameos from Eric Clapton and Peter Tork, it’s the first Fab solo record, the first album on Apple and a world music crossover before its time.

JOHN BARHAM [MUSICIAN/ARRANGER]:
Wonderwall… was primarily an extension of his love of Indian music. George became a pupil of Ravi Shankar and he impressed me as being a very respectful and disciplined student. He seemed at ease with the sitar. There were already obvious influences on Beatles songs like “Within You Without You” and “Blue Jay Way”.

DAVE MASON: George was an early adopter! He had done those wonderful Indian tracks on Revolver and Sgt Pepper, and was learning with Ravi Shankar. He gave me the sitar he’d first learned on. I used it on “Paper Sun”, Traffic’s first single.

BARHAM: Joe Massot offered him complete freedom in creating a music score for the film, and he took advantage. But it was obvious that George was still intensely involved in his creative work with The Beatles. When we were doing Wonderwall, The Beatles were using the same studio; they had it block-booked. There were times when George’s sessions finished and the other three Beatles would come in for an evening session. When this happened, George would become re-energised and go into a world apart with the other three that nobody else seemingly could enter. At one session I found a flugelhorn lying around the studio. It turned out to be Paul McCartney’s.

ROY DYKE [DRUMS, THE REMO FOUR]: We recorded backing tracks at Abbey Road to accompany certain points in the film. George had timed it all with a stopwatch: “We need one minute and 35 seconds with a country & western feel.” Or, “We need a rock thing for exactly two minutes.” Nothing was really written. We’d talk over ideas he wanted, play something, and he’d say, “That’s good, keep that. I like the piano there.” It was very experimental. There were different tracks with different atmospheres, and a few different sessions. The Indian musicians were recorded in Bombay. At another session he used Eric Clapton, who did a great riff on “Skiing”. I heard he borrowed a five-string banjo from Paul McCartney for Peter Tork to use!

BARHAM: Big Jim Sullivan, who was recording with Tom Jones at Abbey Road, happened to drop in and played bass on “On The Bed”. [It was] a free atmosphere, the sessions were very creative and very enjoyable. I was very impressed how well George had mastered [Indian classical] techniques. He had dropped in on one of Ravi Shankar’s recording sessions for the BBC/Jonathan Miller production of Alice In Wonderland at the Shepherd’s Bush BBC Centre, which I worked on. At the session we were recording a scene where Ravi soloed and I played an Indian jhala texture on piano. George was fascinated by the combination of sitar and piano, and subsequently at his house in Esher he asked me to play one of my own compositions based on jhala texture. He looked and listened very closely. Later at one of the Wonderwall sessions he very abruptly sat down at the piano and with great intensity started playing his own jhala over a chord sequence. We had many discussions about Indian philosophy and spirituality. I’m convinced that George was one of the very few people I’ve ever met who was on a spiritual journey.

You can read much more about George Harrison in the new issue of Uncut, on sale now.

Hear Paul Weller’s new song, “Earth Beat”

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Paul Weller’s 15th studio album On Sunset is due for release by Polydor on June 12.

Listen to a taster from the album, “Earth Beat” – featuring guest vocals from Col3trane – below:

On Sunset was written and recorded at Weller’s own Black Barn Studios in Surrey. It was produced by Jan “Stan” Kybert and Weller himself with help from Charles Rees, and string arrangements by Hannah Peel.

Most of the album sees Weller multi-tasking on various instruments with accompaniment from his regular band – Ben Gordelier, Andy Crofts and Steve Cradock. Guests include Slade’s Jim Lea on violin, Mick Talbot on Hammond organ, Le Superhomard’s Julie Gros on vocals, The Strypes’ Josh McClorey on guitar and The Staves on backing vocals. Four tracks also feature The Paraorchestra.

On Sunset will be released digitally, on CD, deluxe CD (includes extra tracks), double gatefold vinyl, coloured vinyl and cassette.

Watch Bruce Springsteen’s entire 2009 Hyde Park concert

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Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band have released their entire 2009 London Calling: Live In Hyde Park concert film in an effort to encourage fans to “practice social distancing”.

You can watch the whole thing below, or by following the link in the tweet above.

The Who reschedule UK tour for spring 2021

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The Who have rescheduled their UK arena tour for spring 2021.

It was originally due to start this month but was postponed last week due to coronavirus concerns. All tickets remain valid for the new dates below:

Friday 5th – 3 Arena Dublin
Monday 8th – M&S Bank Liverpool
Wednesday 10th – SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Friday 12th – Utilita Newcastle
Monday 15th – First Direct Arena Leeds
Wednesday 17th- RWA Birmingham
Monday 22nd – SSE Arena Wembley
Wednesday 24th – Motorpoint Arena Nottingham
Saturday 27th – Motorpoint Arena Cardiff
Monday 29th – Manchester Arena

Glastonbury 2020 cancelled due to coronavirus

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Glastonbury festival organisers have bowed to the inevitable and cancelled this year’s event due to the increasing spread of coronavirus.

“We are so sorry to announce this, but Glastonbury 2020 will have to be cancelled, and this will be an enforced fallow year for the festival,” wrote Michael and Emily Eavis. “Clearly this was not a course of action we hoped to take for our 50th anniversary event, but following the new government measures announced this week – and in times of such unprecedented uncertainty – this is now our only viable option.”

135,000 people had already paid a £50 deposit for a Glastonbury 2020 ticket, but all of those people will have the chance to roll over that deposit to next year’s festival, guaranteeing them a ticket. “Those who would prefer a refund of that £50 will be able to contact See Tickets in the coming days in order to secure that. This option will remain available until September this year.”

The Eavises went on to apologise to their “incredible crew and volunteers” and admitted that the cancellation would have “severe financial implcations… not just for us, but also the Festival’s charity partners, suppliers, traders, local landowners and our community.”

In other festival news, Red Rooster – which was due to take place at Euston Hall, Suffolk on May 28-30 – has been postponed and will now take place on September 4-6 at the same venue. Main headliners Richard Hawley and Asleep At The Wheel have confirmed they are available for the new dates and the festival say that are “working with agents and management to move the rest of the bill”.

All tickets will of be valid for the change of dates.

Uncut – May 2020

George Harrison, Syd Barrett, Lucinda Williams, Michael Kiwanuka, Roberta Flack and more – plus our CD of the month’s best music – all feature in the new Uncut, dated May 2020 and available to buy online and in UK shops from March 19.

GEORGE HARRISON: As the 50th anniversary of All Things Must Pass approaches, the Quiet One’s closest collaborators reveal all about his working practices from pioneering solo debut Wonderwall Music to the posthumous Brainwashed. We hear about recording sessions in a toilet, helicopter jaunts to the Grand Prix and the dark days after John Lennon’s assassination. “He was emerging from an incredible writing team,” one eyewitness explains, “but he suddenly came up with all this beautiful stuff!”

OUR CD! On Cloud Nine: 15 tracks of the month’s best music, including Lucinda Williams, Sufjan Stevens & Lowell Brams, James Elkington, Roedelius, BC Camplight, Waxahatchee, The Lovely Eggs and more.

UK readers! This issue of Uncut is available to buy by clicking here.

Overseas readers! This issue of Uncut is available to buy by clicking here.

Plus! Inside the issue, you’ll find:

SYD BARRETT by PINK FLOYD: 50 years on from his debut solo album, The Madcap Laughs, Barrett’s myth is as powerful as ever. Nick Mason remembers his mercurial brilliance, while Roger Waters recalls the creation of The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn

LUCINDA WILLIAMS: Uncut heads to Williams’ new home in Nashville to hear all about her history in the city, protest songs, empathy and her unflinching new album Good Souls Better Angels: “You have to be able to dig way down inside yourself,” she tells us

MICHAEL KIWANUKA: We catch up with the soulful, socially conscious singer on the road in Washington DC. Up for discussion are his journey from acoustic revivalist to electrified futurist, and his liberated third album, Kiwanuka. “In the beginning, I didn’t really know my potential…”

DAVID ROBACK RIP: From The Rain Parade to Mazzy Star, we chart the guitarist and songwriter’s influential, remarkable career, with help from some of his closest longstanding collaborators

SUZANNE VEGA: The making of “Luka”, an urban folk song about child abuse that became a worldwide hit

ROBERTA FLACK: The great singer and performer discusses her stunning debut First Take, now receiving a deluxe reissue and reviewed as our Archive Album Of The Month

THUNDERCAT: Album by album with the jazz-funk-soul maverick

BRIAN ENO: Together with his brother Roger Eno, the pair sit down to talk about their relationship, their music and new collaborative album Mixing Colours

In our expansive reviews section, we take a look at new records from James Elkington, Ed O’Brien, The Strokes, Jackie Lynn, Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela, Waxahatchee and more, and archival releases from The Handsome Family, Joni Mitchell, Kelis, Neil Innes, Rory Gallagher, Gentle Giant and others. We catch Elvis Costello & The Imposters live, along with the Rowland S Howard tribute concert, and also review films including Depeche Mode‘s Spirits In The Forest, Calm With Horses and The Painted Bird, and books on the Heartbreakers and John Entwistle.

In our front section, meanwhile, we report from the live tribute to Ginger Baker, catch up with Shirley Collins and Mark Lanegan, introduce our Wilcovered album on vinyl and meet Carson McHone. Meanwhile, Baxter Dury answers your questions and Jehnny Beth reveals the music that has shaped her life.

International readers can pick up a copy at the following stores:

And also online at:

Introducing the new Uncut: George Harrison, Lucinda Williams, Syd Barrett and more

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There’s a moment in Martin Scorsese’s documentary George Harrison: Living In The Material World where Harrison reflects, in archive footage, on the distance travelled during his remarkable career. “People say I’m the Beatle who changed the most,” he says. “But really that’s what I see life as being about. You have to change.”

Change, we learn, was always at the forefront of Harrison’s mind. Not so much ‘the quiet one’ as ‘the restless one’, he always appeared to be looking for the next thing. There’s George the early advocate of World Music, George the seeker of spiritual enlightenment, George the movie entrepreneur. For this month’s cover, his biographer Graeme Thomson offers a unique, intimate insight into George’s creative processes across his finest solo albums, aided by the recollections of many of his closest collaborators. But despite his many leaps, from All Things Must Pass to Traveling Wilburys and beyond, one eyewitness recalls George revealing, in a private moment, the ways in which his former outfit still affected him: “All I really wanted to do was to be in a band.”

The new Uncut: order a copy direct from us today

You’ll find plenty of other restless, innovative spirits in this issue. Syd Barrett’s mercurial brilliance is hymned by Nick Mason and Roger Waters, Brian and Roger Eno talk ambient music, colour-coded crossword clues and ELP, Lucinda Williams takes on Nashville, Michael Kiwanuka takes us on tour, David Roback’s singular musical vision in the Rain Parade, Opal and Mazzy Star is celebrated by friends and former bandmates, plus there’s Shirley Collins, Mark Lanegan, Suzanne Vega, Thundercat and more. Elsewhere, our writers are out in force in the reviews section, which features essential reports on excellent new albums from the likes of James Elkington, Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela and The Strokes as well as key reissues from Roberta Flack, the Handsome Family and Joni Mitchell.

There’s also another especially strong free CD with this month’s issue, with new music from Damaged Bug, the solo project from chief Oh See John Dwyer, Roedelius, Waxahatchee, BC Camplight, Monophonics, Sufjan Stevens (accompanied by his father-in-law, Lowell Brams) and Jackie Lynn – a hook up between Circuit Des Yeux’s Haley Fohr and Bitchin Bajas.

I’m also proud to report that on page 8, you’ll find the latest news about our Wilcovered compilation – which gets a vinyl release as part of Record Store Day in June. I’m hugely grateful to everyone who’s helped make this happen and even though I’m looking at an early pressing as I write this, I still can’t quite believe this has happened. Just once, please permit me to say this: I love my job.

Pretenders announce new album, Hate For Sale

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Chrissie Hynde has announced that the new Pretenders album Hate For Sale will be released by BMG on May 1.

Listen to lead track “The Buzz” below:

Speaking about “The Buzz”, Chrissie Hynde says: “I think we all know that love affairs can take on the characteristics of drug addiction. It’s about that. Not mine of course – I’m never obsessive never obsessive never obsessive.”

Hate For Sale was produced by Stephen Street and written collaboratively by Chrissie Hynde and guitarist James Walbourne. Peruse the tracklisting below:

‘Hate For Sale’
‘The Buzz’
‘Lightning Man’
‘Turf Accountant Daddy’
‘You Can’t Hurt a Fool’
‘I Didn’t Know When To Stop’
‘Maybe Love Is In NYC’
‘Junkie Walk’
‘Didn’t Want To Be This Lonely’
‘Crying in Public’

Watch Neil Young play “Heart Of Gold” live from his fireside

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Yesterday, Neil Young took part in a ‘digital rally’ in support of Bernie Sanders, playing “Heart Of Gold” live from his home. You can watch Young’s segment at 38:15 on the video below.

The livestream also featured Jim James of My Morning Jacket (5:12) and The Free Nationals (1:02:19).

Neil Young has revealed that there will be more where this came from. Posting on Neil Young Archives, he wrote: “Because we are all at home and not venturing out, we will try to do a stream from my fireplace with my lovely wife filming. It will be a down-home production, a few songs, a little time together.” He is expected to announce the first livestream in the coming days.

Watch a video for Modern Nature’s new song, “Flourish”

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Modern Nature have announced a new seven-track mini-album called Annual, due for release by Bella Union on June 5.

Watch a video for lead track “Flourish” below:

Annual was recorded in December 2019 at Gizzard Studio in London, with Jack Cooper joined by saxophonist Jeff Tobias and percussionist Jim Wallis (keyboardist Will Young didn’t appear this time, concentrating on his work with Beak). The album features guest vocals from Kayla Cohen of Itasca on “Harvest”.

Cooper explains how Annual came about: “Towards the end of 2018, I began filling a new diary with words, observations from walks, descriptions of events, thoughts…free associative streams of just… stuff. Reading back, as the year progressed from winter to spring, the tone of the diary seemed to change as well… optimism crept in, brightness and then things began to dip as autumn approached… warmth, isolation again and into winter.

“I split the diary into four seasons and used them as the template for the four main songs. The shorter instrumental songs on the record are meant to signify specific events and transitions from one season to the next. I figured it wouldn’t be a very long record, but to me it stands up next to [2019’s] How To Live in every way.”

Pre-order Annual here.

The 4th Uncut New Music Playlist Of 2020

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Apologies for what feels like a massive delay since the last Playlist; crazy deadlines plus, you know, real world events have pushed everything back a little. Anyway, there’s a ton of good stuff here — Modern Nature AND Modern Studies, together in the same Playlist! Plus the return of Sonic Boom, Brigid Mae Power, Phoebe Bridgers, Angel Deradoorian and plenty more.

1.
BRIGID MAE POWER

“On A City Night”
(Fire)

2.
MODERN NATURE

“Flourish”
(Bella Union)

3.
PHOEBE BRIDGERS

“Garden Song”
(Dead Oceans)

4.
MODERN STUDIES

“Heavy Water”
(Fire)

5.
SONIC BOOM

“Just Imagine”
(Carpark)

6.
ROSE CITY BAND

“Only Lonely”
(Thrill Jockey)

7.
MARKER STARLING

“Waiting For Grace” [feat. Laetitia Sadier]
(Tin Angel Records)

8.
DERADOORIAN

“Saturnine Night”
(ANTI –)

9.
ARBOURETUM

“Let It All In”
(Thrill Jockey)

10.
MAGNETIC FIELDS

“The Day the Politicians Died”
(Nonesuch)

11.
YĪN YĪN

“Thom Kï Kï”
(Bongo Joe)

12.
JASON SIMON

“The Same Dream”
(BYM)

Hear two new tracks by The Bad Seeds’ Warren Ellis

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Warren Ellis of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds has penned the soundtrack to a new documentary by Arno Bitschy, called This Train I Ride. The film tells the story of women hopping freight trains around America.

The soundtrack will be released on vinyl and digitally by Invada on April 24. Hear two tracks from it below:

Warren Ellis says: “This project took flight when I met Arno Bitschy in Paris, February 2019. He showed me several sequences with music I had sent to him and I committed without hesitation. The beautiful images and closeness to the women he had achieved over three years, hopping trains with them across the USA, floored me. How he managed to tell their story is a film in itself. Their defiance, quest to be self-reliant and desire to not be victims of the past is so empowering.

“A week later I was walking out of the Metro from a therapy session and received a text from Brian Eno, inviting me to see an orchestra rehearse in Théâtre du Châtelet under the baton of Teodor Currentzis. Serendipity. My idea was to record, collate and produce the music on trains, in the spirit of the women in this documentary. Brian was so encouraging with this approach and told me about a train journey he had taken in the ’80s with no fixed destination.

“Over the next month I sat with my computer, loops, iPhone, Reface DX synthesiser and forgotten ideas and composed the music on the Metro and Eurostar and in various hotels while working on Ghosteen. I would send the pieces to Arno from the train, or wherever I was located, and he edited them into the film. The narrative of these women is the heart of this meditation.”

Throbbing Gristle’s Genesis P-Orridge has died, aged 70

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Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, co-founder of seminal industrial groups Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, has died aged 70.

P-Orridge, who identified as pandrogynous and used the pronouns s/he and h/er, was diagnosed with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia in 2017. H/er death on Saturday (March 14) was confirmed in a statement by h/er two daughters Genesse and Caresse.

Born Neil Andrew Megson in Manchester, P-Orridge first made waves with h/er confrontational performance art collective COUM Transmissions, founded in Hull at the turn of the 1970s. P-Orridge formed Throbbing Gristle in 1975 alongside COUM’s Christine Newby AKA Cosey Fanni Tutti, Chris Carter and Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson as a way of pushing COUM’s transgressive ideas out of the art world and into popular culture.

They made an instant impact, with an early Throbbing Gristle performance at London’s ICA in 1976 leading to the group being branded “wreckers of civilisation” by a conservative MP in Parliament. The group’s combination of pioneering electronics and provocative subject matter spawned an entire genre, named industrial after Throbbing Gristle’s record label of the same name.

In the 1980s, P-Orridge went on to found Psychic TV, applying occultist philosophy to murky psychedelic rock and, later, acid house. Along the way, he alienated most of his former bandmates, who accused him of tyrannical behaviour and running Psychic TV like a cult. In her memoir, Cosey Fanni Tutti went further, claiming that P-Orridge’s abusive behaviour included attacking her with a knife and throwing a breezeblock at her head.

In the ’90s, Genesis and h/er second wife Lady Jaye (Jacqueline Breyer) embarked on the “Pandrogeny Project”, undergoing plastic surgery to to resemble each another, and identifying themselves as a single pandrogynous being. P-Orridge continued to refer to h/erself in this way even after Lady Jaye’s death in 2007.

“It is shocking and uncanny to read that Genesis Breyer P-Orridge is gone, even as I knew it was coming,” wrote Matmos’s Drew Daniel on Twitter. “I have complicated and mixed feelings about their actions and legacy but absolute and deep gratitude for their musical work and artistic example. R.I.P”

Robin Rimbaud, AKA Scanner, tweeted: “Farewell to Genesis P-Orridge, a controversial and troubling figure for some, an inspiration and icon for others. For me, s/he was part of my musical and cultural upbringing and will certainly miss his/her presence”

Record Store Day postponed until June 20

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This year’s Record Store Day, originally due to take place on April 18, has now been postponed until June 20.

In a statement on their website, the organisation wrote: “We think this gives stores around the world the best chance to have a profitable, successful Record Store Day, while taking into consideration the recommendations of doctors, scientists, the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and the need to be good citizens of both local and worldwide communities.

“We’re working with all of our partners and our stores to make this change as smooth as possible for everyone who participates in Record Store Day: customers, record stores, artists, labels and more. Record Store Day is everywhere and we want to hold our party when everyone can gather around safely to celebrate life, art, music and the culture of the indie record store.”

Highlights of this year’s RSD include an unheard David Bowie 1974 live album and Uncut’s Wilcovered CD coming to vinyl.

Record shops around the country have been keen to stress that they remain open for business as usual.