Watch Robert Plant cover Low’s “Everybody’s Song”

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Robert Plant has released a video of his new band Saving Grace covering Low’s “Everybody’s Song”. Watch below:

It’s not the first time Plant has expressed his admiration for the Minnesotan trio; he previously covered “Silver Rider” on 2010’s Band Of Joy album.

Saving Grace tour the US in May (dates below) before headlining Kent’s Black Deer Festival in June.

05-12 Minneapolis, MN – Pantages Theatre
05-13 Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom
05-15 Chicago, IL – Old Town School of Folk Music: Maurer Hall
05-17 Charleston, WV – Mountain Stage – The Clay Center
05-19 Port Chester, NY – The Capitol Theatre
05-20 New York, NY – The Town Hall
05-23 Washington, DC – Lincoln Theatre

Of course, you can find an extensive interview with Robert Plant in the current issue of Uncut, in shops now and available to order online by clicking here. Read a teaser extract from the interview here.

Credit: Ed Miles

Genesis announce first tour for 13 years

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Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford have announced their first tour as Genesis since 2007.

The Last Domino? Tour 2020 kicks off in Dublin on November 16, with further dates across the UK and Ireland. See the full itinerary below:

Monday 16th November – Dublin 3 Arena
Thursday 19th November – Belfast SSE Arena
Monday 23rd November – Liverpool M&S Bank Arena
Thursday 26th November – Newcastle Utilita Arena
Sunday 29th November – London The O2
Monday 30th November – London The O2
Wednesday 2nd December – Leeds First Direct Arena
Saturday 5th December – Birmingham Birmingham Arena
Tuesday 8th December – Manchester Manchester Arena
Friday 11th December – Glasgow SSE Arena

Tickets go on general sale at 9am on Friday (March 6) from here.

Pink Floyd to release live version of “Arnold Layne” for Record Store Day

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As is now traditional, Pink Floyd have created a special release for Record Store Day, which takes place this year on April 18.

The band will release a 7″ single of “Arnold Layne”, recorded live at the Syd Barrett Tribute Concert – The Madcap’s Last Laugh at London’s Barbican on May 10, 2007. It was the last time that David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright played together as Pink Floyd, with Wright passing away the following year.

On the night, Pink Floyd were augmented by Jon Carin (keyboards, vocals) and Andy Bell from Ride/Oasis on bass guitar. The single was produced by Nick Laird-Clowes with Associate Producer Joe Boyd.

The one-sided 7″ is available exclusive from participating stores on April 18. More on Record Store Day tomorrow…

Mick Fleetwood’s Peter Green tribute comes to cinemas

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Last week brought rave reviews for Mick Fleetwood’s all-star tribute show, celebrating the music of his former Fleetwood Mac bandmate Peter Green.

But if you missed out on tickets, you’ll be able to watch the official concert film – starring Neil Finn, Noel Gallagher, Billy Gibbons, David Gilmour, Kirk Hammett, Jonny Lang, John Mayall, Christine McVie, Zak Starkey, Jeremy Spencer, Pete Townshend, Steven Tyler, Rick Vito and Bill Wyman – in over 500 cinemas nationwide on June 2 and 7.

You can book tickets and pre-order the deluxe box set of the concert here. Watch some rehearsal footage for the show below:

Teenage Fanclub announce new album, Endless Arcade

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Teenage Fanclub have announced that their new album Endless Arcade is due for release in October 2020.

Posting on Twitter, the band wrote: ““The five of us headed to Clouds Hill Recordings in Hamburg in late November last year and got stuck into doing what we like best – recording new songs. It felt good to start 2020 with 13 new tunes in the bag. We’re currently busy assembling a selection of those into album form and putting the final gloss on the record.”

The release of Endless Arcade will be accompanied by a European tour starting on November 2, dates in the tweet below. Tickets go on sale on Friday (March 6) from the official Teenage Fanclub site.

Jarvis Cocker’s new group Jarv Is… unveil debut album, Beyond The Pale

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Jarvis Cocker’s new group Jarv Is… have revealed details of their debut album, Beyond The Pale, which will be released by Rough Trade on May 1.

Watch a video for new single “House Music All Night Long” below:

Jarv Is… consists of Jarvis Cocker (vocals, guitar, percussion), Serafina Steer (harp, keyboards, vocals), Emma Smith (violin, guitar vocals), Andrew McKinney (bass, vocals), Jason Buckle (synthesiser & electronic treatments) and Adam Betts (drums, percussion, vocals). Beyond The Pale is based around recordings of the band’s evolving live shows over the past two years. Overdubs and vocals were added at Narcissus Studios in Neasden, London. Post-production work took place at Jason Buckle’s Place du Big Boss studio in Raynes Park, London. The album was mixed by Craig Silvey at Toast Studios in West London.

Check out the album tracklisting and the latest Jarv Is… UK tourdates below:

SIDE 1
1: Save the Whale
2: Must I Evolve?
3: Am I Missing Something?
SIDE 2
1: House Music All Night Long
2: Sometimes I Am Pharaoh
3: Swanky Modes
4: Children Of The Echo

May 1st London Rough Trade East Instore
May 2nd – Bristol Marble Factory
May 3RD – Birmingham 02 Institute
May 5th – Manchester Albert Hall
May 6th – Glasgow Barrowlands
May 8th – Liverpool Invisible Wind Factory
May 9th – London Roundhouse

Elliott Landy prepares new photobook about The Band

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Photographer Elliott Landy is currently putting together a new photobook featuring selected contact sheets of the photos he took of The Band in the late 1960s for their first two albums, Music From Big Pink and The Band.

It’s designed as a companion to his previous book, The Band Photographs 1968-1969, which was published in 2015. It will be the same size (12×12 inches) with the same high-quality printing and heavyweight paper.

As before, Landy is funding the production of the book with a Kickstarter campaign which you can join here. In addition to copies of the book, pledgers of various amounts can sign up for signed prints and posters, as well as a visit to Landy’s home studio.

Daniel Roher’s documentary about The Band, Once Were Brothers, was released in US cinemas last month. A UK release date is yet to be confirmed.

Brian Wilson announces Good Vibrations greatest hits tour

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Brian Wilson’s Good Vibrations greatest hits tour reaches the UK in the spring, with 12 newly-announced dates in May and June.

Wilson will be joined by fellow erstwhile Beach Boys Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin to perform songs from throughout his career, both with The Beach Boys and as a solo artist. Check out the dates below:

Sunday May 31st – The Dome, Brighton
Monday June 1st – Royal Albert Hall, London
Thursday June 4th – SEC Armadillo, Glasgow
Saturday June 6th – The Sage, Gateshead
Monday June 8th – Birmingham Symphony Hall
Tuesday June 9th – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
Wednesday June 10th – Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
Friday June 12th – Bournemouth International Centre
Saturday June 13th – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Sunday June 14th – Leeds Town Hall, Leeds
Tuesday June 16th – Blackpool Opera, Blackpool
Wednesday June 17th – Corn Exchange, Cambridge

Tickets go on sale on Friday (March 6) from Brian Wilson’s official site.

Thom Yorke to support Massive Attack at All Points East

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Thom Yorke has been confirmed to play All Points East in London’s Victoria Park on May 24, as main support to Massive Attack.

Unlike his current electronic-focused Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes shows where Yorke is accompanied by Nigel Godrich and visual artist Tarik Barr, his All Points East set will be a solo piano affair. As well as his solo material, the press release promises he will perform songs from Radiohead’s catalogue “in a never-seen-before way”.

Alfa Mist and Jacques Greene have also been added to the bill on May 24, which already includes Nils Frahm, Young Fathers, Neneh Cherry, Sevdaliza, Fatoumata Diawara, TNGHT, Gaika, Skinny Pelembe, Hotel Lux and Mad Professor.

Tickets are available now via the All Points East website.

Caribou – Suddenly

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“The thrill has never left me,” said Dan Snaith, when announcing his fifth album as Caribou, of his daily music-making habit. “I love it as much or more than I have always done.” Of course, plenty of artists declare their boundless enthusiasm for recording – and cynics might say it’s a slyly effective market motivator – but from debut The Milk Of Human Kindness, with its mix of pastel-bright electronica and motorik grooves, to the radiantly democratic synth pop of 2014’s Our Love, which reached No 8 on the UK chart, rapture has long been at the core of Caribou’s music.

Snaith’s is a contagious love that runs deeper than sound, however. The London-based Canadian producer has admitted to a longterm tendency to look inward in his work, but with Our Love he decided to embrace the generosity of self and deep, communicative warmth he admired in albums by Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane. That record’s first single, the giddily glowing “Can’t Do Without You” introduced a more emotionally direct approach while slightly narrowing the distance between Caribou and Snaith’s clubbier incarnation, Daphni.

Now comes the more explicitly personal (but detail-free) Suddenly, with its themes of change, profound loss and life’s blunt-force unpredictability, its shapeshifting style so much a reflection of that title it’s almost onomatopoeic. And if anyone is still clinging stubbornly to their belief that electronic dance-pop lacks soul, these 12 luminous and inventive songs of a universally connective bent will surely haul them over the line.

Amassing a mountain of draft ideas out of which an album’s shape will emerge is Snaith’s usual MO and this time was no different, with more than 900 stems (mostly loops of just 30 seconds each) to be considered. Quite a challenge, although intuition sharpened across 20 years of releasing music, plus input from both his wife, and kindred spirit/sometime collaborator Kieran Hebden, saw it through. Snaith has always claimed that the process determines the end result, but this time it seems contrast appealed to him as much as congruence; and although long-serving ghosts like J Dilla and Arthur Russell are present, and a sample of ’70s soul singer Gloria Barnes’s “Home” is central to the languidly groovy single of the same name, nothing here is as straightforward as an influence or homage. On eight tracks, live (guest) electric guitar and/or saxophone augment Snaith’s usual modular synth/sampler/sequencer setup.

The album opens with “Sister” – a short’n’sweet, polyphonic symphony where synths gently burble as if in conversation, their flow interrupted by a brief, low-end belch toward the close – and finishes with “Cloud Song”, a thing of shivering beauty with a frame of warped beats and a Kraftwerkian core, festooned with strings of abstract psych pop and finished with a surprisingly showy, razored guitar riff. In between: the easy-swinging update on ’90s jazzy hip-hop that is “Lime”, with its unexpected swerve into a black spiritual and abrupt ending; the delirious “New Jade”, with a high-powered female vocal sample atop a pillow of plush synths and Snaith’s own forlorn voice the complement; and the winnowing “Magpie”, not too far removed from Kevin Parker’s dreamworld.

The build from rattly percussive canter to hands-in-the-air euphoria suggests that “Ravi” should be pronounced “ravey”, but it’s as close as Suddenly gets to the dancefloor. Apart from the dizzying “You And I”, that is: one of the first tracks Snaith started and one of the last to be finished, it’s too dynamically nuanced to qualify as a sad banger, but displays similar characteristics: an irresistibly molten melody, glitter-ball imperative, instant dopamine hit and (crucially) heartbreaking, solipsistic topspin. It’s the expression of a soul heavily winded by loss, but not fatally wounded: “You can take your place up in the sky/I will find a way to carry on down here/Just as long as you are near/We can only make it if we try,” sings Snaith, somehow uniting the disparately bittersweet likes of Nu Shooz, Bobby Womack and Pet Shop Boys while sounding beholden to no-one, because copyism is not his way.

Speaking to Uncut, he explains, “Throughout all the years I’ve made music, the only thing I’m looking for is a thrill or sense of excitement when I’m working on it or listening back to it,” adding that he finds the process “endlessly alluring, because it’s so elusive and hard to replicate”. Suddenly, then, appears as entirely Caribou-like – but with a wilder ecstatic magic in its heart.

Bauhaus on ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’: “It was the ‘Stairway To Heaven’ of the 1980s”

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Originally published in Uncut’s January 2019 issue

Looking back from a distance of 40 years, Bauhaus’s singer Peter Murphy is in no doubt about the significance of his band’s debut single. “‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ just happened to be a seminal song,” he explains. “It was the ‘Stairway To Heaven’ of the 1980s.”

“It definitely has a timeless quality,” agrees ex-Bauhaus drummer Kevin Haskins. “On reflection, I marvel at what we did. We were just four young kids who wanted to make something unique, without really having much idea what we were doing. But that song came out of it.”

Recorded in January 1979, at the band’s first ever studio session, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is a masterclass in experimental post-punk – nine-and-a-half minutes of skulking dread over a ticking rhythm, minimal guitar, dub bass and echo effects. Singer Peter Murphy waits almost three minutes before making an entrance, his sepulchral tones marking the demise of the horror-film legend of the title, best known for his portrayal of Dracula. Bats fly from the bell tower and virgin brides file past Lugosi’s tomb, strewn with dead flowers.

After rejections from various labels, it was left to Small Wonder (an indie based in Walthamstow) to release “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” as a 12in single in August ’79. It missed the mainstream chart, but remained on the independent listings for over two years. Its status was cemented by Bauhaus’s memorable rendition during the opening scene of Tony Scott’s 1983 film The Hunger, starring one of the band’s key inspirations, David Bowie.

That the song is now viewed as the goth prototype is a source of some contention among those who created it. “It’s funny, because I sometimes say that we weren’t goth,” says guitarist Daniel Ash. “But I was in Bauhaus and our first single was ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’. Well of course we were goth! But that term was a bit of an insult in England back then. We were lumped in with Alien Sex Fiend, Sex Gang Children and Specimen, who we all thought were really crap.”

“To a certain extent, ‘Bela…’ gave us traction,” says Murphy of the song’s success. “But we were just running hard. Songs were coming out of us all the time. In my own mind we were big already. It was just such a feeling of great ownership of ourselves, of our own very powerful creative nature.”

_______________________________

PETER MURPHY (vocals, co-writer): There was an immediate chemistry between us all in the band. We were always very instinctive. I hadn’t been in a band before, but this was truly like an arthouse. It was a creative atelier. I quickly established, with everybody’s consent, that we split everything equally four ways.

DANIEL ASH (guitar, co-writer): I was talking to David (J, bass) on the blower one night and told 
him I had this riff, using these trick chords that had a very haunting quality to it. He went: “It’s so weird you should say that, because I’ve got this lyric about Bela Lugosi, the actor who played a vampire.” 
DAVID J: There was a season of old horror films on TV and I was telling Daniel about how much I loved them. The one that had been on the night before was Dracula [1931]. I was saying how Bela Lugosi was the quintessential Dracula, the elegant depiction of the character.

MURPHY: Danny called me at home and said: “Pete, me and David had this idea about writing something on the vampire theme.” To me, that was really about attraction. There’s an erotic, alluring element to the vampire. We didn’t want to write an ode to Bela Lugosi, ostensibly. The kitsch element was his name, because he was the biggest icon, yet he was the most unlikely vampire-looking person. So there was that Brit angle to it, but it wasn’t at all negative. It was perfect. The idea of Bela Lugosi being dead or undead is classic.

DAVID J (bass, co-writer): I had a day job in a warehouse, where I’d pack up boxes of lard, amongst other things. They were bloody heavy. I’d have these delivery labels in my back pocket all the time and after work I was bicycling home and had the first line in my head – “White on white translucent black capes”. So I got out a packing label and wrote that down. By the time I got home, 
I had the whole thing laid out on these pink, green and red delivery labels.

KEVIN HASKINS (drums, co-writer): David brought the lyrics to “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” down to rehearsal and handed them to Peter. My drum teacher had taught me three beats – a pop beat, a jazz beat and a bossa nova. So I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll try the bossa nova.…’

ASH: This is how quick it was. Kevin started playing that bossa nova beat, I came in with the riff, Dave followed with his bassline and Pete began singing. My riff has these mutant chords – they’re not even minor chords – but it’s rooted in an old Gary Glitter song, slowed right down. 
I didn’t realise that when I was doing it.

DAVID J: We didn’t really talk about what we were doing. Daniel started scratching away on the guitar, Kevin started his rhythm and there was this atmosphere building. I came in with those descending chords and Peter was just prowling up and down, slowly, like a big cat.

MURPHY: The vocals come in about half an hour after everything else. Those two verses are like, ‘Who is that speaking?’ There was an oracular aspect to it. That voice had to come from the spirit of that beautiful, erotic, enigmatic character. That’s how the vampire worked in terms of alluring audiences. That particular monster of the Hollywood period was actually very beautiful.

ASH: I remember when we stopped we all went, “That’s done. That’s it!” It was like something else wrote it for us. 
I’m serious. It was that magical.

HASKINS: We knew we had something really special. I think we actually said to each other, “Let’s not play this any more. Let’s wait until we get into the studio.” We were scared of reworking it and losing it.

ASH: We booked Beck Studio straight away. What was wonderful was that it was more like a typical 1970s living room than a studio, with a brown-and-orange carpet with big patterns. It was like an extension of [engineer] Derek Tompkins’ house and I loved it for that reason. It had a certain, homely sort of smell, what I’d call cosy.

DAVID J: Derek was somewhat older than us, in his mid-fifties. We worked with him for many years after that first session, because we really trusted his ear.

HASKINS: He knew how to use psychology, in terms of getting the best out of you. Sometimes that could be gentle goading; at other times, very in-your-face ridiculing. But we all loved that guy so much.

MURPHY: Derek was a local who smoked like a trooper and had this lovely stammer. He’d built that place himself and it really did sound good. We walked in to do our first session – I think it cost us 11 quid – and did four songs. The first one we fired up was “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” and we did it in one take. It was just a case of: “Fuck, yeah!”

DAVID J: It was electrifying. Not only was it the first time Pete had ever sung into a studio mic, but doing “Bela…” on the first take meant that what you hear on that record is the first thing we ever recorded.

ASH: I remember Pete had a cold that day, which made it even better. It just added a texture to his voice. He was in the vocal booth and we started playing it and, just like in rehearsal, boom! Instantly, we’d got it. Then we went into the control room and David had this old HH echo unit, which would crap out on you all the time. We hooked up the guitar and snare drum to this echo unit and I was just sliding the HH amp thing to trigger all these echoes as the song went through.

HASKINS: Daniel put all those delays on and also used his thumb to slow parts of the tape down. There was quite a bit of art that went into “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”. 
I think the gods were with us that day.

MURPHY: It was inspired. When we heard the whole song back, it sounded just incredible. I was going “Whooah!” during the long instrumental intro and then again when my voice came in. It was like, ‘I want him!’

ASH: That echo just took it to the next level. We were all having a cup of tea afterwards and I went into the bathroom, where there was the smallest speaker you’ve ever seen, stuck on the wall. I was having a whiz and “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” was playing through this tiny two-inch radio speaker and it still sounded brilliant. I remember thinking, ‘This thing is a fucking hit!’

HASKINS: Danny took an acetate around all the big companies – Virgin, EMI and the rest – and they all said similar things: “This is the sort of thing I listen to at home, but it’s not commercial.” Or: “It’s way too long. Can you edit it down to three minutes?” Even Beggars Banquet turned us down, which is ironic, because we ended up on that label.

DAVID J: We were getting this so often that we even started to doubt ourselves. To the point where, when Pete Stennett at Small Wonder said he wanted to put it out, we asked, “Do you think it’s too long?” But he was really passionate about it. He compared it to The Velvet Underground’s “Sister Ray” and said: “You want to hear every second of it and it’s as long as it needs to be, lads.”

PETE STENNETT (label owner, Small Wonder): I didn’t give a fuck how long it was. Often, in those days especially, you’d be thinking that nobody was going to play it on the radio, with the exception of John Peel. Everything we released I felt confident and comfortable with. And when I heard “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” I thought, ‘Shit, this is good.’ I wanted to share it.

HASKINS: Pete Stennett was such an important figure in our evolution. When he told us he was interested, we all travelled down to his shop in Walthamstow. He closed up and said, “There’s something really intriguing about this record, but I haven’t made my mind up yet. I need to listen to it one more time.”

MURPHY: I knew what Pete Stennett was doing. He had to get his head around it, because it is weird. It’s one of those ‘What is this?’ kind of songs.

HASKINS: So we were standing in his shop, he put the record on and nine minutes seemed like nine hours. At the end he took the needle off, looked at us and said, “Yeah, I want to put this out.” When we left the shop we all ran down Hoe Street, jumping up and down like kids who’d just got out of school for the summer. It was so exciting.

STENNETT: It was beautifully produced and there was this reggae feel to it. They hadn’t been playing together for more than five minutes, but they were very tight. I had “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” pressed up within weeks, though why I decided to release the first 5,000 on white vinyl I shall never know.

MURPHY: We were driving back from Walthamstow with our copies, just after the single had been pressed, and decided to stop off at the BBC. We walked up to reception, passing Motörhead on their way out, and said, “Hello, we’re Bauhaus and we’re friends of John Peel. We’d like to go up please.” Somehow we were allowed up there and we put the record in front of him. After we’d all introduced ourselves, he said on air, “We’ve got Bauhaus in the studio, they’re from Northampton and they have a new single out called ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’. It’s nine-and-a-half minutes long and this will probably be the first and last time I’ll play this.” Then we left and went down to listen to it in the car. Apparently, the BBC switchboard was jammed with listeners wanting him to play it again.

DAVID J: Being played on Peel was the key that opened up a lot of doors. Shortly after that we got a request to do a session for him, which was a really big deal for us. Then we got a residency at a club in London called Billy’s, which later became the Batcave. Ian Curtis came down one night and told us how much he loved “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”, which was a real kick for us to hear.

STENNETT: The first 5,000 pressings went out like a light, then we put it out on black vinyl and it just went on and on. I think “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is the best thing they ever did, no question about it.

DAVID J: There’s nothing like it, really. And I think there’s something very pure about that song. It has a very special atmosphere.

MURPHY: We seemed to get our own audience without any press or record labels being involved. And by the time we were doing “Dark Entries” [1980] they were chasing us, because we had this massive audience already.

ASH: Bauhaus never cosied up to the press. We were arrogant fuckers. You had to be, in order to cut through everything and shine, to stand out. We really thought we were fucking brilliant. And we were.

_______________________

FACT FILE

Written by: Peter Murphy, David J, Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins
Recorded at: 
Beck Studios, Wellingborough, Northants, UK
Engineered by: Derek Tompkins
Personnel: Peter Murphy (vocals), Daniel Ash (guitar), David J (bass), Kevin Haskins (drums)
Released: 
August 6, 1979
Highest chart position: UK – ; US –

_______________________

TIMELINE

November 1978: Bauhaus, named after the German crafts and fine art movement of the 1920s, form in Northampton in the East Midlands.

January 1979: The quartet record “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”, along 
with “Boys”, “Bite My Hip” and “Harry” (a tribute to Blondie’s Deborah Harry) at Beck Studios in Wellingborough.

August 1979: “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is released on Small Wonder, initially on white vinyl. It enters the indie charts soon after, where it remains 
for two years.

January 1980: Bauhaus sign to the newly formed 4AD label for follow-up single “Dark Entries”.

November 1980: Debut 
LP In The Flat Field is released, marking 4AD’s first foray into the 
album format.

March 1981: Newly signed to Beggars Banquet, Bauhaus enter the UK 
Top 60 for the first time with “Kick In The Eye”.

Stephen Malkmus: “This is gonna be my PJ Harvey song…”

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Stephen Malkmus’s “new phase folk music” album Traditional Techniques will be released by Domino on March 6.

In the latest issue of Uncut – in UK shops now or available to order online by clicking here – we venture to Malkmus’s Portland home to discover the impetus for this intriguing new direction. “Sometimes I just cruise along,” he tells Tom Pinnock, “and that’s good, but I’ve been thinking, ‘What I would want to hear from someone like me if I was a fan?’”

In sharp contrast to 2018’s Sparkle Hard, recorded with the Jicks, and last year’s largely electronic solo album, Groove Denied, Traditional Techniques is an acoustic folk album tracked live to tape. Old friend Matt Sweeney is along for the ride on guitar and vocals while Decemberist Chris Funk produces and contributes pedal steel and other instruments. Jazzy double bass, hand drums, traditional Afghani folk instruments and even Moog elevate this earthy, psychedelic stew.

“It was a leap of faith, a different way of working for me,” says Malkmus. “I knew Chris and Sweeney, but the others were hired hands. I guess that’s the way people do it in LA or something – so it’s a testament to Portland that we’ve grown enough that you can make a session album with people from here.”

“I don’t know if we ever talked about making a record together,” reveals Matt Sweeney, who has been a friend since the pair met playing pinball at New York’s Max Fish bar in the early ’90s. “I’ve never noticed any change for the worse with Steve. He’s pretty consistent in his Malkness. He works really hard at music and thinks about it a ton. It’s just his laidback way of talking coupled with his patrician visage that make things appear to be easy for him.”

New single “Shadowbanned” (watch the video below) is a highlight, a droning shanty with duelling riffs from 12-string, 6-string, double bass, flute, Moog and rebab; Malkmus explains that he took partial inspiration for it from an unexpected source.

“Initially I was like, ‘This is gonna be my PJ Harvey song…’ It’s more medieval, of course, but it kinda sounds like a guy playing with 10 sailors. Although once we played it, it didn’t sound like her. I do this high vocal bit – ‘gush, drip!’ – like her. That’s another occasion where I think it’s gonna sound like something, but it never does. When you have limited vocal range, that happens. I wanted to sound like an existential 1972 folk guy like Gordon Lightfoot on ‘Xian Man’. Of course I can never sound like him, because I’m all nasally.

“All the Jicks albums and all Pavement were done in the same ‘classic rock’ style,” he continues, “and the signal wasn’t getting through, in my attempt to react with people the way I wanted. I was trying to think of ways to change things I haven’t tried, and Traditional Techniques was one way of being like, ‘I can just think of these songs differently…’”

You can read much more from Stephen Malkmus in the new issue of Uncut, in shops now with Robert Plant on the cover.

Steve Earle & The Dukes announce new album, Ghosts Of West Virginia

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Steve Earle has announced that his new album with The Dukes, Ghosts Of West Virginia, will be released by New West on May 22.

Hear the lead single, “Devil Put The Coal In The Ground” below:

Ghosts Of West Virginia centres on the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion that killed 29 men in that state in 2010. Earle started working on the album after becoming involved in Coal Country, a theatre piece about disaster. Earle functions as “a Greek chorus with a guitar,” in his words. He is on stage for the entire play and performs seven of the songs that make up Ghosts Of West Virginia. Coal Country officially opens on March 3 at The Public Theater in New York City – tickets and more information here.

“I’ve already made the preaching-to-the-choir album,” says Earle. “I thought that, given the way things are now, it was maybe my responsibility to make a record that spoke to and for people who didn’t vote the way that I did. One of the dangers that we’re in is if people like me keep thinking that everyone who voted for Trump is a racist or an asshole, then we’re fucked, because it’s simply not true. So this is one move toward something that might take a generation to change. I wanted to do something where that dialogue could begin…My involvement in this project is my little contribution to that effort. And the way to do that — and to do it impeccably —is simply to honor those guys who died at Upper Big Branch.”

The album was produced by Steve Earle and engineered by Ray Kennedy at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. It was mixed entirely in mono, primarily because Earle has experienced partial hearing loss in his right ear and can no longer discern the separation that stereo is designed to produce. It features his latest incarnation of his backing band The Dukes: Chris Masterson on guitar, Eleanor Whitmore on fiddle & vocals, Ricky Ray Jackson on pedal steel, guitar & dobro, Brad Pemberton on drums & percussion, and Jeff Hill on acoustic & electric bass.

As well as the victims of Upper Big Branch, Ghosts Of West Virginia is dedicated to the memory of long-time Steve Earle bassist Kelley Looney, who passed away shortly before the recording of the album.

Hear Rufus Wainwright’s Joni Mitchell-inspired new single, “Damsel In Distress”

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Rufus Wainwright has announced that his new album Unfollow The Rules will be released by BMG on April 24.

Watch a video for the new single “Damsel In Distress” below:

“’Damsel In Distress’ is an homage to Joni Mitchell in some ways,” says Wainwright, “particularly the structure. My husband and I now live in Laurel Canyon. I wasn’t that familiar with Joni’s music but Jörn became obsessed and took me on a journey into her music. We ended up hanging out with her and I get now why she’s one of the greats. So it’s part Laurel Canyon, part a song about a personal relationship that I’m trying to come to terms with, but mostly my Mitchell virginity being broken.”

Unfollow The Rules was produced by Mitchell Froom at a variety of Los Angeles studios – including Sound City, United Recording and EastWest Studios. It is inspired by middle age, married life, fatherhood, friends, loss, London, and Laurel Canyon.

“What I would like this album to symbolise is a coming together of all the aspects of my life which have made me a seasoned artist,” says Wainwright. “My aim is to emulate the greats of yore whose second acts produced their finest work – Leonard Cohen when he made The Future, when Sinatra became Sinatra in his 40s, when Paul Simon put out Graceland. Pop music isn’t always about your waistline. Many songwriters improve with age. I’m flying the flag for staying alive!”

Rufus Wainwright will support the release with two intimate shows at London’s Islington Assembly Hall on April 27, with a UK tour to be announced shortly.

Kim Gordon announces first ever solo headline tour

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Kim Gordon has announced her first ever solo headline tour in support of No Home Record, Uncut’s No. 32 album of 2019.

The tour visits Manchester and Bristol in May, followed by an appearance at London’s All Points East festival. Peruse the full itinerary below:

8/3 – London, UK @ 6 Music Festival
22/5 – Paris, FR @ Villette Sonique Fest
24/5 – Brussels, BE @ AB Ballroom
25/5 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
27/5 – Manchester, UK @ Gorilla
28/5 – Bristol, UK @ SWX
29/5 – London, UK @ All Points East

31/5 – St. Brieuc, FR @ Art Rock Fest
2/6 – Zurich, CH @ Rote Fabrik
3/6 – Lyon, FR @ L’Epicerie Moderne
4/6 – Barcelona, ES @ Primavera Sound
6/6 – Aarhus, DE @ Northside Fest
8/6 – Berlin, DE @ Astra Kulturhaus
9/6 – Cologne, DE @ Gloria Theater
11/6 – Porto, PT @ NOS Primavera Sound
17/7 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
19/7 – Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Festival
21/7 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
23/7 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
24/7 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
25/7 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
11/9 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
12/9 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
13/9 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
15/9 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore

Tickets are available here.

Watch David Gilmour play Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross”

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Last night (February 25) at the London Palladium, Mick Fleetwood assembled an all-star cast to pay tribute to the music of his former Fleetwood Mac bandmate Peter Green.

Fleetwood was joined by David Gilmour to play “Albatross” and “Oh Well, Part 2”, both of which you can watch below:

Other illustrious guests included John Mayall, Bill Wyman, Kirk Hammett, Steven Tyler, Neil Finn, Christine McVie, Pete Townshend, Noel Gallagher, Billy Gibbons and another rarely-glimpsed former Fleetwood Mac guitarist, Jeremy Spencer. You can see many of them playing together on the concert’s closing jam “Shake Your Moneymaker”, before perusing the full set list below:

Rollin’ Man
Homework
Doctor Brown (with Billy Gibbons)
All Your Love
Rattlesnake Shake (with Steven Tyler)
Stop Messin’ Around (with Christine McVie)
Looking For Somebody (with Christine McVie)
Sandy Mary (with Noel Gallagher)
Love That Burns (with Noel Gallagher)
The World Keeps Turning (with Noel Gallagher)
Like Crying
No Place To Go
Station Man (with Pete Townshend)
Man of the World (with Neil Finn)
Oh Well, Part 1 (with Billy Gibbons and Steven Tyler)
Oh Well, Part 2 (with David Gilmour)
Need Your Love So Bad
Black Magic Woman
The Sky is Crying (with Jeremy Spencer)
I Can’t Hold On (with Jeremy Spencer)
The Green Manalishi (with Kirk Hammett)
Albatross (with David Gilmour)
Shake Your Moneymaker

The concert was filmed and recorded, with an audio boxset already available for pre-order here.

Mazzy Star’s David Roback has died, aged 61

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Tributes have been rolling in for Mazzy Star’s David Roback, who died yesterday (February 25), aged 61. No cause of death has been announced.

Roback first rose to prominence as the leader of Rain Parade, key movers on LA’s Paisley Underground scene. However, Roback left the band after their 1983 debut Emergency Third Rail Power Trip to form Clay Allison, who soon changed their name to Opal.

After releasing one influential album (1987’s Happy Nightmare Baby, recently re-released by Sally Gardens) Opal morphed into Mazzy Star with the arrival of singer Hope Sandoval. The band released four acclaimed albums either side of a long hiatus in the 2000s, their most recent release being the 2018 EP Still.

The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs, who originally played with David Roback in a band called The Unconscious, paid tribute to “my first musical partner and my very dear friend. You will be eternally missed.”

“Terrible, sad news,” wrote Colin Meloy of The Decemberists. “We’ve lost a great one.”

Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis posted: “Very sad David Roback died, I always loved his music.”

“To be in one great band is amazing,” wrote the group Modern Nature, “but to be in three is incredible.”

Cambridge Folk Festival adds Patty Griffin and more

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Cambridge Folk Festival – which this year takes place on the weekend of July 30–August 2 in the grounds of Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge – has added a number of new names to the line-up.

Following her recent Grammy award for Best Folk Album, Patty Griffin makes her second appearance at the festival. She’s joined by Seth Lakeman, Julie Fowlis, Chico Trujillo, The Delines, Elephant Sessions and Sam Lee, among others.

Artists previously announced include Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Seasick Steve, Suzanne Vega, Lankum, Martha Wainwright and Fatoumata Diawara.

Day and weekend tickets are now available from here.

David Bowie – Ultimate Record Collection, Part 1 (1964-1976)

The latest in Uncut’s Ultimate Record Collection series is the first of our artist-led specials. We begin with David Bowie: 1964-1976, which presents every record Bowie made across that period, in order – with insightful comment from the people who helped make them. Look out for Volume 2 soon!

Order your copy here.

The Stooges’ Fun House expanded to 15xLP box set

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The Stooges’ second album Fun House turns 50 in July, and the anniversary will marked by the release of a colossal 15xLP + 2×7″ box set via Rhino on July 17.

The original album has been newly remastered and spread across two discs, cut at 45rpm. The box set also features the complete album sessions – first released as a CD box set in 1999 but appearing here on vinyl for the first time – plus a live recording of The Stooges performing at Ungano’s in New York City in August 1970.

The two 7″ singles feature different mixes of “Down On The Street” and “I Feel Alright”. The collection also includes a 28-page booklet with rare photos and extensive liner notes, featuring an essay by Henry Rollins and testimonials by Flea, Joan Jett, Shirley Manson, Duff McKagan, Thurston Moore, Tom Morello, Karen O, Mike Watt and Steven Van Zandt, plus posters, prints, a slipmat and a 45 adapter.

You can pre-order the box set, which is limited to 1,970 copies, here.

You can read about Iggy Pop’s post-Stooges adventures in Berlin with David Bowie in the new issue of Uncut, in shops now and available to order online here.