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Every Woodstock performance collected on massive new 38-CD boxset

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To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock festival, Rhino have assembled a comprehensive audio document of the epochal event across 38 CDs.

Released on August 2 in a limited edition of 1969 copies, Woodstock 50: Back To The Garden: The Definitive Anniversary Archive includes full sets from all the 32 acts who performed at the festival, including Joan Baez, Grateful Dead, Credeence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Sly & The Family Stone, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, The Band, CSNY, Santana, Richie Havens and many more.

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The 433-track collection includes almost every single song performed at Woodstock in chronological order (bar two Jimi Hendrix numbers and one by Sha Na Na that the compilers were unable to licence or adequately restore). The total running time is close to 36 hours, including almost 20 hours of previously unheard material.

Woodstock 50: Back To The Garden: The Definitive Anniversary Archive also includes a Blu-ray copy of the Woodstock film, a replica of the original programme, a guitar strap, two Woodstock posters, two 8×10 prints by rock photographer Henry Diltz and a copy of Woodstock: 3 Days Of Peace & Music – a new hardbound book about the event written by one of the festival’s co-creators, Michael Lang. It comes in a screen-printed plywood box with canvas insert inspired by the Woodstock stage set up, designed by graphic designer Masaki Koike.

“All of the mythology of Woodstock is here in this box; or at least, everything that would eventually create that mythology,” says producer Andy Zax. “The reality is here, too. And neither invalidates the other.”

Woodstock 50: Back To The Garden: The Definitive Anniversary Archive
will cost £624.99, but for those hesitant to go the whole hog there will also be 10-CD, 3-CD And 5-LP versions available from June 28. You can pre-order all versions and check out the respective tracklistings by clicking here.

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The June 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from April 18, and available to order online now – with Pink Floyd on the cover. The issue comes with a unique 15-track CD curated for Uncut by The National, who also speak exclusively to us inside the issue. Elsewhere, you’ll find Scott Walker, Bob Dylan, Primal Scream, JJ Cale, Cate Le Bon, Peter Perrett, Aretha Franklin, Mac DeMarco, Dinosaur Jr, Dylan Carson, Africa Express and much more.

Scott Walker: “He wanted to rip your ears off!”

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The current issue of Uncut features a comprehensive tribute to the great Scott Walker, who died in March.

Among those helping to illuminate the career of this intensely private musical icon is producer and engineer Peter Walsh, who worked closely with Walker on his remarkable later albums, from Climate Of Hunter to Soused.

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“Before recording Climate Of Hunter I hadn’t heard any demos, so wasn’t totally aware that Scott was heading in an experimental, avant-garde direction,” says Walsh. “My intention was to capture that voice, to echo The Walker Brothers days. That was the guy I thought I was recording! I’d suggest harmonies that linked back to what had made him popular and he’d say, ‘I know what you’re trying to do, but…’ I quickly realised that we were making a different kind of record. He looked forward. I would mention stuff on previous albums and he’d kind of forgotten about it. He wasn’t referencing the past at all.

“Every album started with a full day in the studio playing demos and discussing sounds and colours. We worked closely with a musical director – first Brian Gascoigne, then Mark Warman – who would then transcribe the music. In the early days, they scored the songs based on 
these conversations, and using Scott’s personalised method of notation. Later Scott started using a digital keyboard and he’d build the songs with the help of the internal sequencer. We would 
take that information as the starting point of the album. The end result would be a lot more human, more pulsing and sonically embellished. He was a fan of a big sound, a wide soundscape.

“He really loved making his music in the studio. It was always fun, and a privilege to sit next to him, but it was concentrated, committed work. I remember with guitarist James Stevenson, he said, ‘You’ve got to sound like an animal wailing. Just fucking rip the shreds out of this thing.’ He was searching for something and never stopped until he was absolutely sure that he’d got it.

“Lyrics weren’t really discussed until just before the vocal recording. I wouldn’t be aware that we were shadowing any particular lyric with the musical textures, but he was. I did occasionally ask about them.

“Tracks like ‘Clara’, with the meat punching, at some point you have to say, ‘Listen, Scott, what is this all about? I’m not getting it. And the knock on the door, what’s that?’ He would say, in a quite light-hearted way, ‘Well, that’s when he comes into the room…’ as though you should absolutely know that already! To him, it was all quite logical.

“When the vocal went down, that was when you would finally realise how it all stitched together. On a track like ‘The Cockfighter’, you think, ‘How do you get a vocal through all that metallic percussion without ripping people’s ears off?’ Then I realised, he wants to rip people’s ears off!

“In the 36 years that I recorded his vocals, there was never anyone else in the control room – just me. He used to come in and avoid conversation, preserving his voice, so that his performance would have that deep, early-morning bass sound. It was always a very concentrated process, and a very personal interaction.

“He was hugely intellectual, very knowledgeable about history, literature, cinema, classical music – but at the same time he would get engrossed in a tennis match. He was a complete gentleman, loyal, trusting and very private. I respected that.

“I’d meet him for a glass of wine now and again, but I can count the times on one hand. We had a very nice email relationship. My last email from him was in mid-February and he sounded good. He was trying to work out a way of doing the next record, trying to organise what it was about. He certainly had no intention of stopping, I’m sure of that.”

You can read much more about Scott Walker in the current issue of Uncut, in shops now or available to order online by clicking here.

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The June 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from April 18, and available to order online now – with Pink Floyd on the cover. The issue comes with a unique 15-track CD curated for Uncut by The National, who also speak exclusively to us inside the issue. Elsewhere, you’ll find Scott Walker, Bob Dylan, Primal Scream, JJ Cale, Cate Le Bon, Peter Perrett, Aretha Franklin, Mac DeMarco, Dinosaur Jr, Dylan Carson, Africa Express and much more.

Vampire Weekend – Father Of The Bride

Ezra Koenig’s description of the time it’s taken to follow up Modern Vampires Of The City as working at “a dignified pace” is drolly self-aware – six years is an eternity in his game. But the self-styled “neurotic over-thinker” whose smart, emotionally articulate and slightly whimsical pop songs have taken Vampire Weekend from blogosphere darlings to arena-headlining Grammy winners has been otherwise engaged – becoming a father, working on his animated Netflix series and presumably, leading a group recalibration following Rostam Batmanglij’s departure in 2016.

It’s the kind of long hiatus/upheaval combination that can make hard work of a return, but it seems Koenig was on a roll for their fourth LP – so much so, that he wrote 40 songs. Father Of The Bride runs to 18 tracks, which is a good half dozen surplus to standard album requirements. But canny offspring of the internet that they are, Vampire Weekend have been drip-feeding fans with posts of two songs per month in the run-up, while on his Instagram, Koenig acknowledged the dominance of playlist culture by saying anyone who wanted to edit out six tracks was welcome to do so.

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The temptation is there, although at 59 minutes, Father Of The Bride is hardly epic and treads water infrequently. In fact, it’s every bit as immediate and listenable as it is confident, and more buoyant overall than the sombre Modern Vampires…. It’s also flighty and so wide-ranging, at times it reads like a future compilation rather than the next step from a band now into their imperial phase. Alongside the exhilarating fresh twists, winning complements and bravura dynamics, there are also several disappointing bet-hedgers and some kitchen-sink curveballs that make you wonder if the band are just so pleased to be back in the saddle they’ve gone a bit giddy.

It seems a Kacey Musgraves show that Koenig and Ariel Rechtshaid – who share most of the production credits (with Batmanglij among the guests) – saw in 2016 was significant. Struck by the undisguised nature of her lyrics and the way that country pop speaks so directly, and to an identifiable audience, Koenig decided to try writing less opaque and more direct songs. Which explains “Hold You Now”, the album’s opening track and first surprise. It’s a straight tale about seizing the relationship moment, with Danielle Haim and Koenig trading verses as per country tradition and marries back porch acoustic finger-picking to pedal-steel guitar, with samples from Hans Zimmer’s choral “God Yu Tekem Laef Blong Mi” (from The Thin Red Line score).

Along with the terrific “Married In A Goldrush”, which again features Haim, it sits outside the record’s three general category types: mutant, Cali soul/R&B pop; a less collegiate take on their Paul Simon-styled classic pop, with inflections from calypso to highlife; and the kind of instant-grat art pop that’s a reminder of the band’s connection to peers like Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors (whose David Longstreth guests on perky first single “Harmony Hall”).

As a long-term fan of hip-hop, Koenig has often included homages, deep references or direct lifts in his songs but as he’s wryly noted of this release, “nobody wants to hear the Vampire Weekend trap album”. Instead, they’re paddling in the micro pool of west-coast, hybrid R&B/soul jams. As with the dreamily uncertain, DJ Dahi co-produced “Big Blue” – which vaguely recalls Kanye’s 808s & Heartbreak but borrows George Harrison’s weeping guitar and bungs in a choir – or “Unbearably White”, an understatedly lovely number that comes on like Bill Withers joining a minimalist Anderson .Paak. “Sunflower”, featuring The Internet’s Steve Lacy, runs along similar laid-back lines. By contrast, “Bambina”, “Stranger”, “We Belong Together” and “Rich Man” hark back to the bedrock Vampire Weekend sound, with peppy steel pans, parping horns and palm-wine guitar.

A couple of tracks in particular indicate Vampire Weekend’s obvious desire to change things up: “How Long” is a lurching and sparse, art-pop tune with finger clicks, upright bass and comical sound effects, but the real curate’s egg is “Sympathy”. A stew of spaghetti-western and mariachi music that moves at a gallop, it’s heavy on the shakers action and throws analogue shrieks and cries of “sissup!” into its mix. “I think I take myself too serious; it’s not that serious,” says Koenig in the intro, begging the question of whether he’s talking about life or art. Either way, Father Of The Bride is the sound of a band boldly vaulting their perimeter fence; that they snagged their pants 
on the way over was perhaps inevitable, but is really no big deal.

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The June 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from April 18, and available to order online now – with Pink Floyd on the cover. The issue comes with a unique 15-track CD curated for Uncut by The National, who also speak exclusively to us inside the issue. Elsewhere, you’ll find Scott Walker, Bob Dylan, Primal Scream, JJ Cale, Cate Le Bon, Peter Perrett, Aretha Franklin, Mac DeMarco, Dinosaur Jr, Dylan Carson, Africa Express and much more.

Rhiannon Giddens With Francesco Turrisi – There Is No Other

Rhiannon Giddens has yet to record a ‘proper’ follow-up to her brilliant second solo album Freedom Highway, but there has been no escaping the restless creativity of the Carolina Chocolate Drops founder. Since that Grammy-nominated solo release in 2017 we’ve heard her folk-soul voice and earthy banjo playing on Music From The American Epic Sessions alongside Jack White and Alabama Shakes and in collaboration with Kronos Quartet on their Folk Songs set. She’s written the score for the ballet Lucy Negro Redux, which premiered earlier this year, and convened the American roots supergroup Our Native Daughters, whose debut album was released in February.

Now comes There Is No Other, an acoustic set recorded with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, which one might describe as a ‘side project’, though the term hardly does justice to the potency of the music they make together.

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Giddens represents a unique figure in black American music. You can trace her folk lineage back to Memphis Minnie, Elizabeth Cotten and Odetta, but none of them had the inclination or opportunity to delve so deeply into the music’s patrimony. She derives inspiration from the likes of Nina Simone and Mavis Staples, but the closest analogue, perhaps, is Taj Mahal, whose vision of African-American roots over his 50-year career has been similarly expansive and inquisitive.

Giddens like to freight the titles of her projects with socio-political layers, and so it is here. The “other” refers to the way discrimination and prejudice marginalises the culture and identity of those outside the mainstream, and the album serves as both a condemnation of “othering” and “a celebration of the spread of ideas, connectivity, and shared experience”. In particular, Giddens and Turrisi throw the spotlight on the profound but largely ignored historical input of Islamic culture into European, African and US music.

Recorded in five days in Dublin in August last year last with little editing and minimalist intervention from producer Joe Henry, Turrisi – whose southern Mediterranean upbringing versed him in a rich tapestry of Islamic influences blown in on the sea breezes from North Africa – proves to be a felicitous guide in unpicking these hidden connections. The conservatoire-trained polymath’s past collaborators include early music ensembles, jazz combos, contemporary classical composers, Irish roots singers and Balkan folk musicians and he’s all over this set playing piano, accordion, lute/oud, cello, banjo and Arabic percussion, while Giddens augments her vocals with banjo, violin and viola.

Global fusion projects are often constructed like Meccano, bolted and screwed together for no discernible reason. Here the cross-cultural connections are explored with an organic subtlety in which everything fits comme il faut because, as Giddens puts it, “We’re educated about where the music is coming from.” Yet it is far more than an academic exercise, for, as she adds, “when it comes to playing it’s just what we feel” – and it’s that marriage of purpose and passion that makes There Is No Other special.

Over a sombre, classical-sounding Arabic lute, the opener “Ten Thousand Voices” finds Giddens’ keening voice essaying the kind of melismatic quarter-tones that her labelmate Robert Plant enjoys. (Note to Nonesuch: how about a duet?) “Gonna Right Me A Letter” is a cover of a song by bluegrass pioneer Ola Belle Reed in modal Arabic-blues style, while the familiar “Wayfaring Stranger” is given a more conventional arrangement, sung hauntingly by Giddens over a plaintive banjo and accordion accompaniment.

The mix of Appalachian banjo and Arabic percussion conjures a intoxicating rhythm on the instrumental title track. “Pizzica di San Vito” requires considerable vocal gymnastics from Giddens as she gallops through a furious Italian folk dance, although her finest singing on the album probably comes on a gorgeous version of Oscar Brown Jr’s “Brown Baby”. The set ends with a brace of Giddens’ own compositions. “I don’t know where I’m going but I know what to do,” she sings as she strides down the freedom highway again on the stirring folk-blues of “I’m On My Way”, while “He Will See You Through” is a righteous gospel-lullaby sung with a soaring purity over reverberating cello and Turrisi’s plangent piano chords. This is acoustic roots music at its most glorious, and Giddens is fast becoming the genre’s brightest star in the firmament.

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The June 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from April 18, and available to order online now – with Pink Floyd on the cover. The issue comes with a unique 15-track CD curated for Uncut by The National, who also speak exclusively to us inside the issue. Elsewhere, you’ll find Scott Walker, Bob Dylan, Primal Scream, JJ Cale, Cate Le Bon, Peter Perrett, Aretha Franklin, Mac DeMarco, Dinosaur Jr, Dylan Carson, Africa Express and much more.

The National announce new UK tour dates

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The National have announced four new UK tour dates for December.

The five-piece will visit Brighton, Leeds, Cardiff and Nottingham on the following dates:

7 December – BRIGHTON, Brighton Centre
8 December – LEEDS, First Direct Arena
9 December – CARDIFF, Motorpoint Arena
10 December – NOTTINGHAM, Motorpoint Arena

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Tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday May 17, the same day that The National’s new album I Am Easy To Find is released.

A limited 4AD pre-sale begins at 10am on Wednesday May 15. To gain access, you can pre-order I Am Easy To Find or sign up before 10am on Tuesday May 14 via the 4AD Store. For further information click here.

You can read an extensive interview with The National about the making of I Am Easy To Find in the current issue of Uncut, in shops now or available to order online by clicking here. The issue comes with a free 15-track curated by the band – for more details on that, go here.

Subscribe to Uncut and make huge savings on the cover price – find out by clicking here!

The June 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from April 18, and available to order online now – with Pink Floyd on the cover. The issue comes with a unique 15-track CD curated for Uncut by The National, who also speak exclusively to us inside the issue. Elsewhere, you’ll find Scott Walker, Bob Dylan, Primal Scream, JJ Cale, Cate Le Bon, Peter Perrett, Aretha Franklin, Mac DeMarco, Dinosaur Jr, Dylan Carson, Africa Express and much more.

Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig: “Growing up in the suburbs doesn’t preclude you from making exciting music”

Originally published in Uncut’s January 2009 issue (Take 140)

In this archive piece, singer and guitarist Ezra Koenig chooses his favourite records. Preppy Afropop, perhaps? Nope, Venom actually…

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__________________

The first record I ever bought
Various Artists – Billboard Top Pop Hits 1962 (1994)

This was one of the earliest tapes I ever had. It had The Four Seasons, oldies, doo wop and stuff. When I finally had a radio in my room when I was 9 or 10, I’d listen to this station in New York called 101.1 which just played oldies. I’d listen all night, waiting to hear “Dream Lover” or “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. These epic songs of the ’50s and ’60s were the first songs I got obsessed with.

__________________

A record my parents had which I loved
Madness – One Step Beyond (1979)

My parents had a great record collection, going all the way up to the year I was born, 1984. My dad had a lot of 2-Tone, and I’d listen to “One Step Beyond” by Madness. Being a kid in New Jersey, that was a transmission from another world: the weird accent, the sax line, and the cover. They’re all leaning on each other, this huge group of dudes. I didn’t have a concept for that – it was this bizarre thing.

__________________

The record which got me into “world” music
Fela Kuti – Expensive Shit (1975)

Even though his music isn’t a huge influence on Vampire Weekend, I’d say Expensive Shit was probably the first African record I listened to a lot. In my early teens, I was into punk rock, and looking at the album cover, it fit in with that aesthetic. I learned the backstory about Fela getting busted for drugs. It was my introduction not only to the music, but also to the political situation.

__________________

A record that reminds me of school
A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory (1991)

I had a group of friends who were all into rap, and we’d drive around and listen to jazzy, laid-back East Coast hip hop. If you didn’t go into New York it was boring, so we’d spend endless time driving in my friend’s car listening to Digable Planets, A Tribe Called Quest or De La Soul. I wrote an article for my high school newspaper about the hidden links between punk and rap.

__________________

A record people might be surprised I own
Venom – Black Metal (1982)

I read this alarmist right-wing book about cults in my school library, and at the time I was like, “Cults – this is amazing!” There was a section on satanic cults. They had a whole chapter about Venom and their Black Metal LP. It quoted the lyrics to “Sacrifice” about drinking a chalice of blood – and I remember thinking ‘this is so stupid and crazy’: I had to buy the album. It wasn’t as heavy and scary as I thought it would be.

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Hear Brian Eno’s new track, “Like I Was A Spectator”

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To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 19, Brian Eno will release an ‘Extended Edition’ of his landmark 1983 ambient album Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks, recorded with his brother Roger Eno and Daniel Lanois.

The trio have reconvened to record an entire album of new material for the release, subtitled For All Mankind – the title of the Al Reinert documentary which Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks was originally designed to soundtrack.

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Hear the first track from For All Mankind, “Like I Was A Spectator”, below:

Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks: Extended Edition will be released as a 2xLP 180gram vinyl in a gatefold sleeve, and as a limited numbered 2xCD edition with 24-page full colour hardcover book – as well as in standard 2xCD and digital formats.

Pre-order the album here and peruse the tracklisting below:

Disc 1: Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks – Remastered

01. ‘Under Stars’ (4:29)
02. ‘The Secret Place’ (3:31)
03. ‘Matta’ (4:20)
04. ‘Signals’ (2:47)
05. ‘An Ending (Ascent)’ (4:24)
06. ‘Under Stars II’ (3:23)
07. ‘Drift’ (3:05)
08. ‘Silver Morning’ (2:40)
09. ‘Deep Blue Day’ (3:58)
10. ‘Weightless’ (4:35)
11. ‘Always Returning’ (4:04)
12. ‘Stars’ (8:02)

Disc 2: For All Mankind

01. ‘The End Of A Thin Cord’ (4:08)
02. ‘Capsule’ (3:13)
03. ‘At The Foot Of A Ladder’ (3:35)
04. ‘Waking Up’ (2:29)
05. ‘Clear Desert Night’ (3:11)
06. ‘Over The Canaries’ (4:41)
07. ‘Last Step From The Surface’ (3:58)
08. ‘Fine-grained’ (3:34)
09. ‘Under The Moon’ (3:10)
10. ‘Strange Quiet’ (4:09)
11. ‘Like I Was A Spectator’ (4:23)

Subscribe to Uncut and make huge savings on the cover price – find out by clicking here!

The June 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from April 18, and available to order online now – with Pink Floyd on the cover. The issue comes with a unique 15-track CD curated for Uncut by The National, who also speak exclusively to us inside the issue. Elsewhere, you’ll find Scott Walker, Bob Dylan, Primal Scream, JJ Cale, Cate Le Bon, Peter Perrett, Aretha Franklin, Mac DeMarco, Dinosaur Jr, Dylan Carson, Africa Express and much more.

Introducing King Crimson: The Ultimate Music Guide

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I interviewed Brian Eno a few years ago for a wide-ranging chat that encompassed, among other things, his vast repertoire of collaborators. Is there a thread, I asked him, that links artists like David Bowie, Gavin Bryars, David Byrne, Robert Fripp, John Cale… “It’s standing outside of music in some way,” reflected Eno. “Looking at it and seeing it not only as something you love and you’re passionately engaged with but as a set of experiments you could do in other ways. If you broadly divide musicians up, you have the kind who are so into a style that’s what they do – nothing wrong with that, they’re great players. Fripp, by contrast, is someone who sits outside music and thinks, ‘You could do it differently. You could have a kind of music that goes like this…’ So he invents a new, strange and very hard for most other people to play music style. John Cale is like that as well. And I’m like that.”

Eno and Fripp’s collaborative albums have been engaging, exploratory companion pieces to their main careers – from the sombre whirls of “Wind On Water” to the impossibly beautiful “North Star“. Fripp, though, whether solo, as a collaborator or with King Crimson has spent the last 50 years enjoying a career as a most singular and inventive artist – from the boundary-wrecking jazz rock of Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” through to the polyrhythmic complexities of “Thela Hun Ginjeet” and beyond.

Our latest Ultimate Music Guide – as if you hadn’t guessed by now – is a celebration of all things Crim, as the band’s 50th anniversary continues apace. Inside the magazine – which is on sale tomorrow and also available to buy from our online store – includes archive features from Melody Maker and NME, in-depth new reviews of every Crimson/Fripp album as well as a unique audience with Fripp from earlier this year. “I’ve been trying to give King Crimson away to someone else for at least 45 years,” Fripp explains. “Going back to 1974, when I was overwhelmed by the sheer terror and stupidity of the professional life in which I was involved, another direction
was speaking to me. But at the same time I felt responsible for the other members of the band, the roadies and the music…”

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The May 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from March 21, and available to order online now – with Neil Young on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Mark Hollis, Jimi Hendrix, Al Green, Oh Sees, Damo Suzuki, Mott The Hoople, Big Thief, Love, Kristin Hersh, Shaun Ryder and much more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Weyes Blood, Kevin Morby, Richard Dawson, Fat White Family, Shana Cleveland, Drugdealer and Mekons.

Ultimate Music Guide: King Crimson

As the band celebrate their 50th anniversary, Uncut presents the Ultimate Music Guide to the mighty KING CRIMSON and the solo career of Robert Fripp.

In-depth new reviews of every Crimson/Fripp album! Magical archive features, with surprisingly R rated content!

Also includes a 2019 audience with Robert Fripp!

It’s King Crimson…the full story.

Buy a copy in shops from tomorrow or online here

The 16th Uncut New Music Playlist Of 2019

Follow me on Twitter @MichaelBonner

1.
75 DOLLAR BILL

“Every Last Tea Or Coffee”
(tak:til/ Glitterbeat)

2.
THE QUIET TEMPLE

“The Last Opuim Den (On Earth)”
(Point Of Departure Recordings)

3.
KAZU

“Salty”
(Adult Baby)

4.
HOUSE AND LAND

“Across The Field”
(Thrill Jockey”)

5.
VANISHING TWIN

“Krk (At Home In Strange Places)”
(Fire)

6.
AFRICA EXPRESS

“Johannesburg” [feat. Gruff Ryhs, Morena Leraba, Radio 123, Sibot
(Africa Express Records)

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7.
WOVOKA GENTLE

“Xerxes ‘19” [feat. Kids Club Kampala Children’s Choir]
(Nude)

8.
PORRIDGE RADIO

“Don’t Ask Me Twice”
(Memorials Of Distinction)

9.
MANNEQUIN PUSSY

“Drunk II”
(Epitaph)

10.
TROPICAL FUCK STORM

“Can’t Stop”
(Joyful Noise Recordings)

11.
CHRIS GANTRY

“Life Well Lived”
(Drag City)

12.
THE NATIONAL

“Hairpin Turns”
(4AD)

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The May 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from March 21, and available to order online now – with Neil Young on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Mark Hollis, Jimi Hendrix, Al Green, Oh Sees, Damo Suzuki, Mott The Hoople, Big Thief, Love, Kristin Hersh, Shaun Ryder and much more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Weyes Blood, Kevin Morby, Richard Dawson, Fat White Family, Shana Cleveland, Drugdealer and Mekons.

Led Zeppelin confirm details of new documentary film

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Led Zeppelin have confirmed that their new career-spanning documentary film, directed by American Epic’s Bernard MacMahon, is currently in post-production and poised for release later this year as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations.

It features brand new interviews of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, as well as rare archival interviews with the late John Bonham – the first and only time the band have participated in a documentary in 50 years.

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“The time was right for us to tell our own story for the first time in our own words, and I think that this film will really bring that story to life,” says John Paul Jones.

Commenting on their choice of director, Jimmy Page says: “When I saw everything Bernard had done both visually and sonically on the remarkable achievement that is American Epic, I knew he would be qualified to tell our story.”

Adds Robert Plant: “Seeing Will Shade, and so many other important early American musicians, brought to life on the big screen in American Epic inspired me to contribute to a very interesting and exciting story.”

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The June 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from April 18, and available to order online now – with Pink Floyd on the cover. The issue comes with a unique 15-track CD curated for Uncut by The National, who also speak exclusively to us inside the issue. Elsewhere, you’ll find Scott Walker, Bob Dylan, Primal Scream, JJ Cale, Cate Le Bon, Peter Perrett, Aretha Franklin, Mac DeMarco, Dinosaur Jr, Dylan Carson, Africa Express and much more.

Hear snippets of three previously unreleased David Bowie songs

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Omega Auctions are currently listing a boxed reel of 1/4″ Ampex recording tape, containing four tracks recorded by David Bowie at Decca Studio 2 in West Hampstead, London circa 1967.

“Funny Smile”, “Did You Ever Have A Dream”, “Pussy Cat” and “Bunny Thing” were all demoed for potential inclusion on Bowie’s self-titled 1967 debut album. You can hear snippets of them all below. They find Bowie experimenting with a number of different voices and styles, including a what appears to be a quirky spoken word number about drug-smuggling rabbits:

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“Did You Ever Have A Dream” is the only one of the four tracks to have been released before, on the 1981 compilation Another Face.

The auction takes place on May 21 at Omega Auctions in Newton-le-Willows, full details here. The starting price for the tape is listed as £3,000 although it is expected to fetch in the region of £5,000 – £8,000.

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The June 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from April 18, and available to order online now – with Pink Floyd on the cover. The issue comes with a unique 15-track CD curated for Uncut by The National, who also speak exclusively to us inside the issue. Elsewhere, you’ll find Scott Walker, Bob Dylan, Primal Scream, JJ Cale, Cate Le Bon, Peter Perrett, Aretha Franklin, Mac DeMarco, Dinosaur Jr, Dylan Carson, Africa Express and much more.

Bruce Springsteen has written a new E Street Band album

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This weekend’s Netflix FYSee event in Los Angeles featured Bruce Springsteen being interviewed by Martin Scorsese, ostensibly about Springsteen On Broadway.

However, the conversation naturally moved on to other topics, including a revelation that The Boss has recently written “almost an album’s worth of material” for The E Street Band.

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Springsteen’s new solo album Western Stars is due out on June 14, but it doesn’t feature The E Street Band. Springsteen has previously suggested that following The River Tour of 2016/7, he wouldn’t tour again with The E Street Band unless there was new material to support it.

It appears that material has now been written, as Variety reports. “It’s like I’ve spent about seven years without writing anything for the band,” Springsteen said. “I couldn’t write anything for the band. And I said, ‘Well, of course … you’ll never be able to do that again!’ And it’s a trick every time you do it, you know? But it’s a trick that, because of that fact that you can’t explain, cannot be self-consciously duplicated. It has to come to you in inspiration.

“And then about a month or so ago, I wrote almost an album’s worth of material for the band. And it came out of just… I mean, I know where it came from, but at the same time, it just came out of almost nowhere. And it was good, you know. I had about two weeks of those little daily visitations, and it was so nice… It makes you so happy. You go, ‘F—, I’m not f—ed, all right? There’ll be another tour!”

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The June 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from April 18, and available to order online now – with Pink Floyd on the cover. The issue comes with a unique 15-track CD curated for Uncut by The National, who also speak exclusively to us inside the issue. Elsewhere, you’ll find Scott Walker, Bob Dylan, Primal Scream, JJ Cale, Cate Le Bon, Peter Perrett, Aretha Franklin, Mac DeMarco, Dinosaur Jr, Dylan Carson, Africa Express and much more.

Jethro Tull on The Rolling Stones’ Rock And Roll Circus and ‘A Song For Jeffrey’: “It has a directness!”

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Originally published in Uncut’s March 2018 issue of Uncut

“Jeffrey just looked the part,” remembers Ian Anderson today. “He always had that rather enigmatic, strange, slightly detached, rather arty aspiration. There was sometimes a little bit of play-acting, of studied eccentricity about him.”

The charismatic Jeffrey Hammond would eventually join Jethro Tull on bass in 1970, but before that he was, in Anderson’s words, their “unofficial mascot”, and the inspiration behind one of their earliest songs, fan favourite “A Song For Jeffrey”. “If you saw someone reading a newspaper at the back of the crowded Marquee Club,” laughs Anderson, “that would be Jeffrey. It was all designed to be a little mysterious and a bit odd – and he was!”

The song, the swaggering first single from the band’s 1968 debut This Was, sonically bridged the gap between their R&B roots and their quirkier, progressive leanings. However, blues purist guitarist Mick Abrahams wasn’t pleased, and ended up departing before the group performed the track on The Rolling Stones’ Rock And Roll Circus in December 1968. Future Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi was instead drafted in to mime the cut.

“You had to progress pretty damn quick in those days,” explains drummer Clive Bunker, “because every other band was getting good by the week. Within a couple of years we were topping the bill in America – it was stupid times, really.”

Despite barely performing it live since the end of the ’60s, Anderson and the modern-day Tull have been rehearsing “A Song For Jeffrey” in preparation for their 50th Anniversary Tour this year, which the songwriter confirms will focus heavily on their ’60s and ’70s work.

“Of course the key word in the title is ‘for’,” muses Hammond, who left Jethro Tull in 1975, and now dedicates himself to painting. “I’ve always thought that the song was meant as a rather lovely gift or dedication, more than it having anything lyrically to do with me. What is so pleasing to this day is being associated vicariously with that edginess of the opening bars, the sparseness of it, the breathy flute, rhythmic bass and drums and almost elegant guitar.”

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Vox Lux

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Actor-turned-director Brady Corbet is 30 years old, with only two movies to his credit. But his output shames the parochial short-sightedness of some of his peers and holds its own against directors twice his age. His films – The Childhood 
Of A Leader and now Vox Lux – can be maddening in their opacity, but they are dizzyingly imaginative and rich in ideas, raising complex questions that hang in the air long after the credits roll.

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Vox Lux charts the career arc of a fading pop icon. Played as a teenager by newcomer Raffey Cassidy, the young Celeste emerges from a tragic school shooting to become the nation’s sweetheart; after an ellipsis of nearly 20 years, and a slew of scandals, she returns as Natalie Portman, an altogether more cynical and spoilt personality, struggling to maintain her fame.

Corbet frames the story in chapters and with a dryly omniscient narrator (Willem Dafoe), a conceit often employed by Lars Von Trier, to whose work Vox Lux owes an obvious debt. But where Von Trier can be detached and ironic, Corbet is committed to making Celeste credible, with catchy, upbeat autotune bangers written specially for the film by Sia. Lest we get too swept away, however, Corbet counterpoints Sia’s escapist pop with an eerie score by the late Scott Walker. With its haunting strings and nightmarish lullabies – at a key point, weird baby voices sing, “All of the cheekies are out 
of doors” – Walker adds a frisson of dread 
to a story of America’s fascination with celebrity and tragedy.

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The June 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from April 18, and available to order online now – with Pink Floyd on the cover. The issue comes with a unique 15-track CD curated for Uncut by The National, who also speak exclusively to us inside the issue. Elsewhere, you’ll find Scott Walker, Bob Dylan, Primal Scream, JJ Cale, Cate Le Bon, Peter Perrett, Aretha Franklin, Mac DeMarco, Dinosaur Jr, Dylan Carson, Africa Express and much more.

Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes

When it was relaunched by EMI 
in the 1980s, Blue Note became 
the world’s biggest and most prestigious jazz label. This fascinating, if flawed, documentary by Swiss filmmaker Sophie Huber reminds us that, for most of its life, Blue Note was the outsider – the indie label competing with the big boys such as Verve, RCA, Columbia and Capitol. It was started by Alfred Lion and Frank Wolff – two Jews who’d fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s – who championed varieties 
of jazz that were often unpopular and uncommercial at the time.

Bringing to life a record label of this vintage is a tough job for a filmmaker. We have the music, of course, and the rostrum camera can linger over the perennially hip artwork of Reid Miles and Frank Wolff’s iconic black-and-white photos of the recording sessions, wreathed in sexy cigarette smoke. But there is surprisingly little live footage – only a 1953 TV clip of Clifford Brown and 1959 film of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.

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Along with some archive audio interviews and clips of the current Blue Note bigwigs, Huber tries to tell the entire story using just musicians – old-timers Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter 
serve as a quizzical double act; saxophonist Lou Donaldson makes for a wheezing, hilarious 
raconteur; a host of recent signings (Robert Glasper, Ambrose Akinmusire, Kendrick Scott, Norah Jones) bring us up to date, while Ali Shaheed Muhammad from A Tribe Called Quest explains Blue Note’s relationship with hip-hop sampling culture.

A rare interview with optometrist-turned-studio engineer Rudy Van Gelder, recorded not long before he died, is largely wasted, although we get a tantalising look inside the cavernous studio he built in 1959 (“Neighbours saw the high roof and said, ‘Oh look, they’re building a church’!”). But there are moments where the film desperately needs a critic or a historian to fill in some huge gaps in the story.

The narrative mysteriously halts in the late 1950s, ignoring a whole decade of era-defining recordings by the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Smith, Sonny Rollins, Jackie McLean, Andrew Hill, Donald Byrd and Lonnie Smith. Instead Huber tries to recreate the spirit of the era by filming Shorter and Hancock as they re-create an old 1960s composition, “Masquelero”, with the latter-day Blue Note All Stars. It’s an interesting means of facilitating an interview with the pair, but it doesn’t really work as a narrative device, and we end up frustratingly short of an understanding as to what defines and motivates 
this timeless, remarkable music.

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The June 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from April 18, and available to order online now – with Pink Floyd on the cover. The issue comes with a unique 15-track CD curated for Uncut by The National, who also speak exclusively to us inside the issue. Elsewhere, you’ll find Scott Walker, Bob Dylan, Primal Scream, JJ Cale, Cate Le Bon, Peter Perrett, Aretha Franklin, Mac DeMarco, Dinosaur Jr, Dylan Carson, Africa Express and much more.

Bill Callahan announces new album, Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest

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Bill Callahan has announced his first album in almost six years, Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest.

The 20-track affair will be released by Drag City on June 14. You can watch the LP being made in the video below:

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Callahan sets off on a world tour to accompany the album in June, arriving in the UK in October. Check out his full itinerary below:

US:
13/6/19 Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, Pioneertown CA
14/6/19 The Lodge Room, Los Angeles CA
15/6/19 The Lodge Room, Los Angeles CA
17/6/19 Henry Miller Library, Big Sur CA
18/6/19 The Castro Theeatre, San Francisco CA
19/6/19 Gundlach-Bundschu Winery, Sonoma CA
21/6/19 Wonder Ballroom, Portland OR (Early Show)
21/6/19 Wonder Ballroom, Portland OR
22/6/19 Neptune Theatre, Seattle WA
5/7/19 Lawrence Public Library, Lawrence KS
6/7/19 Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis MN
7/7/19 Thalia Hall, Chicago IL
8/7/19 Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit MI
10/7/19 The Sinclair, Cambridge MA
11/7/19 Murmrr Theatre, Brooklyn NY
12/7/19 White Eagle Hall, Jersey City NJ
13/7/19 World Cafe Live, Philadelphia PA
14/7/19 Miracle Theatre, Washington DC
15/7/19 Miracle Theatre, Washington DC
16/7/19 Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro NC
17/7/19 Terminal West, Atlanta GA
18/7/19 Proud Larry’s, Oxford MS

Europe:
29/9/19 Vicar Street, Dublin IE
1/10/19 Usher Hall, Edinburgh UK
2/10/19 Albert Hall, Manchester UK
3/10/19 Eventim Apollo, London UK

5/10/19 La Cigale, Paris FR
6/10/19 Ancienne Belgique, Brussels BE
7/10/19 TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht NL
8/10/19 Admiralspalast, Berlin DE
10/10/19 Store Vega, Copenhagen DK
11/10/19 Rockefeller Music Hall, Oslo NO
12/10/19 Göta Lejon, Stockholm SE
13/10/19 Pustervik, Gothenburg SE

Subscribe to Uncut and make huge savings on the cover price – find out by clicking here!

The June 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from April 18, and available to order online now – with Pink Floyd on the cover. The issue comes with a unique 15-track CD curated for Uncut by The National, who also speak exclusively to us inside the issue. Elsewhere, you’ll find Scott Walker, Bob Dylan, Primal Scream, JJ Cale, Cate Le Bon, Peter Perrett, Aretha Franklin, Mac DeMarco, Dinosaur Jr, Dylan Carson, Africa Express and much more.

Watch a video for The National’s new song, “Hairpin Turns”

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The National have released another song from their upcoming album I Am Easy To Find, due out on May 17.

Watch a video for “Hairpin Turns” below:

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The video was again directed by Mike Mills and features I Am Easy To Find contributors Gail Ann Dorsey, Mina Tindle and Kate Stables (AKA This Is The Kit) as well as dancer Sharon Eyal.

“The video is a very simple portrait of the band (and the friends who helped make the song),” explains Mills. “You see all the instruments that make up the song in isolation, even hear them recorded live on set over the album version, kind of like showing you the tracks that make up the song. And you see everyone who contributed alone, including Gail Ann Dorsey, Pauline Delasser (aka Mina Tindle) and Kate Stables – but your mind puts them together. The dancer Sharon Eyal is sort of a continuation of Alicia Vikander’s character from the film I Am Easy To Find. We thought of her as Alicia’s unconscious, or her shadow self – that has her own life in this space.”

A series of worldwide screenings have been announced for Mill’s I Am Easy To Find film – see the full list below.

You can read an extensive interview with The National in the current issue of Uncut, in shops now or available to order online by clicking here. The band even curated this month’s free CD – read more about that here.

Subscribe to Uncut and make huge savings on the cover price – find out by clicking here!

The June 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from April 18, and available to order online now – with Pink Floyd on the cover. The issue comes with a unique 15-track CD curated for Uncut by The National, who also speak exclusively to us inside the issue. Elsewhere, you’ll find Scott Walker, Bob Dylan, Primal Scream, JJ Cale, Cate Le Bon, Peter Perrett, Aretha Franklin, Mac DeMarco, Dinosaur Jr, Dylan Carson, Africa Express and much more.