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The 25th Uncut New Music Playlist of 2019

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A wealth of good new music this week – I can especially recommend Aoife Nessa Frances, Destroyer, Craven Faults and Nicolas Godin. At the risk of sounding like a tease, there’s big news coming from us, so see you soon back here imminently…

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AOIFE NESSA FRANCES
“Blow Up”
(Basin Rock)

BECK
“Dark Places”
(Capitol)

NICOLAS GODIN
“The Border”
(Because Music)

DESTROYER
“Crimson Tide”
(Dead Oceans)

SIGN LIBRA
“Sea Of Islands”
(RVNG Intl)

IRMAO VICTOR
“Tristinha”
(Chupa Manga)

MUSH
“Eat The Etiquette”
(Memphis Industries)

LUCY DACUS
“Fool’s Gold”
(Matador)

JASON McMAHON
“Ambisinistrous”
(Shinkoyo)

KEELEY FORSYTH
“Debris”
(The Leaf Label)

DALLAS ACID
“Emaljets Hav (edit)”
(All Saints Records)

CLARK
“Legacy Pet”
(Warp)

AÏSHA DEVI
“The Favor Of Fire (Equiknoxx Remix Feat. Gavsborg & Shanique Marie)”
(Houndstooth)

CRAVEN FAULTS
“Deipkier”
(The Leaf Label)

The Kinks – Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire) 50th Anniversary Edition

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There is a puzzle at the heart of The Kinks’ apparently nostalgic 1969 album, and 
it hinges on the ambiguity 
of that cumbersome title. There’s a lot of work going 
on inside those brackets, 
and if you accept Ray Davies’ wry invitation, you have to wonder about the relevance of Britain’s 
colonial past to the fortunes of his disappointed everyman, Arthur.

As legends go, Arthur’s is a modest one. The story Davies set out to tell isn’t necessarily the one he ended up with, but this 50-year-old concept album, already deluxed, and now granted the full boxset treatment, has a curiously elastic relationship with time. On its release, Arthur was given critical encouragement while not causing a commercial stampede. It sounded – it sounds – woozily kaleidoscopic, with petals of nostalgia folding over shards of cynicism. Under the shifting surface, there’s anger and insecurity, class consciousness and doubt, whimsy and dismay; all the Ray Davies stuff. The word he uses is “vengeful”.

At times, Arthur rocks. Dave Davies rightly notes the “droning, half-indian psychedelic” whine of contemporaneous B-side “King Kong”, and there’s the psych jam of “Australia”’s coda, but the album also attracted comparisons with George Formby. Yet, listen to it now, and the record’s melodic interrogation of English national consciousness seems boldly topical.

What Arthur became isn’t what it set out to be, though. The album overlaps slightly with The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, but it was conceived as a pop opera for Granada TV. Alan Bennett and John Betjeman were suggested as collaborators. Bennett pleaded indigestion, and Betjeman, thought Davies, would have been more suited to preserving the Village Green. Instead, Julian Mitchell, a contemporary of Absolute Beginners author Colin MacInnes, signed up to ink the detail of a story in which Arthur reflects on his life as his son emigrates to Australia.

The TV project was doomed, but Davies’ songs took their own path. The singer sees Arthur as a friend of Walter from …Preservation Society’s “Do You Remember Walter” (a childhood friend gone, the narrator assumes, to fat and ruin), but the inspiration comes directly from Davies’ family, and the emigration to Australia of sister Rosie and her husband Arthur. There is some blurring of the timelines in the story: Mitchell’s Arthur was connected to the First World War, while Davies is more concerned with the generation that rejected Churchill after the 1939–45 conflict. Davies also notes: “I wasn’t entirely comfortable, because it was about my family and personal. So I held back.”

The treasures of Arthur are well known. The anthemic “Victoria” smuggles a dagger of subversion beneath its cloak in the lines “When I grow I shall fight/For this land I shall die”, and “Shangri-La” is one of The Kinks’ finest moments, with a gorgeous melody and ambiguous lyrics which deploy empathy and satire in equal measure. Davies’ vengeful instincts are present, but it’s a mistake to imagine that the writer’s anger is directed at the little man whose reward for a lifetime 
of toil is a rocking chair and a pair of slippers. It’s the modesty of reward Davies is angry about, not the desire to overcome insecurity.

What does the boxset tell us about Arthur that previous reissues haven’t? Well, it catches The Kinks at a moment when rock music was in flux. The obvious contrast is with The Who, who in 1969 were exploring the same conceptual urges to produce Tommy. But where Pete Townshend’s pinball parable employed bombast and primary colours, Davies delivers something more akin to a kitchen-sink drama, if not a radio play. The rarities disc includes an eight-minute medley of Davies’ home demos, a charming fragment that includes a ramshackle run through “Victoria” and a pass at “Some Mother’s Son”. These sketches reveal the robustness of the tunes.

Disc Three contains what is now referred to as The Great Lost Dave Davies Album. It posits an alternate version of The Kinks in which the lyrical interest in character is replaced with raw energy and emotion. Ray Davies has suggested that Dave’s album offers the backstory of The Kinks in 1969. Musically, it suggests the influence of The Band on this most English of groups. There’s a bit of the boozer, a hint of the honky-tonk in the lovely “Do You Wish To Be A Man”, in “Hold My Hand” and plaintive country strum “Are You Ready?”. These are hymns to insecurity, delivered with absolute confidence.

The questions that troubled Davies, about the post-war settlement and the country being unfit for heroes of modest means, continue to swirl. Small wonder that the songwriter is now reworking the material into a script for a doo-wop musical. Ultimately, between the two opposing forces – Dave’s primal introspection and Ray’s character-based micro-dramas – the tensions that fuel The Kinks proliferate; and on Arthur, Ray’s instincts are to the fore. By mining so perceptively the particulars of his family history he made a work that was both of its time and universal. That it should prove topical 50 years on is beyond ironic. However you cast it, nostalgia is an empire on which the sun never stops setting.

Richard Dawson – 2020

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Last time we came face to face with Richard Dawson, he was adrift in ancient Britain. The Newcastle singer-songwriter’s fifth album, Peasant, was set in Bryneich, a Middle Ages kingdom that stretched between Scotland and the River Tyne somewhere around the 6th century AD. These were faraway times, barely documented in the written word, so on the surface his new album 2020 – which is very much a record of the here and now – should feel like a world apart. Yet there’s something about the way that Dawson writes – in a vivid first-person style, full of grit and vigour – that gives his music a consistent thread, and roots it in something very human.

2020 is, without a doubt, Dawson’s most direct album to date. Entirely self-played but ambitious in its palette and bold in its arrangements, it finds him adding a new lucidity and sense of melody to his knotty and raucous take on folk music. Next to Peasant – an album that, in Dawson’s words, “sounds like it’s covered in dry mud and twig scratches” – 2020 is positively hi-fi, its spry fingerpicking and tremulous choruses presented in gleaming clarity, guitars mostly electrified and paired up with synths and chunky drums, both real and electronic.

Its 10 songs are set against backdrops of mundane modernity – town centres, provincial football pitches, flooded pubs, Amazon warehouses – and focus their gaze on a cast of characters who are down on their luck or feel alienated by the world that surrounds them. On the opening “Civil Servant”, we follow the perspective of a staff member in a job centre, dealing daily with the hopeless and the desperate, and gradually feeling his humanity slipping away. “In my bed I can hear the strangled voices/Of all the people I failed, I failed, I failed, I failed,” he chants, as guitar and drums lock into a grim, arabesque churn. Not for the first time on 2020, you’re reminded of an observation by the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre: that hell is other people.

The mess of human relationships is grist to Dawson’s mill, and his writing here has seldom been better. On “Heart Emoji”, a man learns of his lover’s presumed infidelity through the glimpse of a 3am text message. “Two Halves” is the tale of a child footballer and his competitive dad that captures the pair’s relationship in tragicomic style (“Stop fannying around!/Keep it nice and simple/You’re not Lionel Messi/Just pass the bloody ball”).

At times, 2020 feels almost unbearably sad. “Fresher’s Ball” starts with a father dropping off his daughter at university, and feeling a gulf of loneliness open up. But Dawson’s music comes from a place of compassion, which manifests in occasional chinks of light. On “The Queen’s Head”, a landlord and his family dash back home after receiving a call to say their pub has been flooded. They arrive to find that their neighbours – whom, Dawson points out, they have never met – are mucking in with buckets. There is the sense that community persists, even as the modern world does its best to extinguish it.

If 2020 finds Dawson approaching accessibility, there is an essential weirdness to his music that will not be entirely dislodged. “Black Triangle” is a turbulent mix of barbarian metal, billowing sci-fi keyboards and pseudo-medieval modes, and traces the story of two friends who, as young men, spot a UFO; the song has an allegorical feel, but at its heart, it’s as enigmatic as the floating prism of the title. The 10-minute “Fulfilment Centre”, meanwhile, adopts a fluttery jazz fusion reminiscent of Frank Zappa, one that more or less approximates the queasy disorientation of a shift at the zero-hours grindstone. Time spent with Dawson’s music tends to render its oddity strangely palatable, though. Take “Jogging”. On paper, it’s a six-and-a-half minute song about overcoming anxiety that revolves around the question: is the world full of hate, or am I just paranoid? Yet the anthemic chorusing and billowing synthesiser feel designed to keep dark thoughts at bay, and it culminates on a note of mildly comic triumph as the protagonist asks: would you like to sponsor him, because he’s running the London Marathon?

Tragedy and comedy, tall tales and home truths – 2020 takes all the raw stuff of life and lays it out like meat in a butcher’s window. It can be a dark listen – heavy with disappointment and anxiety, shot through with the pain of betrayal and constant reminders of man’s inhumanity to man. But Richard Dawson’s music is underpinned by a powerful sense of empathy – he’s rooting for us. And it’s hard not to conclude that 2020 is the record we need right now: a state-of-the-nation address for a nation in a bit of a state.

Grace Jones to curate Meltdown 2020

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Grace Jones has been unveiled as the curator of 2020’s Meltdown festival, taking place at London’s Southbank Centre from June 12-21 next year.

She follows in the illustrious footsteps of previous curators David Bowie, Nick Cave, Robert Smith, Patti Smith, Yoko Ono and Nile Rodgers (who curated last year’s festival).

“It’s about time I was asked to curate Meltdown darling, don’t you think?!” said Jones, who previously appeared at The Royal Festival Hall for Massive Attack’s Meltdown in 2008. “Year after year, the festival continues to spread its colourful wings, allowing its curators to bring together an array of diverse talent not seen anywhere else.”

Bengi Ünsal, Head of Contemporary Music at Southbank Centre, added: “Meltdown offers an unparalleled window into the minds of the greatest musical influencers of our age. There’s no denying it: Grace Jones is unlike anybody else.

“She was the first artist who made me feel that I could express myself, be whatever I wanted to be, and not be afraid of what the world might say. She is one of the few living artists who can truly be described as iconic, with a relentlessly individualistic vision. I am truly honoured that she will share it with us for Meltdown 2020.”

The first tranche of acts for the festival will be announced in early 2020.

The Specials to auction stage placards for charity

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Wherever The Specials have toured this year, the stage has been adorned with painted slogan placards created by the band’s Horace Panter and Terry Hall.

Now the band have revealed that they plan to auction off these placards in aid of charities including Save the Children, Shelter and Tonic Music (details TBC, but keep an eye on The Specials’ official site).

In the meantime, you can purchase the paintings in the form of limited-edition prints, available from Horace Panter Art until November 21. You can see some of the placards above, and more can be viewed here. For a full list of available prints and prices, email hello@horacepanterart.com

Neil Young: “I could never do a retirement tour”

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In a new interview with AARP, Neil Young has hinted at his touring plans for next year. Asked why he hadn’t booked a Crazy Horse tour to support new album Colorado, he first revealed that he’d turned down “millions of dollars” for a Harvest tour.

“Everyone who played on Harvest is dead,” he said. “I don’t want to do that. How about planting instead of harvesting? If I decide to go on the road, I’d like to do a democracy tour next year with different people that keep changing. Not right or left. Democracy is not you on this side and me on that side just to see who wins.”

Asked if he was planning to work indefinitely, Young replied: “I could never do a retirement tour. I’d feel like Cher. Don’t retire unless you really aren’t interested. I’m interested. It hurts a little to play now where it didn’t before. I don’t hear quite as well as I did before. My voice is not like it was before. Show me something that is like it was before. I feel good about the future. The idea is, do not stop moving.”

However, one item probably not on the agenda is a CSNY reunion, given the current frosty relationship between Young and David Crosby. “Crosby should write an introspective book: Why People Won’t Talk to Me Anymore,” said Young. “He made a lot of great music for a long time. I don’t know what happened with David. I got nothing to say. I love Stephen. I love Graham. If a reunion happens, it would be a surprise. I won’t close the door on anything. I can hold a grudge with the best of them but only if there’s a reason for it.”

This week, Neil Young also appeared on Conan O’Brien’s podcast, Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend, where he talked about the making of Colorado, licensing his music for adverts, and of course, the importance of preserving sound quality. You can listen to the interview here.

Hear Graham Coxon’s new song, “She Knows”

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As with the acclaimed first series, Blur’s Graham Coxon has provided the soundtrack to the second series of Channel 4 / Netflix drama The End Of The F***ing World, which starts this week.

Coxon’s soundtrack album will be released digitally on Friday (November 8), with a vinyl release scheduled for January 2020.

Hear a song from it, “She Knows”, below:

Send us your questions for Dave Vanian

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The next living legend to generously submit to a friendly grilling from you, the Uncut readers, is the original punk vampire, Dave Vanian of The Damned.

Having skippered the band through various iterations since they exploded onto the scene in 1976, helping to define punk in the process, Vanian successfully resurrected – or should that be exhumed? – The Damned for last year’s comeback album Evil Spirits, produced by Tony Visconti.

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That was followed last week by a new 4xLP anthology Black Is The Night, charting the full 43-year career of this eccentric, pioneering British band.

Now, fresh from The Damned’s sold-out Halloween spectacular at the London Palladium – for which he was carried onto the stage in a coffin and later shaved off his famous Dracula quiff in order to return for the second half as Nosferatu – Vanian will be answering your questions in the latest edition of our Audience With franchise.

So what do you want to ask a singer who helped invent both punk and goth, and who’s still pulling out all the stops on-stage today? Send your questions to audiencewith@uncut.co.uk by Thursday November 7 and Dave will answer the best ones in a future issue of Uncut.

Watch The National’s Matt Berninger cover Big Thief’s “Not”

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The National’s Matt Berninger headlined Toronto’s annual Dream Serenade benefit show on Saturday (November 2), to raise money and awareness for schools and services for children with developmental and/or physical disabilities and their caregivers.

As part of his solo set, Berninger covered the song “Not” by his 4AD labelmates Big Thief. Watch it below:

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Berninger recently announced a new solo album called Serpentine Prison, produced and arranged by Booker T Jones. You can read a interview with Booker T in the current issue of Uncut (with Bob Dylan on the cover), in shops now or available to order online by clicking here.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s ‘Fanfare For The Common Man’ – an oral history

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Originally published in Uncut’s March 2017 issue

With their racks of modular Moogs and extended classical interpretations, Emerson, Lake & Palmer certainly embraced the decadence of progressive rock. Surprisingly, however, their biggest hit was actually recorded live on one microphone, resulting in a raw version that the trio were unable to improve on.

“We jammed it in the studio, and the sound engineer had the good sense to record it,” says Greg Lake, speaking to Uncut in one of his final interviews before his death in December 2016. “It went down live on a two-track and that’s the record.”

Lake, drummer Carl Palmer and keyboardist Keith Emerson, who passed away in March 2016, were setting up their gear in Switzerland’s Mountain Studios after a long hiatus when they spontaneously began jamming on “Fanfare For The Common Man”, composed by Aaron Copland.

“We all rented houses, up and around Montreux,” recalls Lake. “I had one right at the top of a mountain, right by the top of the clouds, which was actually very weird. And, you know, Switzerland is quite a strange place really – everything is just surreal.”

After complicated wrangles with Copland and his publishers, the recording became an unlikely No 2 hit in the UK, and sparked an extravagant, doomed world tour with a full orchestra in tow. After 19 shows, though, they returned to their original trio lineup.

“We really got on,” remembers Carl Palmer. “I mean, the band has always been three individuals just like it says in the name: Emerson, Lake & Palmer. When we played music together, it was the best time of our lives and probably for all of us it was the greatest time we ever had, when we actually got together and played. It was kind of everything outside of that, really [that was a problem] – we just weren’t as compatible as people might have thought we were.”

“If you played ‘Fanfare…’ today, people like it,” says Lake. “It’s great, it’s uplifting and it’s rhythmic. It got to No 2 in the UK, which for an instrumental is good going really. I mean, if you ever want to hear ELP instrumentally, ‘Fanfare…’ is it – that would be us in a nutshell.”

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Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka

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Love & Hate, Michael Kiwanuka’s 2016 breakthrough and UK chart-topper, was the result of a uniquely inspired collaboration that teamed the London-based singer-songwriter with two fellow polymaths: studio auteur/music scholar Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton and emerging hip-hop producer/multi-instrumentalist Inflo. Together, they built the tracks playing a variety of instruments, surrounding Kiwanuka’s strikingly soulful vocals and evocative guitar work with strings and female backing chorales. The LP’s centrepiece, “Black Man In A White World”, was Kiwanuka’s finest song to that point, while in the US, he went from virtual unknown to artist on the rise when “Cold Little Heart”’s captivating hook was used as the theme of HBO drama Big Little Lies.

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The songwriter and his two cohorts were delighted by what they’d achieved, Kiwanuka calling Love & Hate “perfect – 
I wouldn’t change a thing”, and Burton citing Pink Floyd and Isaac Hayes as reference points: “I actually can’t wait to try to do it again some point.” Reuniting to create this follow-up album, Kiwanuka, Burton and Inflo have dipped into the same expansive palette – the washes of strings, the purring choirs, Burton’s fixation with vintage film music and Inflo’s dexterity on drums and all manner of analogue and electronic keyboards, while drawing on Kiwanuka’s acknowledged late-’60s and ’70s inspirations: Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland, Isaac Hayes’ Hot Buttered Soul, Shuggie Otis’ Inspiration Information, Eddie Hazel’s Game, Dames And Guitar Thangs and, most prominently, Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On.

Kiwanuka is structured in movements, like a classical symphony, with shape-shifting interludes connecting one track to the next. The album’s first movement begins with the beating of congas and what sounds like a lo-fi recording of a Caribbean beach party, soon erupting into the visceral groove of “You Ain’t The Problem”, on which Kiwanuka sets his thematic course, shifting his ruminations into a social context as he confronts a chaotic world. “Don’t hesitate/Time heals the pain/You ain’t the problem,” he sings in the chorus, seemingly reassuring himself as well as all those reeling from the uncertainties of present-day existence.

At the four-minute mark, the instrumentation and backing vocals drop away, isolating a delicate keyboard carrying the melody into the next track, “Rolling”, its hammering, Stax-like groove bringing additional urgency to the refrain, “Rolling with the times/Don’t be late”. A guitar figure provides the bridge to “I’ve Been Dazed”, which sets the tone and structure for the meat of the album. It begins with Kiwanuka’s hushed voice, at once vulnerable and determined; other elements – drums, choir and string section – enter one by one, until this intimate ballad almost imperceptibly blossoms into full-on grandeur, like a cautiously optimistic orchestral 
update of Thunderclap Newman’s “Something In The Air”.

Kiwanuka is loaded with memorable songs, but the best way to experience them is by listening to the album from start to finish. Each successive movement follows a similar pattern, aiming for immersiveness and effect, mirroring the approach of psychedelic landmarks from the Floyd’s A Saucerful Of Secrets to Tame Impala’s Currents. “Piano Joint (This Kind Of Love)”, ornamented like a lush Tin Pan Alley standard, resolves into a rapturous melodic payoff, as Kiwanuka sings, “All I know is/My, oh my, this kind of love/It’s taken me from my enemies/Don’t let the pressure get to me”, his yearning vocal gliding over opulent strings. Meanwhile, the crack of a gunshot is followed by an emphatic snare hit, introducing the propulsive groove of “Living In Denial”, the backing chorale mimicking a sprightly horn section, à la Swingle Singers.

The questioning, mid-tempo “Hero” features an intensely emotional extended guitar solo from Kiwanuka, before a Morricone-like transition leads into the seven-minute opus “Hard To Say Goodbye”, its eerie, Portishead-recalling guitar lick juxtaposed with siren-like backing vocals straight out of a ’40s Hollywood fantasy. The album ends with the double-decker finish of the shimmering ballad “Solid Ground” and swirling technicolor panorama “Light”; but best of all may be “Final Days” which, equal parts Marvin and Massive Attack, sums up Kiwanuka’s beguiling, brave nature.

The December 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from October 17, and available to order online now – with Bob Dylan on the cover and an exclusive unreleased Dylan track on our free CD. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Robert Smith, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Pink Floyd, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Prince, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Lynne, Booker T, Tindersticks and much more.

Sorry We Missed You

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Ken Loach is 83 now, and if he stopped making movies tomorrow, Sorry We Missed You probably wouldn’t make the Top 10 of his best. Nevertheless, he remains one of the few British filmmakers who try to make a difference. With Sorry We Missed You, he addresses the subject of the gig economy and the injustice of zero-hours contracts.

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It begins innocuously enough with family man Ricky (Kris Hitchen), a former builder, making plans to take his wife and children out of their mildewed rented digs and buy their own home. To this end, he finds work as a driver for a delivery company and ploughs the family savings into a van, as opposed to renting one for an extortionate daily rate. It seems too good to be true – and it is.

Before long, Kris starts to fall foul of all the dangers lurking in the small print. Delays, losses and minor infractions all incur sizeable fines, reaching a head when he is assaulted on the job. In the meantime, family tensions are slowly simmering. It might lack the angry urgency of I, Daniel Blake, and the cast isn’t one of Loach’s strongest, but Sorry We Missed You shows that Loach is still acutely aware of the way unfairness manifests itself in the modern world.

It’s a shame, though, that he focuses on the white van man of the house and not Ricky’s wife, Abbie (Debbie Honeywood). A selfless home carer, Abbie is the one hardest hit by her husband’s entry into self-employment and her visits to the elderly are a sad reminder of the human cost of cuts to social services.

The December 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from October 17, and available to order online now – with Bob Dylan on the cover and an exclusive unreleased Dylan track on our free CD. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Robert Smith, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Pink Floyd, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Prince, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Lynne, Booker T, Tindersticks and much more.

The 24th Uncut New Music Playlist Of 2019

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Apologies — it’s been a while since I’ve posted a Playlist, but a number of factors, both work and otherwise, have kept me busy elsewhere. The good news is, there’s a ton of good stuff below: new Spain, Frazey Ford, Six Organs Of Admittance, the continued unfolding brilliance of the Bonny Light Horseman album plus some Lambchop I wasn’t expecting. Anyway, please – fill your boots, folks.

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1.
LAMBCHOP

“So Modern So Tight”
(City Slang)

2.
FRAZEY FORD

“The Kids Are Having None Of It”
(Arts & Crafts)

3.
ITASCA

“Only A Traveler”
(Paradise Of Bachelors)

4.
THURSTON MOORE

“Leave Me Alone”
(Cargo Records UK)

5.
SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE

“Two Forms Moving”
(Drag City)

6.
BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN

“Deep In Love”
(37d03d Records)

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7.
SPAIN

“Night Crawling”
(Diamond Soul Recordings)

8.
MOUNT EERIE/JULIE DOIRON

“Love Without Possession”
(P.W. Elverum & Sun)

9.
TAME IMPALA

“It Might Be Time”
(Fiction Records)

10.
SQUIRREL FLOWER

“Red Shoulder”
(Polyvinyl)

11.
WOLF PARADE

“Against The Day”
(Sub Pop)

12.
PEDRO KASTELIJNS

“Olhos da Raposa” [Live at Cami’s Living Room]
(OAR)

The December 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from October 17, and available to order online now – with Bob Dylan on the cover and an exclusive unreleased Dylan track on our free CD. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Robert Smith, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Pink Floyd, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Prince, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Lynne, Booker T, Tindersticks and much more.

Ronnie Wood documentary due in cinemas next month

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Following its premiere at the BFI London Film Festival, Somebody Up There Likes MeMike Figgis’s documentary about Ronnie Wood – will be screened at select cinemas across the UK and Ireland in November.

For a full list of cinemas and information on how to buy tickets, go here.

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Watch a trailer for Somebody Up There Likes Me, which features brand new interviews with Wood’s Rolling Stones bandmates Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts – as well as his old Faces mucker, Rod Stewart – below:

The December 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from October 17, and available to order online now – with Bob Dylan on the cover and an exclusive unreleased Dylan track on our free CD. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Robert Smith, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Pink Floyd, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Prince, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Lynne, Booker T, Tindersticks and much more.

NME Gold: The Best Of NME 1990-1994

Latest in our Best Of NME series is The Best Of NME: 1990-1994. Featuring classic interviews from the archives of the world’s best music title, and new insights from our issue godfather Bobby Gillespie, the issue plots the success of PJ Harvey, the rise and tragic fall of Nirvana, as well as all the most pivotal news events, albums and singles as grunge turned into Britpop. Also features an exclusive afterword from Tim Burgess.

Tame Impala announce new album, The Slow Rush

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Tame Impala have announced that their new album The Slow Rush will be released by Fiction Records on February 14.

Listen to latest single “It Might Be Time” below:

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The Slow Rush was recorded between Los Angeles and Kevin Parker’s studio in his hometown of Fremantle, Australia. The twelve tracks were recorded, produced and mixed by Parker himself.

You can pre-order the album here, including limited edition coloured vinyl versions.

The December 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from October 17, and available to order online now – with Bob Dylan on the cover and an exclusive unreleased Dylan track on our free CD. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Robert Smith, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Pink Floyd, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Prince, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Lynne, Booker T, Tindersticks and much more.

Paul Weller announces 2020 UK tour

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Following his Forest Live dates in the summer, Paul Weller has announced his first proper UK tour since 2017.

He’ll play 12 shows across the country in May, full dates below:

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01 – CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange
02 – NORWICH UEA
04 – MARGATE Winter Gardens
05 – SOUTHEND Cliffs Pavillion
06 – OXFORD New Theatre
08 – ABERDEEN Music Hall
09 – GLASGOW Barrowland
10 – MIDDLESBROUGH Town Hall
12 – LLANDUDNO Venue Cymru
13 – LIVERPOOL Olympia
14 – STOKE Victoria Hall
16 – PORTSMOUTH Guildhall

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday (November 1) from the usual outlets.

According to the press release, “Paul has recently been in the studio writing and playing new songs. The fruits of these labours will surface in the new year… watch this space.”

The December 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from October 17, and available to order online now – with Bob Dylan on the cover and an exclusive unreleased Dylan track on our free CD. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Robert Smith, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Pink Floyd, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Prince, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Lynne, Booker T, Tindersticks and much more.

Little Feat guitarist Paul Barrere has died, aged 71

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Little Feat guitarist Paul Barrere has died, aged 71. He passed away at UCLA Hospital on Saturday morning (October 26), according to a statement on the Little Feat website.

A member of the band since the early 70s, he was forced to sit out their current tour due to side effects from his ongoing treatment for liver disease.

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Barrere initially auditioned for Little Feat as a bassist, before eventually joining the band on guitar (and occasional lead vocals) prior to the recording of 1973’s Dixie Chicken. His songwriting credits for the band included “Skin It Back”, “Hi Roller” and “Down On The Farm”. Barrere was instrumental in putting the band back together in the 80s, following the death of original frontman Lowell George.

“As the song he sang so many times put it, he was always “Willin’,” but it was not meant to be,” said the band statement. “Paul, sail on to the next place in your journey with our abiding love for a life always dedicated to the muse and the music. We are grateful for the time we have shared.”

Fellow musicians paid tribute on social media. Bonnie Raitt called Barrere, “A brilliant guitarist, singer and songwriter -a cornerstone of one of the greatest bands of all time.”

“Rest In Peace my friend,” wrote Nils Lofgren. “You’ve blessed us all with a lifetime of inspired, soulful music.”

The December 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from October 17, and available to order online now – with Bob Dylan on the cover and an exclusive unreleased Dylan track on our free CD. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Robert Smith, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Pink Floyd, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Prince, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Lynne, Booker T, Tindersticks and much more.

The Beach Bum

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It’s staggering that gonzo director Harmony Korine was given money to make a film again after 2009’s near-unwatchable Trash Humpers, but the unexpected critical success of 2012’s Spring Breakers salvaged his reputation. The Beach Bum follows in a similar vein, being a surprisingly enjoyable stoner comedy with a ridiculously eclectic Hollywood cast and an even more promiscuous soundtrack, mixing Jimmy Buffett, gangster rap, Christian metal 
and The Cure.

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Matthew McConaughey stars as Moondog, a once-great writer who has gone to seed, having a wild time in the Florida Keys while his rich wife, Minnie (Isla Fisher), lives in their Miami mansion. Just when it seems the film is going to have no plot whatsoever, Moondog is called back for their daughter’s wedding. After which, tragedy strikes – Minnie is killed in a car crash – and Moondog is thrown onto the streets, with one proviso: if he writes another book, he’ll be reinstated as Minnie’s heir. However, Moondog doesn’t like to be told what to do, and when faced with a year in rehab, he goes on the run with the heavy-metal-loving Flicker (Zac Efron).

It’s a simple, wilfully naïve premise and yet Korine still finds a way to make it debauched: there’s gratuitous nudity and reckless violence, drug-taking is venerated, and for some reason Moondog dresses almost exclusively in women’s clothing. For all that, though, it’s quite a sweet film, with a rich vein of offbeat comedy. Snoop Dogg is good value as Moondog’s friend Lingerie, and Jonah Hill is a hoot as his snarky agent. But the real scene-stealer is Martin Lawrence as Captain Wack, a fiercely eccentric Vietnam vet who finds out the hard way the difference between dolphins and sharks.

The December 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from October 17, and available to order online now – with Bob Dylan on the cover and an exclusive unreleased Dylan track on our free CD. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Robert Smith, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Pink Floyd, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Prince, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Lynne, Booker T, Tindersticks and much more.