David Crosby: Remember My Name

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In recent years David Crosby has added a surprising coda to a career and life that few thought would last this long. He’s released four albums, more than doubling the size of his solo discography, and worked the road with a new band of millenial-age musicians. Most days you can find him on Twitter, earnestly answering questions from people younger than the new liver he received in 1994.

That’s the new-wave Croz captured in Remember My Name, directed by AJ Eaton and produced by Cameron Crowe. Happily and improbably, the years and substances haven’t eroded Crosby’s mind, they’ve just eradicated his filter, making him a candid, funny and regretful interview subject. When the filmmakers are as refreshingly honest as the film’s subject, the documentary succeeds as a corrective to the over-told narrative of ’60s rock, and the survivor’s guilt of watching that world’s sun set.

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But first it spends the bulk of its runtime retracing those well-worn
steps, travelling from the Sunset Strip to Laurel Canyon both historically and literally while interviewing Croz in the back of an SUV. Many of his most iconic moments included in the film are less musical than political, from spreading JFK conspiracies on the Monterey Pop stage to advocating for the abolition of car and oil companies on The Dick Cavett Show the day after Woodstock.

It’s telling too that many of the songs on the soundtrack are by other songwriters; even Crosby admits at one point to being “the guy in Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young that’s never had a hit”. The story of “Ohio”, told over images of a modern-day, still-incensed Crosby visiting the Kent State campus, largely boils down to: “I gave Neil Young a magazine and he wrote the song.” If I Could Only Remember My Name is the one solo effort before his recent spurt to get significant airtime, and most of the stories are about Jerry Garcia and the other famous friends who showed up to help out.

The refreshing bits come when Crosby punctures the myth, dismissing the magic of Laurel Canyon as “we were trying to get above the smog” as he complains about photos of The Doors in the neighborhood’s still-extant country store (“Morrison… what a dork”). He’s genuinely contrite about the collateral damage of the Summer Of Love, guilt-ridden over friends and lovers who caught his addictions and his mismanagement of a rookie Joni Mitchell. And while his ultimate rock bottom – spending nine months in prison on drugs and weapons charges – is dealt with briskly, the footage of a shorn, cirrhotic Crosby is unsettling enough.

Then there’s the main niggling detail: throughout the film, nearly all of Crosby’s peers only appear in archival footage to comment about him, with virtually no contemporary interviews apart from the main subject. That pays off in a painful final sequence where Crosby admits that Young, Nash, and many other lifelong collaborators no longer speak to him, while the final appearance of CSN, absolutely bombing “Silent Night” in front of the Obamas at the 2014 White House Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, is shown in all its wince-inducing squirminess.

That bittersweet ending brings 
the sadness underlying the film to 
a sharp point, showing the darkness and mortality beneath his new cuddly Twitter Hippie Grandpa image. Throughout the doc, Crosby muses on the possibility of joining his dead friends at any moment, 
and how each tour could be his 
last. The most poignant image of 
all just might be Croz dutifully taking his prescription medication in an early-morning hotel room, a stark inversion of his druggy, endless-party past.

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

Flying Lotus – Flamagra

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Four years have passed since Flying Lotus’s last album, You’re Dead!, the LA producer’s goofy rumination on the cosmic finality of things, and in that time Steven Ellison 
has busied himself with a stack of projects. He produced for Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly and Thundercat’s Drunk and last year celebrated the tenth anniversary of his record label, Brainfeeder, an imprint very much in his own image that’s mapping tasteful new territory between jazz, hip-hop, soul and electronica.

He’s pursued his interest in film, composing the soundtrack to sci-fi thriller Perfect, released this month, and in 2017 his directorial debut, Kuso, came out to mixed reviews. A grotesque body-horror black comedy packed with genuinely disturbing scatological scenes – audience members walked out of festival screenings – it was called “the grossest film ever made” by The Guardian and its Rotten Tomatoes rating is 33 per cent. But, gonzo or not, at least it proved that Ellison was serious about filmmaking and that his cinematic vision, a term readily applied to his music, notably his 2010 breakthrough, Cosmogramma, could be expressed with 
a movie camera.

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By extension, given their LA milieu, 
it’s not a surprise to find David Lynch, 
a key influence on Ellison, making a cameo on “Fire Is Coming”, Flamagra’s lead track. “Fire is coming,” he warns, dressed as a wolf in its video, “fire is coming.” Ellison suggests that this album is “a lingering concept about fire, an eternal flame sitting on a hill”, and for all its existential allusions – George Clinton, who starred in Kuso, appears on a fine stomp called “Burning Down The House”, while flames crackle at the album’s beginning and end – you might reason that the terrible fires that ravage great swathes of California every summer 
in recent memory must have affected Ellison in some way, too.

In a sense, Flying Lotus might have envisioned each of his albums as a personal movie, had he the skills at the time. His 2006 debut, 1983, referred to the year of his birth; Los Angeles, its follow-up and his first for Warp, explored his home town; and Cosmogramma, his grandest statement so far, attempted to articulate profound universal feelings. On 2012’s Until The Quiet Comes, he dealt with the death of his mother in a classy and restrained manner and then chose to loosen up on You’re Dead, which featured turns by the likes of his pal Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Herbie Hancock and Ellison’s trusty foil Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner.

Like his great aunt Alice Coltrane, Ellison gives the impression he operates on a more spiritual plane, distanced from the vagaries of the industry, and certainly the intent of his recent albums would back this up. What’s curious is that he does 
not necessarily have a signature style 
or a noticeable desire to write a hit. Rather, he’s progressed from the intricate electronics and beat-making that landed him a deal with Warp to becoming something of a producer-cum-band leader, marshalling a Brainfeeder ensemble at his home studio whose members – notably Brandon Coleman, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Thundercat – possess outrageous chops.

And they’re all over Flamagra. Five 
years in the making and consisting of 
27 tracks that tend to segue into one another, if Flamagra were a film it would be messy, chaotic, silly and, in places, deeply moving. It would feel far longer than its 68-minute running time. Originally conceived as a 10-track beats album with zero jazz moments, Ellison had an epiphany last autumn when he realised the album should evoke transcendental sensations and capture childlike feelings of wonder – an intervention triggered, perhaps, by the death of his good friend, the musician Mac Miller, who overdosed in September aged just 26. Calling the album “a refuge for pain”, Ellison dedicates two swirling instrumentals to Miller, “Find Your Own Way Home” and “Thank U Malcolm”.

By looking to present everything he’s been up to, Ellison crams a lot – arguably too much – into Flamagra, assembling a flawed masterpiece that infuriates as often as it dazzles. From oily jazz and dubby IDM to jam-band grinding and rococo piano miniatures, interludes litter the album, stalling any momentum generated by the main cuts. This is a shame because he brings out the best in his all-star guests: Anderson .Paak’s priapic Prince-styled preacher on “More”, rapper Tierra Whack’s spaced-out monologue on the acid-trap of “Yellow Belly”, and Denzel Curry’s magnanimous jousting on “Black Balloons”. These spots take place during Flamagra’s frenetic first half, alongside a so-so Little Dragon collaboration and “All Spies”, a cute cover of the theme tune of ’80s computer game Spy vs Spy.

The Lynch-narrated “Fire Is Coming” ushers in the album’s second movement, whereupon events take a more sombre, dream-like turn. In his rap alias Captain Murphy, Ellison slurs his words on the Oxycontin sigh of “Debbie Is Depressed” and practices piano on “FF4” and “Hot Oct.”, while Thundercat’s “The Climb” 
is a lovely Philly soul-searcher with the line, “As soon as I think I’ve got a grip, 
shit starts to slip.” The apocalypse arrives with “Land Of Honey”, a lush orchestral number featuring Solange singing hallelujahs as the storm builds and 
the fire starts to burn.

Is this fire crackling in the final track “Hot Oct.” meant to evoke the domestic bliss of a smouldering hearth, the mindless destruction of a Californian inferno brought about by climate change, or the flame of hope that burns in us all? Frankly, by this point, you’re just glad you’ve made it to the end of Flamagra. Ellison is clearly in the form of his life, bursting with ideas and innovative 
ways to execute them, and this indulgent audio patchwork is how he has always chosen to communicate. Its moments of brilliance burn bright, but all the smoke obscures the quality.

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

Monty Python outline 50th anniversary plans

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The 50th anniversary of Monty Python’s Flying Circus – which first on aired on BBC One on October 5, 1969 – is being celebrated with a glut of Pythons-related activity.

Kicking off the anniversary celebrations, from 1 September, the BFI Southbank will curate a month-long season celebrating Monty Python, featuring all the Monty Python feature films, oddities and curios from the depths of the BFI National Archive, back-to-back screenings of the entire series of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, plus a free Pythons exhibition.

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Also in September, BBC Radio 4 will premiere five new radio specials, executive produced by Michael Palin, which will feature never-before-released material from the Monty Python sound archives.

Monty Python Sings (Again) will be released for the first time on double vinyl, with the addition of the “Stephen Hawking Sings Monty Python… Galaxy Song” track and new packaging artwork overseen by Terry Gilliam. Meanwhile all four series of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, along with unseen and excised footage, sketches and much more, will be remastered for DVD and Blu-Ray in an exclusive 50th anniversary limited-edition box set.

Other activity includes books, TV specials, a Monty Python IPA and a world record attempt for the “Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Gumbys”.

Commenting on their enduring legacy, the group said: “Python has survived because we live in an increasingly Pythonesque world. Extreme silliness seems more relevant now than it ever was.”

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

Introducing the Ultimate Genre Guide to Soft Rock

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A week ago, shortly after we finished work on this latest special edition, I received confirmation that it had indeed been the right thing to do. For sure, it’s proving to be a great summer for soft, what with Fleetwood Mac in the UK, Katie Puckrik’s yacht rock doc on the BBC, and the Eagles tour rolling peacefully and easily onwards.

Probably the strongest possible indicator of the enduring quality of this music came at a less pricily-ticketed event: the summer concert at my kids’ school. As the evening drew to its close, a couple of dozen kids filed into the hall with instruments. This, unmistakably, was the big finish.

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And what a finish. There were a few wrong notes it was true, but there was denying it: the band was playing “Africa” by Toto. Right now the song is playing, solar-powered and for eternity, in the Namib desert. I would contend, though, that a greater endorsement of the song’s enduring softness is its survival of a group performance in a British primary school.

The original version appears in our Top 40 Soft Rock singles list, which you can listen to here. It’s gonna take a lot to drag you away, but while you listen, here’s my introduction to the magazine.

John Robinson, editor

Traditionally, the Schaefer Stadium at Foxboro Massachusetts was home to the NFL team the New England Patriots. On a summer day in the mid-1970s however, it played host to a rather less aggressive intimacies than those offered by American Football. It became the spiritual home of soft rock.

On July 25th 1976, you paid your $9 and were gently blown away. Those sharing memories of the event online report an event almost pre-loaded with nostalgic power. Never mind being young and it being high summer: if you got there in good time, you’d have seen the Eagles, who headlined, arrive by helicopter. Earlier, Fleetwood Mac, their support band on this short tour, played “Over My Head” from their recent eponymous album, as the sun set.

One anonymous poster recalled how his attendance at the concert was a pinnacle of his courtship – the super-smooth Silk Degrees album by opening act Boz Scaggs having provided much of its soundtrack. “Went to this concert on a whim,” the commenter wrote, “after a little ‘afternoon delight’ with my girl (later my wife).”

A good whim on what sounds to have been a pretty good day for all concerned – you might see it as something like a victory lap for a style of music which had been evolving slowly since the late 1960s, and which would reign oblivious to other influential musical activity – say prog or punk – for much of the 1970s and into the 1980s.

If “soft rock” feels like a pejorative name for it, think again. Gentleness, as you’ll read Erin Osmon discuss in her exploration of Fleetwood Mac, was a pivotal, empowering feature of that band’s best-known work. Also, consider some of the alternatives. “AOR” feels a bit more business than pleasure. “Yacht rock” is a pretty hip, Steely Dan-like term of endearment for some of this music, but it’s a bit niche, which isn’t something you could ever say of the Eagles or Linda Ronstadt. And “Guilty pleasures”? Forget it. So if I’m down with “Africa” by Toto we have to… what exactly? Duel?

We’ll call it soft rock and – as with all the titles in the evolving Ultimate Genre Guide series – think of it as a meeting point, not a straitjacket. Applying some of the confessional modes of the singer-songwriter to a smooth and melodic presentation, this music could involve great harmonies, traces of folk and blues (as in the phenomenally successful work of Fleetwood Mac) or country rock (as with our cover stars the Eagles). It was well-suited to the studio perfectionists (like, say, Supertramp) or to virtuoso musicians (like Steely Dan). It delivered classic albums to a huge public who enjoyed appreciating their subtleties on quality audio systems, and who had the money to buy them in vast quantities. And, as Mark Beaumont will explain, it delivered some fantastic singles too.

Hopefully this magazine will be a path to your discovery, or rediscovery of those and much more of this music. Whenever you find your delight, enjoy, and take it easy.

Ultimate Genre Guide: Soft Rock
is in shops now, or available to buy online here.

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

Black Sabbath exhibition opens in Birmingham

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Home Of Metal’s flagship exhibition Black Sabbath – 50 Years opens today at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, running until September 29.

Black Sabbath’s
answer to recent successful exhibitions showcasing the careers of Pink Floyd and David Bowie, it features over 1000 items of memorabilia, stagewear, instruments, iconic artefacts and treasured personal items sourced direct from the band members.

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The official launch was attended yesterday by Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi, who has overseen a recreation of his home studio for the exhibition.

“It’s one of the proudest moments you could have,” Iommi told Uncut. “I recall about 30 years ago a local newsreader saying, 
‘A monument for Black Sabbath, can you imagine?’ It was a bit of a joke. And of course, now, here it is – we’ve got the bridge, the bench and now the museum.”

For more information and tickets, visit the Home Of Metal website. You can read much more from Tony Iommi in the current issue of Uncut, in shops now or available to buy online by clicking here.

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard announces debut solo album, Jaime

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Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard has announced that her debut solo album Jaime will be released by Columbia on September 20.

Hear the first track from it, “History Repeats”, below:

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“‘History Repeats’ is as much a personal song as it is a song about us as a human species,” says Howard. “Our times of success may propel us forward, but our repeating failures hold us back from evolving into harmony.”

Howard’s band on Jaime includes Alabama Shakes bassist Zac Cockrell, jazz keyboard player Robert Glasper and drummer Nate Smith. It was recorded at engineer Shawn Everett’s LA studio.

Jaime is named after Howard’s sister, who taught her to play the piano and write poetry, and who died of cancer when they were still teenagers. “The title is in memoriam, and she definitely did shape me as a human being,” Howard says. “But, the record is not about her. It’s about me. I’m pretty candid about myself and who I am and what I believe. Which is why I needed to do it on my own.”

See Howard’s tour itinerary, including a date a London’s EartH, below. Tickets go on general sale for all UK/European dates on Friday July 5 at 10am. You can pre-order the album here for access to a ticket pre-sale.

17th August | Asheville, NC | Orange Peel
18th August | Asheville, NC | Orange Peel
19th August | Nashville, TN | Ryman Auditorium
23rd August | Washington, DC | 9:30 Club
24th August | Washington, DC | 9:30 Club
29th August | London | Hackney EartH
2nd September | Amsterdam | Paradiso
4th September | Paris | Alhambra
18th September | Milwaukee, WI | Riverside Theater
19th September | St. Paul, MN | Palace Theatre
20th September | Chicago, IL | Riviera Theatre
22nd September | Toronto, ON | Rebel
24th September | New York, NY | Beacon Theatre
25th September | Boston, MA | House of Blues
27th September | Philadelphia, PA | The Fillmore
5th October | Austin, TX | ACL Festival
8th October | Los Angeles, CA | Theatre at Ace Hotel
9th October | Los Angeles, CA | Theatre at Ace Hotel
12th October | Austin, TX | ACL Festival
13th October | Atlanta, GA | AfroPunk Festival

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

See Trainspotting’s Ewen Bremner as Alan McGee in new biopic

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The first images have been released of Trainspotting’s Ewen Bremner playing Alan McGee in a new film, Creation Stories.

The film was adapted by Irvine Welsh from McGee’s memoir of the same name. It is being directed by Nick Moran and executive produced by Danny Boyle.

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Alongside Bremner and Suki Waterhouse, new additions to the cast include Steven Berkoff, Paul Kaye, Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter), Thomas Turgoose (This is England), Rufus Jones (W1A) and Mel Raido (Legend), as well as comedian Ed Byrne. It hasn’t been revealed who they’ll all be playing, although characters such as Bobby Gillespie, Noel Gallagher and Kevin Shields are expected to feature.

No release date for the film has been set, but you can follow the shoot at Creation Stories’ official Facebook page here.

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

Neil Young pens tribute to his late manager, Elliot Roberts

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Neil Young has written an emotional tribute to his long-standing manager Elliot Roberts, who died on Friday aged 76.

In a post on NYA Times Contrarian, Young describes Roberts as “the greatest manager of all time” and “my friend for over 50 years”.

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“We are all heartbroken, but want to share what a great human being Elliot has been,” writes Young. “Never one to think about himself, he put everyone else first. That’s what he did for me for over fifty years of friendship love and laughter, managing my life, protecting our art in the business of music…

“Elliot was the funniest human being on earth with his uncanny wit and a heart filled with love. You never knew what he was going to say, but almost always a laugh was coming… This world is forever changed for me, for all who knew him and loved him. His memory shines with love.”

A key figure in the rise of LA’s Laurel Canyon music scene of the late-’60s and ’70s, Roberts – born Elliot Rabinowitz – helped to set up Asylum Records along with his business partner of the time, David Geffen. He managed Joni Mitchell until 1985, and also at times managed CSNY, Eagles, America, Tom Petty, Tracy Chapman, Jackson Browne, Tegan & Sara and The Cars.

In a statement to Rolling Stone, Graham Nash said: “He was the glue that kept CSNY together in our early years and I will certainly miss him with sadness in my heart.” Stephen Stills said that Roberts was “probably the kindest, gentlest, and far and away the funniest man I ever worked with in Show Business.”

A full Elliot Roberts obituary will appear in the next issue of Uncut.

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

Calexico And Iron & Wine – Years To Burn

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Sam Beam and the Calexico pairing of Joey Burns and John Convertino always meant to get back together after 2005’s joint EP “In The Reins”. Burns appeared on Iron & Wine’s rapturous 2007 LP The Shepherd’s Dog, with Beam later repaying the favour by singing on a couple of Calexico albums. There was the odd festival meet-up too, but it wasn’t until late last year that both parties finally reunited in earnest.

Unlike “In The Reins”, on which Calexico essentially served as Beam’s backing band, Years To Burn is a much truer collaboration. Recorded at Sound Emporium, Cowboy Jack Clement’s old place in Nashville, there’s a roving, exploratory feel to the best songs here. The punningly titled “The Bitter Suite” is the album’s notional centrepiece, a three-piece movement in which trumpeter Jacob Valenzuela turns an Iron & Wine lyric into a Spanish lullaby before it slips into a loose blues groove that fades into Beam’s gentle meditation on acoustic guitar.

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It’s all deftly constructed and beautifully realised. And props to steel guitarist Paul Niehaus, piano player Rob Burger and bassist Sebastian Steinberg – who make up the rest 
of the studio ensemble here – for making a 
virtue of understatement. Similarly, the improvised “Outside El Paso” takes Convertino’s adopted border-town home as inspiration for 
an abstract instrumental that changes moods like the weather.

Some songs tend to play it safer, lessening 
their impact in the process. Both “What Heaven’s Left” and “Follow The Water”, for instance, sound like Beam in full Iron & Wine mode, wrapping his signature chords in warm arrangements and feathery harmonies. Closing effort “In Your Own Time” is more effective in shared company. An early Beam demo dating back nearly 20 years, the revamp finds him and Burns swapping lead vocals on a sinuous country blues with added tejano flavour. Notwithstanding Beam’s earthy lyric – “Smoke like a freight train/And fuck like a dog” – it’s essentially an ode to companionship and making the best of opportunity. And a fitting 
way to bow out of this genial alliance.

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

Tangerine Dream – In Search Of Hades: The Virgin 
Recordings 1973–1979

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In recent years, Tangerine Dream have enjoyed something of a raised profile: Survive’s music for the hugely popular Stranger Things, for example, leans heavily on the ever-shifting German group’s early ’80s scores, and last December’s interactive Black Mirror episode “Bandersnatch” at one point allowed the viewer to decide whether the main character purchased Tangerine Dream’s Phaedra or Isao Tomita’s The Bermuda Triangle; your choice determined the soundtrack for the protagonist’s nightmarish mental unravelling later on.

Yet this isn’t the usual story of cult legends finally getting their dues. Tangerine Dream have been firmly in the zeitgeist before: 1974’s Phaedra, their first LP for Virgin, sold impressively well, breaching the UK Top 20. Edgar Froese and his group, then including Christopher Franke and Peter Baumann, were also a significant live draw from that time onwards, performing rapturously received gigs at prestigious venues such as London’s Royal Albert Hall and Los Angeles’ Greek Theater.

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Of course, “strange” music could certainly trouble the charts in the ’70s, but it didn’t come any stranger than Tangerine Dream. Using giant Moog modular synths, massed Mellotrons complete with their own custom tapes, and all manner of effects, they were often resolutely un-rock. What’s more, everything they produced from their inception in 1967 to at least 1977 was completely improvised, whether they were in the studio or onstage. A lot of the capricious music that this process created is collected here in the 16CD + 2 Blu-ray Ultra Deluxe Boxset, much of it previously unreleased. (There’s also a shorter version available that comprises just the studio albums from 1974-79, but the larger release is the one to explore, if your budget allows.)

It begins with Phaedra, the first time they used a sequencer to control their skyscraping synth modules. The side-long title track that dominates the album is still hugely powerful, pulsating patterns rising in pitch as their Moogs warm up, to be joined by phased sweeps of Mellotron and otherworldly noises. The closing “Sequent C” is the opposite, meanwhile, eerie and beautiful and led by Baumann on echoed flute.

For the first time, we get to hear the improvisations from Virgin’s Manor studio that didn’t make the final cut for Phaedra. Mostly, it seems Froese and the band selected the album tracks wisely, but there are still treats worth hearing here: “Phaedra Out-Take Version 2A” features distorted groaning over walls of Mellotron, and recalls 1973’s Atem (John Peel’s album of the year), while “Phaedra Out-Take 1” channels mid-century modern classical with its cor anglais textures and subtle harmonic shifts. Most promising is “2nd Piece Side 1”, which, with its piano and chimes, recalls the work of Popol Vuh.

Another highlight of the boxset is Oedipus Tyrannus, a legendary lost album that’s only been available incomplete and usually shrouded in bootleg hiss. Froese, Fricke and Baumann’s soundtrack to a stage production of the classical tragedy, it was recorded in Froese’s home studio in ’74 but is easily the equal to Phaedra. Instead of bubbling synths, though, there’s backwards piano, electronic tones echoing endlessly and chimes that evoke a haunted nursery.

Now mixed by Steven Wilson, the likes of “Overture” and “Act 1” demonstrate the darker moods that ’70s Tangerine Dream were capable of – for all their reliance on the latest audio technologies, there was often something ancient and earthy about their sound, a neopagan feel that they shared with fellow improvisers the Third Ear Band.

“Act 2: Battle” is 10 minutes of forward movement driven by a pummelling white-noise beat, its martial techno looking forward to Warp and Orbital in all their crunchy, chromatic menace. “Act 2: Baroque” is something else entirely, its courtly harpsichord-like keys and processed flute recalling early music, while the 22-minute “Act 3” waits 13 minutes until a synth sequence patters in from the free-form cacophony. Throughout the 74 minutes of Oedipus Tyrannus, nature finds a way in, too: synths chatter like tropical birds, cackle like seagulls and vibrate like cicadas.

The other main attractions are the three complete live sets from 1974 and ’75, two of them with surprisingly tender introductions from John Peel (“When Phaedra went into the LP charts it was one of the great moments of my life…”). The first part of their Victoria Palace gig from June 1974 is perhaps the best, building inexorably until it blossoms into a “Phaedra”-esque canter after 30 minutes; the 28-minute “Part Two” reverses the trick, gradually moving from phased percussion into an ambient coda, while the 13-minute “Encore” is frenetic and thrillingly burnt-out.

October 1974’s Rainbow show is another great example of their collective improvisational skill, its drones and rippling sequences occasionally offset by panned rustling or industrial clanks; KC & The Sunshine Band played the night before, seemingly just to emphasise how strange Tangerine Dream’s mainstream success was. Their Albert Hall performance from April ’75 shows the uneven nature of improvisation, however, dominated by discordant string synths and little dynamic variation.

Phaedra’s immediate follow-ups are strong, with 1975’s humid Rubycon condensed and kaleidoscopic, and Ricochet (also ’75) a more musical departure: the piano section that opens “Part Two” features more notes than, say, all four sides of Zeit had contained four years before. From 1976 onwards, though – comprising the final four CDs of this box – Tangerine Dream’s efforts lose a certain spark. Perhaps it was down to improvements in technology or just the band’s drive to continually evolve, but their music became fussier and a little cheesier on Stratosfear, and a lot more “rock” on 1977’s US live set Encore. There are distorted lead guitars and far too many melodic lead lines shivering with overused vibrato. If it sounded like the future then, it seems resolutely of the past when heard in 2019.

Perhaps sensing something important had changed, Peter Baumann left after Encore, leaving Froese and Franke to recruit Klaus Krüger and early collaborator Steve Jolliffe for 1978’s Cyclone. With acoustic drum kit and vocals – yes, actual singing – it’s far from typical TD and more like electronic prog: the motorik force of the 20-minute “Madrigal Meridian” is power-driving and raucous, however, with Froese’s guitar solo coolly wayward.

Jolliffe had departed by the time of 1979’s Force Majeure, but the electro-disco grooves of the title track set the group up for the next decade, when they’d soundtrack big-budget films such as Risky Business and Legend. That period seems a world away from the universe that In Search Of Hades conjures up across its first 12 CDs, covering 1973, ’74 and ’75. As the Albert Hall erupts into wild cheers at the end of a claustrophobic 68-minute improvisation or when American jocks whoop at the start of a complex Moog sequence, it’s a pleasingly confusing experience, as if your stereo is playing a recording from some distant alien galaxy, a bootleg emanating from the depths of an enticing rabbit hole. Stranger things, indeed.

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

Devendra Banhart: “I like music that feels like it’s ever decaying”

Ted Lucas
Ted Lucas
1975

He was a guitarist and a session musician for Motown, who played with The Supremes and Stevie Wonder. He was a hip, far-out guy who opened up for Ravi Shankar and Frank Zappa, and I’ve heard he inspired “Mr Tambourine Man”. This is just one of those albums I constantly turn to; it’s beautiful, gentle, soulful music. His voice is so pure and rich – it has a debilitating beauty – but it’s also comforting.

____________________

Slapp Happy
Acnalbasac Noom
1982

They were a German-British avant-pop group and I guess part of the kosmische/krautrock movement. They made some futuristic music, but this is close to a perfect pop/art-rock album. It’s fun and playful, proto-everything music – I’ve never heard anything like it. There’s a haiku, a philosophical, humorous element to their lyrics. My favourite of theirs, “Blue Eyed William”, is on there [CD reissue only].

____________________

The Jimmy Giuffre 3
The Easy Way
1959

Giuffre was an American clarinettist and saxophone player who died in his eighties, having made a huge number of records. This is the type of jazz I like – it’s slow and minimal, almost incidental – like blue jazz – and in a weird way, really ahead of its time. I really like music that feels like it’s ever decaying, where the percussive element has either been erased or exists in a room 20 blocks down.

____________________

William Onyeabor
Atomic Bomb
1978

The world might just be better off not hearing this song, which will burrow and propagate its seed exponentially by the second, into the hearts and souls of all humanity. It’s the catchiest song I’ve ever heard; when it gets in my brain, I can’t sleep. He’s a mythical character from Nigeria and there’s so little information about him, but Luaka Bop is putting out the first reissue of his music.

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

Mick Jagger: “He pulled out all the stops at five in the morning”

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The new issue of Uncut – in shops now, or available online by clicking here – includes an oral history of The Rolling Stones’ Rock And Roll Circus, the legendary 1968 concert film which found The Stones performing in full circus get-up alongside John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, The Who, Marianne Faithfull, Taj Mahal, Jethro Tull and a troupe of fire-eaters.

Talking exclusively to Uncut, the film’s director Michael Lindsay-Hogg remembers how, amid the chaos, The Stones were in danger of fluffing their headline turn – were it not for the determination of their indefatigable frontman, Mick Jagger.

Order the latest issue of Uncut online and have it sent to your home!

The Stones didn’t come on until two in the morning. They were the hosts; they’d been there all day, and we were now into December 12. The cameramen were weary. We did a couple of takes of each song. Glyn Johns and Jimmy Miller in the truck outside would ask for another take, or I would ask. Gradually, it started grinding them down. It had been a long day, and they were sapped.

“They were young and strong and vital, but they were also a bit wobbly – especially Brian, but also Keith. Pete Townshend said that Keith alternated between looking green and yellow – who knows what he was doing? – and Brian really wasn’t well. He’d let himself go, and didn’t have the constitution for it. It was sad. The night before the first rehearsal, he called me at 11pm and said, ‘I’m not going to come tomorrow. They’re being so mean to me; I don’t feel part of The Rolling Stones any more.’ I said, ‘You have to come, you are The Rolling Stones.’ So he did, but he was alienated.

“’Sympathy For The Devil’ was the one we’d all looked forward to. Coming up to five in the morning, we did a take, and it was no good. Mick, Keith, me and Allen Klein met and said, ‘Can we go on? Is it going to be dwindling returns? Shall we come back the next afternoon and try it again?’ But that wasn’t viable, it would have cost too much.

Mick talked to the Stones and said they were going to do it. I talked to the camera crew and said, ‘This is going to be it.’ Mick then gave as great a rock’n’roll performance as I have ever seen. That’s him pulling out all the stops at five in the morning, pushing the entire band through. He’s saying, ‘Let my will be your will.’ It’s extraordinary. He used the camera as the audience. That’s what’s so interesting about the Stones’ performance, the connection between Mick and the camera, especially on ‘Sympathy For The Devil’. Pete said he really understood Mick Jagger for the first time that night, how he commanded the attention of the camera. For my money, he’s one of the three greatest performing artists of the last century.”

You can read much more of Michael Lindsay-Hogg on The Rolling Stones’ Rock And Roll Circus in the new issue of Uncut, on sale now with Bruce Springsteen on the cover.

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

Thom Yorke announces new album, Anima

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Thom Yorke has announced that his new album Anima will be released by XL on June 27.

The album was produced by Nigel Godrich and contains several of the songs he debuted on his solo tour last year, as reviewed by Uncut.

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A short “one-reeler” film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson will be launched on Netflix on the day of Anima’s release, set to three songs from the album. Watch a trailer for that below:

Anima will be released on double vinyl, CD and digital formats, plus a deluxe double vinyl book edition. See more details and pre-order here, and check out the tracklisting below:

01 Traffic
02 Last I Heard (…He Was Circling the Drain)
03 Twist
04 Dawn Chorus
05 I Am a Very Rude Person
06 Not the News
07 The Axe
08 Impossible Knots
09 Runwayaway
10 Ladies And Gentlemen, Thank You For Coming [vinyl only]

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

David Gilmour’s Pink Floyd guitars break auction records

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David Gilmour’s collection of 126 guitars was auctioned off at Christie’s in New York yesterday, achieving a total sale of £16,935,185 – the most valuable musical instruments sale in auction history.

The prize lot was Gilmour’s 1969 Black Fender Stratocaster – ‘The Black Strat’ – integral to the recording of many Pink Floyd albums, including The Wall and Wish You Were Here. It sold for $3,975,000, setting a world auction record for a guitar.

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Gilmour donated the proceeds from the auction to climate crisis charity ClientEarth. “The global climate crisis is the greatest challenge that humanity will ever face, and we are within a few years of the effects of global warming being irreversible,” he said in a statement “As Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist said in a speech earlier this year, ‘Either we choose to go on as a civilisation, or we don’t’. The choice really is that simple, and I hope that the sale of these guitars will help ClientEarth in their cause to use the law to bring about real change. We need a civilised world that goes on for all our grandchildren and beyond in which these guitars can be played and songs can be sung.”

Gilmour’s Martin D-35, played on “Wish You Were Here” and “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” sold for $1,095,000. A 1954 White Fender Stratocaster used on “Another Brick in the Wall (Parts 2 and 3)”, sold for $1,815,000. A 1955 Gibson Les Paul, famous for Gilmour’s guitar solo on “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” sold for $447,000, a new auction record for a Gibson Les Paul, while a rare Gretsch White Penguin 6134 purchased by Gilmour in 1980 for his private collection, also realized $447,000 — a new auction record for a Gretsch.

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

The Best Of 2019: Halftime Report

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First off, a gentle reminder that our current issue is on sale in the shops with a mighty fine Bruce Springsteen cover – you can read more about it here.

Conscious that today is the Summer Solstice, so with that in mind I’ve rounded up my favourite new albums of the year so far; specifically those released between January until the end of June. They’re listed in sort of chronological order, in case you’re interested; certainly not by any kind of preferential ranking.

Anyway, I hope it provides further evidence of the year’s abundant musical riches. There’s a lot of great new music coming down the pipe, too; some of which I’ll share with you as soon as I’m permitted.

Dig in!

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1. Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow (Jagjaguwar)
2. Cass McCombs – Tip Of The Sphere (Anti-)
3. Steve Gunn – The Unseen In Between (Matador)
4. William Tyler – William Tyler Goes West (Merge)
5. Michael Chapman – True North (Paradise Of Bachelors)
6. Beirut – Gallipoli (4AD)
7. Robert Forster – Inferno (Tapete Records)
8. Lambchop – This (is what I wanted to tell you) (City Slang)
9. Chris Forsyth – All Time Present (No Quarter)
10. Big Thief – UFO-F (4AD)
11. Garcia Peoples – Natural Facts (Beyond Beyond Is Beyond)
12. Alex Rex – Otterburn (Tin Angel)
13. Stephen Malkmus – Groove Denied (Domino)
14. Jenny Lewis – On The Line (Warners)
15. Pond – Tasmania (Marathon Artists)
16. Bill MacKay – Fountain Fire (Drag City)
17. Kel Assouf – Black Tenere (Glitterbeat)
18. The Comet Is Coming – Trust In The Lifeforce (Impulse! Records)
19. Wand – Laughing Matter (Drag City)
20. Terry Allen and the Panhandle Mystery Band – Pedal Steal + Four Corners (Paradise Of Bachelors)
21. Julia Jacklin – Crushing (Transgressive)
22. White Denim – Side Effects (City Slang)
23. Mac DeMarco – Here Comes The Cowboy (Mac’s Record Label)
24. Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising (Sub Pop)
25. Bill Callahan – Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest (Drag City)
26. Visible Cloak, Yoshio Ojima & Satsuki Shibano – serenitatem (RVNG Intl)
27. The National – I Am Easy To Find (4AD)
28. Aldous Harding – Fixture Picture (4AD)
29. Solange – When I Get Home (RCA)
30. Jake Xerxes Fussell – Out Of Sight (Paradise Of Bachelors)
31. Beth Gibbons and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra present – Gorecki Symphony 3 (Domino)
32. Dream Syndicate – These Times (Anti-)
33. Deerhunter – Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? (4AD)
34. PJ Harvey – All About Eve (Invada)
35. The Black Keys – “Let’s Rock” (Nonesuch)
36. Black Peaches – Fire In The Hole (Hanging Moon)
37. Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains (Drag City)
38. Rose City Band – Rose City Band (Audiam)
39. Bedouine – Birds Songs Of A Killjoy (Spacebomb)
40. Calexico And Iron & Wine – Years To Burn (City Slang)
41. Guided By Voices – Warp & Woof (GBV Inc)
42. Bruce Hornsby – Absolute Zero (Thirty Tigers)
43. Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Servants Of The Sun (Silver Arrow)
44. Vanishing Twin – The Age Of Immunology (Fire)
45. Jeff Tweedy – Warmer (DBPM)
46. Lloyd Cole – Guesswork (Earmusic)
47. Bruce Springsteen – Western Stars (Columbia)
48. Mega Bog – Dophine (Paradise Of Bachelors)
49. Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18 – Jola (Banana & Louie)
50. Raconteurs – Help Us Stranger (XL)
51. The Quiet Temple – The Quiet Temple (Point Of Departure)
52. Jane Weaver – Loops In The Secret Society (Fire)
53. House And Land – Across The Field (Thrill Jockey)
54. Night Moves – Can You Really Find Me (Domino)
55. Flying Lotus – Flamagra (Warp)
56. Trash Kit – Horizon (Upset The Rhythm)
57. The Flaming Lips – King’s Mouth (Bella Union)
58. 75 Dollar Bill – I Was Real (tak:til/ Glitterbeat)

Order the latest issue of Uncut online and have it sent to your home!

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

The Hold Steady unveil new album, Thrashing Thru The Passion

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The Hold Steady have announced that their new album Thrashing Thru The Passion will be released by Frenchkiss Records on August 16.

Hear the single, “Denver Haircut”, below:

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“’Denver Haircut’ is a story about a guy who has a chance meet-up that takes him to a few different locations before leaving him alone and cashless in a strange hotel room,” says lead singer Craig Finn. “Steve Selvidge [guitars] brought in the music to this song and everyone felt it immediately, it was really fun to play. The story unfolded quickly too. When recording, we remarked that it sounded like it could kick off an album… and so here we are.”

Thrashing Thru The Passion collects five new songs recorded this year alongside five that were released digitally between November 2017 and March 2019. The album was recorded at The Isokon in Woodstock, NY with producer Josh Kaufman and engineer D. James Goodwin. Additional performers include Stuart Bogie and Dave Nelson, plus Jordan McLean and Michael Leonhart on horns and Annie Nero on backup vocals.

“I’ve been saying for a few years now – since Franz (Nicolay, keyboards) came back – that this six-piece lineup of The Hold Steady is the best band we’ve ever been,” says Finn. “The new songs recorded by this version of the band are super exciting to us. It’s been a very fun and creative period for The Hold Steady.”

You can pre-order Thrashing Thru The Passion here; check out the tracklisting below:

1. Denver Haircut
2. Epaulets
3. You Did Good, Kid
4. Traditional Village
5. Blackout Sam
6. Entitlement Crew
7. T-Shirt Tux
8. Star 18
9. The Stove & The Toaster
10. Confusion In The Marketplace

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

Red Dead Redemption 2 soundtrack set for release

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The soundtrack to popular Western-themed videogame Red Dead Redemption 2 is being officially released by Rockstar Games in collaboration with Lakeshore Records on July 12.

The album features music created exclusively for the game. It was produced by Daniel Lanois with vocal contributions from D’Angelo, Willie Nelson, Rhiannon Giddens and Josh Homme, among others.

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Red Dead Redemption 2 provided a terrific compositional space, vast and covering a range of emotional textures – a real place for my imagination to run wild,” says Lanois. “From recording with Rhiannon Giddens in Nashville, to New Orleans with my friend Cyril Neville, to New York City with D’Angelo, to Willie Nelson and Josh Homme, the inspiration never quit!”

Listen to Daniel Lanois’s track “Table Top” below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAdxNCpGPLs

The Music Of Red Dead Redemption 2: Original Soundtrack is available digitally from July 12. The companion album, The Music Of Red Dead Redemption 2: Original Score, composed by Woody Jackson, will be released later this summer.

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

Devendra Banhart announces new album, Ma

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Devendra Banhart has announced that his new album, Ma, will be released by Nonesuch Records on September 13.

Watch a video for the first single, “Kantori Ongaku”, below:

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Ma
was recorded with Noah Georgeson at 64 Sound and Sea Horse Studios in Los Angeles, and Anderson Canyon in Big Sur. Cate Le Bon contributes background vocals on “Now All Gone” while Banhart’s mentor, muse and friend Vashti Bunyan duets with him on “Will I See You Tonight?”.

You can pre-order Ma here and peruse the tracklisting below:

1. Is This Nice?
2. Kantori Ongaku
3. Ami
4. Memorial
5. Carolina
6. Now All Gone
7. Love Song
8. Abre Las Manos
9. Taking a Page
10. October 12
11. My Boyfriend’s In The Band
12. The Lost Coast
13. Will I See You Tonight? (featuring Vashti Bunyan)

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

Bruce Springsteen on course for 11th UK Number One album

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Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars is on course to become this week’s No 1 album in the UK.

Midweek data from the Official Charts Company puts the album 16,000 sales ahead of Madonna’s Madame X.

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If Western Stars holds on to the top spot, it will become Springsteen’s 11th No 1 album in the UK. Madonna, meanwhile, is looking to score her 13th UK No 1 – equalling Elvis Presley’s record for the most UK No 1 albums by a solo artist.

You can read much more about Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars in the new issue of Uncut, in shops now or available to buy online by clicking here. In case you want to participate in the chart battle yourself, the magazine also contains a review of Madonna’s Madame X

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

Introducing Oasis: The Deluxe Ultimate Music Guide

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My main memories of Oasis‘ imperial phase are less to do with the music but, rather curiously, more about lingering transport issues. I’d like to say I have splendidly resonant memories of Knebworth; alas, all I really remember is getting lost in an inadequately signposted makeshift car park in a field. For Maine Road, it’s getting lost somewhere on the outskirts of Manchester and being hassled at a red light by some lads who offered to look after the car for £20. My memories of Earl’s Court, meanwhile, chiefly concern the difficult passage from West London with 20,000 other people on a poorly maintained District line.

Thankfully, our latest deluxe, enhanced Ultimate Music Guide is a welcome reminder of Liam, Noel and co in their youthful prime and beyond. This edition has been updated to include new writing on Liam and Noel solo, an intro and last words from Liam – and his life in pictures. Among its many qualities, the bookazine underscores the sheer speed of their ascent – “Three years from the Boardwalk to playing to quarter of a million people in a field,” notes Bonehead in the intro to the original 2014 edition of this UMG.

Oasis – Ultimate Music Guide (Deluxe Edition) in the shops – just in time for the 25th anniversary of Definitely Maybe – but you can also order it by clicking here.

And here, to whet your appetite, is more from Bonehead…

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Me, Liam, Guigs and Tony had The Rain going. We had a handful of songs, but nothing that was going to set the world on fire. Noel was touring with the Inspiral Carpets, and when he got back, he got wind we were in a band. He said to Liam, “Can I come down to rehearsal and have a bit of a jam with you?” We were like “Yeah, not a problem. Send him down.”
 
So he came in and said, “I’ve got a few songs written, shall we have a jam through them?” We said, “Go on then.” It was like us witnessing our first Oasis concert really: “Live Forever”, “Cigarettes And Alcohol”, all these songs. “I’ve got another one…” “What’s it called?” “’Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’”. “Shit title mate, but let’s have a listen.” It blew us away, really. It was like, “hang on a minute – these are fucking songs…”
 
Noel’s got a heap of attitude, but he didn’t walk in like “I’ve got these songs so I’m taking control…” We spent a couple of weeks jamming. It was more a case of “Is it OK if I join your band?” “Well – yeah.” It was a bunch of mates making a racket – but a great racket. This was in a rehearsal space called the Red House in Manchester, opposite where the Inspirals had their office. It’s probably apartments now.
 
Then we moved on to the Boardwalk. We thought, “We’ve got something here, we need a regular space” so we moved there. We were religious in our routine. Guigs had a 9-5 for British Telecom, so he would leave there and go straight down the Boardwalk, we’d all be there shortly after. We’d do that every night, even Friday. People would say, “Come and have a beer” and we’d be like: “No. We’re doing this.” We knew we were onto something.

Order the latest issue of Uncut online and have it sent to your home!

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.