Trash Kit – Horizon

0

For a good decade now, London trio Trash Kit have been mining a very particular, streamlined sound – chipped, full of nervous, jangling energy, yet somehow symmetrical. Their first two records were packed with tightly interlocked songs, ticking and clock-wound, which sometimes came across, at first blush, as similar to The Raincoats, Y Pants or Pulsallama.

But comparisons to post-punk pioneers has always felt a little reductive, particularly when Rachel Aggs busts out one of her winding, circular guitar riffs, which sit closer to chimurenga or other types of South African popular music. You can hear this web of inspiration in Aggs’ other groups, too: in both the jittery, twisted songs of Shopping, and the refreshingly spare pop of Sacred Paws, Aggs’ distinctive playing and voice are at the core of the music’s character.

She’s one of the central figures in the London DIY underground that Trash Kit and Shopping are both part of, though it’s important to note that the politics of this loose collective of musicians seem to be more about the communal than the singular: about decentralisation, about claiming space for marginal and othered voices. Indeed, all of the members of Trash Kit, including their new bass player Gill Partington, are involved in other projects that align, somehow, with this scene – Partington and Horwood also play in Halo Halo; Horwood is a member of great bands like Bamboo and Bas Jan.

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

It’s a refreshingly pluralistic scene, then, open to experimentation and play, and connected with other similar DIY gangs, such as Glasgow’s underground; indeed, the other member of Sacred Paws, Eilidh Rodgers, lives and works in Glasgow. And much like the other groups in their orbit, Trash Kit are fiercely independent, but never twee and “indie”, and they seem to have learned the best lessons from precursors like The Pastels and Huggy Bear about staying true to a strongly held set of ideals, while still being open and alive to the moment, to possibility.

Their debut self-titled effort was released in 2010, a year after the group formed, and it saw the group’s then-core membership of Rachel Horwood (drums, voice), Rachel Aggs (guitar, voice) and ex-Electrelane member Ros Murray (bass) spitting out pithy, shard-like bolts of lightning. A second album, 2014’s Confidence, found them starting to breathe out, the songs opening up, with Verity Sussmann joining 
in on saxophone for a few songs.

The latent possibilities hinted at on those LPs are writ large across the 11 songs on Horizon. It’s striking to hear just how confident the trio now are, and how interwoven their playing is; no mean feat when the songs are structured around long, sometimes meandering lines of thought, unspooling threads of melody and counter-melody, polyrhythms skittering across the stereo spectrum. Opener “Coasting” stretches out languorously, Horwood’s clattering drums subtly insistent and Aggs’ guitar weaving out a joyous, fleet-footed riff as Partington’s bass negotiates further intricacy, while the introduction of strings toward the end of the song gives its coda a sweeping gait. Aggs’ guitar in the following “Every Second” is tightly coiled, the better for sudden interjections of saxophone to curl around and nestle between the trio’s attenuated playing.

That opening riff is one of Aggs’ clearest gestures toward her love of South African pop. She’s talked previously about wanting to avoid “strumminess”, and the clean, glittery melodies of artists like Thomas Mapfumo have been core to Aggs’ thinking: “I had been getting into a lot of guitar music from Zimbabwe,” she says, “particularly early Thomas Mapfumo records, where you can clearly hear the progression from mbira rhythms to full-on radio pop… Also Soweto pop and funk really gets me excited.”

What a lot of this music shares is an incessant yet light-footed groove, and a lyricism that works right down to the level of the ensemble’s many interlocking parts; that deceptive simplicity is definitely part of Trash Kit’s remit.

And while, yes, you can still hear their love of post-punk, with some moments recalling The Raincoats circa Moving, or X-Ray Spex, Trash Kit’s palette is much broader still. Ask them what they’ve been listening to recently that might surprise and they’re refreshingly unorthodox: “We’ve always loved bands like Nissenenmondai and OOIOO, who are able to really stretch songs out in this psychedelic but still visceral way,” Aggs says. “And we love The Ex – they do a collaboration/cover version of a Konono No 1 song that we love so much.” You can hear this more expansive, “psychedelic” aesthetic on “Horizon” in particular, a song that strings its many different parts out across the skyline, a set of lights blinking in the night sky, all kinds of subtle details trickling into the song – a clacking woodblock here, one-note blurts of brass there – riding out a riff from Aggs that feels like it could go on forever, an ouroboros continually circling in on itself. It’s completely exhilarating.

There are other, equally thrilling moments too – the hypnotic, streamlined surrealism of “Sunset”, with its simple chants; the devastatingly lovely melody of the following “Get Out Of Bed”, shouted out loud and gorgeous by Aggs and Horwood, which winds down into peaceable, ticking guitar chimes, adrift in a sunlit wash of reverb; the wild ride that is the seven-minute instrumental “Disco”, pushing ever forward, enraptured by its own momentum, before falling apart at the six-minute mark for a convincingly spry stretch of clinking, scratchy free improvisation. (The influence of groups like Dog Faced Hermans, or the Netherlands’ improv-punks The Ex, feels particularly strong here.)

Tellingly, there’s also the choir that Horwood assembled to ground “Sunset” and “Traffic Lights” – the latter’s lyrics summarising one of the album’s, and the group’s, core messages about friendship, musical and otherwise: “We play in tune not touching/We play in time not listening/Your music inside my body/In my heart and my head.”
“I’ve been singing with Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business for a while now and also had the pleasure to sing for Fay Zmija Nicolson’s Spa Songs last year,” Horwood explains. “I don’t think I would have felt confident to try and gather a choir and add the extra vocals [on Horizon] if it wasn’t for those experiences.”

But there’s something in the very sound of the choir on these songs, singing out proud and true, that sums up so much about Trash Kit: a fearlessness; an understanding of the power of collectivised voices; the musicality and creativity of people in their everyday worlds, in real time, bodies and minds in motion.

The September 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from July 18, and available to order online now – with The Who on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Blue Note, Dr John, Quentin Tarantino, Joan Shelley, Ty Segall, Buzzcocks, Ride, Lucinda Williams, Lloyd Cole and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Modern Nature, Sleater-Kinney, Ezra Furman and more.

The Doors’ The Soft Parade reissued with stripped-down versions

0

The Doors’ 1969 album The Soft Parade is 50 years old this week. To mark the anniversary, Rhino will release a 3xCD + 1xLP Deluxe Edition of the album on October 18, featuring nearly two hours of unreleased material.

This includes stripped down versions of five tracks (“Tell All The People,” “Touch Me,” “Wishful Sinful,” “Runnin’ Blue,” and “Who Scared You”) where the controversial horns and strings have been removed, as well as three stripped-back versions with new guitar parts added by Robby Krieger (“Touch Me,” “Wishful Sinful” and “Runnin’ Blue”).

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

There are also three songs from studio rehearsals with Ray Manzarek (AKA Screamin’ Ray Daniels) on vocals. Hear an early version of “Roadhouse Blues” below:

The package also includes the full version of the much bootlegged, hour-long studio jam, “Rock Is Dead”. Check out the tracklisting below and pre-order here.

Disc One
“Tell All The People”
“Touch Me”
“Shaman’s Blues”
“Do It”
“Easy Ride”
“Wild Child”
“Runnin’ Blue”
“Wishful Sinful”
“The Soft Parade”
Bonus Track
“Who Scared You” – B-side

Disc Two
“Tell All The People” (Doors only mix)*
“Touch Me” (Doors only mix w/new Robby Krieger guitar overdub)*
“Runnin’ Blue” (Doors only mix w/new Robby Krieger guitar overdub)*
“Wishful Sinful” (Doors only mix w/new Robby Krieger guitar overdub)*
“Who Scared You” (Doors only mix)*
“Roadhouse Blues” – Screamin’ Ray Daniels (a.k.a. Ray Manzarek) on vocal*
“(You Need Meat) Don’t Go No Further” – Screamin’ Ray Daniels (a.k.a. Ray Manzarek) on vocal*
“I’m Your Doctor” – Screamin’ Ray Daniels (a.k.a. Ray Manzarek) on vocal*
“Touch Me” (Doors only mix)*
“Runnin’ Blue” (Doors only mix) *
“Wishful Sinful” (Doors only mix)*

Disc Three
“I Am Troubled”
“Seminary School” (aka “Petition The Lord With Prayer”) *
“Rock Is Dead” – Complete Version *
“Chaos” *

* previously unreleased

The September 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from July 18, and available to order online now – with The Who on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Blue Note, Dr John, Quentin Tarantino, Joan Shelley, Ty Segall, Buzzcocks, Ride, Lucinda Williams, Lloyd Cole and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Modern Nature, Sleater-Kinney, Ezra Furman and more.

Blur to release 1994 BBC session on 10″ vinyl

0

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Parklife, Blur are releasing a 1994 BBC Radio 1 session on 10″ vinyl (and digital formats) on August 2.

Recorded for Mark Radcliffe on March 7, 1994 – six weeks before the release of ParklifeLive At The BBC features four tracks: “Girls & Boys”, “Jubilee”, “Trouble In The Message Centre” and “Lot 105”.

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

Blur are also reissuing a range of classic Parklife-era merchandise, including tote bags and T-shirt featuring their greyhound, beer mat and football logos. See the whole range over at Blur’s official site.

The September 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from July 18, and available to order online now – with The Who on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Blue Note, Dr John, Quentin Tarantino, Joan Shelley, Ty Segall, Buzzcocks, Ride, Lucinda Williams, Lloyd Cole and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Modern Nature, Sleater-Kinney, Ezra Furman and more.

Echo & The Bunnymen announce The John Peel Sessions 1979-1983

0

Echo & The Bunnymen have announced the release of The John Peel Sessions 1979-1983 via Rhino on September 6.

The double album features 21 tracks recorded for John Peel’s Radio 1 show during the early years of the band’s existence.

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

Says The Bunnymen’s Will Sergeant: “Without John Peel sessions, Echo And The Bunnymen in my opinion, would not exist! It’s that simple. The band got so much support from him and John Walters (Peel’s producer). Recording a Peel session was essential to the development of our songwriting skills while at the same time giving us amazing exposure and self-belief.”

Check out the tracklisting for The John Peel Sessions 1979-1983 below and pre-order a limited edition red vinyl version of the album here.

LP1 Side One
Read It In Books (John Peel Session)
Stars Are Stars (John Peel Session)
I Bagsy Yours (John Peel Session)
Villiers Terrace (John Peel Session)
The Pictures On My Wall (John Peel Session)
All That Jazz (John Peel Session)

LP1 Side Two
Over The Wall (John Peel Session)
All My Colours (John Peel Session)
That Golden Smile (John Peel Session)
Heaven Up Here (John Peel Session)
Turquoise Days (John Peel Session)

LP2 Side One
Taking Advantage (John Peel Session)
An Equation (John Peel Session)
No Hands (John Peel Session)
Silver (John Peel Session)
Seven Seas (John Peel Session)

LP2 Side Two
The Killing Moon (John Peel Session)
Nocturnal Me (John Peel Session)
Watch Out Below (John Peel Session)
Ocean Rain (John Peel Session)
My Kingdom (John Peel Session)

The September 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from July 18, and available to order online now – with The Who on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Blue Note, Dr John, Quentin Tarantino, Joan Shelley, Ty Segall, Buzzcocks, Ride, Lucinda Williams, Lloyd Cole and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Modern Nature, Sleater-Kinney, Ezra Furman and more.

Watch a trailer for Roger Waters’ concert film, Us + Them

0

Roger Waters has announced details of a new concert film, Us + Them, captured in Amsterdam on the European leg of his 2017/2018 world tour of the same name.

Us + Them was co-directed by Sean Evans who also worked on 2014’s Roger Waters: The Wall. Watch a trailer below:

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

“I’m so looking forward to the launch of the movie in October,” writes Waters in a press release. “Us + Them is not standard rock and roll fare, some in the audience may ‘yee haaaa!!!’ Which is OK, but many will weep. That is what I hope for. Us + Them is a call to action. Homo Sapiens stand at a crossroads, we can either pool our love, develop our capacity to empathise with others and act collectively for the good of our planet, or we can remain Comfortably Numb, and continue, like blind lemmings, on our current omnicidal death march towards extinction. Us + Them is a vote for love and life.”

Sean Evans
added: “This is a great film – an amazing performance delivered with care, emotion and meaning. Didn’t think it was possible, but I believe we’ve outdone The Wall…”

Us + Them will be screened in cinemas around the world on Wednesday, October 2 and Sunday, October 6 (in Dolby Atmos where available). Visit the official site to find out details of participating cinemas and to buy tickets.

The September 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from July 18, and available to order online now – with The Who on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Blue Note, Dr John, Quentin Tarantino, Joan Shelley, Ty Segall, Buzzcocks, Ride, Lucinda Williams, Lloyd Cole and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Modern Nature, Sleater-Kinney, Ezra Furman and more.

Iggy Pop announces new album, Free

0

Iggy Pop has announced that his new album Free will be released by Loma Vista / Caroline International on September 6.

Free was created in collaboration with jazz trumpeter Leron Thomas and guitarist Noveller AKA Sarah Lipstate, and is described in a press release as “a uniquely sombre and contemplative entry in the Iggy Pop canon”.

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

“This is an album in which other artists speak for me, but I lend my voice,” explains Iggy Pop. “By the end of the tours following Post Pop Depression, I felt sure that I had rid myself of the problem of chronic insecurity that had dogged my life and career for too long. But I also felt drained. And I felt like I wanted to put on shades, turn my back, and walk away. I wanted to be free. I know that’s an illusion, and that freedom is only something you feel, but I have lived my life thus far in the belief that that feeling is all that is worth pursuing; all that you need – not happiness or love necessarily, but the feeling of being free. So this album just kind of happened to me, and I let it happen.”

The album includes takes on poems by Lou Reed (“We Are The People”) and Dylan Thomas (“Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”). Check out the full tracklisting below:

1. Free
2. Loves Missing
3. Sonali
4. James Bond
5. Dirty Sanchez
6. Glow In The Dark
7. Page
8. We Are The People
9. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
10. The Dawn

You can pre-order Free here.

The September 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from July 18, and available to order online now – with The Who on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Blue Note, Dr John, Quentin Tarantino, Joan Shelley, Ty Segall, Buzzcocks, Ride, Lucinda Williams, Lloyd Cole and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Modern Nature, Sleater-Kinney, Ezra Furman and more.

Spiritualized to play Acoustic Mainline show in Hackney

0

Spiritualized have announced that they will play a special ‘Acoustic Mainline’ show at London’s Hackney Empire on September 14.

It’s part of the travelling Somewhere festival, whose trademark is that all acts play in front of a backdrop of 1001 candles.

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

Jason Pierce first toured as Spiritualized Acoustic Mainline in 2007, accompanied by piano, string quartet and a trio of gospel singers. Tickets for the Hackney Empire show go on sale at 10am on Friday (July 19) from here.

Other artists confirmed for the London leg of Somewhere include The Libertines’ Caral Barat and Peter Doherty, who play two acoustic shows at Hackney Empire on September 5 and 6.

The September 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from July 18, and available to order online now – with The Who on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Blue Note, Dr John, Quentin Tarantino, Joan Shelley, Ty Segall, Buzzcocks, Ride, Lucinda Williams, Lloyd Cole and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Modern Nature, Sleater-Kinney, Ezra Furman and more.

Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein responds to Janet Weiss’s departure

0

Two weeks ago, we reported the shock news that drummer Janet Weiss had quit Sleater-Kinney on the eve of the release of their new album The Center Won’t Hold.

“We are saddened by Janet’s decision to leave Sleater-Kinney,” read the band’s official statement at the time. “It has been an incredible privilege to work with such a talented musician and drummer over the course of so many albums… We wish Janet all the best as she starts a new chapter in her life.”

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

Now, in response to a fan question on Instagram, singer/guitarist Carrie Brownstein has provided a more personal perspective on Weiss’ departure:

“She left. We asked her to stay. We tried. It’s hard and sad… She’s left us with a job to do, a job we also expected and wanted her to be a part of. Her playing on this record is amazing and she’s raved about this album to us and to Annie. But we have to keep looking to the future. Things change, even when those changes are hard and unexpected. Four amazing women worked on this record and we are going to honor that work. So, what’s up? The usual….Women picking up the pieces when someone quits, because we have to and want to. We’re going to keep going because we believe in ourselves and it’s a privilege to get to play music for people. It’s a new chapter. And all artistic entities have many chapters, if they’re lucky. Either the music will resonate or it won’t.”

The Center Won’t Hold is released by Mom + Pop on August 16. You can read an in-depth review, plus an interview with the band, in the new issue of Uncut – in UK shops tomorrow (July 18) or available to order online by clicking here.

The September 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from July 18, and available to order online now – with The Who on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Blue Note, Dr John, Quentin Tarantino, Joan Shelley, Ty Segall, Buzzcocks, Ride, Lucinda Williams, Lloyd Cole and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Modern Nature, Sleater-Kinney, Ezra Furman and more.

Watch a video for Joan Shelley’s new single, “Cycle”

0

Joan Shelley has announced that her new album Like The River Loves The Sea will be released by No Quarter on August 30.

Watch a video for the track “Cycle” below:

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

Like The River Loves The Sea, her fifth solo album, was recorded at Greenhaus Studios in Reykjavik, Iceland, with James Elkington co-producing, and Elkington and Nathan Salsburg serving as the backing band. A pair of Icelandic sisters, Þórdís Gerður Jónsdóttir and Sigrún Kristbjörg Jónsdóttir, added strings.

Like The River Loves The Sea is built as a haven for overstimulated heads in uncertain times,” says Shelley. “The title (which comes from a song by Si Kahn) speaks of the inevitable and at times indifferent nature of love. Whether it be a physical place or an idea, everyone needs a place of comfort. One where we can look out again from that place of calm and see how to best act and to be in an uncertain world.”

You can read an in-depth interview with Joan Shelley in the new issue of Uncut, in UK shops on Thursday or available to buy online now by clicking here.

The September 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from July 18, and available to order online now – with The Who on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Blue Note, Dr John, Quentin Tarantino, Joan Shelley, Ty Segall, Buzzcocks, Ride, Lucinda Williams, Lloyd Cole and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Modern Nature, Sleater-Kinney, Ezra Furman and more.

Wilco announce new album, Ode To Joy

0

Wilco have announced that their new album Ode To Joy will be released on October 4 via dBpm Records.

Hear lead single “Love Is Everywhere (Beware)” below:

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

“There MUST be more love than hate. Right?! I’m not always positive we can be so sure,” says Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. “In any case, I’m starting to feel like being confident in that equation isn’t always the best motivation for me to be my best self – it can kind of let me off the hook a little bit when I think I should be striving to contribute more love outside of my comfortable sphere of family and friends. So… I guess the song is sort of a warning to myself that YES, Love IS EVERYWHERE, but also BEWARE! I can’t let that feeling absolve me of my duty to create more.”

You can pre-order Ode To Joy here, including limited edition coloured vinyl and a special deluxe LP book formats. Peruse the tracklisting below, and see Wilco’s autumn tourdates here.

1.Bright Leaves
2. Before Us
3. One and a Half Stars
4. Quiet Amplifier
5. Everyone Hides
6. White Wooden Cross
7. Citizens
8. We Were Lucky
9. Love Is Everywhere (Beware)
10. Hold Me Anyway
11. An Empty Corner

The September 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from July 18, and available to order online now – with The Who on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Blue Note, Dr John, Quentin Tarantino, Joan Shelley, Ty Segall, Buzzcocks, Ride, Lucinda Williams, Lloyd Cole and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Modern Nature, Sleater-Kinney, Ezra Furman and more.

Brittany Howard releases video for new single, “Stay High”

0

Following the release of “History Repeats”, Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard has issued a second single from her upcoming solo album Jaime.

Watch a video for “Stay High”, starring Everybody Hates Chris and The Expendables actor Terry Crews below:

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

“This video is shot in my home town of Athens, Alabama,” says Brittany Howard. “The actors are my family and friends. Terry Crews plays a man who isn’t out to change the world, he plays a man who just wants to come home to those who understand and love him best. We see his inner beauty, grace and humanity in a place that is so often misunderstood.”

Terry Crews adds: “I got an email from the Brittany Howard, asking me to be a part of a song she wrote that was all about her dad and how special he was to the family. And she poured her heart out in this letter. I couldn’t believe it, Brittany was like, ‘We can shoot it in LA’, and I said, ‘No, I’m coming to you, we’re going to Alabama. We’re going to where you grew up, to where your family is.’”

Jaime is out via ATO Records on September 20. Pre-order it here.

The September 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from July 18, and available to order online now – with The Who on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Blue Note, Dr John, Quentin Tarantino, Joan Shelley, Ty Segall, Buzzcocks, Ride, Lucinda Williams, Lloyd Cole and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Modern Nature, Sleater-Kinney, Ezra Furman and more.

Watch The Black Keys deliver a spoof music masterclass

0

The Black Keys have made a video for comedy website Funny Or Die, parodying the phenomenon of online music masterclasses.

As part of ‘The Black Keys MasterCourse’, viewers can learn about the inspirations behind Dan Auerbach’s songwriting – “I wrote that song when I was eating caviar with Michael Jordan in Paris” – as well as discovering how Patrick Carney gets his “sultry” drum tones.

Watch the video below:

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

The September 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from July 18, and available to order online now – with The Who on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Blue Note, Dr John, Quentin Tarantino, Joan Shelley, Ty Segall, Buzzcocks, Ride, Lucinda Williams, Lloyd Cole and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Modern Nature, Sleater-Kinney, Ezra Furman and more.

Introducing the new Uncut

0

Let’s begin in New York, where Nick Hasted catches up with The Who in the aftermath of a typically incendiary show at Madison Square Garden. Over a series of extensive interviews, Nick discovers plenty about the weird logistics of The Who’s 2019 – involving a symphonic reworking of Tommy, an orchestral tour and their first new studio album for 13 years. What do we learn about this latest, long-awaited opus? I don’t want to give too much away, of course, but depending who you believe it has either “some of the best Who songs since Quadrophenia” or else, “It’s our best album since Who’s Next.” Beyond that, though, Nick’s interview highlights the exceptionally complex relationship Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend have with their back catalogue – and with each other – and asks how long they can continue to operate at such a high level. “I don’t know what people want out of The Who any more,” admits Daltrey.

A few months ago, I received a letter from Alan English, one of our readers, who mentioned that, among other things, he was beginning to explore jazz – and, in particular, 1950s Blue Note albums. “I am sure there are many like me,” he wrote, “who would appreciate a good primer series on the label from a knowledgeable writer.” Serendipitously, we were already beavering away on an extensive survey of the label’s greatest albums. And I hope Alan will be pleased to learn that we haven’t solicited the talents of just one writer. For this Herculean task we have assembled an illustrious lineup of musicians, jazzers and assorted heads to assist us in compiling a definitive Blue Note Top 30. Rather than add to this challenge by trying to rank them in order of merit, we chose to arrange them by release date, beginning with Sonny Rollins on Bud Powell’s The Amazing Bud Powell from 1952 and ending with Cassandra Wilson on Don Byron’s 2000 album, A Fine Line: Arias And Lieder. Rollins and Wilson are just two of the artists involved; you’ll find contributions from Robert Wyatt, Kamasi Washington, Michael Chapman, Matthew E White, Norah Jones, Shabaka Hutchings, Bobby McFerrin, Nubya Garcia and John McLaughlin, among many others.

Elsewhere, we bid fond farewell to Dr John, visit Joan Shelley at home in rural Kentucky, meet Quentin Tarantino on the set of his latest film, reconnect with a Lucinda Williams classic, (shoe)gaze at Ride’s illustrious career to date and talk acid trips, horror films and sausage dogs with Ty Segall. It is, I’m proud to say, one of our finest issues. Enjoy!

Follow me on Twitter @MichaelBonner

The September 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from July 18, and available to order online now – with The Who on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Blue Note, Dr John, Quentin Tarantino, Joan Shelley, Ty Segall, Buzzcocks, Ride, Lucinda Williams, Lloyd Cole and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Modern Nature, Sleater-Kinney, Ezra Furman and more.

Uncut – September 2019

The Who, Dr John, Lucinda Williams, Ride, Buzzcocks and Quentin Tarantino all feature in the next Uncut, in shops from July 18 and available to buy now from our online store.

THE WHO: The rock legends are on the cover, and inside Uncut hooks up with them in New York to hear all about the state of The Who in 2019. “We sound brand new,” Roger Daltrey tells us.

NEW MUSIC CD: Our terrific free CD, Amazing Journey, features 15 of this month’s best tracks, from Joan Shelley, Ride, Modern Nature, Sleater-Kinney, Violent Femmes, Ezra Furman, Shannon Lay, Rodney Crowell and more.

Plus! Inside the new issue you’ll find…

BLUE NOTE: We celebrate the esteemed jazz label’s 80th birthday by asking an all-star panel including Robert Wyatt and Kamasi Washington to pick their favourite Blue Note releases.

DR JOHN: We pay tribute to the legendary New Orleans Night Tripper with the help of his closest compadres, including Jim Keltner and Aaron Neville.

QUENTIN TARANTINO: The garrulous director and other key players explain how they made Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood, the new film that casts a wry look at Hollywood in the late ’60s, Manson Family and all.

LUCINDA WILLIAMS: The Americana star and a host of collaborators tell the six-year story behind the title track of her celebrated 1988 album Car Wheels On A Gravel Road.

BUZZCOCKS: Steve Diggle takes stock of their emotional Pete Shelley tribute show and reveals all about the future of the band.

JOAN SHELLEY: Uncut heads to rural Kentucky to meet the singer-songwriter, hear all about her new album and discover how nature inspires her stunning modern folk songs.

We review new releases from Sleater-Kinney, Thom Yorke, Ezra Furman, Tyler Childers and more, along with archive selections from Pink Fairies, Suicide, Tubby Hayes, Gomez and and films about Carole King and Leonard Cohen, while Nick Cave and the delights of Glastonbury are witnessed live.

Plus Ty Segall answers your questions, Lloyd Cole revisits the music that changed his life, Ride talk us through their back catalogue, Brian Jones is reappraised as a cultural trendsetter, and former snooker champ Steve Davis unveils his new analogue synth outfit…

THE NEW UNCUT IS ON SALE FROM THURSDAY, JULY 18 – CLICK HERE TO HAVE A COPY DELIVERED DIRECT TO YOUR DOOR

Watch Paul McCartney play two Beatles songs with Ringo Starr

0

Paul McCartney played the final show of his US tour at LA’s Dodger Stadium on Saturday night (July 13).

To celebrate, he brought out Ringo Starr to play drums on two Beatles classics, “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Helter Skelter”. Watch the footage below:

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

McCartney then closed his set with a medley of “Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End” from Abbey Road, with Eagles’ Joe Walsh guesting on guitar. Watch footage of “The End” below:

You can read more about Abbey Road and Ringo’s peace and love-fuelled journey beyond The Beatles in Uncut’s new Ultimate Music Guide to Ringo Starr, 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.

Watch Bob Dylan duet with Neil Young in Kilkenny

0

Following their appearance at London’s Hyde Park on Friday, Bob Dylan and Neil Young played another co-headline show in Kilkenny, Ireland, on Sunday (July 14) – and this time they duetted, with Young coming on midway through Dylan’s set to play “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?”

The pair previously performed the hymn together at the famous 1975 SNACK benefit show in San Francisco. Watch fan footage of the duet from Kilkenny’s Nowlan Park below:

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

Neil Young also posted a snippet of the song on his Instagram account, along with the news that a stream of his Kilkenny set will be rebroadcast on Neil Young Archives at some point this week – although it won’t include “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?”

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.

Tanya Donelly on her favourite albums: “I never recovered from seeing Kate Bush”

Iggy Pop
Lust For Life
1977

This is a perfect album, I think. The music and lyrics are just matches made in heaven. Every song pulls me in on both levels, body and mind, sound and words. This album is like a repeater book for me, something I come back to regularly and revisit as a reminder of what is good. “The Passenger” in particular is perfection. On the first Throwing Muses/Pixies European tour, we all drove around Berlin in our tour van after the show listening to “The Passenger” on a loop. A beautiful night.

_________________

Echo & The Bunnymen
Ocean Rain
1984

Well, it’s just gorgeous, isn’t it? It’s wine and roses, this album. It’s similar to Kate Bush in appealing to the part of me that wants to run into the woods at night wearing a cloak. When I was a teen, I danced around in the dark in my room alone to this album a lot, and I’m one of many members of that particular club. Echo & The Bunnymen were a shot of beauty back then, and a legion of us needed that in 1984. And now.

_________________

Ennio Morricone
The Mission OST
1986

This is a beautiful collection of melodies and sounds, and I have tried to include some piece of it in every major ceremonial watermark event of my life – marriage, childbirth, and probably, deathbed. As someone who is almost detrimentally focused on lyrics, it means so much to be consistently moved by a wordless composer. Ennio does that for me. I am sure I must have seen the movie at some point, but I don’t connect this music to any visual, because it stands on its own for me.

_________________

Mary Margaret O’Hara
Miss America
1988

This album is deeply set in my heart. There’s never a list of mine that doesn’t include it. At the time it came out, the conversational poetry of her lyrics was a running narrative for what was happening with me, and the message I heard was: “I am going to tell you the truth, but I will hold your hand through it.” Mary Margaret’s voice is so free and wild and beautiful, and the songs have those great spidery structures and instrumentation. These things combined had a very strong influence on my writing, consciously and unconsciously.

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.

Willie Nelson – Ride Me Back Home

0

At this advanced stage in the career of Willie Nelson, one does not approach a new album by him anticipating an affronting of expectations. However, it is no slight upon Ride Me Back Home, or the man who made it, to suggest that if you’ve heard a reasonable fraction of Nelson’s barely calculable discography – the studio albums alone nearly clear triple figures – you’ve pretty much got the idea. A new Willie Nelson album is not so much another chapter in a body of work as a recurrence of a natural phenomenon whose origins date back to the primordial mists, like some extremely affable volcano.

Ride Me Back Home is the putative conclusion of a recent triptych of Willie Nelson albums with obviously elegiac titles – its thematic predecessors were 2017’s God’s Problem Child and 2018’s Last Man Standing. Not since Warren Zevon backed up Life’ll Kill Ya with My Ride’s Here has an artist more obviously foreshadowed a grappling with mortality.

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

Like most of Nelson’s recent albums – and he has released more than a dozen this decade alone – Ride Me Back Home was produced by, and partly co-written with, fellow Nashville veteran Buddy Cannon, with the running order rounded out by covers astute and/or quixotic. Nelson is in fine fettle throughout – he has always had the advantage, as male country singers often do, of possessing the kind of voice that takes time to grow into, and he arguably sounds more like himself as a melancholy octogenerian than he did as the clean-cut kid who grinned from the cover of “And Then I Wrote” back in 1962. As ever, his guitar-playing is a marvel, that legendarily battered Martin N-20 known as Trigger still responding bountifully to Nelson’s dextrous caresses after half a century of service.

The title track is credited to Nelson and Sonny Throckmorton, who has also been shaping what we understand as country songwriting since the Earth cooled. It is unarguably a reworking of a familiar country trope – the horse as a symbol of freedom – but given the decades Nelson and Throckmorton have devoted to inventing and defining country tropes, they’re entitled to it. Inspired by the 60-odd rescue nags that Nelson keeps on his Texas ranch, it’s a gently roguish trundle anchored by keening harmonica, Nelson twinkling as he narrates a vision of pastoral sanctuary.

“Ride Me Back Home” outlines a template and sets a standard from which the album does not much deviate. The more immediately gripping tracks are the grittiest, like the prowling blues of “Seven Year Itch” or the upbeat shuffle of “Come On Time”, set to a train-song beat and underpinned by a low, twanging electric lead. It’s hard to hear either as anything other than rages against the dying of the light. On the former, Nelson sounds pleased to detect life in the old dog yet (“Getting nowhere slow, but I’m feeling good”). On the latter, he’s outright daring the Reaper to come and have a go if he thinks he’s hard enough (“I say come on time, I’ve beat you before/Come on time, what have you got for me this time?”).

But as has often been the case throughout Nelson’s career, for all that he has projected himself as the jut-jawed, ponytail-dangling, Texan rebel stoner, he’s at his best as an unaffected crooner of sentimental ballads, of which “Ride Me Back Home” has plenty. Two are Guy Clark songs, both decorated with virtuoso Trigger solos – “My Favourite Picture Of You”, and the unabashedly pro-huddled-masses-yearning-to-breathe-free “Immigrant Eyes”. (Where America’s culture wars are concerned, there has never been much doubt which side Nelson is really on.) Another is the daft but likeable Mac Davis novelty “It’s Hard To Be Humble”, recorded in cahoots with Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah. And one is Billy Joel’s “Just The Way You Are”, which Nelson sings with a quite beautiful matter-of-fact tenderness, demonstrating that there are no shallows in which he cannot locate depth.

One of Nelson’s more arresting projects of recent years was 2018’s Frank Sinatra tribute My Way. The best of Ride Me Back Home feels as much a companion to that as to its predecessors in Nelson’s trilogy of reckoning – there’s a certain Sinatra-esque conspiratorial intimacy. On the after-dark jazz of “Stay Away From The Lonely Places” and the tottering waltz of “Maybe I Should’ve Been Listening”, Nelson reminds us – again – that while it might seem odd that an approximate contemporary of Hank Williams is still making records, it’s not like the queue of plausible replacements as the pre-eminent interpreter of American song is a long one.

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.

Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains

0

David Berman broke up his lo-fi country-rock outfit Silver Jews suddenly in 2009. Amid an existential crisis triggered by both the worrying state of the world and the ills perpetrated by his father, Richard – a right-wing lobbyist dubbed ‘Dr Evil’ by one American media outlet – Berman chose to walk away from music. “I guess I am moving over to another category,” he wrote on the Drag City message board. “Screenwriting or Muckraking. I’ve got to move on. Can’t be like all the careerists, doncha know.”

Ten years later, Berman has finally returned to active service with Purple Mountains. While essentially a new band, there is much here that recalls the classic posture of Silver Jews – not least, the wry lyrical observations (“and now we stand the standard distance distant strangers now stand apart”) and, naturally, Berman’s rich, caustic baritone. But although the underlying spirit of the two bands is similar, it was important for Berman to differentiate between them. “I made one six-storey building and lo-fi sub-basement,” he explains. “When I thought to build a second, I found it would add to the quality of both to be offset from each other.”

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

Berman has always had a way with a good opening line for his albums. Silver Jews fans will remember with fondness the shout-out to an ex that kicked off 1996’s The National Bridge: “No, I don’t really want to die/I only want to die in your eyes.” Meanwhile, 1998’s American Water opened with the deathless proclamation, “In 1984, I was hospitalised for approaching perfection.”

Purple Mountains opens in a similarly attention-grabbing manner: “Well, I don’t like talkin’ to myself/But someone’s gotta say it, hell/Things have not been going well/This time I think I finally fucked myself.” These lines are delivered by Berman over rollicking piano, drums and guitar that recall the rambunctious, rootsy spirit of Dylan and The Band. They suggest that the album’s ongoing mission will be to explore the void Berman plummeted into on retiring from music. As a consequence, the depression, defeat and disaffection he experienced during this period offer rich pickings for a songwriter as wry and self-aware as Berman.

The 10 songs assembled here owe as much to Townes Van Zandt’s picaresque story songs as they do Dylan’s sardonic poetics; they all gnaw at the heart and consciousness. Berman sings of life’s travails in fluid and acrobatic phrasing, with each spin revealing a nuance in tone or pronunciation that turns the lyric in a profound or unexpected way, a slow reveal that begs repeat listens. It’s unequivocally dark, relatable and addictive.

The album’s full of ghosts, from a declaration that “All My Happiness Is Gone” at track two, to a gut-punching admission at track five: “We’re just drinking margaritas at the mall/That’s what this stuff adds up to after all,” he sings, an indictment of the inanity that numbs and distracts us in desperate moments and daily routines, sugary booze in the absence of enlightenment.

But it’s not all misery and dashed hopes. Berman pens a stirring tribute to his late mother, “I Loved Being My Mother’s Son”, while “Snow Is Falling In Manhattan” is a calming portrait of a snow-blanketed city. These pauses between crises are something of a palate-cleanser, of course; but even the darker tracks are helped along by the sweet, smooth instrumentation accompanying Berman’s assorted meditations. Backing vocals by singer-songwriter Anna St Louis, Jeremy Earl of Woods and Haley Fohr of Circuit Des Yeux provide a contrast for Berman’s lower-register singing.

Purple Mountains is an excellent return to form for Berman; a worthy next chapter for a songwriter who quit, many believed, in his prime. As an additional delight, Berman intends to tour the album – something of a rarity given that he’s played just 100 or so shows in his decades-long career.

“Mine is not a cry for help, but an offer to provide a kind of it,” Berman says of these splendid new songs. The truth may hurt – but, listening to Purple Mountains, there are many delights and peculiarities to be found on the road to healing.

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 Hollies’ Allan Clarke announces new album, 20 years after retiring

0

20 years after he retired from music to spend time with his family, The Hollies lead singer Allan Clarke has returned with a new solo album Resurgence, due out on September 20 via BMG.

Hear the first song from it, “Journey Of Regret”, below:

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

“For many years, people have asked ‘Why don’t you go back to singing?’,” says Clarke. “What I couldn’t do was perform Hollies songs any more. But what I should have said was that there may be a time when I’ll be able to sing, because I’ll be doing songs that maybe I’ll write myself. It was always on the back burner.

“But then I said to my son Toby, who’s been involved musically in the family since the year he was born, ‘I’ve got a song I’ve done on guitar, but I don’t know what to do with it, what do you suggest?’ He said ‘You should learn to use GarageBand,’ and showed me how… It’s given me a new lease of life in doing something I thought I’d never do again.”

You can pre-order Resurgence 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.