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Jimi Hendrix’s Band Of Gypsys expanded to 8xLP set

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Songs For Groovy Children is a new 5xCD or 8xLP Jimi Hendrix box set that compiles his four legendary shows at New York’s Fillmore East on December 31, 1969 and January 1, 1970.

These recordings formed the basis for Hendrix’s 1970 Band Of Gypsys album (as well as 1999’s Live At The Fillmore East), but this is the first time the shows have been released in their entirety. The songs have been restored to their original sequence and newly mixed by Eddie Kramer.

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Watch a trailer for Songs For Groovy Children and check out the LP tracklisting below:

12/31/69 1st Set:
DISC ONE/SIDE ONE
1) Power Of Soul
2) Lover Man
3) Hear My Train A Comin’
DISC ONE/SIDE TWO
1) Changes
2) Izabella
3) Machine Gun
DISC TWO/SIDE ONE
1) Stop
2) Ezy Ryder
3) Bleeding Heart
DISC TWO/SIDE TWO
1) Earth Blues
2) Burning Desire
12/31/69 2nd Set:
DISC THREE/SIDE ONE
1) Auld Lang Syne%
2) Who Knows %
3) Fire
DISC THREE/SIDE TWO
1) Ezy Ryder*
2) Machine Gun%
DISC FOUR/SIDE ONE
1) Stone Free
2) Changes*
DISC FOUR/SIDE TWO
1) Message To Love*
2) Stop*
3) Foxy Lady
1/1/70 1st Set:
DISC FIVE/SIDE ONE
1) Who Knows +
2) Machine Gun+
DISC FIVE/SIDE TWO
1) Changes+
2) Power Of Soul%
3) Stepping Stone%
4) Foxy Lady+
DISC SIX/SIDE ONE
1) Stop %
2) Earth Blues+
3) Burning Desire%
1/1/70 2nd Set:
DISC SIX/SIDE TWO
1) Stone Free%
2) Power Of Soul#
DISC SEVEN/SIDE ONE
1) Changes#
2) Message To Love#
DISC SEVEN/SIDE TWO
1) Machine Gun%
2) Lover Man*
3) Steal Away*
DISC EIGHT/SIDE ONE
1) Earth Blues%
2) Voodoo Child (Slight Return)%
3) We Gotta Live Together#
DISC EIGHT/SIDE TWO
1) Wild Thing%
2) Hey Joe*
3) Purple Haze*
*previously unreleased
+first time on CD/LP/streaming (previously only available as part of concert film)
#longer, unedited versions of previously released material, and newly remixed
%back in print on CD/LP for the first time in a decade, and newly remixed

The CD and digital edition of Songs For Groovy Children will be released on November 22, with the vinyl release to follow on December 13. Pre-order here.

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale now, with Jimmy Page on the cover. Our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.

Robert Plant unveils new box set, Digging Deep

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To coincide with his current podcast series Digging Deep, Robert Plant has unveiled a new 7″ box set of the same name.

Released on December 13, it comprises eight 7″ singles featuring remastered versions of songs from his eight solo albums, some of which have been discussed in the podcast.

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Check out the tracklisting for Digging Deep below and pre-order the box set here.

Vinyl 1:
Side A: Burning Down One Side
Side B: Like I’ve Never Been Gone

Vinyl 2:
Side A: Big Log
Side B: In The Mood

Vinyl 3:
Side A: Too Loud
Side B: Little By Little

Vinyl 4:
Side A: Ship of Fools
Side B: Tall Cool One

Vinyl 5:
Side A: Hurting Kind
Side B: Tie Dye on the Highway

Vinyl 6:
Side A: Calling To You
Side B: 29 Palms

Vinyl 7:
Side A: Song To The Siren
Side B: Morning Dew

Vinyl 8:
Side A: Shine It All Around
Side B: Tin Pan Valley

You can listen to Robert Plant’s Digging Deep podcast here.

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale now, with Jimmy Page on the cover. Our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.

Kim Gordon: “There was no blueprint”

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The new issue of Uncut – in UK shops now or available to buy online by clicking here – features an interview with Kim Gordon about her long-awaited debut solo album, No Home Record.

It finds Gordon reconnecting with her love for hip-hop, as well as combining no wave noise with brash electronic beats while reflecting “the madness of the times and the strangeness and the sadness,” according to fellow traveller Steve Gunn.

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“I never professed to be a musician,” says Gordon. “I got into it being inspired by no wave bands, so it’s the only kind of record I could make. My friend, the poet Elaine Kahn, wrote my bio, and she said my music isn’t something you listen to, as much as experience.”

“When you make a solo album it’s a different mindset,” says Gordon’s friend J Mascis. “The limitations of a band are not occurring. Kim was never technical or anything – she’s a feel-oriented player.”

“Kim has this incredible use of language and 
a playfulness to what she does,” adds 
Steve Gunn. “I think she really utilised that 
with this record. She’s developed her own syntax 
and style. And it’s really her.”

“I’m pretty much a minimalist,” confirms Gordon. 
“I always liked hip-hop, but I didn’t wanna do a 
hip-hop record. I was really inspired by Cardi B – 
I remember when I first heard that song, ‘Bodak Yellow’, I was like ‘This is so punk.’ I loved the 
spirit of it.

“I just intuitively felt my way through writing and recording,” she explains of No Home Record. “In the back of my head I always wanted to make a weird 
jazz record, but I didn’t really know how to go about that, and it didn’t go that way! There was no blueprint – it was like, ‘I’m just gonna do this, who cares?’ It 
just happened.”

You can read much more from Kim Gordon in the new issue of Uncut, out now with Jimmy Page on the cover.

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale now, with Jimmy Page on the cover. Our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.

Send us your questions for Booker T

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Twiddle your radio dial and it won’t be long before you alight on a song driven by the trusty Hammond B-3 organ of Booker T Jones – especially if you’re listening to the cricket.

As part of the de facto in-house band at Stax Records, Jones was one of the key architects of ’60s soul, playing on indelible sides by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Sam & Dave, Albert King, Bill Withers and many more.

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A genuine prodigy, Jones was still at school when he wrote “Green Onions”, a memorable 1962 hit for Booker T & The MGs. The band continued to mine a profitable sideline in organ-driven instrumentals throughout the 1960s, culminating in 1971’s funk masterclass Melting Pot. But Jones didn’t just play keyboards – he also played sax, bass, guitar, trombone… and supposedly, on some key rousing Stax numbers, even a tuba.

He was lauded by Cream and The Beatles, and when he teamed up with Drive-By Truckers on 2009 solo album Potato Hole, Neil Young turned up to play guitar.

Jones is about to reveal his own thoughts on his long and varied career in a new memoir, Time Is Tight: My Life, Note By Note (published on November 15 by Omnibus Press) before heading back out on tour next year, when he will be 75 years young.

So what do you want to ask a genuine soul music legend? Send your questions to audiencewith@uncut.co.uk by Monday September 30 – as the man says, time is tight – and Booker will answer the best ones in a future issue of Uncut.

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale now, with Jimmy Page on the cover. Our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.

Oh Sees – Face Stabber

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The news that John Dwyer has generously delivered a double album as the 22nd full-length studio recording by some configuration of his band Thee (or The or the or nothing at all) Oh Sees may be the least surprising thing about it. Indeed, Face Stabber’s 81-minute girth seems almost modest given the man’s productivity and the sense that he’s long been heading towards something big – so big, in fact, that the Germans have a fancy word for it.

Richard Wagner’s concept of the gesamtkunstwerk was that of a work that united all of the arts – music, drama, dance, spectacle – in one awe-inspiring creative totality. Surely, at the rate he’s going, Dwyer will soon produce his own equivalent to The Ring Of The Nibelung, consisting of hours upon hours of woolly freakouts, psychedelic sludge, free-jazz meltdowns, garage-punk assaults, unrepentant prog bombast, beatific folk and sun-dazed pop. 
Visual accompaniment to this 
Wagnerian opus would surely consist 
of the most lurid excerpts of the films 
of Alejandro Jodorowsky, Jess Franco 
and the three-headed monster King Ghidorah, plus every shot in Mad Max: Fury Road featuring the guy with the flamethrower guitar.

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In the meantime, there’s plenty here that needs digesting. And that’s just fine for all those who’ve regarded Dwyer as the tip of a modern psych-rock spear ever since his Oh Sees first reached Mach speed around the time of Warm Slime in 2010. Although they’ve since gained worthy peers in Ty Segall’s bands and King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – acts Dwyer helped launch when he released their early albums on his label, Castle Face – the Oh Sees remains the most artistically ambitious and flexible of the lot. Face Stabber sets a new standard when it comes to demonstrating Dwyer’s eagerness to extend, distend, distort and generally overhaul whatever constitutes the Oh Sees template. While he maintains a formidable standard regarding the mayhem and velocity of the Oh Sees live shows (no small thing given the major venues they’re now able to fill), there’s no predicting what will happen on the albums except that it’ll be loud.

Expanding the already wide scope 
of last year’s Smote Reverser and 2017’s Orc, Face Stabber alternates between skronky bursts of primal aggression, medium-sized rockers in various stages of collapse, one more named “Captain Loosely” that seems to have totally liquefied, and two longer pieces. The occupants of this last category demonstrate the foremost imperatives in Dwyer’s modus operandi: hurtling between ideas and modes at breakneck speeds and drilling down deep into a single one until achieving some brutal yet effective form of transcendence. The album’s 13-minute centrepiece, “Scutum & Scorpious”, is more of a speed demon type. It opens with a burbling stream of Tomita-worthy synths before Dwyer fully indulges his love for the sort of Euro-prog heaviosity rarely attempted since Magma and Kedama first stomped the Earth.

Yet like “The Experimenter” and “Fu Xi” elsewhere on the album, the track also betrays an equally ardent affection for the squelchy sideways funk of jazz-fusion giants like Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters and Mahavishnu Orchestra. Dwyer may already have made his jazz predilections clear in his duelling-saxes side-project Sword + Sandals, but Face Stabber constitutes these elements’ deepest incursion into Oh Sees proper with thrilling results.

They’re certainly front and centre in the swaggering opening stretch of the 21-minute “Henchlock”. While Dwyer’s guitar shredding may ultimately win the battle for supremacy with the Hancock-style keyboard figures, the squalling 
saxes of Dwyer and Brad Caulkins, 
and Tim Hellman’s burly bass lines, the piece as a whole is as sophisticated as anything the Oh Sees have recorded, which is not to suggest it’s any less berserk. And weird, too, especially once Dwyer trots out his best Viv Stanshall around the 15-minute mark and declares, “Where is that cup of tea?/We all want cups of tea while we sit around…”

His cryptic call for a cuppa is all the more jarring given the general scarcity of Dwyer’s vocals on Face Stabber. That apparent reticence may have less to do with the shift towards heavy-duty jazz jams or the Can-meets-the-Trashmen freewheeling of “The Daily Heavy” than with his drive to keep the album’s full-throttle garage-punk stompers – “Gholü”, “Heart Worm” and the Locust-like “Together Tomorrow” – so ruthlessly compact. Then again, flux is the sole constant in Dwyer’s world, and only Face Stabber’s “Poisoned Stones” and “Psy-Ops Dispatch” bears any particularly close resemblance to the burly stoner-rock and classic-minded psych that were the Oh Sees’ forte a mere three years ago.

Whatever comes next for Dwyer and his Oh Sees will very likely be even wilder than Face Stabber. Of course, the wisest thing to do is savour all the strangeness, the power and the glory that fill the present.

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from September 19, and available to order online now – with Jimmy Page on the cover. Meanwhile, our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.

Manu Chao – Clandestino / Bloody Border

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Manu Chao was in a bad way when his band Mano Negra broke up in 1994. Intended as a potent Gallic equivalent of The Clash, after four albums in a turbulent seven years the group had fallen apart in the wake of an insane tour by train across war-torn, bandit-strewn Colombia, dodging bombs and playing impromptu free shows along the way. By the time the train returned to Bogotá six gruelling weeks later, the French-Spanish Chao was the only one left standing. Restless and depressed, he promptly disappeared on a three-year lost weekend, pinballing between Europe, Africa and South America.

He briefly turned up in London, where a musical flirtation with Leftfield promised much but came to nothing, and there were sightings in Paris and Naples. Unable to settle anywhere for more than a few weeks, he next made his way back to Colombia and then to Mexico, where he got out of his gourd on peyote and hung out with the Zapatistas. Then he moved on to Tijuana, where the chaotic energy of the border seemed to suit his mood, before he hit rock bottom in Brazil, where he decided to kill himself.

He claimed that a cow saved his life when it wandered into a desolate beer shack in a run-down Rio favela where he was drinking away his pain. He looked into the cow’s eyes and detected a “tenderness” that made him decide that he wanted to live. He headed back to Europe and landed in Spain, clutching little more than his portable recorder, on which he had been saving the many songs he had written on his travels, intermingled with street sounds, snatches of conversation and other noises of the road. In Madrid and then Galicia he wrote more songs, before making his way to Paris, where he helped former girlfriend Anouk record an album for Virgin. It pushed him into thinking about going back to work and creating his own album from the 50 
songs and snatches haphazardly stored 
on his recorder.

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By the summer of 1997, he had decided which tracks to include but was unsure about the extent to which he wanted to use electronica on the album. In the end the decision was made for him when the software on his computer developed a bug that accidentally stripped out the electronics and the drums. Reportedly, Chao’s only response to this potential catastrophe was to say “le hazard est mon ami”– chance was his friend.

What remained was spare, beautiful, visionary – and more than a little unhinged. If Clandestino sounded unlike anything else one had ever heard on its release in 1998, the closest analogy might to be think of it as a world music equivalent of Skip Spence’s Oar.

Instead of a personal singer-songwriter vibe, Chao created a stoner classic steeped in bouncing global rhythms, full of magical, chiming harmonics and sinuous vocals that weave in and out of the mix in four different languages – Spanish, French, English and Brazilian-Portuguese. The lyrics are full of street slang from the barrios and favelas and oscillate thrillingly between the hilariously surreal (“Bongo Bong”, the album’s best known song, a radical reworking of a Mano Negra track), the bittersweet (“Lagrimas De Oro”), radical politics (“Mentira”) and a beguiling mix of hedonism and despair that drives him to seek redemption in “tequila, sexo, marijuana” (“Buenvenido En Tijuana”).

With Clandestino, Chao created a subversive, multi-lingual global party manifesto that gave voice to the dispossessed and soundtracked a brief but tangible moment of premillennial hope in which it seemed the world was progressively becoming a more tolerant place as we hurtled towards the year 2000. Sadly, times have instead grown darker. Yet if Clandestino captured a moment in time, Chao’s irresistible rhythms and message of resistance continue to sound fresh and vibrant a generation on.

Three bonus tracks bring the story up to date via a cracking reworking of the title track featuring the veteran Trinidadian singer Calypso Rose, new song “Bloody Bloody Border”, which seeks to blow a giant hole in Trump’s wall, and “Roadies Rules”, a new version of a previously unreleased track from the original Clandestino cache.

The album went on to sell more than five million copies around the world, but made little impression in Britain. Perhaps this expanded release will finally redress the balance. In the era of Trump and Brexit, if your faith has been battered by the 21st-century blues, lend Clandestino your ears. It won’t cure anything. But its unique medicine will surely ease the pain.

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from September 19, and available to order online now – with Jimmy Page on the cover. Meanwhile, our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.

Josh Homme announces two new Desert Sessions albums

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Josh Homme has announced the release of two new instalments in his fabled Desert Sessions series – the first for 16 years.

Vol 11 (Arrivederci Despair) and Vol 12 (Tightwads & Nitwits & Critics & Heels) will both arrive on October 25 via Matador.

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They were recorded mostly in a six-day span in December 2018 at Rancho De La Luna studios in Joshua Tree, CA, with Queens Of The Stone Age founder and Desert Sessions ringleader/producer Joshua Homme enlisting a cast of players including Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint), Jake Shears (Scissor Sisters), Mike Kerr (Royal Blood), Carla Azar (Autolux, Jack White), Les Claypool (Primus), Matt Sweeney, Matt Berry (Toast of London), Libby Grace and Töôrnst Hülpft.

Watch an interview with Homme about the albums below, and pre-order them here.

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale now, with Jimmy Page on the cover. Our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.

Jeff Lynne’s ELO unveil new album, From Out Of Nowhere

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Jeff Lynne’s ELO have announced that their new album From Out Of Nowhere – their second since reactivating the group in 2014 – will be released on November 1.

Listen to the title track below:

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Once again, Lynne plays nearly every note of the music on guitars, bass, piano, drums, keyboards and vibes, as well as singing all of the lead and layered harmony vocals. Steve Jay, who also engineered the album, adds some percussion and there is a piano solo by Richard Tandy on “One More Time”.

Pre-order From Out Of Nowhere here.

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale now, with Jimmy Page on the cover. Our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.

Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter has died, aged 78

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Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter has died, aged 78. According to a statement from his family, he “died peacefully at home in his bed” on Monday night.

“For his fans that have loved and supported him all these years, take comfort in knowing that his words are all around us, and in that way his is never truly gone,” continues the statement. “In this time of grief please celebrate him the way you all know how, by being together and listening to the music. Let there be songs to fill the air.”

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Hunter first met Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia in 1961, when they were both teenagers. While Hunter didn’t join the first line-up of the band, he began to send them lyrics from his retreat in New Mexico. Garcia encouraged Hunter to return to San Francisco, where he penned pivotal Dead song “Dark Star” and eventually became a permanent member of the band.

Later, Hunter teamed up with Bob Dylan, co-writing most of Together Through Life as well as songs on Down In The Groove and Tempest. He also worked with Elvis Costello and Bruce Hornsby, co-writing “Take You There (Misty)” from the latter’s acclaimed 2019 album, Absolute Zero.

A full obituary will be published in the next issue of Uncut.

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale now, with Jimmy Page on the cover. Our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.

Iggy Pop – Free

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Stooge, solo artist, actor, raconteur, collaborator, lecturer, author, artist’s model, radio host, barista… Iggy Pop has enjoyed many guises during his formidable career. Latterly, though, he has taken on a new role – as a semi-retired rock star. While his last studio album, 2016’s Post Pop Depression, gave Pop the highest chart placing of his career, that success took place under the shadow of his longtime champion David Bowie, who died shortly before the album’s release. After the tour to promote the record, Pop now admits he “felt like I wanted to put on shades, turn my back, and walk away”. Fortuitously for us, retirement seems not to have suited him.

Never content to rest on his reputation, Pop collaborated with Oneohtrix Point Never on “The Pure And The Damned”, for the Safdie Brothers’ 2017 film Good Time – then, last year, teamed up with Underworld, delivering a series of avuncular monologues for the Teatime Dub Encounters album. Now, finally, Pop has returned to the studio for Free – his 18th solo record, and one that contains a revealing note to self: “To lay down is to give up,” he chides on “The Dawn”. “You gotta do something.”

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Accordingly, Free begins with a sloughing off of old skin. On the opening track, “Free”, he murmurs “I wanna be free” – it’s the song’s only lyric – and you might assume that for Pop, historically a liberated performer, the freedom to create, to express and to simply be is the ultimate goal here. But also perhaps, now aged 72, he yearns to be ‘free’ of another version of Iggy Pop; his younger, wilder self, kicking and screaming and self-lacerating, externalising some deep internal storm that has by now long since blown itself out.

For Post Pop Depression, Pop enlisted help from members of Queens Of The Stone Age, The Raconteurs and Arctic Monkeys – but for Free, his collaborators are drawn from more eclectic disciplines. Chief among these is Texan jazzer Leron Thomas, whose trumpet brings a mournful quality to much of the record, and Noveller – aka Sarah Lipstate – whose ambient soundscapes define the album’s contemplative, melancholy state.

As Free progresses, Pop meditates in his weathered baritone about car parking (“Sonali”), online porn (“Dirty Sanchez”), celebrity (“Glow In The Dark”) and cultural politics (“James Bond”). In some instances, the treatment is weirdly Zen – “To park the car, we must find parking,” he announces gnomically on “Sonali”.

In others, like “Glow In The Dark”, he writes himself into the song, “I’m not exempt from the whitest of noise, if I forfeit mark me isolated,” underscoring a general condition that pervades this record: of remoteness or loneliness, where characters are confined by cars, landscapes or social isolation and where another kind of “free” is required. The protagonist of “Loves Missing”, for instance, “just needs someone to say I love you before she gets pushed away”, the motorists in “Sonali” risk spending the day trapped on the freeway while the digital society of “Dirty Sanchez” and “Glow In The Dark” finds personal disconnection in a technologically connected world. As Pop sings on “Page” – “We’re only human, no longer human.”

Thomas and Noveller fashion chilly, gothic accompaniments. There is the glistening electronica of “Sonali”, the jazz freakout on “Glow In The Dark”, the infectious strut of “James Bond”, the shimmering ambience of “Page”. Only the dense, guitar-heavy “Loves Missing” sounds like a conventional rock band are in the room. There is very little release here.

Pop has made other dark-alley detours in his time, of course – Avenue B, Préliminaires and Post Pop Depression – but nothing quite matches this album’s final stretch. Featuring three spoken-word pieces, supported by sparse, ambient passages from Thomas and Noveller, these are deep and dark statements on mortality beginning with “We Are The People” – a Lou Reed poem dating from the early ’70s. The resonance of Pop covering Reed is unmistakable – another friend, gone too soon – and Pop’s weatherworn baritone adds acute pathos to lines like, “We are the people who do not know how to die peacefully and at ease.”

Pop follows this with Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”, exhorting to “rage against the dying of the light”. He closes with “The Dawn”, whose title suggests some kind of happy respite, but Pop is more concerned with the restless, listless hours before sunrise: “If all else fails/It’s good to smile in the dark,” he concludes. “Love and sex/Are gonna occur to you/And neither one will solve the darkness.”

If this is Pop’s final album – who knows? – it is a significantly more effective swansong than Post Pop Depression. The intimate, minimal work done by his accomplices serves to channel Pop at his bleakest and most rueful; the survivor’s survivor, figuring out what, if anything, comes after the darkest night. Will he ever be free?

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from September 19, and available to order online now – with Jimmy Page on the cover. Meanwhile, our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.

Ultimate Record Collection – The 1970s Part 2 (1975-1979)

The latest in our Ultimate Record Collection series covers the years 1975-9.

Never mind the “punk kills dinosaurs” nonsense, this is a time of soft rock, adventurous reggae, and huge sales – as well as fiery new wave.

Here, we detail the work of the major players, and give 500 further album recommendations.

Also: Lee Scratch Perry, Wire and the lowdown on Floyd’s flying pigs!

Buy it online here!

Nick Cave announces new Bad Seeds album, Ghosteen

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In response to a fan question on his Red Hand Files site, Nick Cave casually announced that a new Bad Seeds album is due for release next week.

Ghosteen is a double album, with Part 1 comprising eight songs and Part 2 consisting of two long songs, linked by a spoken word piece.

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Check out the tracklisting below:

Part 1
The Spinning Song
Bright Horses
Waiting For You
Night Raid
Sun Forest
Galleon Ship
Ghosteen Speaks
Leviathan

Part 2
Ghosteen
Fireflies
Hollywood

“The songs on the first album are the children,” writes Cave. “The songs on the second album are their parents. Ghosteen is a migrating spirit.”

More details when we have them…

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale now, with Jimmy Page on the cover. Our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.

Gruff Rhys – Pang!

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Twenty years ago, Super Furry Animals released Guerrilla, a technicolour, hyperactive pop album – or at least the quintet’s twisted idea of a pop album – laced with manic electronic beats, Caribbean textures, Beach Boys harmonies and songs about chewing gum and mobile phones. Viewed from 2019, it seemed to predict the melting pot of global influences that make up mainstream pop today, even if no single artist has created something quite so wonderfully deranged as “The Door To This House Remains Open”.

Since then though, SFA and Gruff Rhys have stepped back from the brink of such colourful experimentation. Rhys’ last three solo albums – 2011’s Hotel Shampoo, 2014’s American Interior and 2018’s Babelsberg – excellent as they were, found Rhys mining a statelier, slower sound inspired by piano ballads, Americana and orchestral chamber pop. Just 15 months after Babelsberg, however, he’s unleashing Pang!, which quickens the tempos and embraces the collaged grandeur of electronic pop music in a way that Rhys hasn’t in years.

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Crucial to the sound of Pang! is South African producer Muzi, who Rhys met while both participated in the most recent instalment of Damon Albarn’s Africa Express project. Muzi remixed “Bae Bae Bae”, included here, and Rhys was so pleased with the result that they agreed to work together on his latest set of ideas.

Babelsberg, of course, was recorded as stripped-down tracks that were later topped with a lavish layer of classical orchestration, and Pang! follows a 
similar process: this time, however, 
the icing on the sparse, mainly acoustic cake comes from Muzi’s synths and 
beats. Songs like the title track and 
“Ara Deg (Ddaw’r Awen)” are driven by a mix of live drums, played by former Flaming Lip Kliph Scurlock (now the Furries’ archivist, among other things), and processed, skipping beats, Rhys’ acoustic guitar, Muzi’s synths and the occasional burst of balafon, an African xylophone-like instrument.

There’s also a lilting Tropicalia feel to much of the record which, Rhys tells Uncut, stems from Super Furry Animals’ Love Kraft mixing session in Brazil in 2005, and bled into his excellent 2007 solo album Candylion. With their rootless bossa nova chords, the title track and “Niwl O Anwiredd” in particular could be lost Caetano Veloso tracks, with Rhys’ spidery nylon-string parts augmented by 
a web of diced drums and jazzy trumpet. As the album progresses, things get stranger, the treatments increasingly adventurous: on “Ôl Bys/Nodau Clust”, Muzi erases practically all the acoustic instruments, leaving Rhys’ Gregorian vocals beautifully adrift in a sea of percussion and reverb. Meanwhile, during the closing “Annedd Im Danedd”, clicking drums and multi-tracked brass are the only instruments backing Rhys’ harmonised vocals.

If it’s not already apparent from the titles, Pang! is entirely in Welsh, for the first time across a whole album since Rhys’ 2005 solo debut, Yr Atal Genhedlaeth. When SFA released Mwng in 2000, the use of Welsh in a charting album was so notable it was mentioned in parliament; today, artists such as BTS and Rosalia sing in their native languages and regularly make it high into English-speaking charts around the world, while closer to home, Gwenno has managed to carve out a successful solo career singing only in Welsh and Cornish. The only drawback here for those of us who can’t speak Welsh, of course, is that we miss Rhys’ witty, Gainsbourg-esque wordplay: “Digidigol”, explains the songwriter, is a nonsense version of the Welsh for “digital”, “digidol”, while “Eli Haul” translates as “sun screen”, the effects of the heat reflected in the lyrics. “I was trying to write lyrics that sound like they’ve been baked by the sun,” Rhys tells Uncut. “They become abstract, like the song’s melting or something.”

The pinnacle of the album’s mix of Rhys and Muzi’s styles occurs on “Niwl O Anwiredd”. The basis of the song is an acoustic folk lament that recalls Super Furry Animals’ “Colonise The Moon”, very droning, very British Isles; but it gathers sheets of other instruments as it progresses, from digital beats and Indian tabla, to massed vocals, balafon and some kind of electronic harp swell. Here, then, is a meeting of continents and hemispheres, of different cultures perfectly complementing each other in three-and-a-half minutes.

While Pang!, totalling just under half an hour, doesn’t have the conceptual strengths of Babelsberg or American Interior, it’s nevertheless a delight to hear Rhys once again embracing the possibilities of technology and 
harnessing modern, global sounds 
to enhance his unique vision.

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from September 19, and available to order online now – with Jimmy Page on the cover. Meanwhile, our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.

Gene Clark remembered: “Genius and insanity hand in hand…”

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As 4AD’s deluxe reissue of the sublime No Other is unveiled, we thought we’d delve into the Uncut archive to find this great feature on Gene Clark – originally published in our May 2008 issue (Take 132).

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_________________

It’s another day in the busy life of one of the biggest bands in America. The Byrds have just recorded “Eight Miles High”, and are heading to New York for a photo shoot and a TV special. Their plane, however, is stuck on the runway of LA International Airport, prevented from taking off by some unexplained technical issues. And Gene Clark, the group’s lead singer and principal songwriter, petrified of flying at the best of times, is not handling the situation very well.

“Gene was standing up in his seat, and he’s in a cold sweat,” remembers his bandmate Roger McGuinn. “He’s shaking. I asked ‘What’s going on, Gene?’ He says [in a terrified voice], ‘I have a really bad feeling about this. I can’t do this.’ He’s in a panic, like he’s got a premonition about the plane crashing. He walks off the plane. He said it was kind of a nervous breakdown, more than just airplanes. He’d just gone through some bad acid trips, and he was breaking up with a girl, or something like that.”

Later, McGuinn asked Clark about the incident, an incident which precipitated Clark’s departure from The Byrds. “It was hard to get a straight answer out of him about it, he didn’t really have a clear understanding of what happened,” says McGuinn today. “And then there were drugs going on later, so it was hard to get anything out of him. I didn’t want him to leave The Byrds, that wasn’t my intention.”

Turning your back on a chart-topping group was tantamount to treachery in 1965. But as his career fluctuated between inspired genius and maddening self-sabotage, it soon became obvious that this was how Gene Clark operated. Sometimes, he was a warm, gracious, artistically committed person – one of the greatest songwriters of his time and a critical founding father of country-rock. Other times, he was paralysed by the vicious drug and alcohol addiction that eventually killed him.

“To this day,” says Duke Bardwell, who toured with Clark in the mid-’70s, “I will never forget watching genius and insanity go hand in hand like they did with Gene Clark.”

Hear a track from posthumous Leonard Cohen album, Thanks For The Dance

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A posthumous Leonard Cohen album, Thanks For The Dance, will be released by Columbia/Legacy on November 22.

As first reported in Uncut earlier this year, the album is a continuation of the music that Cohen was working on with his son Adam during the recording of his final album You Want It Darker. Cohen’s vocal sketches have been fleshed out with contributions from Beck, Feist, Jennifer Warnes and more.

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Adam Cohen took the tapes to Berlin’s People festival, where he solicited contributions from Damien Rice and Leslie Feist (vocals), Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire (bass), Bryce Dessner of The National (guitar), Dustin O’Halloran (piano), Berlin-based choir Cantus Domus and the Stargaze orchestra.

The album also features Javier Mas (playing Cohen’s own guitar), Beck (guitar and Jew’s harp), Jennifer Warnes (vocals), Daniel Lanois (arrangements) and the Shaar Hashomayim choir.

Watch a video for “The Goal” below:

Pre-order Thanks For The Dance here and check out the tracklisting below:

1. Happens to the Heart
2. Moving On
3. The Night of Santiago
4. Thanks for the Dance
5. It’s Torn
6. The Goal
7. Puppets
8. The Hills
9. Listen to the Hummingbird

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale now, with Jimmy Page on the cover. Our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.

Listen to the last ever White Stripes show

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Online live music archive nugs.net has posted a recording of the last ever concert by The White Stripes, captured at the Snowden Grove Amphitheater, Southaven, MS, on July 31, 2007.

It is accompanied by lengthy sleevenotes by the band’s official archivist, Ben Blackwell of Third Man Records, who was there on the night.

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“Apropos of nothing… Meg said to me, ‘I think this is the last White Stripes show,'” writes Blackwell. “Confused, I responded, ‘Well, yeah, last show of this leg of the tour.’ She replied, “No… I think this is the last White Stripes show ever” and slowly walked away.”

Stream/download the concert here.

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale now, with Jimmy Page on the cover. Our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.

Bob Dylan unveils latest Bootleg Series collection

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Bob Dylan has announced the latest release in his ongoing Bootleg Series.

Travelin’ Thru, 1967-9: The Bootleg Series Vol 15 includes 47 previously unreleased recordings, including outtakes from John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline and Self Portrait, plus the first release of Dylan’s 1969 Nashville studio sessions with Johnny Cash.

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It will be released in in 3xCD, 3xLP and digital formats on November 1 through Columbia/Legacy.

Disc One of Travelin’ Thru, 1967 – 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol 15 finds Dylan in Columbia’s Studio A in Nashville recording alternate versions of compositions written for John Wesley Harding (October 17 and November 6, 1967) and Nashville Skyline (February 13-14, 1969) while introducing a new song, “Western Road” (a Nashville Skyline outtake).

Discs Two and Three of Travelin’ Thru are centred around Dylan’s collaborations Johnny Cash, including the sought-after Columbia Studio A sessions and on-stage performances at the Ryman Auditorium (May 1, 1969) for the recording of the premiere episode of The Johnny Cash Show (originally broadcast on ABC-TV on June 7, 1969).

Disc Three closes with tracks recorded on May 17, 1970 with banjo legend Earl Scruggs for the PBS television special, Earl Scruggs: His Family and Friends (originally aired January 1971).

See the full tracklisting and pre-order here.

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale now, with Jimmy Page on the cover. Our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.

“Led Zeppelin is not just something that falls back into place after a pub lunch”

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Jimmy Page is the cover star of the new issue of Uncut, in UK shops now or available to order online by clicking here.

In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with the legendary guitarist, the topic of Led Zeppelin’s brief 2007 reunion – and Robert Plant’s supposed disinclination to tour further – is broached, with Page suggesting that he personally would have liked to play more shows.

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However, he claims not to harbour any frustration about the episode. “John Paul Jones, Robert and I learnt a harsh lesson in the ’80s,” says Page. “The band is not just something that falls back into place after a pub lunch. I think it’s fair to say that we had a couple of disasters from which we learned valuable lessons.

“One was Live Aid. We performed in front of a global audience after an hour-and-a-half rehearsal! We assumed the spirit of the event would carry us through, but it didn’t. It was chaos. The other was the Atlantic Records 40th birthday [Madison Square Garden, 1988]. We flew in and had such terrible jet lag we should’ve been tucked up in bed, not on stage.

“So when it came 
to the O2 reunion we took the whole thing very seriously. We didn’t do a warm-up gig but we 
took every other precaution. It was extraordinary. And, yes, being match fit, it would have been nice to do more. But for one reason or another, we lost the momentum. There was willingness to play from John and me. But there you are…”

You can read much more from Jimmy Page in the new issue of Uncut, in UK shops now with his face on the cover and a free 17-track Wilco Covered CD!

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from September 19, and available to order online now – with Jimmy Page on the cover. Meanwhile, our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.

Van Morrison announces new album, Three Chords & The Truth

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Van Morrison has announced that his new album, Three Chords & The Truth, will be released by Exile/Caroline International on October 25.

Hear the first track from it, “Dark Night Of The Soul”, below:

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Featuring 14 new compositions, Three Chords & The Truth was produced and written by Van Morrison, except for “If We Wait for Mountains” which was co-written with Don Black. The album features contributions from guitarist Jay Berliner and a duet with The Righteous Brothers’ Bill Medley.

Explaining what it was like to record the album, Van Morrison said: “You’re just plugging into the feeling of it, more the feeling of it… when they’re playing… It’s like reading me. So, I think there’s more of that connection.”

Peruse Morrison’s latest touring schedule below:

Oct 2nd Reno, Grand Sierra Resort (SOLD OUT)
Oct 4th Los Angeles, The Greek Theatre,
Oct 5th Santa Barbara Bowl (SOLD OUT)
Oct 6th Los Angeles, Hollywood Bowl
Oct 8th Churla Vista CA, North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre,
Oct 21st Bournemouth, International Centre
Oct 23rd Cardiff, St David’s Hall
Oct 27th Oxford, New Theatre
Oct 28th Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall
Dec 2nd Brighton, Dome
Dec 3rd Brighton, Dome
Dec 31st Belfast, Stormont Hotel (SOLD OUT)
Jan 1st Belfast, Stormont Hotel (SOLD OUT)
Jan 2nd Belfast, Stormont Hotel (SOLD OUT)
Jan 31st Las Vegas, The Colosseum at Caesars Palace
Feb 1st Las Vegas, The Colosseum at Caesars Palace,
Feb 5th Las Vegas, The Colosseum at Caesars Palace,
Feb 7th Las Vegas, The Colosseum at Caesars Palace,
Feb 8th Las Vegas, The Colosseum at Caesars Palace,
Mar 20th London, The Palladium
Mar 21st London, The Palladium
Mar 22nd London, The Palladium
Mar 24th London, The Palladium
Mar 25th London, The Palladium

The November 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from September 19, and available to order online now – with Jimmy Page on the cover. Meanwhile, our free CD features 17 exclusive cover versions of Wilco songs recorded for us by Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Kurt Vile and many more. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s Kim Gordon, The Clash live and unseen, Angel Olsen, Tinariwen, Bruce Hornsby, Super Furry Animals, Bob Nastanovich on David Berman and Roger McGuinn.