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Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s Colorado out in October

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Neil Young has announced that his new album with Crazy Horse is called Colorado, and that it’s due for release in October.

It will be preceded later this month by the single “Rainbow Of Colors”, which was premiered at the Crazy Horse shows earlier this year.

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“10 new songs ranging from around 3 minutes to over 13 minutes, will be coming your way,” writes Young on Neil Young Archives. “We hope you love this new album as much as we do.

Colorado will be released on double vinyl (three sides plus a 7” exclusive two-sided single not on the album) as well as CD and digital formats.

In addition, a film documenting the making of of Colorado – entitled Mountaintop Sessions and directed by CK Vollick – will be screened in over 100 cinemas worldwide in the week of the album’s release. “It is a wild one folks, no holds barred,” writes Young. “You will see the whole process just as it went down! I don’t think a film about this subject with the openness and intensity we have captured has ever been seen.”

The October 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from August 15, and available to order online now – with Patti Smith on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Bon Iver, Robbie Robertson, Jeff Buckley, Miles Davis, Brittany Howard, The Hollies, Devendra Banhart, Neil Young and Bob Dylan and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Wilco, Oh Sees, Hiss Golden Messenger and Tinariwen.

Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars film due this autumn

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Bruce Springsteen has unveiled details of his Western Stars film, coming to select cinemas this autumn following a world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

Springsteen co-directed the film (alongside longtime collaborator Thom Zimny). It features him performing all 13 songs on the album, backed up by a band and a full orchestra, under the cathedral ceiling of his historic nearly-100-year-old barn.

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

You can read much more about Springsteen’s UK No. 1 album Western Stars here.

The October 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from August 15, and available to order online now – with Patti Smith on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Bon Iver, Robbie Robertson, Jeff Buckley, Miles Davis, Brittany Howard, The Hollies, Devendra Banhart, Neil Young and Bob Dylan and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Wilco, Oh Sees, Hiss Golden Messenger and Tinariwen.

Quentin Tarantino chooses his 10 favourite records

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Seeing Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood the other night reminded me to dust down this interview I did with the director many moons ago. It first ran in Melody Maker -I’m guessing it was done around the time of Pulp Fiction, so 1994 – and then again in the first issue of Uncut.

Anyway, here you go: Quentin Tarantino on his 10 favourite records.

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Bob Dylan
Blood On The Tracks

“This is my favourite album ever. I spent the end of my teenage years and my early twenties listening to old music – rockabilly music, stuff like that. Then I discovered folk music when I was 25, and that led me to Dylan. He totally blew me away with this. It’s like the great album from the second period, y’know? He did that first run of albums in the Sixties, then he started doing his less troublesome albums – and out of that comes Blood On The Tracks. It’s his masterpiece.

Bob Dylan
“Tangled Up In Blue”

“OK, maybe I’m cheating here. I know this is off Blood On The Tracks, but it’s my all-time favourite song. It’s one of those songs where the lyrics are ambiguous you can actually write the song yourself. That’s a lot of fun – it’s like Dylan fooling around with the listener, playing on the way he or she interprets the lyrics. “It’s very hard to take individual songs off Blood On the Tracks, because itworks so well as an entire album. I used to think ‘If You See Her, Say Hello’ was a more powerful song than ‘Tangled Up In Blue’ but, over the years I’ve kinda realized ‘Tangled…’ has the edge, just for the fun you can have with it.’

Freda Payne
“Band Of Gold”

“I’m a gigantic music fan. I love fifties rock‘n’roll, Chess, Sun, Motown. All the Merseybeat bands, Sixties girl groups, folk. This is just so cool: it’s a combination of the way it’s produced, the cool pop/R&B sound, and Freda’s voice. Its kinda kitschy in a way – y’know, it’s got a really up-tempo tune – and, the first few times I heard it, I was, like, totally into the coolness of the song. It was only on the third or fourth listen I realised the lyrics were so fucking heartbreaking.”

Elvis Presley
The Sun Sessions

“This has been a hugely important album to me. I was always a big rockability fan and a big Elvis fan, and to me this album is the purest expression of Elvis there was. Sure, there are better individual songs – but no one collection ever touched the album. When I was young, I used to think Elvis was the voice of truth. I don’t know what that means, but his voice… shit man, it sounded so fucking pure. If you grew up loving Elvis, this is it. Forget the Vegas period: if you really love Elvis, you’re ashamed of that man in Vegas. You feel like he let you down. The hillbilly cat never let you down.”

Phil Ochs
“I Ain’t Marching Anymore”

“OK, from now on these aren’t in any order. It’s the same with movies: I have my three favourite – Taxi Driver, Blow Out and Rio Bravo – and after that it depends on my mood. This is one of my favourite protest/folk albums. While Dylan was a poet Ochs was a musical journalist: He was a chronicler of his time, filled with humour and compassion. He’d write songs which would seem very black and white, and then , in the last verse, he’d say something which, like, completely shattered you. A song I love very much on this album is ‘Here’s To The State of Mississippi’ – Basically, it’s everything the movie Mississippi Burning should have been.”

Phil Ochs
“The Highwayman”

“I’m cheating again. This is an Alfred Noyes poem, which Ochs arranged for music. The vocal has made me burst into tears more times than I care to remember.”

Elmer Bernstein
The Great Escape

“I used to have a huge collection of film soundtracks. I don’t get enthusiastic about them any more, though, because now most soundtracks are just a collection of rock songs, half of which don’t even appear in the movie. This is a real classic. It has a great min theme which brings the movie right into your head. All the tracks hold up – it’s so damn effective. It took me ages to get hold of a copy, and, Jeez, I almost wept when I finally did.”

Bernard Herrmann
Sisters

“This is from a Brian De Palma movie. It’s a pretty scary film, and the soundtrack… ok if you want to freak yourself out, turn out all the lights and sit in the middle of the room and listen to this. You won’t last a minute. When I’m first thinking about a movie I’ll start looking for songs that reflect the personality of the movie, I’ll start looking for songs which can reflect the personality of the movie. The record I think most about is the one which plays during the opening credits, because that’s the one which sets the tone of the movie. Like in Reservoir Dogs, when you see the guys all walking out of the diner, and that bass line from ‘Little Green Bag’ kicks in – you just know there’s gonna be trouble.”

Jerry Goldsmith
Under Fire

“‘The Main Theme’ is one of the greatest pieces of music written for a movie. It’s so haunting, so beautiful, – full of pan flutes and stuff. It’s shattering y’know – like a Morricone theme. Oddly enough, ‘The Main Theme’ works really well, but they never play it over the opening credits. They play it over the middle and during the closing credits, which is very strange.”

Jack Nitzsche
Revenge

“Out of all the soundtracks, this is the best. It’s from a Tony Scott movie – he directed True Romance – and it’s a very lush, elegant score. You don’t need to know the film to enjoy the soundtrack: It works in its own right.”

The October 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from August 15, and available to order online now – with Patti Smith on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Bon Iver, Robbie Robertson, Jeff Buckley, Miles Davis, Brittany Howard, The Hollies, Devendra Banhart, Neil Young and Bob Dylan and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Wilco, Oh Sees, Hiss Golden Messenger and Tinariwen.

Kevin Ayers remembered – “He had no sense at all. But he had so much talent…”

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Originally published in Uncut’s May 2013 issue (Take 192)

His drummers needed to make him laugh. His manager needed to keep hold of the corkscrew. Yet somehow, in the early ’70s, Kevin Ayers made four extraordinary solo albums. Robert Wyatt, Mike Oldfield and those long-suffering managers remember the beautiful, lazy boy with an “amazing melodic gift”…

___________________________

Even with The Whole World on stage with him, it’s Kevin Ayers everyone’s looking at, the crowd’s unanimous gaze turned towards him, entranced. There’s something almost liquid about him, as if he’s been poured into his own body. He’s not dressed up, or anything. There’s no cape, cat-suit, kimono or neo-Kabuki clobber, just a scooped-neck T-shirt with long sleeves and the kind of bellbottoms you might see on a sailor, a gigolo deckhand, fresh from a shift in the happy Adriatic, a girl in every port still warm from his recent touch.

Then there’s his voice, that suave baritone, a crooner’s voice, dark and seductive. It’s the voice of an irresistible charmer, possibly a bit of a cad, a breaker of hearts and promises, dangerously flirtatious. When he briefly speaks between songs, he sounds dreamy and distracted, rather baffled by where he is and what he’s doing, as if he’s arrived here by accident. He has the slightly dissolute air of someone who if they had it all would throw it away, if they could only be bothered, which Kevin looks like he can’t.

It is, by the way, June 19, 1970, and Ayers and his band, The Whole World, are appearing at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens, on a bill headlined by the very hairy Edgar Broughton Band that also includes winsome folk singer Bridget St John, who often at this time tours with Kevin. In November 1967, I’d seen Hendrix and Pink Floyd in their psychedelic pomp at this venue and neither was as cheerfully weird as The Whole World, who are now essaying something wholly eccentric that will be called “Rheinhardt And Geraldine/Colores Para Dolores” when it turns up later in the year on Shooting At The Moon, second of the four landmark albums Ayers recorded for EMI’s bespoke underground label Harvest between 1969 and 1973.

Tonight, it’s a kind of free-jazz blow-out, with Kevin in the middle of this sonic maelstrom, looking rather bemused by the ferocious racket everyone’s making around him, like a man who’s walked into a room to find everyone in it screaming at each other, bedlam unleashed for reasons clear to no-one. I turn to the girl I’m with to see what she thinks of it all, but she clearly hasn’t been paying much attention to the music and has instead been paddling in the warm lapping waters of Ayers’ oceanic charm. In her now whispered opinion, he’s the sexiest thing she’s ever seen, a comment that might have caused a pulse of jealousy if I hadn’t been thinking exactly the same thing.

“He was such a beautiful boy,” says Robert Wyatt of Kevin Ayers, his friend for nearly 50 years. “The funny thing about people dying, they become alive for me in a way that’s quite extraordinary. Kevin has loomed enormously in my mind the last week or so and it’s been great revisiting him.”

They were teenagers when they met and Wyatt was already in The Wild Flowers, as they were originally called, the first of the bands in what became known as the Canterbury Scene that would subsequently include Soft Machine and Caravan. “I remember being told there was this bloke who lived in Herne Bay, on the north coast of east Kent who had long hair that I should meet, which we did. He was at ease with himself in a way that was unusual at the time. In the early ’60s, it was still the late ’50s, generally speaking, in provincial England and people were often uptight. He was a breath of fresh air in that he was very loose. He read Oscar Wilde. He listened to calypso, Latin American and Central American music. He wasn’t particularly into rock’n’roll. There was no-one else like him. He was already unique.

“He had a guitar and would sing all these funny songs he’d written. And what I realised early on was that he had this amazing melodic gift, that his songs had the naturalness of folk music, songs that have lasted for ages and been honed over the decades. That was striking.

“I was in this little local band in Canterbury, The Wild Flowers, which he joined and immediately stuck an ‘e’ on the end of the name, made it Wilde, like Oscar, and his material was a very welcome addition to our repertoire. To me, what gave us the right, what gave us the nerve to become Soft Machine and do our own stuff was Kevin’s songs. Unfortunately, they got kind of side-lined and torpedoed by the live act we became. We always blasted away instrumentally and marginalised these great songs, and I’ve always felt a little sheepish about that. He was subsequently too modest about his role in Soft Machine, but at the time his ideas were as far out as anybody’s.”

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Norma Tanega – Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog

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“Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog”, the debut single by Norma Tanega as well as the title track of her 1966 debut album, was an act of small but ingenious rebellion. The singer-songwriter had gone from playing at a summer camp in the Catskills to working with Bob Crewe, head songwriter for The Four Seasons, and her sudden professional advancement had prompted a move to the city. As the possibly apocryphal story goes, her new apartment building didn’t allow dogs. To work around that restriction, Tanega got a cat and named it Dog. She wasn’t marching in the streets or bombing army recruitment centres or occupying the dean’s office at Berkeley. Instead, hers was a more personal act of dissent, playful and almost surrealist: Magritte by way of Haight-Ashbury.

Flaunting her lease inspired a short and nonchalantly innovative tune that became her biggest hit, melding folk ponderings, pop melodies, girl-group vocals, a “Love Me Do” harmonica theme, and a follow-the-bouncing-ball guitar lick. The single peaked just outside the Top 20 in the US and the UK and briefly established Tanega as a rising star on the folk scene. More than 50 years later, it remains a perfect introduction to this imaginative artist, who comes across as a one-woman counterculture on this vinyl reissue of Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog. “Happy, sad, and crazy wonder,” she sings to a jump-rope melody. “Chokin’ up my mind with perpetual dreamin’.”

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For Tanega, music was a vehicle for self-definition, and she had no interest in defining herself by anyone else’s conventions. Born in Vallejo, California, to Panamanian-Filipino parents, she studied classical music and visual art as a teenager, backpacked around Europe, protested the Vietnam War, painted enormous canvases with mythological beasts, was loosely associated with the Greenwich Village folk scene, and even found a job playing her songs to patients at a psychiatric hospital in New York. It’s tempting to say Tanega was “discovered” playing at that summer camp up in the Catskills, but the force of personality that emerges in her music suggests that she knew who and where she was all along. Herb Bernstein – a producer for Bob Dylan, Laura Nyro and The Monkees, among others – was impressed enough to sign her to Crewe’s New Voice label and produce her debut.

Her career took many twists and turns, producing only two solo albums but a lot of stories along the way. During a promotional tour of Europe for Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog, Tanega met Dusty Springfield and began a long romantic and creative relationship with the pop icon, even writing a handful of songs for her [see side panel]. Theirs was a tumultuous affair, and after they split, Tanega returned to America and released a second album in 1971 called I Don’t Think It Will Hurt If You Smile. It’s tempting to say that she “vanished” from the music industry, but that’s about as true as saying she was “discovered”. She has continued making music throughout her life, gradually gravitating away from the guitar towards percussion, away from folk pop towards something much more avant-garde and experimental. Over the past 30 years she has released a handful of recordings with an assortment of stylistically divergent groups including HybridVigor, Latin Lizards and The Ceramic Ensemble.

Like Vashti Bunyan or Karen Dalton, Tanega has remained something of a cult influence, her albums discovered by cratediggers and decoded by subsequent generations of listeners. Shortly after its run up the pop charts, “Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog” was covered by Barry “Eve of Destruction” McGuire and even Art Blakey, and more recently her songs have been recorded by They Might Be Giants, Yo La Tengo and Thee Oh Sees. Her strident, spooky “You’re Dead” is currently the theme to the TV adaptation of the vampire farce What We Do In The Shadows. 
While Real Gone Music’s new vinyl reissue of Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog includes no bonus material – no archival tracks, no new liner notes – it’s enough just to have this remarkable debut back in print.

The chart success of her debut single meant Tanega was pressured to record a full-length very quickly, but nothing on Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog sounds rushed or underthought. It may have been conceived to take advantage of her sudden ascent, but the album sounds purposeful, confident, adventurous and perfectly idiosyncratic. There’s some wordplay on these songs that recall the language games and in-jokes that were already showing up in Dylan’s songwriting, although Tanega is never quite as obscure. She prefers long melodic lines that jostle against the metre, and on “A Street That Rhymes At 6am” her back-up singers barely have time to get one line out of their mouths before the next one begins. It’s a sly trick that underscores the song’s sentiment about living on your own terms. “Syncopate your life and move against the grain,” she sings. “Don’t you let them 
tell you that we’re 
all the same.”

Her rhythms are jangly, her time signatures tricky. In fact, on tour for this album Tanega’s backing band The Outsiders had trouble mastering her zigzagging arrangements, so she had to bring in a crew of professional session musicians. “No Stranger Am I” (later covered by Springfield) is written in 5/4 time, its tempo set by what sounds like a pair of scissors snipping fabric, but that gives Tanega a little more room to unspool her melodies and only adds to the stateliness of the ballad. On the spirited gospel number “Treat Me Right” and the austere march “I’m The Sky”, she builds small symphonies out of just a few sounds. “What Are We Craving?” poses serious questions about materialism and contentment over a curious snare-and-tambourine march, while “Jubilation” pins a warm invitation (“Come be one two three/With me, you, and I and us!”) to a gently swooping melody punctuated by a simple yet lovely oboe solo.

One of Tanega’s boldest moves here is “Hey Girl”, which slyly reconsiders the blues standard “In The Pines”, made famous by Bill Monroe, Lead Belly, The Louvin Brothers, and – much later – Nirvana. She asks the same questions those men have asked countless times: “Hey girl, don’t lie to me/Tell me where did you go last night?” But she bends her voice, almost flattening it out at times, in order to undercut her accusations and ease up on the song’s misogyny. Given how public Tanega’s history with Springfield has been, it’s tempting to hear this cover as a queer reinterpretation that infuses the song with a very different kind of desire. When she sings that she “shivered the whole night through”, the line takes on radically new possibilities.

The inventive musical flourishes on Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog are not unlike the way in which Tanega actually named her cat Dog. Each knotty rhythm and each unexpected melody amounts to a 
small subversion of the conventions of pop 
and folk in the mid-1960s, as though she is constantly working to define herself against the industry, to carve out a place for herself without losing herself in the process.
Fifty years later, these rebellious gestures have lost little of their power, accumulating into a complex and compelling personality that emerges on this unique album.

The October 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from August 15, and available to order online now – with Patti Smith on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Bon Iver, Robbie Robertson, Jeff Buckley, Miles Davis, Brittany Howard, The Hollies, Devendra Banhart, Neil Young and Bob Dylan and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Wilco, Oh Sees, Hiss Golden Messenger and Tinariwen.

Patti Smith: “I was a born outsider”

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The new issue of Uncut – in UK shops now and available to buy online by clicking here – features Patti Smith as its defiant cover star.

Inside, we investigate her latest memoir Year Of The Monkey while looking back over her storied career via candid, unpublished interviews with Jaan Uhelszki, one of Smith’s greatest champions.

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During an intense meeting in San Francisco in 1996, 18 months after the death of her husband, Smith talks about her role as a bellwether – more of an oracle than a rock’n’roll star. “The mission to me is communication,” she says. “What you’re communicating changes nightly. Some nights seem like an antiwar rally. Some nights seem like a comedy-club night, because I just joke around a lot and tell stories. Some seem like classic rock shows. The mission, though, is to communicate, and you have to pay attention to the people’s needs. Sometimes people really want you 
to talk to them.”

Which is true whether on stage or off. When people encounter Smith, they want to engage. She reveals that when she walks around New York’s Lower East Side, garbage men hail her, waitresses always want to give her free pastries, ladies in flowered hats smile at her and well-dressed strangers would come up to tell her how sorry they were to hear about the death of her husband. No-one is neutral about Patti Smith.

“I have always elicited strong reactions,” she acknowledges. “People have either been drawn [to me] or repelled by me. I was like that even 
as a kid. I think that’s only magnified a little bit because I’m somewhat known. But I think even 
if I wasn’t known that quality would remain. There’s obviously something about me that people either feel like they’ve known me all their lives or they don’t want to. It’s just this innate quality I have, it’s like this certain kind of charisma, which sometimes works against me 
or sometimes works for me. I was a born outsider. I’m so used to being on the outside for whatever reason, even as a kid, so I don’t even look any more for people to understand me.”

On stage, she is so casual, so intimate, so unscripted, admitting her mess-ups and laughing at her false starts and forgotten lyrics, that people love her more for those human moments than if she delivered 
a seamless performance. She’s never been averse 
to admitting she has had a real tough time that 
day, or acknowledging that ongoing irritation at photographers when they break her concentration. Since she has little personal vanity and is a photographer, one wonders if it’s because they break the spell of performance, that trancelike state she admits she has gone into while on stage. “William Burroughs and I used to talk about it,” she says. “That sort of a shamanistic arena that one enters. You bridge the worlds.

“It does happen,” she continues. “I have had enough proof of that that I don’t think of it as being… odd. It’s like some people are good at gardening and some people are mathematical geniuses. Somebody like Einstein, he bridged these other worlds. It’s part of our humanity, and these things happen to me.”

You can read much more from Patti Smith in the new issue of Uncut, in shops now.

The October 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from August 15, and available to order online now – with Patti Smith on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Bon Iver, Robbie Robertson, Jeff Buckley, Miles Davis, Brittany Howard, The Hollies, Devendra Banhart, Neil Young and Bob Dylan and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Wilco, Oh Sees, Hiss Golden Messenger and Tinariwen.

Watch a video for new Oh Sees song, “The Daily Heavy”

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Prolific psych-rockers Oh Sees release a new double album called Face Stabber on Friday (August 16).

In the new issue of Uncut – in UK shops tomorrow or available to order online now by clicking here – we write that “Face Stabber constitutes [jazz] elements’ deepest incursion into Oh Sees proper with thrilling results”.

Watch a video for the album’s opening track “The Daily Heavy” below:

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Of the song, chief Oh See John Dwyer says: “Earth is smacked by a bacterium from outer space which leads to dancing, fornication, gluttony and ultimately the coming apart of human systems.”

Check out Oh Sees’ tour itinerary below, including a date at London’s Troxy on September 6 supported by Träd, Gräs Och Stenar.

08/23 Charleville, France – Cabaret Vert festival
08/24 Guéret, France – Check-in Festival
08/27 Ravenna, Italy – Hana-Bi (Free)
08/29 Vienna, Austria – Arena
08/30 Munich, Germany – Strom
08/31 Berlin, Germany – Kreuzberg Festsaal
09/01 Brussels, Belgium – Les Botaniquesen
09/03 Bordeaux, France – BT 59
09/04 Toulouse, France – Le Bikini
09/05 Paris, France – Le Bataclan
09/06 London, England – Troxy
09/07 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
09/30 San Francisco, CA – The Chapel *
10/01 San Francisco, CA – The Chapel *
10/02 San Francisco, CA – The Chapel *
10/04 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom *
10/05 Seattle, WA – Neumos *
10/06 Seattle, WA – Neumos *
10/07 Vancouver, British Columbia – Rickshaw Theatre *
10/10 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue Ballroom *
10/11 Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall *
10/12 Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall *
10/13 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom *
10/14 Toronto, Ontario – Danforth Music Hall *
10/15 Montreal, Quebec – Le National
10/16 Cambridge, MA The Sinclair
10/18 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw *
10/19 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw *
10/20 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw *
10/22 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer *
10/23 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle *
10/24 Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge *
10/25 New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jacks *
10/26 Austin, TX – Hotel Vegas
10/27 Austin, TX – Hotel Vegas
10/29 Albuquerque, NM – Sister Bar
10/31 Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom *

*support from The Prettiest Eyes

The October 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from August 15, and available to order online now – with Patti Smith on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Bon Iver, Robbie Robertson, Jeff Buckley, Miles Davis, Brittany Howard, The Hollies, Devendra Banhart, Neil Young and Bob Dylan and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Wilco, Oh Sees, Hiss Golden Messenger and Tinariwen.

Hear Michael Kiwanuka’s new single, “You Ain’t The Problem”

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Michael Kiwanuka will release his third album, simply titled Kiwanuka, on October 25 through Polydor.

It was recorded in New York, LA and London with Danger Mouse and Inflo, the same production team that worked on his previous album Love & Hate. Hear the first single, “You Ain’t The Problem”, below:

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Says Michael Kiwanuka: “The last album came from an introspective place and felt like therapy, I guess. This one is more about feeling comfortable in who I am and asking what I want to say. Like, how could I be bold and challenge myself and the listener? It is about self-acceptance in a more triumphant rather than melancholy way. It’s an album that explores what it means to be a human being today.”

Pre-order the album – including the pink double vinyl version – here and check out Kiwanuka’s touring schedule below:

30th August – End of the Road Festival, UK
1st September – Electric Picnic, Ireland
23rd November – La Salle Pleyel, Paris
24th November – Ancienne Belgique, Brussels
26th November – AFAS Live, Amsterdam
27th November – Essigfabrik, Cologne
29th November – K.B Hallen, Copenhagen
30th November – Gota Lejon, Stockholm
1st December – Rockefeller Music Hall, Oslo
3rd December – Huxleys Neue Welt, Berlin
4th December – Batschkapp, Frankfurt
6th December – Stadthalle Halle F, Vienna
7th December – Fabrique Milano, Milan
2nd March – O2 Guildhall, Southampton
3rd March – O2 Academy, Bournemouth
5th March -O2 Academy Brixton, London
6th March – O2 Academy, Birmingham
7th March – O2 Apollo, Manchester
9th March – Corn Exchange, Cambridge
10th March – De Montford Hall, Leicester
12th March – O2 Academy, Leeds
13th March – O2 Academy, Newcastle
14th March – Barrowlands, Glasgow

The October 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from August 15, and available to order online now – with Patti Smith on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Bon Iver, Robbie Robertson, Jeff Buckley, Miles Davis, Brittany Howard, The Hollies, Devendra Banhart, Neil Young and Bob Dylan and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Wilco, Oh Sees, Hiss Golden Messenger and Tinariwen.

The Clash to launch free London Calling exhibition

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The Clash: London Calling is a new free exhibition celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic album, due to open at the Museum Of London on November 15 and running through until spring 2020.

Items on show include Paul Simonon’s Fender Precision bass guitar that he can be seen smashing on the album’s cover image; Joe Strummer’s notebook showing the lyrics for “Ice Age”, that was to become “London Calling”; a handwritten album sequence note by Mick Jones; Joe Strummer’s typewriter; and Topper Headon’s drum sticks.

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

To coincide with the opening of the exhibit on November 15, Sony Music will release the London Calling Scrapbook – a 120-page hardback companion which comes with the album on CD and contains handwritten lyrics, notes, photos and previously unseen material from the period when the record was made.

Prior to this, on October 11, London Calling will be reissued on CD, vinyl and cassette, in a special sleeve highlighting the layers of the iconic artwork by Ray Lowry with photograph by Pennie Smith.

The October 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from August 15, and available to order online now – with Patti Smith on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Bon Iver, Robbie Robertson, Jeff Buckley, Miles Davis, Brittany Howard, The Hollies, Devendra Banhart, Neil Young and Bob Dylan and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Wilco, Oh Sees, Hiss Golden Messenger and Tinariwen.

Send us your questions for Bruce Hornsby

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If you score a Billboard No 1 with one of your first singles, it’s inevitably going to overshadow the rest of your career somewhat. That’s just the way it is – some things will never change.

But, as evidenced by this year’s excellent Absolute Zero, Bruce Hornsby has travelled a long way since breaking out with The Range in the mid-’80s. The album combines the smooth yet subtle complex heartland rock he’s best known for, with neo-classical, jazz, funk and avant-garde flourishes, reflecting a long and varied career.

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For years, the singer and pianist has been part of the Grateful Dead family, playing with the band for 12 years and continuing to perform with a variety of Dead spin-off projects. His own solo albums have incorporated everything from bluegrass to jazz, with guests of the calibre of Wayne Shorter and Eric Clapton. He’s played on records by everyone from Bob Dylan to Chaka Khan, and formed fruitful creative partnerships with the likes of Ricky Skaggs and Spike Lee, who’s recruited Hornsby to provide music for numerous film and TV projects, most recently Blackkklansman.

And while his signature blend of piano-led Southern rock and smooth jazz was, for years, considered a little unfashionable, a new generation led by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon has reappraised the music’s subtle complexities and emotional resonance. Vernon guests on Absolute Zero, with Hornsby returning the favour on Bon Iver’s new one, i,i.

So what do you want to ask Bruce Hornsby? Send your questions to audiencewith@uncut.co.uk by Thursday (August 15) – please note the new email address – and Bruce will answer the best ones in a future issue of Uncut. You can also peruse his 2019 tour dates below:

01/11/19 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
03/11/19 London O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
04/11/19 Cologne Theater Am Tanzbrunnen
07/11/19 Berlin Admiralspalast
08/11/19 Antwerp De Roma
11/11/19 Utrecht Tivoli

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.

Big Thief announce second album of 2019

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Following hot on the heels of the acclaimed UFOF, Big Thief have announced that their next album Two Hands will be released by 4AD on October 11.

Listen to lead single “Not” below:

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Two Hands was recorded at Sonic Ranch studios, 30 miles west of El Paso in Texas, with engineer Dom Monks and producer Andrew Sarlo. The band describe the album as the “earth twin” to UFOF’s “celestial twin”.

Two Hands has the songs that I’m the most proud of; I can imagine myself singing them when I’m old,” says frontwoman Adrianne Lenker. “Musically and lyrically, you can’t break it down much further than this. It’s already bare-bones.”

Pre-order Two Hands here and check out Big Thief’s current tour itinerary below:

August 14-17 – SAINT MALO, FR, La Route Du Rock Festival
August 15-18 – BRECON BEACONS, GB, Green Man Festival
August 16 – HASSELT, BE, Pukkelpop Festival
August 19 – LONDON, GB, Bush Hall
October 9 – BROOKLYN, NY, Brooklyn Steel
October 10 – NEW YORK, NY, Webster Hall
**SOLD OUT** October 11 – NEW YORK, NY, Webster Hall **SOLD OUT**
October 12 – SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT, Higher Ground
October 13 – BOSTON, MA, Wilbur Theatre
**SOLD OUT** October 15 – MONTREAL, QC, La Tulipe **SOLD OUT**
**SOLD OUT** October 16 – TORONTO, ON, Phoenix Concert Theatre **SOLD OUT**
October 17 – DETROIT, MI, Majestic Theatre
**SOLD OUT** October 18 – CHICAGO, IL, Metro **SOLD OUT**
October 19 – MADISON, WI, The Sylvee
October 21 – MINNEAPOLIS, MN, First Avenue
October 24 – PORTLAND, OR, Crystal Ballroom
October 25 – VANCOUVER, BC, Vogue Theatre
October 26 – SEATTLE, WA, Moore Theatre
**SOLD OUT** October 28 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA, The Fillmore **SOLD OUT**
October 29 – OAKLAND, CA, Fox Theater
October 30 – SANTA ANA, CA, The Observatory
November 1 – PHOENIX, AZ, Crescent Ballroom
November 2 – ALBUQUERQUE, NM, Sister
November 4 – AUSTIN, TX, Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheatre
November 5 – DALLAS, TX, Trees
November 7 – ATLANTA, GA, Variety Playhouse
**SOLD OUT** November 8 – SAXAPAHAW, NC, Haw River Ballroom **SOLD OUT**
November 9 – PHILADELPHIA, PA, Union Transfer
November 10 – WASHINGTON, DC, 9:30 Club
November 11 – COLUMBUS, OH, The Athenaeum Theatre
February 17 – LISBON, PT, LAV
February 18 – PORTO, PT, Hard Club
February 19 – MADRID, ES, Joy Eslava
February 20 – BARCELONA, ES, La 2 de Apolo
February 22 – BOLOGNA, IT, Locomotiv
February 23 – MILAN, IT, Magnolia
February 24 – LYON, FR, Epicerie Moderne
February 25 – PARIS, FR, Cabaret Sauvage
February 27 – LONDON, GB, Eventim Apollo
February 29 – NOTTINGHAM, GB, Rock City
March 1 – MANCHESTER, GB, Albert Hall
March 2 – GLASGOW, GB, Old Fruitmarket
March 5 – BRUSSELS, BE, AB Ballroom
March 6 – AMSTERDAM, NL, Paradiso
March 7 – COLOGNE, DE, Luxor
March 8 – HAMBURG, DE, Uebel & Gefährlich
March 9 – BERLIN, DE, Astra
March 11 – COPENHAGEN, DK, Vega Main Hall
March 12 – GOTHENBURG, SE, Pustervik
March 13 – STOCKHOLM, SE, Debaser
March 14 – OSLO, NO, Rockefeller
March 15 – AARHUS, DK, Voxhall

The October 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from August 15, and available to order online now – with Patti Smith on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Bon Iver, Robbie Robertson, Jeff Buckley, Miles Davis, Brittany Howard, The Hollies, Devendra Banhart, Neil Young and Bob Dylan and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Wilco, Oh Sees, Hiss Golden Messenger and Tinariwen.

Patti Smith, Bon Iver, Robbie Robertson and more in the new Uncut

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At the risk of sounding needlessly hifalutin, this issue of Uncut contains some discussion about the transformative nature of music. Here’s Justin Vernon, for instance, talking to Stephen Deusner about the new Bon Iver album. “I’ve always been obsessed with music and what it does to people,” he says. “Bob Marley was a huge thing for me – wow, he actually changed the political landscape in Jamaica. I like the idea of the power that prayer has. If music is the religion, then these songs are prayer to simply being people on Earth.”

Elsewhere, between anecdotes about Dylan, Scorsese and The Band, Robbie Robertson tells Nick Hasted about the deeply spiritual link between music and the natural world he experienced during childhood, visiting family on the Six Nations Reserve outside Toronto. “They had this connection with the wilderness and the earth,” he recalls. “They know how to grow things and make a weapon in a minute, and they all carry knives. Everybody played music, and knew how to run into the fields and pick wild strawberries. There was a beauty to that.”

And then there is this month’s cover star, Patti Smith, who has spent the last half century seeking to bring spiritual wisdom and prophetic power to rock’n’roll. “I didn’t enter rock’n’roll to say, ‘Hey, brothers and sisters, put your hands together,’” she reveals to Jaan Uhelszki. “I always felt that rock’n’roll was a forum for spiritual issues, political issues, revolutionary issues.”

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Jaan first met Patti in Detroit in the early ‘70s, when she was writing for the legendary Creem magazine. Jaan was also there when Patti first met her future husband, Fred “Sonic” Smith at the Lafayette Coney Island hot dog emporium. Jaan has spoken with Patti on many occasions since then and our exceptional cover story – which consists of previously unpublished interview material – presents a series of unique snapshots of Smith during critical moments in her life and times.

There is more, of course. Tom Pinnock charts the magical prowess of Jeff Buckley, song-by-song, with help from his closest friends and collaborators, John Lewis digs deep to unearth the amazing story of a lost Miles Davis album and The Hollies regale us with tales involving Jack Bruce, Burt Bacharach and day jobs at the Burco Dean appliance factory in Burnley.

There are further new interviews with Brittany Howard, Devendra Banhart and Bat For Lashes. We salute the return of Betty Davis, check out a new film about record shops and hear all about Paul McCartney’s attempts at perfectionism during The Beatles‘ sessions for Abbey Road. Our 15 track CD brings you some of the month’s best new music, including Oh Sees, Wilco, Hiss Golden Messenger, Jenny Hval, One Eleven Heavy and Gruff Rhys.

As ever, let us know what you think: letters@uncut.co.uk.

Follow me on Twitter @MichaelBonner

The October 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from August 15, and available to order online now – with Patti Smith on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Bon Iver, Robbie Robertson, Jeff Buckley, Miles Davis, Brittany Howard, The Hollies, Devendra Banhart, Neil Young and Bob Dylan and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Wilco, Oh Sees, Hiss Golden Messenger, Tinariwen and more.

Uncut – October 2019

Patti Smith, Bon Iver, Robbie Robertson and Miles Davis all feature in the new Uncut, dated October 2019 and available to buy from August 15.

PATTI SMITH: The Godmother of punk is on the cover, and she relives her wild career through previously unpublished interview material. “My relationship to rock’n’roll is like military duty,” she tells us.

NEW MUSIC CD: Our great free CD, Radio Uncut, compiles 15 tracks of the month’s best new music, including Bon Iver, Oh Sees, Wilco, Gruff Rhys, Hiss Golden Messenger, Jenny Hval, Tinariwen, Mike Patton & Jean-Claude Vannier and CFM.

Plus! Inside the new issue you’ll find…

BON IVER: As he returns with a new album, i,i, Justin Vernon discusses the record and the importance of defying expectations: “Maybe subconsciously I didn’t want to be beholden to what people expected.”

ROBBIE ROBERTSON: Uncut meets the songwriter to talk about working with Scorsese and Dylan, and of course, provide some inside stories on The Band.

MILES DAVIS: As the jazz legend’s “lost” ’80s album Rubberband is finally released, we speak to those in the know about his process in the studio (and his prowess in the kitchen).

JEFF BUCKLEY: 25 years after Grace, we discover how the mercurial performer created his greatest recordings – his friends, family and collaborators share their insights on “Grace”, “Hallelujah”, “So Real”, “Everybody Here Wants You” and more.

DEVENDRA BANHART: The singer-songwriter takes us through all his albums so far, from recording acoustic snippets in Parisian toilets to capturing the sound of the Big Sur waves.

THE HOLLIES: Graham Nash, Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks, Graham Gouldman and Bobby Elliott recall the making of “Bus Stop”.

THE NEW UNCUT IS ON SALE FROM THURSDAY, AUGUST 15 – CLICK HERE TO HAVE A COPY DELIVERED DIRECT TO YOUR DOOR

In our expansive albums section, we take a look at new releases from Brittany Howard, Oh Sees, Wilco, Jenny Hval, Tinariwen, Iggy Pop, Gruff Rhys and more, and archival treasures from Peter Laughner, Manu Chao and the Ann Arbor Blues Festival 1969. Nick Lowe features on our books page, while our films, TV and DVD offerings include Kiss Me Deadly, John Lennon & Yoko Ono and new films from Quentin Tarantino and Pedro Almodóvar. We caught the biggest recent gigs too, and you can read all about them in our extended live special, from Neil Young and Bob Dylan at Hyde Park to the WOMAD and Bluedot festivals.

Plus Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan answers your questions, and Cabaret Voltaire’s Richard H Kirk reveals eight albums that changed his life. Meanwhile, our Instant Karma front section features Betty Davis, Anna Calvi on her new music for the returning Peaky Blinders, The Beatles and Altin Gün.

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

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news from Uncut. Uncut: the past, present and future of great music.

Jimi Hendrix – Deluxe Ultimate Music Guide

Not necessarily stoned, but beautiful… The full, deluxe, ULTIMATE MUSIC GUIDE to JIMI HENDRIX: from the Experience to Band Of Gypsys and beyond, with in-depth reviews, and packed with revelatory archive interviews. Now featuring additional revolutionary fireworks, and three days of Jimi’s Woodstock!
Order online here

Ringo Starr – Ultimate Music Guide

The fourth of our very Fab Four Ultimate Music Guides to the solo Beatles: Ringo Starr. From thrilling archive features on his early days as America’s favourite Beatle to deep new writing on his film career, and his successful, hit single and Beatle-strewn 50 year solo albums, we present the Ultimate Music Guide to the work of Ringo Starr. Choose it – and choose love!
Order online here

The making of The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby”: “It was pure everything”

“I was still living at home, and Phil Spector came over for a spaghetti dinner,” recalls Nino Tempo. “We went into the piano room after dinner and he said, ‘This is a song I’m gonna record.’ He played and sang it, and he looked up and said, ‘I know it doesn’t sound very good, but it will…’ I said, ‘It sounds terrible with you doing it, but ok!’”

The song the producer had played was “Be My Baby”, freshly penned by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Spector, and destined to be recorded in summer 1963 as the Philles label debut by Spanish Harlem group The Ronettes. The Wrecking Crew cut the music, while backing vocals were provided by the Blossoms, Nino Tempo, Cher and Sonny Bono; but perhaps the most crucial element was the lead vocals of Ronnie Bennett, later Ronnie Spector.

“One day Phil calls,” she remembers, “and he says, ‘You have to be in California tomorrow. You have to sing the lead and then I can send for the other two [Ronettes] later.’ He met me at the airport, and the first place he took me was to Jack Nitzsche’s house, because Jack Nitzsche arranged all of his songs. Once Jack heard my voice he said, ‘Oh my God…’ I left and he started arranging ‘Be My Baby’, and a day or two after that I went in and recorded it.”

The other two Ronettes, Estelle Bennett and Nedra Talley, would never get the call, however. Instead, Phil Spector mastered his ‘wall of sound’ production for the track, utilising the echo chamber and tape echo at Santa Monica Boulevard’s Gold Star, his favourite studio. “He was a brilliant, brilliant kid,” says Tempo. “He had a sensitivity in those days for what would be a hit song. You could play 10 songs for him, and they might all be very good, but he’d always go to the one that had the best chance of being a hit. He had a sense of it.”

Released in August 1963, “Be My Baby” hit No 2 in the US and No 4 in the UK, entrancing the likes of The Beatles and The Beach Boys with its pioneering, rich production, indelible melody and Ronnie Spector’s coquettish vocals.

“The Beatles loved ‘Be My Baby’ and John Lennon loved my voice,” recalls Spector. “I remember we went to a nightclub one night and he said, ‘Ronnie, just sing me a little bit of “Be My Baby” in my ear…’ And I did, and I looked over and he had pretend-fainted! It was just so much fun, and so much energy then. It was pure rock’n’roll and pure everything.”

____________________________

RONNIE SPECTOR (lead vocals): The Peppermint Lounge was where we got discovered. We were standing in line with all the other people in Manhattan waiting to get in, and the manager comes out and – ’cause we dressed alike on purpose – he said, “Get in here, girls, you’re late, you’re late!” My sister starts to say, “Oh no no no, we were just standing in line with everyone else…” I said “Shut up! Let’s just go”, and we ran into the Peppermint Lounge and they put us right up on stage as dancers. We had done Bar Mitzvahs and sock hops, but that’s all. That’s how it all started.

NINO TEMPO (backing vocals): I met Phil Spector in New York on July 5, 1960 – we both had appointments with Leiber and Stoller. From that point on, Phil and I became very close friends. Shortly after, I was back in California and I was driving on Wilshire Boulevard and somebody blows a horn at me. Lo and behold, it’s Phil Spector. We pulled over, said hi. He said, “I’m going to Gold Star to record tonight, why don’t you come down? I could use an extra pair of ears.” That night I went down and he said, “Nino, why don’t you go out and play piano?” I said, “I don’t play that well, Phil.” He said, “You don’t have to – play the bottom end, Al De Lory will play the upper end.” We had four guys on two pianos! That’s the way he began to get the wall of sound.

DARLENE LOVE (backing vocals): By the early ’60s, the Blossoms would do the background for everybody, for all the Christmas stuff Phil Spector did, the Righteous Brothers – we were the background singers of Hollywood at the time.

Tubby Hayes – Grits, Beans And Greens: 
The Lost Fontana Studio Sessions 1969

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Britain has produced plenty of great jazz musicians over the years – from Victor Feldman to Stan Tracey, from Courtney Pine to Andy Sheppard, from John McLaughlin to Shabaka Hutchings – all of whom have left a mark on the world. But few have been quite as celebrated as the saxophonist Tubby Hayes. Born in 1935 in London, he was one of that generation of musicians who learned his craft purely by listening to his American heroes – there were no jazz conservatoires or workshops where you could learn jazz theory – and ended up becoming so good that visiting American jazz royalty (Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, Dexter Gordon, Gerry Mulligan, Paul Desmond) would make a point of checking him out or sitting in with him when they came to London. Indeed, when Sonny Rollins and Benny Golson heard Tubby’s 1961 album Tubbs being played on an American radio station, they thought it was a new Coltrane release.

But in the depressing pattern common to the jazz genius, Hayes’ career was blighted by drug and alcohol abuse (he was one of the celebrity victims of the infamous drug squad detective Norman “Semolina” Pilcher), ill health, clinical depression, suicide attempts and a tempestuous relationship (in Tubby’s case with the American singer Joy Marshall). He’d be dead by 1973, aged only 38.

By that time, Hayes’ star had been on the wane, but not necessarily through his own fault. By the end of 1960s the revolutionary sound of hard bop was seen as a bit passé. On both sides of the Atlantic, jazz musicians were growing their hair, donning bell bottoms and playing over rock beats, often being encouraged to add the obligatory Bacharach or Beatles song to their repertoire. Tubby was no different – in 1969 Fontana’s head honcho Jack Baverstock commissioned an album credited to the Tubby Hayes Orchestra, featuring campy big-band versions of hits like “These Boots Are Made For Walking”, “Hey Jude” and “This Guy’s In Love With You” that matched the Austin Powers-ish flared collars and fulsome sideburns that Tubby was sporting at the time. Almost simultaneously – in one of those “one for you, one for me” agreements – Fontana also let Tubby record a straight-ahead jazz quartet album.

Unfortunately, in 1970, the only British “jazz” album that seemed to interest the world was Ringo Starr’s collection of standards, Sentimental Journey (on which Tubby features quite prominently as a session man). The Tubby Hayes Orchestra album flopped, and Fontana never even bothered releasing the quartet sessions, which languished in a German warehouse belonging to their parent company, Philips, untouched until last year.

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Fifty years on, the Grits, Beans And Greens album is something of a revelation, and one that shows Tubby Hayes at his imperious best. He is a garrulous performer, who plays fast and clean, with sparing vibrato, rattling out 16th-note phrases like a machine-gunner. He’s particularly good at using “triangles” – that old jazz player’s trick where, when playing an upwards scale, he plays a note either side of each rising note, to create this kaleidoscopic blur of noise. On a rare ballad, Duke Pearson’s “You Know I Care”, you hear him, for once, reducing the pace, adding some wobble and gliding between notes with the ease 
of a trombonist.

This was a time when British jazz musicians were still in a thrall to their American heroes. On the title track you can hear obvious nods to Art Blakey, Horace Silver and John Coltrane; while “Rumpus” sounds like all the best bits from Coltrane’s Giant Steps album knitted into a single seven-and-a-half-minute take. But where Coltrane’s tenor playing is steely and impassive, Tubby’s is filled with sly, puckish slurs, as if he’s playing with a grin on his face while dangling a lit roll-up from the side of his mouth.

Crucially, Grits, Beans And Greens sees Hayes fronting his finest quartet, one that features new recruit Spike Wells on drums. Wells was only 23 at the time and had just dropped out of a philosophy PhD at UCL, but he plays with the energy and verve of a seasoned hard bop veteran. He approaches each song as if performing one constant drum solo. His performance on the opening track, “For Members Only”, is a series of fills, flickers and polyrhythms that ensure he never plays the same four beats identically, interlocking perfectly with bassist Ron Mathewson.

This album comes in two packages – 
a five-track single CD and an 18-track double-CD package. The latter features multiple takes of each song as well as some “breakdowns” (interrupted takes) which are all a little excessive, but a 
huge advantage is hearing an incarnation of the Tubby Hayes Quartet where pianist Mick Pyne is substituted for the Irish guitarist Louis Stewart, one of the 
finest jazz players these islands ever produced. On a bossa-tinged version 
of the Cy Coleman standard “Where 
Am I Going”, Stewart is usually content 
to play smart, funky, Brazilian-style rhythm playing in an accompanying (or “comping”) role. But when Stewart switches to playing single-note solo runs, he is one of the few 
non-American frontline players who could hold a candle to Tubby – funky and hard grooving like Grant Green, but with the Bach-like complexity of Charlie Parker. Throughout the second take of the song, you can almost hear them urging each other on, taunting each 
other into more and more audacious territory. 
A real treat.

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.

Ezra Furman – Twelve Nudes

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If self-help is often all about positive thinking, Ezra Furman has another idea: that there might instead be fulfilment in the opposite, in airing one’s worst thoughts. Indeed, Twelve Nudes, the songwriter’s eighth album, explores this with a blistering spin through anxiety, pain and socio-political ills du jour – from the insurance industrial complex (“My Teeth Hurt”) to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (“Rated R Crusaders”) and sexual assault (“Trauma”) – sung over scrappy rock anthems. When the world around us goes to shit, Furman suggests, screaming is sometimes the only sensible response.

In many ways, the LP is the 32-year-old singer, songwriter and guitarist’s foray into punk, not only in its musical and lyrical characteristics, but also in its unedited pulse. It’s the sonic equivalent of a hastily stretched canvas splattered with a palette of raw truth, the paint spread by physical reaction rather than intellectual concerns.

Recorded hurriedly in Oakland, California, the 11 songs unfold in less than 26 minutes. It’s an emotionally charged acknowledgement of the pain and suffering endured by the world’s most vulnerable, and an indictment of the abuses perpetrated by the most powerful.

“I want to be a force to revive the human spirit rather than crush it, to open possibilities rather than close them down,” he says. “Sometimes a passionate negativity is the best way to do that.”

Furman cites the late Jay Reatard as a bastion of cathartic negativity in music. The Memphis garage punk was beloved for broadcasting his internal darkness over cacophonous pop-infused punk. His songs “It Ain’t Gonna Save Me” and “Blood Visions” endure as emblems of his unique duality, and inspired the similarly matched quality of Twelve Nudes.

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Like Reatard, Furman gets quickly to the point: 80 per cent of the songs clock in at less than three minutes. One, at 56 seconds. And like Reatard, they screech with a lyrical wallop. “Nobody cares if you’re dying/’Til you’re dead,” he sings on “Transition From Nowhere To Nowhere”, an acoustic slow-burner that crescendos into an anthemic plea. “And if you’re really at the end of your rope/No you don’t take the night off/Too many demons to fight off,” he cries with urgency.

The three-minute track is an outlier among the harefooted lineup, but it stands out in its wit’s end posture, Furman’s alternate coos and howls chipping at the surface to reveal an utterly chilling core.

Twelve Nudes opens with “Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone”, an unhinged appeal for support amid the loneliness of our present dark days. The hightailing canticle transposes the rough-edged poetry of Springsteen onto the buoyant basslines and shouted backing vocals of pop-punk. It’s the album’s strongest track, and the catchiest channelling of worry this side of The Thermals. The Portland trio, along with Reatard, are prominent circles in the Venn diagram of musical identifiers for Twelve Nudes. Smaller orbs representing The Stooges, The Hold Steady and Springsteen are in there, too. But Furman’s distinctive shrieking, poetic phrasing and postmodernist perspective prevents the work from sounding overtly derivative. It instead borrows the best qualities of its forebears, and fuses them into something new.

This amalgam of heartland rock and punk continues through the album’s middle mark, “Thermometer”, a cavorting two-minute romp paying tribute to Furman’s saviour, rock’n’roll. Another love song, “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend”, lightens the mood with cheeky Jonathan Richman-inspired narration. “My responsible friends are applying for jobs/But me, I was considering ditching Ezra and going by Esme/Baby, would you find that so odd?” he sings as less a tease and more a promise, over minimal, reverb-doused electric guitar.

The album concludes with a rhetorical question, “What Can You Do But Rock’n’Roll”. For a songwriter saved by music, it’s a lifesource; and for a society stripped of fundamental rights, it’s a last common thread. “You got no place you can go/You can’t go out/You can’t stay home,” he yowls in an expression of solidarity with the displaced and alienated, over boisterous drums, bass and guitar. In unleashing an indictment of the ills afflicting society, Furman not only creates a stunning protest record, he also stands as an example for action, channeling his power as a white male musician, with at least a modicum of visibility, to illuminate systemic abuse and the lives it plagues. Furman has no use for escapism. With Twelve Nudes, he’s exposed, but never still.

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.

Bob Dylan releases new poem to be read out on the Isle of Wight

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Bob Dylan has released a new poem to mark the 50th anniversary of his legendary appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival.

The poem will be read out in the Isle of Wight during the Million Dollar Bash — a new event to honour the anniversary of the 1969 festival which takes place on Saturday, August 31, reports Isle Of Wight County Press News.

Million Dollar Bash has been curated by Fairport Convention founder member, Ashley Hutchings, who assembled a band, Dylancentric, for the occasion.

“I got some very touching and personal messages from Bob,” says Hutchings. “Much of which must remain personal, but I can say he has passed to me a special poem, fittingly something he wrote about 50 years ago, for me to pass on to fans when we play at Million Dollar Bash.

“This is going to be a great celebration. I will read out Bob’s poem, a composition that is previously unpublished and unheard. I am looking forward to it.”

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Million Dollar Bash takes place at the County Showground on the Isle of Wight. The line-up also includes Richard Thompson, Pentangle, The Pretty Things‘ Dick Taylor and Phil May and Roger McGough. You can find more info 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.

Read the complete tracklisting for The Beatles’ Abbey Road anniversary editions

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The Beatles have announced plans for multiple anniversary editions of Abbey Road.

All these various packages will be released worldwide on September 27 by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe.

“The Beatles recording journey had gone through many twists and turns, learning curves and thrilling rides. Here we were – still wondering at the magic of it all,” recalls Paul McCartney in his written foreword for Abbey Road’s anniversary edition packages.

Abbey Road’s Super Deluxe box set presents 40 tracks – including “The Long One” Trial Edit & Mix for the album’s epic Side 2 medley – on three CDs (stereo) and one Blu-ray disc (Dolby Atmos, 96kHz/24 bit high resolution stereo, and 96 kHz/24 bit DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1).

The four discs are housed in a slip-sleeved 12” by 12” 100-page hardbound book with McCartney’s foreword; Martin’s introduction; insightful, in-depth chapters written by Beatles historian, author, and radio producer Kevin Howlett covering the months preceding The Beatles’ Abbey Road sessions, track-by-track details and session notes, the cover art and photo shoot, and the album’s reception upon its release; plus an essay looking at the album’s influence through 50 years. The book is illustrated with rare and previously unpublished photographs, including many taken by Linda McCartney; never before published images of handwritten lyrics, sketches, and a George Martin score; Beatles correspondence, recording sheets, and tape boxes; and reproduced original print ads. The Super Deluxe digital audio collection presents all 40 tracks for download purchase and streaming in standard and MFiT formats, as well as in high resolution audio (96kHz/24 bit) for download.

Abbey Road’s limited edition Deluxe vinyl box set features all 40 tracks from the Super Deluxe collection on three 180-gram vinyl LPs. The album’s new stereo mix LP is packaged in a replicated sleeve, with the two Sessions LPs paired in their own jacket, presented with a four-page insert in a lift-top box.

The Deluxe 2CD set pairs the new stereo mix with versions taken from the session takes and demo recordings of its 17 songs, sequenced to match the album’s running order. The two discs are presented in a digipak with a 40-page booklet abridged from the Super Deluxe book.

The album’s new stereo mix is also available in 1CD and 180-gram 1LP vinyl packages, for digital download in standard and MFiT audio, and on a limited edition picture disc vinyl LP illustrated by the album’s front and back cover art images.

Abbey Road’s Super Deluxe and Deluxe vinyl box sets’ 23 session and demo recordings are presented in chronological order of their first recording dates.

Click here to listen to a stereo mix and studio demo of “Something”.

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Here’s the fulltracklisting…

SUPER DELUXE [3CD+1Blu-ray set; digital audio collection]

CD ONE: 2019 Stereo Mix
1. Come Together
2. Something
3. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
4. Oh! Darling
5. Octopus’s Garden
6. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
7. Here Comes The Sun
8. Because
9. You Never Give Me Your Money
10. Sun King
11. Mean Mr Mustard
12. Polythene Pam
13. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
14. Golden Slumbers
15. Carry That Weight
16. The End
17. Her Majesty

CD TWO: Sessions
1. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Trident Recording Session & Reduction Mix)
2. Goodbye (Home Demo)
3. Something (Studio Demo)
4. The Ballad Of John And Yoko (Take 7)
5. Old Brown Shoe (Take 2)
6. Oh! Darling (Take 4)
7. Octopus’s Garden (Take 9)
8. You Never Give Me Your Money (Take 36)
9. Her Majesty (Takes 1–3)
10. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Takes 1–3 / Medley)
11. Here Comes The Sun (Take 9)
12. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Take 12)

CD THREE: Sessions
1. Come Together (Take 5)
2. The End (Take 3)
3. Come And Get It (Studio Demo)
4. Sun King (Take 20)
5. Mean Mr Mustard (Take 20)
6. Polythene Pam (Take 27)
7. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (Take 27)
8. Because (Take 1 – Instrumental)
9. The Long One (Trial Edit & Mix – 30 July 1969)
(Medley: You Never Give Me Your Money, Sun King, Mean Mr Mustard, Her Majesty, Polythene Pam, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, The End)
10. Something (Take 39 – Instrumental – Strings Only)
11. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Take 17 – Instrumental – Strings & Brass Only)

BLU-RAY: Abbey Road
Audio Features:
– Dolby Atmos
– 96kHz/24 bit DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
– 96kHz/24 bit High Res Stereo (2019 Stereo Mix)

DELUXE 3LP VINYL BOX SET (limited edition)

LP ONE: Side 1 (2019 Stereo Mix)
1. Come Together
2. Something
3. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
4. Oh! Darling
5. Octopus’s Garden
6. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

LP ONE: Side 2 (2019 Stereo Mix)
1. Here Comes The Sun
2. Because
3. You Never Give Me Your Money
4. Sun King
5. Mean Mr Mustard
6. Polythene Pam
7. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
8. Golden Slumbers
9. Carry That Weight
10. The End
11. Her Majesty

LP TWO: Side 1 (Sessions)
1. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Trident Recording Session and Reduction Mix)
2. Goodbye (Home Demo)
3. Something (Studio Demo)
4. The Ballad of John and Yoko (Take 7)
5. Old Brown Shoe (Take 2)

LP TWO: Side 2 (Sessions)
1. Oh! Darling (Take 4)
2. Octopus’s Garden (Take 9)
3. You Never Give Me Your Money (Take 36)
4. Her Majesty (Takes 1–3)
5. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Takes 1–3) / Medley)
6. Here Comes The Sun (Take 9)
7. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Take 12)

LP THREE: Side 1 (Sessions)
1. Come Together (Take 5)
2. The End (Take 3)
3. Come and Get It (Studio Demo)
4. Sun King (Take 20)
5. Mean Mr Mustard (Take 20)
6. Polythene Pam (Take 27)
7. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (Take 27)
8. Because (Take 1 Instrumental)

LP THREE: Side 2 (Sessions)
1. The Long One (Trial Edit & Mix – 30 July 1969)
2. Something (Take 39 – Instrumental – Strings Only)
3. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Take 17 – Instrumental – Strings & Brass Only)

DELUXE 2CD

CD ONE: 2019 Stereo Mix

CD TWO: Sessions
1. Come Together (Take 5)
2. Something (Studio Demo)
3. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Take 12)
4. Oh! Darling (Take 4)
5. Octopus’s Garden (Take 9)
6. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Trident Recording Session & Reduction Mix)
7. Here Comes The Sun (Take 9)
8. Because (Take 1 Instrumental)
9. You Never Give Me Your Money (Take 36)
10. Sun King (Take 20)
11. Mean Mr Mustard (Take 20)
12. Polythene Pam (Take 27)
13. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (Take 27)
14. Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight (Takes 1–3 / Medley)
15. The End (Take 3)
16. Her Majesty (Takes 1–3)

STANDARD [1CD; digital; 1LP vinyl; limited edition 1LP picture disc vinyl]
2019 Stereo Mix

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.