Reviewed! Neil Young, “A Letter Home”

About ten years ago, I had a series of conversations with some people preparing a new edition of Harry Smith’s Anthology Of American Music. Their aim, it seemed, was to take the 84 tracks originally compiled from Smith’s collection of 78s, and subject them to a vigorous digital clean-up. How much better would these songs sound, was their reasoning, if all the grit and static was removed, leaving the performances unsullied and sharp?

The Specials, Madness and The Selecter: The 1979 2-Tone tour remembered

I was reminiscing with an old friend over the weekend about The Specials, his favourite band. Our chat brought us to the great 1979 2-Tone Tour that featured The Specials, supported by Madness and The Selecter, a snapshot of which now duly follows.

R.E.M., Nirvana and Sleater-Kinney members form supergroup

R.E.M's Peter Buck and Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney are recording with Nirvana bass player Krist Novoselic, it has been revealed. It was recently announced that Buck and Tucker had formed the band Super-Earth alongside guitarist Scott McCaughey (Minus 5), drummer Bill Rieflin (Swans, Ministry) and guitarist Kurt Bloch. That line-up of the band made their live debut in Portland last week (April 30).

Sonic Youth to reissue classic early albums

Sonic Youth will reissue their 1988 album Daydream Nation next month [June]. The band confirmed a series of reissue plans via a post on their official website on May 5.

Damon Albarn, Great Hall, Queen Mary University, London, May 1, 2014

Damon Albarn is a man of many guises, and it seems he also has an outfit to match them all. In his role as Blur frontman, he consistently favoured Fred Perry tops and oxblood Doc Martens. As a member of Gorillaz, he even went as far as to adopt an entirely different persona – the spiky-haired animated singer 2D (real name: Stuart Tusspot). For The Good, The Bad And The Queen, he favoured a Two Tone-style dark suit and a low top hat, and for his reimagining of the life of Elizabethan mystic John Dee, he went as far as to grow a beard. Tonight, he arrives on stage wearing a simple suit and tie and a pair of desert boots.

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