In the shadow of coronavirus lockdown, what will become of 2020’s cultural record? One of the positives to draw from the current crisis is the way many artists have successfully adapted to their circumstances. On page 7 of this issue we talk to musicians who have been livestreaming during the lockdown, while on page 8, brace yourselves for our deep dive into Bob Dylan’s amazing “Murder Most Foul”, released by Dylan with the accompanying instruction to “stay safe”. Being an avid Uncut reader, you’ll have hopefully also enjoyed Neil Young’s Fireside Sessions, Sonic Youth’s cache of live archive recordings and Tim Burgess’ Twitter listening parties among the myriad of other inventive online ways to beat the lockdown blues.
While we’re all currently dispersed as far afield as Edinburgh, Redcar, Brighton and Portugal, we’d like to reassure you that we will continue to be publishing Uncut, as planned, every month – bringing you our regular mix of exclusive interviews, definitive reviews and deep dives into the best old and new music. You’ll still find us in newsagents and supermarkets – but in case you can’t leave the house, here are some ways you can continue to get your fix of Uncut.
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Which brings me to this month’s issue. Graeme Thomson digs into the secret history of Prince’s all-singing, all-dancing Around The World In A Day spectacular, Kenney Jones’ pours a Brandy and coke as we celebrate 50 years of the Faces, Jason Isbell takes us out to his barn, Yes’ Steve Howe answers your questions, The National revisit a high (violet) watermark, the Psychedelic Furs relive their career highs, we meet Brigid Mae Power, celebrate Skip Spence and find our what’s what for Talking Heads in 1980.
There’s also Neil Young’s Homegrown – 45 years late – plus a wealth of terrific new albums from Brigid Dawson, Laura Marling, Woods, Steve Earle, Magnetic Fields and The Dream Syndicate.
At the risk of sounding cliched, it is comforting to find so much good new music coming out during these challenging times. Looking ahead, there’s great new albums from Courtney Marie Andrews, Sonic Boom, Rolling Blackouts, Nicole Atkins among many others to soothe our spirits through the next few months.
See you here again, same time next month.
Follow me on Twitter @MichaelBonner