It’s hard to know quite where to start with this month’s issue of Uncut. Do we talk, first, about our wonderful free CD – a 17-track collection of bespoke covers of Wilco songs? Masterminded by Jeff Tweedy himself, this includes splendid reinterpretations of classic Wilco tracks, deep cuts and rarities by, among others, Low, Courtney Barnett, Cate Le Bon, Ryley Walker, Kurt Vile and Sharon Van Etten. When Tweedy first proposed this idea to us, we were understandably delighted – but I don’t think any of us who’ve watched this project develop quite expected it to turn out as astonishingly as this.
Or, perhaps, we should talk about our world-exclusive interview with Jimmy Page? Those readers with long memories will hopefully remember Jon Wilde’s exhaustive career retrospective with Paul McCartney, Andy Gill’s extended linguistic duel with Tom Waits or David Cavanagh’s revelatory encounter with Ray Davies; I think Michael Odell’s cover story offers a similarly definitive statement on Page. Whatever you think you have read on Page – and The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin and more – you won’t have read it quite like this before.
Page isn’t the only major interview in this issue, I’m thrilled to say. Tom Pinnock meets Kim Gordon to discuss everything from her brilliant solo debut album No Home Record to the health of her faithful hound, named Syd Barrett; while Erin Osmon visits Angel Olsen at home in North Carolina to explore the roots of her new album No Mirrors. There’s Bob Nastanovich on David Berman, Bruce Hornsby, Roger McGuinn, Super Furry Animals and Nick Cave on a new art exhibition inspired by the music of the Bad Seeds. Meanwhile, in Morocco, Tinariwen reveal how and where they find hope in difficult times and how it continues to inspire their wild, exploratory music.
Hope, coincidentally, is something of a subtext in this issue of Uncut. Tinariwen acknowledge the importance of young people, united by music – despite the fundamental social and political issues in North Africa. Similarly, Neil Young finds renewed hope, after a series of profound tragedies, back with his longest-serving lieutenants, Crazy Horse.
There’s Jeff Tweedy, too, who during Stephen Deusner’s interview with Wilco, asks how a band of their standing should respond to a world that seems in a state of permanent upheaval. “Maybe everybody is struggling with this,” he considers. “But I was thinking a lot about how to maintain hope right now, how to not feel guilty for having joy in my life. How do you deal with having personal feelings when you know something very destructive is going on and there are real people being hurt everyday in awful ways?”
Where there is great music – whether it be made by Led Zeppelin, Kim Gordon, Neil Young, Tinariwen, Angel Olsen or others – there should always be hope and celebration. Welcome to the new Uncut.
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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.