Reviews

Joni Mitchell—Woman Of Heart And Mind

It doesn't matter whether you're a fan. This study of Mitchell is a model of musical biography in DVD form. Over two hours we get her life story in perfectly matched words, music and images. The interviews with Mitchell are candid, the recollections from the likes of James Taylor, David Crosby and Graham Nash are fascinating, and the musical excerpts, which cover her entire career, are luminous.

Spider

Depressing study in madness, memory and murder from David Cronenberg, with Ralph Fiennes, recently released from a mental institution, setting up home in a halfway hostel in London's East End close to where he grew up, and the scene of a massive childhood trauma. Despite some typically creepy Cronenberg moments and universally impressive performances, the plot's predictable, and the relentless bleakness wears after a while.

Vega 4 – Satellites

Travis-lite trad-rockers' debut LP

The Ecstasy Of Saint Theresa – Slowthinking

The Czech Republic's biggest little band return with their first UK release in eight years

Larry Gold – Don Cello And Friends

Legendary T.S.O.P. strings arranger finally releases debut solo album after 39 years in the business

Trembling Blue Stars – A Certain Evening Light

Superior, previously uncollected singles and B-sides from melancholy ex-Field Mice

Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks

BEATIN' THE HEAT Rating Star

Central Line – Loose Ends

Career round-ups for two of the brightest lights of '80s Britfunk

Mick Ronson – Hard Life

Casually packaged highlights compilation

Roger Dodger

Downbeat, Neil Labute-esque tale of male inadequacy

Johnny English

John Malkovich slums it as the evil mastermind plotting to turn Britain into a giant prison camp, while Rowan Atkinson, as the titular rubbish spy, presses all the wrong buttons. Puerile, deeply unfunny and, as an advert for our country, downright treasonable. A crime, if memory serves, still punishable by death.

Who’s Been Talking?—Johnny Thunders In Concert

Recorded during a series of gigs in Japan with his band The Oddballs two weeks before he died of a heroin overdose in April 1991, Who's Been Talking offers a voyeuristic insight into the twilight world of Thunders. Gaunt and deathly pale, the wonder is how he played at all, for he'd been immediately hospitalised on arrival in the country. He summons a chaotic-narcotic energy during a set of more than 20 songs. But there's a ghoulish irony to hearing him sing "Sad Vacation", his Sid Vicious tribute.

About Schmidt

In Alexander Payne's wickedly mordant satire, newly-retired Warren Schmidt is forced to acknowledge the sheer empty horror of a wasted life that has left him with a ghastly marriage to someone he no longer recognises as the woman he fell in love with, a neurotic daughter who's about to marry an hilariously useless water bed salesman and a past he can't remember because in all the years now behind him he did little of merit and nothing of note. Dysfunctional families are currently all the rage, but About Schmidt has a dark individuality and coruscating comic edge that makes it uniquely compe

Jetscreamer – Starhead

Savage garage from Lift To Experience's friendly neighbours

Killing Joke

Apocalyptic comeback from post-punk doom lords featuring Foo Fighter Dave Grohl on drums
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Watch the first episode of Paul Weller’s Black Barn Sessions

Featuring Miles Kane, The Mysterines and a new version of Heavy Soul's "Brushed"

The 26th Uncut New Music Playlist Of 2019

Stirring selections from Greg Dulli, Cornershop, Trent Reznor, Squirrel Flower, Jason Williamson, Antibalas and more

Van Morrison: “I’m current – I’m always current”

The Celtic soul warrior asserts himself in the new issue of Uncut
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