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January 12, 2021

Michael Bonner Leonard Cohen, The Clash, Sonny Rollins and more in the new Uncut

Occasionally, in the years since his death, I’ve found myself idly speculating on what Leonard Cohen would have made of the cynicism and chaos around us: Trump, Brexit, Covid… I’ve found his benedictions strangely comforting, their wisdom and humanity otherwise lacking elsewhere during a crisis-strewn and deeply weird 2020.

In this month’s Uncut, we revisit an earlier incarnation of Leonard Cohen, as he faces a series of impossible challenges during the 1970s. It’s no spoiler to reveal that he overcomes them, of course; but it’s the striving that counts. Looking back through my inbox, Stephen Troussé, the writer of our cover story, sent me an email early on in our discussions about the piece, where he says, “It feels thematically very rich – it’s Len’s own personal Season In Hell, going from the Mandrax appearance at the Isle Of Wight Festival to the craziness of the tours depicted in Bird On A Wire, the bleakness of Songs Of Love And Hate to Death Of A Ladies’ Man. Not to mention the mad escapades to Nashville, Israel and Ethiopia…” You’ll find all this and more, then, starting on page 64.

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I’m thrilled, too, that this issue also contains a rare interview with Sonny Rollins – the last of the true jazz titans, whose music Dylan once described as “big league sound, covering all bases”. John Lewis’s superb interview reads like history unfolding, as Rollins takes us through his memories of some of the 20th century’s most profound musical and cultural revolutions, including jazz, the civil rights movement and more.

What else? I mentioned this last month, but print subscribers should have received two free CDs with this issue: their regular round-up of the month’s new music and also an exclusive five-track Weather Station CD. You should be familiar with Tamara Lindeman’s work by now, but if not I think this is a fine introduction to a singular talent – and if you’re already a fan, the CD should whet your appetite for her new album, Ignorance, which Richard Williams reviews with typical insight on page 36. I very much hope we’ll be able to bring our subscribers more gifts in future.

You’ll find a trove of other great stuff in the issue, of course. The Clash, Alice Cooper, The Black Keys, Jane Weaver, Bootsy Collins, Arab Strap, Courtney Marie Andrews, David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Fleet Foxes and more. Further ahead, we’ve got a ton of great features lined up for 2021. See you then…

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Tom Pinnock Uncut – March 2021

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Leonard Cohen, The Clash, Sonny Rollins, Jane Weaver, Kraftwerk, The Black Keys, Warren Zevon, Alice Cooper, Bootsy Collins and Courtney Marie Andrews all feature in the new Uncut, dated March 2021 and in UK shops from January 14 or available to buy online now. As always, the issue comes with a free CD, comprising 12 tracks of the month’s best new music – plus a very special Weather Station sampler compilation only for our subscribers.

LEONARD COHEN: 50 years ago, Songs Of Love And Hate ushered in a strange and compelling new era for rock’s pre-eminent poet. With help from his friends and collaborators, we examine his remarkable decade – from turbulent tours, intellectual crises, incursions into warzones, lost albums and firearms incidents – and discover how Cohen’s good humour and towering genius endured. “He was aware, probably for the first time, of the impact his songs were having.”

OUR FREE CD! STORIES OF THE STREET: 12 fantastic tracks from the cream of the month’s releases, including songs by Tindersticks, Jane Weaver, Mush, Altin Gün, Black Country, New Road, Aerial East, Mouse On Mars, Cassandra Jenkins and more.

PLUS: Our subscribers will also receive a specially compiled five-track sampler of The Weather Station’s finest music to date, including an exclusive song from Tamara Lindeman’s upcoming new album, Ignorance.

This issue of Uncut is available to buy by clicking here – with FREE delivery to the UK and reduced delivery charges for the rest of the world.

Inside the issue, you’ll find:

THE CLASH: Summer 1981, and the punk rockers take Manhattan, causing riots in Times Square and ending up clubbing with Robert De Niro. Eyewitnesses tell the full story of the band’s legendary stand in New York.

SONNY ROLLINS: We enjoy an audience with one of the last surviving jazz titans, to discuss Miles, ’Trane and Bird, his new album of previously unheard recordings and his ongoing musical spiritual quest. “What I’m trying to do is find a universal unity…”

JANE WEAVER: The stars have aligned for this cosmic musical adventurer over the last decade, and Flock might be her finest album yet. She meets Uncut to explain how her love for Kate Bush and Hawkwind turned into remixes for Paul Weller and songs about abstract painters. “You should just be able to do what you want with music, shouldn’t you?”

THE BLACK KEYS: Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney recall the making of “Tighten Up”.

KRAFTWERK: A classic European odyssey from NME in June 1981. “We see ourselves as studio technicians,” Ralf Hütter explains. “We have to impose every question, and find the correct answer.”

ALICE COOPER: When Cooper and his band found themselves in Detroit in 1969, they found their natural home. As he prepares to revisit those roots on a new album, Uncut winds the clock back to look afresh at the Motor City’s heyday and Cooper’s “improv, guerrilla theatre”.

BOOTSY COLLINS: The No1 funkateer answers your questions on working with James Brown, George Clinton and Keith Richards, LSD enlightenment and the power of ‘the one’.

ARAB STRAP: Album by album with the returning duo

COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS: The songwriter chooses eight records that have shaped her, from Bob Dylan and Linda Ronstadt to Curtis Mayfield and Neil Young.

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In our expansive reviews section, we take a look at new records from Cory Hanson, Mush, Julien Baker, Tindersticks, Foo Fighters, Taylor Swift, Mogwai and more, and archival releases from PJ Harvey, Richard Hell, Bailter Space, psychedelic symph-pop duo Nirvana and others. We catch Courtney Barnett and Lindsey Buckingham live online; among the films, DVDs and TV programmes reviewed are Stardust, Sound Of Metal, News Of The World, Zappa and Small Axe; while in books there’s Bessie Smith and Monolithic Undertow: In Search Of Sonic Oblivion.

Our front section, meanwhile, features Fleet Foxes, David Bowie, Sunburned Hand Of The Man, Bad Brains and Brinsley Schwarz, and we introduce Cassandra Jenkins.

You can pick up a copy of Uncut in the usual places, where open. But otherwise, readers all over the world can order a copy from here.

For more information on all the different ways to keep reading Uncut during lockdown, click here.

 

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Fact Ancestral Archeology: Nina Pixel & Adrián Kriška on creating 21st century folklore

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Sam Richards Watch a video for Jane Weaver’s new single, “Heartlow”

Jane Weaver’s new album Flock – her poppiest effort to date – will be released by Fire Records on March 5.

Watch a Douglas Hart-directed video for latest single “Heartlow” below:

Says Weaver: “’Heartlow’ is my attempt at an uplifting tragi-pop parade for the trials of modern times disguised as a homage to a lost generation of misfit girl groop records. Written in hibernation in an out of season French coastal town surrounded by ancient stone circles and arthurian forests.”

There’s a big interview with Jane Weaver in the new issue of Uncut, out this week – more details on that very soon. In the meantime, you can pre-order Flock here and peruse her 2021 tourdates below:

04 June: Whelans, Dublin, Ireland
05 June: Black Box, Belfast, Ireland
07 June: King Tuts, Glasgow, UK
08 June: The Cluny, Newcastle, UK
09 June: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, UK
10 June: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK
12 June: Thekla, Bristol, UK
13 June: District, Liverpool, UK
15 June: Village Underground, London
16 June: Chalk, Brighton, UK
17 June: Gorilla, Manchester, UK
18 June: Hare and Hounds, Birmingham, UK
19 June: Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, UK
20 June: Delamere Forest, Cheshire, UK (supporting Doves)

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Sam Richards Watch a video for Lana Del Rey’s “Chemtrails Over The Country Club”

Lana Del Rey has announced that her new album, Chemtrails Over The Country Club, will be released by Polydor on March 19.

Watch a video for the title track below:

You can pre-order the album here and check out the artwork and tracklisting below:

01 White Dress
02 Chemtrails Over the Country Club
03 Tulsa Jesus Freak
04 Let Me Love You Like a Woman
05 Wild at Heart
06 Dark But Just a Game
07 Not All Who Wander Are Lost
08 Yosemite
09 Breaking Up Slowly
10 Dance Till We Die
11 For Free

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Sam Richards Senseless Things’ Mark Keds has died, aged 50

Senseless Things frontman Mark Keds has died, aged 50.

The news was confirmed yesterday (January 10) in a Facebook post by former bandmate Ben Harding. No cause of death has yet been revealed.

Singer and guitarist Keds, real name Mark Myers, co-founded Senseless Things in West London in 1987. The pop-punk band released four albums and reached the Top 20 with indie anthems “Easy To Smile” and “Hold It Down” before splitting in 1995.

Keds then briefly joined The Wildhearts before forming the bands Jolt and Deadcuts, as well as leading the occasional Senseless Things reunion.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we have to tell you that, sadly, Mark – our singer, friend and main songwriter – is no longer with us,” wrote Harding. “We understand that he passed away at his home during the early hours of this morning. As yet, the cause of death is unconfirmed.

“It’s no secret that he had struggled on and off with drug abuse and a pretty chaotic lifestyle for a long while, and his health suffered substantially over the years due to this. While this had sometimes created friction within the on-off workings of Senseless Things and his other projects, we choose to remember the friend, the brother and the talent we’ve lost today.

“Mark was truly passionate about his musical calling and he used it with a fierce determination – from establishing a way of touring and playing gigs – one where nobody felt excluded – to including explicit, outspoken political content in our songs (and insisting on releasing them, even at the cost of commercial suicide and record company dismay). His greatest talent, though, was in exploring the everyday fucked-upness and absolute, unbounded joy of one-to-one relationships; of love, lust, loss, anger, grief and the ecstasy of the ordinary. That particular talent remained undimmed…

“We love you, Mark. It seems cliched to say ‘gone too soon’, but damn, it’s true. He was only 50. It’s no fucking age to die. Our love and thoughts go out to his friends, his family, his loved ones and the ones who loved him.”

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Alex Ross Respite

In a stream from Wigmore Hall, members of Apartment House play Feldman’s Piano and String Quartet.

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