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Lisa-Marie Ferla Julien Baker – Little Oblivions

If you’re already familiar with Julien Baker’s pared back, acoustic guitar and piano-led songwriting, the wider sonic palette is the first thing you’ll notice about Little Oblivions – the exhilarating gasp of synthesiser on “Faith Healer”; the way that “Hardline” roars and crunches to its conclusion; the stately, synthetic percussion underpinning “Relative Fiction”. The Memphis songwriter’s adoption of drums on this third album – her second for Matador – has, as she has joked in interviews, the potential for a Dylan moment given the sparse confessionals typical of her work to date.

But regardless of ornamentation, Baker’s writing remains a rigorous and unforgiving thing, her words too intimate for daylight hours. The characters in these 12 songs seek redemption in substances, shared secrets and snake oil merchants as Baker casts herself somewhere between protagonist and narrator, sometimes in the gutter, sometimes watching from the side of the road as it all goes up in smoke.

Little Oblivions was recorded in Memphis as 2019 turned into 2020 with Calvin Lauber and Craig Silvey, both of whom worked with Baker on 2017’s Turn Out the Lights. It was a period that – just months before much of the world was forced to turn inward, in varying degrees of lockdown – marked the end of a tumultuous time for Baker: both her second album and boygenius, her collaborative project with friends and fellow songwriters Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, attracted significant attention and a gruelling live schedule. That summer, medical reasons forced the cancellation of a run of planned European dates and Baker went quiet, reemerging with boygenius on the spring 2020 solo album from Paramore’s Hayley Williams.

Written during that period of turbulence, the songs that make up Little Oblivions seem to predict the collective trauma of 2020: stark lyrical references to violence, vice and what is ultimately the inability to escape from oneself, whether by placing one’s faith in a god or a bottle. The songs are also, curiously, some of the most uplifting Baker has yet written – in part because of the dizzying melodic highs, in part because of the way the songwriter remains standing, defiant, in the face of self-examination at its most brutal.

In this context, “Heatwave”, the album’s second track, is particularly stunning: an unflinching portrayal of the gruesome, self-absorbed reality of an extreme depressive episode. Its central conceit is Baker witnessing a violent accident; her voice dispassionate, disconnected from the electric guitar melody line despite the brutality of the subject matter. “I had the shuddering thought,” she sings, as the car bursts into flames in front of her, “this was gonna make me late for work.”

That relatively subdued track gives way to “Faith Healer”; inspired, says Baker, by the cognitive dissonance of substance abuse. It’s one of the album’s busiest, musically, but there is intention in every sonic detail: the way the melody seesaws over the verses and bridge before the crunch of the chorus, the way Baker’s voice switches between whisper and exorcism. The music is liberating, the lyrics – “I’ll believe you if you make me feel something” – perfectly capturing the paradox of finding escape in the things that you shouldn’t.

Some cognitive dissonance may also be required to get your head around Baker playing almost every instrument on the album – unless, perhaps, you caught her joyful drumming behind Hayley Williams in a live session just before Christmas, or have stumbled across her high school band Forrister on Bandcamp. The raucousness of “Hardline”, cathartic pop chorus of “Relative Fiction” and “Highlight Reel” – which takes half the opening riff from Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” and corrupts it into something as claustrophobic as its lyrics – make the quieter moments all the more powerful.

Of these, “Song In E” is the most gut-wrenching: a vocal and piano performance on which you can hear every creak, Baker brutalising herself on behalf of a past heartbreak. “I wish you’d hurt me,” she sings, almost tenderly, “it’s the mercy I can’t take”. On “Bloodshot”, the song which gives the album both its title and its epigraph, the louds and quiets are juxtaposed to particularly devastating effect, all but the most minimal piano dropping away to highlight that “there is no glory in love”.

The album is an embarrassment of lyrical riches, every line a tattoo on the skin. Like Phoebe Bridgers, Baker has a particular knack for tiny details that grab the listener: a moth trapped in the grille of a car on “Favor”, a song which features backing vocals from her boygenius collaborators; a burning engine; the drunks in the bar talking over the band. Everything on Little Oblivions will make you feel, and it’s the catharsis we all need.

Little Oblivions by Julien Baker

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Sam Richards The Who Sell Out super deluxe boxset unveiled

The Who have revealed details of their mammoth The Who Sell Out super deluxe edition, due for release via UMC/Polydor on April 23.

It features 112 tracks across five CDs and two 7″ singles – 46 of which are previously unreleased, including 14 unheard Pete Townshend demos: hear “Pictures Of Lily”, “Kids! Do You Want Kids” and “Odorono” below:

The super deluxe edition also comes with an 80-page full-colour book – including rare period photos, memorabilia, track by track annotation and new sleevenotes by Pete Townshend – plus nine posters and inserts, including replicas of The Who posters, flyers and newsletters from 1967.

The Who Sell Out will also be reissued in a 2xLP deluxe (stereo) vinyl version, featuring the original album and highlights from box set; a 2xLP deluxe (mono) vinyl version pressed on coloured vinyl; a 2xCD edition; and a variety of digital formats.

Check out the full tracklistings and pre-order here.

Of course, you can read much more about The Who Sell Out in the latest issue of Uncut, which features an exclusive interview with Pete Townshendorder a copy here.

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Tom Pinnock Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye: “We decided we were going to start a new scene”

Man the barricades! The new issue of Uncut – in shops now or available to order online here, with free P&P for the UK – features Ian MacKaye’s first-person account of Fugazi’s incredible, and loud, career at the vanguard of America’s post-hardcore scene. In this extract, he recalls being inspired by Sex Pistols and The Cramps to form Minor Threat, before ripping it up and starting again in even more ambitious fashion with the radical, inspirational Fugazi…

—-

When punk rock appeared, the media were really derisive about it. At first I just took a bite of the media’s pie and thought, “Yeah, this is fucking ridiculous, these idiots stabbing themselves with safety pins and vomiting into each other’s mouth…” But I had really good friends with great taste who were into it, so I had to listen. When I heard “Bodies” by the Sex Pistols, it hit me that this was the underground, the counterculture. I’d really believed in music as a revolutionary thing growing up in the ’60s, but then by the ’70s it seemed like everyone just wanted to rock, so I’d given up on music in the sense of a community. With punk, it was like being led into a secret cavern. On February 3, 1979, I went to see my first punk show, which was The Cramps. To my mind, that’s still the greatest show of all time.

When Minor Threat started playing in December 1980, [we had] this idea of the punk scene creating an external kind of family. It worked, and the scene here in Washington became pronounced, identifiable and connected. But if you look at interviews with us from 1981, we acknowledge that, as part of the scene becoming bigger, you’re going to get more assholes. The media depicted punks as psychopathic, self-destructive, nihilistic looney birds, with the result that psychopathic, self-destructive, nihilistic looney birds thought they were punks. They would start coming to shows, and then the shows became a problem.

After Minor Threat split in 1983, there was a period when the scene was fractured. There were a lot of people – and a lot of people we didn’t know. There was also a burgeoning street-punk/skinhead scene that was so not what me or my friends were interested in. Their behaviour was detestable – stealing, vandalising, gay-bashing – just fucked up, and they were nationalists, thinly veiled white supremacists. It was very discouraging. We decided that instead of quitting punk or driving those people out, we were just going to start a new scene – we’d play music that would not be appealing to those people, let them do their thing at their place and we’d do ours at other venues.

That’s what gave birth to Revolution Summer – we weren’t trying to create a revolution, it was just a moniker, a start date, a somewhat concerted effort to do something creative, to start bands or fanzines, get involved with political stuff. We wanted to take what we’d learned and developed in forming our tribe and take it to another level. These new bands were profound: Beefeater, Rites Of Spring, Kingface, I was in a band called Embrace. They were very offputting to the more conservative punks, but they were challenging, intellectually stimulating. I mean, Rites Of Spring were one of the greatest bands of all time, they were so incredible live.

Embrace only played 11 shows. In March 1986, when we played our last show, I realised my misstep. I had gone in thinking that I wanted to be in a band, but what I really wanted was to play music – and that’s different. Joe Lally used to drive gear for Rites Of Spring. I heard that Joe wanted to play bass in a band, so I called him and said, “Hey, I wanna play some music, but not form a band. Do you wanna play with me?” So we just started to play together.

By this point we had a lot of the early stuff – “Merchandise”, “Waiting Room”, “Bad Mouth” – but I still wasn’t thinking we’d be a band. I’d known Brendan [Canty] and Guy [Picciotto] since 1980 or ’81, they were in Happy Go Licky by this point, so I asked if Brendan wanted to play drums with me and Joe. That really changed the way we sounded – he has his own style of playing, he’s an absolutely brilliant musician. At some point Brendan took a break and we tried all these different drummers, including Dave Grohl.

But Brendan came back, as Happy Go Licky were kind of part-time. So we started playing again. On September 3, 1987, we did our first show. We kept trying to get Guy to play with us, because he was around all the time and Brendan and Guy were pretty inseparable. The original idea of Fugazi was that it was gonna be a revolving cast of people in the band, all sorts of guest musicians and different singers. But Guy couldn’t see a role for himself. At our third show, he hung at the side of the stage, singing backups, and then the fourth show we went down to Richmond, North Carolina, and he came with us. We became more of a group. In October, he sang his first Fugazi song, “Break-In”, and that was incredible.

Read much more about Fugazi in the April 2021 issue of Uncut, out now with The Who’s Pete Townshend on the cover and available to buy direct from us here.

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Michael Bonner Paul Weller announces new album Fat Pop (Volume 1)

Paul Weller has announced details of a new studio album, Fat Pop (Volume 1).

The album is released by Polydor on May 14.

Weller is joined by his core band members (drummer Ben Gordelier, Steve Cradock on guitar and bassist Andy Crofts) as well as a number of guests including Andy Fairweather Low (“Testify”), Leah Weller (“Shades Of Blue”) and The Mysterines’ Lia Metcalfe (“True”). Steve Cradock has co-written “Still Glides The Stream”.

Tracklisting for Fat Pop (Volume 1) is:

Cosmic Fringes
True
Fat Pop
Shade Of Blue
Glad Fimes
Cobweb/Connections
Testify
That Pleasure
Failed
Moving Canvas
In Better Times
Still Glides The Stream

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Michael Bonner Nick Cave and Warren Ellis release new album, Carnage

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have released a new album, Carnage.

Cave describes the album as, “a brutal but very beautiful record nested in a communal catastrophe.”
“Making Carnage was an accelerated process of intense creativity,” says Ellis, “the eight songs were there in one form or another within the first two and a half days.”

The pair have recorded numerous, film, TV and theatre soundtracks together, although this is the first time they have recorded a proper album between them.

Ellis first played with the Bad Seeds in 1993, prior to joining the band as a full time member. The two have also recorded as Grinderman, formed in 2006, with sundry Bad Seeds.

Carnage is out now on Goliath Records on all digital platforms. Vinyl & CD will be released on 28 May – Pre-order here.

Tracklisting is:

Hand of God
Old Time
Carnage
White Elephant
Albuquerque
Lavender Fields
Shattered Ground
Balcony Man

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Sharon O’Connell Mogwai: Album By Album

Founded in 1995 and initially a trio, Glasgow’s Mogwai made their debut with “Tuner/Lower”, a self-pressed seven-inch in thrall to Slint and Codeine. They went on to synthesise post-rock, metal, slow-core, instrumental soundtracks, Krautrock and electronica into something distinctively their own, moving well beyond the “quiet/loud” aesthetic that dominated their early years. Their reach has encompassed a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf”, on obscure, absurdly titled split single “Two Sonic Scratches Of The Big Bad Rock Arse”, substantial remix projects and scores for art movies, such as the cultish and acclaimed Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait. As they release their latest studio set, As The Love Continues, Mogwai reassess the highs and happenstance of an impressive career.

YOUNG TEAM
CHEMIKAL UNDERGROUND, 1997
Demonstrating from the off a disregard for recording conventions, Mogwai wrote a set of brand new songs for their debut, defining the formidable quiet/loud dynamic that was their early trademark
STUART BRAITHWAITE: We made it really hard for ourselves, because we’d done a lot of singles but since we were all really obsessed with Joy Division, we didn’t want to put any of them on the album. Plus, we gave ourselves a deadline with a release date, which makes no sense for a band’s first record, but I was 20 and John [Cummings] was only 18, so everything was new to us. We should have realised that if all those early seven-inches had only sold 500 copies, then it didn’t really matter if we re-recorded some of the songs, like “New Paths To Helicon, Pt. 2”, which was one of our best. After making a load of seven-inches, we were excited
by being able to have these long songs and “Like Herod” is a bit like Nirvana’s “Endless Nameless” – and like Slint. It’s still fun to play live; we always get a laugh when people aren’t paying much attention to begin with and then shit themselves.
JOHN CUMMINGS: In terms of being aware at the time of whether “Like Herod” was a “stayer”, I don’t think then we’d even considered that the band was a stayer. Just the fact that we were being allowed to record an album was more than we could have hoped for. It’s not the kind of thing you presume when you’re selling 500 seven-inches – that someone’s going to give you a few thousand pounds to go into the studio for a month.

COME ON
DIE YOUNG
CHEMIKAL UNDERGROUND, 1999
Producer Dave Fridmann steered the experimentalism that quickly became vital to Mogwai’s sound, but this was a powerful set of surprisingly spare and fx-free songs.
DOMINIC AITCHISON: I was very happy with getting Dave Fridmann in, because I was a huge Mercury Rev fan at the time and also it gave us the opportunity to go off to America to record. It was painless to make, because we had it finished before we went out there to record, the only time we’ve done that. A lot of the songs are sparse and downbeat and he didn’t really mess with them at all; he was quite hands-off. But my abiding memory is Dave recording something onto what was practically fence wire; it was the most odd-looking, antiquated stuff ever and produced really low-grade recordings that made everything sound incredibly distorted and quite primitive.
JOHN: Dave’s very quiet, pragmatic and a really nice guy – not what we were expecting. Yes, it was a wee bit disappointing, but it doesn’t make the record sound any less good. That wasn’t due to magic, it was due to someone knowing what they were doing and that was very inspiring.
STUART: At the time, we thought we could have done better with the first album and that we were flying by the seat of our pants, so we really had a mission with the second record, to make it something pretty special. As ill-prepared as the first one was, this was meticulously prepared and we wanted it to be different. We’d been doing the quiet/loud thing and wanted to show we could do more than that. The reason we went with Dave was because we heard Deserter’s Songs and it sounded really lush and special, and Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space had just come out. In our heads we thought we were doing something a bit like that, but to me now, the point of comparison for CODY is the early Cure records – very dark and kind of frosty. Dave’s studio is in upstate New York, in the middle of nowhere. I remember saying I was going to go for a walk and he told me to watch out. So I went out and someone had these wild wolves on chains in their garden. I saw a snake… I never went out again. Wayne Coyne would apparently go out with a stick and just bash things, but he was running. I was not running.

ROCK ACTION
PIAS/SOUTHPAW, 2001
A big budget saw (some of) the band going bonkers. Multi-instrumentalist Barry Burns made his mark and a strong electronic/synth element was introduced. As was a banjo.
DOMINIC: We went to Dave [Fridmann]’s studio and recorded all the band stuff, then Martin and myself went back home for three weeks and Barry, John and Stuart went down to New York City to do all the overdubs. They did the best partying ever there, but they didn’t do much recording and everybody reconvened three weeks later to mix it. Me and Martin got sent CDs of what they’d done in that time and we were both so pissed off. It was clear they’d done nothing. I told them to their faces I was pissed off they hadn’t done any work, but I was actually just pissed off I’d missed out on three weeks of running around New York having a right old laugh! Looking back, it’s utterly mortifying the amount of wastage around that album.
STUART: You can’t make music in Manhattan, unless maybe you’re from there and you’re oblivious to what an awful amount of fun there is, constantly happening. We recorded a lot of songs, but the record’s really short – around 38 minutes. It’s got some good songs on it and it’s really lovely sounding, but the sound we started out making had become kind of predictable and there were an awful lot of bands around making wash-y, long instrumental songs, so we did have a plan, which was to do something different. But we needed more of a plan than that.

HAPPY SONGS FOR HAPPY PEOPLE
PIAS, 2003
Label personnel changes, a departed manager and a shift in the musical climate disturbed the picture. Mogwai moved even further towards a more subdued sound
JOHN: The making of this was more influenced by what we’d done with Rock Action, in terms of the size of it [41 minutes] and the time spent on it, the best part of three months. It’s an interesting bridging record. Stuart got a laptop, I was messing about with sequencers and bleeps and bloops. There’s more of that on the albums that followed.
DOMINIC: I think we all realised that Rock Action should have been a lot better than it was and I felt we’d blown it a bit. We had quite a lot of songs for this album and not a lot of it was fully formed beforehand. We had no idea what it was going to be like until it was mixed and it’s probably one of my favourites. It could have turned out absolutely shite and I’m the pessimist; I always think a record’s going to be terrible until it’s done, so it was a brilliant surprise that it came together.
STUART: I was fairly conscious that people weren’t as excited about what we were doing as they’d been before, because the musical climate had changed. People became interested in more overtly retro music, like The Strokes, and it felt like at this point in particular, we had to make a really good record. We’ve always felt that, of course, but around that time we did feel the pressure, though I wouldn’t be surprised if that was only me. But we stood firm and it actually worked out well.

MR BEAST
PIAS, 2006
A curiously hybrid creation, heavy on the ambient instrumentals, lighter on the vocals and too long in the cooking, although it featured Cummings’ monstrous “Glasgow Mega-Snake”
STUART: It was our first time recording at Castle Of Doom, which is owned by us and [producer] Tony Doogan and has been in three different locations. This time, it was in a weird building in Glasgow’s West End, where the control room was up a floor from the live room. It worked very strangely – I think we had those baby monitors – but it was fun. Mr Beast seems to be the LP people like more as the years go by, but it’s not my favourite; it’s very polished. I’m immensely fond of Alan [McGee, Mogwai’s then manager] as a personality and he’s quite like us, but the way he projects himself is utterly dissimilar to us. I wasn’t very happy when he said Mr Beast was “possibly better than Loveless”, because I’m friends with Kevin [Shields] and the last thing you want is to be used as some point scorer between two of your friends who aren’t getting on. It’s certainly not the kind of comment any of us would ever make, but…
DOMINIC: We had a long time to work on the album – about two months – so we ended up really messing about with the songs. I can’t listen to it now, it seems so over-produced and slick. It’s not the way we sound, which is not a reflection of Tony’s recording skills – it was our decision to keep tinkering and we’ll never do that again. We’ve realised that strict deadlines work well for us, because we are inherently quite lazy.

THE HAWK IS HOWLING
PIAS/WALL OF SOUND, 2008
Entirely instrumental and the product of a failed commission, but Mogwai delivered some compellingly heavy tracks – and comically deadpan titles
DOMINIC: We’d been asked to do the music for a South American film and had been given a time frame of five days, so we pulled this music for it out of thin air. We were happy with what we’d produced, but they hated it and sacked us, so we reworked a lot of that music for The Hawk…. We had a brilliant time recording it and it’s really good fun to play live, although it’s really dour
and probably a little bit too one-note.
STUART: The track with Roky Erickson [a Japanese bonus track] was supposed to be on Mr Beast, but it took a lot longer to organise than we expected. I went over to Austin and went into the studio with him, so that was a really special thing to happen. He was lovely; he’s been in the wars, but he was really nice. And he’s a proper legend.
JOHN: “I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead” was a concerted attempt to come up with a song title that mentioned Jim Morrison, without being too base. “Jim Morrison, American Prick” was a phrase we’d enjoyed, although it hadn’t been assigned to any piece of music, but we thought it was too childish. And there’s no need to be so vulgar.

HARDCORE WILL NEVER DIE, BUT YOU WILL
ROCK ACTION, 2011
All things are relative, but some surprisingly poppy tunes surfaced on Mogwai’s seventh album and their love of motorik grooves kicked in seriously
STUART: By this point, Barry had moved to Germany and we had quite an intense period of getting together and rehearsing, so that was a factor in that we didn’t really have much time to think about what we were doing. Dominic said he thought that my guitar on “George Square Thatcher Death Party” sounded like The Killers. I remember playing it to Arthur Baker before we finished it and he was totally adamant that we should have proper vocals on it. He said it was the only song we had that could ever possibly get played on the radio.
JOHN: What strikes me about it now is its relative poppiness. Certainly a few of the songs I had written I hadn’t written for Mogwai, particularly; I’d just been messing about and didn’t think they were appropriate. “Mexican Grand Prix” was just a wee Casio, Krautrock-sounding thing and when I was playing about I managed to get a computer to sing, although I can’t remember how I did it. You can put a Neu! drumbeat on anything, so I hadn’t really expected us to make much of that.
DOMINIC: I have absolutely no idea where these upbeat songs came from, but again, we don’t really know the direction a record’s taking until it’s nearly done. I definitely raised my eyebrows when I first heard “George Square Thatcher Death Party” because I thought it was too straight-ahead and not like us, but it was fun to play and it sat well when we were sequencing the album. A lot of long-term Mogwai fans absolutely hate that tune.

LES REVENANTS, OST
ROCK ACTION, 2013
The French television series (The Returned) about a mountain town visited by a number of dead former inhabitants was given the moody and minimalist Mogwai treatment, to stylishly spooky effect
JOHN: The director and writer had wanted music in advance of filming, to set the tone and make sure we were on the same page, so we were writing blind. We’d read the first couple of episodes in English, plus a rough synopsis of the rest of the series, but that was really all we had to go on. It was difficult to put a finger on until they’d started filming, but by that point they’d already decided in large part the kind of music that they wanted. We’d just been writing stuff and sending it to them and they’d been saying either, “That’s not quite right for this” or “Yeah, that’s perfect”. Maybe of the 40 things we’d send them, they’d be into 10 or 15 of them, so we’d work further on those. It certainly fell into place once we had seen the first four episodes and heard how they were using our demos. We only formed the complete pieces on the album after we’d done the music for the series. We didn’t want to have a soundtrack album with a minute-and-a-half crescendo that just stops, but nor did we want to have a badly edited piece of music just put onto a random scene. We wanted to make music tailored for the scenes it was being used on and also to have songs that you could put on an actual album, so we did them separately. It could have ended up being cobbled together pretty badly, but it was very satisfying that it all came together. It was great.

RAVE TAPES
ROCK ACTION, 2014
The horror! Mogwai source ’70s Italian prog and video nasty soundtracks alongside Krautrock, via heavy use of Burns’ vintage modular synth
STUART: I think the feel of Les Revenants seeped into Rave Tapes a little bit, and because we did them both in Castle Of Doom it felt like part of the same thing. We were listening to an awful lot of horror film soundtracks – Goblin, Fabio Frizzi, John Carpenter, Morricone’s theme to The Exorcist II… we’re not good enough to do anything like it, but it’s amazing stuff. I think Boards Of Canada are of the same mind; I can hear a lot of that on their latest record. The title “Repelish” is a word that Martin [Bulloch]’s mum uses when she wants another drink; she means “replenish”.
DOMINIC: Barry had recently bought all of this absolutely demented keyboard equipment and he has his own studio space in Berlin, where he’d go and record all of these demos, so we’d get these really crazy, John Carpenter-esque… squelches, basically. We’d all been listening to a lot of ’70s horror soundtracks and although I’d seen most of the films, I’d forgotten about the music, but ever since Death Waltz started putting out all these soundtrack vinyl reissues, I’m hooked. It’s like football stickers when I was a kid; it doesn’t matter what label it’s on – if it’s on lurid vinyl and it’s from a video nasty, I’m buying it. Because they were recorded quickly, there’s a chaotic charm to a lot of these soundtracks. They’re quite rough around the edges and that’s a big part of the appeal for me; they’re the complete opposite of big Hollywood soundtracks.

AS THE LOVE CONTINUES
ROCK ACTION, 2021
25 years since their first EP, their 10th album is a career peak
STUART: 
We were due to go over to [producer] Dave’s [Fridmann] studio in New York in May, but obviously that couldn’t happen.
So we found an amazing place in Worcestershire [Vada Studios] instead. Dave was still really involved, on a live Zoom call, while we were playing, which had a weird Wizard Of Oz vibe about it. In a funny way, I think it kind of helped the record. Dave wanted us to do at least one thing that we wouldn’t normally do for each song. So if we were going up one avenue, he’d want a complete U-turn and try for something completely different. He definitely kept us on our toes, so as not to make the same record again. We were talking about getting some other people in too. We’ve already collaborated with Atticus [Ross] on the Before The Flood soundtrack [2016 documentary about climate change], so we knew that was something that was going to work. The one with him on it [“Midnight Flit”] is quite a big production, with a full string section. Quite epic. And we’re all really big fans of Colin Stetson [Arcade Fire, Bon Iver], so he’s on the record as well. “Ritchie Sacramento” has vocals on it. Bob Nastanovich put up a post a year after David Berman had died. The first line of the song is based on something that David had said when they were all drunk at college and he threw a mop at a sports car.
I asked Bob if he’d mind me using it in a song.

Thanks to Rob Hughes

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Sam Richards Paul McCartney announces new lyric-based memoir

Paul McCartney has revealed details of a new book, The Lyrics: 1956 To The Present, to be published by Allen Lane on November 2.

Described as “a self-portrait in 154 songs”, it features the definitive lyrics to McCartney’s best-known songs along with his commentary describing the circumstances in which they were written, the people and places that inspired them, and what he thinks of them now. The book will also include never-before-seen drafts, letters and photographs from McCartney’s personal archive.

“More often than I can count, I’ve been asked if I would write an autobiography, but the time has never been right,” says McCartney. “The one thing I’ve always managed to do, whether at home or on the road, is to write new songs. I know that some people, when they get to a certain age, like to go to a diary to recall day-to-day events from the past, but I have no such notebooks. What I do have are my songs, hundreds of them, which I’ve learned serve much the same purpose. And these songs span my entire life.

“I hope that what I’ve written will show people something about my songs and my life which they haven’t seen before. I’ve tried to say something about how the music happens and what it means to me and I hope what it may mean to others too.”

Adds editor Paul Muldoon: “Based on conversations I had with Paul McCartney over a five year period, these commentaries are as close to an autobiography as we may ever come. His insights into his own artistic process confirm a notion at which we had but guessed — that Paul McCartney is a major literary figure who draws upon, and extends, the long tradition of poetry in English.”

Watch a video trailer for The Lyrics: 1956 To The Present below:

The post Paul McCartney announces new lyric-based memoir appeared first on UNCUT.

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Sam Richards Spiritualized launch The Spaceman Reissue Program

Spiritualized have announced new vinyl versions of their first four albums as part of what they’re calling “The Spaceman Reissue Program”, via Fat Possum.

First up is their 1992 debut Lazer Guided Melodies on April 23. The album comes pressed on 180g double vinyl mastered from a half speed lacquer cut from original sources by Alchemy Mastering, presented in a gatefold jacket with reworked art by Mark Farrow.

It will be available in both a standard black vinyl pressing and limited edition white vinyl exclusive to indie retail and the band’s own webstore (where you can also find new Lazer Guided Melodies merch).

Recalling the process of making Lazer Guided Melodies, Jason Pierce says: “We recorded the tracks in the studio near my flat which was a place where they predominantly recorded advertising jingles and it’s where we made all the Spacemen 3 records, but then the recordings were taken to Battery Studios in London, to explore a more professional way of making music… Once I approached that way of doing things it opened up a whole world and I was astounded that somebody could take those tracks and turn it into the record it became…”

Details on the next albums in The Spaceman Reissue Program – Pure Phase (1995), Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space (1997) and Let It Come Down (2001) – will be announced soon.

The post Spiritualized launch The Spaceman Reissue Program appeared first on UNCUT.

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Sam Richards Unpublished Jim Morrison writings collected in new anthology

HarperCollins will publish The Collected Works Of Jim Morrison on June 10, a mammoth 600-page tome compiling most of The Doors frontman’s previously published work, along with unseen notebooks, journals, poetry, song lyrics, drawings and photos.

Roughly half the book consists of unseen material. This includes unrecorded lyrics and handwritten excerpts from 28 recently discovered notebooks, including Morrison’s thoughts on his 1970 trial for obscenity and what are to believed to his last ever writings before his death in Paris the following year.

The book will feature a foreword by novelist Tom Robbins and a prologue by Morrison’s sister, Anne Morrison Chewning. An audiobook version will include the first ever release of Morrison’s final poetry recording session, from December 1970.

Pre-order The Collected Works Of Jim Morrison here.

The post Unpublished Jim Morrison writings collected in new anthology appeared first on UNCUT.

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