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UNCUT December 2020 #283

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Published by BandLab UK Limited. Uncut is the essential magazine about rock music, written by people who love that music as much as you do. Every month, it features the most comprehensive and trustworthy album reviews section in the world. There are in-depth interviews with the finest musicians of the past five decades, and with the exciting new artists who are following in their great tradition. Insightful, informative, passionate about extraordinary music – that’s Uncut.

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United Kingdom
Bandlab UK Limited
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

“ThingsI found outthrough hard times and good/I wrote ’em all out in ink and blood” I’VE been thinking a lot recently about the responsibilities facing musicians at the moment, in particular how they might address what’s going on in the world right now. Should they offer an escape from reality or should musicians instead hold to account those who seek, in one way or another, to undermine our democracy and broader cultural values? This month’s Uncut offers a couple of different perspectives on this knotty problem. There’s Drive-By Truckers, who return with their second album of the year, The New OK, which is a fierce response to the strange and terrifying events that have dominated 2020. “I owe it to my kids to do everything in my power to change this shit,”…

5 min.
kool thing

“I always wanted to be an artist – music was just something I fell into” KIM GORDON IN contrast to her sometimes painfully raw 2015 autobiography Girl In A Band, written in the aftermath of the break-up of both her marriage to Thurston Moore and their group Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon’s new book, No Icon, was a breeze to put together. “This was basically just sifting through pictures – it’s not like writing, so it was pretty painless,” Gordon confirms down the phone from Los Angeles. Her main struggle was with embarrassment over “some outfits that I thought were really bad. But after a certain amount of time you’re like, fuck it!” Her aims for No Icon may be modest – “They did one of Chloë Sevigny, which I wrote an intro…

3 min.
“i was savvy enough to take control”

IN 1979, Evie Sands became one of the first women to co-produce her own LP – Suspended Animation, which had Dusty Springfield on backing vocals – and four decades later she is still doing things for herself. Her latest album, Get Out Of Your Own Way, has been released on her own label and is filled with the sort of upbeat blue-eyed soul that made her 1966 single “Picture Me Gone” a northern soul classic. “I’m a proud, badge-wearing DIYer with my own label,” she says. “I love collaboration but I have a problem with the gatekeepers who have fixed ideas and shut the gate for non-artistic reasons and the various isms – sexism and ageism.” “If you have a really good song you can do it any number of ways” In…

3 min.
roll on, john

IN a famous sequence of photos used extensively on the sleeve of 1970’s Self Portrait, a bearded, smiling Bob Dylan messes around with chickens by a farmyard barn and stands in woodland, head turned to the sunny upstate New York sky. The images defined his bucolic retreat into family life in Woodstock for a generation of fans. But this was not Bob’s beautiful home, and this was not Bob’s beautiful life. The chickens actually belonged to the photographer John Cohen, who had snapped Dylan at his place in Putnam Valley, New York, back in 1966. It’s just one example of Cohen’s vital, under-the-radar presence in 20th century pop culture, as folk musician, photographer and filmmaker, from working on the Beat film Pull My Daisy (1959) to providing a snatch of Peruvian…

3 min.
sisters of the moog

SINCE the dawn of electronic music, women have been at the vanguard of tape manipulation, primitive sampling, software design and radiophonic circuit-bending. And yet groundbreaking electronic explorers like Clara Rockmore, Delia Derbyshire, Daphne Oram, Éliane Radigue and Laurie Spiegel have been undervalued and overlooked; even at their creative peak, many were forbidden to call themselves composers. Lisa Rovner, director of terrific new documentary Sisters With Transistors, argues that these woman were feminist heroines, challenging patriarchal power and privilege simply by making noise. “The history of women has been a history of silence,” Rovner tells Uncut. “Women haven’t really had the space, the attention to be celebrated as pioneers. But I think that way of telling stories is changing. We’re realising the ‘sole white male genius’ is not reality, it’s a constructed…

1 min.
a quick one

Gimme some truth! Celebrating what would have been his 80th birthday, our Deluxe Ultimate Music Guide to JohnLennon is now in shops (and available from Uncut.co.uk). Every album reviewed. Amazing interviews rediscovered. Also includes Yoko on John, his top 30 songs, and a trip inside the making of the new Ultimate Collection boxsets… This year’s Secret 7 ” exhibition is currently open at the NOW Gallery, London SE10. On display are 700 sleeves anonymously created by artists such as AnishKapoor, MichelGondry and JeremyDeller for singles including Bob Dylan’s “Blind Willie McTell” and ArethaFranklin’s “One Step Ahead”. The charity auction takes place via eBay on November 1… An apology: last issue we assigned the wrong score to Richard Williams’ review of OliverMurray’s documentary film Ronnie’s. It should have been 9/10……