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UNCUT December 2019 #271

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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.

AS I write this, we’re only a few days into October. But even with a quarter of the year technically left to run, we’re already busying ourselves with our end of year polls. It’s too early to start predicting what our albums of the year will be – you’ll need to come back next month for the finished list – but browsing a version I’ve been keeping of my own favourite albums from 2019, I’m heartened by how much excellent new music there’s been so far. You’ll have read about much of it in the pages of Uncut, of course. This year, we’ve brought you features on younger artists including Jessica Pratt, Big Thief, Jake Xerxes Fussell, Joan Shelley and Angel Olsen, as well as introductory pieces on Olivia Chaney,…

1 min.
doodles of the canyon

Morning Glory On The Vine is a startlingly personal affair “YOU can’t really knock something ’til you know it – inside and out,” writes Joni Mitchell in her breezy, loopy cursive. “I find that then, when you understand it, it’s hard to knock it. You just feel it – laugh or cry.” This valuable pearl of wisdom forms part of Mitchell’s whimsical introduction to Morning Glory On The Vine, a compendium of drawings, poems and handwritten lyrics she had printed up in late 1971 as a Christmas gift for friends. Many of those friends appear in the book, sketched vividly by Mitchell as sharp black outlines filled in with felt-tip: Graham Nash, David Crosby, James Taylor, Judy Collins, Neil Young and others in their Laurel Canyon orbit. The style is familiar from…

3 min.
springsteen, silver screen

IN contrast to his heavily denim-clad appearance in Western Stars , Bruce Springsteen is sauntering casually through a Toronto mall in a slim-fitting black jacket and shirt. As a result, the crowds of local students queuing for film festival tickets at the Yonge-Dundas Cineplex on this warm September morning fail to recognise him. But Springsteen is OK with that; he’s clearly just thrilled with the film, which he is presenting with his co-director, Thom Zimny, to a small coterie of press on the morning of its world premiere. Shot in his barn at Colts Neck, New Jersey, it features live, orchestrated performances of all of Western Stars’ 13 tracks – SoCal country-pop operas telling stories of dying stuntmen, fading stars and lovelorn truckers – as well as a bonus encore of…

3 min.
“every day is different”

“I’VE just hit earth!” says Hannah Peel, as she readjusts to reality after returning from the Emmy Awards in LA, where she was nominated for her soundtrack to Games Of Thrones documentary The Last Watch. It’s been a hectic period for the producer, composer and synth specialist; last year, while in the midst of making an album about the chalk landscapes of southern England with the poet Will Burns (Chalk Hill Blue, released to acclaim this March), she also found herself arranging and conducting the orchestra for Paul Weller’s Royal Festival Hall performances. “I had never scored for an orchestra before,” she reveals. “I don’t know if I would have pushed myself to do it if he hadn’t asked and encouraged me.” The Emmy nomination she says was “huge – a…

3 min.
still out of sight

MARTHA High vividly recalls the night James Brown dropped by, some time in 1965. She and her all-girl R&B group, The Jewels, had just performed at the Howard Theatre in Washington DC when there was a knock at the dressing room door. “We asked who it was and he went, ‘It’s me, James Brown – how y’all doin’?’” says High, doing an uncannily gruff approximation of Brown’s voice. “We were all speechless. He came in, started checking his hair in the mirror and told us how much he’d enjoyed our show. Four months later, at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, he turned up again and said he wanted us to join his live revue. From then on it was amazing.” The other Jewels returned home 18 months later, but High remained…

1 min.
a quick one

What’s the frequency? Right now, it’s all about the Monster-sized, 148-page deluxe edition of our Ultimate Music Guide to REM. New to this edition: the making of “The One I Love”, Mike Mills takes us through the REM vault, and there’s an exclusive afterword by Peter Buck. It’s in shops now, strange currencies accepted… Also on the way next week (October 25) is the latest in our Best Of NME series, this time covering the period 1990-1994: Nirvana, U2, PJ Harvey, Manic Street Preachers, Radiohead, Beastie Boys and the birth of Britpop, as reported in excitable, inky newsprint… Orion Publishing have announced a new music books imprint called White Rabbit. It launches in April 2020 with Mark Lanegan’s grunge-era memoir Sing Backwards And Weep and an “evocative project” by Savages’ frontwoman,…