January 2022

Launched in 1993, MOJO celebrates the stories of music's all-time greats. It does this through expertly written, insightful features and exclusive, in-depth interviews. MOJO also finds and recommends new music of quality and integrity, so if you want to read about the classics of now and tomorrow, it is definitely the music magazine for you. As founding editor Paul Du Noyer put it, MOJO has ""the sensibilities of a fanzine and the design values of Vogue."" It's lovingly put together every month by music fanatics with huge knowledge, who share your passion. And because they have unrivalled contacts in the music industry, they bring you the kind of access, news and expertise you won't find anywhere else.

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1 min
this month’s contributors include...

Justin Metz Award winning digital artist Justin Metz’s work has appeared on the covers of Time, The New York Times Magazine and The Atlantic. He enjoys bringing ideas to life and being involved at every stage of the creative process. (He illustrates MOJO’s Lead LP, p81) Grayson Haver Currin Grayson hiked 2,653 miles from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail this Summer before beginning a road trip across the US. He cut the drive short to fly home to North Carolina and trail The Rolling Stones through the American South for MOJO. (See p70). Stephen Worthy MOJO’s Electronica columnist, Stephen has been writing about bleeps for the mag since 2008. This month, he interviews Floating Points’ Sam Shepherd. “I used to see Sam DJ at a sweaty, rammed Plastic People a decade ago,”…

5 min
all back to my place

Robby Krieger HAIL, GUITAR DOOR! What music are you currently grooving to? Well, the stuff I’ve got in my car is Indian music, Ravi Shankar. Jazz too – John Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard, stuff like that. I listen to rock too, but there’s not much I relate to. I’m waiting for the ’60s to start up again! What, if push comes to shove, is your all-time favourite album? It might be Bringing It All Back Home by Bob Dylan. I discovered him while at private school as a teenager. A lot of people hated it when he went electric, but I liked it. I saw him at Long Beach with his electric band while on acid, and really dug it. I know he must’ve been on acid when he wrote Subterranean Homesick Blues. What was the first…

7 min
theories, rants, etc.

NO SPOILERS I PROMISE, BUT THE architect behind MOJO’s favourite album of 2021 describes their masterwork on page 59 as “quite a niche idea”. On the face of it they’re probably right, but that engrossing 46 minutes of music – and again, you really should wait a few pages for the big reveal – tells us something about how our listening habits and tastes can adapt to the moment, and how our range can be far greater than we often assume it to be. Much of 2021, like much of 2020 before it, has been out of necessity contemplative, and we hope the music, books and films we’ve highlighted in MOJO – and, indeed, MOJO itself – have provided some help as we all navigate these difficult times. This issue is…

3 min
mob-la-di, mob-la-da

THE HOT NEWS AND BIZARRE STORIES FROM PLANET MOJO JANUARY 1976, and in his last act before slipping out of the public eye for over four years, John Lennon sat on the witness stand at the US District Court in New York, taking on notorious mob-affiliated record mogul, Morris Levy. “He was the best witness I ever had,” Lennon’s then-lawyer Jay Bergen tells MOJO today. “John was very smart, and we’d spent a lot of time going over the facts.” Bergen had been brought in to oversee the case, which he details in his book, Lennon, The Mobster And The Lawyer, coming in March 2022. The legal fight was sparked by Levy’s release, the previous January, of an album, Roots: John Lennon Sings The Great Rock & Roll Hits. It comprised rough…

4 min
where there’s a will there’s a bill

TERRIFIED BY lockdown inactivity, two of America’s most restless singer-songwriters, Will Oldham and Bill Callahan, decided to host their own Blind Date Party. That’s the title of a new double album recorded last year by the sometime Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, and the man formerly known as Smog. Each an avowed live-in-the-room recording artist, pandemic isolation forced them to get together with musicians from their shared label Drag City’s roster via digital means, over 19 extraordinary cover versions, which they drip-fed online. The tracks have an exploratory and often delirious edge, as party hosts and guests including Matt Sweeney, George Xylouris, Meg Baird, Sean O’Hagan, David Pajo and Six Organs Of Admittance attack songs by authors ranging from Iggy Pop and country star Jerry Jeff Walker, through to fallen heroes David Berman…

2 min
peter hammill

I picked this up in Montreal in ’74. This is how it went when I first listened to it. The album kicks off with an instrumental take of Hey Jude with barely competent horn playing. Hmm. Then the drums join in… and, what, this drummer [Larry Clark] is either completely mad or can’t drum at all. It stumbles along then a whole big band arrives in a hard edit. Second track is a quartet, Marcus on tenor, Herbie Hancock, Miroslav Vitous and Bob Moses (the “proper” drummer). Musicianly ‘A Team’ fusion of the era. Third. Omigod. Clark is back, drumming and singing a verse of Tom Thumb’s Blues. His singing is worse than his drumming. Only a minute long but dreadful. Straight into wild soprano laid over smooth tenor. End…