Archive for Uncut Magazine

We Wish We’d Included Violet Woods, Amen Dunes, And Angel Olsen On The 2014 Tulip Frenzy Top 10 List

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 4, 2015 by johnbuckley100

It always happens.  We publish the Tulip Frenzy Top 10 List and then discover, often from others’ lists, recs we missed.  So before we tell you what we overlooked, let’s give thanks where it’s due.

From Uncut, we learned about Violet Woods.  From former Woods bassist Kevin Morby, we were turned on to The Amen Dunes.  And from NPR’s Bob Boilen, we learned of Angel Olsen.  Thank you all.

On the self-titled Violet Woods, Fuzzy Lights frontman Xavier — that’s the full name listed in the Uncut write-up — takes us on a quiet ride through British psych pop, and it is sonically gorgeous.  (We hadn’t heard of the Fuzzy Lights either, but that’s a different story.  Let’s just say that Violet Woods is Xavier’s louder band.)  We’re used to smart rock coming out of Cambridge, from Syd Barrett to the Soft Boys to Radiohead, but this is unpretentious guitar jangle that will be reassuringly familiar to anyone who loved The Perfect Disaster or Luna.  If you like Temples, think of  Violet Woods as the quieter, prettier sibling who was grokking on the San Francisco bands, not T. Rex.  We will be listening to this ‘un well into 2015.

That Kevin Morby, whom we admire, felt so strongly about Love, the new album by fellow Brooklynites Amen Dunes, to list it as Numero Uno on his top ten list made us sit up and take notice.  Cut from the same cloth as Kurt Vile and Devendra Banhart, Damon McMahon produces dreamy, droney low-fi pop that can lull and excite at the same time.  It’s a hard combination to pull off, soporific adrenaline, but on the marvelous Love, McMahon and his fellow musicians — usually acoustic guitar, a cello, little to no percussion — produce music for a cold and snowy day.  Gorgeous.

On Burn Your Fire For No Witness, Angel Olsen and a small combo alternately showcase her strikingly emotional quaver against a minimalist acoustic framework and kick the doors down.  It’s a similar dynamic to the one PJ Harvey puts to use, which we know is a hard comparison for a young artist to be saddled with, but yeah.  Angel Olsen’s antecedents are all those strong women who came down out of Appalachian hollers and caused jaws to drop in Nashville, Austin, and New York.  On this album, you have a perfectly self-contained combination of artist and musicians who mesmerize with the rhythm of their counterpoint between hard and soft, hot and cold.

The Uncut Music Award 2012 Longlist

Posted in Music with tags on September 24, 2012 by johnbuckley100

Every year around this time, Uncut Magazine lists the albums in consideration for their Music Awards, the shortlist of which is announced usually around mid-November.  It’s an odd approach, dictated by the necessities of long-lead magazine publishing, because they turn what in essence is their Top 10 list of music from a given year to a cohort culled from a September to September calendar.  Thus, for example, Wilco’s The Whole Love is cited on the 2012 Longlist, even though to our linear, Western-calendar mind, that album isn’t in consideration, because it came out a year ago.

What is oddest about their list this year is how so much of Calendar Year 2012’s best music isn’t on it.  Okay, they have Ty Segall and White Fence’s Hair, which Tulip Frenzy readers should know right now is going to loom large in our Top Ten list, published in time for Christmas shopping.  But where is Spiritualized?  Cat Power?  Patti Smith?  We appreciate seeing Dr. John on the list, but we wonder: with Laura Marling, Dexy’s, and Richard Hawley on the list, is this going to be another one of those years when they try selling us the hooey that Portishead or Joanna Newsom deserve such honors?

Lovely Joe Strummer Cover Story In September Uncut

Posted in Music with tags , , on July 28, 2012 by johnbuckley100

We’d link to it, but there is no link yet.  Available on the just-released edition that surfaces in the Uncut iPad App.  The Chris Salewicz piece covers the period between Joe’s ditching the fake Clash Mk. II, and his time with the Mescaleros, and while it goes over ground familiar to obsessives who’ve read all the books and seen all the movies, it is a reminder of Joe’s rise-fall-redemption cycle.  Lucky enough to have seen the bookend U.S. performances — from the Clash’s arrival at the Palladium during their Pearl Harbor Tour in February 1979, to the Mescalero’s performance at the 930 Club a few weeks after 9/11 — and many in between, it’s a reminder of how Strummer was both hero and human, a concocted persona as authentic as any of his fellow rock’n’roll greats.

Ah, And Now Graham Lewis’s Take On Early Wire

Posted in Music with tags , , , on January 16, 2011 by johnbuckley100

From the same issue of Uncut:

On forming Wire:

(Wire) weren’t a punk group.  We didn’t join up for that… We weren’t interested in doing rock’n’roll – that was the ’50s..  We were interested in making a piece of art, and that was the group.  Bruce talked about it being a living sculpture.

Wire’s Colin Newman Has The Last Word On “Post-Punk”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 15, 2011 by johnbuckley100

As a sidebar to a pretty great review of Wire’s excellent new Red Barked Tree, Uncut  does a mini interview with Colin Newman.  We quote:

You made a big break with your older material when you reformed in the 1980s, didn’t you?

Newman: It was about context.  Pop historians talk about “post-punk” but there was no such thing.  What there was was pop.  People were bored to death with punk rock: if you were more adventurous, you were getting into music from different countries.  Bruce’s decision to re-invent the band wasn’t conceptually a bad idea, but we were misunderstood.

Hans Chew’s “Tennessee And Other Stories”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 9, 2010 by johnbuckley100

Our friends at Uncut sure know how to get a guy curious, what with describing the previously unknown (to us anyway) Hans Chew’s solo album Tennessee and Other Stories as something that could have been palmed off as a great lost album from 1970.  They larded it on a little thick, or so we thought, with comparisons to the Band and Nicky Hopkins.  But here’s the thing: they maybe understated.

Okay, not living in Brooklyn we’ve missed Hans’ shows with the late Jack Rose and with D. Charles Speer and the Helix.  Now that latter group may sound like the house band in Peenemunde, as V2 rockets magically arc and fall on London leaving gravity’s rainbow as a screaming comes across the sky. ‘Stead they’re a potent tea bag steeped in the primo brew of American moonshine, and one of their strengths is the way Chew radiates the 88, like Leon Russell in his heyday.

In fact, if there is a reference point that really nails what you’ll hear on Tennessee, it’s that original Leon Russell album, only instead of Clapton and Ringo sitting in, Chew’s sufficiently multidextrous as to be able to have recorded, from what we can tell, the whole thing mostly by himself.

A few weeks ago, we were stunned to hear Deer Tick’s amazing song “Mange,” which sounded like it had been marinating in a tin container since about the night of the Watergate break-in.  But Chew’s done something possibly more wondrous: he has rendered the sounds of Mad Delaney and the Dominos jamming with circa-Your Saving Grace Steve Miller and Little Feet as recognizable, and as classic, as all those old musicians Dylan tapped into on The Basement Tapes.  Professor Longhair jamming with the Stones as they record Beggars Banquet, breaking only for Nicky Hopkins to trade solos with Ry Cooder — you got it, and you better get it, Tennessee and Other Stories by Hans Chew.

Thanks Uncut, For The Deadstring Brothers, Shaky Hands

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on March 13, 2010 by johnbuckley100

In the Uncut Magazine that serves up heaping platters of remembrance and enigmatic quotes from The Glimmer Twins about the upcoming archaeological exhibit from Exile On Main Street, they include their wonderful monthly gift of a free CD, this time comprising bands that sound like they’ve spent as much time listening to the Stones as the gang at Tulip Frenzy.  Now, some of the usual suspects are present — components of the Drive-By Truckers, Dan Baird — and yet there are some notable omissions — how can you have a compilation of Stones soundalikes without anything by Izzy Stradlin and the Ju-Ju Hounds?  There are also a number of bands/artists featured that we’d either never heard of or never taken the plunge for, e.g. Deer Tick, Israel Nash Gripka.  However, there are two stand-outs so worthy of  breaking out of the pack that we choose to feature them here:

The Deadstring Brothers

The Michigan-based Deadstring Brothers are showcased with a song called “Houston” from their 2009 album Sao Paolo, and as an intro, it’s a pretty good reminder that in the early ’70s, the Stones were as much an influence on Southern Rock as on the culture at large.  I mean, “Houston” could as easily be featured on a Lynyrd Skynyrd homage.  However, the title track sounds like what might have happened if Oscar-award winner Ryan Bingham had stumbled onto the set of Performance, as it has almost perfect Ry Cooder-Keef jamming chops underneath a scratchy-voiced, hair-chested vocal.  And the whole album stakes out that region between Dallas, Texas and the Butter Queen and Mick’s estate with the Rolling Stones Mobile Truck parked out front to record Sticky Fingers. Maybe throw in Big Pink in Woodstock for a full sense of the geography they cover. What a revelation these guys are!  Nicky Hopkins has clearly come back from the dead to play the piano pieces, and is that Merry Clayton and Kathi McDonald on the backup vocals?  Sao Paolo should have been on everyone’s Top Ten list from 2009, and here’s the good news: these guys are prolific, and promise more stuff in 2010.

The Shaky Hands

This Portland, Oregon combo come out of a different Stones tradition, and interestingly enough given their rainy surroundings, it’s not the one where they’re woodshedding in Redlands with John Phillips and Marianne Faithful’s Milky Way bar.  On their 2009 release Let It Die, The Shaky Hands prove they come more out of the pop-anthemic “Start Me Up” school of Stones classicism. Remember how great that first Kings Of Leon album sounded?  You’ll love these guys: tight and twisted three-chord rockers with throbbing beats and a lead guitarist who probably thinks Steve Cropper’s guitar solos had too many notes in ’em.

Thank you Uncut for turning us on to these two bands in particular.

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