More Alice Cooper / Pointer Sisters / MC5 / Jay-Z / Korn / Grant Hart

Hello Again! Was that the shortest summer on record, or what?

If you RUN to your newsagent and pick up issue 3 of Planet Rock Magazine – the one with the killer Sabbath feature by outgoing MOJO editor and all-round best-egg Phil Alexander – you’ll be able to read my exhaustive (but hopefully never exhausting) account of the making of Alice Cooper’s School’s Out LP.

I also did a bunch of stuff for the Guardian, including reviewing Jay-Z at the Leeds Festival as he performed much of his soul-blasting 4:44 album, looking back over the career of the brilliant, bonkers Pointer Sisters, running down a checklist of the mighty MC5’s greatest moments, surveying the karnage as Korn played a konkert at Brikston Akademy, and shared a heavy sigh at the news of Grant Hart’s sad, far-too-premature passing.

Stay lucky xx

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Alice Cooper / Living Colour / The Horrors

Hello! I been busy. Get thee to a newsagent. They still exist, right?

I interviewed Alice Cooper for almost three hours on his tourbus as we drove across Minnesota for this piece in the latest issue of MOJO. He was an absolute mensch, and told such amazing stories. Don’t get too close to him when he’s carrying his throwing knives, however. And I have a second Alice piece in the pipeline, which I’ll no doubt bore you about when it reaches the presses.

And I interviewed Vernon Reid and Corey Glover of Living Colour for a six-page career retrospective in the second issue of Planet Rock magazine, currently on sale with a buff gold cover with Freddie Mercury peeking out of it. They were a dream to interview, especially on their sublime second album Time’s Up – their new one, Shade, is a right cracker also.

And I reviewed The Horrors’ recent gig at Omeara for the Guardian, showcasing their excellent, forthcoming new album V. The comments have closed on this I’m afraid, so you’ve lost your opportunity to tell me what you thought of the gig even though you weren’t there.



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Have you ever thought, “Hmm, this blog is okay but I wish I could LISTEN to it as well as read it”? Of course you haven’t. Nobody ever would! But I have only gone and knocked together a Spotify playlist of the best tunes of the year that I’ll be adding to as the weeks wear on. It’s by no means exhaustive, sequenced in no particular order (because I can’t figure out how to), limited to one track per LP (otherwise you’d have several a-piece from Thundercat and Once & Future Band). But it sounds awesome, even worth wading through THE WORST RADIO ADS OF ALL TIME to listen to.


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Chris Cornell RIP

I wish there was another reason to be updating the blog. RIP Chris.

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At The Drive-In in MOJO and Kerrang! / Thundercat, The Internet and Anderson .Paak, live / ON THE RADIO, OOH WOAH WOAH WOAH

Every time I update I apologise for taking so long to update and promise to update sooner next time around. And every time, dear reader, I let you down. My bad. But here goes.

Those herculean human Pepperamis, with ants in their pants and a fearsome, irresistible punk-rock fidget propelling their bones, At The Drive In are back, with their first album in 17 years – a slab of super-compelling agit-rock pell mell that has no business being as good as it is. I get deep into the maw of their gnarly formation, their ecstatic rise and their tragic demise – along with their life-affirming reunion – in the pages of the current MOJO. You should buy it, because MOJO is what great magazines look like. Also, they have The Beatles on the cover, whose music I’ve never heard but am informed is really rather good.

I also focus on the making of their infernally thrilling new album in*ter a*li*a (the title of which is enough to give career subs fatal conniptions, but so be it) in the latest edition of Kerrang!. It’s a weekly, though, so don’t dawdle, nab a copy now.

It’s not all thrashy be-afroed punk-rock around here, though. I also reviewed a slew of stellar funk for the Guardian (though The Internet turned out to be sizeably less-stellar in the flesh than on vinyl). Thundercat was the finest of a killer bunch – seriously, his latest album Drunk is a masterpiece, and the future-jazz contortions he pulls his tunes into onstage have to be heard to be believed – but Anderson .Paak put on a hell of a show, too.

Most recently, in the company of wonderful regulars Andrew Harrison and Matt Hall and fellow newcomer Rebecca Nicholson, I rambled about Paul Weller, Jane Weaver, House music and, ever so briefly, my beloved Feral Ohms, for the Bigmouth podcast. Give it a listen. It’s very big among dog-walkers, apparently, but really there’s no canine required.

And that’s all she wrote. Give it six months or so, and I’ll manage another update, I reckon. No promises, though.

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Lift To Experience in the new MOJO

Buy the new issue of MOJO! There’s Ray Davies of the Kinks (you knew that already of course) on the cover! And Neil Young! And Suggs! That’s three of my favourite music dudes of all time right there.


But hey. There’s also six pages on quixotic Texan power-gaze trio Lift To Experience, whose sole album, The Texas/Jerusalem Crossroads, is getting a deluxe reissue soon, complete with a sonic buffing that turns a masterpiece into a masterpiece that’s also a MONSTER.

Anyway, I’m writing this here because I wrote the feature, my fourth long piece of writing on Josh T Pearson and his sonic ouevre so far, by my reckoning. You can read an earlier adventure with Josh here. You really should read this one, though. And buy more magazines, magazines are great.

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2016, almost done

Almost four months since my last update is surely a new record (not that I can quite bring myself to check… the shame of it). It’s all been a blur, of deadlines, of noise, of teaching, of coming up with headlines that are funny but not libelous, of chasing a two-and-a-half-year-old all over the place. But I did some other stuff!


Most recently, I undertook the horrific task of selecting ten of the finest moments from Public Enemy’s back catalogue. Sadly the comments have now closed so you missed your chance to tell me I am an idiot.

Over the Summer, I got the chance to interview the wonderful Michael Kiwanuka for the wonderful MOJO magazine. It was in the issue with the wonderful Lou Reed on the cover, and you might still be able to find a copy at Soho’s wonderful Vintage Magazine Shop… Oh, no, it’s closed. Get thee to eBay, then.

















While you’re there, see if you can find this Kerrang! cover story, where I interviewed Butch Vig on the experience of producing Nevermind. “I’ll see what I can remember, it was twenty-five years ago,” Butch said, at the beginning of the interview. Turns out he could remember loads, and writing the story helped illuminate an album that was a gateway drug for my generation, from the mainstream to the underground. You might think you know all there is to know about Nevermind, but trust me: Butch still had some secrets left to share.

And finally: Loose Lips Sink Ships, the zine the devastatingly talented Steve Gullick and myself run, is making its way from the internet back onto paper at some point in the new year. If you want in on this – and of course you do – drop us your email address HERE.

I’ll try not to leave it another four months. Have a great Xmas and New Year.

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