A music and cinema magazine started a little over 4 years ago, it has become one of the UK's leading magazines, with a free cd every month and lots of coverage for more obscure music artists. It's very keen on Americana music at the moment; including artists like Ryan Adams, Whiskeytown and I Am Kloot, as well as more established artists, such as Emmylou Harris, and film-makers, such as Stanley Kubrick. *The* magazine for pretentious know-it-all gits, or at least people who are *really* into their music...

I would say that in fact Mojo is the magazine for people who are really into their music. I have only bought three copies of Uncut in my life, but I have had serious problems with each one, so much so that I would not advise anyone to read this.

A few years ago I was an active member of the Beach Boys fan community on the net (still am, but not to the same extent) and every issue of Uncut I bought had something on the Beach Boys which had serious problems. I don't know the other artists those issues featured well enough to judge if simillar problems were evident in other articles, but these were pretty bad.

The first issue I bought had a short paragraph talking about Brian Wilson's then-upcoming Imagination album. It said the album would feature Beck and k.d. lang. Having read the press release from which they got their information, I knew that it actually said the album featured session players who had worked with those artists. Obviously someone on the magazine was incapable of reading a press release...

That issue also had an obituary for Carl Wilson, written by journalist Paul Lester, which blamed his death on his bad relationship with his brother Brian. Strangely, I have never heard any other evidence ever that lung cancer can be caused by arguing with your brother...

A few weeks later Mr Lester posted on a message board I then frequented, saying he desperately needed info on Brian Wilson for an article he was doing which had a deadline in three days. AFAIK no-one gave him info, because of his obituary for Carl Wilson.

I bought the issue of Uncut with the Brian Wilson article in, and it contained numerous inaccuracies, quotes taken out of context and downright lies. I have spoken online with a few people who were quoted in it and they have said they never said anything of the sort. I am also reliably informed that Paul Lester turned up for his key interview, with Brian Wilson, unshaved and smelling of alcohol after spending the night in a police cell. (My source is ultra reliable but this was given me on condition I not reveal their name. If this is untrue I apologise, but it is as fully checked as I can make it). I posted an exhaustive list of problems in the article on the board that Lester had asked for info, and decided I would never buy the mag again.

However, the next issue contained a 'letter'. The letter in question was my message board post, which had never been sent to them, edited and cut into shreds to make me look like a moron, and then given a reply which didn't address the few issues left in the quoted message, instead accusing me of being 'uppity' because Lester disliked Imagination (an album which I had not heard at the time and do not particularly like myself). Also various bits of others' posts which I had quoted were included sans attribution. There was no way anyone reading could tell that this was not a letter I had personally sent to Uncut.

All this has made me very suspicious, to say the least, of anything I read that is sourced to that magazine. It does have great cover CDs, and has featured writing by Ian MacDonald and Kingsley Abbot, two of the best freelance music journalists around, but it should be approached with extreme caution as a source of reliable info...

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