Thanks for your latest bunch of messages, especially the people who said kind things about my David Ackles blog the other day. Good to see more love for Bill Fay, too: we were playing his first album the other day. "Everyone should love David Ackles - just like everyone shoud love Bill Fay," writes Baptiste. "It takes time for writers like them to get some kind of public acknowledgement. I mean: why? Is Bill Fay's "Be Not So Fearful" such a difficult song? Is "Down River" a 30 minutes white noise jam?


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A few nice things arrived in the Uncut office today. One was a big compilation of Finnish psychedelic music from the late '60s and early '70s, which I can't wait to investigate properly. The second was another lavish raid on the Elektra catalogue, this time a 2CD set called "There Is A River" which collects the first three albums (plus outtakes) of David Ackles.


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I blogged about the new Richard Thompson album here a couple of weeks ago, but I've still been playing it a lot, not least because I had a quick chat with Thompson on the phone last Friday.


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First off, thanks to Red 157 for spotting the stupid error in the Queens Of The Stone Age piece I posted here yesterday. It was of course Josh Homme and not Mark Lanegan who sang the original version of "I Wanna Make It Wit Chu" on "Desert Sessions 9&10" - something I would have got right if I'd bothered to check my original review of that album. Apologies.


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I'm not sure we should be giving any more publicity to the bizarre media phenomenon that is Sharon Osbourne, but I couldn't resist starting today with this quote from her about Josh Homme. Homme, it seems, had the temerity to criticise Ozzfest. In response, Osbourne told Blender, "I hope he gets syphilis and dies. I hope his dick fuckin' falls off so his mother can eat it."


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I've just been reading through your comments again. Thanks for all of them: I really like it when Wild Mercury Sound starts to resemble a sort of forum, when we can swap tips and enthusiasms and also, of course, pick on Killers fans. Particularly taken with Lauren's eloquent post, not least because of the nice things she says about Uncut. "You are tripping if you think the Killers are more likely to make an impact on the hearts and minds of people than the Arctic Monkeys are," she writes in response to a post by Mitch.


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A grim struggle to the death on the blogs between American and British music again today, though it seems America's interests are being defended primarily by an Estonian. Meanwhile, here, the reliably lucid Glory asks whether my taste "is more geared towards American styles of music (eg Americana) or because you think American artists are generally more talented than British artists?"


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Plenty of traffic on the blog these past few days in response to my White Stripes and Arctic Monkeys stories. Someone called The_Glory wades into the argument about overhyped British bands with a bunch of decent points, notably, "Why judge bands on their nationality anyway?"


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I was exchanging emails with one of Uncut's American writers the other day who had just finished a piece for a US mag about The View. He was pretty unimpressed by their record, and went on to have a go at the latest batch of British bands being pushed hard in the States as the next big thing. All of them, he thought, were overhyped and underachieving, with the exception of the Arctic Monkeys. Did I agree, he wondered?


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Thanks for all your feedback on the White Stripes blog I posted yesterday. If it's any consolation, I want to hear "Icky Thump" again, too, but it's under lock and key at the record company HQ and, sadly, I don't have the time to go over to Ladbroke Grove and get it played to me daily. In response to Lil's question - if the title track does turn out to be the first single, that would make sense. It's much more typical of the album than "You Don't Know What Love Is", and its sheer sonic clout would be more of an uncompromising statement to return with. My hunch is that Jack White doesn't worry too much about whether his first single will be "radio-friendly". The first single is for proving to the fans he still has an edge, the second single is the one that can be the drivetime anthem or whatever. That seems the logical plot.


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Editor's Letter

The 32nd Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Such has been the drooling media focus on Kate Bush this week, it might be tough to imagine British music journalists listening to anything else these past few days. I'm not, in fairness, exempt from the hysteria: here's...