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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Two and a half minutes into "Icky Thump", something happens which is so perfect, you almost suspect the White Stripes' press officer magically orchestrated it.


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Back to work after the long Easter weekend, and we're being lulled into action by the debut album from Original Silence. Original Silence are ostensibly The Good, The Bad & The Queen for men of a certain age who went to All Tomorrow's Parties and never came back. Their ranks include Mats Gustafsson - a great, spluttery, avant saxophonist from The Thing - one of The Ex, Jim O'Rourke (who claimed he'd quit music a while back, with Sinatra-esque implausibility) and, perhaps inevitably, Thurston Moore.


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Hot and slow in the Uncut office this afternoon, so I've put on the new album by Earth, which precisely fits the mood. Dylan Carlson's Earth, you may remember, were the Kurt Cobain affiliates who occupied the most extreme wing of grunge. Their records through the early and mid '90s largely sounded like Black Sabbath slowed down to an excruciating trudge. Gonzoid heavy, but kind of avant-garde, too.


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A few years ago, I spent an afternoon in Camden interviewing a mildly psychedelic indie band called Simian whose first record had been pretty good. To be honest, it was a rather frustrating experience: the singer was quite interesting, if detached, but he didn't get a chance to say much because the drummer just wouldn't shut up. With hindsight, the weird power structure made sense. The singer hasn't done much since, while the drummer - James Ford - has become a dark force in British music, producing Arctic Monkeys and Klaxons and making hip little dance records as Simian Mobile Disco with his old bandmate Jas Shaw.


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I have a real backlog of stuff to write about at the moment, and I need to do some kind of a round-up in the next day or two, hopefully before Easter. There's great doom, psych and drone from Earth, Vibracathedral Orchestra and Dungen. There's a lovely pair of reissues from ambient's spiritual master, Terry Riley. I have a couple of fun techno - or am I meant to call them new rave? - albums by Simian Mobile Disco and their feted French remixers, Justice. Oh, and I'm meant to hear The White Stripes' "Icky Thump" any day now. Today, though, I'm going to do the sensible thing and write about what's playing right now - the new album by Richard Thompson.


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Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...