John Mulvey

Kevin Ayers' The Unfairground



It's been a couple of months since I wrote about Robert Wyatt's excellent "Comicopera", which still isn't out until October. In the meantime, one of Wyatt's old sparring partners has sneaked under the wire ahead of him. Kevin Ayers, of all people, has a new album out at the start of September, and it's rather good.


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John Mulvey

What we've played today in the Uncut office



I haven't done one of these playlists for a week or so, and there are plenty of interesting things that have arrived here in the interim. So these are the records that have put us off work on the next issue thus far today. I'll be writing about a few of them over the next few days, apart from one which sounded pretty dull and which I won't mention here to try and retain the, y'know, positive vibes. . .


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John Mulvey

Judee Sill Live In London



It's just occurred to me that, for the past week or so, a lot of the stuff I've been writing about has been by either female singer/songwriters (PJ Harvey, Linda Thompson) or splattery noise/drone bands from the States (Cloudland Canyon, White Rainbow, Magik Markers).


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John Mulvey

Dylan vs Ronson: no-one hurt. Plus White Rainbow



A surprising lack of indignation over at yesterday's Bob Dylan vs Mark Ronson blog, where everyone seems to have responded to the "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)" remix with commendable restraint.


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John Mulvey

Bob Dylan vs Mark Ronson



Much wringing of hands and righteous indignation in Dylanworld today, as Mark Ronson's remix of "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)" is unveiled at Dylan07.com. Outrage and accusations of sacrilege, I imagine, will be the first responses of many of you.


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John Mulvey

Magik Markers' "Boss"



Yep, I guess it's that Ecstatic Peace time of the week again. Today's offering from Thurston Moore's imprint - maybe my favourite label of 2007, certainly the one I've written about most - is the jamming new album by Connecticut's Magik Markers.


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John Mulvey

Harmonia, Cloudland Canyon, plus another Sly Stone triumph/farrago



Some good neu-Krautrock this morning, coming from an American/German duo called, evocatively, Cloudland Canyon. I first came across them last year, I think, with an album called "Requiems der Natur 2002-2004" which fitted in with the ambient-cosmic end of the new psych stuff I listen to a lot.


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John Mulvey

Konono No 1's Live At The Couleur Cafe, plus a bit more Boredoms



One or two hangovers in the Uncut office today, so I'm cheerfully trying to make them worse by playing this new live album by Konono No 1. It's a terrific album, but it also operates on an insistent, reverberant frequency which, I suspect, may well be rattling around the skulls of a few sore heads.


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John Mulvey

PJ Harvey's White Chalk



There's an interesting interview with Steve Albini in the forthcoming issue of Uncut, where he talks about various albums he's been involved with over the years. One of them is PJ Harvey's "Rid Of Me". "Around that point, Polly was a wicked guitar player," Albini says. "One of the things that I think she lost after she moved away from the band format, and into the solo artist format, is that she doesn't show off her guitar playing any more - she's not in a situation where her guitar playing matters as much."


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John Mulvey

Linda Thompson's Versatile Heart



I guess there are a few recurring subjects on Wild Mercury Sound, little hives of activity that I seem to keep visiting again and again. Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label is one, and I need to tell you about the mighty new Magik Markers LP sometime soon. But the extended, diverse and interwoven Thompson and Wainwright folk dynasties is definitely another.


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Editor's Letter

Reviewed: Respect Yourself: Stax Records And The Soul Explosion by Robert Gordon


As Robert Gordon reminds us in Respect Yourself: Stax Records And The Soul Explosion, his terrific account of the rise and fall of the great Memphis soul imprint, the Stax story is more than a record-label history. “It is an American story,” Gordon writes,”...