John Mulvey

Bill Callahan, London Royal Festival Hall, February 8, 2014



Bill Callahan, London Royal Festival Hall, February 8, 2014

Something like two decades ago, when I was Features Editor of NME and making some pragmatic decisions involving coverage of second and third-tier Britpop bands, I had a kind of argument with Laurence Bell, the owner of the Domino label.


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John Mulvey

Moustache combs, long-ass rice and Nefertiti’s Fjord… The strange hinterland of Parks And Recreation



Moustache combs, long-ass rice and Nefertiti’s Fjord… The strange hinterland of Parks And Recreation

Nick Offerman, a 43-year-old actor with a splendid moustache and a key role in what might currently be America’s best sitcom, is an interesting guy. Last year, he wrote and starred in a video for the mediocre LA indie-punk band Fidlar, in which he goes on an extended urinating spree.


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John Mulvey

The Fifth Uncut Playlist Of 2014



The Fifth Uncut Playlist Of 2014

This week’s excuse for briskness is I have a longish review of Real Estate to write for the mag, but some good news in here: not least the appearance of a mighty stash of Fela Kuti albums on Bandcamp and some predictably weird mixtapes, compiled by John Fahey, fetching up on Soundcloud.


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John Mulvey

Pye Corner Audio and Bohren & Der Club Of Gore



Pye Corner Audio and Bohren & Der Club Of Gore

I was struck by a couple of tweets this morning from Peter Watts (@peter_watts and the author of this month’s Ramones cover story in Uncut). The first ran, “I read the word 'liminal' in the Standard the other day. I think that's psychogeography's 'hippie wigs in Woolworths' moment.”


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John Mulvey

The Fourth Uncut Playlist Of 2014



The Fourth Uncut Playlist Of 2014

Strong haul of rad gumbo here, as we’ve taken to saying. Never thought I’d want to hear another Hold Steady album after the last one, but “Teeth Dreams” pretty much reaffirmed the faith. And if you’re that way inclined, I can recommend the new Men album, too; their best, I think.


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John Mulvey

Sun Kil Moon, "Benji"



Sun Kil Moon, "Benji"

“I want to be mothered,” Mark Kozelek sang in 1993 on “Mother”, one of the more startling tracks on the second Red House Painters album. “I want you to give attention to my belly button/Mother, I want to have bobby pins stuck in my ears.”


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John Mulvey

The Third Uncut Playlist Of 2014



The Third Uncut Playlist Of 2014

A week of revelations here, I suppose, since a bunch of albums that I’ve had to strategically redact from recent lists, until they’re formally announced, can now be identified and previewed.

Please note, then, the appearance of new albums by Damon Albarn, Elbow and Real Estate among the 20-odd things below. The Real Estate is especially fantastic – more like Felt and The Feelies than ever, maybe – and I’ll try and write something more extensive about it in the next week or so.


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John Mulvey

The Second Uncut Playlist Of 2014



The Second Uncut Playlist Of 2014

Quickly today, as there’s an issue to be flung together, but a plug in passing for our latest Ultimate Music Guide, on sale today and dedicated to Lou Reed. More on that later.


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John Mulvey

"Have Fun With God": Bill Callahan in dub...



"Have Fun With God": Bill Callahan in dub...

Sometimes, with Bill Callahan, the focus on his records is so unwaveringly on his lyrics, it is tempting to treat them as recited poetry rather than actual music. On an old Smog record like “The Doctor Came At Dawn”, say, the music seems barely there; just a little shading to point up the melodic undertow of a baritone that often wanders closer to speech than song.


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John Mulvey

Black Dirt Oak, “Wawayanda Patent”



Black Dirt Oak, “Wawayanda Patent”

When you’re in the business of writing about/codifying/making up a musical scene, it always helps if you can locate its nexus. Reading the small print on record sleeves, a good few of the American musicians negotiating the space between roots music and avant-garde jamming these past few years - part of what used to be called free folk, for a while - all turn out to have recorded at Black Dirt Studios in upstate New York.


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Editor's Letter

Introducing… Elvis Costello: The Ultimate Music Guide


In June 1977, Allan Jones of the Melody Maker took a familiar route to the offices of Stiff Records in West London. His appointment, that day, was with a notably irascible young singer-songwriter from Hounslow. In the course of a frequently startling interview, the man who had chosen to call...