John Mulvey

David Byrne & Brian Eno: "Everything That Happens Will Happen Today"



A few weeks back, while grappling with the earthshattering business of a new Coldplay album, I kicked off a discussion about Brian Eno’s recent track record. I was confounded by his taste for generally working with giant and, to my ears, fundamentally quite conservative bands. After literally decades of hitching his wagon to the likes of Coldplay, U2 and, lest we forget, James, I found it fascinating that Eno still retained a profound avant-garde cachet. Have we been letting him get away with a lot of mediocre music, just because he talks cleverly about it?


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John Mulvey

Damon Albarn's Monkey: "Journey To The West"



We’ve been watching the cricket as usual at Uncut today, but even I’ve noticed that the Olympics have kicked off this afternoon. A useful reminder of this is the fact that an embargo has been lifted this morning on reviewing Damon Albarn’s Monkey CD; the studio recalibration of his Chinese opera, “Monkey: Journey To The West”.


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John Mulvey

Richard Swift: "Ground Trouble Jaw" - free download!



It’s been a weird 18 months or so for Richard Swift, ever since he released a major label concept album, “Dressed Up For The Letdown”, about his previous failures to gain recognition, only to see it flop. I suppose Swift has spent the intervening months desperately trying not to write another bunch of songs about this weird career arc. But instead, his career has taken some pretty eccentric diversions.


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John Mulvey

The 31st Uncut Playlist Of 2008



A couple of interesting posts to draw your attention to, before we get into the business of this week’s playlist. First, Robin Pecknold from Fleet Foxes called in at the Department Of Eagles blog to tell us about the two bands having vague joint plans. And on last week’s playlist blog, liamdog7 posted something interesting about how much money Columbia are charging for Bob Dylan’s “Tell Tale Signs”. “As a completist fan I'm being taken advantage of,” he writes. “It's actions like these from record companies that actually promotes illegal downloading.”


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Allan Jones

The Drive-By Truckers, London Electric Ballroom, August 4 2008



Twenty minutes before they come on, the crowd’s excitement becomes increasingly palpable, an audible hum, an impatient restlessness swarming through the massed ranks of Drive-By Truckers die-hards pressed hard against the front of the stage and spreading quite contagiously through the serried ranks of the people craning their necks for a better view on the outer perimeter of an impressive turn-out, even thought here’s nothing yet to see, apart from a few scurrying roadies, bumping into things in the dark.


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John Mulvey

Lindsey Buckingham: "Gift Of Screws"



Residual indie prejudices can be tough to shake off and, for me, one lingered longer than most: a profound distrust of Fleetwood Mac. I read all the essays about them – and especially about Lindsey Buckingham – where they were extolled as great emotional confessors and discreet musical radicals. But their records always seemed to me the epitome of hollow decadence, redolent of a certain air-conditioned, blow-dried Hollywood vulgarity, the criticism of which is now every bit as clichéd as the original material.

Not for the first time, of course, I was wrong.


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John Mulvey

Stereolab: "Chemical Chords"



Occasionally, I think we do records a bit of a disservice by striving so hard to contextualise them. This occurred to me again over the weekend, when I was listening to Stereolab’s 11th (or ninth, it’s hard to count for sure, as Stephen Troussé points out in his perceptive review in the current Uncut) album, “Chemical Chords”.


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John Mulvey

Brightblack Morning Light: "Motion To Rejoin"



I’m not, as a rule, fixated on the idea of ‘summer’ and ‘winter’ music, but still, the arrival of the third Brightblack Morning Light album last Friday was incredibly well-timed. I can’t think of a band who make such profoundly horizontal music, who create a soundtrack for being happily paralysed by extreme heat. Or, I suppose, by other stuff.


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John Mulvey

The 30th Uncut Playlist Of 2008



Morning, all. Just playing the excellent Telepathe album one more time, as I file the playlist from the last couple of days. I should get round to filing a review of that one next week, all being well. In the meantime, here's this week's pretty handsome selection. Don't forget to download the free Bob Dylan MP3 from http://bobdylan.com. A tantalising first taste of "Bootleg Series No 8: Tell Tale Signs", I'd say.


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John Mulvey

Bonnie "Prince" Billy: "Is It The Sea"



A couple or so months ago, I was grappling with Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s “Lie Down In The Light”, and wrote about Will Oldham’s increasing penchant for setting his voice up against more conventionally mellifluous female foils. That point seems worth making even more today, with the arrival of a new live album by the great man, “Is It The Sea”.


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The Fourth Uncut Playlist Of 2015


This week's big distraction has been what appears to be a crazy number of early Aphex Twin tracks accumulating on Soundcloud (I've added the link below). Among the new stuff, though, please try Bop English; the new solo project of James Petralli from White Denim.

A...