John Mulvey

Jim O'Rourke: "Tamper" and "Mimidokodesuka"



As I mentioned the other day, there seems to be a covert return to the musical fray from Jim O’Rourke afoot. From being everywhere, not least in Sonic Youth, a few years ago, O’Rourke appeared to “retire” from music two or three years ago.


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Countdown to Latitude: Black Lips



Ah, the elusive Black Lips; a band I once chased around London in a black cab, trying to catch them live as they moved from one secret venue to another. I never caught up with them, which is why I'll be holding a vigil at the Sunrise stage on Sunday until I get to see the madness for myself.


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John Mulvey

The Best Albums Of 2008: Halftime Report



It occurred to me this morning, in an anal sort of way, that we should probably talk about the best records of 2008's first six months. To that end, I've just been through my blog archive and come up with my ten favourites of the year up 'til the end of June.


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John Mulvey

Countdown To Latitude: Martha Wainwright



One day, I imagine turning up at a festival and being confronted by a dedicated Wainwright/McGarrigle And Related Folk Families stage. There’ll be Rufus and Loudon and Kate & Anna. There’ll be Rufus’ good friend Teddy Thompson, and maybe his mum and dad and sister. There could, ideally, be Rufus’ other friend, Lorca Cohen, and her dad, the born-again road animal, Leonard.


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John Mulvey

Joan As Police Woman - Club Uncut, June 30, 2008



It is, by most standards, quite an entrance. Joan Wasser arrives onstage at Club Uncut with a mug of tea in one hand, a bouquet of flowers in the other, and a pair of giant plastic sunglasses that appear to have some kind of beaklike noseguard attachment. They’re so preposterous, in fact, that Wasser can’t bring herself to sing in them. For the rest of the long, hot night of this Joan As Police Woman solo show (her bandmates are waiting for her in Florence), they’ll act as an occasional prop to add emphasis to her between-song chats. About Uncut, say, and what she always thinks of first when she hears the magazine’s name. . .


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Countdown to Latitude: Sigur Rós



Icelandic for "Victory Rose", the panoramic quartet Sigur Rós are coming to headline Latitude's Saturday night, bringing their ethereal and triumphant sound to the Obelisk Arena as night descends slowly on Henham Park.


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Countdown to Latitude: Death Cab For Cutie



Led by plaintive-voiced Ben Gibbard - sometime Postal Service frontman and electro-indie pioneer - Death Cab For Cutie stop off at Latitude during their 'Narrow Stairs' world tour to bring evocative, dark-hearted tales of devotion to the festival in Suffolk.


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Countdown to Latitude: The Coral



It's been six years since The Coral released their self titled debut album and with it resuscitated Liverpool's music scene. Following in the footsteps of bands like The Las, The Coral was a shimmering mix of '60s psych, classic song writing in the Merseybeat tradition and blessed with a strong sense of the surreal.


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John Mulvey

Neil Young: "All Along The Watchtower"



A degree of anxiety in the air following yesterday’s blog: I can reassure you that, on first listen at least, the new Calexico album sounds pretty strong, being a return to the border territory of “Feast Of Wire”. Apologies for being a little mysterious about this stuff, but one or two other anticipated entries on that playlist aren’t working for me at the moment. Let me listen some more and I’ll report back.


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John Mulvey

Countdown To Latitude: The Breeders



One of the highlights of Latitude 2008 is sure to be, we reckon, a sighting of the enduring miracle of indie-rock that is Kim Deal. It was Deal, rumour has it, who called time on the Pixies reunion because she would rather be expending her energies on her own band, The Breeders.


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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...