John Mulvey

Elbow: "The Seldom Seen Kid"



We were listening to the new Elbow album this morning when the first line of Track Four stood out. “I’ve been working on a cocktail called grounds for divorce,” sings Guy Garvey over a ratchety chaingang rhythm, one of those industrial-propulsive beats with which Elbow pepper their Floydian/Talk Talk reveries. Then a crisply distorted guitar cuts through it; far too controlled to be grungy, exactly, but endemic of the way this largely excellent band manage to mix up the grandiose and ethereal with something that’s much more earthy and humane.


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Michael Bonner

First Look -- Juno



Just as I started writing this blog, an email pinged into my inbox to let me know that Juno has now taken $60 million at the US box office and kept the Nic Cage blockbuster National Treasure 2 off the top spot.


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John Mulvey

MGMT and forthcoming attractions



A bit of a rush today, since we're trying to finish the next issue of Uncut. But I've been revisiting the MGMT record that turned up last year, and which features fairly prominently in the New Brooklyn Bands feature in the current issue.


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John Mulvey

The Second Uncut Playlist of 2008



A fairly fractious mix over the past day and a half, at least one of which made (for good reason, I must admit) our production editor evacuate the Uncut office at speed. A load of Kraftwerk bootlegs are currently in circulation, following the 1971 session I recommended the other day, and this one from Croydon, 1975, is tremendous.


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John Mulvey

Earth and The Cave Singers



A couple of records I’ve been meaning to blog about for weeks today. One is the new album by Earth, “The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull”, which further confirms Dylan Carlson’s drift away from absolute minimalist metal drone to a kind of slow, but surprisingly melodious desert rock.


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John Mulvey

Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks: "Real Emotional Trash"



A bit early in 2008, I think, to start talking about Albums Of The Year and such. But over the past week, I must admit I’ve been completely knocked out by the new Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks album. It’s called “Real Emotional Trash”, and it’s out in March on Domino in the UK.


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John Mulvey

Comus return, plus an amazing Kraftwerk discovery



Strange telephone call a couple of hours ago, from someone called Bobbie who was looking for some coverage of her band. It turned out, amazingly, to be Bobbie Watson from Comus, of all people, who have reformed for a gig in March.


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Michael Bonner

First Look -- Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd



Watching TV over the Christmas and New Year period, chances are you might have caught Johnny Depp in a number of films. I'm pretty sure I spotted all three Pirates Of The Caribbean movies spread out across various terrestrial and satellite channels, plus the overlooked Secret Window and -- a personal favourite -- Finding Neverland, a very moving take on the relationship between author JM Barrie and the children who inspired him to write Peter Pan.

In a way, these films are emblematic of the Depp's dualistic approach to his movies. In Pirates, he's performing; in Window and Neverland, he's acting.


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John Mulvey

The Sound Of 2008?



The music business is in unseasonal heat today, with the publishing of the BBC's Sound Of 2008 poll. The winner, unsurprisingly, is Adele, who's OK. But I must admit I'm a bit suspicious of the whole self-perpetuating hype of all this - I agree with most of this piece from The Observer from last month. Tellingly, Kitty guessed eight out of ten right in the BBC list, proving how predictable these things have become.


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John Mulvey

The First Uncut Playlist Of 2008



A surprising amount of good post was waiting for us at the office yesterday, which means a lot of stuff we've played thus far this year has been brand new. There are a handful of disappointments on the list which follows, but the undisputed favourite at the moment is the new Stephen Malkmus album. I'll try and write something more substantial about the Jicks' monumental jams in the next few days. In the meantime, here's the rundown:


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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,”...