John Mulvey

Fleet Foxes’ “Fleet Foxes” and My Morning Jacket’s “Evil Urges”



Amidst all the presumptuous sniping at Coldplay on yesterday’s playlist blog, someone asked me whether the debut Fleet Foxes album had turned up yet. As it happened, I was just working on a review of that record for the issue of Uncut out at the end of May. It is, you’ll be relieved to hear, pretty fine.


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Latitude Festival line-up additions! Sadlers Wells, RSC, and heaps more!



SADLERS WELLS AND RSC BRING PERFORMANCE TO LATITUDE FESTIVAL -- Heaps of additions to rub shoulders with Sigur Ros, Interpol and Franz Ferdinand -- See who's confirmed for the Literary, Comedy and Music & Film Arenas here.


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John Mulvey

The 17th Uncut Playlist Of 2008



A busy day for new records yesterday, notable I guess for the arrival on a secure internet stream of the new, Eno-produced Coldplay album, plus a bunch of new tracks from Primal Scream, one of which is weirdly reminiscent of Pulp. In perhaps less headline-grabbing news, Black Taj are a couple of guys from Polvo (you can hear the awesome jam, “Fresh Air Traverse”, here), and the Wild Beasts album is lovely.


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John Mulvey

The perfect Glastonbury band?



I’ve been thinking these past couple of days about the dubious furore that has been brewing around Jay-Z’s headline slot at Glastonbury, thanks in part to Noel Gallagher weighing in on the subject last week. There are a lot of issues about non-exclusivity, festival overkill, pervading fear of mud and so on that have impacted on Glasto ticket sales this year, which I can’t really be bothered to rehash here. What does interest me, though, is the perceived unsuitability of Jay-Z as a headliner of the festival. If he isn’t right for Glastonbury, then what is?


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John Mulvey

Dennis Wilson's "Bambu"



It can be quite easy to be sceptical about the endless wave of deluxe reissues that come Uncut’s way most weeks: classic, economical albums stretched over two discs, full of variegated b-sides and out-takes that rarely add much to an artist’s story, really. I am, of course, a big enough nerd to get excited about, say, the juggled alternate mix of Love’s “Forever Changes” that arrived recently. But to be honest, listening to this stuff is like watching a good documentary on BBC4; at the end of it, I feel like I know more about an esoteric corner of history, but I hardly need to watch it again.


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John Mulvey

Peter Walker Live In London



If the internet is to be trusted, the guitarist Peter Walker has not played a gig in the UK since 1962. In the interim, he has befriended Karen Dalton, Sandy Bull and Janis Joplin, provided instrumental accompaniment for Dr Timothy Leary’s early LSD experiments, learned the art of raga from Ravi Shankar in the same class as George Harrison, and spent nearly four decades in a truck in Woodstock, chiefly practising flamenco guitar.


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John Mulvey

The 16th Uncut Playlist Of 2008



I'm just playing an old record by the great folk/psych/raga guitarist Peter Walker, who has recently returned to action after nearly 40 years of, as far as I can tell from a quick circuit round the internet, practising flamenco guitar. Amazingly, Walker - one of the few survivors of John Fahey's generation of American primitives, and the man who provided musical accompaniment to Timothy Leary's early experiments - is playing just down the road from me in Dalston, North-East London tonight.


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John Mulvey

The Fall: "Imperial Wax Solvent"



I’ve just finished reading the second bunch of extracts from Mark E Smith’s autobiography in this morning’s Guardian, and I must confess to being a bit disappointed. I guess “Renegade: The Lives And Tales Of Mark E Smith” could have gone two ways: a dense and profoundly untrustworthy surrealist tract that followed on from those vividly impenetrable things he used to write for NME as Roman Totale back in the ‘80s; or a massively extended Smith rant, the contents of which we’ll be generally familiar with after three decades of admittedly entertaining interviews.


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John Mulvey

White Denim: "Workout Holiday"



It’s quite a good time for new bands at the moment in our corner of the world, what with Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes riding a mild wave of critical acclaim in the wake of South By Southwest and so on. To that list we can add White Denim, another hit at SXSW that I’ve already written about here a while back.


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Michael Bonner

What Happens When Movie Stars Make Records



Leafing through last week's edition of Entertainment Weekly during a quiet moment in the office, I came across a three-quarter page spread devoted to a new band called She & Him. The "Him" here is M Ward while -- and this is what piqued my curiousity -- the "She" is Zooey Deschanel, the American indie actress who made her rep in David Gordon Green's brilliant All The Real Girls.

It struck me, following on from Scarlett Johannson's album of Tom Waits' covers, that this is the second time in as many months an alt-Hollywood "It" Girl has made a record. Which, inevitably, led me to wonder why exactly the good ladies and gentlemen of the movie industry feel the need to divert their talents out of their immediate comfort zone and into the world of music.


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Inside the new Uncut...


On the morning of July 29, 1966 Bob Dylan became distracted while out riding his Triumph motorbike. Writing about the incident later in Chronicles Volume 1, Dylan rather gnomically recalled, “I had been in a motorcycle accident and I’d been hurt, but I recovered.” Of course,...