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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John Mulvey

Portishead Live In London



I guess it’s become a cliché over the years that, when a Bristol band affiliated to trip-hop make a comeback, they should be somehow darker, and heavier, as if the magisterial doom that they all conjured up from the start somehow wasn’t enough.


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John Mulvey

The 15th Uncut Playlist Of 2008



This week's playlist, then. The Dennis Wilson record is a bootleg, incidentally - the expanded "Pacific Ocean Blue", with the first official release of those "Bambu" tracks, is due in the office any minute now. Tonight, I'm going to see Portishead, so I'll endeavour to report back first thing tomorrow morning.


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John Mulvey

New Books By Thurston Moore And Mark Kozelek



A couple of interesting books turned up in this morning’s post. Mark Kozelek sent me his collected lyrics, “Nights Of Passed Over”, which also comes with a CD of live and rare recordings, a nice complement to the excellent Sun Kil Moon album which I blogged about last week.


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John Mulvey

Animal Collective's "Water Curses"



Strangely, Animal Collective seemed to take a mild critical poke for "Strawberry Jam" last year, perhaps due in part to the extravagant blog love for the Panda Bear solo album, "Person Pitch", which preceded it by a few months.


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Michael Bonner

So do I really want to know what happens at the end of Lost In Translation..?



After the sad news of Charlton Heston's death yesterday morning, I had hoped that the rest of my Sunday would pan out in a more genteel manner -- The Archers omnibus, a mooch round Borders, maybe a pint, that kind of thing. That was until an email from our web queen, Farah, pinged into my inbox.


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Grinderman, Mars Volta and Tindersticks Confirmed!



Nick Cave’s baddass side project, Grinderman have been confirmed to play this year’s Latitude Festival, sponsored by Uncut.


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John Mulvey

Philip Jeck's "Sand"



A couple of weeks ago, I was writing here about the excellent new No Age album, and about indie orthodoxy masquerading as somehow adventurous in the world of shoegazing. Without going over the whole argument again, I think the gist was that early ‘90s shoegazing - which mainly sounds so bland now - acted as a gateway for me into a whole world of ambient, avant-garde music.


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Michael Bonner

Charlton Heston, 1924 - 2008



This morning's edition of Radio 4's Broadcasting House chose to mark the death of Charlton Heston with a montage of scenes from his three most iconic films: The Ten Commandments (1956), Ben-Hur (1959) and Planet Of The Apes (1967). These were huge films in every sense, made during the golden age of Hollywood and Charlton Heston was a monolithic presence at their centre -- competing in chariot races, or parting the Red Sea, or cursing humanity in front of what's left of the Statue of Liberty.


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Newsletter


Editor's Letter

The 46th (And Last) Playlist Of 2014


Sorry I didn't manage to post a playlist last week; a combination of germs, deadlines and various other professional/seasonal distractions meant that I ran out of time.

Here, though, is our last office list of 2014, with lots of strong new entries. A few highlights...