John Mulvey

Goldfrapp's "Seventh Tree"



I’ve been feeling a pang for the country for a while now, probably brought on by reading Robert MacFarlane’s two wonderful books, “The Wild Places” and “Mountains Of The Mind”; not even a Sunday spent on Walthamstow Marshes could cure me. In the same mood, I was walking to work through the City this morning, just as the sun was struggling to burn off the fog, playing Vaughan Williams and the second CD of Kate Bush’s “Aerial”.


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John Mulvey

Fleet Foxes: some songs on Myspace



The prospect of a new My Morning Jacket album in June is pretty tantalising (though I hope it's better than the fractionally disappointing "Z"). In the meantime, though, an excellent band from Seattle seem to be providing a very useful diversion.


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Michael Bonner

The Stones, Neil Young and Patti Smith -- Berlin Film Festival report



Stephen Dalton brings you his first report from this year's Berlin Film Festival...

Guten Tag from the 2008 Berlin film festival, which is already shaping up to be more like a gathering of gold-plated Glastonbury headliners than movie makers and shakers. The ROLLING STONES have stopped the traffic, NEIL YOUNG has bashed George Bush and PATTI SMITH strummed her guitar during the press conference for her new film.


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John Mulvey

The Rolling Stones: "Shine A Light"



When The Rolling Stones played at Twickenham in the summer of 2006, I was lucky enough to bag a seat relatively close to the stage. Close enough, in fact, that I could watch Mick Jagger’s extraordinary contortions without having to rely entirely on the big screens.


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John Mulvey

Rocket From The Crypt: "RIP"



I mentioned last week that John ‘Speedo’ Reis had a new band, The Night Marchers, who sound pretty great on Myspace. This week, a new album by his most famous old band, Rocket From The Crypt, has turned up; a live set that reminds me many of the best gigs I saw in the mid to late ‘90s were played by this awesome band.


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John Mulvey

The Sixth Uncut Playlist Of 2008



I found myself in the centre of a mild media hurricane yesterday, thanks to the musical map of Britain published in this month's Uncut becoming something of a hot topic. If you heard me trying to explain the principle of beats per minute on a local radio station, or trying to convince all of Scotland that they only listened to Runrig, I can only apologise.


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John Mulvey

Some Bill Fay News. . .



Just a quick bit of news to pass on. Bill Fay phoned up an hour or so ago, as he does from time to time, to let us know that he's preparing a new reissue of his two classic albums - this time with a bonus disc of unreleased material.


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Allan Jones

The 1978 Anti-Nazi League Carnival - Were You There?



The Rock Against Racism manifesto at the time of the second of 1978's major anti-fascist festivals, held in September in Brockwell Park and featuring Elvis Costello and Aswad, called for: "Rebel music, street music. Music that breaks down people's fear of one another. Now music. Music that knows who the real enemy is. Rock against racism. Love music. Hate racism."


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John Mulvey

Fuck Buttons, plus more on Vampire Weekend



I’ve just been reading your comments on yesterday’s Vampire Weekend blog – thanks for those. They helped me crystallise my thoughts about that much-vaunted African influence on the album. What’s interesting, I think, is not that they draw on African sounds, but how they point up the affinities between that spindly, melodically cartwheeling guitar sound and the indie-rock tradition.


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John Mulvey

Vampire Weekend: "Vampire Weekend"



I know it’s a blogger’s imperative to write about albums several months before they’re actually released, but sometimes, it takes a little longer for me to get the hang of a record. Amusingly, I’m usually slow to like records which are immediately acclaimed elsewhere for their brilliance, accessibility and so on.


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Editor's Letter

D'Angelo's "Black Messiah": some first thoughts


When Thom Yorke sneaked out his new solo album a few months back, I managed to hold out for 66 hours before writing a review of "Tomorrow's Modern Boxes". Since waking up...