John Mulvey

Howlin Rain, Damon & Naomi, Sunburned Hand Of The Man live!



There is a man in a flat cap standing in the middle of the stage, looking pensively at some large twigs while his bandmates work up ten minutes of bleary musique concrete. Eventually he picks up a bass and the six of them lumber into a passage of magisterial, martial psych. It mutates into waterlogged beatnik blues, then a kind of splenetic krautpunk. One of the guitarists, incidentally, now has a cardboard box on his head. There’s a mannequin’s head on top of the box. After a while, he conscientiously ties a scarf round its neck.


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Allan Jones

Josh Ritter conquers London



It must have been an unusually quiet day, because we are not usually out and about when we should be working, nose to grindstone, shackled to the pleasurable daily graft of putting together Uncut.


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Allan Jones

Josh Ritter conquers London



It must have been an unusually quiet day, because we are not usually out and about when we should be working, nose to grindstone, shackled to the pleasurable daily graft of putting together Uncut.


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John Mulvey

Magnetic Fields: "Distortion"



Rare candour from a musician in a press release today. This is Stephin Merritt talking about the Magnetic Fields album, “Distortion”. The goal, he says, was “to sound more like Jesus And Mary Chain than Jesus And Mary Chain.”


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Michael Bonner

When Ronnie Wood Met Keith Richards



The stories, of course, are pretty familiar by now. In 1974, tensions within the Faces were, as they say, running high, Rod Stewart’s increasing solo success causing much friction apparently. The situation doubtless exacerbated by the band’s predilection for “relentless, boozy madness”, as Ronnie Wood described it in UNCUT last year.

Anyway, so what does Ronnie do? He gathers together some of his famous pals, records his own album and goes out on tour as The First Barbarians.


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John Mulvey

Total Music Day, Bon Iver and your playlists. . .



Some thought-provoking responses to my No Music Day blog yesterday; scroll down to the bottom of my waffle and have a look. I particularly like Nigel's idea of Total Music Day, where we concentrate utterly on records without any distractions. Though realistically - as he acknowledges - that'd be as tough to pull off as No Music Day.


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John Mulvey

No Music Day



I had a big plan this morning to try and observe Bill Drummond's No Music Day for as long as we could stick it out. But I got here a bit late and Rufus Wainwright doing his Judy Garland turn was already on the stereo.


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John Mulvey

Black Lips: "Good Bad Not Evil"



Quite a curious, though vaguely welcome, phenomenon in London at the moment, where a few American garage and artpunk bands appear to have been adopted by the sort of fashion scene who normally favour pseudo-transgressive electro over gnarly old rock'n'roll. The belated deification of Les Savy Fav is probably the most obvious manifestation of all this. But the sudden prominence of a sloppy-as-hell garage band from Atlanta is definitely another.


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John Mulvey

The Uncut Soundsystem



Apologies there was no blog on Friday: I spent the day at home, mucking about with several thousand CDs and trying, successfully, to buy My Bloody Valentine tickets. Today has been another complicated one of meetings and Italian lessons and list-making, but it did come to a happy zenith about an hour ago when we saluted the undervalued excellence of U-God, footsoldier of the Wu-Tang Clan and one of the stars of their new "8 Diagrams" album, which miraculously arrived in the office this morning.


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John Mulvey

Cat Power's "Jukebox"



For many who’ve seen Cat Power gigs over the years, calmness is not a word that immediately springs to mind when trying to describe Chan Marshall. Neither has she been, for large tracts of her confounding and exceptional career, much of a populist, exactly. Her distrait otherness might have been part of the appeal to some of us, but it would hardly work as a mainstream draw.


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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...