John Mulvey

The Best Of 2013: Halftime Report



The Best Of 2013: Halftime Report

Around this time in 2012, I came up with 40 records, released between January and June, that I liked enough to include in a six-month Best-Of list. Either I’m being more diligent, or less discerning, or else 2013 is shaping up to be a better year: as you can see, I’ve managed 67 here.


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John Mulvey

The 21st Uncut Playlist Of 2013



The 21st Uncut Playlist Of 2013

Back from a week’s holiday, so plenty of new things among this 21st office playlist, with lots of the best tracks - from Cian Nugent, Lace Curtain, Houndstooth and The Cairo Gang, among others – embedded. A hairy teaser for Crazy Horse’s imminent UK dates, too, and a serendipitous reissue for Samuel Purdey’s luxe late ‘90s evocation of Steely Dan and the Doobies; curious Daft Punk fans might be advised to check out “Only When I’m With You”, especially.


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Allan Jones

Lou Reed, New York, 1978



Lou Reed, New York, 1978

Checking emails over the weekend, I was more than passingly alarmed when I got a message from a friend asking if I’d heard the news about Lou Reed. This sounded somewhat ominous. Lou has looked decidedly frail at recent London shows and he is after all 71 and despite being sober for many years has not always led the kind of lifestyle that could be described as wholly healthy. For a long time, he seemed alongside Keith Richards the rock star most likely to become a casualty of what might euphemistically be described as reckless living. Could the excesses of his past finally have caught up with him?


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Michael Bonner

Springsteen & I plus 12 other films we're looking forward to later this year



Springsteen & I plus 12 other films we're looking forward to later this year

Although I’m currently watching films due for release in July – which will take us over halfway through 2013 – I’m conscious that there’s a lot of great stuff still to come during the rest of the year.


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Michael Bonner

Patrick Flanery - Fallen Land



Patrick Flanery - Fallen Land

Getting it together in the suburbs seems to be a peculiarly middle class rite of passage – the moment when city living is no longer tenable and a migration in pursuit of wider spaces, cleaner living and better schools is required. Such considerations are behind the decision taken by Nathaniel and Julia Noailles, who with their young, Aspergersy son Copley exchange their life in Boston for a more spacious existence in Dolores Woods, a large development on the outskirts of an un-named Midwestern city, in Patrick Flanery’s tremendous new novel, Fallen Land.


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Allan Jones

Robert Fripp steals the show in David Bowie documentary



Robert Fripp steals the show in David Bowie documentary

I don’t know if you saw it, but BBC2’s David Bowie documentary, Five Years, screened at the weekend, was very entertaining. A lot of the archive footage was familiar, but there were also some splendidly unexpected highlights, like a sequence of Bowie filmed at Andy Warhol’s Factory, which rather vividly suggested that Bowie’s talent for mime isn’t perhaps all it’s cracked up to be in which he pretended to unspool his own entrails and pluck out his heart, a performance that was doubtless accompanied by much sniggering from Andy's crowd.


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John Mulvey

Boards Of Canada, "Tomorrow's Harvest": first listen



Boards Of Canada, "Tomorrow's Harvest": first listen

If, as internet speculation and promo footage imply, “Tomorrow’s Harvest” has a Cold War/atomic age subtext, Boards Of Canada’s focus is, as ever, long-range and aesthetic: less on the actual devastation wrought by nuclear weapons, more on nebulous creep and on the terrible beauty of a mushroom cloud when observed from a relatively safe distance. It’s a potentially glib way of toying with signifiers: Armageddon as nature documentary.


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Michael Bonner

First Look - Ben Wheatley's A Field In England



First Look - Ben Wheatley's A Field In England

It seems as if a month doesn’t go by without the release of a new Ben Wheatley film. I'm exaggerating, of course, but Wheatley is certainly becoming one of Britain’s most prolific film makers, with four full-length features since 2009 – as well as two series of Johnny Vegas’ sitcom, Ideal – under his belt.


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John Mulvey

The 20th Uncut Playlist Of 2013



The 20th Uncut Playlist Of 2013

Another week, another new issue to plug: after last week’s launch of our Nick Cave Ultimate Music Guide, I should flag up that this month’s Uncut goes on sale in the UK tomorrow, featuring Boards Of Canada, The Source Family, Mississippi Records, These New Puritans, Mark Kozelek, Thee Oh Sees and the “Origins Of American Primitive Guitar” alongside the marquee names.


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Allan Jones

Bruce Springsteen, Tame Impala, Rodriguez, George Clinton, John Fogerty, Prince and George Jones in new Uncut



Bruce Springsteen, Tame Impala, Rodriguez, George Clinton, John Fogerty, Prince and George Jones in new Uncut

I would have bought the issue of Melody Maker in which I first read about Bruce Springsteen on my way into the art school in Newport, where in March 1973 I was in my last term, only a few months away from moving to London and not long after that fetching up on MM as a junior reporter/feature writer, a turn of events that was wholly unexpected and still seems somewhat unreal. Anyway, that was all to come. That Thursday morning, as ever in those days, I picked up a copy of MM at the paper shop at the top of Stow Hill, then eagerly devoured it on the bus into town.


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Editor's Letter

The new Uncut revealed! Arctic Monkeys, Neil Young, Kate Bush and Warren Zevon in new issue


Next month, Arctic Monkeys play two shows at London’s Finsbury Park to more than 100,000 people, which makes it a reasonable moment to look back at the band’s journey from the Sheffield suburb of High Green to their current all-conquering place in a rock pantheon where they are...