John Mulvey

Sky Blue Sky



Jeff Tweedy has always been a perverse bugger. When Wilco became the toast of the Americana classes, Tweedy did everything in his considerable power to disassociate himself from the scene. He made the two greatest albums of his career, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" and "A Ghost Is Born", and saw his band hailed as so adventurous as to be virtually avant-garde. Clearly, though, being stereotyped as a radical is starting to get on his nerves.


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Allan Jones

TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK



HAPPENINGS TEN YEARS TIME AGO

March 5 to 11, 1997

The Notorious B.I.G. is shot dead as he sits in a car outside the Soul Train Music Awards in Los Angeles. Police confirm they are investigating links between the killing and the slaying of Tupac Shakur in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas six months earlier, fuelling tabloid stories of a feud between the East Coast and West Coast rap communities. Biggie's demise comes just days after Death Row Records president Marion 'Suge' Knight receives a nine-year sentence for parole violations.


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John Mulvey

Cassadaga



You know, up until a couple of weeks ago, I never thought I'd want to play a Bright Eyes record ever again. Their early records had sounded naive, passionate and interesting. But Conor Oberst's default schtick soon lost it's charm for me, closer resembling a kind of whingeing verbal diarrhoea. I know he was still pretty young - he's only about 27 now - but his pretensions still seemed rooted in adolescence, like a clever 16-year-old trying to cram all the ideas, images and words he knows into one song.


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TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK



HAPPENINGS TEN YEARS TIME AGO

February 26 to March 4, 1997

On the eve of the release of their album Pop, U2 announce details of their forthcoming PopMart tour, from a makeshift stage in the lingerie section of a K-Mart department store in downtown Manhattan. "We believe in trash, we believe in kitsch," The Edge tells reporters. "That's what we're all about at the moment."


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John Mulvey

Monkeys, Boredoms, Thursday



"Brianstorm", the new Arctic Monkeys single, turned up in the Uncut office yesterday, and it's a relief to report that our first impressions weren't wrong. It's good.


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John Mulvey

Wake Up!



Thanks to all your responses over the past few days. A couple of people have asked me to write about the Kings Of Leon and Modest Mouse albums, both of which I have here. But to be honest, I'm not hugely keen on either (save the first track of the Kings album, "Knocked Up", which is the best thing they've done by far). The point of Wild Mercury Sound, I guess, is simply to write about things I care for.


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John Mulvey

The Neon Bible



I suspect few records released in 2007 are going to provoke as much argument as this second Arcade Fire album, "Neon Bible". A week before the official release date, you can already feel it coming, as inexorable as the tidal waves and imprecations of doom that fill Win Butler's lyrics.


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John Mulvey

Further Nightmares Etc



Thanks for all your comments on the Arctic Monkeys blog. Hopefully, I should have my own copy of the album in a few weeks, and I'll post something more considered than last week's effort once I've listened to it more than once. In the meantime, I figured I should allay one or two fears.


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John Mulvey

Favourite Worst Nightmare



So we’re sitting in Domino’s new offices, somewhere on an industrial estate in Wandsworth. There’s a train track outside one window, a gas holder outside the other, and some old Pavement and Sebadoh posters on the floor. Then there’s this massive crash of very heavy drums and guitars. The new Arctic Monkeys album has started, it seems.


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TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK. . .



HAPPENINGS TEN YEARS TIME AGO

February 19 to 25, 1997

Ben Elton hosts the Brit Awards at London's Earls Court, where there are two gongs apiece for Manic Street Preachers (Best Group, Best Album - Everything Must Go) and the Spice Girls (Best Single - "Wannabe", Best Video - "Say You'll Be There"). Geri Halliwell's Union Jack mini-dress gets the lion's share of coverage in the following morning's tabloids, which also report on the group's first album entering the US charts at Number Six. The Bee Gees receive the Outstanding Contribution nod, as a total of 15 awards are given out during the evening, chicken feed compared to...


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Newsletter


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...