John Mulvey

The power of Earth



Hot and slow in the Uncut office this afternoon, so I've put on the new album by Earth, which precisely fits the mood. Dylan Carlson's Earth, you may remember, were the Kurt Cobain affiliates who occupied the most extreme wing of grunge. Their records through the early and mid '90s largely sounded like Black Sabbath slowed down to an excruciating trudge. Gonzoid heavy, but kind of avant-garde, too.


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Allan Jones

Ashes To Ashes. . .



The hilarious news that Keith Richards snorted his father’s ashes reminds me, obliquely, of an incident involving John Cale, at the University Of East Anglia, where he was playing the first date of a UK tour with a band that included Chris Spedding on guitar and uber-producer Chris Thomas on keyboards.


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John Mulvey

Simian Mobile Disco's "Attack Decay Sustain Release"



A few years ago, I spent an afternoon in Camden interviewing a mildly psychedelic indie band called Simian whose first record had been pretty good. To be honest, it was a rather frustrating experience: the singer was quite interesting, if detached, but he didn't get a chance to say much because the drummer just wouldn't shut up. With hindsight, the weird power structure made sense. The singer hasn't done much since, while the drummer - James Ford - has become a dark force in British music, producing Arctic Monkeys and Klaxons and making hip little dance records as Simian Mobile Disco with his old bandmate Jas Shaw.


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John Mulvey

The "fierce and heterosexual" Richard Thompson



I have a real backlog of stuff to write about at the moment, and I need to do some kind of a round-up in the next day or two, hopefully before Easter. There's great doom, psych and drone from Earth, Vibracathedral Orchestra and Dungen. There's a lovely pair of reissues from ambient's spiritual master, Terry Riley. I have a couple of fun techno - or am I meant to call them new rave? - albums by Simian Mobile Disco and their feted French remixers, Justice. Oh, and I'm meant to hear The White Stripes' "Icky Thump" any day now. Today, though, I'm going to do the sensible thing and write about what's playing right now - the new album by Richard Thompson.


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John Mulvey

Bjork, Timbaland and a few cool links



A bit of a catch-up today. First, thanks for the nice response to the Bjork preview I posted on Friday. I've been comparing "Volta" today with the new Timbaland album, "Shock Value".


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Ten years ago this week



HAPPENINGS TEN YEARS TIME AGO

April 2 to 8, 1997

The Wallflowers, led by Jakob 'son of Bob' Dylan, leap more than 50 places to No 5 in the US albums chart with Bringing Down The Horse, on its way to shifting more than two million copies - thereby out-selling any record ever released by Dylan senior.


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Michael Bonner

Zombies, Will Ferrell and the hunt for Keith Richards...



Last night, I went to see the first 25 minutes of 28 Weeks Later – the follow-up to Danny Boyle’s British zombie film, 28 Days Later.


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John Mulvey

Bjork's Volta



As I write, I've just started listening to Bjork's new album, "Volta", for the third time. The first single, "Earth Intruders", is playing right now, a kind of euphoric marching song driven by three radical beat scientists: freestyling avant drummer Chris Corsano; Congolese troupe Konono No1; and, most notably, Timbaland. It's pretty dizzying, as you might imagine.


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Allan Jones

Tangled Up In Bob. . .



For anyone not keeping an eye on such things, Bob Dylan started his European tour on Tuesday with a show in a 600-seater club in Stockholm called Debaser Medis - and the big news for Bobcats is that for the first time in a few years, Dylan is playing electric guitar again.


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John Mulvey

Marnie Stern



I've been meaning to write about the wonderful Marnie Stern album on Kill Rock Stars for a couple of weeks now. I was tipped off about it by one of Uncut's writers, Louis Pattison, who raved to me about it. She's "an extremely proficient one-woman axe hero," he wrote in an email, "a bit like Deerhoof but with better songs and added lead guitar power." Chuck in the battling influences of Sleater-Kinney and Lightning Bolt and damn, he was right.


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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...