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March 12, 2006


Swedish singer-songwriter Nicolai Dunger talks to the Boston Globe.

"In the beginning I collaborated because I didn't have a band," says Dunger, from a train station in Baltimore. ''But I also wanted to make something challenging. I like to play with people who are really secure in their sound. They give what they have, and I give what I have."

Jim DeRogatis examines the impact of internet and peer buzz on band sales.

The Chicago Tribune eulogizes the Sony Walkman.

Jack Kerouac supporters are pushing for a stamp to honor the Beat legend.

Jenny Lewis talks about her solo album, Rabbit Fur Coat, with the Grand Rapids Press.

"I wanted the song to come first and the voices second," Lewis said by phone from a recent Seattle tour stop. "Everything starts out as a folk song and then takes on another life as you add instruments."

USA Today lists "10 great places to get on the road and feel the Beat" (generation, that is).

World Hum debuts its series "three great books," listing a trio of "must-reads" about Los Angeles.

Critic Simon Reynolds talks to the Dallas Morning News about hyped bands, especially in the UK.

And then there's the blogosphere. Mr. Reynolds says he's bombarded by publicists and marketers trying to hype new bands on his blog,

"They've gotten quite skilled at exploiting buzz and word of mouth. They're always sending me things asking, 'Will you do a promotional contest on your blog?' "

The flip side is that U.S. bloggers are fast becoming like British music journalists – trumpeting obscure bands and then discarding them.

"It's really sped up now," says Mr. Reynolds. "The hipsters get the leaked album; they discuss it to death for a few weeks; and by the time it's officially released, they're like, 'I'm so over it. ... That band is so August.'"

That sort of blog-lash might be unavoidable. But overhyped acts such as the Arctic Monkeys "would be wise to pace themselves and not cross the threshold of overexposure," says Mr. Reynolds.

If you are a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, Steelers Fever has a great collection of wallpapers and mp3 downloads (including "We've Got Roethlisberger" and the "Steel Barrel Polka").

YouTube has several Serge Gainsbourg videos, including his infamous 1986 appearance with Whitney Houston on the Michel Drucker show.

Giant Drag talks to Drowned in Sound.

Is how you’re presented, through your album covers et cetera, of importance to you?
Hardy: Every aspect is important, but I don’t think we set out to be a certain package.

So you’ve got control? No designer is taking things away from you without your say so…
Hardy: Yeah. We’re not on, like, a f*cking major label that tells us what to do. Basically, the less albums they think you’re going to sell, the more freedom you get. So, from the beginning we’ve had a lot of freedom, at least until we recorded a cover of ‘Wicked Game’, and now people are trying to tell us to do things. Everyone loves a f*cking cover song…

The CBC examines the state of Canadian show posters.

If you can't be at SXSW this year, Flickr is sharing the most interesting photos from the festival.


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