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April 5, 2006


Popmatters interviews singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek.

"I've always been attracted to quiet music since I was a kid," he says. "I started playing guitar because of John Denver" -- another artist Kozelek has covered. "I was at a relative's house, and there was a girl on the lawn playing a John Denver song on acoustic guitar. That was my earliest memory of knowing that I wanted to play guitar and write songs for people."

The official website for the Strangers with Candy movie is finally online.

In honor of National Poetry Month, Knopf has added a "Poem-a-Day" podcast featuring poets Mark Strand, Franz Wright and Sharon Olds as well as authors Joan Didion, John Updike, and Toni Morrison.

Mungbeing celebrates its first anniversary as an online magazine with an issue about fanaticism.

The Sunday paper lists Georgia's top 25 music acts of all time.

I rarely post tourdates, but since I adore John Vanderslice, here is his spring schedule:

04/06 Thu, Vancouver BC
Media Club w/ Sparrow

04/07 Fri, Seattle WA
Neumos w/ Crystal Skulls, Kelley Stoltz

04/08 Sat, Portland OR
Doug Fir Lounge w/ Crystal Skulls, Kelley Stoltz

04/10 Mon, Salt Lake City UT
Kilby Court w/ Crystal Skulls, St. Sebastian’s School for Wicked Girls

04/11 Tue, Denver CO
Hi-Dive w/ Crystal Skulls, The Love Letter Band

04/13 Thu, Omaha NE
Sokol Underground w/ Crystal Skulls, Ghosty

04/14 Fri, Ames IA
Maintenance Shop w/ Crystal Skulls

04/15 Sat, Chicago IL
Schubas w/ Crystal Skulls

04/16 Sun, Kalamazoo MI
Kraftbrau Brewery w/ Crystal Skulls

04/17 Mon, Columbus OH
High Five w/ Wooden Wand

04/18 Tue, Cleveland Heights OH
Grog Shop w/ Wooden Wand

04/20 Thu, Guelph ON
The Bookshelf eBar w/ Wooden Wand

04/21 Fri, Toronto ON
El Mocambo w/ Wooden Wand

04/22 Sat, Montreal QC
w/ Wooden Wand

04/24 Mon, Cambridge MA
Middle East Upstairs w/ Wooden Wand

04/25 Tue, Bennington VT
The Downcast - Bennington College w/ Wooden Wand

04/26 Wed, Northampton, MA
Iron Horse

04/27 Thu, New York NY
Mercury Lounge w/ Wooden Wand, Death Vessel

04/28 Fri, Brooklyn NY
Southpaw w/ Wooden Wand, Page France

04/29 Sat, Arlington VA
Iota Club & Cafe w/ Page France

05/01 Mon, Charlottesville VA
Satellite Ballroom w/ Page France

05/02 Tue, Asheville NC
The Grey Eagle w/ Minus Story, Emperor X

05/03 Wed, Nashville TN
Exit/In w/ Minus Story, Emperor X

05/04 Thu, Norman OK
The Opolis w/ Minus Story, Emperor X

05/05 Fri, Dallas TX
Gypsy Tea Room w/ Laura Veirs, Minus Story

05/06 Sat, Austin TX
Emo's w/ Laura Veirs, Minus Story

05/08 Mon, Tucson AZ
Plush w/ Laura Veirs

05/09 Tue, Phoenix AZ
Modified w/ Laura Veirs

05/10 Wed, San Diego CA
Casbah w/ Laura Veirs

05/11 Thu, Los Angeles CA
Echo w/ Laura Veirs

05/12 Fri, San Francisco CA
The Independent w/ Laura Veirs, Nedelle

Marathonpacks takes on the issue of "blogger payola" in the form of CDs and schwag.

Personal taste, which is what blogs broadcast, is a very nebulous thing, and it’s always publicly represented in myriad ways by different people, based on who they are and what they deem important. That's why some blogs take a corporate model, complete with ads, and talk of "serving their readers", and others take an opposite approach, curating a highly personal collection of music for an idiosyncratic following. And thousands of others do thousands of other things. But to assume that music acquired by bloggers from PR companies or labels is somehow "tainted", or the blogger is inauthentic, just eliminates the role of human agency and reverts to the medieval hypodermic model all over again.

The Onion A.V. Club lists 7 songs with "factual or logical mistakes in the lyics."

Richard Archer of Hard-Fi talks to Chicago's Metromix about the band's ever-present Clash comparisons.

"We're not going to deny that they're a great influence, but there's 20 years of music after the Clash that is just as vital and important to us as what they did," Archer says. "We're not scared into thinking that every song has to sound the same and has to have loads of guitars over it. Why shouldn't you have a record that's got a house beat on it and a tough guitar sound on it?"

The Onion A.V. Club interviews Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys.

AVC: Are you prepared for a backlash?

AT: I don't think we really give a f*ck. There's probably an underground backlash now. We won't be surprised, we'll just kind of get on with it. People can say what they want, can't they now? But it's like, we've done something that doesn't happen every week.

The A.V. Club also interviews Emily Haines of Metric.

AVC: A lot of Canadian bands receive financial assistance from their government. Can you compare your situation to bands in the United States?

EH: Canada is going to have a difficult time competing with America, for obvious reasons. The population is a fraction of America's, and American culture is pretty pervasive. But I think more of note—in fact, go ahead and disregard everything I just said—it's just good business. It's like helping small businesses get off the ground. It's definitely the case for bands, I think that if you can just get past that first hump of being able to get on the road and not come back in debt, then you can carry yourself. So it's really just the people of Canada making a preliminary investment in small enterprise and then seeing the results magnified. This has put a lot of revenue back into the country, with minimal investment. But I think also, if you suck, it's not going to do anything for you at all. There are loads of people who've done really well without it, and people who've had it and haven't done anything. It's definitely not a make-or-break factor, but I think it's nice. It's modern and civilized.

An iPod bike mount has started a safety debate.

Singer-songwriter-producer John Vanderslice discusses his favorite albums with

If you sit back and consider the ragged trash-can funk of Real Gone, it becomes clear that Tom Waits has come a long way from his barroom balladeer beginnings.

Tim Thompson chronicles the ACL Festival's ticket presale fiasco (I didn't get my e-mail until the ickets were sold out, either).

Michael Gray, author of the forthcoming book, Bob Dylan Encyclopedia (to be released in June), has a blog for the project.

Author Andrew Holmes playing Secret Santa, having authors like David Mitchell, Hari Kunzru, and others review each others' mix CDs. (thx)


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