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April 20, 2006


The British Phonographic Industry reports that the percentage of CD sales to consumers under 30 is going down while sales to people over 40 is increasing.

The Telegraph reviews Morrissey's Manchester performance.

To anyone who wasn't a foaming-mouthed fan, it might feel odd to watch a man of Morrissey's age and bulk - he now looks somewhere between a stouter Ted Hughes and a wardrobe disguised as Herman Munster - prancing and preening like he did as a sapling-thin youth.

The Duluth News Tribune interviews author David Sedaris.

Q: What types of topics usually come up during your live show Q&As?

A: Generally it's the same questions, but I always figure you get the questions you deserve. I'll go to other people's readings and people say "Why did you decide to write that in second person instead of the third person?" or they'll ask a question about the origins of satire or the influence of Jane Austen on American novels of the 19th century.

And my questions are: "What does your family think when you write about them?" "How's your French coming along" ... I'm not complaining. If I were going to ask me questions, that's probably what I would ask. If I didn't know myself.

Popmatters profiles Toronto's Creeping Nobodies.

There's a definite growth spurt in the band's future, with comments like the following coming from sneering Toronto music critics: "If John Peel were still alive, his next order of business would have been to make the Creeping Nobodies the art-punk superstars they deserve to be (and will soon become anyway)."

The Bitter Leaf Fan Page asked me to submit my NHL playoff predictions.

The Riverfront Times previews a She Wants Revenge show with some help from the ghost of Ian Curtis.

X-Press Online reviews the Mountain Goats Australian tour EP, Babylon Springs.

(John) Darnielle has a wild passion for literature and language and it is when he gets the chance to experiment with words that he is at his best. Freed from the constraints of relaying stories of his own life, Babylon Springs sees The Mountain Goats return to the telling of outrageous tales of inauspicious characters.

Nobel Prize winning author Gunter Grass has come out against the effect of big money on soccer.

Grass, who won the Nobel prize for literature in 1999, said he was sickened by the role "big money" played in the game. "I find the commercialisation of football terrible. There is no fair competition any more in Germany's first and second division. This makes the competition for the championship boring," he told his local newspaper, the Lübecker Nachrichten.

Portland State's Daily Vanguard profiles singer-songwriter Jandek.

Raleigh's The Independent previews next week's North Carolina Festival of the Book.

The Guardian posts the longlist for the Frank O'Connor international short story prize.

Winston-Salem's RelishNow! reviews the new Drive-By Truckers album, A Blessing and a Curse.

Concise, detailed songs by Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley and Jason Isbell, also the band's three guitarists and singers, find fresh voice by slyly reflecting sources as diverse as Townes Van Zandt and The Replacements.

Flagpole also reviews the album.

I guess it was inevitable. Sooner or later, the Drive-By Truckers had to slide a bit. The truth is, A Blessing And A Curse simply can’t compare to the sprawling grandeur of their last three near-masterpieces. That being said, the new offering is still a strong album, although only about half of it is as strong as anything DBT has ever done.

The Guardian lists the top 50 film adaptations of books.

Suicide Girls interviews Nick Cave.

DRE: Are you planning on writing any more novels?

Cave: No.

DRE: How come?

Cave: I think that once you've written a couple of film scripts you can never write a novel again. Also I just never had any desire to write another one. It's just not something that I've wanted to do. Writing one in the first place was just this perverse idea at the time. Someone said I should write a novel and I went, “Oh, okay.” It was that type of thing and I wrote one and I don't have any ambitions to be an author really. For me I just really want to be a songwriter. That's what I'm primarily interested in.

For Chicagoans, here is an interesting bill at Schuba's in June:

Thursday, 6/22/2006 - 9:00 PM - $12.00

Townshend Research from Dayton, Ohio and
special guest : Tommy Keene

Townshend Research has been mentioned by Bob Pollard as a fictitious band name, and Keene is playing in Pollard's band on his solo tour. My guess is that this will be recorded for a live Pollard album. Tickets are available now.

goodhodgkins shares the Wrens' original songs from their Meadowlands release, complete with commentary.

CMJ interviews Syd Butler, bassist for Les Savy Fav and owner of Frenchkiss Records.


It used to be Syd the bass player, and then the love of the label took over. Now I have to be reminded of Syd the bassist. I’m glad I wake up at all sometimes…


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