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May 16, 2006

Shorties

The Denver Post profiles the music-recommending streaming service, Pandora.

Michael Zapruder oversees the Music Genome Project for Pandora. He believes it sets itself apart from other customized Internet radio sites because it intentionally broadens people's horizons.

"We don't take into account the popularity of what we're recommending," said Zapruder, also a musician. "We try to have everything everybody knows, and then marry that to the boutique and indie labels. So when you type in 'Coldplay' you might listen to a band that you would have otherwise never found."


This week's New Yorker contains a new short story by Lara Vapnyar, "Cinderella School."


The Toronto Star uncovers the "real story" behind the failure of Margaret Atwood's long-distance book-signing device, the LongPen.

Maybe, eventually, it will sign all the flat pages you want. But it won't sign a breast.

Atwood and her team realized this flaw too late, according to corporate sources.

The usual excited screams of autograph seekers became terrifyingly different sorts of screams when tests resulted in a series of extremely severe puncture wounds. Those people got off easy. One individual — it happened while the stylus was executing the author's trademark flourish with the "w" in "Atwood" — saw his kidney bayonetted out. Another, even more dismayed, wound up, not to put too fine a point on it, singing soprano.


Stylus finds a magic musical moment in Rufus Wainwright's "Damned Ladies."


The New York Times remembers poet Stanley Kunitz, who passed away yesterday.

My favorite Kunitz poem:

The Quarrel

The word I spoke in anger
weighs less than a parsley seed,
but a road runs through it
that leads to my grave,
that bought-and-paid-for lot
on a salt-sprayed hill in Truro
where the scrub pines
overlook the bay.
Half-way I'm dead enough,
strayed from my own nature
and my fierce hold on life.
If I could cry, I'd cry,
but I'm too old to be
anybody's child.
Liebchen,
with whom should I quarrel
except in the hiss of love,
that harsh, irregular flame?


Chicago band Beatnik Turtle talks to Billboard about their Indie Band Survival Guide.

"I bought a whole stack of books for research, and none of what's on our site was in one place, especially from the point of view of a band that isn't necessarily looking to find a big label," he says. "A lot of them are targeted at making your big break. From our point of view, we wanted to share what we learned, and we don't think we can charge for that. This is a living document."


Oliver Broudy chronicles "binge listening" for the Morning News.

When you’re bingeing you don’t just listen. You absorb. You become saturated. The sound of the band becomes your sound; their ethos becomes your ethos. When you walk down the street, it’s their music that you hear in your head, even when you’re not wearing headphones. You begin to prize certain off-key moments in their songs, idiosyncratic chord changes, or fumbled lyrics.


Learn languages with your iPod with iLingo.


Metal Gear Solid is a digital graphic novel for the Sony PSP.


Bloodhag is a heavy metal band that plays short songs about science fiction authors. Their latest album, Hell Bent For Letters, will be released on May 23rd.


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