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May 18, 2006


Members of the Icelandic band Sigur Ros talk to the Independent about hugging Tom Cruise (and other things).

In Sigur Ros's recording studio, a converted swimming pool 10 minutes outside Reykjavik, there is a photograph of Tom Cruise clutching the band's guitarist and keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson, and grinning that famous grin of his, teeth everywhere.

"He is holding me pretty tight," Sveinsson notes. "Me? I'm pulling a funny face. I'm not sure why."

IGN examines the influence of myth and literature in videogames.

Playboy lists the top 25 sexiest novels of all time.

Popmatters interviews the Beastie Boys.

Greg Dulli of the Twilight Singers talks to Pulse of the Twin Cities about the inspiration for the band's new album, Powder Burns.

“Hurricane Katrina was such an epochal moment in time, and my history in New Orleans came to the forefront while making it,” says Dulli who recorded the bulk of Powder Burns in New Orleans both directly before and after Katrina’s catastrophic impact, while also newly coming to terms with sobriety. “In a lot of ways I was drawing parallels between my last couple of years personally and what happened after the hurricane."

he Guardian chronicles the revival of the Brazilian band, Os Mutantes.

Why the revival? Mutantes became a hip name to drop after endorsements by Beck and Kurt Cobain in the early 1990s, but the cult only really got going after the 1999 release of Everything Is Possible!, a compilation put together by David Byrne on his label Luaka Bop.

USA Today examines the current crop of protest music.

Curbed reports that Apple has requested a street be closed for a "performance of a major live band" (their guess is U2) during the opening of a 5th Avenue Manhattan store.

Sasha Frere-Jones talks to the New York Times about the Stephin Merritt controversy.

In an interview on Monday, Mr. Frere-Jones emphasized that his personal blog was just that, since it is neither linked to nor edited by The New Yorker, and that the "cracker" crack was just that.

"Calling him that was a dumb thing to do," he said. "It is a little bit of inside baseball, a nerdy music fight. I was just sort of rising to the bait."

"It was probably not the most effective way to attack those issues," Mr. Frere-Jones said. "It does get the idea up in the air and the discussion going. If I have to take some heat for it, so be it. If I had to it to do over again, I would not have been so hot-headed and taken some words out of it, but that is the nature of blogging."

Suicide Girls interviews Pall Jenkins of the Black Heart Procession.

DRE: One critic called The Black Hearts the musical embodiment of a Tim Burton movie.

Jenkins: That’s pretty cool. I can see that. That’s not a bad compliment at all. Tim Burton’s great for sure. If he offered us to do a soundtrack, that would be amazing. I would do that in a second. I could think of plenty directors that I would like to do something for like David Lynch, Roman Polanski, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Tim Burton’s up on that list for sure. That would be really appropriate.

The Morning News has a new feature, "Digest," that will feature a round-up of books (Mondays), mp3s (Wednesdays), and videos (Fridays).

No Love For Ned had singer-songwriter Adam Lipman in for an encore in-studio appearance this week of the streaming radio show.

Mike Cooley of the Drive-By Truckers talks to the Illinois Entertainer.

The idea of “stupid Americans” has been at the core of Drive-By Truckers for years now, steered toward a domestic audience. Hood chased “the duality of the Southern thing” on 2000’s breakthrough Southern Rock Opera, trying to pinpoint what made people hold the American South with such classical reverence and simultaneous disgust. Perhaps it’s premature to bring such a complex issue over to context-free Europe, unresolved?

“No, actually they get it,” he laughs, “it’s amazing. [Europeans] seem to understand it because a lot of our culture is really similar to theirs, they relate to it. They’ve had revolution, and civil wars, and oppression. That’s where we got the idea! They don’t have the same stereotypes the rest of America does. They know our history, they know our news — they keep up with our current events probably better than we do. I don’t think they have the same negative stereotypes about our part of the country that most of the rest of the U.S. [has had] for so long.”


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