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May 28, 2006


Decemberists bassist Nate Query talks to the Oxford Student about the band's song, "16 Military Wives."

“Because Bush has been such a devastatingly terrible President, and because so many people are excited whenever anybody criticises him in public, the song got latched onto by a lot of left-wingers. Especially because the video links high school bullies with the Bush administration and the way America treats the rest of the world. I certainly abhor the Bush administration and do think that he acts like a spoilt asshole.

The way the video implies that high school bullies are spoilt rich assholes is a good metaphor for the current U.S. Government.”

The Miami Herald lists summer reading recommendations.

In the Chicago Sun-Times, Jim DeRogatis shares reader mail concerning his Pearl Jam show review.

The Contra Costa Times examines the upsurge in audiobook sales and use.

Heard a good book lately? Chances are that if you haven't, you will someday soon. Thanks to a rising tide of popular titles, as well as the boom in portable digital devices such as iPods and MP3 players, interest in audiobooks is surging. According to the Audio Publishers Association, approximately one in five U.S. households now purchases at least one audiobook a year.

Singer-songwriter Joel Plaskett talks to the Toronto Star.

"A lot of the music you hear on the radio now is compressed beyond recognition to make it sound like something that belongs. There's a lot of trickery. The vocals are all Auto-Tuned (a digital device that corrects pitch). I'm not opposed to that stuff entirely, because sometimes it adds something you want to achieve. But there's a human element I try to retain because it's part of the personality of the whole thing."

The Chicago Tribune chronicles the fight to ban books in the Arlington Heights suburb.

Though book bans have a long history, many of today's attempts are being fueled by the Internet. Some groups have posted summaries and graphic excerpts of books they find objectionable.

That is how District 214 board member Leslie Pinney assembled a list of nine books she deemed inappropriate, including Morrison's "Beloved," Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-Five" and Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried."

She said she created the list after looking into unfamiliar titles that administrators wanted to use. Her research took her to Wikipedia, an Internet encyclopedia edited by users, and, a Web site produced by Kansas parents who have sought to remove some books from their curriculum.

The Deseret News lists ten reasons the Da Vinci Code is a better book than film.

10. The book is 100 percent mullet-free.
9. In print, you can imagine Tom Cruise instead of Tom Hanks.
8. The whole Fanatical Masochistic Albino Assassin concept is so much cooler in print.
7. In print, you can imagine Tom Selleck instead of Tom Hanks.
6. The book-on-tape version is read by tough guy Chuck Norris, complete with sound effects.
5. In print, you can imagine Tom Arnold instead of Tom Hanks.
4. Reading is way neater than watching. Duh!
3. In print, you can imagine Tom Green instead of Tom Hanks.
2. The book can be enjoyed in the privacy of your home, away from the distractions of annoying kids and cell phones.

And the No. 1 reason the "Da Vinci Code" book is better than the movie:

1. Reading the entire book takes less time than watching the 2 1/2-hour movie. (At least until it's on DVD, and fast-forward is an option.)

Chicago Sun-Times book editor Henry Kisor recounts the changes in publishing during his 33 year career.

The promising "New Journalism" of the 1970s soared over the top in the 1990s and gave way to "creative nonfiction," a bastard genre whose extreme practitioners have been so creative that some publishers may finally start checking facts in the "memoirs" they issue. (Don't hold your breath that most of them will. Too many dollars are at stake.)

The American Chronicle interviews Pandora founder, Tim Westergen. See also: part two of the interview, with COO Ettienne Handman.

June: Is there a Pandora Music Festival or Pandora label on the horizon?

Tim: I would love to put on a festival, but I don’t imagine us becoming a label. We don’t want to be in a position where there’s the perception among our listeners that we have a bias towards a particular catalog. I think trust these days is very difficult to get, very easy to lose.

The Times Online examines how the internet is "re-energizing British pop."

Perhaps you have been aware that the Arctic Monkeys and now Lily Allen have emerged into stardom via reputations constructed online. But you may know nothing of the scale, homogeneity and ragged amiability of the community that produced them. This strange, largely middle-class world of DIY stars and fans may just be about to restore legitimacy and style to British pop.

The Observer bemoans the lessening quality of the British novel, and also lists the 20 all-time great Booker Prize winners and 1o who were "pipped to the post."

At Suicide Girls, Lily Suicide interviews author Kristyn Dunnion about her book, Mosh Pit.

LS: That’s rad, I also hear you are a comics fan, and you have you very own comic series called “MUDFLAPS”…

KD: Yeah, I love comics and always have since I was a kid. I’d love to send you a set of MUDFLAPS ... they were a little preoccupied with issues of sexuality, with the street, with violence and revenge, all from a girl’s point of view. I have great revenge fantasies! I really miss drawing, but I haven’t had enough time to do that since I started working full time during the days.

In the Guardian, author Georgia Byng lists her top ten books to "feed the imagination."

Punkcast has made available Nikki Sudden's March 24th NYC show, his second-to-last live performance.


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