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June 11, 2006


The Tennessean examines the growth of indie labels in mainstream country music.

The Philadelphia Inquirer profiles Rufus Wainwright's recreation this week of Judy Garland's April 23, 1961 concert at Carnegie Hall.

Two generous, emotive performers, Garland and Wainwright developed their concert styles - lengthy, sweaty, quirky - from very different starting points. Garland (who died in 1969) met her listeners more than halfway, acting as a catalyst for the audience's emotional experience. Wainwright comes out of the Bob Dylan singer/songwriter world in which an uncultivated voice is a mark of artistic honesty, and songs' logic yields to abstract poetic statements. And the audience dynamics are somewhat reversed: Wainwright has an intense inner experience that, with luck, is contagious to the audience.

The Bottle Rockets' Brian Henneman talks to the Morris County Daily Record about the band's new album, Zoysia.

"We made a pact among ourselves to make an album that we could listen to 10 years down the line," Henneman said. "In the past, we never really thought about that, so we sometimes ended up with some songs that no one else wants to hear again. We were looking to make it more timeless."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette lists the best of summer's "bounty" of books to read.

The Raleigh News & Observer has North Carolina authors weigh in on the best fiction of the past 25 years.

Of course, great literature transcends time and place, and there was overlap between The N&O and Times surveys: "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien, Morrison's "Beloved," John Updike's "Rabbit" novels and "Housekeeping" by Marilynne Robinson made both lists. And the winner of our poll, "Blood Meridian" by Cormac McCarthy, was also a favorite of the Times' judges.

John Sakamoto rehabs another music playlist today in his iPodiatrist column.

In an article about Tiny Masters of Today, music blog Gorilla vs. Bear gets a shoutout in this week's edition of Newsweek.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette covers sources to download online music, including music blogs.

The New York Times examines the Zappa Plays Zappa tour.

My overall goal in doing this is to present Frank's music to a newer audience," Dweezil Zappa, 36, said in a phone interview from the Los Angeles area last month, the day before heading out for the tour. "I think his music for one reason or another kind of skipped some generations that didn't get a chance to discover it."

The Portland Tribune on the Mountain Goats:

There’s not a lot of gray area with the Mountain Goats — you’ll either love the strangled, nasally bleat and cleverly skewed worldview of singer-songwriter John Darnielle or you’ll run straight for the exit.

Darnielle’s decidedly lo-fi brand of twisted, misanthropic misfit rock might prevent him from enjoying the mainstream success of peers like Nada Surf or Death Cab for Cutie, but it’s earned him a sizable cult following that eagerly anticipates each new chapter with an almost maniacal fervor.

This Livejournal user lists the top 50 Marvel Comics characters.

The New York Times examines the use of music in the operating room.

At St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, Dr. Alan Benvenisty, a vascular and transplant surgeon, meticulously creates playlists for his two iPods, which he sets up with speakers. "I have the whole thing programmed ahead of time," he said. "If you spend many, many hours in the O.R. listening to music, you learn a lot about music. I'm pretty much an expert on classic rock." His nickname is Hyper Al.

A Blog Soup features three live videos of Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore playing tracks from the band's album, Rather Ripped (out June 13th).


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