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June 17, 2006

Shorties

Beggars Group has some new information about the new Mountain Goats album, Get Lonely, as well as three song streams.

If The Sunset Tree (which chronicled the fraught, violent relationship between Darnielle and his stepfather) derived its power and energy from an unblinking exorcism of personal demons, Get Lonely is perhaps the quiet, haunted aftermath. It’s a reflective, intimate record; the mood is one of bittersweet resignation rather than cathartic release.


Jon Pareles recaps day one of Bonnaroo for the New York Times.


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reviews the best book I have read all year, the graphic memoir, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, by Alison Bechdel.

Despite its prurient plot and the pop-cult vehicle of graphic novel, Bechdel's story reads more like a Russian classic than a page-turning tell-all. Unlike many contemporary memoirs, "Fun Home" grapples with childhood memories, adult hindsight and family secrets with much integrity. Literature is lucky that - at least for this project - she has assimilated into the mainstream.

The New York Times also praises the book.

Of course the true memoirist's mission, like the novelist's, is not so much establishing factuality as getting to the heart and truth of something — and there is no way to get there dishonestly. Having read "Fun Home" I believe that Bechdel's made the journey. But my certainty is blessedly un-fact-checkable.

Bechdel's memoir even makes its way into a Globe and Mail list of summer's best graphic novels.

In black and white panels with green wash, wryly observed non-linear episodes explore their unique father-daughter dynamic, deftly combining pop culture touchstones with haute literary allusions, alternately mixing references to Greek mythology, Camus and Leopold Bloom with memories of Earth Shoe boxes.


The Rocky Mountain News reviews day one of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.


Danielson's Daniel Smith talks to the Washington Postt about the documentray, "Danielson: A Family Movie (Or, Make a Joyful Noise Here)."

"Spirituality, creative community, family, wrestling with your background and your future at the same time, figuring out your identity. I think watching the film, I've learned a lot about this crazy thing I'm doing here. It's helped me boil things down a bit, to be able to take a step back and say what is this art-making process all about."


The Lexington Herald-Leader profiles one of my favorite music bloggers, Matt Jordan of You Ain't No Picasso.

"It still surprises me that I got a press pass to this," he says, standing in a throng of sweating 20-somethings waiting to see singer Devendra Banhart. "I consider myself a journalist in training. I guess I'm a professional blogger."


Time previews the Bonnaroo music festival.


Dee Kesler and Jason Gonzales of Thee More Shallows talk to StarWars.com about the similarities between their music and science fiction films.

"We work hard to record our music so that creates a fully-realized world you can inhabit when you put on your headphones," Kesler says. "In that respect, our goals are the same as the best of fantasy and sci-fi movies."


Kochalkaholic interviews artist James Kochalka about the success of "Hockey Monkey" (mp3 link), the theme song for the Fox television series "The Loop."

We got $25,000 for the song, but we split that five ways. Certainly the song was heard by millions and millions of people, but it hasn't led to huge sales. It did give us inroads to commercial radio. Up until now, my stuff has only been played on college radio, but after the show premiered we took a chance and sent the Hockey Monkey single out to 400 commercial and modern rock radio stations. Of those, I think about 20 or 25 started playing it. Most significantly, the SIRIUS satellite network started playing it on their most popular music channel, Alt Nation. It quickly climbed the charts there, eventually becoming the #1 most requested song.


Suicide Girls interviews comic book artist Carlos Ezquerra.

SG: Have you ever done work that doesn’t have a lot of violence in it?

CE: I actually don’t really like the violence [laughs]. I don’t mind the violence if it’s a little bit comic or ironic. But I hate the violence just for the violence. For me drawing violence is a way to criticize it and show how bad it can be. But if it was a serious comic with a lot of gratuitous violence, I would hate that.


No Love For Ned has Vollmar (Justin Vollmar of Half-Handed Cloud) as an in-studio guest this week on the streaming radio program.


Tilly and the Wall guitarist Nick White talks to Flagpole about making the band's music available as a free downloads online.

“We didn’t see any reason not to put up the album. We’ve been lucky having it for download,” says White. “It’s a perfect way for people to look at a band without looking at their press. People will buy the record if they really like it, or they’ll come see us live and maybe buy a t-shirt or something.”


Singer-songwriter (and current Robert Pollard sideman) Tommy Keene recounts his major label past for the Chicago Reader.

The album tanked despite positive reviews, and label head David Geffen wouldn't pay to send Keene back into the studio. "He said, 'You're not going to make another record until you write a certified smash,'" says Keene. "So I wrote with Jules Shear. I got together with Paul Westerberg one night, but we just got drunk. I even said I'd get together with the guy who wrote the lyrics for Bryan Adams, but fortunately he wasn't available. I jumped through every hoop they wanted, and in the end they just kind of lost interest."


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