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June 23, 2006


The Fiery Furnaces' Matt Friedberger talks to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

"We did get good reviews for 'Rehearsing My Choir,' but the Internet reviewers didn't like it. Spin, Alternative Press, the New York Times, the Guardian, Uncut - all gave it favorable reviews.

"Maybe people didn't like it because it didn't have beats. I think guitar-rock fans and indie-rock fans ... want to hear the song start with the guitars, then have the drums come in, and the chorus coming in after a logical succession of verses," Friedberger says.

The Bottle Rockets' Brian Henneman talks to the Lexington Herald-Leader about the band's new approach to life.

"The group is healthy now, mentally and physically," Henneman said. "We're not this band of roving, drunk party guys anymore. In the past, I took every other end of what we did seriously except the music -- which, at the end of the day, isn't terribly satisfying. I mean, the only reason you're out there in the first place is for the music. So what we have now is a million times better than what we had."

The Chicago Sun-Times previews this weekend's Intonation Music Festival.

Bryan Lee O'Malley, creator of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels, is interviewed by the Patriot-Leader.

The story itself, O'Malley said, "is sort of based on my life situation at the time when I was that age. I lived in Toronto and I had a gay roommate, and I was dating an American girl and it sort of grew out of there."

The success of "Scott Pilgrim" has even led to a movie deal. Currently optioned by Universal Pictures, a "Scott Pilgrim" film is in the works, tentatively scheduled to be directed by Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead").

Popmatters offers an oral history of the Elephant6 music collective.

Andrew Rieger: I met Will and Bill at a birthday party. Elf Power had just recorded their first record on four-track, and Olivia had just done their first seven-inch, and we traded records and realized that we were both kind of doing the same thing.

Lauren Carter: The real true beginning of Elf Power was Andrew and a four-track. It was mainly a recording project, which is why we hit it off so well with the Olivias. Jeff was included in the Olivia gang at that point. Here we were in this small town, and we were four-track recorders, and the Olivia guys were four-track recorders, and neither one of us knew each other. The music wasn't that similar, but how we spent out free time, our obsessions, were exactly the same.

For another insight into the Elephant6 collective, read Kim Cooper's 33 1/3 book on Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

Book Television (a cable channel I had no idea existed) has announced its fall programming highlights.

Nick Southall lists "the top 10 things i hate about CDs" for Stylus.

Flagpole previews Athens' Athfest music festival, which starts today.

Singer-songwriter Regina Spektor takes a Guardian reporter on a tour of Manhattan.

"New York feeds me creatively," she says, during the course of an overcast June Sunday spent taking the Guardian round the New York locations that have informed her music. "A lot of my inspiration comes from walking in the streets. It's a kind of country of its own. This is the place that makes me feel more at home than anywhere else on the planet."

Synthesis interviews Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis.

Your lyrics tend to be dark while your music is pretty upbeat. Have you ever switched those angles?

I’m sure I have, or we have, but not usually. We write songs that are poppier and then sneak in the dark attack. I think the reverse is more difficult and less palatable."

Author Alison Bechdel talks to Gay City News about her graphic memoir, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic.

“My comic strip is an extremely rigid little form—I have ten or twelve panels in which to tell a short but complete story every other week,” said Bechdel. “In ‘Fun Home’ I could stretch out and lavish much more attention on the drawings, rather than just cramming them in around the words like I have to do in my strip.”

The Orlando Sentinel's blog also reviews the book.

Fun Home is the arty/indie/outside the mainstream book for summer, a layered story that treats it subjects with a compassionate sort of brutal honesty and humor.

Wilco's Jeff Tweedy talks to Toronto's VUE Weekly.

“The only label I’ve felt comfortable with is rock ‘n’ roll music. I feel like I’m in a rock band,” Tweedy says. “I think we’ve tried to absorb folk elements and those are things I’m comfortable with saying are there. But other than that, I don’t know what to tell people. If that’s too broad, well, maybe they don’t like rock music.”

The Jackson Sun wonders if comic books can work as social, political commentaries.

Arnold T. Blumberg of Baltimore, who has written extensively on comic books and teaches a course in comic book literature at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, says Marvel Comics' "Civil War" comic book series is a valid way to get people to look at important issues such as those now facing the country.

The latest installment of Said the Gramophone's "Said the Guests" series features Zach Condon of Beirut.

Stylus reviewed Jamie Radford's debut album, Athens, giving it a B+.

"Never Give Up" is a typically skewed take on the "I do it for the love" song. Optimistic without being mawkish, Radford confronts the hopelessness that so often accompanies listening to the radio and finds comfort in the creative process, suggesting others do the same no matter how few people hear it.

Rhett Miller of the Old 97's lists "music you should hear" for Amazon.

Noise for Toaster interviews Birdmonster bassist Jason.

NfT: Cheesy, I know, but what has been the biggest influence on your personal music style?
J: We all come from different places musically, which is why I think we sound the way we do, by the way. There's no stated, agreed-upon vision.

I must point to London Calling as my personal, biggest influence. 2 discs, no bad songs and it's surprisingly complicated without ever sounding that way. Everything's so seemless, no one tries to do too much. If London Calling was a woman, we'd be married with four children, none of which would sound like Sandanista, hopefully.


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