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June 25, 2006


You Ain't No Picasso has two Apples in Stereo shows posted for download, the band's Desdemona Festival performance and their recent Lexington show.

The Chicago Tribune and Chicagoist wrap up day one of the Intonation Music Festival.

The Chicago Sun-Times offers suggested audiobooks for summer road trips.

Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy talks to the Edmonton Sun.

"My experience has always been, the more you play a song before you record it, the more difficult it is to get a version you're really happy with in the studio, just because you start grasping for that sort of live immediacy and the feeling of an audience being there and you can't really recreate that in the studio."

Souhern Voice reviews Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic.

Do not be fooled by the graphics Bechdel uses to tell her stories. From the memoir’s first pages, which include references to Icarus’ fall from the sky and Bruce’s “monomaniacal restoration of our old house,” Bechdel shows that, far from being cartoonish, her memoir embraces the cerebral.

Neil Young talks to the Observer about his protest record, Living With War.

'Well I just went with my instincts as always. I was trying for a sound that really resonates so that's why the choir's on there. I wanted something so utterly simple and unarranged that people could sing along with it and play along with it, just like those old stirring folk songs. So when we play them live, anyone can get on board. There's no arrangements to learn, no fancy harmonies. It's stripped-down folk really, but I wanted it to sound angry and agitated and raw, too. My voice, and what I think as an individual, is much less important on this project. It's the project itself that's the important thing. It's about making yourself heard.'

The Go! Team's Ian Parton and Jamie Bell talk to the Scotsman.

The Go! Team shouldn't work for lots of reasons. "There are six of us, we use samples and we won't do adverts - that should mean poverty," adds Parton. But the band have managed to go full-time and give up the day jobs, in Bell's case as a draughtsman. "I'm earning what I was before," he says. "I'm not homeless and that's all I want. I don't want to be rich and famous because that would inevitably mean compromise."

The San Francisco Chronicle interviews singer-songwriter Fiona Apple.

Q: That's nuts. So one day you just wake up, walk out onstage and you're facing 10,000 people?

A: Yes. I've learned a lot over the years, and I've learned a couple of key things that keep me sane. For instance, I can't look at the tour books that say where we're going or what hotels we're staying at or how long the bus drive is or what city the show is in. I prefer to not know where we're going. The more I know, the more I stress.

The Arizona Republic examines the history of beach books.

Paradoxically, the latest batch of beach books may actually be a bad choice for the sand and surf because they're usually in hardcover - but that doesn't stop marketers from applying the label. In fact, some might wonder whether "summer reading" is anything but a marketing label. After all, if you spend all year reading Proust and Tolstoy, are you really going to switch to Danielle Steel just because you're heading to Cancún?

The Austin American-Statesman reviews notable new children's picture books.

The Guardian wonders who is ghost-writing footballers columns covering the World Cup.

A good question - but one sports editors seem oddly resistant to answering. You all know that Tony Blair doesn't actually write that routine piece for the Evening Bugle, they say; you know it's some Whitehall hack. So why should we treat our own signings differently?

Author Howard Jacobson talks to the Observer.

Only once, has he stopped a writer - Milan Kundera - in the street to tell him how much he admired him.

'I'm not normally magnanimous enough to praise other people, but I really like him and he is old and he didn't look well. I did it once with John Updike, but my heart wasn't in it. I feel more generous if I'm doing well. If I'm not, I don't have any spare kindness.'

The Observer reviews Haruki Murakami's new book of short stories, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman.

This collection spans his career and ends with five stories recently published in Japan as Strange Tales From Tokyo. As the author admits, this title would embrace most of his output, but these do have a greater amplitude, integrating the uncanny more gently into the narrative.

Serena-Maneesh's Emil Nikolaisen talks to the Sunday Times.

Drowned in Sound rediscovers Inspiral Carpets, interviewing vocalist Tom Hingley.

So what can we expect from the tour?

Five blokes sweating profusely on stage! Probably a healthy mix in the audience of young kids who grew up on their older brothers cool records and a load of thirty-somethings stagediving! We’ve got nothing new to promote on this tour so expect the hits and a whole lot more besides, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise as to what that might be. I think this tour is something of a guilty pleasure for us all now, to be honest.


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