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June 26, 2006


Chicago's Tribune and Sun-Times review last weekend's Intonation Music Festival.

Author (and Mr. T Experience frontman) Frank Portman talks to Inside bay Area about his young adult novel, King Dork.

What "Young Adult" means in 2006 is a fuzzier thing than for previous generations, and Portman credits his breakthrough to the evolution of the genre, which once was synonymous with Judy Blume-style middle-school books.

"It is changing," he said. "There's still a lot of confusion in it that reflects a lot of confusion in our society of what a young adult is supposed to be. You've got a wide-open territory, they'll take a chance on anything.

"The publishing business tends to be pretty conservative. People want to play it safe. But there is a window here, and I just managed to step into it. (Young Adult) is very vibrant, and it's one of the few publishing sectors that is growing."

Pitchfork offers a summer reading list of music-related books.

Popmatters interviews comic artist Scott McCloud.

Are comics generally finding a wider, more sophisticated readership?

What's been happening creatively in the last few years has completely changed the demographics. When it was just superheroes and the daily newspaper strips in, say, the late 1980s, the content was radically different. The Web is not the only factor in that growth, of course; there are other forces. You also have the literary graphic novel movement, which has grown considerably since then. Then you have this massive influx of Japanese comics. Their readers, the manga readers, have represented a tremendous demographic shift, too. You see a lot more girls reading comics than ever before. In my day, when I was first getting into it, the skew was probably 90-10 percent, with 10 percent being girls or women reading.

Stylus profiles several session musicians, including the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.

No longer. This week Stylus presents a deliciously non-definitive guide to the Session Musician: an incomplete look at those who never reached the heights of stardom, but probably made more money than you can ever imagine doing it.

Time lists six summer albums "to play nice and loud."

The Toledo Blade reviews two of this year's best graphic novels, Jessica Abel's La Perdida and Guy Delisle's Pyongyang.

Stylus eulogizes Top of the Pops.

When punk happened TOTP had it all its way; its sister show The Old Grey Whistle Test refused to have any punk bands on in 1977 as it was an “albums-only” programme, which meant that the likes of the Pistols, the Buzzcocks, Dury, and the Jam started turning up regularly on TOTP, making the show even more compelling watching for viewers like me who were roughly the right age to be enchanted; and they stood out like proud Trojan horses when placed in juxtaposition with Des O’Connor or Boney M or the Brotherhood of Man.

World Hum has finished compiling its list of the 30 best travel books.

DeepGenre lists "20 Ways Science Fiction and Fantasy Are Like Mozilla Firefox."

Watch a video of "Game of Pricks" from the Townshend Research (Robert Pollard) show Friday night at Schuba's in Chicago.


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