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June 29, 2006


The Eureka Times-Standard lists ten songs for summer.

Author Hisham Matar talks to the Guardian about his debut novel, In the Country of Men.

The novel that has so excited the critics draws on Matar's troubled childhood in Libya, yet draws away from it too. I find his calmness about his kidnapped father strange, and can't stop nagging away at it. Why not go back to Libya, where supposedly long-closed doors are creaking open, look for him, try to find out what happened? "Maybe if I watch Rambo a few times I might be convinced of that idea," he says. "But life doesn't work that way. In any case, to go back would feel like a betrayal of a lot of the people I knew. I know so many people in Libya who are in prison - three cousins and an uncle, friends who have been killed, hanged by the neck."

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel bemoans the lack of diversity in the city's Summerfest lineup this year.

The Asbury Park Press profiles the inventor of the i-Ride, an iPod speaker system for bicycles.

The Hollywood Reporter updates the casting for the film adaptation of Michael Chabon's The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.

Sienna Miller is in final negotiations and Peter Sarsgaard is in talks to star in "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh," based on Michael Chabon's 1988 debut novel.

Popmatters examines the three recent Depeche Mode remastered deluxe editions, Speak & Spell, Music for the Masses, and Violator.

This trio of newly-remastered, re-issued albums goes a long way (but not all the way) toward showing why the music and lyrics were so appealing. Even here, though, the band are being cautious. Instead of adhering to chronology, they've chosen to inaugurate the long-overdue renovation of their back-catalog with the three albums currently regarded by most critics and many fans as their best (not to mention bestselling). So, while 1981's Speak & Spell, 1987's Music for the Masses, and 1990's Violator don't allow for much of a linear story, they do capture Depeche Mode at three crucial points in a remarkable career.

Stylus interviews Owen Pallett of Final Fantasy.

The music from He Poos Clouds has a very theatrical and keenly descriptive quality to it. Have you ever considered scoring for video games?

I’d love to, but the thing is, I’ve got pretty high standards for video games. It’s a weird conundrum; I wouldn’t want to work on a videogame that I didn’t totally love, but at the same time the sort of video games that I totally love would be the kind that wouldn’t really need music anyway. A Castlevania game or an Ecco game would totally be what I would do.

Asthmatic Kitty is holding a Shapes and Sizes contest. Remix or cover the band's song, "Wilderness," and win the entire AK back catalog, $300, and many more prizes.

I posted about Gimme Your Stuff! on my Vox blog yesterday. GYS is a cultural exchange blog, and is a great place to share what's wonderful in your part of the world with someone else.

The Riverfront Times examines the "Pitchfork effect."

Yet although Schreiber points out that "ultimately [the site is] publishing one person's opinion," many readers regard Pitchfork as an institution, one that has the power to bless or curse a newborn band.

Built to Spill frontman Doug Martsch talks to the Los Angeles Times.

"Music to me is about imitating other people's music," Martsch says flatly. "To make music that's good, the only way to do it is to reference other music."

The Posies' Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer talk to the Japan Times.

Though both musicians are enjoying fruitful solo careers, it wasn't difficult to regroup under The Posies banner, and last year they released an album, "Every Kind of Light," consisting of all new material. "It felt like it had to happen -- things occurred that reminded us how much we enjoyed doing it," recalls Auer. "And we ended up being a full ensemble, not just a duo. I think Ken and I have an ability to look forward into the future and not get hung up on the past."

Music critic Sasha Frere-Jones talks to LA Weekly about his moonlighting career as a musician.

“I’m not going to make a lot more records. I just know logistically I make more money writing. And I can write faster. And I can write in my apartment. Music is an incredibly logistically and financially difficult thing to do. As much as I like to do it, I don’t love touring. I don’t have the time to tour. I can’t be unrealistic about it. Music has sort of got to be a hobby for me. I can’t pretend it’s my profession anymore.”

LA Weekly interviews Marky Ramone.

L.A. WEEKLY: You’ve done Ramones covers with your bands the Intruders and the Speed Kings, but until now, never an all-Ramones set.

MARKY RAMONE: No — [but] this is like what Ringo would do when he went out with his band. It’s not a tribute; it’s just a nice thing to do for the fans. [Plus,] there’s a whole new generation that likes the Ramones, so that’s why we wanted to do an all-ages show.

The Las Vegas Sun interviews former Beach Boy Brian Wilson.

Q: Do you ever foresee rejoining the Beach Boys?

A: I would not be opposed to recording again with the Beach Boys, if it is OK with all of the managers. I might consider some studio work, that would be very exciting.

Raleigh's Independent Weekly lists summer beach reads, as does the Rock River Times.

The Telegraph reviews the new Leonard Cohen documentray, I'm Your Man, and offers nuggets of wisdom from the singer-songwriter, himself.

Cinematical covers "the latest in dead rock star movies, the Tim Buckley story."

Publisher's Weekly offers a "New Era in Comics Publishing" roundtable discussion.

PWCW: Have creators gained more creative freedom and rewards because of this turn toward the book publishing world?

Wayne: The growth of the book format for comics is an important step in the evolution of comics both as a storytelling medium and as a business. The book format is another way for creators to reach potential readers. Creativity has always been part of comics. There's an explosion of interest from creators wanting to tell stories via the medium of comics.

In the Guardian, author Nick Brooks lists his top ten literary murders.

Kirkus Reviews (pdf link) offers reviews of recent graphic novels and comics in their special edition, The 2006 Graphic Spotlight.


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