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July 5, 2006


Entertainment Weekly recommends "four cool new songs" (along with free and legal downloads). Be sure to listen to the Handsome Family track, "Tesla's Hotel Room."

The finalists have been announced for Canada's Polaris Music Prize:

Broken Social Scene for Broken Social Scene (Arts & Crafts/EMI)
Cadence Weapon for Breaking Kayfabe (Upper Class/EMI)
The Deadly Snakes for Porcella (Paper Bag/Universal)
Final Fantasy for He Poos Clouds (Blocks Recording Club/Sonic Unyon)
Sarah Harmer for I’m A Mountain (Cold Snap/Universal)
K’naan for The Dusty Foot Philosopher (Track & Field/Sony BMG)
Malajube for Trompe L’oeil (Dare to Care/Outside)
Metric for Live It Out (Last Gang/Universal)
The New Pornographers for Twin Cinema (Mint/Outside)
Wolf Parade for Apologies to the Queen Mary (Sub Pop/Outside)

Mariela Griffor, poet and founder of Marick Press, talks to Detroit's Metro Times.

“My goal is to find good literature, to find the best fiction and poetry from here and other areas, to find books that will change the way people think about things,” Griffor says.

The Boston Globe examines Harper Lee's letter to O magazine.

The Houston Chronicle offers a primer on "how to speak pirate."

Popmatters reviews Thom Yorke's solo album, The Eraser.

Overall, The Eraser stands alone as a strong album, but it shows just how reliant Yorke is on Radiohead. Anyone who's listened to Radiohead's entire catalog will detect The Eraser's hints and direct borrowings from Radiohead songs and even more recently, the DVD The Most Gigantic Lying Mouth of All Time.

The San Francisco Chronicle debuts a new blog today, the Poop, for "parents desperately hanging on to their coolness."

Bookslut interviews author (and Mr. T. Experience frontman) Frank Portman, who talks about the online book tour for his amazing book, King Dork.

How’s the online book tour going so far?

I think it’s really cool. I’ve never followed (an online book tour) before, because the ones I’ve seen haven’t been about things I’m interested in. But when Krucoff sent me the list, it was just these great, great music and culture blogs... I mean, there was Gawker, which everyone in New York City reads, and Largehearted Boy, which I love, which everyone loves. Krucoff did such a great job, covering as many different angles as possible.

(For the record, I love Bookslut, too)

Singer-songwriter Devendra Banhart talks to JamBase.

"My hero, my favorite musician, is Caetano Veloso. That's my number one," enthuses Devendra. "What gets me through a tour is listening to Caetano (slight pause) or Jorge Ben, Gilberto Gil, Os Mutantes, and all that. That's what gets me through my life. Tropicalismo becomes this big part of my life and this big inspiration, so I started thinking about Naturalismo. That's what we do – naturalism. I started talking to Andy (Cabic) from Vetiver about this. 'What do you think about this? Naturalism is a good one, right?' If we give them some alternatives then maybe people will start taking this seriously. It's not going to happen with these humiliating, embarrassing, cheesy, tacky phrases like 'freak folk.' Then he says, 'We don't want to be anti-artifice. We don't want to be against anything or elitist in any way.' I agreed."

The New York Post lists a summer song for every year since 1955.

Drowned in Sound wonders whether we should be mourning the death of the British television program, Top of the Pops.

But my theory is this: Art Brut endorsements aside, Top Of The Pops just wasn’t fashionable at the moment the axe fell. It was, after all, a show that relied heavily on the peaks and troughs of its cool factor, and recent viewing figures may have just reflected a long-fermenting case of the latter.


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