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July 6, 2006


Buffalo's Artvoice profiles indie legends Yo La Tengo. Ira Kaplan discusses how the band's new album received its title.

The band’s upcoming album will provide a definite departure for the group—if in name only. I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass will be released on Matador records in September. It’s a seemingly incongruous name for a band whose music is so frequently sweet, low-key and charming; it sounds more like the title of a live Motorhead bootleg than the work of these much-loved and respected rock experimentalists. Perhaps that’s the point.

“James came up with the title and it met with instant approval,” says Kaplan. “Then our next thought was, ‘Dare we?’ I think in a lot of instances, any time we sort of catch ourselves thinking the sentence ‘Dare we?” then we really want the answer to be ‘Yes.’”

Midlake's Tim Smith speaks to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Soft-spoken Midlake main man Tim Smith seems to be approaching it all with a distinct sense of understatement. "There are some wonderful shows [in Europe], where there's 1,500 people out there," the singer-guitarist says by phone from his Denton home. "When we play here, there's a couple of hundred or hundred if we're lucky. There have been some really good [European] moments, but I don't know if it's better than the States. We are a little better-known over there, but we're certainly not huge."

Wilco's Jeff Tweedy discusses the band's next album with the Toronto Sun.

"We're on this, like, Brill Building bent -- everything seems to be really organic but at the same time pretty arranged. I think that people would most likely hear this music and describe it as being very classic in the way it's put together, (in terms of) types of arrangements, and very traditional and natural-feeling for us."

Tilly and the Wall's Nick White talks to the LA Daily News about the benefits of giving away free albums.

"I don't know exactly how many times we've been downloaded,'' White said, "but I just know it's a lot. Like some crazy number that they used to keep track of at Team Love but I'm just glad people are getting to hear it.

"The cool thing is that a lot of people end up buying the album because they want to have the artwork, or they just come to the shows and help us by buying shirts or whatever for support. Of anything, putting the records on the Internet was probably the best idea Team Love has had yet.''

Matt Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces talks to the Sydney Morning Herald about the band's songwriting.

"We're not a band writing from our own experiences, we're not troubadours like Leonard Cohen or even Nick Cave ... Maybe it's because I write a lot of the words and Eleanor sings, it's very dislocated in an emotional sense, it's very calculated.

"We're trying to make a record that we like. But we're not singer-songwriters, as far as trying to express our take on the world. We try to create our records to be amusing or surprising. Yeah, it's calculated. But we don't think that's bad."

In the Washington Post, Jonathamn Yardley reconsiders Eudora Welty's novel, The Robber Bridegroom.

"The Robber Bridegroom" is a fairy tale, and fairy tales usually have happy endings. This one is no exception, which is as it should be. There can be no question that Welty wrote the tale in high spirits, and she certainly wasn't about to punish these two handsome young people whom she had so lovingly brought to life by keeping them apart from each other. Still, she puts them through a few adventures and disappointments before reuniting them, and she permits them -- and us -- to meet some of the Mississippi River's more outlandish characters in the process.

Camera Obscura's Tracyanne Campbell talks to Raleigh's Independent Weekly about her Lloyd Cole fascination.

"I know that Lloyd Cole's a wee bit before my time," Campbell says. "But I got into him, I guess, in my early 20s and I admire his songwriting. And you know they got back together to do that Rattlesnakes reunion and I'd been to see them a couple of times.

"Also, I'd been watching a live video of the band, one of their early performances, and they looked so nervous on stage. And, you know, me thinking a lot about the weight of my own stage presence and feeling really self-conscious about it, I found that video quite inspiring because Lloyd looked very nervous. But he was still quite charming and I guess he made me see that I don't have to put on a big act. I don't have to be jumping about crazy to be appealing."

The Onion A.V. Club lists twelve "delightfully odd concept albums."

The Village Voice reviews No Depression's alt-country compilation, What It Sounds Like, Vol. 2.

Like pornography, alt-country adheres to no set criteria, but you know it when you see (or hear) it. What It Sounds Like, Vol. 2 does its best to put into song what cannot be neatly, succinctly articulated. Though the tunes are somewhat obscure, the artists, for the most part, ain't—Johnny and June Carter Cash, Patty Loveless, Caitlin Cary with Ryan Adams, Julie Miller. On the mid-tempo "Station to Station," Jay Farrar's fragile yawn of a voice cruises through another batch of his typically sweet melodies.

BlogHer profiles Janet Timmons, and her music blog, Out the Other.

NPR's Robin Hilton (producer of All Songs Considered) lists her ten "best living songwriters. The omission of John Darnielle and John Vanderslice from the list is glaring, in my opinion. She does get bonus points for including Vic Chesnutt, though.

Popmatters examines some of the smaller folk labels.

Josephine Foster is a singer songwriter from Chicago, sometimes compared to Joanna Newsom, who has released albums both on CD-R and through the Locust Music label, both solo and in the band Born Heller. Does it bother her that her music is so hard to get hold of? “Not really. I think music is like water and will find its way where there is least resistance. So if the recording is meant for more ears, it will follow is own natural channels.”

The Feast lists the "ten worst jobs to have in he action film universe."

6. Officer Transporting Dangerous criminal (prison bus drivers)

If the film takes time to show a dangerous criminal being moved from point A to point B, 96% of the time someone is waiting around bend #1 in the road with an RPG to take out the escort car. 4% of the time a diversionary road block or fake accident is waiting to waylay the convoy so that someone on a nearby hill with an rpg can take out the escort car.
Camera time: Decent for a bit actor, you may even get one or two lines: "Quiet down back there" & "Look out!"
Last seen: Doubled over the steering wheel. or discarded on the side of the road a little blood coming out of his ears.

beaTunes helps build better iPod and iTunes playlists, and even suggest music similar to your current iTunes library.

IFILM has an exclusive video interview with Wolfmother.


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