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July 12, 2006


The Washington Post calls Thom Yorke's solo album, The Eraser, the "feel-bad album of the year."

Without that wall-of-sound instrumentation and the band's Technicolor grandeur, "The Eraser" is interesting yet incomplete -- Kid B-minus, if you will.

Virtual Festivals interviews Gomez drummer Olly Peacock.

VF: And what records have you been listening to that may have shaped it?

OP: "Probably a lot of stuff that is very against that description to be honest. Sometimes you listen to a whole bunch of music that doesn’t relate at all to what you’re putting out and I think this record reflects that. We’ve been listening to a lot of Wilco, a lot of Noy, a bit of Can, and then more recently a lot of American artists. It perhaps all filters through but we’ve got quite mixed tastes so there’s nothing I’d really say has had a direct bearing on this record. It’s maybe got some Faces influences, it’s very stripped down. It’s nice and mellow, a bit all over the place."

The New York Sun profiles mystery writers born in the month of July, including Raymond Chandler, Erle Stanley Gardner, and Donald Westlake.

Popmatters interviews singer-songwriter Regina Spektor.

"I don't fully understand the fascination of people wanting to know the 'real' you after listening to your songs," she said. "People always want to know which part of the song really happened, they want to know some sort of a 'Truth'. For some reason they can see the same actor acting in 17 different movies, using 17 different hair colors, using fake props, changing their voice, changing their accent, being evil or being the victim, and they are okay with that. They understand that it's just a movie, they understand that it's an art. But with music they forget. Music, somehow, is life."

Chartattack lists eleven reasons Syd Barrett was cool.

Oneida drummer Kid Millions talks to the Minneapolis City Pages.

They've weathered the second coming (and going) of NYC rock, electroclash, and freak-folk, even while incorporating subtle strands of rock, electronics, and folk into the sonic frenzy they were notorious for in their early days. Yet, while the trio keep their day jobs, opening bands, peers, and old neighbors garner critical accolades and major-label deals.

"We just can't be popular," sighs Millions. "And I don't say that defensively or apologetically."

The Americana Music Association has named its 2006 Honors & Awards nominees.

SI on Campus lists "ten jobs you may not have considered."

4. Blogger
This one's a little risky, because to have a lasting, popular, successful blog, you have to be ridiculously witty, smart or well-connected, none of which you probably are. Another alternative is to flap your gums about your job, like Syracuse grad Jessica Cutler, who blogged about Capitol Hill's sexploits only to get fired...and land a huge book deal.

In the New York Times, Jon Pareles eulogizes Syd Barrett.

The music followed Mr. Barrett’s lyrics through meter changes, improbable interludes and the otherworldly sound effects the band was generating onstage at London clubs like UFO, a bastion of psychedelia. Mr. Barrett used an echo machine and slid a Zippo lighter along his guitar strings to create one of Pink Floyd’s sonic signatures.

Mother Jones interviews Peaches about her album Impeach My Bush.

MJ: Who are your musical influences?

P: I’m a huge fan of hip hop. I grew up on a lot of classic rock. I’m a huge AC/DC fan. I don’t have a problem with, I don’t see why there should be a problem with these little compartments. Like, in the 80s, Aerosmith and Run DMC already break the wall, literally. I don’t understand why there’s an issue between rock and hip hop. I just think the worst time was when rock rap happened, like Limp Bisqet and all that stuff. That was the worst thing you could have done to rock and hip hop. It was just wrong.

Bradley's Almanac taped and is sharing Beirut's recent Cambridge performance.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine makes "A Case Against Sufjan Stevens" at Allmusic.

His pretension -- his convoluted song titles, his cloying song about Saul Bellow, his adolescent fascination with John Wayne Gacy, Jr. -- all comes across like a precocious high school student in his senior year, where he's smug enough to want to prove that he's smarter than the rest of the school. Appropriately, his lyrics often read like the work of a gifted but sheltered high schooler, and his music sounds like a drama student's idea of a pop opera -- and it's all wrapped up on albums with stylized childish artwork, hand-drawn pictures that inadvertently wind up enforcing the impression that Stevens is an overgrown teenager.


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