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July 13, 2006


What's the best way to celebrate your friend's birthday? By throwing him a 24-band music festival.

The Village Voice reviews Alison Bechdel's wonderful graphic memoir, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic.

Fun Home really is a departure from her previous work, because its narrative, shuttling between past and present, is so richly layered, and because its premise is completely nonfictional. It's also a book that shows how powerfully— and economically—the medium can portray autobiographical narrative. With two-part visual and verbal narration that isn't simply synchronous, comics presents a distinctive narrative idiom in which a wealth of information may be expressed in a highly condensed fashion.

Vetiver's Andy Cabic talks to Popmatters.

"[Vetiver's music] is easily just summed up as being natural and obvious," Cabic admitted recently in a recent phone interview from LA, where he and Devendra Banhart are recording with Juana Molina. "It may seem very simple at first but there's a strife to that simplicity that is worked hard on."

The Springfield Journal-Register lists its ten favorite mp3 blogs.

The Austin City Limits Music Festival has released its 2006 schedule.

My Cleveland homeboy Good Hodgkins compiled several bloggers' mid-year best album lists and presented the data as a downloadable spreadsheet.

Raleigh's Independent Weekly profiles singer-songwriter Jolie Holland.

She’s in her own class, tweaking America-old forms to enunciate archetypes in her own playful vernacular. Holland’s music—a voice infamously associated with adulation or alienation, singing lyrics too vague or too referential for the impatient—likely won’t make her famous, but her rangy sense of songcraft—she can move from more beckoning Tom Waits, stream-of-thought shuffles to gorgeous, askew ballads in the matter of a track, all the while putting the song and not the shtick first—won’t ever make her weird enough for some.

Singer-songwriter Lily Allen talks to the Independent.

"Hopefully, I can get a house out of it in the end and have a bit of stability in my life. I still don't really believe that I've arrived and this is what I'm going to do for the rest of my life. I know better than anyone that things change from day to day. I'm enjoying it now."

Camera Obscura trumpet player Nigel Baillie talks to Tucson Weekly about the ever-present comparisons to Belle & Sebastian.

"We know the guys from Belle and Sebastian. They're friends; we all like them and their music. Stuart was quite helpful and encouraging when we were getting things up and running, but there's never been any connection since then.

"We do get a bit fed up with the comparisons all the time, and we understand why people make them. But when all is said and done, there are far worse bands we can be compared to."

IGN lists the top ten pirate songs.

see also: Gideon Defoe's "book notes" essay for his book, The Pirates! An Adventure with Ahab.

Singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens talks to Nextbook about the song, "Saul Bellow."

"Every time I tried to sing about Saul Bellow, I was up against the solid wall of his intelligence, and I had a hard time scaling that. He's so academic, so sort of pseudo intellectual and his writing is about big ideas and big concepts." "Saul Bellow" may be named for the author, but in Stevens' mind, it's really about "the difficulty in dealing with big ideas, big constructs, in music. And if the constructs get out of hand, instead of sounding personal, and sounding real, you start sounding like you know everything."

Kathryn Yu weighs in on the Long Winters' "Hindsight" on NPR's Song of the Day feature.

The new Wrens website has been launched, complete with a blog (via).

CMJ interviews Asobi Seksu singer Yuki.

So I know you’ve been described as a shoegaze band. Do you think that’s accurate?

Yes and no. I mean obviously the influence is there. We do pay homage to the bands that we love, but I think that there are more elements than just shoegaze. I guess people will write us off as just another shoegaze band because there’s distortion and reverb on our guitars, but I think our songs are more poppy and there’s more structure and we’re more rhythmic. Those elements were not part of the shoegaze scene so I think we try to bring in some other elements and bring a sound that’s all our own. I do see why people say that, but I’m hoping that people will dig a little deeper.

Play the Drive-By Truckers' "Gravity's Gone" game and get a free mp3 download.

Athens' Flagpole interviews local hip hop artist Jamie Radford.

"I think hip hop sort of lends itself to braggadocio," he says. "At its roots, it's been the art of boasting in rhymes and rhythms. It's just that most rappers aren't boasting about making good grades or working hard at something, they're bragging about having a lot of casual sex and selling a lot of coke. I mean, I guess if I sold coke or shot people or whatever, I'd brag a lot about that, but I don't, so I brag about doing what I do best: you know, writing term papers and being an individual.”

Indie music magazine The Big Takeover launched its online forum this week.


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