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July 17, 2006


The Observer profiles three singer-songwriters: King Creosote, James Morrison and Jim Noir.

They don't all have silly alter-egos; they don't all come from the same part of the world; they don't all share the same influences (there is that folk vibe, underlining a connection to the Sixties, but much more besides). But one thing they do have in common is a certain reticence. None of them wants to be famous. Rather, and this does feel rare in 2006, they all want to concentrate on the art of what it is that they do.

The New York Sun lists the five top subway songs.

The Observer excerpts from Vivien Goldman's Exodus: The Making and Meaning of Bob Marley and the Wailers' Album of the Century.

The Great Falls Tribune profiles the library program at the Cascade County regional jail.

National Geographic is by far the most popular magazine. Inmates love "Chicken Soup for the Soul," crossword puzzle books and poetry, Erickson said. Some of their favorite authors include Steven King and Dean Kuntz.

"I think because you can get lost in 'em and because they're more scary than it is in here," Erickson said.

Boston Globe book critic Gail Caldwell ponders the books we cherish, both individually and collectively.

I suppose I am a book seller, inasmuch as I tout my wares without attention to anything but merit. Critics aren't just hired to sling mud. And inevitably, too, questions from the audience arise about what I like and why I like it -- queries that can range from the sublime to the ridiculous, or prankish. (My sister, baiting me once from an audience in New Mexico, chortled, ``Tell them why you like trash TV!") Usually, though, the question of taste is a doorway to a larger conversation -- about aesthetic considerations, mass culture, the novel as window into the soul of the reader.

Stylus lists the first installment (numbers 81-100) of their top 100 music videos of all time, complete with YouTube videos.

If you are in Seattle, make plans now to be at Easy Street Records on August 21st for the Mountain Goats' 11 p.m. in-store performance celebrating the release of Get Lonely.

In the Independent, author Jessica Duchen discusses the music in literature.

Leo Tolstoy

The Kreutzer Sonata

No other writer has latched on to the sexual power of music quite as astutely as Tolstoy. This celebrated short story slices open the equation of musical partnership with sexual partnership, inspired by the elemental drive of Beethoven's violin and piano sonata of the same title. Tolstoy places music at the centre of his tale of jealousy and violence among a group of characters whose behaviour is horribly skewed from the start. The wife and her lover play the Kreutzer Sonata together; the lover is a distinctly unappealing person, but no more so, we observe, than the tormented husband. The force of Beethoven comes to symbolise the physical passion that the husband both craves and loathes, and from the musical incarnation of which he is permanently excluded.

Time lists "6 guilt-free pleasures to read at the beach."

MacLife offers a FAQ on playing FLAC files in OS X.

we*heart*prints offers daily interesting art prints.


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