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July 19, 2006


The Toronto Star interviews "indie rock violinist for hire," Julie Penner.

Q Violin recently has gained a higher profile again in pop/rock through groups like Arcade Fire and Final Fantasy. Why is that?

A Maybe it's a critical mass thing, people getting a little bit tired of just hearing conventional instrumentation. I can't tell you how many times I've played a show and gone off stage and people, usually girls, have come up and said, "I play the violin. And I never thought I could play in bands that I listen to. And now I see that I can."

Creative Loafing lists the best songs by movie bands.

Pop culture is out of new ideas, but if imitating the imitators is going to be the new hotness, we suggest the following fake songs.

TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe talks to the Independent.

Considering his hardcore punk roots, Adebimpe's voice is remarkably soulful, finding a melodic path amid fuzzy guitar swathes and complex rhythmical time signatures. "I think it's the flip side of being a really disgruntled punk who wants nothing to do with the world," he says. "There are times in your life when you're exposed to real beauty, whether it be aesthetically, or whatever. That goes for beautiful music, and I suppose that singing a few harmonies sounds better to me."

Feathers' Meara O'Reilly talks to Popmatters about the folk collective.

She remembers picking up a copy of Arthur magazine in May 2004 and reading about Banhart, Joanna Newsom, CocoRosie, and other alternative folk artists with mixed feelings. "I was like, 'What???' And on one level, I was thinking, 'That's not anything like what we're doing.' But there's definitely a reluctance to feel ... 'Oh, no, we're part of this scene! Everybody's doing this!'" she said.

The Drive-By Truckers' Patterson Hood, "Alabama's Lou Reed," talks to Boston's Weekly Dig.

“I really hate the whole term ‘Southern rock,’” says Hood. “Unless it’s being attached to a small handful of bands from a very specific era between 1969 and 1977, post-[Martin Luther] King [Jr.] and pre-[Lynyrd Skynyrd] plane crash. Southern rock ceased to exist when that plane crashed. It’s a redundant and stupid term at best.”

Inside Bay Area compares digital music players.

Newsday examines the repetitive strain finger problems devices like iPods and cell phones can cause.

What are new Toronto Maple Leaf forward Michael Peca's future career plans? He wants to be an author, he tells the Toronto Star.

"I've just got a great imagination and a lot of times I've just got to feed it," Peca said, explaining his choice in literature. "The only way to do that is through reading.

"When I'm done playing, I'd like to get into writing the fiction, adventure, action, mystery stuff."

Stylus posted its #41-60 top music videos of all time.

Singer-songwriter Juliana Hatfield talks to Boston's Phoenix.

“Knowing about rock and pop and distinguishing between the two is important to me because a lot of words and categories have been thrown at me,” she says when I mention the lyrics to Crushing Love’s spare yet raw, feedback-filled “Rock or Pop?” “I just think I’ve been misrepresented because people can’t get past the way my voice sounds — the delicate girly sound of my voice. They can’t get past it so they label me as something that I’m not.”

The Phoenix also provides a "tripartite" look at her career.

Camera Obscura's Tracyanne Campbell talks to Rolling Stone.

The Christian Science Monitor profiles Coudal Partner's Field-Tested Books series.

In terms of presentation, Field-Tested is basic, logical, and possessing a single, simple but indispensable enhancement from the 'bells and whistles' category. After the introduction, the presentation opens to the first of the essays, with close to 50 additional alphabetical-by-contributor choices down the right side of the page. (In accordance with the site's approach, the titles of the 'featured' books aren't even included in the index - merely the contributor's name and the whereabouts of the encounter.) As each installment is read, a checkmark appears in the index beside that entry, so as long as you don't clear your browser's History, you won't have to worry about losing track of which pieces you have and haven't seen.

The Onion A.V. Club interviews Tapes 'N Tapes.

AVC: Tapes 'N Tapes became popular so quickly, it seems inevitable that there'll be at least some backlash. Does that worry you?

JG: I think we know it's coming.

EA: That's inherent.

MK: We're braced for it. There's already some rumblings. It stings a little.

JG: People who genuinely like the band will continue to like it. People who like it because they just think they should like it—if then they hate it [later], that's fine.

The Palm Beach Post's Jonathan Tully lists his top ten albums of the year (so far).

The Onion A.V. Club lists "15 Book-to-film adaptations that live up to the source material," leading off with The Godfather.

The 2006 edition of Blogathon starts July 29th. Join in and help raise funds for your favorite charity, or sponsor one of the participants.

Linda Medley, creator of the graphic novel Castle Waiting, is interviewed by Suicide Girls.

DRE: What made you curious about the idea of what happens after happily ever after?

LM: Folktales and fairytales are so iconic. By the end of the story you get the lesson you needed to learn thing. But if you look at them as more complex stories and the personalities of the characters as being more realistic there’d have to be something more going on.

CMJ interviews my favorite J.K. Rowling-inspired band, Harry and the Potters.

Can any artists or bands be easily categorized into the houses of Hogwarts?

Paul: I did an interview with a [Bruce] Springsteen fanzine and somebody asked me what house Springsteen would be in and I said Gryffindor. But I think a lot of the bands I really like, like Springsteen or the Flaming Lips or Andrew W.K., all these are like really inspired artists. They’d probably be in Gryffindor. In Gryffindor, they’re the ones who like come up with the genius plans and the bright ideas. The other houses tend to rest on their laurels in a lot of cases. Musicians in general tend to be pretty independent-minded and do their own thing and I think that sort of speaks more to Gryffindor than a lot of the other houses. A lot of popular music and major label stuff would probably fit into Slytherin.

Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster kept a tour diary while playing in Robert Pollard's backup band.

2/27/06 Portland, OR

On the drive from San Francisco to Portland we pass time playing traditional family car games like “What’s the Worst Band You’ve Ever Seen?” and “What Artist Do You Like Absolutely Nothing By?” Sorry, what’s said in the van stays in the van.

When we arrive at the venue we notice that only the opening act’s name graces the marquee. When Bob asks for an explanation he’s told that both his and the opener’s names wouldn’t fit. I love it when stuff makes sense.


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