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July 31, 2006


The BBC News reviews last weekend's Cambridge Folk Festival.

This Is Fake DIY posted part one of its tribute to Sleater-Kinney.

These three prodigiously talented musicians made the most original, affecting and challenging indie rock of recent times, each album excelling and pushing new boundaries and continually showing a different side to the band. Originating as a riot grrrl band from the ashes of Heavens To Betsy and Excuse 17, the bands first two albums were both daring and uncompromising.

The Chicago Sun-Times profiles the "Tiger Woods of Scrabble," Brian Cappelletto.

Cappelletto realizes that to most, Scrabble is just a game. But to him, it's a sport.

"It's what I like to do. This is definitely an old-school game because it didn't involve computers initially. It's going to appeal to a different mind-set than to those who play Mortal Kombat," he said.

Popmatters interviews Roger McGuinn of the Byrds.

Why do think so many bands in the past were so prolific? You all were together under a decade and released thirteen albums. Today's artists take years between releases. Is that just a change in the music industry or a change in the artists?

It's pretty much a change in the industry. Back then, we had a contract that required an album every six months, and for years we were doing two albums a year. Then everything got much more independent, and artists started recording more where they wanted to, and when they wanted to, so everything's kind of loose.

The Louisville Courier-Journal profiles unlikely defendants sued by the RIAA.

Mike Powell keeps a week's musical diary for Stylus.

On WEDNESDAY night I got a message from until-recently-presumed-to-be-mortally-dead Stylus contributor Brad Shoup: “Mike listen sorry I don’t check that email anymore and ya’ll have been doing great work and I’m sorry for being out of touch and I’m back and hey! I found another great version of “Dark End of the Street”; it’s by this woman Dorothy Moore and it’s up-tempo and you’ve got to check it out on The iTunes. Hope all’s well. Talk to you.”

THURSDAY: I get to the office and make coffee and buy Dorothy Moore singing “Dark End of the Street” and think that there’s some incontrovertible goodness to the instant gratification of mp3 shopping.

NPR lists the 100 best fictional characters since 1900 (from 2002, but a good list).

The Chicago Tribune has a big feature on Sleater-Kinney.

"I had the usual questions when they told me this is what they were going to do: Were they OK? Is everyone still friends? Is there any underlying drama that we can help with?" Sub Pop's [Tony] Kiewel says. "But there wasn't any drama involved. They were all just ready to move on and do other things at this point in their lives."

Drowned in Sound reviews July's album releases.

Chicagoist recounts day one of the Pitchfork Music Festival in photos.

The Washington Post profiles the Maryland Summer Jazz Band Boot Camp for adults.

USA Today profiles the music download service, eMusic

The Baltimore Sun examines musicians who blog, and how that has changed the musician-fan relationship.

"Blogging humanizes artists by bringing them down to the eye level of their fan base," says Andrew Foote, account supervisor of Peppercom Inc., a communications firm in New York that specializes in digital marketing. "This interactivity gives fans the sense that they have an affiliation with their favorite artist, which empowers them to remain loyal and spread positive word of mouth."

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reviews day two of the Capitol Hill Block Party.

Wandering the festival, I overheard many bits and pieces of conversations. Two of my favorites were, "In the music industry, obviously, you can¹t have enough black t-shirts." The second "I don¹t understand the hype. They¹re such a mediocre band" to which his friend replied, "Well, they've definitely suffered since they lost the bear. They should get the bear back." As far as I know, there was never a bear, but Minus the Bear does indeed lack distinction.

Wikipedia has a list of sampled songs.

Said the Gramophone loves Tap Tap's "Way to Go, Boy," from one of my favorite releases this year, Lanzafame. The disc s available at Catbird Records, where you can even tip the artist.

Singer-songwriter Rose Melberg phoned in a performance last week to WMBR's Phoning It In.


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