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August 12, 2006


The Athens Exchange reviews the Mountain Goats (John Darnielle solo) Popfest performance.

Darnielle's performance was marked by two things: he claims to have been drinking, and he planned on playing songs that he has never played live, or rather he hasn't played at all since they were recorded. This led to audience interaction that was already a large part of the show. The audience would scream indecipherable songs titles to him and he would attempt to play them, begging for the audience's help in remembering the lyrics. This is a great tool to boost an ego; if you can't remember the lyrics you wrote, what better way to hear them than have a crowd full of screaming fans remember for you.

The Independent celebrates the rock t-shirt.

When Blur pipped Oasis to No 1 back in the heady days of Britpop, the bassist Alex James wore an Oasis T-shirt on Top of the Pops as a comic gesture. When Damon Albarn later complained that the Oasis single sounded like Status Quo anyway, the Mancunian band responded with pride by printing “Quoasis” T-shirts that their fans bought in their droves. Blur soon got their comeuppance anyway: the Scottish band Mogwai launched “Blur: are shite” T-shirts, and they soon became the frontispiece of choice for festival-goers all across the country.

The Regina Leader-Post reviews day one of the Regina Folk Festival.

A Boston Globe reporter attended Lollapalooza with his father this year, and reviewed the experience.

2:30 p.m. -- Time flies when you're having the most fun of your life. I am having a hard time believing that it is the final day (I think my dad felt the same way, but not necessarily for the same reasons; his reasons might have included fatigue and tinnitus). There are still plenty of acts left to go; despite his earlier directive, we are frequently separated due to my enthusiasm and boundless energy, and my dad's desire to find a quiet spot on the grass and lie down.

Willamette Week talks to two long-time Sleater-Kinney fans about the band's hiatus.

Do they feel jilted by the abrupt and imminent ending? "It would be so pathetic if we did," says Ordal. But her eyes become glossy and her voice chokes up as she continues: "It's the end of something that I loved. I don't care that they're done, because it's their prerogative; it's just sad. It's like your best friend leaving. I'm totally supportive, but it's just a sad thing."

Glossary's Joey Kneiser talked to Pulse of the Twin Cities about the changes in his songwriting.

“I used to write songs and worry about what indie rock kids thought about it,” admits Kneiser, 31, whose band began life a decade ago in a very different form as a more overtly college rock act featuring two other singer/songwriters who left the group in 2001. “I don’t care about that anymore. What really matters is, how do you reach out to people, any people? Not just middle class white kids who already know what records are cool. I try to write things that are very human and simple that everyone can relate to. The music I really love, I think it can help you live your life. It can connect that strongly. It’s so easy to overcomplicate music. I just try to keep it simple and make it matter.”

Farmer's Weekly Interactive is soliciting readers' favorite "tractor tracks."

Chris and Tom of Editors discuss great albums with

As Tall as Lions frontman Dan Nigro talked to Newsday.

"One of the goals of being a musician is to write songs that my brother can listen to, who's 15, or that my father can listen to, or even the most elitist 24-year-old college grad," says Nigro. "We're not musicians that are looking to alienate anybody."

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reviews recently published graphic novels.

The Independent profiles Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry.

"Bryan was very much the author of the idea of Roxy Music. He had a very specific idea of the band he wanted to create, and invited people into it to fill the roles he had in mind," says Bracewell. "The thing that then made them so extraordinarily successful was this collage of elements that shouldn't really have gone together."

Author David Lloyd talks to Comic Book Resources about his graphic novel, Kickback.

"'Kickback' is a good crime thriller that has a mix of moody, noir-style, big-city tough detective stuff, blended with a psychological drama about guilt and corruption, and topped with an action finale," Lloyd told CBR News. "I'd say it was like a great meal without the dessert."

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune examines the surge in non-fiction sales compared to fiction.

In a modern climate that seems to value speed, convenience and prepackaged thrills over mental meandering, perhaps it's not surprising that reality more easily trumps make-believe.

"We all have so little time that part of us feels that the time we spend reading nonfiction is somehow more productive, not 'wasted,' " Rusoff said. "This is a shame; we can learn so much more about the life and the human spirit by reading good fiction and memoir."

Popmatters reviews Alison Bechdel's excellent Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic.

The main point of reference in the memoir is fiction, and where her father used real objects to create a fiction, Bechdel uses fiction as a filter to reveal her family. Bechdel handles this reversal with sublime grace and economy. Her father becomes a suite of characters, from Jay Gatsby and Albert Camus to both Icarus and Daedalus, all to the successful end of poignantly explaining his character and their relationship.

Stylus lists the top ten songs that list women's names.

The Happy Booker is helping a friend compile a list of literature set in Washington D.C. Share the love and help out, if you can.

WOXY has an mp3 download available of the Silversun Pickups' performance and interview in its Lounge Acts series.'s blog examined how labels could control leaking albums.

I have added books to my BookMooch inventory (and will be adding the rest of the books I have on PaperBackSwap today). Stop by either site and trade some books!


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