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August 17, 2006

Shorties

Seattle's Stranger interviews John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats.

Is it appropriate to categorize the Mountain Goats as "roots & Americana"?

I'm pretty deeply suspicious of the whole "roots"/Americana concept: It seems to freeze its subject in amber. That's not to say there isn't a lot of excellent music that falls under that banner, including acts with whom I feel some affinity: Souled American, Maria McKee (on her first solo disc especially), the Allman Brothers. But the connection I feel between what I do and what those folks do isn't really genre-based; the thread goes through some other path.


With the 40th anniversary reissue of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds set to be released on August 29th, is there a better way to celebrate than play all the songs on the album at once? Flip Flop Flying thinks so, and even offers an mp3 download of the experiment.


The Bay Area Reporter interviews singer-songwriter Kaki King (yes, she does sing on her new album, Until We Felt Red).

When did you start playing guitar?

I started playing when I was five. My parents thought children should take music lessons, and it was probably my dad's decision that guitar would be my instrument. I actually didn't like playing the guitar at all. It was a very difficult instrument to play when you're that young. But my father just kept a guitar around the house, and because it was always there, and I developed a love for music, I just kept learning and playing over time.


RA sounds off on why vinyl records can't survive.


Slobberbone's Brent Best talks to the Bradenton Herald about his new band, the Drams.

"It's a challenge. Early on we relied on recklessness and that killed a lot of bands," Best said in reference to The Replacements. "Four drunk people falling down on stage . . . You can either do that until you're gone or figure out a balance."


The Guardian examines the online digital music market.

"For the most part, stores that are stocked with music from the majors tend to focus on mainstream music," he says. "It doesn't mean they don't carry a more diverse selection, but when you have Beyonce and the Pussycat Dolls you put them on the home page, and you market and promote that and use it on your advertising. By definition, that tends to attract youth and mainstream music buyers. They come to your site looking for the hits."


Raleigh's Independent Weekly profiles Chapel Hill's Trekky Records, complete with downloadable tracks from the record label.


LAist remembered Charles Bukowski yesterday on the writer's birthday.


LA Weekly's Kate Sullivan reviews the new Killers album, Sam's Town (out October 3rd).

There is a darkness on the edge of Sam’s Town that is troubling. I mean, the Killers made this record on purpose, to grant them entrance into the inner circle of Big Bands, to break away from the dance-punk fad and pave the way for a long and successful career on their own terms. (“This album will be a springboard for us to do whatever the hell we wanna do,” says Flowers in the same NME piece.) My concern is that this record will be overrated for its good intentions; that everyone will think they’re hearing the great music this wants to be, instead of the promise of greatness which this album actually is.


The New York Times reviews the Teac GF-350, a machine that converts albums to CD's.


Caithlin De Marrais of Rainer Maria talks to the Riverfront Times.

"I would classify us as indie rock," De Marrais says. "But then again, that term can mean so much. A band like LCD Soundsystem or Hot Chip, they're independent rock, just with synthesizers. The music industry has exploded, and we're being shattered with the sparks of it — but really, it's all about niches. No one does it better than England. I think English bands are really great at combining all different genres and being unclassifiable."


Comedian Eugene Mirman talks to Toronto's Eye Weekly about putting out a comedy album.

"I'm excited that I get to put out a full-length and just listen to it," he says. "There's something warm about it. Comedy albums used to be one of the main ways to share comedy. People would have parties and listen to Bill Cosby records. Now we obviously have television, and cable. I don't know if people have parties and listen to my record, but I hope there are students in dorm rooms, sharing the wonder of my work."


The News of Delaware County lists online music news resources.

There's no better music blog on the Web than www.stereogum.com. While most of its material leans towards indie rockers like Sufjan Stevens, you'll get the latest news on what anyone from Elvis Costello to Kanye West are up to. From YouTube video clips to streaming new tracks, the site has its finger on the pulse of the music world.


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