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August 26, 2006

Shorties

John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats pens a column for the Los Angeles Times about writing the band's latest album, Get Lonely.

By the time Peter went to shower after 10, I'd been thinking about bad dreams and sleeplessness and what it's like to be alone for several hours. I don't like to write when other people are listening, so I quickly wrote and recorded a demo of "Maybe Sprout Wings," a song that tries to split the difference between several aspects of feeling alone: the claustrophobia, but also its mirror image, that feeling that there's an endless open frozen plain with nobody else in sight for miles.

This song sort of crystallized the whole album. The songs about monsters I'd been trying to write began to seem like they'd had a purpose after all: that they were portraits of creatures who couldn't ever really have any friends because their makeup was deficient or excessive.


The Boston Globe profiles several local music blogs, including Hello Gina, rbally, and Bradley's Almanac.


Flaming Lips bassist Michael Ivins talks to the Montreal Gazette about the band's over-the-top live show.

"We've just always had the attitude that the show should be an experience," Ivins said. "I mean, shoe-gazing was fun for a few months during the early '90s, but after a while just to go see someone play their guitar and stare at their shoes doesn't seem that interesting to us."


Singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey talks to NPR's All Things Considered about his life as an independent musician.

"I became the highest grossing, lowest netting member of my family," he says.

"And my family are social workers and public school teachers."


The Los Angeles Times reviews the 40th anniversary edition of Pet Sounds.

The remastering makes previously available mixes sound crisper than ever, and while Wilson conceived "Pet Sounds" in monaural sound in honor of the Phil Spector "Wall of Sound" that influenced his productions so strongly, the stereo mixes allow a closer view into his arranging and production skills. It's a bit like looking at an architectural masterwork with the walls suddenly made translucent: The massed Beach Boys vocal ensemble in "You Still Believe in Me" becomes widescreen choral explosion, the coda of "I'm Waiting for the Day" reveals a previously undiscernible descending scale in the bass line, and the bass guitar part emerges as the true star of Wilson's innovative arrangement of the folk song "Sloop John B."

Enter the Largehearted Boy contest and win the colored vinyl edition.


The Ditty Bops talk to the Village Voice about their 4,500 mile bike tour of America.

"What happened was I had just had Chinese food," explains guitarist DeWald, over the phone, under the palm tree. "And I opened up this fortune cookie, and it said, 'There is a serious ride in your future.' It just came to me: the bike tour."
Click here to find out more!

"We didn't have any summer plans," adds mandolinist, washboardist, and former model Barrett. "And we knew that we'd have to go out and support the new record, so . . . "


Status Ain't Hood lists the best music movies ever.


CNN offers tips to keep reading fun and fresh for children and adults.


The Sacramento Bee's Allen Pierleoni lists interesting fall book releases.


Salon has a new feature, "My Dream TV Show," where celebrities are asked to design their ideal television program. John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats wants to see "This Week in Boxing featuring Sebastian Bach."

Boxing is the most under-represented sport on television, especially seeing as it is better than all the other sports; lame reality-TV boxing shows do not count as boxing any more than mashed-up aspirins count as cocaine. Sebastian Bach is one of those once-famous metal dudes who flaunt their manic tendencies a little too much when they're on-camera, but he's also a pretty bright guy who'd do a killer blow-by-blow if he could just stay focused. This show will broadcast three boxing matches by ranked fighters once a week, in prime time. I get misty thinking about it.


Creek Running North lists "The Top 25 Most Dangerous Fictional Unhinged Characters Who Are Dangerously Hurting America."

The Gipper
The only fictional character ever to win a majority of votes in the Electoral College. After taking up residence in the feeble brain of the B-movie actor that played him in a conservative movie, this dead football player ran up what were at that point the largest federal deficits in history, cut and ran from a Middle Eastern country after the terrorists brought it on, facilitated the murders of thousands of Central American farmers, and sold weapons to Iran and Iraq simultaneously, some of which would later be used against US troops. Widely regarded as both the best and worst president in US history, and mainly for the same reasons. (The Gipper’s rank as “worst president ever” suffered setbacks in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004.)


Ryspace taped the final Sleater-Kinney performance, and has made it available as an mp3 download.


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