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September 3, 2006


The Guardian shows photos of pop stars to people on the street, asking for a name to match with the face.

Britain's most unrecognised: the final chart

1 = Editors, Paolo Nutini, Sandi Thom (0)

2 = Gnarls Barkley, James Morrison (1)

3 = James Blunt, Razorlight (2)

4 David Gray (2.5)

5 = Dido, the Kooks (3)

6 Shakira (5)

7 Arctic Monkeys (6)

The Palm Beach Post lists interesting fall book releases.

The New York Daily News lists "autumn's cool new CDs."

Author Ha Jin talks to the Boston Globe about his forthcoming novel, A Free Life.

In the Chicago Sun-Times, Jim DeRogatis profiles Touch & Go Records and its founder, Corey Rusk.

To this day, Rusk says every band Touch and Go releases has to have three qualities: He has to like the recordings; he has to like and respect the musicians as people, and the band has to be as good or better live than it is on record. "There is still no rhyme or reason to how we end up finding a band that we work with. It's still so much just somebody in a band we work with mentioning, 'This band opened for us and they were great,' or 'My friend is in a band and they're great.' But one reason we opted for having this big live event is honestly because the best bands on Touch and Go, their live shows have always been better than even their most brilliant records."

The Baltimore Sun reviews Haruki Murakami's collection of short stories, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman.

All that happens in Murakami's stories is that another reality has been made manifest. Life becomes more problematic after you read a Murakami story, one reason, among many, why he is truly a great writer.,0,4964952.story?coll=bal-artslife-books

The Boston Globe examines humans' natural affinity for music.

The evolutionary benefits of our affinity for food (nutrition) and sex (procreation) are easy enough to explain, but music is trickier. It has become one of the great puzzles in the field of evolutionary psychology, a controversial discipline dedicated to determining the adaptive roots of aspects of modern behavior, from child-rearing to religion.

The Observer profiles author Toby Young.

Of course, there have been great self-publicists before - one thinks of Gore Vidal and Norman Mailer, the masters, or Jay McInerney and Bret Easton Ellis - but Toby Young could well be the first Englishman to surpass them. I am keenly aware that by writing this article, I am giving more grist to his mill, more wordage to his website. And there is no way to escape it. When Julie Burchill was asked to provide a quote for the jacket of How To Lose Friends she replied: 'I'll rot in hell before I give that little bastard a quote for his book.' It was duly emblazoned on the front cover.

Harp plays songs for singer-songwriter Ben Kweller and gets his reactions.

Elton John, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (MCA, 1973)

(Laughs) I so know why you played this…and it’s cool. But let’s lay this to rest. I’m not an Elton John fan at all. I know. This is controversial. But I don’t care for him. I like his hits. But he’s too show-tuney. That frilly piano style. He’s like Mozart. But I prefer Beethoven. Now, if you had pulled out Neil Young playing the piano… “After the Gold Rush,” “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere,” “Tonight’s the Night.” Now we’re talking.

Author Brian K. Vaughan talks to the New York Times about his graphic novel, Pride of Baghdad, the story of lions that escape from a Baghdad zoo during an American bombing.

Mr. Vaughan, 30, deliberately used animals to provide multiple viewpoints of wartime Iraq and to deliver his tale’s emotional message. “It’s very difficult to empathize with foreign casualties of war,” he said. “It’s always difficult to connect with ‘the other.’ Animals have a way of bridging that gap.’’

“I think we were looking to exploit that vulnerability to a certain extent,” he added. “Animals don’t have a race or creed, so we have a connection with them that we can’t have with that ‘other.’ ”

Minnesota Public Radio takes atour of Mexican music in the Twin Cities.


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