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September 15, 2006


What Would Jesus Blog interviews the author of my favorite zombie novel of the year, Monster Island, David Wellington.

In the Guardian, author James Frey gives his first print interview since the furor over his memoir, A Million Little Pieces.

Frey read the Smoking Gun report at the same time as everyone else. "I was sorta shocked by it," he says. "And I was upset by it and surprised by it. Just surprised that the book would be put under that much scrutiny, and picked apart so thoroughly. Throughout this I've been surprised by the venom with which people have come after me."

Stylus lists the top ten "nightmares of Tom Waits."

05. “Watch Her Disappear” [from Alice]

Waits dreams of staring at his love as she undresses, his whisper cutting through the night air, while his band drifts asleep. He watches the rose that’s “strangled in ebony curls, moving in a yellow bedroom light.” He hears how “the air is wet with sound,” and notices the “faraway yelping of a wounded dog.” A tango later emerges and his angel dances into a tree’s shadow. “I watched you as you disappeared,” Waits whispers.

The Washington Blade previews fall's new books by gay authors.

Minnesota Public Radio has singer-songwriter Richard Buckner in the studio for a performance and interview.

Erasing Clouds has updated its "100 musicians answer the same ten questions" feature with answers from Architecture in Helsinki, Scott Solter, and others.

The Independent profiles Stiff Records.

"All the raw material from Stiff came from the pub circuit and the studio at the Hope & Anchor," he recalls. "I did have a bit of a masterplan and a list of people we wanted to sign: Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, or rather Declan McManus as he was then, Mickey Jupp, who we eventually signed, and Nick Lowe kind of came with Jake. We were putting together what I consider to be the best songwriters of the period."

Game Career Guide offers part one of its critique of the video game, Katamari Damacy.

Over the next few weeks I will be introducing you to eight schools of criticism – Biographical, New Critical, Marxist, Structural, Jungian, Psychoanalytical, Feminist, and Post-Colonial – giving a little history behind each, and showing how they can be used to critique the video game Katamari Damacy for the PlayStation 2. interviews author Salman Rushdie.

EF: What role can literature play to encourage tolerance -- and to discourage intolerance?

SR: There is no alternative to the peaceful coexistence of cultures. Promoting that is a task that literature ought to set itself. You see, fundamentalists believe that we don't believe in anything. In their view of the world, they are in possession of absolute certainties, while we are descending into decadence. We will be able to triumph over terrorism not by waging war on it, but through a conscious, fearless way of life. If there is a choice between absolute safety and freedom, then freedom must always prevail.

Business Week profiles Apple designer, Johnathan Ive.

Apple has put the design of great customer experiences on the map, not just as a means to win creative kudos but as a way to earn billions of dollars and revolutionize industries. "Apple's big contribution is showing that you can become a billionaire by selling emotions, that design can be a valid business model," says Gadi Amit, founder of NewDealDesign, a product design boutique in San Francisco.

The Guardian surveys the latest Swedish bands to invade the UK.

This past month, Swedish indie has stood out from the crowd even more. There are album releases and UK gigs for Suburban Kids, the Radio Dept, the Legends, I'm From Barcelona, Gothenberg's Sambassadeur, Blood Music and Peter Bjorn and John. And the new End of the Road festival in Dorset is turning its Tipi stage over to Swedish indie bands for a night; Big Monster records is releasing a Swedish compilation, Svenskt!; Glasgow's new addition to the nightclub scene, Sounds of Sweden, will start up for the autumn.

The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle lists an "extreme metal" dozen albums for eMusic.

Blessed Are The Sick
Artist: Morbid Angel
Release Date: 1991
This sophomore effort by one of death metal's true pioneers spotlighted Trey Azagthoth's direct-from-deep-space guitar solos, which remain a thing of wonder and great beauty. Don't get too excited about the "beauty" part, though: vocalist David Vincent's rasp-throated caterwauling, drummer Pete Sandoval's human metronome routine and walking-nightmare lyrics like "Forgotten evils below/ Rejoice as the blood flows" make the scene real witchy, to borrow a phrase from Charlie Manson. Truly awesome.

The shortlist for the Man Booker Prize have been announced:

Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss - Hamish Hamilton
Kate Grenville, The Secret River - Canongate
M.J. Hyland, Carry Me Down - Canongate
Hisham Matar, In the Country of Men - Viking
Edward St. Aubyn, Mother’s Milk - Picador
Sarah Waters, The Night Watch - Virago

Accordian to the Guardian, Sarah Waters is the betting favorite.

Rolling Stone reviews Monday night's Sufjan Stevens Nashville show, where he performed wearing wings (until the encore, at least).

Donning large multicolored wings, matching suit jackets and baby blue slacks, Brooklyn based singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens and his thirteen-piece band kicked off a two-month North American theater tour last night at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, treating the audience to an hour-and-a-half set filled with new tunes and first-time performances.

The Dallas Star reviews his Wednesday night performance.

GirlyMan's Nate Borofsky talks to PrideSource about songwriting.

"If I come up with some musical or lyrical idea I have to be able to let go of that," he says. "They might love it, or they might hate it. ... That's ultimately a good thing for creativity to let go of things like that - even if you're working on your own."

Gothamist covers the opening day of Gawker's music blog, Idolator. Yeti Don't Dance collects blogger reactions.

The University of Chicago's Chicago Maroon reviews this summmer's Pichfork music festival.

Engadget collects music bloggers' responses to Microsoft's new music player, Zune.

The World Cafe has the Format in the studio for a live performance.

CMJ interviews Jake Jacob, the head of Capitol Records' College and Specialty Promotion unit.

The Black Swans are keeping a tour diary at


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