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September 18, 2006


The National Post profiles the nominees for Canada's Polaris Music Prize.

The Syracuse Post-Standard interviews author Art Spiegelman, author of Maus and In the Shadow of No Towers.

Q: Did "Maus" open the door for comics to become forums for serious subjects?

A: It was certainly a key moment, if one was trying to grasp the change, when "Maus" was given a special Pulitzer and got onto best-seller lists. First time that ever happened for a work of Holocaust literature, actually.

Eastern Michigan University's Echo lists "ten essential indie snob concert tips."

Pitchfork interviews John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats.

Reading for Radicals recommends books for activists.

I've spent a lot of time reading bad books. To save other progressives time, I compiled this list and will continue to evolve it as I find more great books -- by stumbling onto them on my own or thanks to recommendations.

Marathonpacks examines the roots of music blogging.

Jordan Jeffares of Snowden talks to Drowned in Sound.

What role did blogs play in your rise to this level – i.e. overseas recognition and an upcoming release on a respected indie. Is the internet a bigger player than ever in the make-or-break cycle of building bands up and/or knocking them down?

We have relied heavily on the internet from day one. In the beginning, we gave away the first EP and a couple of big New York blogs started talking about us and we started to pick up steam. Most print media has always been a slave to high profile/big money labels and publicists. Blogs survive on being the first to break bands. They have no wait time. When they see something they like, it goes up and 10,000 people download a track. It’s less schmoozing amongst incestuous media types and more of people posting music they dig and not worrying about if the band is ‘hot’ and will help sell ads.

Cracked lists the 5 most ineffective anti-drug ads of all time.

Here's the perfect birthday present: a John Vanderslice-designed & painted notebook. Of course, these Steve Keene paintings of Mountain Goats album covers are very cool, too.

The El Paso Times reviews Jessica Abel's graphic novel, La Perdida.

"La Perdida" is an original approach to identity politics, mostly because Abel reminds the reader that there is a larger world to reckon with than the one people sometimes construct inside their minds. Not only are Carla's fantasies undone, but so are Hamilton's, Memo's and Oscar's.

see also: Abel's LHB "book notes" entry for the book

USA Today examines major music labels and their push for revenues through publishing versus album sales.

"What has changed is the digital revolution," says Sony/ATV CEO David Hockman. "Publishing is the quintessential intellectual property-rights business."

New markets are important: Publishers suffered when CD sales fell, because federal copyright law sets the license fee at 9.1 cents per song for each CD or download sold.

But deals for movies, TV and new media are unregulated. "Publishers now have free market power," says National Music Publishers Association CEO David Israelite.

Time magazine asks U2 guitarist the Edge ten questions.

Well, right now we're recording a duet with Green Day that we'll perform on Monday Night Football [Sept. 25] for the re-opening of the Superdome.

Stereophile's recording of the month is M. Ward's Post-War.

Like his music, Ward's band is unconventional, blending the talents of two drummers, Rachel Blumberg (Decemberists) and Jordan Hudson, with the violin and viola of Amanda Lawrence. Guest Neko Case appears in the background of one tune, "To Go Home," which nearly qualifies as a duet. And while the sound of Post-War is not audiophile quality, it's very listenable and serves his close-miked voice and multilayered instrumental textures extremely well.

Actress and singer-songwriter Charlotte Gainsbourg talks to the Australian.

She also speaks to Popmatters.

Hipsterpad lists the "top ten records every hipster needs."


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