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September 21, 2006


M. Ward talks to the Arizona Star.

"I feel like my job is to experiment with songs and musical ideas, and if it ends up crossing some sort of line where people start to look at it in a political realm or a social realm is not really for me to say," he said. "I've never been someone who makes music a tool to get something off my chest. I've never been convinced that anyone really needs to hear my angst. I'm more interested in creating something that's good. I think if you create something that good, then it's going to eventually trickle into these other social realms."

Singer-songwriter Kaki King talks to the San Francisco Chronicle.

"I simply left the solo guitar idiom behind," King said about her new musical direction, talking by cell phone from a bus as she kicked off her current tour. "That's really all it took, and it didn't take lot of thought. I was feeling that I'd reached a creative lull with that type of music."

The Los Angeles Times lists "10 more bands you ought to know."

The Crimson White previews this weekend's Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival in Birmingham.

For the past seven years, Birmingham's very own Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival has emerged as one of the strongest regional film festivals in the country. Nationally recognized by industry insiders and even named a "Film Festival for the Rest of Us" by Time Magazine, it proves to be one of the most exciting film-related events of the year in the region, and a great, affordable place for local film aficionados to check out some great independent movies.

The Ithacan Online interviews John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats.

SM: How would you describe your sound to listeners who have never heard your music?

JD: We sound like two guys playing guitar and bass and singing a little. [Peter Hughes’] bass bears a resemblance to Peter Hook’s. My guitar is like a more primitive Phil Ochs, I guess.

Jason Isbell of the Drive-By Truckers talks to the Washington Times.

"We've always written about that [dark] side of things. I think there's something a little bit rock and roll about that aspect of life," says Truckers guitarist Jason Isbell. "For me, it's a lot easier to write about unhappy things than it is to write about happy things."

The Harvard Independent tags pop songs with classes, to make filling your course schedule easier.

IF YOU LIKED: Christina Aguilera’s “Ain’t No Other Man”
YOU SHOULD TAKE: Harvey C. Mansfield’s Government 2080. “Topics in Political Philosophy: Natural Right.” (Spring Term.)
Harvey Mansfield is a wacky, possibly dirrty, old man. His research interests include other wacky, possibly dirrty, old men. But not like that! What’s sad for the impeccably dressed and manicured Mansfield is that though there are quite more wacky old men in the world than ever before, very few can be said to possess manliness. Which is to say: ain’t no other man can stand, up next to him. He’s got soul, he’s got class, he’s got style — and he has tenure. Also in the spring, for junior government concentrators only, he somehow found a man that can stand up next to him. Yep, Gov 90jl. “The Mirror of Princes” is being team-taught by Mansfield and — wait for it — William Kristol! Check your shoes and water bottles at the door.

Barton Carroll of Crooked Fingers talks to the Independent Weekly about his solo output.

"I don't know if I'll ever enjoy my own stuff as much I enjoy being in Crooked Fingers. In Crooked Fingers, I can really just be a fan of the music. It's like joining your favorite band," says Carroll from Charlotte, a day after arriving from his home in Seattle for the first tour date behind his proper solo debut, Love & War. "But, with my own stuff, I never feel any outside enjoyment because my ego is too wrapped in it."

The New York Press interviews Hilly Kristal, owner of the legendary club, CBGB's.

How were the UK bands received in NY? Why did the Sex Pistols never play CB’s?

HK—McClaren had an idea for the Pistols that they shouldn’t play any clubs, just lofts and stuff like that. I don’t think it worked. They wanted to be different and be outrageous. I’m not a fan of the Sex Pistols. I think The Clash was technically the best band and the most powerful band of that type. But there were many other bands, The Adverts, etc. The Damned were actually the least at the beginning, but then they got it together more. They were all kind of garagey at first, except The Clash.

The New York Times profiles baseball author & historian, Peter J. Nash (aka Prime Minister Pete Nice from the hip hop group, 3rd Bass).

These days, Nash is finishing a film about his book on Red Sox fans and is working on a documentary about white appropriation of black music and black culture called “The White Negro.” A little bit baseball and a little bit hip-hop.

Boston's Phoenix reviews Alan Moore's controversial three-volume graphic novel, Lost Girls.

What Moore has done here is a version of what he does in his ongoing series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, in which the likes of Dr. Jekyll, Captain Nemo, Mina Harker, Allan Quartermain, and Griffin, the scientist from The Invisible Man, form a Victorian crimefighting team. Just as the League series is an alternate history of some of the most famous characters from imaginative literature, Lost Girls nudges the plots of Carroll, Baum, and Barrie so that they become sexual metaphors.

The Book Standard discusses Blender's list of "the 40 greatest rock and roll books."

The Greensboro News-Record talks to author Allan Gurganus, editor of this year's edition of the New Stories from the South, about what makes a story southern.

"I was very heartened by what I saw,'' said Gurganus of his first stint as the anthology's editor. "The jaw-wagging tradition of Southern storytelling is alive and well. You don't need to write about Ma Maw and Pe Paw and mules. You can apply that same energy and point of view to I-pods, the Web or anything else. The vision really holds.''

Singer-songwriter David Bazan talks to Newcity Chicago.

Bazan says his methods of writing and recording didn't change after he moved on from the band. "The writing [for "Fewer Moving Parts"] was probably eighty-percent done when the band broke up. I didn't really have a chance to think about it differently. When I went to record, it was a lot freer, with what instruments I can use, how many I can use. With Pedro I knew that odds were I was gonna go out on the road and represent the songs as a three-piece, and with this I had no plans to go out on the road and pull these songs off, so there's more depth in the arrangements than on a Pedro thing."

Billboard previews the September 30th San Francisco benefit for Rogue Wave drummer Pat Spurgeon.

Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, Matthew Caws of Nada Surf, Ryan Miller of Guster and John Vanderslice are among the guests slated to perform during the evening, with more still to be announced. Daniel Handler, otherwise known as popular author Lemony Snicket, will be the MC for the event.

Beck talks to the Guardian about his new album, The Information (out October 3rd).

Beck is a funny mix of the very silly and the very serious - a philosopher-poet who likes dressing up and slapstick. But even on The Information's home videos he never strays for long from his persona as the deadpan hipster. "I am quite straight, yeah," he agrees. "There has been a lot of humour in my music, but I think maybe there's a mistrust of that in musicians. I guess you're always in danger of being dismissed as a clown."

The Los Angeles Times lists five local musical artists with "big-time potential," including Cold War Kids and the Little Ones.

San Diego City Beat interviews singer-songwriter M. Ward, crowning him, "best Dylan that’s not Dylan" in the process.

“Getting rich and being in everyone’s household was never the goal,” says Ward earnestly. “The way I look at my job description is just as someone who experiments with sounds and musical ideas.”

Capitol of Punk is a collection of ten downloadable video podcasts covering the history of Washington, DC, punk and hardcore music.

Coudal Partners is holding an amazing Bob Dylan contest: connect the former Mr. Zimmerman with another famous person (currently Condoleeza Rice) a la "six degrees of separation," and win a copy of Dylan's new album, Modern Times. Everyone who enters has a chance to win the grand prize, Dylan's Columbia Records discography (that's 47 albums).

The St. Petersburg Times blog lists their top ten worst movies of the 80's.

Relevant magazine gives some background and historical perspectives on select Sufjan Stevens songs.

In the Guardian, Professor David Crystal lists the top ten books on the English language.

Philafunk is holding an online battle of the bands, with the winner getting $10,000.

Midlake performs on WXPN's World Cafe.

Venus zine interviews Ana Matronix of the Scissor Sisters in their fall issue.

I am always interested to know what musicians are listening to. What’s on rotation on the bus, on your iPod? And what are some of your favorite new artists?

My iPod is a mishmash, in true Scissor Sisters style. Lately I’ve been listening to Silver Apples, a psych-rock band from the 1960s, but I’ve got everything from Talking Heads and Richard Hell to Otis Redding and Nina Simone to Miles Davis and Eric Dolphy. Some of the new children I’m listening to are the Knife from Sweden, and I know I’m among a great throng of people really digging on Gnarls Barkley.

If you are a Flickr Pro user, get 10 free FlickrMini cards (if you are among the first 10,000). I ordered mine yesterday, even the shipping is free.

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this week's CD & release list


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