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September 27, 2006


The Philadelphia Inquirer reviews Jennifer Weiner's new collection of short stories, The Guy Not Taken.

When the movie comes out, if you enjoy it, here's the book. Read the story and liked it? You'll go see the movie. Smart marketing. Smart agent. Big bucks all around. I don't begrudge Jennifer Weiner any of it, but I hope some day she realizes she's got the potential to be a much better writer. I'm not dismissive of chick lit (in the "Notes," she chides people who are), but it's entertainment, not art. Weiner could raise her game to a literary level by focusing on her strong suit - mismatched sisters, a quirky grandmother figure - and delivering the insights she's learned about such relationships.

New Orleans' offBeat interviews Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers.

You tend to tell stories in your songs, and they’re often the stories of people in hard times. Do you ever stop to think about the ethics of telling these people’s stories and talking about their hard times?

I grapple with that all the time. As I get older, it gets harder. When you’re younger, you go with the inspiration and don’t think about it. Not to mention, for years and years nobody heard anything I wrote. I wrote 3,000 songs before anybody heard a single song of mine other than close friends who couldn’t get me to shut up when I wanted to play at a party. Now, there’s a fairly good chance that if I write something, a good number of people will hear it, which comes with a certain responsibility. Irresponsibility is good for artistry, so it’s a delicate balance you have to strike.

Indie Interviews has a short interview with Birdmonster.

Philadelphia Weekly judges Fergie's solo album and the Open Season soundtrack by their covers alone.

Chicago's Metromix interviews singer-songwriter Amy Millan.

Do you and the other female vocalists from Broken Social Scene, Leslie Feist and Emily Haines, ever have sing-offs?

We do have sing-offs. The best Broken shows are when the three of us are doing them together. Whenever Emily and Leslie and I are together, we always talk about how when we ever get five seconds we're gonna make a record together. But we have our whole lives to make music together; that's one of the beauties of this band. I have this feeling that the best Broken record that will ever be made will be made about 10 years from now. I have this fantasy that when we're in our 40s, we'll end up at a farm all together for four or five weeks and we'll make just an outstanding piece of work. That's my dream anyway.

Grizzly Bear's Edward Droste talks to the San Francisco Bay Guardian about recording Yellow House.

"Initially, we wanted to record an album before we had a label and didn't have any money," recalls Droste, who shares the name of the Hooters cofounder, a distant relation. "My mom was going to be away, it was my old childhood home, and I was, like, 'Well, we can all have our own bedrooms, record in the living room, and there's a backyard, and every night we'd have chips and salsa and beer.’”

The Hollywood Reporter reviews Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Book.

"Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Book" is just the thing for those who admire the show, a buff-friendly scrapbook of stills, stretches of dialogue, and facts and factoids. More, it delves into the show's most distinctive feature, its improvisational nature. The real-life David, writes onetime New York Observer TV columnist Deirdre Dolan, writes an outline for each of 10 shows each season, charting the course of a big-picture story arc that usually takes the onscreen David from bad to worse. In most instances, the show's players, whether series regulars or cameos, get bits of the outline on a need-to-know basis, then invent their lines as they go along. Almost all of them end up calling David extremely rude names.

In the San Francisco Bay Guardian, author Michelle Tea profiles book publisher Red Wheel–Weiser–Conari.

With its roots securely planted in a to-die-for occult backlist that includes Aleister Crowley’s life’s work — the whirlwind novel Diary of a Drug Fiend, the massive, lifetime’s-worth-of-reading-material Magick, the ever-popular Thoth tarot deck — the publisher has a foundation of street cred. It also has enough consistent sellers to fund a diverse and innovative stream of New Age titles geared toward a public hungry for a glimpse of the unknown -- and for practical advice on enjoying the already known.

The Dallas Morning News handicaps the chances of fall's music releases being considered classics twenty years from now.

Sam's Town (Oct. 3)
Odds: 100-1
The Las Vegas band with the '80s vibe tries to squelch critics who slammed its 5 million-selling debut, Hot Fuss, for being too derivative. The Killers reportedly toned down the new-wave influences in favor of another '80s touchstone: Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. If you're going to mimic someone, better the Boss than Duran Duran.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune profiles several websites that suggest books to read based on your personal input.

Artist Maurice Sendak talks to NPR's Morning Edition about why he puts kid characters in danger in his books.

Sendak says his own unhappy childhood is the reason that danger lurks in his picture books. The Holocaust claimed the lives of many of his family members. The kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby terrified him. He had an uneasy relationship with his father.

"Childhood is a tricky business," Sendak says. "Usually, something goes wrong."

"Shop independent, help animals in need" at Crafters for Critters.

This is about simultaneously supporting handmade, independent businesses/crafters/designers/artists and rounding up money for animal rescue organizations. We use “crafters” as a sort of catch-all term for designers/artists/makers of things. We collect handmade/individually-created items and put them up for sale here. The proceeds are then donated to animal rescue groups.

No Love For Ned has Pit Er Pat in the studio for a live performance this week on the streaming radio show.

Erasing Clouds has added to their "100 Musicians Answer the Same 10 Questions" feature with answers from the Fruit Bats, Piano Magic, and more.

see also:

this week's CD & DVD releases


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