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September 28, 2006


The Boston Globe previews the city's NEMO conference and music festival, which starts today.

Singer-songwriter Isobel Campbell talks to the Independent.

"There's so much folk music I can't listen to - the stuff that's more Arran sweaters and drinking ale than anything else," she laughs. "It's the heart and soul of folk music I love - natural earthy songs that belong to the people. Folk music's like punk, the first rebel music."

Beck talks to the San Jose Mercury News.

Beck says he has several projects in the initial stages, but nothing he is ready to talk about publicly.

``It's all evolving, and it's all an experiment,'' Beck says. ``I never came out with my first record saying, `I know exactly what I'm doing and this is how it is.' It was more like `you're all invited in on a big experiment.' ''

The St. Paul Pioneer Press interviews Ben Nichols of Lucero.

Q. You're still a relatively unknown band, but your fans do seem to be obsessed with you guys.

A. Yeah, if you like us, you're usually pretty committed. I think the people who do like us find something in our music and maybe in our live show. I hate to say it's our attitude — maybe it's more our approach to the music.

With our shows, some of them are really good, some of them are really awful. You never really know what you're going to get. If you're looking to see a band that's note-for-note perfect every night, we're not that band. We are a band that will lay it all out on the line, warts and all.

The Philadelphia Inquirer interviews singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens.

Q: Do you have that same kind of anxiety with the 50 States Project? You've got 48 left.

A: It doesn't eat at me in the same way because it's so sensational and so ridiculous and so outrageous that it's not realistic. Unfinished songs are concrete. They're like existential unfinished sores. A concept like the 50-state thing is just all speculation, all advertisement... . I know I need to embark on it. But I also know I need to slow down because I can't do everything at once.

Blender lists 10 "songs you were probably conceived to."

USA Today lists interesting new young adult fiction.

The Kansas City Star profiles Josh Swade, co-owner of Young American Recordings.

Young American has signed three other acts: Orange Park, a New York power-pop band; Steal Union, a “producer collective” that will feature appearances from Nellie McKay, Jamie Lidell, Unkle and others; and APB, an ’80s-era dance-rock band from Aberdeen, Scotland.

“Their first album, ‘Something to Believe In,’ is on my list of Top 5 albums of all time,” Swade said. “I’d go looking for copies on, and they were going for $300 each. … It took a while, but I got in touch with their lead singer, Iain Slater, who is the front-of-house sound manager for Keane. I was like, ‘Dude, that record’s going for $300 online. Can we put it out again and make a big to-do about it?’ ”

LA Weekly interviews singer-songwriter Beck.

What do you think about how music is distributed and disseminated these days?

I think it’s healthy. I think it’s good. Most people get it word-of-mouth, get it on the Internet. For myself, I feel like I find more music than I ever did. I mean, I was always into whatever was coming out. Me and my friends were always digging through crates and passing stuff around.

Guitarist Dave Hamelin of the Stills talks to San Diego Citybeat about the band's latest album, Without Feathers.

“There are a lot of subtleties to this album,” Hamelin says. “That said, I don’t think it’s that big of a change or such a big deal that it sounds different. Would everyone have been happier if we had just made the same record over and over?”

SheKnows interviews former Catherine Wheel frontman, Rob Dickinson.

SheKnows: I read that you recently introduced yourself onstage as the former singer for Catherine Wheel, and then you added, "Well, maybe not former." What's that about?

Rob Dickinson: I don't think the band ever split up. We just stopped because no one seemed to be paying attention any more. Our manager termed it a band that was just "parked."

The Guardian wonders if actress Kate Moss wants to be a rock star.

While the rest of the fashion world is still busy debating whether models look too thin, Kate Moss has been busy with more important matters: jumping on stage and trilling along with her boyfriend and his pop group, Babyshambles. Two nights in a row - possibly three, by the time you read this - Moss has joined Pete Doherty for a run through La Belle et la Bête on his tour. Readers who have not heard the Babyshambles album may be disappointed to hear that this is not the same La Belle et la Bête that Charles Aznavour recorded for Disney's Beauty and the Beast, but Moss's live performance has, by all accounts, been well received.

Author Jane Hamilton talks to Minnesota Public Radio about her latest novel, When Madeline Was Young.

She rarely skimps when it comes to raw emotion, blending in a good dose of tragedy and occasional violence. So it surprised me a little when she was non-committal about the movie adaptations of her work. She says she never watched the film made of "The Book of Ruth."

"I knew what happened in the end, and I had lived with her so long," she says. "I just couldn't bear to be in her story any more." She says she doesn't think she will ever be tempted to go back to the film.

Author Chuck Klosterman discusses basketball with Slam Online.

“People overestimated the idea of the ‘team concept’ (in this year’s playoffs), so when it got to Wade and Shaq (in the Finals), you get to that last tier, and it’s who has the guy that the other team can’t stop,” he says, then takes a pause for effect, as good writers sometimes do. “Miami had that guy. The best teams in the East next year are going to be Miami and Cleveland — two teams with guys no one can stop."

The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle talks to the New York Press about writing his latest album, Get Lonely.

“What I do is ‘about’ the lyrics. I started writing songs to frame my ideas—stories, images, moods—and the music has usually been there to hold up the lyrics for inspection,” he says. “When I was writing Get Lonely, I had dead people in mind sometimes, or forgotten persons—the type of people you lose track of and remember later without hope of learning what became of them.”

Boston's Phoenix reviews Tuesday night's Cambridge performance by the band.

"He's my Bob Dylan," one guy declared. Another called out "You're the messiah!" An exaggeration, of course. Darnielle is a lot of things, but Dylan? Come on folks. One thing he's got on the old kook, judging by the number of sing-alongs last night, is his ability to enunciate his lines.

In Slate, Jack Shafer crowns Stop Smiling his favorite magazine.

After a couple of issues of the five-or-six times a year Chicago-based arts and culture magazine, I found myself looking forward to the next, something I can't say about any other periodical. Stop Smiling is smart. It's idiosyncratic. It's a little like Dave Eggers' old magazine Might in that it's beautiful to look at, only it's irony-free. And it brims with the romanticism for magazines that Harold Hayes applied to Esquire, Kurt Andersen and Graydon Carter squeezed into Spy, and Louis Rosetto drenched Wired with.

The Illinois Entertainer reviews Sufjan Stevens' recent Chicago performance.

Culture Bully interviews singer-songwriter Jim Noir.

CB: How did your experience at last years SXSW help expand your presence in the States?

JN: It helped a lot. We did a few gigs and managed to quite quickly do a deal with a lovely label called Barsuk. I’m not sure what they thought of the actual show ’cause I was very hung-over at the one they came to watch. We did a very good show the night before and duly celebrated our success. With much, much tequila.

Drowned in Sound interviews Oneida's Kid Millions.

How important are visuals to you? Each album has a very particular stylistic approach, graphically – are you in control of this aspect throughout, or do you have many friends willing and able to contribute interesting artwork come each release?

We work closely with artist friends to get the visual stuff down. They surprise us a lot of course – I don’t want to get credit for their art – but we do contribute ideas and probably water shit down in the process!


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