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September 30, 2006


The Boston Globe reviews Joanna Newsom's Thursday evening Boston performance, coming away impressed with hthe albums from her new album, Ys.

But to hear Newsom play these new songs live gave them a Spartan vivacity that's occasionally obscured on the album. Van Dyke Parks's sprawling orchestral arrangements (full disclosure: I heard the whole album when it was leaked) are beautiful, but it's hard to keep up with so much going on in these lyrical epics.

Author Clea Hantman gets a nod in this Washington Post article about craft boos for teens.

Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse talks to the Guardian about collaborating with Danger Mouse.

Perhaps the most important collaborator on Dreamt for Light Years, however, is the hip-hop producer Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse, half of Gnarls Barkley. "I'd been listening to a lot of later Beatles stuff and then I found the Grey Album [on which Danger Mouse spliced the rhymes of Jay Z's Black Album to music from the Beatles' White Album], which had been sitting in my drawer for six months. I really loved it. I'd never have thought of Brian as a Sparklehorse fan. But there's a lot of slowed-down, sparse hip-hop stuff that I like." They got on so well they are planning to make a record together: Linkous wants the project to be Dangerhorse, while Burton prefers Sparklemouse.

Actress Tracey Ullman talks to NPR's Morning Edition about her new knitting book, Knit 2 Together.

Ullman chimes in, "And you said she says, 'Oh Mom, let's watch something like Sense and Sensibility, make tea, let's hope it rains, and we'll knit together.' That's what me and Mabel [Ullman's daughter] do together. It's like a woman's birthright to knit. It's primal. It's timeless. You don't need electricity to knit. You can do it with a candle, girls!"

Stream Evan Dando and the Dears from WXPN's Live Cafe.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel lists some books for a "perfect fall day."

In the Washington Post, author Stephen King takes the mystery away from "the writing life."

Dig this: The so-called "writing life" is basically sitting on your ass.

You have to have a place, but it can be anywhere, really. You have to have some time, but it can be anytime. Early this summer, while my wife and son were doing a joint reading at the public library in Portland, Maine, I got stuck with dog-duty. Our dog is Frodo, a plump and cheerful Welsh Corgi. He makes no trouble. I took him to Deering Oaks Park, found a bench in the shade and wrote four good pages on my new novel in the notebook I carry around. Frodo kept an eye on the ducks. Those four pages weren't perfect -- far from it -- but they were words on paper, and they marched.

People walked past, and no one gasped, "Oh, look! That man is caught in the cosmic godhead fire of the writing life!"

Author Geraldine McCaughrean writes in the Guardian about penning the Peter Pan sequel.

I only discovered the extent of Peter Pan's popularity when my win was announced in the press. It is a Pandemic, you might say: he is the darling of countless fans; big business; the subject of raging controversy. There are Tinker Bell fetishists and Hook aficionados, Wendy worshippers and Neverland neophytes. How could I possibly satisfy them all? My other 140 books have not warranted - or have not attracted - large-scale PR. This one will.

Ben Folds talks to Adelaide Now about playing with an orchestra.

"I'm really working hard to stay in time with bands that don't exist in metrical time. They exist in their own time. It's good time but it's different.

"When something comes up that they dig, when a moment blossoms, they just sit in it for an extra couple of seconds and meanwhile I'm onto the next bar. When they're liking their sound they just slow down."

The Boston Globe reviews Tuesday night's Cambridge performance by the Mountain Goats.

Darnielle is a literate and prolific tunesmith; of the 14 indie-pop albums (and countless songs released on compilations, cassette-only collections, and label samplers) he's made in the past decade, ``Get Lonely" is among the least engaging. But the new songs popped to life onstage, where Darnielle lost the careful composure that colors the recorded versions of ``In Hidden Places," ``Maybe Sprout Wings," and ``New Monster Avenue" in muted hues. These are small, poised songs about big, messy feelings, and the messy feelings won. Darnielle's guitar playing grew wilder and harder, and his signature bleat still more pinched and desperate, as the set wore on.

Wikipedia lists science fiction's sub-genres and categories.

Drowned in Sound interviews Tilly and the Wall vocalist Neely Jenkons.

Do you think that people still see ‘the tap-dancing as percussion’ thing as a novelty, something to set you apart from the indie-pop crowd?

A lot of people probably look at us like that, and that’s fine. On this new record we have live drums, though, and on our next tour we’ll have a drummer as well. So I think it’s a growing process: we started off pretty… oh what’s the word… y’know, with not so many instruments, and progressively we’ve added more. It’s a process.

Chickfactor magazine has a compilation CD for sale in honor of its tenth anniversary.

The tracklist:

1 pipas "wells street"
2 dump "last minute"
3 would-be-goods "leave my mind alone"
4 the magnetic fields "I don't believe you"
5 the pacific ocean "I'm part of everything again"
6 low "those girls (song for nico)"
7 shannon wright "I started a joke"
8 the legendary jim ruiz "ariel"
9 the pines "kisses and fog"
10 the clientele "rain"
11 april march "mon ange gardien"
12 flare "where's the boy that I once knew?"
13 the aislers set "summer's reprise"
14 the foxgloves "daystar"
15 gilmore tamny "simple & fragrant"
16 stuart moxham "save it"
17 marine research "angel in the snow"
18 hercules featuring the fan modine "hurricane"
19 true love always "mediterranean"
20 graeme downes "mastercontrol"
21 the cannanes with steward "astra"

see also:

this week's CD & DVD releases


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