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October 5, 2006


Minnesota Public Radio hosts an in-studio performance and interview by singer-songwriter Rocky Votolato.

The Red and Black previews Musickfest, an Athens two-night benefit for local musician Wendy Musick.

The benefit includes an art auction, where original Drive-By Truckers album art by Wes Freed is available.

Author Alan Moore talks to the Portland Mercury about his recently published collection, Lost Girls Collected.

"We didn't want it to be like the majority of contemporary, erotic pornography," says Moore. "We didn't want it to be visually ugly, emotionally ugly, aesthetically ugly, politically ugly, and all of the numerous forms of 'ugly' that pornography is generally a master of. We wanted something that could theoretically appeal to people of both genders and a variety of sexualities—which was quite a tall order."

Minnesota Public Radio has a live in-studio performance from singer-songwriter Amy Millan.

Chromewaves reviews Joanna Newsom's Toronto performance.

The general consensus seems to be that you either love Joanna Newsom to death or you can't stand her and the reason most often given for the latter opinion is her voice. Now while at very first listen, it's obviously a little unusual but certainly not as big a deal as some naysayers would have you believe - after the initial reaction passes, it's really not a thing at all. And it's perfectly suited to what she does, which is sing epic-length songs cascading with wonderfully evocative imagery, both mystical and mundane, and accompanying herself on harp. She's so utterly unique that a more conventional voice would almost be a wasted opportunity.

Asobi Seksu's Yuki Chikudate talks to the Los Angeles Times.

"It's been a very influential genre for us," Chikudate says of the band's effects pedals-obsessed forebears, which in this foursome's case might include the likes of Lush and Slowdive. "But a lot of it was missed by kids who grew up in the late '90s; it was gone by that time."

The band's James Hanna talks to Tucson Weekly.

Hanna admits he's frustrated by folks who lump his band in with a nonexistent shoegaze-revival movement, though he admits they've partly brought it upon themselves through recent tour dates with Norway's Serena Maneesh (who've also bemoaned the fact that the media pigeonholes them as the next My Bloody Valentine-slash-Jesus and Mary Chain).

Seattlest reviews the band's recent show.

The band worked their way efficiently through their set, mainly playing tracks from the new album. Their performance had more teeth than their recorded output, with a lot more guitar and distortion complementing Yuki's vocals, creating shoegaze-inflected dream pop that would have fit in nicely on the still-excellent Lost in Translation soundtrack.

NPR's All Things Considered reviews the new Decemberists album, The Crane Wife.

Grizzly Bear's Daniel Rossen talks to the Pulse of the Twin Cities.

“Ed is very intuitive,” says Rossen, explaining the songwriting in the band. “He doesn’t have any kind of training, although he grew up with a very musical background: His grandfather was the music director of Harvard or something. He grew up around a lot of choral music. He doesn’t really do instrumental arrangements, but he does do very cool vocal arrangements, where he just layers and layers. That’s how the first record came together. Chris and Chris and I all have a very nerdy jazz background, but we all sort of quit and I haven’t had any training since I was a teenager. But we all have this background of learning music theory when we were younger and not wanting to tell anybody about that. I try not to let it get in the way too much.”

interviews John Roderick of the Long Winters.

“There are songs out there that make people happy, simple as that, and there are songs that help people to be alright even though they’re sad. I could easily write sad-bastard music all day, featuring one lonely guitar and a glockenspiel, but I choose to make rock music because it’s fun and life-affirming and there are plenty of young, bearded guys in denim jackets to fill the sad music void.”

Pulse of the Twin Cities gives "awards to sell-out music whores for Oct. 2006."

1) “Just What I Needed” and “Good Times Roll” – The Cars. This really makes me sad. I f*cking loved the Cars’ debut album, and even though these two tunes are pretty well-worn by FM schlock-sters, I always had a warm fuzzy spot (still do, damn you Ric Ocasek!) for this band. I’m sorry that the next generation will think these tunes were actually written for chain electronics store advertisements. Blah! What’s even worse is that it won’t take the actual stereo manufacturers long to figure out that “Moving In Stereo” (“Life’s the same / You’re moving in stereo ...”) would sound cool and ACTUALLY MAKE SENSE in an ad about stereos. Coming soon to a boob tube near you.

Paste reviews the Austin City Limits music festival.

One of the joys of so many stages going at once is the opportunity to taste a variety of sounds over the course of the day. So it was easy to groove to the masterful jazz-funk of Galactic, follow it up with a taste of frolicking pub rock from Ian McLagan and the Bump Band, run head-on into the noisy and not-nearly-as-subtle-as-they-are-on-record TV On The Radio, then end up watching Los Lobos mix styles of Americana with unmatched aplomb.

Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis talks to about the band's next album.

After a year-long band break that allowed Lewis to tour in support of "Rabbit Fur Coat," her critically acclaimed album with the Watson Twins, the singer and multi-instrumentalist says it was good to get back in a group mode. "I wanted to write songs that rocked a little bit more and kind of had a more band feel to them," she says. "I was kind of longing for a more complicated approach, I guess."

The paperback version of Laila Lalami's Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits is available this week.

see also: Lalami's Book Notes entry for the book (one of my favorite submissions in the series, and a wonderful book)

David Byrne reviews Sufjan Stevens' recent NYC show.

The feeling was of whispered intimate reminiscences of a midwestern childhood juxtaposed with their transcendent implications — the glory of the world discovered in the backyard, on a cross country trip, or at summer camp. Videos that looked like super 8 movies helped reinforce the aura of transcendental nostalgia, along with costumes that looked like they came out of a Jr. High theater production (everyone wore bird or butterfly wings and matching outfits.) Inflatable Supermen and santas were tossed off the balcony into the audience during appropriate songs — more images of childhood myths.

NPR's Shadow Classics profiles Craig Finn's band before the Hold Steady, Lifter Puller, and their album, Fiestas + Fiascos.

The brainchild of singer/guitarist Craig Finn, Lifter Puller captured inglorious moments in the club-going pursuit of oblivion, and set them to snarly, near-heroic art-punk revving. Though Lifter Puller went belly-up in 2000, Finn and guitarist Tad Kubler are still rocking in the same vein as The Hold Steady, and those who've enjoyed the breakthrough 2004 disc Almost Killed Me and the even more spirited new Boys and Girls in America will instantly find something to love inside the gone-before-its-time Fiestas + Fiascos.

The Drowned in Sound community discusses September's album releases.

see also:

this week's CD & DVD releases


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