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October 9, 2006

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British Poet Laureate Andrew Motion talks to the BBC News, mentioning the impact Pete Doherty can have on young people's perception of poetry.

"The idea of the troubled young genius who gives up their life to their work is something he seems to have locked onto," says Mr Motion.

And he hopes that Doherty's enthusiasm for poetry will make it more acceptable for youngsters.

"With boys especially, they'll listen to music, but when a poem is put in front of them, they're nervous about it," he says.


Author David Sedaris talks to the Orlando Sentinel.

The other hallmark of Sedaris' work is the integral connection to performance. Each essay is written and revised with an eye toward reading it live.

"I like having the both of them [radio and print]. Sometimes people will say, apologetically, 'Oh, I got your book on tape.' I'm a big tapeworm. There are people like Alan Bennett, and pretty much everything he does is on the radio or released on CD or on tape. But I want him to read to me. I want Garrison Keillor to read to me. That said, I'm glad I have the other people, like somebody who would read the New Yorker and maybe doesn't listen to the radio and just knows the stories on paper."


CHUD.com has a set report from the film adaptation of Michael Chabon's The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.

In the bits of filming I saw he seemed to convey the right blend of youth and ambivalence. Further, based on what I had a chance to see, Sienna Miller will probably make a fine Jane Bellwether. But the casting coup, from my admittedly limited observations, was landing Peter Sarsgaard to play Cleveland. He's got exactly the kind of presence and irresistible charm that would lead an impressionable guy like Art to follow him around. He might be able to carry the film himself.


Popmatters interviews Joan of Arc's Tim Kinsella.

“I mean music is by nature emotionally ambiguous. It just gets shaded culturally—like ‘Oh, this is a sad sound when you put it next to this sound’.

“But you know, it’s a jumbled world. I’m always sort of let down when a band tries to insist that I feel a specific thing when I’m listening to it. I don’t feel like I wanna impose that, you know? I guess if things were left a little more ambiguous maybe everyone could be a little more at home with it.”


Harmonium interviews Tim Westergren of Pandora.com.

Harmonium: What do you have in store? Is there anything up your sleeve for 2007?

Westergren: Well, there’s lots of different things we’re working on. We’re working on mobility — where you can listen to Pandora on the go. We’re working on international growth, we’re trying to spread Pandora outside the U.S., and also add a lot more international music to the collection. And we’re also doing a little bit more work on the listener-to-listener part of Pandora, allowing people to talk to each other … and share favorites and discoveries and so on.


Popmatters reviews the graphic novel, The Pride of Baghdad.

Like the thoughtful writer that he is, Vaughan is never too obvious or heavy-handed, despite his use of such a potent and politically-charged narrative setting. Through the lions’ eyes, we’re offered a sober and effectively naïve outsider’s perspective on the chaos. Also, Vaughan’s approach to the concept of death is much more realistic than is common in mainstream comics. There is no cheap, theatrical melodrama or long, pseudo-Shakespearian deathbed monologues here, leaving us with no easy comforts and little else but the quick, unforgiving finality.


The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Paul Westerberg has designed a guitar to be sold at Wal-Mart.

"You're not going to sound like your guitar hero on this thing, unless that hero is you," Westerberg promises in the promotional materials.


The Mid-Continent Public Library hosts a searchable database of 1,200 books, novels, short stories, and plays that have been made into films.


Get ready for Halloween, and download The Bride of Monster Mashup.


The mother of author Augusten Burroughs talks to NPR's All Things Considered.

Robison calls her son Chris, the name she gave him at birth. He was 18 when he started calling himself Augusten Burroughs.

"First of all, Chris is Chris to me. Augusten Burroughs is a fiction to me," says Robison. "I know a little bit about Augusten Burroughs. I met him in San Francisco. When Chris called me and asked me to come. And he was lost, he said. I met Augusten Burroughs there. But Augusten Burroughs and Chris are not quite the same."


The Toledo Blade lists five "must have" classic rock albums.


The Independent speculates on the reunion of several 80's bands.


Singer-songwriter Lloyd Cole talks to the Telegraph.

"I'm just not interested in what 18-year-olds consider cool," Cole says firmly. "The quintessentially cool rock people I've met have always seemed so fragile, I feel sorry for them."


All About Jewish Theater profiles author Sholem Aleichem.


The Canadian Press talks to Canuck artists about selling songs for commercial use.

"I said no to tons of stuff, all sorts of things in my own life I would never consider eating or drinking like Coca-Cola or McDonald's or Kentucky Fried Chicken. I would never put that stuff in my body so the last thing I want to do is put my song in there to convince other people to put it in their bodies."

"I prefer doing it for things that aren't products that end up on the market but ... for the postal service or for the metro system," said Feist, whose says she's endorsed products in foreign ads.


Indie podcast Audiovant is promising to return.


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this week's CD & DVD releases

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