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October 19, 2006

Shorties

Penn State's Daily Collegian interviews singer-songwriter Leslie Feist.

Q: Your albums are of great in their own right, but your live shows are amazing. Any plans for a live CD or DVD and when we could expect it?

A: I recorded the last couple tours with the hopes to one day make Let It Live, an album to bridge the gap between Let It Die and what those songs became when I began touring them.


Okkervil River's Will Sheff talks to the University of Georgia's Red and Black.

“(Athens) is kind of a slacker town and Austin’s like that, too,” Sheff said. “You can still not do very much and make a living for yourself, and I think that’s why the music scene has flourished in both towns — because the people have a lot of time left over to be creative.”


Popmatters eulogizes CBGB's while also reviewing one of the final Bad Brains shows.


The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the film adaptation of Michael Chabon's The Mysteries of Pittsburgh is finishing up in the city, and that Chabon will have a small part in the film.

Mr. Chabon, who earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh, will appear in the movie in a scene played in the bookstore.

"He visited the set about a week ago," Mr. Mercer said. "He'll have a bit part in the film."


Blake Sennett of Rilo Kiley and the Elected talks to the Gateway.

“[The Elected] is a side project and was intended to be and continues to be,” Sennett says. “It’s impossible to put your energy into both bands. There’s just not enough time in the day or in your life to have two bands that you can devote equal time to. But in my heart, and in terms of the music, it doesn’t feel to me like a side project.”

Meanwhile, his Rilo Kiley bandmate Jenny Lewis talks to the Houston Chronicle.

"I think the rules change," Lewis says. "It's an interesting time for record companies and artists. People aren't buying as many records as they used to. You still have to put food on table. You still have to get your music out there. So I don't subscribe to the snotty idea that music is only for certain people. I hope to make it for everyone."


Portastatic's Mac McCaughan talks to the Independent Weekly about the band's new album, Be Still Please.

Anyway, for McCaughan, this is "a folk record, in a way." The idea was for the acoustic guitar to be the focus. While each of the band's last three albums--Summer of the Shark, Bright Ideas and Be Still Please--are somewhat different in tone and approach, he suggests they are part of a whole, an expression of Portastatic finding its identity after transitioning from a studio project to a touring act.


The San Francisco Chronicle asks locals to recount their favorite Tower Records memory.


LA Weekly previews the Arthur Nights music festival, and interviews festival performer Bert Jansch.


The Japan Times defines the Japanese music genre, Shibuya-kei.

The Japanese media invented the term more than a decade ago to describe the hodge-podge of young musicians ignored by the mainstream, but who sold anomalously well at Shibuya's import record stores HMV and Tower Records. Sonically, the artists did not share a specific style, but more of a guiding philosophy. They worked almost exclusively in pastiche and bricolage -- mixing, matching, rearranging, deconstructing and straightup stealing from California '60s soft rock, French Ye-Ye, Chicago house, East Coast hip-hop sampling (Pizzicato Five), German Krautrock (Buffalo Daughter, Takako Minekawa), Scottish anorak pop, Madchester club beats (Flipper's Guitar), Brazilian bossa nova, Italian film soundtracks (Fantastic Plastic Machine) and any and all other internationalist, retro-futurist genres.


The New York Times previews fall's new books.


The Village Voice has posted its "best of NYC 2006."


The Portland Mercury interviews author Richard Ford about his new book, The Lay of the Land and its protagonist, Frank Bascombe.

Is that difficult to do—to submit your characters to catastrophe after catastrophe?

It isn't difficult to do, because I don't really think about my characters as human beings. I think that they are characters and therefore made up of language and largely mutable. The purpose for which they're made is the purpose of the reader. And so even though I don't think of myself as a man who does damage to his characters for no reason—everything that happens to Frank, everything that he experiences and survives, is done with the purpose of the reader in mind.


In the Huffington Post, film producer and director Roger Corman offers an appreciation of Nobel prize winning author Orham Pamuk.

This has been a consistent theme throughout Pamuk's work: that a fundamental unity or cohesion exists, however obscured it may be by conflict, difference, and tension. He does not ignore apparent opposition or conflict; in fact, his characters and plots often center on them.


Broken Social Scene's Brendan Canning talks to Creative Loafing.

"It's time to revamp the program," says Brendan Canning, who co-founded the band in Toronto along with Kevin Drew. From humble two-man beginnings, BSS expanded into a 17-member behemoth for last year's critically lauded, self-titled album. "It's hard to grow as a unit when the unit is not consistent. It can be exciting, but I think it's reached its limitation in that regard."


The Kansas City Pitch finds fault in the indie rock soundtrack to the hockey game, NHL 2K7.

What's more, you take the rink to the music of the Postal Service, a nasally indie-pop band. Hockey is not the Postal Service. Hockey is Rush, ZZ Top, and AC/DC. It's the Hanson brothers "puttin' on the foil," goalies in Cujo masks, and commentators screaming, "Kick save -- and a beaut!"


Jason Isbell of the Drive-By Truckers talks to the Riverfront Times.

"We still try to write about what we know and we're all Southern people," Isbell says. "We tried to keep from making a Southern record. It's not as story-driven. That wasn't on purpose. We all just want to keep ourselves interested in what we're doing. You have to walk a fine line between making fun of yourself and presenting it in an honest way. Those early Trucker albums did that pretty well. They were funny, but they dealt with serious problems. You have to come to terms with things by writing about them — staying a certain kind of person and learning from what is going on around you."


The Riverfront Times interviews John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats.

Brooke Foster: Your songs have an amazing literary quality, in the way they're often the aural equivalent of a really great short story. Which writers do you admire the most? What books are you reading right now?

Darnielle: I'm reading Iris Murdoch right now, a book called The Philosopher's Pupil. The opening scene is just shocking, very hard to read. My favorite writer alive is Joan Didion, who I think is one of the best this country's ever had. Her sentences are like geodes.


Pacific Mozart Ensemble members talk to the East Bay Express about his coir backing Sufjan Stevens in concert recently.

"We're the kings of the cold call," adds Lynne Morrow, who directs the ensemble. "We aim to be the go-to choir for touring acts."


Playlist compares Pandora and Last.fm.

Everyone’s got their preferences, and the Web is littered with blog posts extolling one over the other. Give either a try and you’ll see why they’ve developed such a following. They’re both amazing services that provide great ways to discover and listen to new music.


The Associated Press reports on the quickly vanishing television theme song.

Are they about to join the variety hour in the TV graveyard?

"It's a rarity today," TV historian Tim Brooks said of the catchy, tuneful opening. "It's kind of like the Broadway musical producing hit songs - it just doesn't do that anymore."


The New York Times reviews the "new generation of portable media players."

Many of the players are svelte, easy to use and less expensive than their predecessors. They can hold music videos or full-length movies, as well as play music and display digital photos. And more consumers are taking notice.


see also:

this week's CD & DVD releases

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