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October 23, 2006

Shorties

The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle talks to Save the Album about his favorite albums., and discusses the original cast recording of The Gospel at Colonus, Boz Scaggs' Silk Degrees, and Jesu's self-titled disc.

Check out the Save the Album site to watch Colin Meloy, Devendra Banhart, and other artists discuss their favorite albums.


AZNightBuzz shares a story of buying a music collection via Craigslist.

Either way I had fun in the process, learning some things and sorting through a mysterious pile of records. There was a sense of peeking into someone’s closet or being a fly on the wall, and the promise of something profound or bizarre on some of the recordable blanks that were included.


Forbes lists "iPod Killers That Didn't."


Popmatters reviews my favorite graphic novel of all time, David B.'s Epileptic.

Readers used to flashy panels and detailed artwork will not for the most part find them here. In its place however is a touching story that is far more genuine and enjoyable than most “flashy” comics or graphic novels out there. The independent comix movement has been much more about substance over style. A lot of times the artwork can be simpler than their mainstream counterparts. This however is most times intentional. The story is what is important, not the details in the background artwork.


Stylus adds the Boredoms to their hall of fame, and highlights some of the band's videos.


The Guardian examines high schools adding contemporary authors to their reading lists, as well as the interest this has garnered from publishers.


Brian K. Vaughan, author of the graphic novel, Pride of Baghdad, talks to the Nashville City Paper.

"I love escapist fiction as much as the next guy, and I write some of it. … That said, the stories that I'm most attracted to are the ones that help engage us in the real world rather than allow us to escape it," Vaughan said. "Sometimes people will say, 'Oh, it's too soon [to write about Sept. 11 or the Iraq War].' But as a writer, I would always rather be too soon than too late to discuss a subject."


The Kansas City Star examines the controversy some graphic novels, specifically Alison Bechdel's Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Craig Thompson's Blankets, are causing in local libraries.

Blankets, which was shelved in the Marshall library’s young adults section, features a masturbation scene and drawings of bare breasts. Fun Home, an autobiography of a young lesbian and her closeted gay father, was assigned to the adult biography section.

Louise Mills, the Marshall resident who asked the library to reconsider Blankets and Fun Home, could not be reached for comment. But during an Oct. 4 meeting, according to a report in The Marshall Democrat-News, she told the library board: “My concern does not lie with the content of the novels. Rather my concern is with the illustrations and their availability to children and the community.”

Speaking of Alison Bechdel, Out in the Mountains reviews an art exhibit featuring her works along with paper art from singer-songwriter Phranc.

Now, what about Alison Bechdel? Well, you can see the original sketches for her strips and her book, and I hear they are quite collectable these days, but for the surprise, you need to go into the next room. She has burst out of her meticulous little squares, grabbed a large brush and huge sheets of paper, and filled them with freehand, lifesize figures. One after another, these seem to engage in some nightmare of a struggle or a predicament of mythic proportions, stepping well beyond the careful objective reality of what she has shown us previously.


Cracked pits "emo vs. grunge" in a fashion showdown.


In the Boston Globe, columnist Joan Anderman writes an elegy for the disappearing brick and mortar music superstores.

I picked up the jewel boxes, held them in my hand, ogled the covers. No, I couldn't sample the music like I can on iTunes. But it's amazing what a weirdly informative vibe you can get from cover art. I remembered thumbing through the bins at my local Wherehouse store in LA's Westwood Village and seeing Emerson, Lake & Palmer's ``Brain Salad Surgery." I was transfixed by the full-lipped skull impaled on metal rods. Here was something fantastical, something heavy and arty and scary.


The Los Angeles Times reviews Bob Dylan's recent show in the city.

The framework of his sets took shape last spring when he pulled together a new group of touring players. It still includes such cornerstones as "Highway 61 Revisited," "Just Like a Woman" (given an exceptionally poignant reading this time), "She Belongs to Me" and, during the encore segment, "Like a Rolling Stone" and "All Along the Watchtower." But since the release in August of "Modern Times," he's steadily been inserting the new songs, and Saturday those included "Rollin' and Tumblin'," "When the Deal Goes Down" and "Thunder on the Mountain," giving his shows a welcome shot of currency.


The San Jose Mercury News reviews this year's edition of the Bridge School Benefit concert.

What the show at Mountain View's Shoreline Amphitheatre lacked in breakthrough performances and surprise guest stars, however, it made up for with glorious weather and some spirited collaborations between the performers and host Neil Young, especially on an epic ``Cortez the Killer'' that closed Matthews' set.


The Smith College Sophian reviews a recent Regina Spektor Boston performance.

Regina's signature quirkiness, which sets her albums apart from more mainstream - and less interesting - music, comes across much stronger when she performs live; she brought her own running commentary to the show, talking about how she'd "f-ed up" her songs at other venues during her tour and how she hoped that Boston would be the place where she wouldn't do such a thing.


Billboard reviews Jeff Tweedy's solo DVD, Sunken Treaure.

As directed by Christoph Green and Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty, "Sunken Treasure" properly frames Tweedy as less the musical prophet of his generation and more a regular guy still searching for answers to the big questions, emboldened only by his guitar and a 30-a-day Diet Coke habit.


Happy 5th birthday to the iPod, originally released October 23rd, 2001. In celebration, NPR offers some iPod usability tips.


see also:

this week's CD & DVD releases

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