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November 2, 2006


RIP, author William Styron.

Drive-By Trucker Patterson Hood talks to the Red and Black about the band's upcoming Athens show.

“This really will be probably the only chance to see us play here in Athens for a pretty long time,” said Hood, who added that the Truckers are to see much more studio time rather than road time in 2007.

For Suicide Girls, Wil Wheaton lists five books "every geek should read."

Ari Up of the Slits talks to the Onion A.V. Club about reuniting the band.

AVC: You were about 14 when you formed The Slits. There are a lot of 14-year-olds trying to enter music now, but they're more of the pre-packaged pop variety. Why do you think there isn't another you out there?

AU: I know, isn't that a shame? It's because I'm a rock 'n' roll baby. I was one of the last actually born into rock, in the middle of it. My mother was a promoter, so I grew up with rock stars. When I was little, people like Jimi Hendrix were walking around in the living room.

Cracked lists the 15 funniest people of 2006.

Salt Lake City Weekly reviews Brian K. Vaughan's graphic novel, Pride of Baghdad.

Light on politics and heavy on heart, Pride is a tight story in which no panel is wasted; there is no “padding” in what Vaughan has called his proudest moment in comics. During wartime, happy endings are hard to come by, and freedom may look better from the outside, but sometimes the result is worth the risk. Even for a lion.

Google Video will offer full NHL games on delay. (via)

What Would Jesus Blog offers tips on making a mixtape for author Chuck Klosterman.

Greg Downs, author of the Flannery O'Connor award winning collection of short fiction, Spit Baths, talks to the Nashville Scene.

Many young writers work adolescence into their first books, but Downs—who spent his teen years as a student at University School of Nashville—is more interested in the “less told and more peculiar” material mined from his childhood than any adolescent coming-of-age tropes. “When you’re 7 you’re still free to be weird because you like things that other people don’t like, or you like things you’re not supposed to like.” In fact, he says, 7-year-olds are an awful lot like writers. “You spend more time thinking and doing things by yourself than you should, and you’re not interested in the things you’re supposed to be interested in—or you’re caught up in the vulgar, or the gross, or the mundane.”

Newcity Chicago interviews the musical Kinsella brothers, Mike and Tim.

The contrast between Owen and Make Believe is interesting as well, considering the two spent so much time together in bands before now. Owen's all-acoustic, hyper-sensitive indie-folk (matched with stellar, weaving guitarwork) greatly appeals to the younger, heartbroken crowd. Even Mike admits, "It's my fault if I feel stuck in this scene or whatever. I'm a grownup guy playing my songs in front of younger kids, 18- or 19-year-old kids. I'd rather play for grownups. It would be cool if a 30-year-old guy came up to me [after a show]."

Time magazine asks ten questions of author Joyce Carol Oates.

You teach at Princeton. Do you believe people can be taught to write literarily?

We don't teach writers to write. They are already writers when they come into our workshops. Basically, we act like editors. I don't think people can be taught to write literature. You can't teach an Emily Dickinson or a Shakespeare. That's natural genius.

The Nashville Scene interviews author John Updike about his latest novel, Terrorist and being a regional author.

Scene: Down here “regional” is still a good thing, people are proud of being regional authors, but I’m not sure that’s true in other parts of the United States.

Updike: To be a writer in Tennessee is a little different than being one in Massachusetts, somehow. And of course there have been regional movements come out of Nashville, from Vanderbilt. Coming from Pennsylvania, I’ve always been aware of myself as a Pennsylvanian, because for the first 18 years of my life I really hardly ever left Pennsylvania. Yet, compared to the South, it has a rather murky identity, ranging from the House Amish to those sort of grimy industrial metropolises of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. It’s fun to try to think about being a Pennsylvanian, in my early fiction there’s quite a lot about Pennsylvania—Pennsylvania as a state of mind, Pennsylvania as a condition. Of course when you move away from where you have your roots you pay a price, but you gain something in freedom. People don’t know your grandfather, people don’t know you. You’re free of all the ties that rootedness brings. On the other hand, in a way, you’re always a tourist. I’m a tourist in New England.

The New York Press goes role-playing with the lyrics of Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy.

Album: Picaresque

Track: “The Sporting Life”

Conflict: “There’s my father looking on/And there’s my girlfriend arm in arm/With the captain of the other team.”

Resolution: Meloy suffers humiliation in the ultimate arena: the sports field. The bouncing drumbeat that accompanies the scene suggests that Meloy must be OK with his lack of athletic prowess, but it still must sting to watch the coach as “He turns and loads the lemonade away.” Talk about getting served a big old glass of Hate-orade.

The Orlando Sentinel's blog lists "ten things you can REALLY do for literature" in response to ZZYZZVA's similar list.

Singer-songwriter Will Oldham talks to the Portland Mercury.

"Portland was good for bikes, good for books and records, good for food, and skies," he explained. "I hear it is good for drugs, too, but my cravings seem to fall between the cracks of what is readily available." And, finally, he lamented, "Missed the zoo, to my chagrin."

Page France's Michael Nau talks to the Salt Lake City Weekly.

“Honestly, I didn’t expect [the whole religious aspect] to be as huge a deal as it was. I’ve just grown comfortable speaking that way. It came out that way. And, though I like hearing people talk about it, my biggest concern is that it takes away from what else is on the record. Still, in retrospect, I wouldn’t have changed a thing,” he said.

ArsTechnica examines digital music service eMusic's rate increases.

eMusic now believes that it offers a substantially better value now than it did when the prices were first set, and it's now raising them accordingly. The site has certainly snapped up bigger-name talent in the last year, adding breakout artists like Sufjan Stevens and the White Stripes to its roster, and it now offers nearly two million tracks for download. An eMusic spokesperson tells Ars that "eMusic's previous prices were developed in 2003, when the service had only a limited number of tracks (250,000) and a much less compelling website. Since then, in addition to the additional music we have added, we have also advanced the state of the art for a music service focused on music discovery, adding literally hundreds of new features. The price increase has been planned for some time and better reflects our value to our customers as we strive to offer music fans the best digital music service possible."

Lou Reed talks to Redwood City's Metroactive about his live performances.

""I'm not looking to do a note for note version of anything," says Reed. "I don't want to have to copy myself. I wrote it, so I kind of do it from wherever I am now.""

McSweeney's lists "Jewish holidays for hipsters."

The LHB Andy Partridge box set contest is still open, put your favorite nickname for the current US president in a comment there to enter.

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this week's CD & DVD releases


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