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November 6, 2006


The New York Times recaps this year's CMJ festival.

The marathons encourage the small-scale, do-it-yourself approach that has been enshrined and maintained by punk and indie rock. At the same time they tease with the prospect that being chosen to perform on a club bill assembled by CMJ — which winnowed 1,000 bands from 4,500 applicants — and being heard by the people who come to New York for the convention could lead to anything from a shared tour to a recording contract. This year the mass market seemed further away, while the indie circuit was bustling.

Stylus interviews Ryan of the music blog, the Catbirdseat, about his record label, Catbird Records.

How did you happen to find the artists that make up your roster?

Well, it all started with SSLYBY, but the story of how we came together is, frankly, an incredibly long and somewhat bizarre tale, so I won’t get into it here. Suffice to say, we got hooked up through a mutual acquaintance. As for all of the other bands, I pretty much just found them all through various place on the web. And by “various places,” I mean blogs or MySpace.

Stylus pits U2 vs. REM.

Why They Deserve to Be Compared: The career trajectories of U2 and R.E.M. are amazingly similar. Both started out as critically acclaimed college radio mainstays, but got gradually more successful until they both broke out on a much more major scale in 1987, and pre-Nirvana, they were probably the two most successful and important alt-rock bands.

Popmatters interviews the French Kicks.

“I think we’re frustrating to journalists because we’re not a part of and don’t fit into what happened in New York in the last five years. One review talked about us with Vespa scooters and a certain kind of clothing. I had no idea what the person was talking about. Any attempt to place us geographically is difficult,” Wise says. “I think that turns people off.”

Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie is a blog dedicated to bookplates.

NPR is streaming last night's Washington performance by the Black Keys and Black Angels.

The Washington Post points out recently published paperbacks with Middle Eastern focus.

New York Magazine reviews Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love.

These diaries make it clear that nothing could be further from the truth. She is, as she has written over and over throughout the course of her life, obsessed with being accepted, and the publication of these diaries is the final proof that, unlike many celebrities, Love wants to be affirmed for every humiliating detail of her being, not just the interesting or artistically successful bits. She will not rest until she’s told you everything, and seen if you will keep on listening. In the era of Us Weekly and reality television, when the bar has been set very, very low for acceptable celebrity attention-seeking behavior, Love has still consistently managed to find a way under it.

Actress Emma Thompson talks to New York magazine about her literary background.

Have you ever identified with a character to an unusual degree?

I tend to identify with characters in books by Austen and Eliot and the Brontës. Oddly enough, I’m probably still vaguely Victorian. Moderns are just different. As a child, my mind latched onto a kind of Victorian morality, which I don’t necessarily think did me that much good, to be honest. It’s not ideal. I suppose there’s something spinal, there’s something that lives in your ganglia, that connects you to past moral models, and it’s very difficult to unhook yourself from them.

Engadget literally stacks Microsoft's Zune up against its digital music playing competition.

Author Mark Z Danielewski has a MySpace page.

Friday, NPR's Fresh Air replayed its interview with author William Styron.

i (heart) music lists its annual bloggers list of the 33 hottest bands in Canada.

The Onion A.V . Club lists "fifteen lamentably lost one season TV wonders."

"Imp Elfebetical Ogre: A Fairy Fictionary" is a fairy tail written by the Fiery Furnaces' Matt Friedberger and illustrated by Mike Reddy.

The LHB Fuzzy Warbles contest ends tonight at midnight, CDT. Nickname the current US president and possibly win the new Andy Partridge box set.

see also:

this week's CD & DVD releases


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