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November 8, 2006

Shorties

The Columbus Dispatch reports that members of the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team are recording a holiday album for charity.

Anson Carter, first-year forward for the Jackets and song rearranger, melodically read from a lyric sheet: "On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . "

"Five brand new teeth," deadpanned enforcer Jody Shelley, flashing a gaptoothed grin.

"That sounds good," Carter said. "Do you want to keep that?"

And so they did, giving the cumulative carol a National Hockey League imprint.


Singer-songwriter Joanna Newsom talks to Metromix about her new album, Ys.

"I think that at various moments, the idea that this album would be met with attention was in my head, but it was very clearly not useful," Newsom said. "I knew it wouldn't help me write better music. So I put it aside."


The Baltimore Sun interviews author E.L. Doctorow.

You describe a completed novel as almost a kind of visitation from above. In Creationists, you write: "The effort of one's mind seems, on completion, the work of outside forces. ... The book, the formula, becomes something out there, as if it appeared of its own volition."

The book that you're writing tells you what it wants to be and has to be and what voice it has. This is very important: Never inflict on a book what you want it to be. Because if you're wrong, the book won't get written. I think of it as "staying on the nerve of the book."


Popmatters interviews Graham Coxon of Blur.

Well, it seems you’re obviously well-fitted for pop songs. Have you ever had any interest to do a McCartney kind of thing and start working on classical compositions?

Well, I have a bit, as the more I write songs the more I get interested in the music side of it and arrangements. But classical music, I don’t know. When it comes to classical music, I like some pretty amazing stuff. And it’s all very well coming from Blur and having been in a group with a guy who could write good pop music, but when it comes to classical music you’re up against people like Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff and Chopin, it’s different altogether. If I was to write or try something classical or orchestrated ... it’d have to be pretty good. Maybe in 20 years.


The New York Sun reviews new "silly" cookbooks from Amy Sedaris, Paula Deen, and others.


Willamette Week chooses Portland's best new bands of 2006.


On NPR's All Things Considered, author Scott Turow expresses his love for Tillie Olsen's novella, Tell Me a Riddle.

But Tell Me a Riddle is far more tender and affirmative than a grim picture of how life can slaughter love. It is about the dignity of values and the intense network of beliefs that ultimately connect humans to each other as they approach the end.


The Minneapolis City Pages interviews Mick Jones about his Clash bandmate, Joe Strummer.

CP: After Joe died, you said you thought you were done. What did you mean?

Jones: When anybody dies, they take what they know with them, although Joe left us a lot.

CP: What were some of the things he took with him?

Jones: He always knew what to do in a problem, in a situation. It might not be the right thing to do, but something happened. That was always a help, just on a personal level. We became close and strong friends again after [the Clash] split up, which I think is quite different from most groups. I always felt it was a family.


Philadelphia Weekly remembers Azusa Plane's Jason DiEmilio.


Bookslut's November issue is available online, and contains the usual literary wonders, including interviews with Marjane Satrapi, Brian Evenson, and Alain de Botton.


Metromix interviews My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden.

What advice do you have for real cheerleaders after your time in the Illinoisemakers?

Stretching before and after. Definitely. You're going to prevent a lot of soreness that way. And you also need to have shoes with cushioning. Don't get Keds. Very bad idea. I did learn it the hard way. We lost a lot of girls from damage to the Achilles tendon. And chipping bones in the heel.


Drowned in Sound interviews Yo La Tengo bassist James McNew.

So you’ve played a couple of festivals this year – Indian Summer for one. How was that for you?

Festivals are sort of alien to us. They certainly feel alien – I think, outdoors for us… although the sweatboxes can be unpleasant, I think they sound better. I don’t think nature is a natural place for live music – I think we’re at the point where we need the sound to work correctly. Playing Bush Hall was really invigorating, to be able to be loud, and ferocious.


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