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November 10, 2006


Frank Black talks to the Seattle Times about Pixies bandmate Kim Deal and the prospects of a new studio album by the band.

"I think she isn't feeling it anymore. I still sort of feel it. I'm enjoying the camaraderie now as opposed to before. I'm more, 'Hey come on, let's go make another record — what's the worst that can happen?' But she's more, 'We don't hang out anymore ... We're in different universes.'

The Onion A.V. Club lists "6 memorable books about writers writing" (not surprisingly, I have read all six).

Harp interviews singer-songwriter Kaki King.

HARP: What led you to the use of vocals for the first time in your career?

I really had become what people had made me out to be. I’d become the girl who does that crazy thing with the guitar, and I really got bored. I knew if I did another solo guitar record with some fun tapping songs, it just wasn’t going to have the same magic for me or anyone else. That’s a genre that I certainly love and want to return to and be able to do more records like that, but I really had to just step away from it for a while.

Kathryn Yu discusses I'm From Barcelona's "We're From Barcelona" on NPR's Song of the Day.

Dispensed amid soaring three-chord pop melodies and a chorus of happy voices, the joyful subject matter almost invariably touches upon the mundane, making oversleeping, tree houses and stamp collecting seem like pursuits worthy of giddy adulation.

The winning GWB nickname in the LHB Andy Partridge Fuzzy Warbles Collector's Edition contest was "Senseless Working Overtime," and the box set is headed to the winner in Austin, Texas.

Max Brooks, author of The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead, discusses the current fascination with zombie cinema in the Guardian.

Zombie movies present people with an outlet for their apocalyptic anxieties without directly confronting them. The living dead are a fictional threat, as opposed to tsunamis or avian flu. No matter how scary or realistic the particular story might be, their unquestionably fictional nature makes them "safe". Someone can watch, say Dawn of the Dead, and witness an orgy of graphic violence and destruction, but still know in the back of their minds that, once they switch off the TV, this particular threat will simply cease to exist, something that cannot be said for terrorist docu-drama Dirty War, or the classic nuclear nightmare Threads. Knowing that zombies can never really rise allows for a feeling of control, a rare and valuable thing these days.

Noel Gallagher of Oasis talks to the Guardian about the band's career trajectory.

"If you stop the man in the street and ask 'What's Oasis's best album?', a few might say Don't Believe the Truth, which is great, but the squares will say Morning Glory and the cool people will say Definitely Maybe. That album should just be called the Best of Oasis." He leans forward. "Look. I was a superhero in the 90s. I said so at the time. McCartney, Weller, Townsend, Richards, my first album's better than all their first albums. Even they'd admit that."

The Guardian profiles 365, a boyband looking to steal the charts from "indie upstarts."

Ever since Liam Gallagher first swaggered in front of a journalist's Dictaphone, virtually every new band has felt obliged to announce themselves with this kind of strutting confidence. The difference is that 365 aren't new indie upstarts looking to stir up a bit of controversy on the NME letters page. They are a boyband. Not even a boyband in the modern Busted/McFly we-play-our-own-instruments-please-take-us-seriously sense, but a boyband in the old-fashioned mid-90s sense of the word, with slick styling and dance routines and a tidy line in ersatz R&B-influenced pop. They happily compare themselves to the Spice Girls. "We wanna bring it back like they did, 10 years ago," says Danny. "We want to be the pride of Britain."

Vancouver's Georgia Straight profiles the Baltimore band, Beach House.

Far from being soporific, Legrand’s voice—which is often layered and bathed in ocean-size waves of reverb—is an ideal fit for Beach House’s sound: a determinedly lo-fi confection of sugary pop melodies, whirling organ, and hypnotic slide guitar over an array of down-tempo beats.

Robert Pollard talks to Delaware Online about the ... And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead's cover of "The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory."

"It's like, it is what it is," Pollard said. "That's the way I wished we had recorded it. I hope they have a hit with it."

The Vail Daily News reviews the Haruki Murakami story collection, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman.

While his eye roves to a variety of people in different situations, thematically Murakami sticks to a sort of existential puzzlement. His characters are often - if not always - stuck in situations they seem to have little or no control over, and most of their conflict arises from trying to figure out what the hell to do about it.

Torontoist interviews Craig Davidson, author of The Fighter.

It's only been a year since Rust and Bone came out - that seems like a quick turnaround to write a novel. So what was the writing process like on the book? Were you writing it before Rust and Bone came out?

Sort of at the same time. It was the basic deal a lot of first writers get: short story/novel. I did have the idea and I am a quick writer - my mind’s always tick-tick-ticking - so that’s how come so fast. I can never quite understand these writers who take 7-8 years between books; I couldn’t maintain interest in that topic, those characters, for so long.

Popmatters reconsiders the musical legacy of Depeche Mode.

see also:

this week's CD & DVD releases


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