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November 11, 2006

Shorties

The Salt Lake Tribune interviews Pete Townshend of the Who.

SLT: You're basically known as "Mr. Rock Opera" to a lot of people, something that continues with "Wire & Glass" on the new album. Are you a fan of any other rock artists' attempts to tackle that format, ie. PInk Floyd, maybe Green Day's last record?

PT: As you happen to mention them, I love Pink Floyd and Green Day. But I use concepts mainly to keep myself interested or inspired. Narratives can be inspiring, but also limiting if they are too complex or deeply plotted. Maybe that's why the plots of some classical operas are so clunky. I've always felt great music allows you to enter into it, and make it your own. Too much narrative can prevent that happening. I was very careful in "Quadrophenia" to keep the "story" thin, as I did with "Tommy." Interesting that it is this "weakness" of plot that critics sometimes feel is the result of some laziness or inability on my part. It's deliberate.


The Washington Post talks to writers attempting National Novel Writing Month, and also gets writing tips from established authors like George Pelecanos and Laura Lippman.


The New York Times reviews Stephen King's new novel, Lisey's Story.


Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti talks to the San Francisco Chronicle about his WWII experiences.

With two friends, Ferlinghetti secured enough leave to take a train up to Nagasaki to see the devastated area just six weeks after the atom bomb had exploded.

"I saw a giant field of scorched mulch. It sprawled out to the horizon, 3 square miles looking like someone had worked it over with a huge blowtorch. A few sticks from buildings jutted up like black arms," Ferlinghetti says. "I found a teacup that seemed like it had human flesh fused into it, just melted into the porcelain.

"In that instant," says Ferlinghetti, "I became a total pacifist."


The Boston Globe profiles L.E.O., a local ELO cover band.

"We all love Jeff Lynne," says Fields. "We also love the Bee Gees and Barbra Streisand . It's hard for the guys from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to say that. But I'm proud to say it."


The Toronto Star's Anti-Hit List admits the new Shins single "won't change your life."

Unlike a certain song from a certain Zach Braff movie, this single from the band's upcoming third full-length won't change your life. It is, however, the album's most immediate track, a status it most definitely does not achieve by approaching the elegant simplicity of the aforementioned "New Slang." Instead, it comes across as a bright, compact pop song in spite of its daring melodic structure and the subtle busyness of its arrangement.


The Wall Street Journal profiles MOG.com.

For the five-month-old MOG, which is still in its "beta" testing mode, persuading respected musicians to give the world a glimpse of their personal playlists is part of a larger strategy to compete with other online music communities. The expanding field is dominated by MySpace, which has become a ubiquitous marketing tool in the music industry. Rival sites are trying to court users by focusing on narrow music genres or offering clever features.


Gothamist points out theater blogs of note.


Jambase profiles metal band Mastodon.


IV Thieves play an in-studio performance at Minnesota Public Radio.


KCRW's Bookworm interviews author Zadie Smith.


Author Patricia Hampl talks to Minnesota Public Radio about her new book, Blue Arabesque: A Search for the Sublime.


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this week's CD & DVD releases

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