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November 27, 2006

Shorties

Popmatters reviews some of this year's holiday music releases.


The Boston Herald reviews the PS2 game, Guitar Hero II.


Popmatters interviews members of TV on the Radio.

“More than I am a musician, more than I am any of those things, I am a person. I share this earth with you, with volunteer firemen in Montana and teachers in Baltimore City. This misappropriation of attention from what I do for a living, we should be dialoguing others despite what my job is. Us being a band takes a second seat in this context. Is this the most change that I can effect through music? And at this point I am beginning to think there are some other things that I can tackle."


The Washington Post reviews Saturday night's Hold Steady performance.

The Brooklyn quintet the Hold Steady has perfected its brand of indie rock by way of Asbury Park, bashing out bar band anthems that sound so fantastic on record, there was every reason to expect that when played in an actual bar, the songs would be taken to new heights. So when the group turned in a merely great and not transcendent performance at a very hyped and sold-out Black Cat Saturday night, it proved one of the best disappointing shows in recent memory.


In the Guardian, author Ian McEwan refutes plagiarism claims regarding his novel, Atonement.


Cracked chronicles the rise and fall of five "wacky sitcom neighbors."


YouTube has the trailer for the documentary film, What Is Indie?


Automatic Joy collects and shares live performances from the Dresden Dolls.


The Buffalo News reviews recently published music books.


Author (and Mr. T Experience frontman) Frank Portman talks to Time magazine.

Portman is already deep into his next teen novel, which takes place in the same location as King Dork--a fictionalized version of the Bay Area town he grew up in. This one centers on a group of girls who are obsessed with fortune telling. So Portman has put aside his lifelong dream of rock stardom. "I'm focusing on books right now," he says. "It's a much better gig."


NME posts online the top 24 people in its "cool list" for 2006.


In the Los Angeles Times, a judge for the National Book Award for fiction describes the process.

This year, I was a judge. What that means is that between the beginning of May and the middle of August, I (and my four fellow judges) read 258 books. Each. The same 258 novels. To put that in perspective, it's pertinent to note that outside of a Bible and a phone book, many households in the United States probably own (and read) zero works of serious fiction.


Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels has summarized its opinions of all Nebula Award-winning books in haiku form.

1967 - The Einstein Intersection

Mutant rides lizards
Search for meaning or is it
Just an acid trip?


The Philadelphia Inquirer reviews two comics collections I have recently read, An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons and True Stories (edited by Ivan Brunetti), and The Best American Comics, 2006 (edited by Harvey Pekar).

Both of these collections succeed with style. Brunetti's Graphic Fiction anthology is an all-encompassing introduction that's as good a place as any to investigate the history of the medium. And Pekar's collection of contemporary work gives alt-comic fans 300-plus pages worth of reasons to be bullish on the future of the form.


The Times Online calls Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, "incontestably" the graphic book of the year.


f*ck Me I'm Twee! is a music and podcast devoted to the twee lover in all of us.


Harp interviews singer-songwriter Paul Westerberg.

"I’ll write another song for another film,” he suggests, “but after hearing strings and orchestras on everything for two and half years, I just want to get a guitar, a bass and some drums and make the most garagelike, nasty piece of crap I can.”


The New York Times lists its 100 notable books of 2006. Surprisingly, I have read nine of their selections already.


NPR's Weekend Edition lists slightly offbeat holiday music gift suggestions.


Minnesota Public Radio has France's Tahiti 80 in the studio for a performance.


see also:

this week's CD & DVD releases

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