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December 1, 2006


2006 best music lists:

Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes @Harmonium (best albums)
Boston Herald - Al Kooper (best 10 tracks)
Al Kooper (best 50 tracks)
Popjournalism (best albums)

Mazarin's Quentin Stoltzfus talks to the Philadelphia Inquirer about retiring the band's name.

"It came down to either change the name or go to court, and I decided I'd rather spend my time being creative than being litigious," Stoltzfus says. Saturday's show at Johnny Brenda's celebrates the retirement of Mazarin's name, and it will feature a variety of Mazarin alumni.

Artforum reviews author Rick Moody and singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt's recent 92nd Street Y performance.

Singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick talks to Southern Voice.

“It’s really hard to say to people, think Pete Townsend instead of Jewel,” she continues. “It just seems like it’s easier for guys to be seen as in a band instead of girls.”

In The Age, Ian Rankin profiles author Thomas Pynchon, and explains his personal fascination for the writer and his works.

The Daily Telegraph has the transcript of "Sydney Live Editor Simon Ferguson's interview with grumpy Lou Reed."

Joe Pernice of the Pernice Brothers talks to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

"Besides, the whole idea of rock lyrics as poetry, it's a horrible notion," adds Pernice. "They're completely different. If you read William Carlos Williams or James Wright or James Tate or Charles Simic or millions of other poets, that stuff dwarfs the lyrics of most songwriters. I mean, pick any Rolling Stones song, take the music out and just read the lyrics -- it's almost laughable."

Former Byrds frontman Roger McGuinn talks to the Orlando Sentinel.

"I'm happy going out by myself," he says. "It's like a honeymoon or a paid vacation that cuts out all the bad parts of working with a band. 'Where's the drummer?' There's something that happens as a solo performer on stage that I don't get in a group situation. It's very rewarding."

The Stanford Daily reviews Joanna Newsom's new album, Ys.

To be honest, my initial reaction to “Ys” was that I was unimpressed. But after I really listened attentively to what she was singing, I was amazed. The songs are deeply nuanced and each new listen reveals something new. But it also helps to have the lyric sheet out to figure out exactly about what Newsom’s singing. And when you do have the lyric sheet, you realize that the songs aren’t just great sounding, but they’re also beautiful stories.

Popmatters reviews the recently released Clash singles 19-disc box set.

Stylus lists the "top ten best-sounding records, 1997-present."

For Harmonium, Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes lists his top ten albums of 2006.

Minnesota Public Radio has Philadelphia rockers Dr. Dog in the studio for a streaming performance.

Harp examines the "greening" of Sub Pop Records.

NPR's World Cafe has a performance from Mexico's Kinky.

IGN lists the "top 10 songs for a wild Saturday night."

Minnesota Public Radio has a streaming in-studio performance from My Brightest Diamond.

The Onion A.V. Club's Crosstalk column debates whether or not Christmas music sucks.

I guess the bigger argument I'm making here isn't that Christmas music sucks, so much as that the majority of it is bloodless and thoughtlessly performed, usually, I'm guessing, sometime in the middle of August in order to make deadline.

Slate examines the debate over author Azar Nafisi's bestselling memoir, Reading Lolita in Tehran.

The Independent lists the best fiction, science, art, blockbuster and romance, history and sports books for Christmas.

The Independent profiles the "rock princesses of the blogosphere," pop stars who are using the internet wisely as a marketing tool.

While major record labels complain about the public illegally copying music online, female artists are proving better than their male peers at using it to communicate directly with their fans. And at the vanguard of this phenomenon is Lily Allen, the solo artist whose big mouth repeatedly gets her in the news.

The West Fargo Pioneer offers new literary terms ("Litronics").

Litrosexual: Someone who prefers books to sex.

Stylus collects YouTube music videos from the time Margaret Thatcher was prime minister of Great Britain.

The Long Island Press profiles mp3 bloggers with Long Island roots, including Stereogum's Scott Lapatine.

Lapatine went through that seemingly obligatory Billy Joel fandom many Long Islanders go through. “I went to summer camp as every Jewish boy on Long Island does,” says Lapatine. “Everyone there loved Billy Joel and I had my Billy Joel phase. I have every single one of his albums—even the songs that weren’t on the box set that he released last year.”

The New York Times lists their ten best books of 2006. has Final Fantasy's Owen Pallett interview Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste.

Owen: You’d have to be pretty loaded. So... your new album [Yellow House] is out and it’s been getting amazing reviews everywhere. How does that make you feel?

Ed: Pretty sassy... [Laughs] No, just kidding. No, it makes me happy that people are taking the time to listen to it. It’s not something that comes quickly. It’s not an immediate album. It’s nice that people aren’t just listening to the MP3s on the blogs.

see also:

this week's CD & DVD releases


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