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December 30, 2006


The Age predicts that in music, 2007 will be the "year of the other."

Mirroring the rising popular frustration with right-wing politics, war mongering and sexual conservatism, musical tastes are shifting to the alternatives - towards previously unheard voices, unsung songs and unknown countries.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reviews Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's surprise Thursday evening performance.

Most of the new songs, perhaps inevitably, were less immediate. Aside from the thumping "Underwater (You and Me)," which recalled late-period Talking Heads, the band took its time before locking into a memorable chorus or raving up to climax, and often seemed dominated by the loud bass and drums. "Goodbye to Mother and the Cave" and "Satan Said Dance" built on weird, arty drones (that's a good thing). "Mama, Won't You Keep the Castles in the Air and Burning?" began with Ounsworth on acoustic guitar and harmonica and eventually coalesced with a call-and-response chorus.

The Toronto Star's Anti-Hit List posts their best songs of the year.

The Louisville Courier Journal lists the best books of the year by regional authors.

The Guardian lists novels to watch for in 2007.'s notes lists 11,500 YouTube music videos alphabetically by artist.

My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden talks to Harp.

“I think at one point, I was conscious of doing something avant-garde, but now I just want to do something beautiful,” says Worden. She may have had that evolution hastened by fellow Michigan-to-Brooklyn transplant Sufjan Stevens, whose band she joined after collaborating with him in The Medicine Show, a mutual friend’s makeshift vaudeville revue.

Torontoist lists its "Love/Hate" 2006 music events.

The Guardian observes the "Richard and Judy" effect on book sales.

One obvious way in which their Book Club has reshaped the top 100 is in making its upper reaches female-dominated. If you strip out titles not published in 2006, for example, eight of the top 10 novels are by women.

Gothamist interviews author Neal Pollack.

How much time would you say you dedicate to rocking now?

None. Occasionally I'll play songs to my kid or listen to music myself. I don't see music much myself anymore. When I was writing Never Mind the Pollacks, I was living in Austin and rock is a major industry there and there's many venues there ten minutes away from my house. In LA, it's hard to get to everything and the shows start really early because there so many industry people at them. And, I'm always tired because I'm carting my kid around. So what's happening is, and this is happening all over the country, is that there are these Saturday afternoon rock shows. A lot of parents grew up with rock, but can't go out at night, yet still have disposable income and like to know what music's out there. That's definitely a cultural shift that's current, on going, and rising.

The Cincinnati Post examines the "Women of Cincinnati Rock" calendar.

Salon examines the folk music revival of 2006.

The Independent lists 2007's "next big things."

Edward Champion lists his top ten books of the year. The Arizona Republic also lists its favorites.

Daytrotter's lone in-studio performance this week is by David Vandervelde.

Ben's Blog shows how to stream mp3 files from your PC to a Wii.

see also:

Largehearted Boy's favorite albums of 2006
2006 Year-end Music List Compilation
this week's CD & DVD releases


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