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January 7, 2007


Singer-songwriter Emily Haines talks to the Boston Herald.

“It’s a really exciting time to be a musician in Canada,” Haines said from her rehearsal space in Toronto. “And it’s amazing that the scene actually isn’t imploding. This is maybe the first generation of Canadian musicians that don’t feel like they have to leave to have a career in music.”

Billboard profiles Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

"When I started working with these guys, the first thing I said to them was, 'We've got to make sure you have a career worldwide,"' band manager Stern says. "Wichita is a three-person label, and the reason we signed to them is that they're just an extension of me and of the band. They're doing things the exact same way that we do."

Albert Hammond Jr. of the Strokes takes the San Francisco Chronicle's Pop Quiz.

Q: You're going on tour with Incubus. How? Why?

A: Well, they called and offered, and I thought that was amazing.

Q: But your music doesn't sound remotely like the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

A: I think opening bands should be different from the main band. The only way I would ever reach Incubus fans is by playing in front of their crowd.

The Grand Rapids Press lists "7 bands on the rise in 2007."

Singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith talks to the New York Daily News about his latest album, Time Being (out May 23rd in the US).

"For this album, the idea of time just seemed to keep coming back," Sexsmith explains. "Some of it was triggered by the fact that several high school buddies passed away during this period, so I was going to funerals of people that are the same age as me. I guess it's inevitable, but it felt strange."

In the Contra Costa Times, Oliver Wang recaps 2006 in hip hop.

The Bloodstained Bookshelf keeps track of upcoming mystery and crime fiction releases.

Chicago's Northwest Herald asks 20 questions of basketball player Steve Nash.

2. When you first saw a James Blunt video, did you say to yourself, “Gee, I don’t remember putting out an album?”

[Laughs]. A couple people have mentioned that we looked alike.

3. Can you stand his music?

Uh ... not a BIG fan, but, you know, congratulations, go for it. Looks like he got a beautiful woman [supermodel Petra Nemcova] out of the deal.

Authors talk to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about the difficulties of writing a book.

"Most people know they can't play professional basketball," says best-selling author David Baldacci. "They're not tall enough, they're not fast enough, they're not quick enough. But people think, 'I've got a brain, I've got a hand, I've got a computer -- I can be a writer.' They don't understand the skill sets that go into being a writer as well, and sometimes they're almost as unique as being an NBA or NFL or professional athlete."

The Toronto Star reviews Brian K. Vaughan's graphic novel, The Pride of Baghdad.

Vaughan is like a slightly less pretentious, slightly more civic-minded Dave Eggers; he possesses Eggers's sharp cultural wit, his gift for the Dickensian alchemy of humour and melodrama, but applies them (unironically, to his credit) in the increasingly topical world of mainstream comic books.

Singer-songwriter Jeremy Messersmith plays an in-studio performance at Minnesota Public Radio.

Historian Jason Sokol talks to NPR's All Things Considered about his book, There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945-1975.

Producer Giles Martin talks to NPR about remixing the Beatles for the Love album.

Creating a new Beatles album using only old four-track recordings was no easy task. Giles Martin said that for him, the project all started with a demo tape he put together, adding percussion to Here Comes the Sun and I Am the Walrus. He let Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney listen.

"You know, they loved it. In fact, [they] came in and said maybe you should go a bit further," Giles Martin says.

Gearslutz is a music production bulletin board.

Bloc Party's Kele Okereke talks to the Observer about the band's next album.

'One of the things I was most disappointed about with Silent Alarm was I was hiding behind abstraction,' Okereke concedes. 'Then I really got into the Smiths. The lyrics were amazing, so focused. There's no worse sin as an artist than hiding behind cliches and abstraction. If you have something to say, it should be able to be understood by everyone. So I wanted to make sure this album had a real centre.'

In the Sunday Times, Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire expresses his love for the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen."

As I missed out on punk first time around, God Save the Queen felt like an important historical document: Magna Carta of rock’n’roll, it challenged all my preconceptions and stopped me listening to other records for months. Its glorious fade-out (“No future, no future”) became a soundtrack, a mantra and a philosophy for my life.

The Independent recaps the career of David Bowie, who turns 60 tomorrow, and lists the "five stages of Bowie."

The Daily Scotsman remembers Associates frontman Billy MacKenzie, and his continuing impact on musicians today.

Ten years on, there are echoes of MacKenzie everywhere. You can hear him in the soaring romanticism of Canada's Arcade Fire (set to become the most name-dropped outfit of 2007) and the Eighties-referencing pop of The Guillemots, whose forthcoming single 'Annie Let's Not Wait' shares its musical DNA with classic period Associates. Elsewhere, whether by default or design, Robbie Williams' 2002 single 'Feel', with its choppy piano and crooning melody, bore close relation to much of MacKenzie's later work.

The Daily Scotsman sees the resurgence in concept albums as musicians' response to dwindling album sales.

But modern bands such as My Chemical Romance, Green Day and Muse are fighting back by stressing their album's "concept" status and encouraging fans that it is worth their while to buy entire albums.

The New York Times interviews singer-songwriter Yusuf Islam.

The Times remembers author John McGahern.

Despite the praise, he came to be seen as a kind of throwback, an idiot savant whose work had greater resonance than he knew. Even reviewers who singled him out as one of the great Irish writers did so backhandedly, linking him to past traditions.

The New York Times profiles some of Manhattan's independent bookstores.

No Love For Ned has new Matador Records signee Times New Viking in the studio for a performance this week on the streaming indie radio show.

YesButNoButYes lists the "top ten albums you have never heard."

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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