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January 12, 2007


The Washington Times examines the Canadian music scene, and Canada's government aid to musicians.

David Willett of the music blog Music For Robots responds to the Washington City Paper about the weekly's recent music blogosphere article.

My Morning Jacket drummer Patrick Hallahan talks to the Denver Post.

"A goal is to not make one specific kind of music," Hallahan said. "We're not jam band. There's a method to what we do. We like to have this beginning and ending and not just a bunch of tangents."

Frontman Jim James is interviewed by the Rocky Mountain Post.

You're getting bigger and bigger, but the music industry is imploding. Does that worry you?

"There are so many parts to the 'industry' that I don't think any of it will ever die. People need and love music, no matter how silly record-industry battles get. We've just tried to keep making records we love and keep having fun on tour. That's one thing that record sales or music formats will never affect: the need for people to gather in groups and have a common experience, the need for live music."

The Boston Globe interviews singer-songwriter Erin McKeown about her covers album, Sing You Sinners.

Q After Dylan and Lennon and McCartney, there was this idea that the most authentic artists were singer-songwriters performing their own material. You don't seem unduly burdened by that notion of authenticity.

A This classic idea of a singer-songwriter, exemplified by Dylan, that's never held much water for me. I like that music, it's certainly part of the culture I grew up in, but Dylan's songs don't reach me the way these older songs do. I think singers today would do a standards record looking for some kind of legitimacy, because these songs are so much older and are Classic with a capital C. I've never felt that pressure, and maybe in the end that's the legacy of Bob Dylan, because I've always felt I could stand on my own as a writer. Why would I choose to do someone else's songs? The answer ends up being simply because I love the music.

The Wall Street Journal's Cynthia Crossen lists her six favorite books of 2006.

Stylus lists the top ten albums released since its inception.

Popmatters writers list their favorite albums of 2006 that "no one else, including their colleagues, noticed."

Author Vikram Chandra talks to NPR's Morning Edition about his novel, Sacred Games and its setting, Mumbai.

"There's an energy about the place that is unmistakable and very, very seductive," Chandra says. "The citizens of Bombay love to complain about the city endlessly, but [they] also will defend it fearlessly against outsiders making the same complaints. As Sartaj puts it at the very end of the book, 'When you're away from it, you can miss it, physically you can ache for it — even for the stink of it.'"

Trashionista's "Top 100 Extravaganza" collects ten "top 10" literature lists. Included are:

Top 10 chick lit books of all time
Top 10 young adult books
Top 10 lad lit
Top 10 burning book questions
Keris's "Top 10 books I reviewed this year"
Top 10 chick lit precursors
Top 10 chick lit authors
Diane's "Top 10 books I reviewed this year"
Top ten non-fiction chick lit
Top 10 chick lit film adaptations

Comic Book Resources has industry insiders recap 2006 in comics.

Minnesota Public Radio chats with author neil gaiman and artist Dave McKean about their past collaborations.

Singer-songwriter Robert Pollard talks to !earshot about his songwriting as a solo performer.

This thematic shift in Pollard’s lyrics has coincided with a shift in an increased interest with experimenting with song structures. “My songwriting is now more spontaneous, natural, unforced. Wherever a song goes, I allow it to take that direction, or take a turn if it is so inclined. The entire process must not take more than 5 or 10 minutes. I then take much more time polishing it up… It could take a month or two.”

The Guardian reports that indie labels quickest to leverage online sales and promotion are enjoying a renaissance.

With recent changes in the rules allowing download-only tracks in the charts, it is now theoretically possible to score a top-40 hit without leaving your bedroom. This weekend, unsigned Essex three-piece Koopa are expected to enter the chart on download sales alone. "If I started out now, all I would be doing is pressing up a few seven-inch singles for the collectors' market, and then putting things out digitally. It's so cheap," says Alan McGee, the Creation Records founder turned internet evangelist and artist manager.

The Twilight Singers' Greg Dulli talks to the Sydney Morning Herald about singing with Mark Lanegan.

"We've been singing together in each other's kitchens for years," he says of Lanegan. "The guy is a phenomenal singer."

Film Stew interviews film director, compilation CD producer, and ordained minister John Waters.

Still, Waters continues to find time to put his ordained Minister credentials to good use. “I’ve done a couple marriages this year,” he reveals. “All private friends pretty much, or people who ask me not to tell. I’m a don’t-ask-don’t-tell wedding kind of guy.”

Singer-songwriter Juana Molina talks to the Guardian.

She admits to being dogged by insecurity about her music's initial public reception. "What I was doing was something I felt could not be classified. But then I saw a documentary about Joni Mitchell where she was told her chords were weird, and she replied, 'How can a chord be weird if it expresses your soul?'"

The Independent profiles Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

CYHSY's leader, Alec Ounsworth, has consistently disavowed any interest in his band's popularity, and he's not about to change now that they've sold 300,000 records. "I don't bother with hype," he shrugs. "It doesn't matter at all to me what people say. People say all kinds of things, and if backlash is inevitable there's something wrong with it. People are making up these fantasies in their heads as to what's going on when they don't have any idea. I'm very very strongly for certain work that I consider valuable and honest, and there has been so much of such little value or honesty that has gotten through to the level that people commonly call success, so why would I consider that something to go for?"

The Times Online lists "books you shouldn't bother to read."

by Monica Ali

Why you shouldn't read it UK Bangladeshis wrote to the publishers calling the book "shameful" for it's alleged representation of the Bangladeshi community as "uneducated," "illiterate," "close-minded" and "without ambition". The publishers, presumably overjoyed at the extra publicity, responded by reiterating their pride at having published the literary sensation of the year. Despite the book being critically acclaimed and making it on to every books of the year list, the characters are unconvincing, the pace plodding, and the plot sloppy. Also, everyone's been talking about it for ages now - you don't want to be last season do you?

Bluffer's guide Nazneen, a young Bangladeshi woman moves to East London following an arranged marriage to a man 20 years her senior. She speaks next-to-no English, and soon finds herself a virtual prisoner in the looming tower blocks surrounding Brick Lane. Her husband's endless plans and ideas, along with his insistence that she saw off the corns on his feet with nail scissors, sorely try her patience. But she has no choice other than settle down to her new life, in distress and confusion. Then Tower Hamlet's voices begin to clamour, and radical ideas shake her world again.

The Guardian's music blog has a new podcast.

see also:

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


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