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January 14, 2007


The Sydney Morning Herald remembers Lou Reed's seminal Berlin album.

To some extent Berlin fits into the concept album obsessions of the era, the search for something grander than a random collection of songs. It paralleled records like Bowie's Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, the Who's Quadrophenia and the Kinks' Ray Davies's ongoing obsession with rock operas.

Reed's own approach was more novel-like and less rigidly theatrical, as well as infinitely darker, while Ezrin developed a sonic palette and bold song arrangements for the record that would make it, Ezrin hoped, "a film for the ears".

Singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux talks to the Sydney Morning Herald.

"My understanding is pretty superficial, I guess, but what I get from music is it allows us to communicate those things that we never manage to say with words. Art allows us to be vague or ambiguous and it shows the positivity of ambiguity, instead of demanding that we be right or wrong."

The Chicago Sun-Times examines the challenges facing brick and mortar music stores.

The Boston Globe lists "six pop acts ready to break out in '07."

The Newark Star-Ledger profiles the Wrens.

The band likes to joke they front-load shows with fast songs because they're middle-aged and their energy level peters out. But in truth, they played full-bore the whole way through, with Kevin moving nonstop, at one point hammily dropping his battered, duct-tape-covered bass as if it were on fire. From behind his drum kit, Jerry tossed the crowd rolled-up souvenir T-shirts -- silk-screened at home by the Whelan brothers.

"They play like it's the last show of their life every single time they play," says Jim Testa, who publishes JerseyBeat magazine, a survey of the state's alternative rock scene.

The Tennessean lists Nashville bands to watch in 2007.

Singer-songwriter Noah Georgeson talks to the Contra Costa Times.

With the exception of some string arrangements performed by the Kite Hill Chamber Orchestra, a group comprised of elderly seniors Georgeson befriended while living in San Francisco, the whole thing was recorded in his bedroom.

"It was born out of necessity and a lack of equipment," Georgeson reflected on the creation of his album. "I just did it in my own particular way."

The Observer reviews a batch of recenty published graphic novels.

The Mobtown Shank posts an eclectic selection of 2006 music lists.

The Ottawa Citizen talks to illustrators, including Joe Sacco and Guy Delisle, benefiting from the current popularity of graphic novels.

"Cartoonists are now doing what they always dreamed of doing when they were young but there wasn't anyplace to publish (these books)," said the Quebec-born, France-based Delisle, about the current appetite for graphic novels.

The Daily Scotsman examines the controversy surrounding Morrissey's possible Eurovision participation.

Morrissey inspires either adoration or deep loathing. The rest of the music community regard him warily, although he does have warm relationships with Nancy Sinatra and Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks. "He sends us really nice letters. Handwritten ones - he never e-mails," said Russell.

At the other end of the spectrum there's The Cure's Robert Smith, who said: "If Morrissey says don't eat meat, then I'll eat meat, because I hate Morrissey." And as recently as last month Factory Records boss Tony Wilson lost patience with Moz's misanthropy: "He's a nasty human being. He treats people like shit and has done throughout his career. Smiths fans confuse the art with the artist."

In Indianapolis, 2007 is the "Year of Vonnegut," a yearlong celebration of native son, author Kurt Vonnegut.

Author Kiran Desai talks to BBC News.

The New York Times warns of the "crippleware" (iTunes) on the iPhone.

As consumers become more aware of how copy protection limits perfectly lawful behavior, they should throw their support behind the music labels that offer digital music for sale in plain-vanilla MP3 format, without copy protection.

The A.V. Club blog lists the worst band names of 2006.

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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