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January 25, 2007


Enter the Largehearted Boy 5th anniversary "50 for 5" contest, and win 50 albums or 5 graphic novels.

Penn State's Daily Collegian interviews Hutch Harris of the Thermals.

Q: The new album was on a ton of year-end best of lists. Does that success give you any more or less motivation as a musician?

A: It gives me more, I think. It's nice to have. I don't know how I'd feel if I saw it on a bunch of "worst" lists. I'm sure I wouldn't feel good about that. I try not to read reviews too much, but a lot of times when they're so good then I really don't mind reading them. We've been pretty lucky with the press, reviews are usually really good for us. That pumps me up. That just makes me realize that people are really paying attention, and that people like it, so I wanna make sure that the next thing we do is as good as the last. I don't want to lose the respect from critics.

Singer-songwriter Dan Zanes talks to the Contra Costa Times about making music for children.

"I had a sound in my head when my daughter was born, the updated version of all that," he says. "Instead, everything (in kids music) was tied into a movie or TV show. It felt very corporate. There are a lot of great artists out there, but I never found the sound I heard in my head."

The Palm Beach Post's music blog interviews Brian Henneman of the Bottle Rockets.

Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip talks to the Age about the band's song, "Over and Over."

Does Hot Chip find it ironic that a club banger they made about the repetition in making a club banger has become their biggest song?

"Not really ironic," says Taylor wryly. "It's a pleasure that people like it, play it out and dance to it. The only irony is that the song is about repetition and I was singing about a genuine joy in repetition."

Indie musicians talk to the New Statesman about why they are making children's music.

Sarah Cracknell of the indie three-piece Saint Etienne pointed out the lack of good-quality music for kids after the 2005 release of her band's EP of songs for children, Up the Wooden Hills. "Two of us have had kids in recent years and we got particularly fed up with nasty kids' music, where it's nasty keyboard sounds and nasty voices. There's quite a lot of it about."

Stylus lists the "top ten Beatles songs for lapsed Beatles fan."

The Daily Vidette profiles Taylor Johnston, proprietor of the mp3 blog, Music For Kids Who can't Read Good.

The St. Paul Pioneer press profiles photographer (and former Lifter Puller member) Dan Monick.

Monick, a Minneapolis native, left for Los Angeles soon after Lifter Puller called it quits in 2000. While two of his former bandmates — Craig Finn and Tad Kubler — moved to New York and are now part of one of the biggest buzz bands in the country, the Hold Steady, Monick carved out a pretty impressive career in both commercial and magazine photography. His resume oozes hipness with shoots for Swindle, Vice and Fader, along with band portraits of the Beastie Boys, Atmosphere and the Hold Steady.

Heart on a Stick has finished aggregating bloggers' 2006 top ten album lists.

Yo La Tengo's James McNew talks to the Miami New Times.

"We're pretty much together 24 hours a day in preparation for a tour. When we're not touring, we still get together most days of the week — yes, that's in our downtime," McNew says. "We still play together because it's fun!" lists the best and worst album titles.

Billboard reports that the next Tegan & Sara album will be "grittier."

Metromix interviews Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys.

The Portland Mercury professes its lack of love for the band Keane.

The Bill Pullman (you know him, you don't like him, yet you really don't hate him either) of bland alt-rock, Keane is known the world over (their last album sold five million-plus copies), but not necessarily cared about anywhere.

Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter talks to the Richmond Times-Dispatch about the follow-up to his album, The Animal Years.

As Ritter works on recording his next album, he said not to expect something akin to part two of "The Animal Years."

"The writing is going in a really different place than the last one," he said. "Between records, it's like trying to learn a new language, writing songs, new stuff. It feels very brash and kind of funny. You've got to write for yourself. The only real barometer is how do I feel when I turn it on."

CBR News interviews Gene Yang, author of the graphic novel and National Book Award nominee, American Born Chinese.

CBR: So, here you are, your third book and it's the first graphic novel nominated for the National Book Award. What's that like?

GY: It's mind-blowing, really. I still have trouble believing it. I really do think a huge portion of it is luck. I was in the right place at the right time. If “Maus” and “Love & Rockets” and “Louis Reil” and “Blankets” and a host of other graphic novels hadn't come before and carved out a place in people's minds for the literary graphic novel, they won't have even looked twice at “American Born Chinese.

Singer-songwriter M. Ward talks to the New York Press.

The Post-War album was well-received by critics upon its release, and Ward toured the album through North America during September 2006 with a full band. But on this tour, Ward will take to the stage as a solo performer. “I’m stripping the songs back to when they’re first made, which is with me and a four-track.” The unaccompanied performances should come naturally to Ward, who values his alone time when it comes to creating songs. “When it comes to compositions, I’m always writing solo,” he says.\

Ward is also interviewed by AM New York.

Why are you so interested in the last century?

No matter what you're hearing or seeing or reading, I think the farther back you go into the past, the farther you see into the future.

Erika Wennerstrom of the Heartless Bastards talks to the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Time magazine profiles the New Pamphleteer, a new magazine that collects blog posts.

For bloggers who yearn to see their words printed offline, Adam Bellow, a 20-year book publishing veteran (and son of novelist Saul Bellow), is now giving them the chance. Bellow's new project, the New Pamphleteer (TNP), aspires to be the publisher of choice for online pundits. The company doesn't intend to simply recycle old blog posts, but will also commission new work from popular bloggers that is not available online. For now, the print runs are small, in the hundreds, but Bellow hopes it's only the beginning.

Inside Fordham profiles author Ha Jin.

Austin360 reviews Jeff Tweedy's Austin solo performance. lists the top ten Swedish metal bands.

The Utne Reader lists online comics resources.

NPR's Shadow Classics profiles the Tokens and their post-"The Lion Sleeps Tonight" discography.

Pop Candy recommends several new graphic novels and comics compilations.

The New York Times profiles my favorite cookbook author, Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

“I learned knife skills by cooking for Food not Bombs,” she said, referring to the activist group that protests corporate and government food policy. “But I also learned to love Julia Child and Martha Stewart. Vegan food can and must be pretty,” she said, pounding a fist on the butcher-block counter.

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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