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February 6, 2007

Shorties

he Postmarks' Christopher Moll talks to the Palm Beach Post about the band's self-titled album (stream the album).

"We were interested in making something timeless," said Moll, 38, of the trio's lush collection of dreamily sighed ruminations on relationships broken and self-respect gained.


Popmatters reviews the young year's best metal releases.


Stylus lists the worst musical propositions.


Popmatters profiles popsters Fountains of Wayne.

Ironically, it may be the Fountains who are heading for a musical ditch. Despite all their talent and creativity, the band may become nothing more than a footnote in pop-music history. Name one great, memorable song from the history of pop music that introduces us to some odd or quirky character and goes on to put them down or make fun of them by saddling them with all the baggage of some contemporary stereotype. There are none because pop music is (hello) popular. It’s about people: The bikers, hippies, accountants and all the rest of us who like to turn on the radio and enjoy music. That’s why peace, and love and understanding are not funny. That’s why even the losers get lucky sometimes. That’s why nowhere man is actually more than a bit like you and me.


The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reviews the recent lecture by authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman.

Chabon was able to discuss his forthcoming novel, "The Yiddish Policeman's Union" as well as a serialized novel now appearing in the New York Times that he originally called "Jews With Swords."

"I've reached the point in my career where I'm feeling increasingly free to write what I damn well please," he announced, in his own version of assertiveness.


Cracked lists the 5 worst ads from Super Bowl XLI.


The Wichita Eagle recommends young adult fiction for Valentine's Day reading.


No Love for Ned's streaming internet radio show pays tribute to Joe Hunter this week.


Harp interviews DIY legend and Evens' frontman Ian Mackaye.

HARP: As on the first record, with Get Evens you utilize solely baritone guitar and drums. Do you enjoy working within the constraints of that songwriting formula?

I don’t think of it as a formula. I think as a band we make music with the tools we have at the moment—and right now those are the tools at hand. But it’s not calculated; a “formula” to me suggests schematics or something. Personally, I’m very interested in the idea of having a limited palette and getting the most out of that. For instance, in Fugazi I only used my [Gibson] SG and a Marshall. That was a really engaging process for me because I found if you wanted these different tonalities or volumes or attack or sound, then you really had to experiment with how to play via different fingering techniques.


This week, Daytrotter features a performance and interview from My Brightest Diamond.


NPR examines the rise in popularity of audiobooks.

A recent survey of audio-book users indicated that 51 percent of the books consumers listened to came from the library. Ana Maria Allessi says the increasing popularity of downloadable books at the library makes audio-book publishers nervous, because digital books don't have to be replaced; cassette recordings do.


Dark, But Shining interviews John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats.

DBS: What is the last horror movie you’ve seen?

JS: Well - I saw Zombie Honeymoon not too too long ago, and I went on a big kick of renting Takashi Miike movies. There’s an annual horror festival here in Durham, the Nevermore fest, and I went to a whole bunch (though I guess that was a year ago now) – Three Extremes, which was great, and Death Trance, which was also awesome. Recently I bought The Call of Cthulhu which is pretty great.


Rolling Stone reviews Cat Power's recent New York performance, and asks what song its readers would like to hear Chan Marshall cover.


Macleans profiles chef Martin Picard, author of the brilliant cookbook, Au Pied de Cochon -- The Album (I recommend the French text).

Martin Picard, the wild man of Québécois cuisine, used to be an insider's secret. In culinary circles the 40-year-old chef is known as a Rabelaisian enfant terrible -- passionate, profane, a proponent of sourcing local, seasonal, natural ingredients, and an outspoken critic of all that is processed, factory-farmed and banal. Diners pack his Montreal brasserie Au Pied de Cochon six nights a week for Picard's renditions of sugar-shack classics: pig's feet, venison tongue in tarragon sauce, tourtière, pea soup, oreilles de crisse, pouding chômeur and his signature foie-gras-topped poutine, a wicked invention now on the menus of famous pretty-boy chefs in Toronto and Vancouver without attribution.


Madison's Capital Times examines the state of independent bookstores.

"The number of new stores - and the intelligence and professionalism of these new owners - clearly demonstrates that independent bookselling is very much alive and well in the 21st century," Avin Mark Domnitz, CEO of the ABA, said in a press release. "Happily, the reports of the decline of independents have, again, been exaggerated."


The Christian Science Monitor reviews Hisham Matar's debut novel, In the Country of Men.

Reviewers like to give debut novels a pat on the head by calling them "promising." If "In the Country of Men" proves to be merely a promise of what Hisham Matar can do, London's literary lights had better watch their backs.


WIRED Blogs reviews Peel, an mp3 blog reader for Mac OS X.


The New Yorker features a new short story, "A Tranquil Star," by author Primo Levi this week.


The New York Times travels around author Flannery O'Connor's Georgia stomping grounds.


MyStrands is another social networking community built around music.


The Guardian examines why the principles of the book, Moneyball, do not apply to soccer.

Ultimately, though, the single most significant difference between football and all major American sports relates to the scoring system itself. Football is a very low-scoring game.

As a result, it is also fairly unpredictable, because almost all the action is ultimately meaningless and games can be decided by one moment of inspiration or luck. A recent statistical study has shown that football is indeed the most unpredictable sport of all, in the sense of having the most potential for upsets - the old cliche is true that on their day, any team can beat any other team.


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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