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February 17, 2007


The Santa Cruz Sentinel previews this year's Noise Pop festival.

John Maclean (of the Juan Maclean) talks to the Edmonton Sun about the state of music today.

"I attribute it solely to the Internet, which has also done away with regional music scenes," he reasons. "Everything's up for grabs now. It's great for me.

"It's funny because there's a perception that the music industry has been doing really badly. I do think the major labels have been doing terribly, getting killed.

"But it's really never been a better time for music, in terms of popularity. Everybody has an IPod, everybody has music on their computer. Most people aren't paying for it, but a lot more people are walking around listening to a lot of different kinds of music."

The Smithereens' Pat DiNizio talks to Inside Bay Area about the band's Beatles tribute album, Meet the Smithereens.

"But the greatest political statement we've made is reworking the entire 'Meet the Beatles' album," he said. "In the face of the horrible times we're living in, very disturbing times, to put out something that's designed to preserve, or pay tribute to, a time and a way of life that we knew and loved that's lost forever — well, that's a political statement."

The New York Times excerpts the first chapter of Patrick Anderson's book, The Triumph of the Thriller: How Cops, Crooks, and Cannibals Captured Popular Fiction.

Los Lobos saxophonist Steve Berlin talks to the Santa Cruz Sentinel about the band's 35th anniversary.

"Basically bands start out now where we started out, they tour to lose money for a couple of years until people start to pay attention to you or something happens like getting your song on an iPod commercial," he says. "I think we were really lucky to start out when we did"

The New York Times examines the literary career of E. Howard Hunt.

Back in Washington after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Hunt wrote increasingly pulpy, glamorous espionage fantasies, far removed from the drudgery of his actual duties. In a column last month, Buckley recalled that Allen Dulles, then head of the agency, told Hunt — who wrote more than 70 novels — that he could continue to publish his fiction without clearance, as long as he used a pseudonym. (Hunt’s noms de plume included John Baxter, Robert Dietrich and David St. John.) “Hunt handed me his latest book, ‘Catch Me in Zanzibar,’ by Gordon Davis,” Buckley wrote. “I leafed through it and found printed on the last page, ‘You have just finished another novel by Howard Hunt.’ I thought this hilarious. So did Howard. The reaction of Allen Dulles is not recorded.”

Author Vikram Chandra talks to the Globe and Mail about his novel, Sacred Games.

What fascinated him about gangsters, real and imagined, he says, is their humanity. "Whenever we think of people who are morally questionable or horrible, we want them to be monsters," he explains. "We want them to be another species, different from us. But they, too, long to be loved and they have their relationships with their relatives, their family. They search for meaning. It's mundane. The scary thing is that violence and horror come of ordinariness."

Chapter four of Michael Chabon's serial novel, Gentleman of the Road, is available at the New York Times.

Jamie Radford interviews MC Serch (host of VH1's The (White) Rapper Show).

All About My Vagina reviews Alan Moore's epic graphic novel, The Lost Girls.

Lost Girls works both as a very artful and intelligent graphic novel, and as pornography that is completely non-exploitative without losing pornographic effect. Unless you are obsessed with the same things I am, Lost Girls might not make you weep. It would still be a great book for someone who is intimidated or offended by mainstream porn, and it is adventurous enough to appeal to anyone who likes sexy pictures. And at the risk of making my evangelical love for this embarrassingly obvious, I think it would actually appeal to anybody who likes artful comic books. (Have I covered everyone yet?)

Minnesota Public Radio profiles Twin Cities band, Army Defense.

Over the last three years, Army Defense has produced 20 albums containing 492 songs, and several are good enough to be played on The Current. But the players design each project primarily for their own entertainment, just because they get a kick out of going to such lengths.

Singer-songwriter Isobel Campbell talks to Harp.

“The main thing is that music is my passion and if I need to come of out of my comfort zone every once in a while then I can probably cope. But if I ever had to prostitute myself in ways I felt uncomfortable, then I’d definitely have a change of heart.”

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer examines the local hip hop scene.

The Villager profiles poet Diane Burns, who passed away last December.

This Is Fake DIY interviews Theoretical Girl.

For anyone who hasn't heard your music, how would you describe your sound?

I have two sounds really. Dark and dancey with scratchy distorted guitar like 'Red Mist' and 'The Hypocrite', and a more gentle, melodic sound on songs like 'Another Fight' and 'Never Good Enough'. All of my songs have things in common though, for example layers and layers of simple guitar lines - I don't like chords you see - and soft vocals.

Robert Schneider of the Apples in Stereo talks to ChartAttack about "Stephen, Stephen," the song he wrote for Stephen Colbert.

"I wrote the song a few months ago. I don't know what enticed me to do it. It seems like a lot of bands in the '60s, like The Kinks, recorded songs for TV personalities. So I thought it would be a fun, kind of cute, thing to do. I thought maybe, in a best case scenario, he'd mention it on the show because his character is so self-obsessed."

Wikipedia lists feminist science fiction.

Rolling Stone pits Nirvana's Nevermind versus Radiohead's OK Computer in a debate of the albums' influence.

Daniel Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession. lists "music you should hear" for Amazon.

see also:

this week's CD & DVD releases


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