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February 21, 2007


Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan talks to X-Press Online about the geographic influences on his music.

“I think if we lived anywhere else we would sound different – I hope we would sound different if we lived somewhere else. I like the idea that your environment can shape what you do. Specifically we live very near to Maxwells, a club we have a long history with, and very emotional history with and we live near WFMU the most amazing radio station I have ever heard, and we are proud to be associated with them and to be part of them and they’re part of us. I like the idea that they are community that we are a part of.”

Rennie Sparks of the Handsome Family talks to X-Press Online.

“I kind of feel for songwriters who feel that they have to have had a bad love affair before they can write a song about it. That’s such a simplistic view of what art is about, it’s kind of juvenile. You know, grow up and really try to make art! You don’t have to live everything, you can imagine things, and that doesn’t make them any less real. In my mind they don’t. The point of this is not to live the most exciting life and record it, but to write songs that move people emotionally."

The New York Times attends a meeting of the New York C. S. Lewis Society.

At the Church of the Ascension, among the gray-haired members in turtlenecks and cardigans, one could see the occasional teenager, a poet or someone from what Ms. Como called the “Lord of the Rings” crowd. In almost 40 years, the only times meetings have been canceled were because of a snowstorm or after 9/11.

Stylus lists the top ten "when worlds collide moments" in music.

Wet Confetti's Alberta Poon talks to Popmatters.

“I’d say our songs are a little less aggressive and more poppy now ... less punk, I guess, though we definitely still want that edge,” she says of the change. “We’re still a live band, sounding live, but when our next album comes out, it’s going to be pretty different. We just recorded a demo at our friends’ studio. The songs are a lot more melodic. They’re pretty catchy in a different way than our other songs are.”

The Daily Cross Hatch is a new comics blog with guest strips, news, and reviews.

The Age's Screen Play blog reviews the new Nintendo DS game, Hotel Dusk: Room 215.

Dusk is certainly more graphic novel than game, with players spending the vast majority of their time during the lengthy 10-chapter quest simply reading page after page of dialogue.

WXPN's World Cafe features an interview and performance from Elvis Perkins.

No Love For Ned features an in-studio performance from Psychedelic Horseshit this week on the streaming radio program.

The Bookclub Bitches podcast reviews the Batman graphic novels, Hush Vol. 1 and Hush Vol. 2.

CocoRosie's Bianca Casady talks to Billboard about the band's new album, The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn (out April 10th),

For years, CocoRosie has been incorporating a hip-hop element into their live act, and "Ghosthorse" is their first record to bring that sound into the studio. "I don't know if it was a natural progression, but we've been imagining our songs in more of a club setting," Casady says. "A handful of these new songs we've been doing live for awhile, but others, we're still trying to figure out."

Status Ain't Hood loves VH1's White Rapper Show, and Jamie Radford (a white rapper himself) liveblogged the last episode.

The Daily Telegraph eulogizes author Elizabeth Jolley.

The Village Voice profiles the Arcade Fire.

The band's best songs are technically songs (melodies, chord changes, y'know, structure) but at their core are just fluid, bottomless reservoirs of the pure noise that first terrified David Letterman. The Judson set was Bible heavy—the comparatively sedate "Windowsill" gained the most gravitas from the recorded-to-live transition, mutating from passive protest ("Don't wanna live in America no more") to aggressive anthem—but peaked when it ran the Funeral tracks "Neighborhood 3 (Power Out)" and "Rebellion (Lies)" straight into each other, both occasionally dissolving into electrified orchestral fistfights. The crowd at Justin Timberlake's recent Madison Square Garden show—younger, hormonal, and at least 10 times as large—was nowhere near as vocally euphoric. Nor, it goes without saying, was Justin himself. The Arcade Fire only truly work when they abandon any semblance of sanity and humility, when they abandon all attempts at restraint and unleash the adrenaline-addled Rocky themes they seem capable of summoning at will.

Daytrotter features an interview and performance by Dr. Dog.

Manchester Music Speaks features a podcast with Mike Joyce of the Smiths. Future podcasts will include John Robb of Goldblade, Peter Hook of New Order, Liam Frost, and Guy Harvey of Elbow.

LiteraTease offers t-shirts with literary quotations.

MSNBC lists "10 books to snuggle up with this winter."

Drowned in Sound interviews the members of Maximo Park.

Our Earthy Pleasures: there’s a tried and tested adage that goes along the lines of ‘difficult second album’, but was this difficult in any way?

Duncan: Not really, no. The only difficult thing was that we’d written quite a lot of songs, so it was tough actually picking out which ones to use. Gil Norton helped with that actually – he came to Newcastle for about a week and we went through them all. He helped pick the ones that were the best of the bunch, or the most finished. I think the thing is with us, as a band, is that we’re writing all the time, so there’s always a lot to choose from. But we didn’t fell any pressure or anything.

HearYa lists the top 100 indie songs of all time.

see also:

this week's CD & DVD releases


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