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March 1, 2007

Shorties

TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone talks to Hour.ca about the phrase "intelligent pop music."

"Maybe [it means] we have a decent editing system?" he jokes. "It's a compliment, but I don't know. Is The Stooges intelligent pop music? I feel like I don't want to be separated from The Stooges, you know?"


The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette interviews singer-songwriter Erin McKeown.

Q. I guess if you don't have a TV you have a lot of time for songwriting ...

A. I mean, I do other things. I spend a lot of time listening to baseball. I live in the middle of nowhere, but I spend a lot of time outside and I spend a lot time on the road playing music. But it's been written and hopefully this summer I'll get to record it. I wouldn't say it's 'typical' since none of my records seem to follow the next.


Shins frontman James Mercer talks to the Houston Chronicle about the band's new album, Wincing the Night Away.

"So much of it was done and written at night, the themes of evening twilight and darkness seemed to be especially prominent this time out," Mercer says. "You think about those things when you spend your waking hours trying to sleep. But you end up thinking about things other than sleep."


Billboard has information on the next album by the National, Boxer.

"Boxer" features a guest turn by Sufjan Stevens, who plays piano on "Racing Like a Pro" and "Ada." Padma Newsome helped arrange trumpet, flute, clarinet and strings, while Doveman's Thomas Barlett chipped in on keyboards and Marla Hansen sang backup on a number of tunes.


Minnesota Public Radio talks to Ira Glass bout moving This American Life to television.


Singer-songwriter Denison Witmer talks to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

"One of my reviews said, this guy is sort of a modern-day Jackson Browne," Witmer says. " I was 'Who's Jackson Browne?' So I went and bought some Jackson Browne records, and I really fell for his music. And, I say that at the risk of sound very self-involved. 'Oh, I sound like him, so I like his music.' But it's not that. There's something about his style and his lack of pretense, the fact that he was singing from his heart really connected with me."


The Austin Chronicle interviews comic book artist Dean Haspiel.

AC: When you do your own indie comics, you're a helluva fine writer. So why, in all these mainstream projects, are you working with a writer?

DH: Well, I co-plot, sometimes. Not with Harvey Pekar or Jonathan Ames for The Alcoholic, but when I worked with Nick Bertozzi on an X-Men Unlimited story, I plotted the story out, and he wrote it. And often I'll throw in my 2 cents with the writer to give my own spin on stuff. But, bottom line, I just wasn't confident in writing franchised, already-established characters.


Author John Sellers blogs his upcoming readings (two at SXSW) and media events for his book, Perfect From Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life (including his Book Notes essay which will be posted on Tuesday)..


Shelfari, the social networking service based on your book collection, announced a $1 million investment by Amazon.com. Bookdwarf ponders the ramifications.


Chunklet is soliciting contributions for its forthcoming book, The Rock Rules. (via)


Thermals bassist Kathy Foster talks to the Cleveland Scene about the band's missed commercial opportunities.

"We could've taken steps to be more commercial -- like not naming our [second] album f*ckin' A and not having Jesus on the cover [of their latest]," says bassist Kathy Foster from their Portland, Oregon home. "We're doing things the way we want to, and that might not get us as far as the Shins or the Decemberists."


Seattle Weekly interviews the members of Sebadoh about the band's reunion.


Malajube frontman Julien Mineau talks to Seattle Weekly and Portland Mercury about singing in French.


The Riverfront Times reviews the book, Rough Trade: Labels Unlimited, and lists five of the label's essential releases.


Deerhoof's Greg Saunier talks to the Arizona Star about his fascination with William Shatner.

"William Shatner, he's my man," said Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier. "He wouldn't necessarily deliver his lines in a realistic manner. It was more like he would deliver them in a musical manner."


The Portland Mercury profiles the Mountain Goats.


The Riverfront Times reviews the Arcade Fire's new album, Neon Bible.

So is Neon Bible good? Yes. Is it better than Funeral? Well, apples and oranges. Bible's the type of album on which college English classes and doctoral theses are built — but it's also an album that, like Funeral, fosters community (just check out any YouTube clips of recent live shows or the fevered message board brainstorming about hidden messages). Despite questioning traditional religious avenues, the Arcade Fire is its own self-contained religion for the disenfranchised and searching, for post-college kids stuck in dead-end cubicle jobs who miss using their brains and can't relate to organized worship — but long for the mystery of the spiritual unknown.


The Top Ten Blog lists the favorite books of authors Paul Auster, Jonathan Franzen, and Lydia Millet.


The Merlin Show has a video interview with John Vanderslice, where the singer-songwriter discusses the music marketing business of today.


The first edition of John Darnielle's zine, Last Plane to Jakarta, is up for auction on eBay.


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this week's CD & DVD releases

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