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March 10, 2007

Shorties

Waterloo's Mark Ray talks to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about SXSW.

"Only a handful of bands are seriously going to get checked out by a record label. The only thing you can really hope for is to expose yourself to a wider audience," says Ray, among a horde of acts that landed a showcase spot after submitting a package including the band's music.


Air's Jean-Benot Dunckel talks to the Age about the inspiration for his music.

"You know, we are always chasing this ideal lovely girl we would like to be with," Dunckel says in his awkward and sometimes cryptic English. "When we are happy in our lives, we think that this girl exists, but some days she is not there any more. So we like to find her and meet her in our songs."


The New York Times spends a night out with the Hold Steady.

“If we were 19, the label would have a much tighter hold on us,” said Craig Finn, the lead singer, who was enjoying his ramen noodle soup with an egg on top. “Because we’re old guys, we can go in any direction musically. We don’t have to answer to anyone.”


The New York Times has posted chapter 7 of Michael Chabon's serieal novel, Gentlemen of the Road.


Author Jane Smiley talks to the Age about her novel, Ten Days in the Hills.

"These are people who came from modest backgrounds, worked hard and were interested in what they were doing," Smiley says of her characters. "And so they haven't been living in the world of Hollywood as a playground for the fabulously wealthy. Because I just don't see how a director or producer or anyone who wanted to have a long and productive career could party all night and do drugs and still do the work."


The Wall Street Journal (registration required) profiles the Chicago music blog, Audiversity.


Music For Robots lists the best music downloads from this year's SXSW music festival.


The New York Times reviews Brian Selznick's graphic novel aimed at children, The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

It’s enough to say that “Hugo Cabret” sits at the nexus of magic and storytelling and film, and that Brian Selznick — who, perhaps not so coincidentally, has the Hollywood legend David O. Selznick in his family tree — shows us a little magic of his own.


Rolling Stone's Rock 'N Roll Daily blog has started a list of the best indie rock songs ever.


Singer-songwriter Bobby Conn explains his songwriting process to Harp.

“Most of my writing is done in the bathroom. I usually bring in a guitar. Luckily, there’s two bathrooms, otherwise my marriage might not have lasted [laughs]. I do a lot of thinking & shitting at the same time. Cooking, defecating, masturbation, music—these things are all the same in a way. If you did an MRI of my brain, the same area would be lighting up.”


Hairnet Paradise is a French music blog dedicated to the works of CocoRosie.


The Los Angeles Times lists five "de-ductees" from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Author Jonathan Lethem talks to the Los Angeles Times about his new novel, You Don't Love Me Yet.

"In my previous books, I paid a lot of attention to accuracy; I became the bearer of communal memories for a Brooklyn neighborhood," he said. "There was an enormous sense of wanting to get details right. But then I wanted to be irresponsible again…. I wanted to get back to the sense of play in writing fiction."


The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reviews the Arcade Fire's new album, Neon Bible.

But nobody holds a candle to the Fire. Not after this album, which came out Tuesday with enough hype and expectations that the New York Times dedicated 4,761 words to the band (I'd get fired for that) and Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Spin, etc., all made it their lead review. "Saturday Night Live" also nabbed the band as musical guests two weekends ago.

The Washington Post also reviews the album.


LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy talks to the Scotsman.

"I recently saw this album chart from the early '70s - every record in the Top 10 was of total merit: Hendrix, Lennon, Dylan, Neil Young, Zeppelin... Our problem is we just don't have high expectations anymore. The mean musical IQ hasn't gone down since Ziggy, but slowly we've had little bits of opportunity to flex our minds taken away: a little bit more market research into what will be a hit, a little more centralisation of music outlets - we're slowly getting, not dumber, but more ignorant. "


Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy talks to Billboard about the leak of Sky Blue Sky, the band's new album.

"There's probably some good argument to be made that it will prevent a few people from buying the record," Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy told Billboard yesterday (March 8) at the band's Chicago loft. "But there's also the idea that I believe is true for us, which is, it's people listening to our music."


The Guardian reviews Steven Hall's novel, The Raw Shark Texts.

The problem is that this is at least the third novel I've read in the past year about a man trying to recreate reality after losing his memory. John Haskell's American Purgatorio was unbearably solipsistic, while Tom McCarthy's Remainder was pleasingly eerie. The Raw Shark Texts falls somewhere in between, with an added dash of adventure story.


Drowned in Sound lists part four of its SXSW recommended bands.


The Deli offers part one of its breakdown of New York's independent music labels.


see also:

this week's CD & DVD releases

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