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March 16, 2007


The Green Bay Press-Gazette lists bands most likely to "make the jump into mainstream consciousness" in 2007.

The Aspen Times wonders why "the music business isn't about music."

"The 20 million people who buy a Britney Spears record aren't music fans. They're pop-culture fans," said Michael Penn, who had a 1989 hit with the song "No Myth," and now exists as an independent singer-songwriter. "If your vision is more about reaching the people who really respond to music - that's a completely different business than the majors are in now. The majors used to be in that - but they weren't majors then, they were record labels."

Stylus lists the "Top Ten Musical Signifiers (Almost) Guaranteed To Make Me Fellate A Record Regardless Of Its Quality."

Harp visits comic publisher Fantagraphic's Seattle bookstore and gallery.

“It’s nice to have a showroom of sorts,” says Larry Reid, curator and events coordinator for the shop, who adds that the store’s first month was “remarkably successful.” Though 90% of the stock is from Fantagraphics, there are books from other publishers that “relate somehow to the aesthetic of the books that we publish,” and separate rooms for half-price books and adult fare. The shop also shares space with Georgetown Records, and decks by Manik Skateboards (featuring Charles Peterson’s grunge photos) hang from the ceiling.

Twin Cities Electropunk has three compilation albums available as free and legal downloads.

Billboard examines the effects of SXSW appearances have on the participating artists.

Touch & Go's Ransom says SXSW performances rarely translate into an increase in sales. To her, the benefit of bringing a band to Austin or arranging a tour around SXSW is to help secure press for later in the year. For that reason, the label opted to have Ted Leo skip SXSW since his new album comes out in March and most press would have already been secured.

Comic Eugene Mirman talks to the Brooklyn Rail about the often unharnessed marketing power of the internet.

“One of the things that’s funniest about the entertainment industry and comedy,” says Mirman, “is that people go ‘Oh, you’re great, but I don’t know what to do with you.’ The great thing about the Internet is that nobody has to figure out what to do with you. You can figure out what to do with you, and you can say, ‘I made this thing, and I’m going to put it out, and now if people want to come see me and buy things from me they can.’”

Kansas City's Pitch Weekly sends its first missive from SXSW.

Harry and the Potters talks to the Charlatan about their library shows.

"I think it's valuable to continue to promote libraries," says Paul. "We're all so closely affiliated with these books and they've changed our lives so positively that I feel like supporting these literacy causes is a great way to extend that and help change other people's lives in the same manner."

The crusade of literacy and rock lives on as the DeGeorge brothers continue to write their witty rock anthems, entertain with their time-traveling Harry Potters jokes and their political commentary that uses the Harry Potter series as an analogy for U.S. politics.

"This is our way of fighting evil," says Joe, as Harry Potter, to the Ottawa crowd, "coming up here and doing our thing."

Shahin Motia of the Ex Models talks to the Brooklyn Rail.

At first, when I was writing in college, I had a conceptual goal,” Motia said. “I wanted the music to be a soundtrack to postmodern philosophy. I would drift off in theory classes and wonder how these concepts would sound.” But that goal changed drastically with each album, and with each change to the band’s lineup. In fact the only constant was the bands hyper-aggressive style, with Motia using drums to design his songs.

10 Zen Monkeys interviews author Susie Bright.

Man Man's Ryan Kattner talks to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about the band's live performances.

"It's therapeutic," Kattner says. "When you ride in a van for eight-hour stretches, sit around and wait to play late at night, and pack your gear up at 3 in the morning, that hour that you have onstage, you've really got to make it count. Otherwise, you're blowing it."

News 8 Austin examines SXSW day parties and their significance to bands.

Members of the band The Broken West came all the way from Los Angeles. While they love the exposure, they say free parties put them closer to their fan base.

"It's a lot of people that are not in the music industry. They don't have badges and wrist bands. They come to these parties because they are free and so you get more actual fans," band member Brian Whelan said.

Author Rob Sheffield talks to the Brooklyn Rail about his memoir, Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time.

Hold Steady keyboardist Franz Nicolay talks to Columbus Alive.

"This is going to sound like the most retarded quotation ever, but rocking is harder than it looks. You can go and you can get experimental from there, but you have to start from a basis of being a solid rock band... then hopefully you've earned the freedom to do whatever you want after that."

NPR's Morning Edition profiles the 2007 edition of SXSW, and offers music recommendations.

Minnesota Public Radio features SXSW sets from EL-P, Sondre Lerche, Brother Ali, Peter Bjorn and John, Prototypes, Young Knives, the Sights, and Money Mark.

Author Jonathan Lethem talks to NPR's Morning Edition about giving away the film rights to his new novel, You Don't Love Me Yet.

Moops Music is having a GOATSPLOSION! with all 5 Mountain Goats releases on the 3 Beads of Sweat label (Protein Source of the Future...Now!, Bitter Melon Farm, Ghana, Zopilote Machine, and Nothing for Juice) available for $35 total.

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this week's CD & DVD releases


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