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March 24, 2007


The Bismarck Tribune offers tips on buying CDs on the internet.

Jon Lawlor of the Fratellis talks to Billboard.

"That iTunes band," Jon Lawlor, the frontman of the Glasgow-based band, says with a grin. "But that's much better than coming to America and having people say, 'Who the f--- are you?', which is what happens to most British bands."

Harp lists rockers who lend their voices to cartoon characters.

Jeff Tweedy has been playing the musical inner voice of the lead character in a Canadian animated series called Odd Job Jack. The show is entering its third season on The Comedy Network. Since we don’t get that channel, here’s a sample:

The New York Times has posted chapter 9 of Michael Chabon's serialized novel, Gentlemen of the Road.

Ted Leo does a video interview with PETA2.

GoogleLitTrips offers literary trips via Google Earth.

Cool Hunting profiles five Chinese indie bands.

The Los Angeles Times reviews Steven Hall's novel, The Raw Shark Texts.

His writing, description as well as dialogue, is sharp and clear, which is extremely important when you are writing on the edge of the form. Some of the pages contain word pictures (there's even a flip section of a swimming shark), and although they're simple, they truly enhance the feeling of swimming and being preyed upon in the water, of being part of the complex conceptual food chain.

Book cover designer Chip Kidd talks to Adelaide Now.

"A lot of graphic design students want to get into book covers because it's that last vestige . . . it's where you can bring some of your own visual acuity to what the author has done and make something that is, hopefully, very visually exciting."

Singer-songwriter Laura Veirs talks to the Manchester Evening News about her new album, Saltbreakers.

Title track Saltbreakers takes its inspiration from the AS Byatt novel Possessions, “There is a comfort in books and in reading. Lately these days, I’m reading a good book for inspiration perhaps more than playing a record or listening to music. In being surrounded by words you can get a good sense of purpose and this can offer a certain order to a songwriter.”

Bloc Party's Kele Okereke talks to the National Post about producer Jacknife Lee.

"He sees value in all forms and different styles of music," enthuses Okereke. "It was great to have someone as inspired by Bartok as by My Bloody Valentine."

Harp previews the 3-CD Barbara Manning box set, Super Scissors, to be released this summer.

Titled Super Scissors (Rainfall Records), it comprises remastered versions of her out-of-print 1988 solo album Lately I Keep Scissors and her 1991 rarities/singles collection One Perfect Green Blanket plus 24 other songs— recordings that are previously unreleased, cover versions of various New Zealand bands from the Flying Nun label, outtakes and home demos. The material hails from the mid ‘80s through the early ‘90s and will be packaged in mini-LP sleeves all housed in a hardshell box.

The Guardian reviews Paul Trynka's book, Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed.

When you strip away all the nonsense, Iggy is a pro. Trynka too. Which makes this an oddly sober testament to one of the most outlandish characters in rock.

Carl Newman of the New Pornographers talks to about the band's next album.

"With 'Twin Cinema,' we branched out to the point where we illustrated that all bets were off for this new album," group principal Carl Newman tells "We realized, we can do any kind of song we want on our albums. This record is an extension of that. It is maybe slightly more epic. It has our first song that passes the six-minute-long mark. In fact, it might have our first songs that pass the five-minute mark!"

Gordon Anderson, formerly of the Beta Band, talks to the Guardian about his new band, the Aliens.

Around the same time, in late 2004, the Beta Band split. John and Robin had heard that Gordon was back in business, and the trio decided to work together on some of his new songs. The new album, Astronomy For Dogs, is the result. Some of the songs - particularly The Happy Song - seem to ooze with the joy of a new lease of life.

Australia's the Age profiles author Irene Nemirovsky.

WXPN is streaming a live performance from the North Mississippi Allstars.

Panda Bear talks to Drowned in Sound.

The vocal melodies come across as pure pop, in a very ‘60s sense. It seems to make the record very accessible to individuals not normally drawn to ‘experimental’ music. Is that kind of accessibility something you’re now trying to convey to people?

I don’t know if it’s a concern of mind to make sure that it’s accessible. I’d really be happy if lots and lots of people could have fun listening to it, but it wasn’t like, “I want to make a record that everybody is going to like”. But having said that, I feel like the music I like the best is exclusively pop stuff. I feel like that’s the kind of music I get most excited about. So maybe, unconsciously, that side of my sensibilities about music just came out really strongly.

Minnesota Public Radio has an in-studio performance from singer-songwriter Essie Jain.

Drowned in Sound offers a first-timer's account of SXSW.

see also:

this week's CD & DVD releases


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