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March 25, 2007


The 2007 SXSW music download page has been updated with the WOXY Lounge Acts shows as well as radio streams from KEXP, KUT, and others.

Poughkeepsie Journal staff members share their traveling music.

The Buffalo News ponders the future of the album in the digital age.

Certainly, there will always be a market for the album, though the actual artifact itself might be radically altered, as has been the means of its distribution. The significant paradigm shift brought about by the digital music movement means that looking backward for old solutions to new problems is no longer an option. It’s not just the rules that have changed — the game itself is hardly recognizable any more.

Forbes Small Business profiles Andreas Katsambas, founder of the metal indie record label, The End Records.

At eMusic, Ronald Thomas Clontle, author of Rock, Rot, & Rule, rates eMusic's ten best selling artists for March.

Yo La Tengo

This Mexican trio* has been making great music since the early '90s and shows no signs of stopping. However, yours truly's patience was severely tested by "Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind," the twelve-minute opening cut on YLT's new LP, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Kick Your Ass. Also, be warned: the song "The Story of Jazz" on President Yo La Tengo is NOT a jazz song at all. Do NOT download this if you are expecting jazz. The song could not sound less like jazz.

*Extra points for having a band name that's a sentence. I believe Yo La Tengo is Spanish for "Yo, let's tango!"


The Toronto Star reviews Escape from Special," a graphic novel by Miss Lasko-Gross.

Akin to Alison Bechdel's recent graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Lasko-Gross charts the maturation of a fiercely intelligent female protagonist. But while Bechdel's work comprises a carefully structured bildungsroman with crisply drawn images, Lasko-Gross uses fragmentary, episodic storytelling that relies on the emotional resonance of her highly nuanced visuals. She shifts the balance of her storytelling to her images, creating a compelling work that's more graphic than novel.

The Observer examines how Bob Geldof united authors to the Darfur relief efforts.

The Guardian talks to five authors about their soon-to-be-published first novels.

Publishing a first novel is a gamble. Novelists depend on word of mouth, Radio 4, book clubs and prizes - and reviews (always in short supply). The first-time novelist may experience a contradictory mixture of over- and under-exposure. In the past, publishers could fudge sales figures. Now, thanks to the Nielsen Bookscan, there is nowhere to hide. It is possible to look up sales data on any novelist faster than you can say Zadie Smith. And if a book flops commercially, or, to use publishing parlance, 'doesn't work', a postmortem can be briskly conducted. Equally, if it does 'break out' (desperado publishing slang for success), the scale of its popularity can be precisely assessed.

The Independent examines the final book in the Lord of the Rings series, The Children of Húrin, due out next month.

Chris Crawshaw, chairman of the Tolkien Society, said: "It would probably make a very good movie, if anyone can secure the film rights.

"Tolkien saw his work as one long history of Middle Earth: from the beginning of creation to the end of the Third Age. The Children of Húrin is an early chapter in that bigger story."

The Observer reports on a study that finds bright British children love heavy metal.

One of the respondents summed up metal's appeal as only a member of the under-19s intellectual elite could: 'The cathartic release offered by heavy metal played loud, either by my hi-fi or myself on guitar, is a wonderful thing when it's needed.' This teen metallurgist proves two things. That he or she got to the heart of the matter a lot faster than Cadwallader, with his fancy funding. (Give the kid the PhD instead!) And second, that for young clever clogs, as for the rest of us, metal's primary appeal is the way it refracts ugly feelings of frustration into something meaty and satisfying.

The Independent reports that author Iain Banks is setting up a tribute album based on his novel, Espedair Street.

The writer, whose hit books include The Wasp Factory and The Crow Road, is working with a series of leading rock and indie artists to create a tribute album - to a band that has never even existed. He has already held discussions with several acts that have agreed to appear on the CD, which he hopes to release by the end of the year.

Real New Yorkers Know interviews former Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan about her new album.

RNYK: How would you describe Are You Listening for fans?

DO: I would love to say “like nothing I have ever done before as a whole”. Very experimental and verging into the darkness on on little bit. So far I have done around 90-100 interviews and it’s the first time everyone likes it. (The cd)

The San Francisco Chronicle reviews Trenton Lee Stewart's children's book, The Mysterious Benedict Society, which is illustrated by Carson Ellis.

He is aiming for an opiate for the masses. He says, " 'After the Improvement, you see, everyone's greatest fear will be drowned out ... It will be grand!' " In many ways, it's a very scary story, telling of a dystopian society not unlike our own, where dissenters are "disappeared." Aided by the drawings of Carson Ellis (who also works with popular indie rockers the Decemberists), Stewart tells an absorbing (if familiar) story of talented children working against evil adults.

The Age examines independent musicians making music without record deals.

"In the old days, if you didn't have a recording deal you didn't get heard," says Bowden. "Now there are all sorts of opportunities for musicians. Being independent can be a struggle but now with digital recording and the internet to connect with an audience, you can get your songs out there."

The Arizona Republic profiles the "YouTube generation."

The irony is that this isn't a case of boomers uploading music for boomers. If you search for footage of your favorite boomer band, you're likely to find that it was uploaded not by someone old enough to have attended the original Woodstock, but by a teenager or young adult too young to buy Neil Young a beer if he ran into him on the street.

Actress Amy Sedaris talks to the Telegraph about her book, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence.

'Labels set up too many expectations. It's like when people ask me if my book is a joke cookbook. It is definitely not. I hate joke cookbooks!' In the book's introduction she writes: 'This colourfully illustrated book is my attempt to share with you something I take very seriously; entertaining in my home, my style. It may not be the most proper way, or the most traditional, or even legal, but it works for me.'

The makers of the FM3 Buddha Machine make the music player's loops available as a zipped collection of WAV downloads.

see also:

this week's CD & DVD releases


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