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March 29, 2007

Shorties

The Gainesville Sun interviews Of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes.

Q:At this point in your career, you're playing to the biggest audience that you've had. Is it weird to be putting out something so personal to such a large number of people?

A:All my life, my songs have been to varying degrees about my personal life, but this record is more personal and is kind of more confessional.

I'm really proud of the fact that it's very genuine and it's not phony at all.


Inside Bay Area profiles two indie record labels, Blind Pig and HighTone.


Black Lips bassist Jared Swilley talks to Toronto's Eye Weekly.

“We've gotten a lot of flak from people that followed us since like the very beginning, but I think it's stupid,” says Swilley. “We recorded our Vice album, the studio one that's going to come out this fall, on the same machines that we did for Let It Bloom, the one on In The Red. In fact I think the studio was even more low-budget than that. The only thing that's really changed for me [as a result of signing to Vice] is that I don't have to work in a diner anymore.”


Decemberists bassist Nate Query talks to the Hershey Patriot-News.


Author Laura Lippman talks to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about her literary influences.

"I was in my 20s and I was reading these novels by James Crumley and they were wonderful," she says. "For me, they sort of broke down the wall between literary fiction and genre fiction. I thought it was good writing, good storytelling. Who wouldn't want to write like this? My theory is there were a lot of us reading these books in '80s. I know Steve Hamilton did, and I know Dennis Lehane was reading Crumley when Lehane was probably a teenager. Harlan Coben was another person. We were discovering these books at the same time. ... But Crumley was really a role model."


Singer-songwriter Lily Allen shares her musical favorites with the San Diego Union-Tribune.


Time Out New York explores the intersection between indie rock and food.

And both music and food enthusiasts have chosen passions that require intimate human interaction. “Music is a really social activity, and cooking can be too,” says Ed Droste, of the experimental folk quartet Grizzly Bear. And it seems both offer a similar type of pleasure: one that’s so enthralling as to be transporting. Justin Chearno, who plays guitar for Panthers and recently became the wine buyer for Williamsburg’s Uva Wines, sees similarities in the bliss of, say, listening to Brian Eno and sipping a fine Gevrey-Chambertin. “You hear music at the perfect time on the perfect day and you have this beautiful cinematic moment,” he says. “It’s the same with drinking wine.”


Rush's Geddy Lee talks fantasy baseball with ESPN.

"Traveling can become tough both mentally and physically," Lee said. "Fantasy Baseball is the great escape for me. When I'm sitting around at gigs, when we have down time, I always have my laptop with me or the venues have internet access. After a sound check, I'll go crunch the numbers. When I check into a hotel the first thing I do is plug in and check my stats."


The Independent profiles the eclectic record label, Peacefrog.


Singer-songwriter Jennifer O'Connor talks to Seattle Weekly.

"I really like the new Shins record," she said in a somewhat indirect manner between bites. "But I have no idea what the f*ck [frontman James Mercer's] talking about half the time. It doesn't matter, though, because his melodies are so strong and his voice is so good and there's kind of an undercurrent of feeling. And then there's a line that will pop out at you that kind of makes you understand what the song is about."


Melissa Swingle of the Moaners shares the stories behind some of the songs on the band's latest album, Blackwing Yalobusha, with the Independent Weekly.

On "Shrew," in which Swingle announces, "No fear, no envy, no meanness is our mantra":

"It's actually an old Irish pub saying. Pubs in the country, a lot of times, they'll paint slogans above the door, and I've heard that's a common one. Women and men can be catty and negative, and dwell on negativity. I feel if you aren't fearful, envious or mean back, either they'll figure it out or they'll just leave you alone."


Joe Boyd, author of White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s, talks to Philadephia's City Paper about the role of a music producer.

"I compare it to the guy with the broom in curling," Boyd says. "You can have an effect on whether the stone makes a really good score, but the stone has been thrown by somebody else. You're just there to get things out of the way that might steer it wrong."


!!!'s Nic Offer talks to the Independent about the band's name.

"As much as I hate explaining what it is, I still can't think of a better name," Offer asserts. "And I challenge every journalist to give me a better name." Leaving no time for a response, they chime triumphantly: "We win!"


The Gossip's Beth Ditto talks to the Independent.

Speaking of which, are we entering an age where women are on a par with male performers? Ditto splutters into her tea.

"If it was getting easier for women, wouldn't CSS and Long Blondes have been playing the NME awards? Wouldn't they have been on the cover by now? We've been in this band for eight years and been coming over here for seven to get where we are. How many times has Nicole Richie been on the cover of a magazine?"


Exclaim! offers a timeline of Mike Watt's musical career.


Author Joan Didion talks to the Los Angeles Times about the difference between her book, The Year of Magical Thinking, and its stage adaptation.

"In the book, I'm trying to tell you that I'm trying to figure it out. I'm not evading the subject," Didion says. "The character on stage — quite a lot of the time — is trying to avoid telling you what she's there to tell you."


In the New York Times, David Pogue bids farewell to outdated storage media with a sermon.

Let us also say a prayer for vinyl records, audiocassettes and VHS tapes. They may not be dead yet, but they do wheeze a bit going up stairs.

When their time comes, they, too, shall ascend to Format Heaven, where they shall be joyously reunited for all eternity with stone tablets, illuminated manuscripts and cave drawings.


The Scotsman examines the covers of the final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

With a floppy fringe covering that famous scar, glasses that suit his now far less gormless-looking face and a stronger jawline, 2007's Harry Potter looks more like the kind of hero the iPod generation expects.


Of Montreal guitarist Bryan Poole talks to the Miami New Times.


The Independent Weekly classifies the degrees of coolness found at SXSW.


San Diego CityBEAT lists "five music blogs to help waste your work time."


Author David Sedaris talks to Newsday about the recent New Republic article that questioned the authenticity of his stories.

"What do you think a state mental hospital is?" Sedaris reponds. "They're not going to say, 'Oh yeah, we're a real hellhole, a real pit.'... If I got the style of the buildings wrong [Gothic instead of Tuscan Revival], excuse me. I still stand by what I wrote.... People aren't buying my books or showing up because they think every word is true. They're showing up because they want to laugh."


NPR is streaming tonight's Washington performance of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists starting at approximately 9:40 ET.


The Observer lists the 50 greatest film soundtracks.


David Shapard, editor of The Annotated Pride and Prejudice, talks to NPR's Talk of the Nation about the classic novel's historical context.


Cracked counts down the 25 worst rapper names of all time.


Pop Candy lists comic book movies worth renting.


T-shirt of the day: "Let It Bii"


see also:

this week's CD & DVD releases

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