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March 30, 2007

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Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy talks to the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal about the band's latest album, The Crane Wife.

"I think an album should be about 45 minutes," he said. "We went back to see if we could cut it, but we just didn't think we could remove any of the songs. It didn't help that two of them are more than 10 minutes long."


Stylus lists the top ten songs about trains.


The Chicago Reader lists eight bands "under the radar."


PBS has an interactive website for its American masters series, The American Novel.


Nerve interviews Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan.

Then what about some of the qualities of a love song?

Well, I think there's an intimacy, maybe the feeling of whispering even if you're not — that sort of quality of just talking quietly to someone and trying not to be overheard.


The Wilmington Star-News lists its favorite local band names.


The Age profiles the Pixies.


The Christian Science Monitor examines the marketing of indie albums via bloggers.

The commercial explosion is no accident. Indie labels may have finally found a way to harness the Internet's sizable community of tastemakers. These music labels are bringing bloggers who have a reputation for posting legal and illegal MP3 tracks into the fold by purposefully leaking albums ahead of the release.


Alexandra Patsavas, former music supervisor of The OC and Grey's Anatomy, talks to the Hollywood Reporter about her new record label.

Patsavas had been in negotiations with Atlantic president Julie Greenwald since last year. They concocted the label idea at the Coachella music festival.

"It's something we came up with together," Patsavas says. "A label seems like a natural extension of what a music supervisor does. ... You can come across things very early, and there have been bands along the way I would have loved to have worked with more closely."


Conor Oberst talks to the Independent.

"I try to stay positive," he sighs, "but the cynical side of me gets frustrated when I see how our world is structured. Every little bit can help, and to be organised and educated is fundamental. But if we were really to address fair-trade issues and reconcile ourselves with the rest of the world, our lifestyle would have to change radically, and frankly I don't think many people are prepared to do it."


The Oregonian interviews singer-songwriter Elvis Perkins.

Q: Is it hard to play such personal songs live?

A: I think the mechanics of performing are consuming enough that one can be immersed in the sheer mechanics without having to think too much about where the songs are coming from. It can require all one's attention to get it out right.


The Minneapolis Star-Tribune profiles Cloud Cult.


The Independent examines the nerdcore movement.

Nerdcore artists draw inspiration from science, literature, comic books and computer games, while referencing geek heroes such as Stephen Hawking. When I call Frontalot, born Damian Hess, at the home in Summerville, Massachusetts, which he shares with his long-term girlfriend, he's watching the British comedy Extras, drinking coffee and working on his new album in his homemade studio. "Nerdcore is an idea that a lot of folks are sharing these days," he says. The phrase originated from one of Frontalot's early tunes "Nerdcore Hip-Hop". "I came up with it in a fit of self-mocking when I realised that my audience was a computer monitor and five people on the internet that I'd never met."


The Grand Rapids Press interviews Ken Heffner, who assembled this year's Festival of Faith and Music for Calvin College.

Q: Why did you book Sufjan Stevens and Emmylou Harris?

A: Sufjan, in many ways, typifies (what the festival is all about). He gets at that very well. A Christian who is doing outstanding art but not doing it in a Christian subculture is unique, and he's being recognized by a lot of people. We've known him from the very beginning, because he used to play here when he was a student at Hope College. Emmylou has been here once before. We don't presume she's a Christian herself, but her music is very much shaped by that vision. In some ways, we're not all that concerned about whether you believe. This is not an evangelical quiz. We're just interested in your art. She's such a wonderful collaborative artist and ... she has a wide demographic audience. She has been doing this a long time, and she has a lot to tell us.


Harmonium examines the sonic evolution of the Guided By Voices anthem, "Don't Stop Now."


Spinner counts down the 20 worst music lyrics ever.


NPR is streaming last night's Ted Leo Washington performance.


The 2007 SXSW music download page has been updated with an mp3 download of Page France's performance (courtesy of Lullabyes), and bittorrent downloads of shows by Lily Allen, Imperial Teen, and Sparklehorse.


Hip hop artist Jamie Radford has an internet-only EP, The Freedom To Be Reckless, available for download on his site.


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this week's CD & DVD releases

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