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May 5, 2007

Shorties

The Houston Chronicle interviews Son Volt's Jay Farrar.

Q: Do you have a writing process? Do you do the cocktail-napkin thing?

A: Yes, lots of cocktail napkins. Though not so many cocktails anymore. Lots of scraps of paper. I'm kind of putting fragments down all the time. Even during periods where I'm not writing. Bits and pieces to build on later. Then I like to spend time away from writing altogether.


Billboard reports that several indie labels are unhappy with eMusic.

Several representatives of these labels, attending the recent NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers) annual convention in Chicago, told Billboard they feel eMusic is trying to pad its subscriber base to make itself a more attractive acquisition target. Unless the service raises prices and, in turn, the compensation provided to labels, they intend to withdraw their music in protest.


The Robertson County Times examines the new world of music marketing.


The New York Times has posted the conclusion of Michael Chabon's serial novel, Gentlemen of the Road.


At Salon, Douglas Wolk offers an overview to the Free Comic Book Day comics.


Bjorklossless shares live Bjork performances via a DirectConnect hub.


Author/filmmaker Miranda July has a website for her new collection of short stories, No One belongs Here More Than You.


Hits in the Car is an mp3 blog focusing on Danish music.


Blogzarro lists the 20 greatest Spider-Man villains.


Harp profiles Canadian singer-songwriter Leeroy Stagger.

Stagger channels Steve Earle in his rock ’n’ roll outlaw days in “I Break Hearts” and turns up the amps for the punk-pop “Sweet Amphetamine.” His storytelling shines brightest on “Carol,” a rootsy Springsteen-style song about coping with hard times and trying to escape them by hitting the road.


KEXP is streaming several live performances today:

Harlem Shakes Saturday May 5, 12:00pm

Apostle of Hustle Saturday May 5, 3:00pm

Sneaky Thieves (LIVE from High Dive) Saturday May 5, 6:30pm

Siberian (LIVE from High Dive) Saturday May 5, 8:00pm

Space Cretins (LIVE from High Dive) Saturday May 5, 9:30pm

Head (LIVE from High Dive) Saturday May 5, 10:30pm

Hollow Points (LIVE from High Dive) Saturday May 5, 11:30pm


Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright talks to the Brisbane Times.


The OC Register lists ten reasons you should attend the inaugural Stagecoach music festival.


The Guardian reviews Joshua Ferris's debut novel, Then We Came To an End.

It's hard to work out, in the end, whether Ferris's novel is funny or sad. It's certainly absurd, and very entertaining. And, like Sayers's neglected masterpiece, it hums with the suppressed emotions of colleagues forced to interact professionally in an unnatural, stressful environment - anger, lust, envy, boredom, contempt, sometimes even love. If you work in an office, it may make you look forward to getting off work - maybe even for that long weekend in Vegas.


Dungen's Reine Friske talks to Billboard about the band's new album, Tio Bitar (out May 15th).

Fiske says "Tio Bitar" is much more "direct" than Dungen's previous albums. "It's shorter [and] more 'song-based' to some extent. But not as a commercial move, I assure you," Fiske explains. "Maybe it´s a bit more anarchic at times, almost in some kind of decadent and ridiculous way. Some songs were just shaped from various weird, exhausted moments, often late at night, a little dozed on wine or beer."


Entertainment Weekly gives Michael Chabon's new novel, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, an "A-."

In Chabon's pulpy world, gray bureaucrats sparkle as ''men with the variegated surnames of doomed crewmen in a submarine movie,'' and one chess player's ''mother is calling him on the ultrasonic frequency reserved by the government for Jewish mothers in the event of lunch.'' By the end, the plot bulges like a fatty pastrami sandwich.

Salon has posted an interview with Chabon.

So much of the new book is about Jewish identity and how Jews identify in relation to place. Is "Jewish-American" writer a title you embrace?

I guess in a way it's a title I've sought and I'm proud to have, and in fact this little bit of controversy that's already been awakened by this book and the thing that was in the New York Post last weekend, if anything it makes me feel all the more secure in my credentials as a Jewish-American writer. I don't think you've arrived as a Jewish-American writer until you've been attacked for being self-hating and for airing our dirty laundry and making a chanda for the goyim.

The Globe and Mail also reviews the book.

Sometimes, though, the verbiage is so rich that the story gets hung up on it. There are many amusing tangents that slacken the action here, and it really isn't what you'd call a page-turner. Still, this is not just alternative history, but alternative mystery; the author's aim is not to rush you through, but to spark ruminations on love, loss and the nature of home, all through the prism of his interesting characters.


The A.V. Club is hosting Adam Schlesinger's Fountains Of Wayne.


The Contra Costa Times examines the online future of comics.

Other publishers are posting single issues or samples of titles on websites. Expect more to follow with heavy-hitters in the industry releasing comic archives. Marvel and Top Shelf announced at the New York Comic-con in March plans to beef up their download divisions, Publishers Weekly reports.


The Wall Street Journal examines the music industry's new tastemaker, QVC (the cable home shopping channel).

In the last several months, QVC has emerged as a force in the music world, using its marketing power to push artists it believes will resonate with its customers or draw in new ones. The channel's success is the latest demonstration of how retailers, from big box stores like Wal-Mart to specialized outlets like Starbucks and Cracker Barrel, are reshaping an ailing music business by offering marketing muscle in return for exclusive contracts, exclusive songs and, in some cases, a bigger cut of profits.


Film School Rejects lists the ten worst comic book adaptations of all time.



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this week's CD releases

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