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May 6, 2007

Shorties

The Sea and Cake's Sam Prekop talks to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Prekop calls his band's relationship to Brazilian records a "kinship." The Sea & Cake's acclaimed guitarist, Archer Prewitt, explains further: "A lot of what we respond to in Brazilian music is the musicality of it, the choice of chords. I've always been partial to the jazzier chords."


Today's reviews of Micheal Chabon's new novel, The Yiddish Policemen's Union:

The Boston Globe
The Baltimore Sun


The San Francisco Chronicle interviews singer-songwriter Leslie Feist.


Author Elmore Leonard talks to the Portsmouth Herald News.

"I used to do a book in four months. Now it takes eight months but I think I fool around more. At least by noon I have to start writing and I write until 6. But the beauty of it is the time goes so fast. You do read about writers who make a chore of it, but maybe it's because they're not writing in their voice."

"I used to do a book in four months. Now it takes eight months but I think I fool around more. At least by noon I have to start writing and I write until 6. But the beauty of it is the time goes so fast. You do read about writers who make a chore of it, but maybe it's because they're not writing in their voice."


Spinner counts down the "25 most exquisitely sad songs in the whole world."


Harp profiles the Bird and the Bee.

The duo of Inara George (vocals) and Greg Kurstin (everything else) describe themselves as “psychedelic Burt Bacharach.” Not quite lounge or electro, space age or retro, they somehow capture that precarious elegance of a starlet crying behind a giant pair of Chanel sunglasses. They’re the soundtrack to international flights of a bygone era. They make you want to smoke in first class.


The New York Times examines band reunions.

If we’re skeptical about reunion concerts, perhaps that’s because we’re uncomfortable with what they reveal about us as listeners. We fans are a flighty, easily distractible, gossipy, hopelessly sentimental bunch; our fondness for reunions only underscores the point. Fans of punk and postpunk once thought of themselves as different, but the current reconstitutional convention makes it clear that Pixies fans aren’t so different from Fleetwood Mac fans (except that, as Ben noted, the Pixies 2.0 are probably more popular than the original band was).


In its review of Johan Kugelberg's Vintage Rock T-Shirts: What Goes Around Comes Around, the Telegraph examines the music merchandising of the past, especially tour t-shirts.


The Independent examines contemporary novels about working life.


Former Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan talks to the Scotsman about her solo career.

Now, after a four-year hiatus, the 35-year-old has returned with her first solo album, Are You Listening? Musically, it picks up where the Cranberries left off, with its mainstream and folk- edged guitar rock, though O’Riordan claims she experimented more on this album. “There were no limitations, no band waiting for me and no contractual obligations, so it was like having a brand new canvas and new paintbrushes,” she says. “I’d never done it like that before. It was just what the doctor ordered, much better than churning out an album every two years. It’s better to take four years out and bring out a quality bunch of songs.”


In the Observer, Nick Cohen recounts his experience as a judge for the 2007 Blooker prize.

I can't speak for the other judges, but to me, the supposedly radical medium of the future seemed as parasitic on traditional publishing as political bloggers are on traditional newspapers. We had the escapades of an American who moves to France, which was Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence redone for a US audience; Breakup Babe; a well-written piece of chick-lit whose author admitted her debt to Bridget Jones's Diary; and Monster Island, a seventh-rate horror novel, which ripped off every zombie movie ever made. (The author's only original touch was pitting his zombies against a fantasy army of assault-rifle-bearing, 14-year-old Somali schoolgirls.)


The Observer examines the musical legacy of the songwriting duo Morrissey & Johnny Marr.

No other group carried such a weight of expectation - and tradition - as the Smiths. Had they not risen to the occasion, it is not overstating the case to say that the entire trajectory of recent British rock music as we now know it - that's the line from the Smiths to the Stone Roses to Oasis and on to the Libertines and today's indie darlings, Arctic Monkeys - would not have been traced.


A MIllion Keys is a blog that gracefully combines music and art.


NPR's Weekend Edition interviews Marina Nemat, author of Prisoner of Tehran, and also offers an excerpt from the memoir.


NPR is streaming tonight's New York performance by Bjork and Konono No. 1.


The Observer reviews recently released graphic novels.


Not on the Guest List is an mp3 blog that shares my love of music and books.



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