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May 12, 2007


The Los Angeles Times calls for an end to the litblogger-book reviewer feud.

INDEED, more than at any time in the last 40 years, there is a bounty of news, features, criticism and gossip about books in newspapers, magazines and journals, blogs, radio and TV, podcasts and an ever-growing number of book clubs and festivals. It's by all appearances a flourishing literary moment in a culture that traditionally values other forms of entertainment, and it raises the question: Why should two key elements of that mosaic, litbloggers and book reviewers, be trading shots at all?

The Washington Post reviews Michael Chabon's new novel, The Yiddish Policemen's Union.

The pure reach and music and weight of Chabon's imagination are extraordinary, born of brilliant ambition you don't even notice because it is so deeply entertaining. He invents every corner of this strange world -- the slang of the "Sitkaniks," their history, discount houses, divey bars, pie shops. Despite the complications of the plot, the details of the world are every bit as enthralling.

The New York Times also reviews the book, and also offers an excerpt.

The Rocky Mountain News interviews Bjork.

What made you work with different producers on this album?

"Boredom. It is probably my biggest drive. I should probably repeat things that go well, but it is impossible for me. Also I am an extremely curious person."

All Things Feist has collected links to Leslie Feist's recent interviews and reviews of her latest album, The Reminder.

Film School Rejects lists the ten most violent films of all time.

Gregg Gillis of Girl Talk talks to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

"Right now the record industry is in a time of change, where they're trying to adapt to new technology, sales are plummetting. Everyone's trying to figure out ways to embrace technology rather than fight it. I think something like my album is actually beneficial for the artists involved. My album, sampling a lot of the older artists -- and even some new artists -- they're reaching a whole different audience than they would otherwise... I'll play a high school prom and drop a James Taylor sample and the kids will know every word."

Magic Numbers frontman Romeo Stodart talks to

"We get a lot of comparisons to the Mamas and Papas, this whole hippy happy family '60s West-coast feel," he continues. "Sure, there's an element of that, but we're just simply hook-oriented. "When people understand that even after reading harsh reviews, then that's the time I'm happy to be misunderstood."

Houstonist interviews Robert Harrison of Future Clouds & Radar.

Did you recent back injury inspire your songwriting?

Yes, tremendously. because my entire life was do for a comprehensive overhaul spiritually, emotionally, and vocationally. I had to face the truth we do create our own lives and a malfunction of that magnitude is the ultimate breakdown in communication between higher and lower consciousness. There was work to be done.

Newsday examines the current resurgence of girl groups.

The Guardian reviews the book, Radiohead: Welcome to the Machine: OK Computer and the Death of the Classic Album, which dissects every song recorded for the album.

The Brooklyn Eagle talks to local authors named to Granta's "best of young American novelists" list.

The Brooklyn Eagle was given exclusive access to the group prior to the reading at BookCourt, with wine and water aplenty. When asked why a British publisher judges and selects America’s best young novelists, Jess Row, primarily a short-story writer and a professor at the College of New Jersey, as well as an ordained Dharma teacher, answered for the group. “Granta has had sort of a claim on naming American fiction ever since they did the ‘Dirty Realist’ issue in the ‘80s, you know, they’ve been sort of naming and trademarking the current thing in American fiction, so... This is what they do, and I think in maybe some sense, not being America gives them a different, broader view, a more particular view, and maybe a view that Americans maybe wouldn’t ascribe to themselves.”

Harmonium interviews Peter Hayes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

Pitchfork interviews Aesop Rock about collaborating with John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats.

Pitchfork: How did the John Darnielle collaboration on the record come about?

AR: I think it was like 1994. My older brother was in college, and I went to college and he was like, "Hey check this band, the Mountain Goats, out," and I heard a bunch of Mountain Goats stuff starting in '94. I was kind of an über-fan for many years, and sometime after Bazooka Tooth came out, I was randomly reading a Mountain Goats interview and he had put Bazooka Tooth on an end-of-year list. And I was just floored, because I was a super-fan, and I was like, "Holy shit! He's a fan!" And I had seen him do shows for years and years and years, and then finally I was at a Mountain Goats show in New York, and I was like, "Should I be that f*cking asshole who's just like, 'Hey, I'm f*ckin' Aesop'?" But I did, and I was like, "Hey man, I think you know my stuff," and then he was like "Shit yeah," or whatever, so we got to know each other. That was at some show in New York three or four years ago, I guess 2003 that was, and we've been pretty good friends since.

MySpace has begun aggregating indie music blogs.

BBC News profiles the "Manga Shakespeare" comics by Self Made Hero.

The Stills’ lead singer Tim Fletcher has posted a European tour diary at Drowned in Sound.

The Ascent of Palo Santo offers "band members' commentary as you listen to demos and the fully realized versions of of songs from Palo Santo." (via)

Author John Sellers shares his list of "music you should hear" with

Guided By Voices, Propeller
This is the album that minted Robert Pollard as the basement genius of indie rock. It is also the gem that contains "Exit Flagger," a sure-fire #1 hit song that no one has ever heard.

see also: Sellers' Largehearted Boy Book Notes for his memoir, Perfect From Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life.

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