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May 20, 2007

Shorties

The Louisville Courier-Journal hosts a roundtable of high school students who discuss their music listening habits.


The Denver Post examines indie bands who have gone mainstream, and talks to several musicians.

"I won't lie - the money, of course, is nice," said Jimmy LaValle of the Album Leaf. "But it's also a way to reach out to a different audience. After 'Grey's Anatomy' had aired 'Writings on the Wall,' the popularity of downloading that song went up dramatically. It was the top-downloaded song off that record, and that happened within two weeks of it being aired."


The Toronto Star examines recently released concept albums.


The Philadelphia Inquirer reviews I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon.


Singer-songwriter Joel Plaskett talks to the Toronto Star.

"I sing about where I'm from and what I've seen, and if people respond to that, as they did in Australia, then I know I'm in the right place. When we play in New York, people scratch their heads, and I feel like a small-towner.

"I try to have a conversation with the audience. I try to dispel mystique. I just want to live like a human being."


The Independent reviews Jonathan Lethem's latest novel, You Don't Love Me Yet.

Lethem's latest offering feels like a light-hearted riposte to his acclaimed but dense opus The Fortress of Solitude, which was rooted in Lethem's familiar Brooklyn. Witty and charming, You Don't Love Me Yet breezes through LA's iconoclastic anonymity with a refreshing sincerity.


The Columbus Dispatch recommends summer reading.


The San Francisco Chronicle reviews Michael Chabon's new novel, The Yiddish Policemen's Union.

In this light, it is an enormous relief to discover that "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" isn't some veiled political argument about this situation -- as the New York Post tried to insinuate in advance of the novel's publication -- but a rich, terrifically funny and sad novel about the pain of exile, both personal and spiritual.


Harp interviews Nick Cave about his film career.


The Guardian reviews Helen Oyeyemi's debut novel, The Opposite House.

One of the great achievements of this intricate novel is its ability to constantly overlap cultural and emotional disconnection, erasing the very question of boundaries between them. But although these are clearly large themes, Oyeyemi handles them through the most intimate of portraits.

Look for Oyeyemi's Largehearted Boy Book Notes contribution soon.


The Chicago Sun-Times examines the success of the television series "Heroes," as well as its flaws.


The New York Times examines the music of ice cream trucks.

Noise has long been a part of the ice cream business, beginning in the late 1800s with the street vendors’ cry, “I scream for ice cream!” According to Daniel Neely, a New York University ethnomusicologist who has studied the history of ice cream truck music, the essence of the music — simple, circular melodies played by upper-register winds and tinny chimes — has remained relatively stable over time.

The New York Times also talks to musician Michael Hearst, who has released an album titled Songs for Ice Cream Trucks.


Margo Timms of the Cowboy Junkies talks to NPR's All Things Considered.


The New York Times asks seven authors what they would cut from classic books.

Stephen King, author of “The Shining” and “Lisey’s Story”

Certainly the Bible could use cutting; think of all those begats, not to mention minor-league prophets such as Habbakuk (there isn’t even a car dealership named after him).


Wilco's Jeff Tweedy talks to the Age.

"Art can come out of anything, not just suffering," he says patiently, backstage at the Palais Theatre during Wilco's recent Australian tour. "That's something people seem to have a tough time comprehending. The myth perpetuates itself in the celebrity-driven culture we live in, because it makes really good ink."

Tweedy also talks to the Perth Sunday Times.

“It was a relief that songwriting wasn’t a totally different experience clean,” he says. “It was the same experience except I was able to be more present and have more energy for recording.”

The Independent also talks to Tweedy.

Because while a section of the audience and the music press may - through their expectations of what Tweedy is going to do next - miss out on the consistent brilliance of Wilco's music, Tweedy himself takes a broader perspective. "This whole 'contentment album' thing is pretty inaccurate from where I sit," he says, giving a short snort out of his nose that he tends to use for emphasis. "There's a restlessness on the new record that's palpable. If that's something that not everyone is hearing, then it's their loss. What I think the record is about is an acceptance in terms of being able to see the world the way it is. Maybe this is the first time I've been able to acknowledge those observations."



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this week's CD releases

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