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June 7, 2007

Shorties

Singer-songwriter Leslie Feist talks to the Hartford Courant about her lyrics.

"They're like minefields and smoke and mirrors," she says. "They're stories that are almost like choose-your-own-adventures. They're more like that than someone standing at a podium telling you how it is. It's like leaving little flashlights to find your way in the shadows instead of using flood lights to illuminate the whole area."


Voxtrot frontman Ramesh Srivastava talks to NOW Toronto.

"I don't think it's healthy to be married to either the lo-fi stuff or the more produced material. If you really want to be a career band and we do it's important to grow organically."


Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. talks to the Montreal Gazette about his solo album, Yours to Keep.

"I'm a different person (than the other guys in the Strokes), so it's going to sound different. You'll always take creative things from your friends. That's the beauty of having friends. You get to share. But at the same time, I think everyone makes their own hopefully unique mark. ... I have a guitar tone I like and have used in the Strokes. Sometimes it comes out on this record. But there's not much I can do - it's me."


Popmatters profiles the career of Magazine.

Their final release aside, Magazine left behind a great legacy. They were one of the most inventive bands of their time. Like two other excellent groups of their nonconformist contemporaries, the Stranglers and the Damned, Magazine had no compunction about poking fun at the shadowy realms in which their music dwelled, even as they reveled in the gooey darkness. They took their craft quite seriously, but not themselves. Any given passage from their best material could be both cool and funny at the same time; at once brimming with sentiment and mocking sentimentality.


Michael Chabon talks to the Guardian about his latest novel, The Yiddish Policemen's Union.

"There is a sense in Yiddish of intensely felt humanity, and both a sentimental and a cold-eyed view of what human beings can expect from the world," says Chabon. That, I suggest, sounds remarkably like the philosophies of most of the private dicks in novels by Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. "Exactly. When I started to re-read Chandler, I got a sense of how well the Yiddish sensibility would map on to hard-boiled fiction."


Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright talks to Paper about his latest album, Release the Stars.

"I wound up going for broke -- baroque,"Wainwright explains dryly, speaking from his Park Slope rehearsal space. "My plan was to hook into the dark, cutting-edge, bare-bones mentality that has existed in Berlin before, whether we're talking about when Bowie went there or when Lou Reed wrote about it. So I wanted to sort of, you know, get cool, basically. But when I arrived, the first thing I did was to get a pair of lederhosen, and I started eating a lot of sausages. I became overwhelmed by this wave of German Romanticism. It was silly to think that I could just change my persona and become this angry straight man in two seconds. But because I'd walked into the city with the intention of creating a skeletal record that was all about intimacy, the ideas became that much bigger when they were recorded."


Beach House singer Victoria Legrand talks to the New York Press about the band's name.

It took Legrand and Scally a while to think of a band name that sums up who they were and what their sound was about. “We were like, ‘Beach House of the Moon,’ and then we just thought it was too long,” says Legrand. “I’ve always been jealous of band names that seem to be concise and yet so random and specifically perfect for the band. ‘Beach House’ seemed to be a good solid noun.”


Paul DeGeorge of Harry and the Potters talks to the Nashville Scene.

“We have this Harry Potter generation of kids who are just starting to get into music,” DeGeorge explains. “Maybe we can open these kids’ eyes to something outside the mainstream, because we’ve kept it totally DIY. We’re real people, and hopefully people can see that and realize that music is made by actual people. You don’t have to be special or anything, all you have to do is grab an instrument.”


The Brisbane Times examines the effect of video games on music sales.

More than a third of gamers have downloaded a song after hearing it in a game and more than 20 per cent have bought an album because they liked a game's song.


AM New York interviews Sam Prekop of the Sea and Cake.


UGO interviews former Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan.


AM New York recaps what made the Sopranos a great television show.

Graphpaper.com offers a downloadable chart for your own Sopranos finale office pool.

High literary ambitions: Chase always fancied his creation as art, as opposed to pap. And just in case we forgot, he soaked the show with literary allusions, which were additional pathways to deeper meaning (and they were only rarely affectations, like the recent overly obvious reference to the overly famous "Second Coming" by Yeats).


Electrelane guitarist Mia Clarke talks o the Philadelphia City Paper.

High-profile gigs like recent stints opening for The Arcade Fire indicate that Electrelane may soon reap a larger audience. And Clarke — a freelance music scribe who's written for Pitchfork, The Guardian, The Wire and others — has had to dial down that sideline activity. "I used to write reviews on the road all the time, but now I prefer to just commit myself to it when I'm at home for a while — which hasn't been that much recently."


MTV Movie News covers wizard rock inspired by the Harry Potter series.


Philadelphia Inquirer music critic Dan DeLuca and columnist Daniel Rubin debate the greatness of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's album.

DeLuca: I'll give it up for Pepper on the packaging front. something that is a bit of a lost art today, particularly as everything is going digital. But I must say that I think the Pepper "concept" is overstated. what is the concept, anyway, other than there's a fake band that shows up in the beginning and the end. And Frank Sinatra was making concept albums in the '50s, anyway, albeit not ones you could open up and use to roll a joint on.

Rubin: Last time: it had enormous impact at the time. that alone doesn't make it a great album, but i still think it is. it didn't just capture the times, it pushed the times.

DeLuca: yeah, and the bloggers of today will probably be waxing nostalgia about sufjan stevens in 2047....


Mammoth Press interviews singer-songwriter Rocky Votolato.


Oliver Wang of the music blog Soul Sides talks to the Cleveland Scene.

"When I stopped doing college radio after 10 years, I was burnt out on three hours a week, doing programming for that by myself," explains Wang. "Audio-blogging was much more laid-back, and the fact that you get instantaneous feedback is different than when you're doing a radio show and no one calls you for three hours. You sort of wonder if anyone is actually listening to you."


Minnesota Public Radio's the Current features an in-studio performance by Johnette Napolitano.


Drowned in Sound discusses its albums of the year, so far.


WXPN's World Cafe features an in-studio performance by the Rosebuds, as well as an interview with the band.

The band's Ivan Howard talks to the Portland Mercury.

"I think the mood of the music is more romantic this time around because of the bass lines and synth sounds. We really did not set out to make a more romantic record, but we did want to make it sexier than our previous albums."


The Futurist has mp3 downloads from the recent Features WOXY Lounge Act session, including live versions of two unreleased songs.



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this week's CD releases

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