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June 15, 2007


Just added to my guitar wishlist (and a great Father's Day present): Gretsch Guitars G4530 Americana Series Limited-Edition Wild West Sweethearts Acoustic Guitar.

Apostle of Hustle's Andrew Whiteman talks to the Boston Globe.

"Certain pressures have forced us to change what we're doing , and we're down to a trio -- just the essentials," Whiteman says, initially with trepidation but brightening to the prospect of paring back the presentation. "Certainly, in a Radiohead sense, it's impossible in terms of mastering your album and being able to replicate it. But this is the first time we're really figuring out what we're about as musicians. I've been playing with these guys for seven years, but we've never gotten to spend a solid amount of time playing music together, so it's kind of great, actually."

The Birmingham News offers overhaul suggestions for the city's City Stages music festival (thougtlessly schedules the same weekend as Bonnaroo, about 180 miles away).

Change the date. It's the surest way to combat Bonnaroo. If City Stages cannot piggyback on that Tennessee festival -- that is, book acts set to appear during the same weekend in Manchester -- it's time to find another calendar spot.

Voxtrot's Ramesh Srivastava talks to the New York Daily News.

"There does seem to be this weird shift in what was college rock toward more thought-out music and lyrics," says the 23-year-old Srivastava.

But for word to spread about Voxtrot's unique take on it, they needed help from an increasingly influential source: the blogs. The band credits hip sites like Brooklyn Vegan, Gorilla Vs. Bear and Central Village with helping them get known.

The Louisville Courier-Journal profiles Continuum's excellent 33 1/3 series of books on seminal albums.

The best-selling 33 1/3 book at his store is Kim Cooper's tribute to "In the Aeroplane over the Sea," the 1998 masterpiece by the enigmatic Neutral Milk Hotel. The band was the brainchild of the hermit-like Jeff Mangum. Barker says "Aeroplane" is also the best-selling book in the entire series.

see also: Kim Cooper's Book Notes essay about her book at Largehearted Boy

Author Andrew Greeley weighs in on the Sopranos finale in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Ordinary viewers, satisfied with the violent whacking of "Uncle Phil" Leotardo, were disappointed by the conclusion, which was a stop and not an ending. The intellectuals should have been ready for David Chase's "post-modern" joke. What did the series mean? It meant that there was no meaning at all. Like all stories, ''The Sopranos'' series had no meaning because life has no meaning.

Stylus lists its top ten albums that are "crushing disappointments" lists the top ten science fiction novelists of the 00s (so far).

Open Culture lists "well-regarded" music blogs.

Jack White of the White Stripes talks to the Age.

Holed up in a Nashville hotel one recent Saturday, the enigmatic Jack and Meg White are less than enthusiastic about the new digital world.

"If that's what kids want, there you go," Jack says, wearily of MySpace. "We're not anti-digital music. We've been on iTunes for years. But if we had our choice, would that be the way people hear our music? No."

CocoRosie's Bianca Casady talks to the Age.

Sign on San Diego interviews Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond.

People might not guess you were inspired by noise and punk bands like Lightning Bolt and Fugazi. How do you think that shows up in your music?

Well, I feel very free and passionate when I play music. I think that is the nature of musical expression. Passion and freedom. In my life I have been very inspired by the unlimited source that seems to power and connect with Lightning Bolt and Fugazi and Black Dice. The energy that flows in this music is stunning. We aim to be like this -- to share energy! Only the music sounds different. It is soft and melodic but still for the purpose of sharing and changing energy.

LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy and John Cale compare musical notes in the Guardian.

We have convened their first ever face-to-face meeting not just because LCD Soundsystem's current single, All My Friends, features a version by Cale, but because they have much in common, including New York, sonic innovation and a reputation for getting their own way. But it's equally interesting to note the differences between Murphy, the vinyl-fetishising romantic who feels he was born too late, and Cale, the ardent technophile gushing over internet radio, download platforms and the logistics of Daft Punk's live shows.

The Christian Science Monitor examines social networking websites that link people through their reading tastes.

In the past few years, online social networks that connect people through their taste in literature have grown in popularity. There are now more than 30 such sites, each trying to stand out. And publishers are taking notice.

Premiere lists films caught in "developmental hell."

Columbus Alive! lists some of its favorite music blogs.

New York magazine lists the best novels yet to be translated into English.

Sam Quinones talks to NPR's All Things Considered about his book, Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream, which gathers true stories of Mexican migration to the United States.

see also:

this week's CD releases


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