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June 17, 2007


The Boston Globe has local booksellers list summer reading suggestions.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel profiles Ryunosuke Aakutagawa, "father of the Japanese short story."

Spinner is sharing a slideshow of photos from the Bonnaroo music festival, and Harp reviews day two.

The Observer lists the best comic films of all time.

Hometracked is a home music recording blog.

The Observer interviews several teenage musicians, including members of Tiny Masters of Today, Cajun Dance Party, and others.

The Los Angeles Times interviews author Ian McEwan.

There seems to be music, especially classical music, in most of your books. What role does it play in your life and how does it illuminate your characters?

I enjoy it a great deal. It's become a part of my mental furniture. So when I'm living inside my characters, I project into their minds. It is the most puzzling art form — it's so abstract, so difficult to understand what a particular bit of music 'means.' And yet it all seems to exist just on the edge of being said.

WorldChanging offers it summer reading list ("WorldChanging style").

The Observer lists 50 all-time teenage classic songs.

The White Stripes' Jack White talks to the Scotsman.

"Everything from your haircut to your clothes to the type of instrument you play to the melody of a song to the rhythm - they're all tricks to get people to pay attention to the story," he says.

"If you just stood up in a crowd and said your story - 'I came home, and this girl I was dating wasn't there, and I was wondering where she was' - it's not interesting," he says. "But give it a melody, give it a beat, build it all the way up to a haircut. Now people pay attention."

Artist Peter Blake talks to the Observer.

And of course he is probably best known for a piece of commercial art - the cover of the Sgt Pepper album. Not that it was very commercial - he was only paid £200 for what Damien Hirst has called 'one of the genius works of the 20th century'. The Beatles asked Robert Fraser, the gallery owner, to get one of his artists to design the cover and Fraser paid Blake a flat fee of £200, with no contract, copyright or royalties. There wasn't even an original sketch because Blake built the line-up from cutouts in the studio. 'For years and years I hinted that perhaps they could give me a bonus, but they didn't, and eventually the Design and Artists Copyright Society took up the case for me and we saw a QC and he said, "Look it's too late." So, almost as part of my retirement, I wrote it off. I've still got two of the cutout heads and the Snow White figure, so I've got fragments.'

Singer-songwriter Leslie Feist talks to NPR's Weekend Edition.

Gorilla vs. Bear features a wonderful download of Julie Doiron covering the Halo Benders' "Lonesome Sunrise."

Fresh Cherries From Yakima lists its "halftime top ten albums of 2007."

see also:

this week's CD releases


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