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July 7, 2007


The New York Times spends a night out with Dean and Britta.

Back in the old days, the ’80s, before Transformers starred in movies and before Ms. Phillips played actual gigs, she played the cartoon rock star Jem on TV. Two decades later, superfans still show up with Jem dolls. Men, too. “The Jem fans are the freakiest I’ve ever seen,” her husband said.

The San Francisco Chronicle profiles Berkeley publisher Ulysses Press and the unusual success of its title, What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7.

Mashable lists "90+ essential music and audio websites."

NPR's All Things Considered previews today's Live Earth series of concerts, and profiles of Nunatak, the band playing in Antarctica,

At Nextbook, author Steve Almond gives thanks to Bob Dylan for years of inspiration.

Badly Drawn Boy's Damon Gough talks to Peterborough Daily.

"My first album came out when I was 30, and I've been in a rush ever since. I've tried to be quite prolific while having two children, and I've unfortunately experienced a few untimely deaths – I think that's really affected the subject matter of the album."

The Speculist profiles author Robert Heinlein (who would have turned 100 today).

Singer-songwriter Nick Lowe talks to the Brisbane Times.

The College Crier interviews author William Gibson.

The Guardian profiles Billy Bragg's charity, Jail Guitar Doors, which gives guitars to inmates.

The New York Times features an essay, "Jazz Messenger," by author Haruki Murakami.

Whether in music or in fiction, the most basic thing is rhythm. Your style needs to have good, natural, steady rhythm, or people won’t keep reading your work. I learned the importance of rhythm from music — and mainly from jazz. Next comes melody — which, in literature, means the appropriate arrangement of the words to match the rhythm. If the way the words fit the rhythm is smooth and beautiful, you can’t ask for anything more. Next is harmony — the internal mental sounds that support the words. Then comes the part I like best: free improvisation. Through some special channel, the story comes welling out freely from inside. All I have to do is get into the flow. Finally comes what may be the most important thing: that high you experience upon completing a work — upon ending your “performance” and feeling you have succeeded in reaching a place that is new and meaningful. And if all goes well, you get to share that sense of elevation with your readers (your audience). That is a marvelous culmination that can be achieved in no other way.

Comedian Janeane Garafalo is interviewed by the Austin Chronicle.

NPR's All Things Considered talks to former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno about the three-CD compilation of American music, Song of America, she is putting together. The album will contain tracks by Martha Wainwright, Devendra Banhart, and others.

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this week's CD releases


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