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July 8, 2007

Shorties

Three articles in the Chicago Sun-Times about next weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival:

Yoko Ono discusses her plans for playing the festival this year.

"I don't know exactly what I'm going to be doing -- I mean, I do know that, yes, there are some things I'm going to be doing with some friends, but I don't want to say that now, because I think there should be surprises. [In recent years,] I've felt more relaxed in the studio. But in the old days, I really loved [live performance]. I'm getting into it again now, and it's really good to get back into it."

Pitchfork's Ryan Schreiber talks about the festival.

"As far as what we do in the festival and who we're trying to present it to, it's sort of a selfish enterprise in a lot of ways: We're putting on the bands that we want to see," says Pitchfork publisher Ryan Schreiber. He adds that he thinks of his readers and festivalgoers as people like himself: "rabid, music-hungry music addicts, basically."

MIke Reed, promoter of the event, discusses his participation.

Reed maintains Pitchfork passes on a lot of lucrative but ostentatious promotional opportunities less on principle than because overt marketing would alienate its core constituency of indie-rockers, for whom Naomi Klein's No Logo is a sacred text. This year, Reed agonized for some time about making a deal with Chipotle Mexican Grill to serve as the main food vendor, and only decided to go with the company after researching its owners (the McDonald's Corp. once owned a majority interest, but it divested last year) and its business practices (its packaging is environmentally friendly, and it favors organic produce and free-range meats).


Author Chuck Klosterman talks to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review examines what "turns today's fiction into tomorrow's classics."

Who, then, will be read by future readers? I'd like to think that the novels of John Updike, Saul Bellow, Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Cormac McCarthy and Margaret Atwood already are in this category, having been canonized by their peers and critics.


Buffalo Tom's Bill Janovitz talks to the Boston Globe about he band's first studio album in nine years, Three Easy Pieces.


Library Journal lists some of the better gay and lesbian memoirs.


Former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell talks to the Huntsville Times about his solo album, Sirens in the Ditch.


The Boston Globe reviews five new coming of age graphic novels.


The Times Online examines the growing audience for spoken word performances.

As the scene has grown more diverse and confident, Chivers adds, it has reclaimed “the literary credibility of poetry” while declassifying its appeal. “The audience for spoken word is wide in terms of race, social background and age,” he says. “Strands of indie music are upper-middle class and very young. In a poetry crowd, you will see older people as well. And it’s not the idea of poetry that puts anyone off, but when it’s kept inside academia or dusty magazines.”


The Observer seeks out what "indie" means these days, in relation to music at least.

'Indie used to be heartfelt, it used to be pure,' says Ian, a rosy-cheeked 24-year-old. 'It was never about triumphalism. Since it became that, it's been a meaningless brand.' 'What indie is at heart is a place for community,' adds Sarah, 27, from Glasgow, 'about doing things in your home town, not having to go to a big city to make it.' She's followed the scene in Glasgow for years, tracing the rise of bands such as Franz Ferdinand. But a visit to a large venue last year threw up a curveball - a 'new indie band' called the Fratellis. 'I'd never seen them before - they just came out of nowhere. And that really annoyed me.' There are some bands today, I say, whose approach to work and cost-cutting measures are properly indie, even though their sound and aesthetics are something quite different. 'That's right. But indie isn't a haircut, it's a work ethic.'


Blender lists 100 days that changed music.


Mr. Media interviews Chuck Dixon, writer for "The Simpsons" comic book.


NPR's Weekend Edition examines the literary output of composer John Philip Sousa.


Aquarium Drunkard has started a new feature, "Off the Record," which has musicians reflect on their hometowns. The first installment features singer-songwriter Josh Rouse shares some of his favorite places in Valencia, Spain.


Lullabyes features several songs from a recent St. Vincent live performance.



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