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July 17, 2007


The Washington Post reviews the first single, "White Dove," from John Vanderslice's new album, Emerald City (out July 24th).

The title suggests tranquility, but this high-drama indie gem sounds like Vanderslice tossing and turning through a sleepless night at the Neutral Milk Hotel.

The Village Voice examines the antifolk movement.

Life Style Extra reports that over a quarter of the respondents in a Borders poll would like to see author Irvine Welsh take over the Harry Potter series.

With Welsh at the helm Potter and his pals, Hermione and Ron, could spiral into the murky world of dangerous addictions that plague his characters.

CMJ's staff blog interviews John Kunz, owner of Austin's legendary Waterloo Records and Video.

Harp interviews singer-songwriter Bill Callahan.

HARP: Your vocals have a spoken-word feel, your songs feel like stories. Do you listen to any spoken-word artists like Spalding Gray or Henry Rollins? How about radio programs—This American Life? NPR?

I don’t think my vocals are anything close to spoken-word. Rollins is funny and the couple books by him that I’ve read have been a lot of fun to read. I don’t listen to NPR. It’s been the same program and mood every day for the last 20 years. It’s like being trapped in a hot tub full of grandmothers. I am still a young man, Randy. It’s not for me.

Cracked lists "6 questions the last Harry Potter book had better f#@king answer."

The Manchester Evening News lists the shortlisted nominees for Britain's Mercury prize.

Pitchfork lists the overlooked records of 2007.

The New York Times profiles cellist Erik Friedlander, who has played on the past several Mountain Goats albums.

Mr. Friedlander’s dexterity has allowed him a busy career. Besides his work in the jazz and avant-garde worlds — in the last few weeks he toured in Europe with Mr. Zorn and recorded an album of Mr. Zorn’s cello works — he has lately become an in-demand player among brainy indie-rock acts like the Mountain Goats and John Vanderslice.

The Brooklyn Rail profiles the "New York songstress," the current examples being Regina Spektor and Nellie McKay.

Stylus offers a bluffer's guide to Irish folk music.

John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats talks to Blabbermouth about his upcoming 33 1/3 book, Master of Reality.

"For years, liking Ozzy or SABBATH was roughly synonymous with saying 'no thanks' to real basic societal expectations," says Darnielle. "I want to reawaken the bad vibes you used to get from seeing a SABBATH pin on some dude's denim jacket."

Spin's artist of the day yesterday was former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell.

The Atlantic compares the best US graduate writing programs.

NPR is streaming Travis's Washington performance.

Playwright Sara Ruhl shares her summer reading list with NPR's Weekend Edition.

Entertainment Weekly lists the 25 worst film sequels ever made.

The A.V. Club lists 10 "surprisingly good" tribute albums.

Spinner lists 20 protest songs that matter.

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

New York Magazine's The Comics Page blog is excerpting from Percy Gloom, Cathy Malkasian's graphic novel.

I read this book last week, and can't recommend it enough (even though my wife thinks Percy resembles Mr. Magoo)...

see also:

this week's CD releases


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