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July 18, 2007


Yahoo News has the current odds for the Mercury music prize.

4/1 Arctic Monkeys
4/1 Amy Winehouse
8/1 The View
8/1 Klaxons
8/1 Jamie T
8/1 Dizzee Rascal
10/1 The Young Knives
10/1 Fionn Regan
10/1 Bat For Lashes
12/1 New Young Pony club
12/1 Maps
12/1 Basquiat Strings

Thrill Jockey has the press kit online for the new Fiery Furnaces album, Widow City (out October 10th).

Math Blog lists "10 must read books about mathematics."

Blender listed their their "Powergeek 25" (25 most powerful and influential people in the web music business).

Cracked lists the ten worst celebrity bands.

Bunt Cake is a webcomic that finds its clipart in baseball cards.

Chicago's Metromix interviews Colin Meloy of the Decemberists.

So you're not in the same category as the Moody Blues and Elton John?

Well, I would hope not. That's up to other people. In some ways [playing with an orchestra is] kind of a dopey and sentimental thing to do, and I think that's probably why the Moody Blues and Metallica have done it. And maybe it's dopey and sentimental that we're doing it. I think it's sort of a relatively new thing that orchestras are reaching out to bands that aren't like the Moody Blues and Elton John. I'm sure we're one of the first invitations of many. Look out, Death Cab for Cutie. They're coming.

Chicagoist and Time Out Chicago offer some final thoughts on the Pitchfork music festival.

Voxtrot singer Ramesh Srivastavatalks to the Baltimore Sun.

"People in the 18 to 19 range don't understand why you would ever pay for music," Srivastava said in a phone interview with The Sun. "The younger generation has never lived in that world. It's not like they're doing something intentional to degrade music. ... But everybody wants to download and everybody wants to be a music critic."

Former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell talks to the Cleveland Free Times about his solo album, Sirens of the Ditch.

"A couple of the songs could have worked on those Truckers records, but most of them are shorter and maybe more pop - I would say that but the definition of that word is so different than what it used to be," says Isbell. "If you're thinking pop like Big Star or Cheap Trick, it's probably closer to that. It's not necessarily as storyteller-oriented, although those things are in there, too. They're more personal, they're about me and people close to me rather than about bigger issues of class and culture. I don't see them as being too much different. They sound different because I made all the decisions about what got played and the length and what was written, but they're very similar to what I was writing with the Truckers."

Isbell also talks to Harp about his musical influences.

“It’d be impossible for me not to be influenced by the soul and rock music that came out of Muscle Shoals,” he says. “I’ve studied a lot of those records pretty religiously and have a whole lot of respect for them all, but to tell you the truth, the thing that always had the biggest influence over me as far as being a musician coming from the Muscle Shoals area was really the individual people and the sense of community that musicians have down here. From really early on, a lot of the older musicians around town took me under the wing, let me sit in with their band and worked with me in the studio. That really influenced me more than the music they made way back when.”

ComicVine lists comic book characters.

NPR's Morning Edition examines the dwindling number of newspaper book reviews.

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

Harp talks to musicians about their love of cover songs.

Drowned in Sound offers its own alternative shortlist for the Mercury music prize.

Cracked lists the "10 most ridiculous overseas 're-imaginings' of American classics"

A blast from the past: a 2000 Space City Rock interview with John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats (including footnotes).

Additions: Probably the biggest surprise sound-wise on The Coroner's Gambit was the addition of drums on a few tracks. Perhaps it was me assuming too much from some random comments you've made live, but I had for some reason assumed that you had an anti-drummer stance. Am I totally off-base, or is this something that's changed, or are these tracks just anomalies?

What'd I say about drummers? I like drummers fine -- I'm a heavy metal fan, I gotta love drummers. I have said, repeatedly, that the absence of a drummer from a band is not a good reason to consider that band somehow less valid than a standard guitar-bass-drums-vocals set-up, which some people will even go so far as to call a "real" band. Under which definition, the Doors wouldn't count as a real band. But percussion is great. Anybody with a love of classical studies has got to love percussion; it's where literature started.

Butch Vig of Garbage lists "music you should hear"for

see also:

this week's CD releases


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