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July 22, 2007

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The Columbus Dispatch lists 20 jazz albums you should know.


The Dallas Morning News reviews a recent Jandek performance.

Out of key. Out of tune. Off pitch. None of these phrases come close to describing the moaning, groaning voice that made the two-hour concert seem like an endurance test. Nearly as bad was his harmonica playing, which made Bob Dylan seem like Toots Thielman by comparison.


Blogs Are For Dogs shares exceptional b-sides from 2007.


Wizard Entertainment hosts a roundtable to discuss the "greatest superhero comic book ever created," Watchmen.


Make your own vinyl records (images at least) at the Vinyl Record Generator.


The Raleigh News & Observer reviews books about graphic novels & comics, Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics series and Douglas Wolks' Reading Comics.

Wolk talks to the Oregonian about his book.

"I wanted to do something along the lines of what Pauline Kael has done for movies," Wolk said. "I wanted to write a book that was readable by people who were interested in ideas as much as the specific things I was writing about."

see also: Wolk's Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for Reading Comics


Metromix interviews Carl Newman of the New Pornographers.

You threw a wrench into the current music industry model by offering an instant stream of your new album “Challengers” to those who buy it in advance. What is your goal?

In this day and age, if somebody wants to listen to our record, they are going to find it—and find it for free—but that takes work. We wanted to reward the people who actually bought our album by offering it to them right away.


The Guardian ponders the literary achievement of the Harry Potter series.

So what does it all amount to? It's not difficult to find things in these books to sneer at. Cardboard characters? Tick. Torpid paragraphs? You bet. Flat-footed dialogue? On every page. A more-than-slightly autistic attention to minutiae? No doubt.

Perhaps it's the autism that animates it. The fair-minded critic has to concede that Rowling's devilry lies in her attention to detail. The magic of Potter is that he inhabits a fully realised parallel world. Moreover, Rowling does that unbeatable thing: she makes it work. How exactly she does it remains the mystery, but it's to do with a primitive grasp of basic storytelling.


Singer-songwriter Richard Thompson talks about his career with IC Wales.

“I think I have survived this long by being flexible. When there was a big record company with a budget I would take the band out on tour and make big records, and when there wasn’t I would just grab a guitar and go play small clubs on my own or earn money as a session musician, particularly in the Seventies.


The Daily Scotsman ponders what the "next Harry Potter" series will be.

Barry Cunningham, who first published J K Rowling, claims to have found "the new fantasy series to fill the void when Harry Potter comes to an end" - it’s Tunnels, by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams, and the hype has not only meant it’s already under contract in 28 different languages, but the film rights have been optioned for over a million dollars.


This Is Fake DIY profiles the albums nominated for this year's Mercury music prize.


Loney, Dear's Emil Svanangen talks to the Times Online.

You will hear sweet West Coast pop melodies, gentle alt-folk arrangements and sudden, Arcade Fire-style rushes of musical energy; and you’ll hear Svanangen’s thin, high voice, clear and distinct, over gorgeously layered musical backings that genuinely invite comparison with the work of Brian Wilson. The point at which songwriting and arranging and recording blur into one is the point at which Svanangen comes into his own. “It took me a long time to get into multi-track recording,” he says, “but when I finally did, it was a big turning point in my life.”


Verb is a literary "audioquarterly," with original fiction, poetry, ad music exclusively in audio.



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this week's CD releases

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