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July 26, 2007


Carl Newman of the New Pornographers talks to NOW Toronto.

"In the reviews for Mass Romantic, everyone seemed to write about how the album was so relentlessly upbeat," says Newman from his home in Brooklyn's Park Slope neighbourhood. "Some people saw that as our strength, but I thought it was our weakness. It was an accident that Mass Romantic came out the way it did. Making a party-rockin' album was never my intent. But whether the songs are fast or slow, I think we've retained the same basic aesthetic all along."

The Daily Texan takes a "Kantian outlook on music criticism."

Stylus is reviewing the entire 33 1/3 series of books on seminal albums, book by book.

Tiny Vipers singer singer Jesy Fortino talks to the Portland Mercury.

AfterElton lists "ten of the coolest gay superheroes you (probably) haven't heard of."

Young Go Getter lists "9 things I learned about business from the White Stripes."

The Phoenix interviews Douglas Wolk about his book, Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean.

But does looking at comics in this academic way somehow undermine their inherent appeal as escapism?

I don’t think so at all. I’ll explain this in a very pretentious way first [laughs]: To quote the Danish poet Piet Hein, “Taking fun as simply fun and earnestness in earnest shows how thoroughly thou none, of the two discernest.” There’s a reason the entertaining stuff is as entertaining as it is and those reasons are worth thinking about. They’re worth thinking about to understand why things are so entertaining, they’re worth thinking about if you want to create something that’s really entertaining.

At Salon, Wolk profiles the Japanese graphic novel series, Death Note.

see also: Wolk's Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for the book

Prospect magazine examines the new economics of pop music.

New York magazine's the Comics Page blog offers a 16 page excerpt of Osamu Tezuka's graphic novel, Apollo's Song.

USA Today's Pop Candyhas started coverage of this year's Comic-Con, and the Los Angeles Times previews the convention.

Singer-songwriter Cary Brothers tells the Cleveland Scene that the soundtrack to The Garden State actually changed his life.

"That soundtrack changed my life," admitted Brothers last year in Los Angeles, where he lives. "When [it] came out, I had just finished my first EP, and I wasn't really prepared as an independent artist. I didn't have a big distribution deal. I didn't have the record on shelves. My immediate thing was getting it onto iTunes. 'Blue Eyes' ended up being one of the top-10 folk songs of the year on iTunes. That's simply from the impact of Garden State."

The Independent Weekly examines Durham's status as a "national hotbed for spoken-word poetry."

Fluxblog previews the new Fiery Furnaces album, Widow City (out October 9th).

St. Vincent's Annie Clark talks to the Salt Lake City Weekly about her solo album, Marry Me.

“I’m a big fan of pomp and circumstance, otherwise I wouldn’t have played with The Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan,” she says. “But with this, I really wanted to try to create something that was technical and intricate. I’m drawn to things that are complex, melodies stacked on top of melodies. It’s just interesting to see how all the musical parts work together.”

The A.V. Club lists the strangest Simpsons products.

NPR features Min Jin Lee reading from her novel, Free Food for Millionaires, as well as offering an excerpt from the book.

see also: Min Jin Lee's Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for the novel

Singer-songwriter John Vanderslice puts his iPod on shuffle for the A.V. Club.

The A.V. Club: Considering you're known for working with analog gear, it's sort of funny that you even have an iPod. Do you ever find that listening to music on an MP3 player compromises the experience?

John Vanderslice: Oh, not at all! Actually, my issue with the iPod is just the amplifier. I think it's really shitty. I encode stuff at 192 or 256 [kbps] and I think it's great. I don't think that that's the problem. I just think the quality of the amplifier in the iPod is really shitty, and that's where you see the most degradation [in the sound]. I don't have any problem with MP3s. You know what's funny about this, though, is I've actually never "shuffled" in my life. I had to go and look for it in the menu.

Drowned in Sound wonders what has happened to artists they are missing (Blur, Limp Bizkit, Radiohead, Stephen Malkmus, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Fischerspooner, The Postal Service, AC/DC, Tom Vek, Mylo).

The A.V. Club interviews Spoon's Britt Daniel.

AVC: What were some of the new things you tried with Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga?

BD: We're hardly the first band to use it, but the electric harpsichord was new for us. We recorded koto on a couple of songs. I bought a bass harmonica, which we'd never used before. Whenever we're working on a song and it feels like something we might have done before, we always try to push it in a different direction. That's about as specific as it gets.

Minnesota Public Radio's the Current features an n-studio performance by St. Vincent.

Congratulations to Daytrotter for passing the 1,000,000 song download mark.

nyctaper is sharing a lossless download of the White Stripes Tuesday night New York city performance.

In the New York Times Paper Cuts blog, author Sarah Vowell shares her July music playlist.

Lullabyes has a couple of exclusive live tracks from Limbeck's recent Dallas performance.

see also:

this week's CD releases


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