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July 27, 2007

Shorties

Rasputina's Melora Creager talks to Take5online.


Bats for Lashes vocalist Natasha Khan talks to Inside Bay Area.


Stylus lists top ten obscure Steely Dan lyrics.


The Chicago Reader reviews Marooned: The Next Generation of Desert Island Discs, edited by Griel Marcus.


Author Neil Gaiman talks to Time.

It's all fairly win-win for Gaiman. If Stardust becomes the next Princess Bride, then hooray, and if it doesn't, it's back to cult figurehood. "Five years ago, I was absolutely as famous as I wanted to be," he says. "I'm now more famous than I'm comfortable with." In a genre like fantasy, the relationship between artist and fan is a fragile, intimate thing, and in some sense Gaiman is still that nerdy public school kid. He's leery of selling out to the popular crowd. "I have really mixed feelings about the coming Watchmen movie," he says, "because I keep hearing that it's going to be really good. And part of me is going, I don't want a really good Watchmen movie! I want my graphic novel!"


IGN lists the top 10 Beatles songs.


The Futurist features two in-studio tracks from Tacks, The Boy Disaster's recent WOXY Lounge Act performance.


The University of Colorado at Denver's Advocate lists its five favorite music blogs.


Singer-songwriter and former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell talks to Vancouver's Georgia Straight.

A casual query about the type of vehicle Isbell's travelling in leads to a very specific response–followed by howls of laughter in the background. So what could be so damn funny about Isbell's mention of a Ford Econoline E-350?

"Well, it's a long story," he explains. "I've been workin' on a pilot for a series about a rock 'n' roll band that rides around in a van, and we started discussing product placement, and how it would be funny if we made a very obvious reference to our van in the television show, so we could possibly get a free van from the Ford Motor Company. So any time anybody asks about the van now, we make sure to mention very plainly and clearly that it's a Ford Econoline E-350."


The New York Times examines the controversy surrounding the Junie B. Jones series of children's books.

More than a few parents have taken issue with Junie B., as she is called. Their disagreement is a pint-size version of the lingering education battle between advocates of phonics, who believe children should be taught proper spelling and grammar from the outset, and those who favor whole language, a literacy method that accepts misspellings and other errors as long as children are engaged in reading and writing.


10 Zen Monkeys lists the 6 "trippiest" Simpsons scenes.


Let's Get Serious is an mp3 blog devoted to "some of the weirder dance music that has fallen through the cracks over the years, and share some treasured discoveries along the way. In the hopes of preserving some of the past records that my generation hasn’t been able to enjoy."


WXPN's World Cafe features an in-studio performance by Andrew Bird, as well as an interview with the singer-songwriter.


The Guardian talks to the current cop of "nu-gaze" bands.

At the start of summer 2007 a supple, shimmery thread started darning itself through a long line of euphoric-sounding albums. From Maps to Blonde Redhead, Mahogany to Deerhunter, Asobi Seksu to Ulrich Schnauss, you could hear the heady, woozy influence of a style of music that had been a byword for naffness and overindulgence for the past 15 years; a type of music that Richey Edwards of the Manic Street Preachers had said he "hated more than Hitler". Names like nu-gaze, stargaze and shoetronica were used to describe it, names that couldn't quite hide the scene that dared not speak its name. For shoegazing was back - the sound of jangly indie fed through layers of distortion, overdrive and fuzz; of delicate souls turning themselves up to 11. In Summer 2007, bands, clubs, Mercury prize-nominated albums, films, and novels are all proud to claim it as an inspiration.



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