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August 8, 2007


New York's Metromix interviews Matt Sharp of the Rentals.

Glide interviews Kevin Calaba of Stars of Track and Field.

I have been thinking a good deal lately about how bands of the grunge-era Pacific Northwest had a sound that truly reflected our natural environment and the weather patterns that create it, from Alice in Chains to Pearl Jam. First, where are you all from, and second, do you feel that SOTAF’s music is a reflection of, or influenced by, the weather and natural environment of the Northwest?

Definitely . Dan’s from the Bay area, but Jason and I are both from Portland. We were influenced by grunge, Death Cab, Doug Martsch, and the climate of the Northwest definitely has influenced who we are and how we write songs. That said, though, I think we write songs that can be accessible beyond the gloomy Northwest, songs that branch out from that.

Mirah (aka Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn) talks to the New York Sun.

"I feel like I have a pretty good handle on songwriting and singing, but in terms of musical instrument playing I'm fairly limited, so it benefits me greatly," she said. "It's totally inspiring and exciting to work with people who are masters at their quote-end-quote ‘unusual instruments' because I love music and I love sound, and that's what helps me write and helps me open my mouth and get something out of it."

The Times Online lists the 10 most embarrassing pop moments of the "noughties."

Connect Savannah interviews legendary singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston.

How much time do you spend working on either your artwork or your music?

Daniel Johnston: Well (yawns), I spend a lot of time on both. I do a lot of drawing. I really try to keep up with that. I’ll admit I’m a little lazy. I’m having kind of a “hard to be inspired” period right now. But I still try to play for at least an hour a day, anyway. I draw more than I play music, actually. I dream of doing comics someday, so that’s one reason I try to keep up with it and keep on going. I have so many songs that I have written which I haven’t recorded, but I have plans to do so. I’m looking real forward to recording them in the future.

Meredith Metcalf of Bodies of Water talks to Popmatters about the band's influences.

“I feel about Tropicalia the same way I feel about—I don’t like the term but—outsider music like Song Poems and the Shaggs,” he said. “I love listening to that stuff because it kind of takes the pressure. You realize that, ‘I really like listening to this Daniel Johnston song. The recording is shitty and he can’t play his little organ very well, and he’s off-key, but it’s rad.’ It kind of reminds you that that’s not really what’s important.”

Former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell talks to the Denver Westword about the split with his former band.

He and his former bandmates are still on great terms — and Patterson Hood, Shona Tucker and drummer Brad Morgan even perform on Ditch. The split was the result of creative differences. Really.

"I know that's kind of a cheesy way to put it," Isbell admits. "I mean, everybody says that, but sometimes it's really true. I wanted to go in a different direction musically. You know, I think if you listen to my songs on A Blessing and a Curse, especially the songs of mine that didn't make that record, it's pretty obvious that I was going in a little bit of a different direction, and it was probably a little cleaner than what they wanted to go in and maybe a little bit more produced."

My Old Kentucky Blog features some in-studio tracks from singer-songwriter John P. Strohm.

The New York Times examines popular books in university summer reading programs, while the Christian Science Monitor looks at evolving high school summer reading programs..

Comics Should Be Good reviews a batch of new graphic novels.

KEXP features an in-studio performance from Ladybug Transistor at 11 pacific this morning.

Members of the Gourds list "music you should hear" for

The New York Times' Screens blog dives into

The warm buttered videos of BookVideos engrossed me for hours. I think I understand better What Readers Want now — or what one of the fantasies is, anyway. The artful site, which should generate some book sales once it gets some traffic, is clearly intended for the Teri Gross exurbs: not so much readers, but rather the “booklovers” who want to get weak-kneed over how Danielle Steel takes her Origins orange blossom bath and how Mitch Albom clears his head with yard work.

Author Kiran Desai talks to the Guardian about her year as the reigning Man Booker prize winner.

SF Weekly profiles the phoenix that is Arthur magazine.

DCist interviews Spoon frontman Britt Daniel.

Chartattack lists 10 reasons why Lee Hazlewood was cool.

James Chapman of Maps talks to Filter about his influences.

“I’ve been a Spiritualized fan for ages,” Chapman says. “But also, that first Stone Roses album is amazing. There was one point where I worshiped them—when I was in my teens, that was all I wanted to do. So I guess the feeling comes across in the music I do now. It’s just that euphoric vibe. That’s what I was trying to achieve in this record.”

Laurie Lindeen talks to the OC Register about her memoir, Petal Pusher.

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

SF Weekly reviews the new John Vanderslice album, Emerald City.

Given his knack for quirky discourse and obtuse imagery, Vanderslice has never been the most accessible artist, but his lilting tunefulness and self-effacing charm have proved increasingly endearing over the course of half a dozen outings. Emerald City doesn't vary from that earlier template, but its shifting tales told from troubled perspectives — reflections on 9/11, the folly of a foreign war, a kidnapped daughter who turns up dead, and an omnipresent paranoia — create a haunting residue.

The Guardian's books blog lists the novels longlisted for the Booker prize, and the Guardian, Telegraph, and Times Online discuss the selections.

NPR's Morning Edition profiles Magnolia Electric Co.'s Jason Molina, and the box set he put out yesterday, Sojourner.

The Futurist recaps the recent Dirty on Purpose WOXY Lounge Act performance, and shares a couple of mp3s from the session.

WXPN's World Cafe features the Great Lake Swimmers with an in-studio performance and interview.

">Minneapolis Public Radio's The Current features an in-studio performance by legendary singer-songwriter Patti Smith.

also at Largehearted Boy:

this week's CD releases


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