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August 19, 2007


The Baltimore Sun profiles Manchester, England's "indie city."

Every tough British city has its signature band, but the music culture here is fully formed and amazingly multidimensional. Guidebooks in gift shops here can direct you past every signpost or local reference in Smiths songs. Even the Salford Lads Club, where the inside sleeve of The Queen Is Dead album was shot, has remade a room into a shrine to Smiths singer Morrissey and the boys. Books on Factory Records - the city's great post-punk label, with its stark graphic design - are easy to find.

The Kansas City Star previews the "bumper crop of fall reading."

The Boston Globe interviews author Wiliam Gibson.

IDEAS: You're a visual thinker, aren't you? There's always a lot of detailed description of what your characters actually see.

GIBSON: I can't do fiction unless I visualize what's going on. When I began to write science fiction one of the things I found lacking in it was visual specificity. It seemed there was a lot of lazy imagining, a lot of shorthand. As the reader I felt I was being asked to fill in too much of the picture.

The Boston Globe interviews singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright.

Q Many have gone before you to Berlin to record: David Bowie, U2, Iggy Pop. Why did you choose that city?

A It's funny, I did essentially initially choose it for that very purpose -- that Bowie and Iggy Pop and Lou Reed gravitated toward that city, mainly for the harder-edged, more serious, darker sensibilities that it had. But, of course, when I got to the city, instead of getting a weird haircut and hanging out in basements, I started visiting baroque palaces and wearing lederhosen and eating a lot [of] sausages (laughs). I got really into this bright, happy German romantic thing and was looking for dirndl practically.

Google Video features a panel discussion from last year's Comic Con, "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Super-heroes," featuring Grant Morrison and Deepak Chopra.

Singer-songwriter Patrick Park talks to the New York Daily News.

Park's lyrical questioning of assumptions has more than a psychological resonance. There's a political angle too. Many of the songs muse on the rigid ideologies that led us to the Iraq war. "So many problems in the world have to do with us acting like there's truth in things that are really only opinions," he says.

The Seattle Times interviews Comic-book writer and artist Megan Kelso.

So New York has been good for your career?

Yes! It turns out that even for cartoonists, it helps to live in the media capital of the world. No matter where you go in New York, you meet people who are publishers, editors, publicists, curators, journalists and agents.

The Cleveland Scene reviews Moviola's new album, Dead Knowledge.

The Catbirdseat features a new video from the album.

Newsday reviews Douglas Wolk's new book, Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean.

The early chapters of "Reading Comics" can seem a little like a plea for the medium to be taken seriously; at one point, he even invokes an "impertinent straw man" with whom he debates the legitimacy of comics criticism. Such a defense is a worthwhile endeavor, but the second half of the book, a sundry collection of essays about individual artists (or artist-writer teams) and their work, is more fun to read. Wolk makes it clear that his isn't a canonical list but simply a discussion of cartoonists he finds interesting - the artists are organized in roughly alphabetical order, with mainstream and art comics mixed up together.

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

The Times reports that the cardigan has replaced the hoodie for the indie set.

Poor old David Cameron. This time last year, he was hitting the headlines with his “hug a hoodie” campaign. Now he’s going to have to learn to hug cardies instead. The youth style mag iD reports that the UK’s fiercest grime MCs are dumping their trusty zip-up tops in favour of oversized, cosy knits with buttons and little pockets just like grandpa wears. According to Wretch, a member of the north London crew the Movement: “It’s a bit smarter, a bit different, isn’t it?”

Author Irvine Welsh recounts his week for the Observer.

AdelaideNow lists the "top 20 music video clips, ever."

Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam i (aka M.I.A.) talks to the Guardian.

"It took 17 years for me to come from a mud hut to signing with Interscope records," she points out. "I'm the lucky one. I think meeting Justine Frischmann and Peaches was really important to me at the time - the introduction to really strong girls brought something together. I want to highlight that I'm just the lucky one that got to be here," she decides back on the beach. "That's it, I just got lucky."

The Times excerpts from Bill Bryson's new book, Shakespeare: The World as Stage.

The Times lists the top ten guitar solos.

Peter Sis talks to Weekend Edition about hos graphic novel, The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain.

Aquarium Drunkard's Justin Gage interviews Cary Brothers for the Arizona Star.

Q: What does the remainder of 2007 hold for you?

A: I just shot a video for my song Honestly that's going to be in a Morgan Freeman movie called Feast of Love. The movie is directed by Robert Benton, who is one of my film idols, so that was very cool to do. Otherwise, I'm going to do some shows in Japan and then come back to the States to tour with Matt Nathanson in the fall. I imagine there will be much more touring after that. It can wear you down a bit, but it's fun.

NPR's Weekend Edition excerpts from Glenn Kurtz's memoir, Practicing: A Musician's Return to Music, his story of quitting, then picking up the guitar again.

also at Largehearted Boy:

2007 Lollapalooza downloads
this week's CD releases


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