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August 22, 2007


Carl Newman of the New Pornographers talks to Boston's Phoenix about the band's new album, Challengers.

“There are songs on this that are very clearly love songs. It’s still not really clear, nothing says, ‘I love you because you have pretty green eyes, but I am trying to say that in a poetic way.’ There’s some songs where I’m trying to do that, like, ‘Go Places.’ It still comes off as a little strange.”

LAist lists the top 5 back-to-school albums.

Ryan Walsh of Hallelujah the Hills talks to Crawdaddy.

As for his own career, Walsh is happy to continue down his current path for as long as it is willing to carry him. A great deal has been said about the bold (if offhand) statement that the band’s future will include the release of at least 33 albums. “People really latched on to that in the press release,” laughs Walsh, “and I’m not sure why. I guess it’s our core way of saying we’d love to continue.”

see also: Walsh's Largehearted Boy Note Books essay and Jami Attenberg's Largehearted Boy interview with Walsh

My Old Kentucky Blog previews this year's Pygmalion Music Festival, held September 19-21 in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Headliners are Andrew Bird and Okkervil River.

NPR's All Things Considered profiles's First Chapters book competition.

And like American Idol, the First Chapters competition was structured as a popularity contest — at least in its early stages. posted one chapter at a time, encouraging site visitors to read, comment on and vote for them.

Chicago's Metromix gives the New Pornographers' album, Challengers, 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

The Village Voice reviews Brock Clarke's novel, An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England.

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

MSNBC namechecks John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats in a review of R. Kelly's 22-part video series, Trapped in the Closet.

With all the cult acclaim and highbrow analysis, though, no one talks much about the reality: R. Kelly is no genius, at least not in the way we typically think of geniuses. In fact, “Trapped in the Closet” succeeds as a hilarious masterpiece despite Kelly’s intentions not because of them. Unless he's a Warhol-caliber master image-manipulator — and some critics, notably's John Darnielle and Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times, might argue that he is — it’s pretty clear that Kelly has no real idea why “Trapped in the Closet” is great.

Chicago's Metromix reviews the new Rilo Kiley album, Under the Blacklight.

WXPN's World Cafe features singer-songwriter Fionn Regan with an in-studio performance and interview

At NPR, Soul Sides' Oliver Wang reviews M.I.A.'s new album, Kala.

At a time when globalization is both dissolving and reinforcing national identities, M.I.A.'s music speaks from a blurry borderland through a lingua franca of agitated, propulsive pop. The energy should be familiar to restless youth almost anywhere. Aptly enough, one of the recurring sounds that shout out from the album are the voices of children.

The Daily Cross Hatch gets the backstory on how indie cartoonist Ivan Brunetti almost became a replacement artist for the Nancy comic strip.

Oregon Public Radio features a streaming in-studio performance by Jesse Sykes.

also at Largehearted Boy:

2007 Lollapalooza downloads
this week's CD releases


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