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September 9, 2007


The Toronto Star lists the week's best invented words.

ALBUM FACE, n.: "that petulant, in-your-face face that male band members like to adopt for album covers. Example: My grandson's going through a rebellious stage. Whenever he comes over, he sits in a corner wearing an album face." (

MSN Movies lists the 10 best high school movies (and five of the worst).

Alf Clausen, composer for every one of the 383 Simpsons episodes, talks to NPR's Weekend Edition.

Egyptian author (and practicing dentist) Alaa al Aswany talks to the Observer about his life.

'My father was also a novelist and a lawyer. Even Naguib Mahfouz worked for the government until the age of retirement. But now it's not about the money. I work less but I would never give it up because my clinic is my window. I open the window to see people and talk to them and I believe this is very important from the human aspect and the professional aspect as a writer. Patients tell me about their lives, I give them my time, so it's not just about the dental issues. I do care about people and it's very dangerous for a writer to shut himself away.'

The New York Times reviews Ann Packer's novel, Songs Without Words, and also publishes an excerpt.

The extraordinary authority of Packer’s voice lies in her refusal to make heroes of the victims of mischance or villains out of the friends, lovers and family members who sometimes fail them.

The Seattle Times interviews author Sherman Alexie about his young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

Q: And were the cartoons your idea?

A: Yeah. When I started writing it as a novel, for some reason in the first paragraph, I made him a cartoonist. I sent Ellen Forney, who is a friend of mine, about a page, I think, and I said, "Can you draw a cartoon of this?" About five minutes later, it came back over the e-mail. So she was a part of this five minutes into its creation.

I'm getting angry, though, because people are assuming I had nothing to do with the illustrations, that the press hired her. It was a really collaborative effort. Some of them I dictated, some of them we did together, some of them she did on her own.

Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright talks to the Times.

“I wish I could sell out,” he says, sprawled on a sofa backstage, incessantly readjusting the square, brown, 1970s-style sunglasses he refuses to remove. “I do try to make my music more commercial, but only within the boundaries of my own mind. If I put in a chorus, that’s a big move for me. Of course, I want to sell well, but I could never write a straight pop song. It just doesn’t interest me.”

The Vancouver Sun interviews album designer Storm Thorgerson.

Sun: Your album cover designs mix and match a lot of stuff. Houses of the Holy, what inspired that one?

Thorgerson: Well the music, it's always the music, really. Or if I know the band, it'll be my knowledge of them. Obviously if I get to work with them a few times ... David Gilmour is somebody I know. When you get to know a band...we've just been working with a great band called Biffy Clyro, they may not be out here, a Scottish band. I get to know them in the course of working [with them]. So it's always the music, but it's informed by a knowledge of the band. A knowledge that includes their attitudes towards other things, not just music. That knowledge of the band, and talking to them and asking questions, often about the songs, informs the image that is derived from the music, primarily. Most of the time what I do is listen to the music again and again and again until I'm sick of it and it's deep inside me.

The O'Reilly Radar collects online reactions to Google's MyLibrary, where you can collect and tag books.

McClatchy Newspapers lists the top music news sites online, and includes the music blog Gorilla vs. Bear.

Why it's cool: Chris Cantalini has an uncanny knack for backing the next big thing; along with a pair of contributors, he has expanded into booking shows and hosting a weekly segment on Sirius satellite radio. Along with Pitchfork and Fluxblog, he is one of the blogosphere's more respected tastemakers. Gorilla vs. Bear excels at being passionate about new music without ramming it down your throat.

Author Paul Auster talks to NPR's All Things Considered about the film adaptation of his novel, The Book of Illusions.

This site has a collection of Tegan and Sara live performances available as mp3 downloads.

also at Largehearted Boy:

2007 Lollapalooza downloads
this week's CD releases


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