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September 17, 2007


The Rocky Mountain News interviews the Arcade Fire's Will Butler.

You turned down more U2 touring to record the new album. Was there urgency to get more music out?

"Definitely. It's hard for this band to write, to be creative, while we're touring. We sort of go into the survival mode. The pulse slows down and you shut down your nonvital brain functions. Touring is really fun and really rewarding, but you definitely shut off parts of your brain while doing it."

All week, Popmatters is counting down country music's best all-time songs.

Pitchfork interviews Lou Reed.

Pitchfork: As a songwriter in 1975, what kinds of contextual or personal cues made you want to experiment with things like drone, volume, and sustained sound?

Reed: In the Velvet Underground, my guitar solos were always feedback solos, so it wasn't that big of a leap to say I want to do something that's nothing but guitar feedback, that doesn't have a steady beat and doesn't have a key. All we have to do is just have fun on the guitar, you don't have to worry about key and tempo. We just had tons of feedback and melody and licks flying around all over the place. I had two huge amps, and I would take two guitars and tune them a certain way and lean them against the amps so they would start feeding back. And once they started feeding back, both of them, their sounds would collide and that would produce a third sound, and then that would start feeding and causing another one and another one, and I would play along with all of them.

Popmatters interviews Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew about his new solo album, Spirit If...

This is just one for the clarification purposes: is this a Broken Social Scene album, or is this a solo album?

[Laughs.] It’s not [really] a Broken Social Scene record. It’s a ... it’s just ... the reason why all this happened was [that] I couldn’t be that singer, that lead singer guy who then takes the band and morphs it into his own.

Drew also talks to the Globe and Mail.

"That's the horrible thing about being a musician, you do put your work out there to be criticized. That 16-year-old kid with a blog running out of his parent's basement, can [mess] your day up, if you read it. It slices into you. Everything that you've just spent two years working on. And it hurts. The kid is irrelevant in your life, but it doesn't matter - it's somebody's perception."

Deep Elm Records is running some great sales, including 30 CDs for $39.

The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle offers an update on the band's next album, along with some newly announced tourdates.

The big news from where I stand is that this album will be the first Mountain Goats record since 1996 to feature members of the Bright Mountain Choir: Rachel and Sarah came up from L.A. to San Francisco and put down backing vocals on three songs, all of which ("New Zion," "How to Embrace a Swamp Creature," and "Marduk T-Shirt Men's Room Incident") have made the final sequence. I have tried several times to write a sentence that would convey just how wonderful it was to make music with the Choir again, but if such a sentence is out there in the ether anywhere, I haven't been able to find it. I resort again to native Californianisms. It was completely rad.

This week Five Chapters is serializing a new story by Matthew Pearl.

Cracked lists the worst album titles of all time.

The San Diego Union-Tribune finds similarities between the White Stripes' and Smashing Pumpkins' paths to success.

Singer-songwriter Andrew Bird talks to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Bird performs shoeless in a slim suit and skinny tie, often with a long knitted muffler slung around his neck. ( "It 's part of my ritual, " he says. "Doing the setlist, then putting on my suit. I guess I wear a suit and tie because I don 't have to. ") On his current tour, he is alternating solo shows with the three-piece band collaboration.

"I 'm constantly readjusting, and I like that, " he says. "I don 't like getting into a routine. It 's a one-informs-the-other kind of thing. The band can get a little too physical sometimes, and less subtle, so I look forward to doing the solo tunes, just to get a little more sensitive to textures. "

Ian Williams of Battles talks to the Australian about classifying the band;s sound.

Metal, electronica, jazz and even a hint of 1970s prog rock all play a role in their music, and contribute to the difficulty of pinning down the band to one style. "We're not trying to just be an original band, that's not the goal," Williams says. "But we do try to dance around any easy answer of what genre we're doing. There is an awareness that you can do a few giveaway musical gestures, and suddenly people think ah, this is hip-hop, or this is techno, or this is classic rock, and certainly for me whenever I hear those signature flags it makes it a little less interesting. So I think we do try to delicately skirt around that issue and not give it away too easily."

Burbia lists the top 10 movies centered on suburbia,

Singer-songwriter Sylvie Lewis talks to NPR's All Things Considered.

also at Largehearted Boy:

2007 Lollapalooza downloads
this week's CD releases


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