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September 27, 2007


The Boston Globe profiles singer-songwriter Fionn Regan.

"For most artists that would be unfair, but for Fionn, stylistically, particularly in his guitar playing, he has shades of Nick Drake. As far as Dylan goes, so many artists have been compared to Dylan; it's not as devastating praise as it might have once been," Buie says. "In Ireland, when I was there, I was hearing him being compared to James Joyce and Samuel Beckett. If that isn't some heavy stuff, I don't know what is."

Carl Newman of the New Pornographers talks to the Vancouver Sun about the band's success.

"We just never expected any of this to happen, honestly, and I think that's probably what helped us do well. We really went into it with no expectations. We made a record just for the pure love of making a record, with absolutely no pretensions that we were going to become huge or popular in any way. When you go into a band with that kind of attitude, it's a nice surprise when it becomes your career, you know?"

The University of Georgia's Red and Black posts an "Athens encyclopedia."

Automatic for the People - The slogan for Weaver D.'s Fine Foods. It's one of the most well-known, non-football phrases associated with Athens. The fame is mostly thanks to Michael Stipe and the boys from R.E.M., who named their 1992 album after the sign. The actual restaurant is a small building down Broad Street.

Wikinews interviews singer-songwriter John Vanderslice.

DS: You could clearly create music that is more mainstream pop and be successful with it, but you choose a lot of very personal and political themes for your music. Are you ever tempted to put out a studio album geared toward the charts just to make some cash?

JV: I would say no. I'm definitely a capitalist, I was an econ major and I have no problem with making money, but I made a pact with myself very early on that I was only going to release music that was true to the voices and harmonic things I heard inside of me—that were honestly inside me—and I have never broken that pact. We just pulled two new songs from Emerald City because I didn't feel they were exactly what I wanted to have on a record. Maybe I'm too stubborn or not capable of it, but I don't think...part of the equation for me: this is a low stakes game, making indie music. Relative to the world, with the people I grew up with and where they are now and how much money they make. The money in indie music is a low stakes game from a financial perspective. So the one thing you can have as an indie artist is credibility, and when you burn your credibility, you are done, man. You can not recover from that. These years I have being true to myself, that's all I have.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch interviews Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips.

Popmatters reviews Marooned: The Next Generation of Desert Island Discs.

Even if Marooned will only appeal to a certain segment of the pop music audience—and certainly, as a whole, to an even smaller number of readers—its subcultural functionality is hard to dispute. Just like Stranded is very much a piece of its time—an era in which the rock press was smaller and the music industry was less compartmentalized (although it surely didn’t seem that way at the time)—Marooned is an accurate representation of both the people who write about music and the varied glut of product from which they can choose.

The Daily Tar Heel interviews Okkervil River frontman Will Sheff.

Dive: I know The Hold Steady has a song about John Berryman. Have you gotten any angry calls from Craig Finn?

WS: I found out about The Hold Steady song ("Stuck Between Stations") on the same day we mixed our song, and, honestly, I was a little bit unhappy because it had not occurred to me that someone else would think to write another song that would concern John Berryman's suicide.

Singer-songwriter Jose Gonzales talks to Drowned in Sound.

T-shirt of the day: "Drop Beats Not Bombs"

KEXP features an in-studio performance by Kinski at 3 pacific.

New York magazine's the Comics Page blog is excerpting from Shaun Tan's graphic novel, The Arrival.

Joe Bonamo talks to the Rockford Register about his book, Sweat: The Story of the Fleshtones, America’s Garage Band.

The Fleshtones “have been laughed at and ignored as often as they’ve been celebrated, but they’ve never thought of quitting or doing anything else,” Bonomo said. “One day it hit me: Wow, what a great story. I think I want to tell it.”

The Daily Isthmus interviews Heather Mansfield of the Brunettes.

One of the things that many people might not know, is the New Zealand government provides assistance to musicians and artists.

Yes, the government at the moment, because of Helen Clark, our Prime Minister, has the Creative NZ program, which gives money to do certain projects. They are basically like grants that you can get -- our manager would know more about this! -- but I know there are specific criteria and things that you go for.

Us getting over here [to the States] is due to receiving help from the government. They'll meet us halfway. We have an amount that we can spend, which we have to prove in receipts and things, and then we get reimbursed up to that amount. That gets eaten up pretty quickly with just, you know, renting a van. And there is also a New Zealand on air grant, which is used for music videos. [One of New Zealand's basic, non cable channels is C4, a continuous music channel similar to MTV2 or MuchMusic, which focuses on music videos and music news.] There are all criteria for specific things.... It gets somewhat complicated!

Iron and Wine's Sam Beam talks to Austin360.

"He doesn't consider himself a Southern artist. "Yeah, I enjoy Southern writers, but no more so than Vonnegut or anyone else. I grew up in the suburbs. That's why Spielberg's movies did so well. 'E.T.'s' neighborhood was like everybody's neighborhood. My South was not like Faulkner novels."

JamBase interviews Animal Collective's Josh Dibb.

To my ears, Animal Collective makes pop music [read: Todd Rundgren or Squeeze not Britney or Beyonce]. Mutant, sometimes delightfully wrong pop music but pop just the same. Whatcha think of them apples?

We certainly think of it that way. I don't think people have always seen it that way, especially on some of our earlier albums like Danse Manatee. To us, all of our music has always been rooted in our mutual love and appreciation for melody and structure, even if it has been in a way that has been difficult for a lot of people to hear.

Duke's Chronicle interviews Avey Tare from the band.

Paste gathers the online discussion of the controversy surrounding CMJ and its use of Sonicbids to solicit band nominations for the fall NYC music festival.

The Wall Street Journal interviews author Cory Doctorow. On Boing Boing, you and the other bloggers take up certain causes, like DRM and copyright law. Is it a meaningful soapbox? Is it having an effect?

Mr. Doctorow: We helped take down a member of Parliament in Canada last year. That was pretty cool. It was a member of Parliament who had a terrible conflict of interest over her stance on copyright, and she lost her seat after we and a group of activists outed her for taking money from the people she was supposed to be regulating. She was a multi-term incumbent who had every chance of getting back into office. That's just one example of many, many, many. There are lots of ways in which we've made changes.

NPR is streaming last night's Rilo Kiley Washington performance.

Willamette Week profiles the city's resident comic book artists.

Minnesota Public Radio's the Current features the Weakerthans with an interview and in-studio performance, while NPR's All Things Considered profiles the band.

The University of Colorado at Denver Advocate interviews guitarist Stephen Carroll.

What's the biggest stylistic change between Reconstruction Site and Reunion Tour?

I had a lot of trouble seeing a difference between the records. I don't think we are ever doing things on purpose. I never really know what the style is-what kind of music we're making. I've got such a bad perspective. I just see the songs as jumbled parts and idiosyncratic moments where I'm fixated on one part. It makes it difficult to see them as stylistic. If anything was different, it was the process: a lot of the arrangements we made up on the spot through the microphones and the headphones whereas Reconstruction Site was a little more planned out.

also at Largehearted Boy:

2007 Austin City Limits Music Festival downloads
this week's CD releases


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