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September 30, 2007


Singer-songwriter Nellie McKay talks to the Boston Globe.

The Buffalo News chooses the Arcade Fire as "the next Bruce Springsteen."

The Philadelphia Inquirer defends the importance of newspaper book reviews.

The Seattle Times examines album leaks, free music online, and the ethics of music downloaders.

Music fans who download unauthorized album leaks defend their actions, even when the music they are downloading is of an artist they like and want to support.

"I have justified it by going to live shows when the band is in town," said Dan Murphy, a 30-year-old student from Seattle. "More money goes directly to the artist that way, where they maybe get $1 for any record sale. But it's still wrong. It's still stealing."

The New York Post asks Ira Glass to discuss some of the books in his library.

Among the Thugs

by Bill Buford

Buford becomes interested in soccer hooligans in London, but everything he thinks he knows about them is wrong. The book becomes about the pleasure of being part of a rampaging mob. It’s the kind of story I love, that starts about being something so specific and turns out to be this thing that’s huge and universal and human.

The Sacramento Bee offers its fall book preview.

Filter interviews Okkervil River frontman Will Sheff.

Okkervil River’s music is catchy, but it also holds up to a more intellectual appreciation. How do you hope people will experience your music? Who’s your ideal listener?

All kinds of people, I guess… I wanted these songs to be immediately enjoyable. In a lot of ways, we patterned this record after music that we’ve found immediately enjoyable through the years—old girl-groups, Motown, British-invasion sixties rock and roll, Phil Spector stuff. On the other hand, I wanted something that had a lot of depth to it and that rewarded repeated listens, that rewarded close attention to what’s happening lyrically. I get a little bit put off by things that seem to be all surface, and I also get a little bit put off by things that seem like they’re all about the words and don’t have anything to help you get to that meaning—to toss you down a little rope ladder.

KEXP is streaming an in-studio performance by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at noon pacific today.

Author Joan Didion discusses her critics with New York magazine.

“I don’t know,” she says. “Just what always enrages people about me. I . . . I . . . I . . . could sit down and make a list of things that I notice enrage people about me. To some extent it’s the way people thought about Clare Luce, except I’m not rich and I’m not right-wing. I’m not exactly on the same program as a lot of people. On the other hand, I seem to be perfectly happy. I lead a very conventional life. I don’t lead a writer’s life. And I think that can be a source of suspicion and irritation to some people. This was more true when I was living in California, when I didn’t lead a writer’s life at all."

CNET's Crave blog reviews the Amazon mp3 store.

The Charlotte Observer reviews Brock Clarke's latest novel, An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England.

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

Congratulations to my southern homeboy Rich Vining at Cable & Tweed for being named Creative Loafing's best Geogia-based music blog.

NPR's All Things Considered profiles Cities of Refuge, an organization that takes in authors banned in their home countries.

NPR is streaming last night's Iron and Wine Washington performance.

The Guardian Hay Festival features an mp3 and video archive from the literary event.

Lullabyes taped and is sharing a 2004 show by the Good Life.

also at Largehearted Boy:

Daily Downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
this week's CD releases


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