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October 1, 2007


Singer-songwriter Steve Earle explains his move to New York to the Globe and Mail.

"I wanna be in a place, when I get older, where I feel at home. I'm totally okay with being one of these old commies with a walker that I run into between here and the deli in my neighbourhood. I think this place will keep me younger, longer, but I'm totally okay with growing old like that. Washington Square Serenade is a very folky record. I'm living in a neighbourhood that my job was invented in. The only place I can think of that had more to do with the development of the modern singer-songwriter than this four-block area I live in is probably Canada. The idea of the singer-songwriter as mainstream acts stuck, in Canada, in a way that it didn't in the United States. Joni and Neil and people like that. And Lightfoot. There's also Murray McLauchlan, and Ian Tyson, who I have nothing in common with politically, but I still think is one of the greatest songwriters that ever lived."

The Guardian profiles singer-songwriter Manu Chao.

Chao remains one of the few musicians who can fill stadiums while remaining an activist. "Everyone should be an activist," he says."The world's getting worse and we all need to engage in making things better. Just don't call me a leader. Leaders get corrupted. And don't call me 'world music' - that's a neo-colonial label you British and Americans like to use for music not sung in English."

Pitchfork interviews Sam Beam of Iron and Wine.

The Washington Post recaps last weekends National Book Festival, noting the surprising comedy of Joyce Carol Oates.

Stylus lists the top ten ways to make better records.

The New Yorker features a new story by Tessa Hadley, "Married Love."

Magnolia Electric Co.'s Jason Molina talks to the Boston Globe about his latest album, the box set Sojourner.

"I find myself writing always toward a complete record or song cycle," says Molina, noting that on "Sojourner" he's emphasizing themes of "dislocation, search, and losing the search." "The box set concept allowed me to use songs that I felt were strongly related, and I did not have to purge what otherwise might be key songs from the group simply to fit onto a single record."

In the New Yorker, Sasha Frere-Jones profiles the Hives.

Five Chapters has redesigned its website, and has a new short story by David Shickler this week.

Southern Shelter taped and is sharing the Sea and Cake's Atlanta performance.

Why make a character that depressed and hypercritical the center of your first long story?

I think he’s better suited to a longer work. If I tried to depict him in a shorter piece, it could be a quick and shallow glimpse of a jerk, or I could do some lame O. Henry twist and show him cuddling a kitten at the very end. I tend to cut people slack in ways that other people might not. If someone is a great artist or a really funny guy or really insightful in some way, it won’t bother me if they’re also an asshole.

A Nashville Scene columnist went to dinner with author Salman Rushdie, who surprisingly (to me, at least) is a baseball fan.

Then the conversation meandered in a far more provocative direction, when after being asked how he likes living in New York City, Rushdie let it slip that he's become an ardent Yankee fan. I challenged him: surely a newcomer to the politics of Big Apple baseball, one known worldwide for speaking truth to tyrannical power, would easily prefer the underdogs in Queens to the totalitarians (indeed, the "bombers") in the Bronx. "I like the overdog," Rushdie replied with an impish grin.

New York magazine interviews cartoonist Adrian Tomine of Optic Nerve fame.

Members of Earl Greyhound talks to JamBase.

Earl Greyhound has a very raw feel. "It's really our courage and conviction to stay true to our sound and discover what our sound is," explains Whyte. Their genuine approach to making music leaves an instant impression on the listener. Coming from New York City, the band has had to work hard to achieve what they've accomplished. "The context of New York is very do or die. The energy there is so fast," says Thomas. "It really forced me to focus. You can use that energy for what you're wanting to do."

NPR is streaming last night's Okkervil River Washington performance.

Oregon Public Broadcasting features an in-studio performance by singer-songwriter Nyles Lannon.

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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