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October 10, 2007


Business Week examines the future of record labels.

It doesn't help that the same companies have been antagonizing music consumers for years with pricey CDs, rights-management restrictions, and file-sharing lawsuits. "They can't even make a product you can open," says Brandon Kessler, founder of Messenger Records, a small New York City label. "Can you imagine going to the store and buying a carton of milk you can't get open? It's infuriating. There's such a lack of knowledge of their customer."

Jesu's Justin Broadrick talks to the Daily Texan.

"I adore dreamy, vague and choral style vocals. I'm really influenced by the use of vocals in dub reggae and dub's use of delayed/echoed voice. It appears infinite and soaring A­- something I'm really attracted to," Broadrick said.

Playwright Tom Stoppard profiles Syd Barrett for Vanity Fair.

Beirut frontman Zach Condon talks to Paste about the band's new album, The Flying Club Cup.

He’s floating through limbo right now, having finished a new album—the sweepingly melancholy Flying Club Cup—stuffed with arrangements for the umpteen instruments for which he’s compelled to compose, yet with no clue how an actual band will translate this complex, aching, resplendent stuff to the stage. Some songs feature as many as 14 instruments, way more musicians than Condon can afford to take on the road, even if that egalitarian Decemberists/Arcade Fire omni-band thing continues catching on. I make a joke about hiring a mariachi outfit instead, and Condon raises his eyebrows. “It’s funny you say that. I thought about getting a really good mariachi band from New Mexico, and get me in a suit just singing the songs.”

Popmatters reviews the album.

On this disk, Beirut is a one trick pony, albeit one with a pretty good trick. All the songs are essentially based on a four- or eight-bar series of chords that restlessly loop back on themselves. Their moods are confined to a narrow compass, too, either a mournfully minor or wistfully major.

The New York Times reviews the Joy Division biopic, Control.

Joy Division’s two albums were artifacts of their time that became permanent fixtures in the pop universe, available to any listener with a good reason to want a few minutes of voluptuous bad feeling. In tracing them back to their origins, Mr. Corbijn resists the temptation to pile on the evocative period details or to wallow in nostalgia for the early days of the Manchester scene. Shot in a pale, Nouvelle Vague black-and-white palette, “Control” manages to be both stylized and straightforward, avoiding overstatement even as it generates considerable intensity.

Entertainment Weekly interviews the film's director, Anton Corbijn.

You're very much associated with Joy Division, who burned brightly and then burnt out with Ian's death, but you're also associated strongly with U2, who are one of the most enduring bands of the last 25 years. Any similarities between the two?

I think U2 always had a sense of purpose, whereas I feel Joy Division found the sound they wanted very early on. They both come from the same punk influences that inspired a lot of people back then to start something, even if they couldn't play. Joy Division couldn't play when they started. I know Bono is a great fan of Joy Division, and he met Ian Curtis, and he was very supportive of me doing the film.

Crawdaddy! profiles Jim O'Rourke.

His extensive movie resume includes scoring for Werner Herzog, and he’s produced albums for John Fahey, Smog, Joanna Newsom, and Stereolab, among others. He’s made his own short films and they’ve been seen in the Netherlands at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2005 and in the U.S. at the Whitney Biennial in ’04 and ’06. He played for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (one of the top modern dance companies in the world) for four years in collaboration with composer Takehisa Kosugi. This past September, just to keep things fresh, O’Rourke’s cover of the Spice Girls’ “Viva Forever” came out on the Guilt by Association compilation—a record of guilty pleasure covers by indie artists.

The No Love For Ned streaming radio show features a live set by the Lucksmiths this week.

Drowned in Sound reviews Radiohead's new album, In Rainbows.

Nothing But Green Lights liveblogged the disc's release.

NME offers a brief history of the band.

Pitchfork's Guide to Radiohead's In Rainbows

T-shirt of the day: "Whippet Good"

Hypebot lists the top 5 sites for DRM-free music (and two dishonorable mentions).

KEXP features a streaming in-studio performance from Film School at 4:30 pacific this afternoon.

Things I'd Rather Be Doing interviews former Feelies frontman Glenn Mercer about his criminally overlooked new solo album, Wheels in Motion.

The Feelies were always known for inspired covers, and you uncork a couple here with your George Harrison medley. What led you to that choice, particularly the decision to fuse the two songs together?

I had jammed on “Within You/Without You” and it felt like something that could be arranged for western/electric instruments. I thought it was interesting that it was the least well-known song on a very well-known album. Also, the lyrics seem to fit the overall mood of the record. Adding “Love You To” was almost an afterthought. The two songs just seemed to fit together and made it more unique. When I first started recording, I hadn't yet heard the smash-up from the Beatles Love album, or Patti Smith's version. If I had, I might not have chosen to record it. I guess the song was in our collective conscience at the time.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian profiles Damon & Naomi.

When I ask the two by e-mail why they are continually drawn to downbeat melodies, Yang replies that it's "the most melancholy records in our collection that get the most play — in some ways I think that you need to really appreciate the melancholy, the fleeting, to appreciate happiness."

Bostonist interviews Jonathan Messinger, author of the short fiction collection Hiding Out.

Is it easier writing short stories, then? You are also working on a novel, but why the short-story format?

I love short stories. I love the idea of being able to get in, tell a story, hit a moment, and really investigate that one moment, and get out. As far as the Dollar Store goes, I've written a lot of short stories because I've been doing the Dollar Store for three years now, and that format fits the show best. In the book, half the stories are from the Dollar Store. I've always had an affection for the short story. I am working on a novel, and it's been fun, but it's a little more unwieldy in a good way.

Look for Messinger's Book Notes essay for the collection later this week on Largehearted Boy.

The Oxford American charts the meteoric rise of Annuals (with help of the online music community).

and the help the online music community

PW Comics Week interviews Percy Carey (aka MF Grimm) about his autobiographical graphic novel, Sentences: The Life of M.F. Grimm.

PWCW: Your life as a hip-hop artist parallels the growth of hip-hop as an art form and social phenomenon. Did you plan to do the book as an informal history of hip-hop as seen through your eyes?

PC: I didn’t necessarily plan it. Hip-hop is a part of the book because it is such a deep part of my life. But hip-hop, like many things in my life, was something that I took for granted.

Minnesota Public Radio's the Current features an ion-studio performance by singer-songwriter John Vanderslice.

Drowned in Sound interviews Sam Genders of Tunng.

Pitchfork has the tracklist for the Believer's annual music issue.

Stephen Colbert talks to NPR's All Things Considered about his new book, I Am America (And So Can You!).

"I don't expect anyone to read this book. If they buy it, well, my job is done. I'm not a huge fan of books. I am a huge fan of sales," Colbert says.

NPR is streaming last night's Josh Ritter Washington performance.

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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