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October 13, 2007

Shorties

The Rocky Mountain News profiles the digital music store Beatport.

Denver-based Beatport is still one of the hottest new music-download sites in the world, supplying dance clubs, DJs and music fans in 130 countries.


The Newark Star-Ledger interviews Pandora founder Tim Westergren about rising internet radio fees.

STAR-LEDGER: How do the new Internet radio royalty rates affect Pandora?

TIM WESTERGREN: If they don't change, they'll put us out of business. They went into effect in mid-July. Now we're negotiating to get them into some reasonable range. If we don't do that, we won't be able to continue.


The New York Times interviews Jenny Downham, author of the novel Before I Die.

Q. Many novels deal with the death of a child or sibling, but very few attempt the narrative from the point of view of the dying person. Were there any works of literature that were inspiring or useful to you, when it came to working out how to tell the story?

A. Susan Sontag’s “Illness as Metaphor” was very inspirational, as was Anatole Broyard’s “Intoxicated by My Illness” and Gillian Rose’s “Love’s Work.” I read a lot of poetry about bereavement and loss, finding particular inspiration in Raymond Carver’s collected poems, “All of Us.”


The Ottawa Citizen lists a primer on Bruce Springsteen "from A to Z."


Dark Roasted Blend interviews author Jeff VanderMeer.

Avi: First some genre definitions for our readers: what is it you write - is this fantasy? is this fantasy on drugs? is this Dostoevsky on drugs? Is this poetry in the prose form?

Jeff: Fantasy on drugs is surrealism or "visionary fiction". I go back and forth between terminology, because one person's fantasy is another person's dreck. One person's magic realism is another person's blech. Depending on who you're talking to and the context, you find that words mean very different things. But, really, what it is and should be is idiosyncratic, original, unique imaginative fiction.


Variety considers the changing nature of music reviews.

The immediacy of the Internet has changed the role of critic and consumers. Read a positive review, sample a song. Download it (legally or illegally), and within minutes decide if the critic was on the money.

There are pros and cons to this immediacy. When Leslie Feist's album was ready for release, she received a multitude of positive reviews. But those affected her sales far less than an iPod ad featuring Feist singing "1, 2, 3, 4." Without the ink, though, it's quite possible Apple's ad people would have never considered Feist and her work.


KEXP is streaming an in-studio performance by Sweden's Shout Out Louds at noon pacific today.


In the Wall Street Journal, Bill Watterson (cartoonist of Calvin and Hobbes fame) reviews the Charles Schultz biography, Schultz and Peanuts: A Biography.

Undoubtedly the most fascinating part of the book is the juxtaposition of biographical information and reproduced "Peanuts" strips. Here we see how literally Schulz sometimes depicted actual situations and events. The strips used as illustrations in "Schulz and Peanuts" are reproduced at eye-straining reduction and are often removed from the context of their stories, but they vividly demonstrate how Schulz used his cartoons to work through private concerns. We discover, for example, that in the recurring scenes of Lucy annoying Schroeder at the piano, the crabby and bossy Lucy stands in for Joyce, and the obsessive and talented Schroeder is a surrogate for Schulz.


Minnesota Public Radio's the Current is streaming an in-studio performance by the Fiery Furnaces.


Music critic Alex Ross talks to NPR's All Things Considered about his new book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century.

In his new book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, Alex Ross wonders why paintings by modernists such as Jackson Pollack sell for millions while challenging pieces of music, from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring onward, still make many listeners uneasy.


Drowned in Sound collects reader reactions to Radiohead's new album, In Rainbows.


NPR is streaming Steve Earle's Philadelphia 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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