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October 16, 2007

Shorties

This week, Five Chapters is serializing a new story by Stewart O'Nan.


The Houston Chronicle interviews Earlimart's Aaron Espinoza.


Pitchfork gathers fan reactions to Radiohead's In Rainbows.


NME reports that Radiohead's OK Computer has been transformed into a radio play.


Entertainment Weekly interviews Tom Perrotta about his latest book, The Abstinence Teacher.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was the genesis of your new book?

TOM PERROTTA: There's a coalescing of things to make a novel, but the real energy came out of the 2004 election. The conventional wisdom was that George Bush had been reelected by evangelical morals voters, and I didn't know those people. I felt a little ashamed of myself as a novelist that I had somehow managed to miss the story, that I had not investigated this thing. So that was a kind of wake-up call for me. I was just like, I've got to write about this. I didn't understand America — or that part of America.


Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche discusses some of his favorite songs with the Columbus Dispatch.

Via Chicago (Summerteeth, 1999)

"It's such a unique song. It's a simple ballad, but there are these moments of complete sonic chaos happening in the drum and guitar parts. I think it's just great dichotomy that's super-bizarre."


The new version of the Hype Machine music blog aggregator has launched. Check out the new page for Largehearted Boy, and explore the new social networking aspects.


PLAYBACK:stl interviews Nick Abadzis, author of the graphic novel Laika.

There are modern bands named after Laika, songs about Laika, and sci-fi novels where Laika survives. Why do you think Laika's story has become such a pop culture touchstone?

She's the first living being from Earth in orbit. She went further and higher and faster than anyone had before. Plus, she was a pooch. She was a cute dog. Dogs catch people's imagination. Man's best friend and all that. That's a given. She's also got a great and catchy name.


KEXP is streaming live performances from CMJ this morning (all times are pacific):

Harlem Shakes (LIVE in NYC) Tuesday October 16, 7:00am
Pela (LIVE in NYC) Tuesday October 16, 9:00am
Eagle Seagull (LIVE in NYC) Tuesday October 16, 11:00am
The Hold Steady (LIVE in NYC) Tuesday October 16, 1:00pm
Kiran Ahluwalia Tuesday October 16, 7:00pm


The Cornell Daily Sun interviews John Collins pf the New Pornographers.

Sun: How do the songwriters in the band each know what’s a New Pornographers song and what is a song for their other projects? Like Carl has put out a solo record and Dan does Destroyer, so how do they know what’s a New Pornographers song?

J.C.: Dan told me a little while ago that now it seems like before he writes a Destroyer record, he has to come up with maybe three or four Pornographers songs. As soon as he starts writing, he seems to write Pornographers songs first, and then once he’s kinda got his mojo going, then he can move on and write his own band’s songs. So he just basically decides what he wants to give to the Pornographers. I’m not exactly sure what his criteria is, but he usually has a bit of a theme for his own records, and there’s a certain kind of something that is a Pornographers song in Dan’s songs.


The San Francisco Bay Guardian reviews The Confessions of Rick James: Memoirs of a Super Freak.

But let's be frank, people: a literary triumph it ain't. So, when I say that he's "giving it to us straight," what I really mean is: "scribbling down the memories as soon as they wobble out of the freebase fog, without a moment's thought to word choice or sentence structure." Trust me, there's not a thesaurus or an editor in sight. We're talking direct brain-to-page transmission here, which sometimes makes for wincingly fascinating results. But hey, I guess we can't always put a "special vibe" on everything we do?


SFist interviews Alex Ross, author of The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century.

It seems that as of right now, we're in an especially rich period for classical music, and a particularly bleak one for mainstream pop music. What lessons could the pop music community learn from the contemporary classical one?

I’m not sure about that. A pop world that includes Björk, Radiohead, and Missy Elliott and Timbaland is far from dead or dull. But I do think there’s a peculiarly intense energy coming out of classical music right now, especially as practiced by young musicians and composers who are itching to break through to a wider audience or simply to express themselves with new urgency to the one that’s already there.


Paste's band of the week is the Mobius Band.

Fun Fact: The photo of the apple-eating woman gracing the cover of Mobius Band’s latest, Heaven, was shot by John Vanderslice.
Why It's Worth Watching: “Circuit-bent keyboards” help create the band’s unique pop and electronica-infused sound.
For Fans Of: The French Kicks, Dismemberment Plan, The Postal Service


The Guardian's music blog declares 2007 has been a "stinker for indie rock."

In fact, it has been a lot like 1997, the year I found myself working at Melody Maker (RIP), when Britpop was croaking its last breath and Bentley Rhythm Ace and Cast inexplicably gained attention every week. A decade on and 'indie' is a thriving lifestyle concept perfect for selling shampoo, phones, Hollyoaks and credit cards - and therefore artistically long dead and more discernibly derivative than ever.


Cracked has John Frusciante list the 15 most ill-advised career reinventions in rock music history.


Drowned in Sound interviews Iron and Wine's Sam Beam.

One thing I’d like to clear up. You’re well known for singing in a hushed vocal. I’d read somewhere that this came about from often recording late at night and not wanting to wake the family up - which is pretty hilarious. Is this true?

(Laughs) That’s kind of a myth. It’s definitely part of it, but it’s more along the lines of the subject matter of the songs. I felt it was appropriate. But also the limitation of my voice itself, you know… I can’t really belt it out too hard like some people. I felt more interested in what the song was about, or roughly about, and the delivery I felt was important. I also like the idea of a quiet kind of energy. I mean, it could be really energetic, but on a lower level that draws people in. Hopefully it does - it does for me.


T-shirt of the day: "Justified and Amplified"



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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