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October 23, 2007

Shorties

In Esquire, Chuck Klosterman explores the ramifications of ignoring the Harry Potter phenomenon.

I haven't read any of the books about him, nor have I seen any of the movies. I know the novels were written by a rich middle-aged British woman named J. K. Rowling with semi-lush hair, but I have no idea what the letters J and K represent. I don't know the name of the actor who portrays Harry Potter in the films, although I think he has eyeglasses. I don't know the names of any minor characters and I don't know the narrative arc of the plot. I don't know where the stories take place or if they are set in the past or the future. Somebody at a steakhouse recently told me that Harry Potter doesn't die at the conclusion of the seventh book (and that this detail was important), but I wasn't even aware he was sick.

see also: Klosterman's Largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlists for Chuck Klosterman IV and Killing Yourself to Live


Slate profiles Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman.


Cinema Blend interviews actor John Cusack.

Do you know what in advance—like when you picked High Fidelity, did you know it was going to be representative of a certain generation? Do certain scripts jump out at you as something special?

Yeah, or you work on them. Like with that one we adapted the book. I wrote it with my partner. We knew the book, and I thought, well, this tells the truth about men. This tells the truth about men our age at that time. You knew that that book is a generational, iconic book.


The Yale Daily News profiles a church that replaced their hymns with U2 songs.

A U2charist is an Episcopalian worship service that uses U2 songs to instill a message of compassion and hope within a traditional liturgy. The service aims to encourage attendees to work toward the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations, which promote worldwide development. U2’s lead singer Bono co-founded the ONE Campaign, which embraces the MDGs in its efforts to eliminate poverty.


Stylus interviews singer-songwriter Kevin Ayers.


My Old Kentucky Blog features several in-studio mp3s from Nada Surf.


The Roanoke Times examines the state of teen reading.


Drowned in Sound interviews members of Land of Talk.

Another indie-rocking Canadian band: do you fear any backlash at all now that we’ve been treated to so many excellent acts of a similar ilk from over there?

Liz: Wasn’t that ‘backlash’ like five years ago? I’d be worried if I didn’t think it was over. I think it’s over. I hope.

Chris: The only time we ever think about it is when we’re in interviews. You don’t really notice it when you are in Montreal – it’s not something you’re thinking about. But it’s funny, too, because you see all your friends, and everyone seems to be on tour now. It’s not something you are aware of.


Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger talks to NPR's Morning Edition about the music business.

"At the beginning of my career, we didn't make albums, really," Jagger says. "We used to make just songs, you know, and then eventually the album format came. I mean, there was a pre-rock period when singers with bands were doing them, like Frank Sinatra and Songs for Swinging Lovers , let's say. Then rock bands like Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd or The Rolling Stones created albums.

"But given the state of music-buying, I don't know how long this idea of making an hour and a half of music, in one thought process, is going to survive. I think in a lot of ways it's evolved — it's gone 'round in a huge circle."


KEXP is streaming an in-studio performance by Pinback at 1 pacific today.


Yo La Tengo bassist James McNew talks to the Washington Post's Express about the band's "freewheeling" tour.

"It's very different than the normal rock tour," said multi-instrumentalist James McNew. "Basically all the shows have begun with us deciding about a minute before we go on stage what the first song we're going to play is. Then the floor is open."


Drowned in Sound reviews Roadrunner Records.


The New York Times' The Lede blog gathers blogosphere reactions to the outed Dumbledore.


Idolator's Jess Harvell writes one of the best pieces of the year on blog-hype and indie bands.


NPR's Fresh Air interviews Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters.


No Love For Ned's streaming radio show features an in-studio set by Rock Plaza Central this week.



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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