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October 24, 2007

Shorties

Author Tom Perrotta talks to the Los Angeles Times about his new novel, The Abstinence Teacher.

"It's easy to set up an ideological warfare novel," he said, describing his admiration for Updike's "Rabbit Redux," with the collision of its conservative title character, a hippie-chick suburban teenager and a black militant. "What's harder is to get somewhere, somewhere that's believable but doesn't just reproduce what you and your audience already know. Novels just insist somehow that the personal is really what determines our choices, even if they're structured by these larger issues."


Boise Weekly interviews Brent Knopf of Menomena.

Is there anything that inspires you musically or lyrically?

All of us would have a different answer. What inspires me is chocolate. But what I tend to write about are puzzles that I can't figure out ... I'm stuck between two choices I don't like and I'm trying to work my way around it. Or sometimes there's a situation where there's one thing over here and one thing over there and they don't seem to have anything to do with each other, but there are these bizarre parallels that converge in a weird way in a song.


Popmatters enthusiastically reviews Ween's new album, La Cucaracha.

Not since Chocolate & Cheese has there been a Ween album more directly LOL hilarious or sonically diversified than the band’s highly anticipated label debut on Rounder Records. Perhaps it was the idea of Dean and Gene renting out a 200-year-old farmhouse in their fabled hometown of New Hope, Pennsylvania, echoes of their humble beginnings of recording inside a horse farm shack they so lovingly dubbed “The Pod” (hence the title of their 1991 absurdist masterstroke), for the marathon recording session from which La Cucaracha that inspired this drastic resurgence of comedic prowess back into the Ween fray.


Crawdaddy! compares and contrasts singer-songwriters Joe Henry and Tom Waits.


The Phoenix reviews Ian Christe's Van Halen biography, Everybody Wants Some.

Good news from the literary delivery room: the ignoble genre of rock biography — mother of the rush job, the as-told-to, the hack encomium and the maniac screed — has just given birth to its first genuine comedy. Written in jubilant, elastic prose, Ian Christe’s Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga (Wiley) is a sort of Day-Glo fairy tale, in which a pair of bold young brothers take big chances for great rewards, and the Seven Deadly Sins circle with no more menace than the Seven Dwarves.


Harp interviews singer-songwriter John Vanderslice.

Why did you decide to call the new album Emerald City?

[I’m] really interested in film and The Wizard of Oz as a huge cultural touchstone in America; that’s in the background. But the foreground is the Green Zone in Baghdad and the illusory and absurd nature of having a heavily fortified coalition area in the middle of total anarchy. I think that’s so absurd and beautiful. You could boil the whole fading American empire situation into the Green Zone.


Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn talks to the Detroit Metro Times.

"That's a real thing I'm hung up on — the conversational quality of the songs," he says. "In fact, when we record, I won't read the lyrics [from a sheet]. I'll just look at them, and then go back to the mic. Because I want to basically remember what to sing. But I want to deliver it in a way that I would say it."

Finn talks to to NME about the band's next album.

"It sounds like the rest of our stuff. It's hard for me to tell what's different. I haven't finished lyrics at all. Writing a record to me is like doing a crossword puzzle, there's that last one on the bottom and once you get that one the rest of them get really easy. I don't have that one yet, but I have a lot of the other ones."


Wired offers a visual history of manga in America.


Cracked lists the 10 "most terrifyingly inspirational '80s songs."


Matt Pond talks to Harp about his new album, Last Light.

“I wrote this album in my tiny room in Brooklyn and didn’t talk to my friends,” says Matt Pond, about his band Matt Pond PA’s sixth album Last Light (Altitude). “You can’t get pure ideas with other people. That’s what sucks, and that’s the whole point of the record.”


Lullabyes is sharing mp3s of a recent performance by Denmark's Figurines.


TV Guide interviews actress Sarah Silverman (and I find we share an addiction, look for "largeheartedboy" on Scrabulous and we'll share a fix).

7) She's got a serious addiction. "Some­times you just wanna eat dinner, have fun and play Scrabble." Scrabble? "Jimmy and I are addicted to it. We end up playing an extra hour past the time that we say, 'This is ridiculous. We're not gonna be glad we played Scrabble till 3 in the morning.'"


Southern Shelter is sharing mp3s of this week's Atlanta performance by one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Vic Chesnutt.


Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features an in-studio performance by Rogue Wave.


NPR's All Things Considered interviews singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop.


T-shirts of the day: "(I Always Knew)" & "Wizards Are Gay" from Dumbledore Pride


NPR is streaming last night's Washington performance by Spoon and the Ponys.



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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