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October 26, 2007

Shorties

Entertainment Weekly interviews Dave Eggers about his novel, What Is the What (just out in paperback).

The book is billed as both an autobiography and a novel. So how much of it is fact and how much is fiction?

Valentino was very, very young when so much of the book took place. If you or I were asked to write a very detailed memoir of our time when we were 6 or 7, in the middle of an ongoing war, it would be really hard. So when we did our interviews and I transcribed the tapes, I found that it didn't bring us any closer to what we already knew. His memories were spotty. It didn't transcend the human rights reports that were already out there, and I wanted this to have a deeper, wider scope, and I really wanted it to bring the country, and the town, and Valentino and his family, to life. As Valentino explains it, he's not a writer, but I was. It's just like how, if he wanted a film made of the book, he'd hire a filmmaker.


Don't forget to enter the Funeral Song Contest, the deadline is Monday at noon.


Tapes 'n Tapes frontman Josh Grier talks to the Pioneer Press about the band's next album.

On the sound of the new songs: "For me, it sounds more like us as a band, playing the songs live. That was really important to me. I think it has more open rocking to it. For the most part, we tried to stick to something we could reproduce live with four dudes playing their instruments. There's a few random sounds in there - Dave has a lot of toys in his studio. But we tried not to be too self-indulgent. There are no Freddie Mercury arrangements."


The Guardian reports that skinny ties are back in style.

Pete Doherty also wears them lariat slender. Emo kids are wearing them decorated with "ironic" piano keys. Dermot O'Leary is wearing skinny ties on ITV1's X Factor. Jon Snow is rocking positively anorexic jobs virtually every night on the Channel 4 news. In short, ties have gone all size zero on us. Perhaps even more significantly, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that New York's menswear business is taking a distinctly narrow view on ties. "Soccer star David Beckham and American Idol host Ryan Seacrest have been sporting narrower ties in public lately, helping to push the biggest return to skinny ties in three decades."


The Northwest Herald interviews Tad Kubler of the Hold Steady.

You got a ton of praise for “Boys & Girls in America.” Do you feel it’s your best record?

I don’t know. To date? Yes, it’s our best record. But we’ll be going back into the studio by the end of the year to make the next record. Then I hope that’ll be our best record.


The Guardian examines "the most hated album in jazz," On the Corner by Miles Davis.


Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers talks to the Washington Post's Express about the band's next album.

"The new record's kind of all over the map," he explained. "A couple of songs sound like they could've come off of country records from the early '60s. And a couple of songs are almost Stooges/MC5 primal stomp. [There's] almost a Howlin' Wolf influence on one song."


Members of the Arcade Fire talk to the Guardian about the band's success.


Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara talks to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

“We knew instinctually how to make music. We somehow knew that we would be able to succeed. There was a relaxed faith in what I was doing. As soon as I picked up the guitar, I started writing songs. To this day, when I write songs, it's still this very strange chemical reaction that I can't really explain.”


In the Los Angeles Times, Ann Powers lists her favorite albums of the year.


The San Francisco Chronicle profiles Scissors for Lefty, and includes a delightfully irreverent interview.


PJ Harvey talks to the Los Angeles Times about her new album, White Chalk.

"It's storytelling through song," she said, mentioning that she wrote 50 or 60 tunes before whittling "White Chalk" down to 11 that stood both on their own and as one. "My life's work is the study of that. When I'm not physically writing songs, all I do really is read about song craft, gather as much information as I can. I look at meter and stanza, I go back to all the poetic forms and shapes."


Guardian readers recommend songs about night and darkness.


NOW Toronto attends a party for Penguin Canada's authors.

Actor turned novelist David Thewlis, here with his debut fiction, The Late Hector Kipling, stayed on the back patio so he could smoke, where he was mostly left alone - typical of the Canadian response to celebrity. I asked him the difference between film parties and literary parties, and he was quick to offer, "At film parties, you can recognize just about every face there. Here, there could be the world's greatest genius behind you and you'd never know it."


The Brooklyn Paper interviews Sufjan Stevens about his classical composition, "The BQE."

GO: You’ve said that your goal is to release albums about each of the 50 states. Does the music of “The BQE” cover Brooklyn’s contribution to New York?

SS: In some ways this is all part of the greater plan, and it’s part of the grand scope of the project: evoking a national identity. It’s also a divergence, because it’s not under the constructs of a state album. I’m not intending to evoke the sounds of Brooklyn or simulate those sounds through a musical piece because this is specifically about a Brooklyn anomaly, something that exists in spite of Brooklyn. I find literally that the sounds of the BQE are very different than the sounds of Brooklyn, of the streets and neighborhoods. It’s very metallic; it’s hydraulics and brakes and this sort of repetitive hum of traffic. It’s a big party of sounds.


Time reviews Michael Chabon's new book, Gentlemen of the Road (the novel he serialized in the New York Times).

Chabon is playing a double game here: he's a Pulitzer winner with the verbal chops of a mandarin writing in the voice of a junk-sick 1950s pulp hack who dreams of being a Pulitzer winner. He seems to find the masquerade liberating. For once he never has to stop the action or worry about the prose being too purple or not purple enough.

The Seattle Times also reviews the book.


Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features an in-studio performance by singer-songwriter Matthew Dear.


Southern Shelter features mp3s of another recent Vic Chesnutt performance.


A Whole Lotta Nothing ponders the future of the music business.


WXPN's World Cafe features the Metric with an in-studio perfprmanec and an interview.



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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