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November 2, 2007


Harp previews Robert Pollard's December New York gallery show (art, not music).

The Westender interviews singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche.

Your music has evolved in the opposite direction of most artists. Why does this pursuit for greater simplicity continue to interest you?

After [second album] Two Way Monologue, I’d done two albums that were very much about what we could do in the studio in terms of production and arrangements — they were very layered and textured. So, my reaction to those were The Duper Sessions and Phantom Punch; in two different ways, those were about gathering the band in the studio and just playing. Not arranging or even manipulating — just getting the right atmosphere.

In the Guardian, Alex Petridis profiles singer-songwriter Bobb Trimble.

Twenty-five years after hawking his last album around local radio stations and record stores, Trimble finds himself in the unlikely position of being a globally acclaimed singer-songwriter. Both Iron Curtain Innocence and its follow-up Harvest of Dreams are about to be commercially released for the first time by Secretly Canadian, home to Antony and the Johnsons. His work has been garlanded with praise by fellow musicians - Animal Collective affiliate Ariel Pink is a fan, and after hearing Trimble's work, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore was moved to comment that music "doesn't get much realer than this" - while one British heritage rock magazine was so startled by the quality of Iron Curtain Innocence that it wondered aloud how anything so good could be so obscure, and whether somebody wasn't making the whole story up. Perhaps, it suggested, "some massive and elaborate hoax is being perpetrated", a theory that earned them a rebuke from Kris Thompson, a fan and occasional musical collaborator who first encountered Trimble doing his best to promote Iron Curtain Innocence at his college's radio station: "He's for real, alright," he wrote, "or should I say, surreal."

Former Delgados singer Emma Pollock talks to the Independent about her solo album, Watch The Fireworks .

"I wanted to make it as eclectic as possible because I knew there was going to be only one vocalist. And that was already ironically a bit of a concern because I thought there's always been Alan and I – there's always been that contrast so I wanted to make sure the record wasn't too samey. And so one of the ways I could combat that was to write lots of different types of song – some with a full band, some stripped down."

The Denver Post examines Cartoon Network's Adult Swim series and its use of indie music.

"Adult Swim is one of the few platforms that actively promotes independent artists," said Amber Eagle, a 26-year-old Adult Swim fanatic who maintains a modest library of "Aqua Teen" and "Brak SHOW" DVD titles in her Capitol Hill apartment. "A lot of TV shows try to cash in on music that's already trendy and popular and don't really look toward lesser-known artists that are emerging - or even artists that are becoming 'the next best thing."'

Singer-songwriter Ted Leo talks songwriting withe the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.

"I try not to obscure the immediate references in songs. But at the same time, I'm not trying to write the kind of screed that you'd find on the op-ed page of a newspaper," says Leo. "I'm trying to ask bigger questions that are prompted by these specific smaller incidents. Even at their most specific, the issues in the songs are somewhat universal and probably ongoing. Songs that scream about Bush and Blair, or that screamed about Thatcher and Reagan, they're not really about them, they're about the larger issues and ideas that are angering people."

Spoon drummer Jim Eno talks to the Orlando Sentinel.

"For us, it has been a gradual climb," Eno says by phone from a tour stop in Nashville, Tenn. "We haven't had the type of success where you have a song on radio and things have blown up. It seems like business as usual. More people are finding out about us, and it seems like a word-of-mouth thing. With every record, the crowd gets bigger."

Matt Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces to NYU's Washington Square News.

"It's fun to have people take whatever they want out of it and listen to it in a way that you don't understand at all," he said, adding that this disparity is the most gratifying part of his fans' understandings of his songs. The Fiery Furnaces thrive on examination from different points of view, giving the music the depth that constantly intrigues listeners.

Popmatters examines why Dennis Wilson's classic album Pacific Ocean Blue remains out of print.

The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle explains the band's live performances to the Aspen Times.

“I think people are sometimes surprised by how much emphasis we place on having a good time. People expect the dude who writes dour songs about divorce to be dour in person, I guess. But making music is pure joy, so the live experience is kinda wringing joy from dour songs,” Darnielle wrote in an e-mail interview last week.

Kottke interviews Douglas Wolk about his book, Reading Comics.

see also: Wolk's Largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlist for the book

The McGill Daily interviews John K. Samson of the Weakerthans.

Masslive's Sound Check blog interviewed me.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune lists 12 great local albums on eMusic.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features an in-studio performance by Art Brut.

The New York Daily News interviews comic book artist Jeffrey Brown.

How do you go about writing your books? Do you keep a diary or a sketchbook? Or do you write from memory?

JB: No, I always try to write from memory and I always try to use memory as an editor. So when I'm thinking of something like a relationship, or whatever, then I'm letting my memory tell me what the important things were. Once I start writing down what stories I might include, then that can jog my memory about other things. I'll spend some time before I actually start drawing, just figuring out what I'm going to include, but I don't keep a diary and I try not to let the idea that I might write about something interfere with what's happening in the moment. So for the most part, I've written about stuff that happened relatively in the past. Part of it, too, is that I keep sketchbooks and so sometimes when I go back and look I can remember what's going on the days I drew certain things. So it's kind of a roundabout way of remembering certain things, but for the most part I just stick to what I can remember.

Singer-songwriter (and comic book artist) Jeffrey Lewis answers Drowned in Sound reader questions with comic panels.

The Futurist features a couple of mp3s from the recent WOXY Lounge Act performance by Superdrag.

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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