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November 7, 2007


Steven Hall, author of The Raw Shark Texts, puts his iPod on shuffle for the A.V. Club.

see also: Hall's Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for the novel

The winner of the hockey song contest has been named, but there is still time to help my wife pick out a birthday present for me (and possibly win some birthday-related prizes).

The South African Star lists "everything you ever wanted to know about pop" from A to Z.

Bobb Trimble talks to the Boston Globe about his two recently reissued influential albums, Iron Curtain Innocence and Harvest of Dreams.

"It was such an intense production," he says of the reissues, which are finally getting their due more than two decades after Trimble self-released them. "It's taking something and making it more, like, modernized. I wouldn't say slick, just really well done. It sounds just the same only better. It sounds phenomenal."

The Ottawa Citizen lists the top ten musical geniuses.

Newcity Chicago interviews Caribou’s Dan Snaith and his latest album, Andorra.

As your career has progressed you’ve included more and more vocals in the songs. Why do you think that is? Are you more comfortable singing now, or do you just have more to say?

I wanted this album to be pop songs and to be emotive. It's not about the words but more about being able to carry emotion uniquely by singing as compared to other instruments.

The New York Sun is less than impressed by Michael Chabon's new novel, Gentlemen of the Road.

Somehow, though, "Gentlemen of the Road" remains frustratingly torpid. There are surprisingly few cliffhangers, even though the genre demands it, and, while the book began as a serialization for the New York Times Magazine, there seems little intrigue to have retained readers from week to week. Amram and Zelikman are more ruminative than swaggering, animated more by despondence than by brio. They engage in violence and deceit only regrettably.

My Old Kentucky Blog features several exclusive in-studio Cryptacize tracks.

The San Jose Mercury News profiles legendary singer Bettye Lavette about her frustrating music career.

"It was extremely frustrating," LaVette says on the phone from her home in New Jersey. "I mean, especially since these were all people you think of as legendary now, and I've known them either drunk or broke or naked, or all three."

Drowned in Sound interviews members of Asobi Seksu.

A lot of people have been saying how you buck the trends of shoegaze (which you're apparently in thrall to) by actually being upbeat which, musically, is fairly true. One look at the lyrics nullifies that though.

JH: That is something we really like in general. I like it in life, in movies, everything. And you made it farther than most people before mentioning shoegaze, man!
YC: We like that juxtaposition. Even people like Mozart…
JH: Mozart?!
YC: Yeah, whenever he was really depressed he would write a really happy song.
JH: Oh, yeah. Fair enough.

WXPN's World Cafe features singer-songwriter Steve Earle with an in-studio performance and interview.

CCSU's The Recorder interviews Band of Horses frontman Ben Bridwell.

Karyn: Random question, I heard that Ford and Wal-Mart are getting a taste of Band Of Horses, would you care to elaborate on that? (Side note: Ford recently licensed the song “Is There A Ghost” for usage in a commercial and licensed another to be used on Wal-Mart’s website.)

Ben: The Wal-Mart one, I didn’t think anyone would actually see it, their website thing or even a TV commercial, so at that time I was just like eh, why not, who cares? I got to make a living, I got a job to do just like everyone else, everyone works for somebody. I have some friends that actually do work at Wal-Mart. It’s been beaten to a pulp now, everyone commenting on it as well. Everyone is entitled to making their own decisions and my decision to accept a campaign like that was to take care of my family, and to live in the moment of a world that seems unreal at times anyways. I’ll be dead at some point, so why not accept the opportunities that I have and make the best of them?

The A.V, Club lists 21 good books that need to be great films, like now and 20 Good Books Made Into Not-So-Good Movies.

That Truncheon Thing's Classic Bootleg Series continues with an mp3 download of the Beach Boys' SMiLE.

The A.V. Club interviews author Alice Sebold.

Discover magazine lists the 5 best and worst science based movies of all time.

The A.V. Club interviews Yann Martel, author of The Life of Pi.

AVC: What kinds of concerns do you have about Pi becoming a film?

YM: It has to work. The language of prose is very different than the language of cinema, so the movie has to successfully translate what was in the book. I've read the screenplay, it does do that. But what works in a story is very different than what works in cinema. For example, dialogue in books: If you translate it too faithfully, it sounds a little stilted, because we often don't speak the way we speak in novels. Oral language is much punchier, shorter sentences. Often, things are not finished. And also, whereas in a book, you get the words and you have to imagine the tone and all that, in a movie, it's given to you. So the tone has to be right.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features an in-studio performance by former Clean guitarist David Kilgour. interviews author Christopher Moore.

Drowned in Sound interviews Will Sheff of Okkervil River.

So, as for hard subjects, how about anger? Is this an angry record? I feel that there is a sort of depressive anger, one not devoid of hopefulness in anyway but definitely cynical to its discursiveness, mind you?

Well, I don’t think it’s an angry record in the way that our last record, Black Sheep Boy, was angry. That was an angrier, more passionate record in that regard. I think there’s maybe a quality of disillusion or disappointment to it, but I think that quality exists in equal measure to a kind of joy and playfulness.

T-shirt of the day: "Are You Social?"

Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste talks to NPR's Morning Edition about recording in a house.

"You end up using everything from the house, so little cricks and creaks and recording in the hallway here," Droste said. "We used the same old slightly out-of-tune piano, and there were pots from the kitchen used for percussion. There's little creaking chairs here and there."

Happy belated birthday to my favorite internet radio show host, No Love For Ned, whose in-studio band performances have been an inspiration to many bloggers.

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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