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November 12, 2007


The A.V. Club lists 21 albums that would have been great EPs.

Sasha Frere-Jones examines the rebirth of punk rock in Los Angeles in the New Yorker.

Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter talks to the Independent.

He's not so much an instinctive songwriter, more a craftsman: he thinks very carefully about not just his songs - all of them written in the first person - but the overall themes of his albums, as well the instrumentation, the musicians, the producer and the location of the studio. Previous albums have been recorded in remote backwaters in Seattle and France, the latest in a farmhouse in Maine in midwinter. "I like rural places because I don't like distractions - no TV or video games," he says. "My instinct points me in the right direction, but then I want to be sure that what I'm doing has an intent to it - I think intent is the most important thing."

The New Yorker features new short fiction by Antonya Nelson.

Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There director Todd Haynes talks to the Observer.

'I wasn't that interested in, you know, the truth,' elaborates Haynes, sounding for a moment like his subject, 'nor in taking the straight biopic approach. Instead, I wanted to track Dylan's creative imagination and where it took him and how his life mirrored that imagination, or propelled it, or followed it. It's essentially my take on those moments in Dylan's development where his music and the events of his life intersected.'

Larry Doyle, former Simpsons writer and author of the novel I Love You, Beth Cooper, explains why television writers are striking in the New Yorker.

We are not in this for the money. Management would have you believe that we all make $200,000 a year. That’s funny. We wouldn’t even eat something that cost $200,000, unless it was actually $200,000, drizzled with truffle oil, the way Silvio makes it. Yum. The only reason we require payment at all is so we can support those little people we keep telling you about—the assistants, amanuenses, baristas, Rolfers, scarf carriers, and erotic muses we need to create our art. Oh, and our babies. And various charities.

Popmatters interviews Lou Reed about his album, Metal Machine Music.

Metal Machine Music is the greatest album ever made. It’s a stunning, epic, multi-layered work that’s retains its shock value 32 years after its initial release. You know what else is stunning? How Lou Reed described it to me when I asked him about it:

“It’s just kind of, ya know, a guitar solo.”

American Heritage interviews Judith Freeman, author of The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved.

Raymond Chandler has been imitated, parodied, and practically plagiarized for so long that his style of detective story has almost become a cliché. Yet somehow the work not only survives but stays fresh. Just about all his books have been in print continuously since they were published. What do you think it is about Chandler that endures?

The short answer is his brilliance, which is a multi-faceted thing. There’s his humor, for starters. As Christopher Isherwood observed, there’s fun in Chandler. He’s an immensely amusing writer, and readers connect with that wit. And yet he says some profound things about American society and the corruption in its institutions, how we’re a big, rough, rich, appetent society, and crime is the price we pay for our gluttony. His books contain that quality he most valued in writing, namely vitality, and it is a hard thing to fake if you don’t have it, which is why so many imitators fail.

Pitchfork interviews Craig Finn of the Hold Steady and Eddie Argos of Art Brut, and both discuss ther relationships with John darnielle of the Mountain Goats.

Argos: I met John at the Pitchfork festival, actually. It was weird because I'd been playing Mountain Goats constantly. And I said, "I'm so glad to meet you! I'm playing you lot constantly!" And then they said the same back to us! Like, aha! This is nice-- when you really like a band, and it turns out they like you too. You're doing the right thing.

Finn: That's one of the greatest things. If someone like John Darnielle says "God, that's a great lyric," you feel, "Whoa!" That's a great compliment. Where it's not like some college journalist saying "this album rocks!", you know? It carries a lot of weight. Like, John Samson from the Weakerthans, another one of my favorite lyricists. Right now-- I mean, Bob Dylan aside-- I feel like I know most of the really good lyricists personally. Like, they're in my phone. And that's a cool perk, I think. Obviously if you're into lyrics or rock'n'roll, you're out here doing it, making it your life...

My Old Kentucky Blog features an in-studio track by one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Alela Diane.

The Ultimate Bootleg Experience shares live mp3 performances (the last two posts have been Radiohead shows).

The Brazilian White Stripes fansite Jesus' Children of America is sharing several mp3 downloads of live performances by the band.

NPR's Morning Edition lists great science fiction and fantasy books.

The Miami New Times interviews author Evelyn McDonnell.

NT: On your Book Notes entry for your memoir, Mamarama: A Memoir of Sex, Kids and Rock’n’Roll you say “Some people fantasize about who will play them in the movie of their life. I think about the soundtrack” which was listed on the blog largehearted boy. But we have to ask the question you avoided -- who would you want to play you?

EM: I finally started watching Weeds, because everyone said I was Mary Louise Parker kind of mom. I’d also like Angelina Jolie, because then the movie would be a box office gold.


Willamette Week interviews Farel Dalrymple, the artist collaborating with Johnathan Lethem on the comic book, Omega the Unknown.

Tell me about working with Jonathan Lethem.

It’s pretty unbelievable. It’s weird being a fan of someone’s work—I’ve had that happen a couple of times, meeting someone I grew up reading, and we’ve ended up talking and emailing, and it’s like, whoa, that’s kind of tripped out. That’s how I feel about Jonathan Lethem. It’s pretty incredible; he’s just this really nice guy. We’re both on different coasts, so we don’t really hang out much….

Lullabyes shares mp3s of Great Northern's recent Good Records in-store performance.

Southern Shelter is sharing mp3s of a recent Pylon live performance.

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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