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November 17, 2007


Yesterday's additions to the constantly updated master list of online 2007 music lists:

Audio Overflow (top songs from bad albums)
Jack Noodle Journal (albums) (top albums)
KA-BLAM! (best songs)
Wolves, Kites, and Hawks (top unsung Canadian albums)

OC Weekly lists 10 crucial music websites.

The South Wales Echo interviews singer-songwriter Calvin Harris.

St. Vincent's Annie Clark talks to the Scotsman about her album, Marry Me.

Her album, she says, is partly about "romantic ideals, but also poking fun". The title track's peculiar chorus, "Marry me John, I'll be so good to you, you won't realise I'm gone" sprang from Clark's amused observation that pop music is full of songs by men that go "'I'm on the road, I'm a rambling man, you can't pin me down,' and there are so many songs by women to men that go, 'you're gone, or you're no good' or whatever. I'd just come off the road so I'd experienced that, so I kind of subverted it, consciously and unconsciously."

In the Boston Globe, Steve Almond reviews Michael Chabon's latest novel, Gentlemen of the Road.

The most striking aspect of the novel is its rococo style, which reads something like Kipling on steroids. Here is our introduction to Amram: "With his skin that was lustrous as the tarnish on a copper kettle, and his eyes womanly as a camel's, and his shining pate with its ruff of wool whose silver hue implied a seniority attained only by the most hardened men, and above all with the air of stillness that trumpeted his murderous nature to all but the greenest travelers on this minor spur of the Silk Road, the African appeared neither to invite nor to promise to tolerate questions."

The Montreal Gazette also reviews the book.

Chabon tackles the adventure genre with utmost conviction; there's not even a hint of an embarrassed, haughty wink anywhere. He writes with a confidence that bespeaks an intimate familiarity with and heartfelt love for the genre. He does, however, subvert it, by presenting his story from culturally diverse perspectives. The old pulps were rather focused on the Euro-American point of view. There's an engaged political sensibility at work here, shattering expectations and stereotypes relating to ethnicity, class, gender and even species.

Feministing interviews the owners of the oldest feminist bookstore in North America, Minneapolis's Amazon Bookstore.

Gothamist interviews James McNew of Yo La Tengo.

Billboard reports that Tapes N' Tapes has wrapped up recording their second album, due for a spring release.

The Los Angeles Times gets the literary world's response to the passing of Norman Mailer.

"Speaking as an editor, I don't think young novelists lack ambition; look at Michael Chabon," said Remnick. "But they're not inclined to do this other thing. They don't rotate their crops in quite the same way, don't generally see it as their literary business to go to war, to immerse themselves in a political campaign. I think that's too bad."

The Telegraph examines the current crop of pop's "girls with guitars."

The Telegraph interviews author Sebastian Faulks, then offers a "culture diagnosis" and prescribes a book, film, and music selections.

CNET's review of the Zune mp3 player is titled, "A Rant in 5 Parts."

Former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell talks to the Colorado Springs Gazette about his solo career.

His solo songs, recorded over the past four years from material that didn’t quite fit the Truckers mold, also demonstrate the musical gap between him and the band. His sound is less drunken and more clean and pop-friendly, he replaces some of the buzzing guitar sound with piano and pedal steel. He’s enjoying the freedom of playing in a more controlled band that allows him to roam around sonically, rather than trying like heck to keep the Truckers from running off the road. He describes his Truckers songs as very Southern, with clear, linear story lines told through third-person narrator shifts or unreliable firstperson narrators.

Chicagoist hints that the December 5th appearance of Kim and Kelley Deal at the Second City benefit might be a "one-off Breeders reunion."

CNET's Crave and CMJ examine RCRD LBL, an ad-supported mp3 blog.

The latest episode of the Bat Segundo Show literary podcast features an interview with author Ursula Hegi.

The Book Design Review lists its favorite book covers of the year.

also at Largehearted Boy:

2007 online music lists
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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