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November 23, 2007


The San Francisco Bay Guardian profiles alt-country rockers Blanche.

Blanche is a quintet of old-school country-devotees who think like punks, write like O'Connor or William Faulkner, and sing like snake-oil salesmen, saloon floozies, and end-of-the-road auctioneers. Frequently performing in early 20th century vintage-wear, they very much look and sound like a mob of country-folk who high-tailed it to Birmingham or Chattanooga or Lynchburg and got themselves "citified," so to speak.

Megan Hickey of the Last Town Chorus talks to the Sydney Morning Herald.

"I'm downright curmudgeonly if you get me talking," she laughs. "The kind of music I make unfortunately is not going to be played next to a Kelly Clarkson song because it's seen as alternative music but I don't listen to a lot of alternative music.

"I tend to rail against a lot of independent musicians who take great pride in decrying all things pop and popular and pleasing."

Guardian readers recommend songs about US cities and states.

The New York Times named its 100 notable books of 2007.

WHYY's Fresh Air interviews singer-songwriter Nellie McKay, who also performs in the studio.

The Guardian explains "how movies and comic books are transforming each other."

While it may seem radical to spread an ongoing narrative across separate media, graphic novels and cinema have long enjoyed this intimate relationship. The prime example of how the two worlds have nourished one another is the work of Frank Miller. This godfather of the graphic novel has always exhibited a cinematic sensibility in his comics, referencing the likes of High Plains Drifter and the Japanese Lone Wolf & Cub series of comics and films. But Miller's influence has itself become apparent on cinema ever since the publication in 1986 of his graphic novel Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, without which Tim Burton's Batman, and all its moody, superhero-oriented descendants, would most likely never have existed.

NPR is streaming Tuesday night's performance by the Hold Steady and Art Brut.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer offers holiday literary gift ideas.

Drowned in Sound interviews Deerhoof guitarist John Dieterich.

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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