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November 28, 2007

Shorties

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

About.com (top country albums)
Blogs Blow Dot (best albums)
Catbirdseat (top albums you didn't hear)
Dave Gowans of Mint Records (via Thick Specs) (top albums)
Each Note Secure (favorite Cincinnati music)
Exclaim - Frequencies (best albums)
gaz82 (best songs)
Gorilla vs Bear (best live shows)
I Was Told There Would Be Bacon (top albums)
Liza Richardson (KCRW) (via LAist) (top albums)
MusicWarship (favorite albums)
NME - Mark Beaumont (top songs)
Seattleite Satellite (top albums)

see also:

the constantly updated list of online "best of 2007" music lists
the complete list of online "best of 2006" music lists


The Baltimore City Paper has posted the winners of its fiction and poetry contest.


The Los Angeles Times reviews Amazon's digital book reading device, the Kindle.


PJ Harvey talks to Popmatters about her most recent album, White Chalk.

Harvey said that she decided to name the album after this song because of the simple, consonant-defined heft of the words white chalk. “"I felt like it reflected the music on the record, which I think is quite simple,” she said. “And also, it conjures up many images for me, everything from childhood and blackboards to the actual quality of it as a substance. It’s something that’s hundreds of years old but can be erased in a second. I like that sort of timeless idea about it. But mostly it’s the sound of the words. They’re very succinct and simple, with hard consonants. I like the way it falls off the tongue.”


The Hold Steady's Craig Finn talks songwriting with Crawdaddy!.

“I’ve always wondered whether Springsteen sees himself as the first real songwriter who was strongly influenced by film,” Finn says. “His songs play out like they exist on a big screen in your head. I think that’s one of the interesting things about him. Even today people assume that if you’re singing something, it’s meant to be first person; if you’re telling a story, it’s your story. But with Bruce, he’s able to make it seem like he may or may not know his characters. Even in shorter songs like 'Meeting Across the River' you can tell it’s not about him, but you can also imagine that he might know those guys. In those early Springsteen songs there’s a lot of movement and the idea that this is who these people were, but then one night it all changed for them. And a lot of his early songs are about exploring that one night.”


The Globe and Mail calls for the music and movie industries to embrace the digital era instead of litigating against illegal downloaders.

Soon the music industry will have to realize that selling music on CDs is just a bad business model. Taking digital information, burning it onto a piece of plastic, wrapping that in several more layers of plastic, shipping it across the country to suburban malls, which customers are then expected to drive to so their musical taste can be sneered at by an 18-year-old sales clerk, is just not a system that makes sense any more. It's the difference between snail mail and e-mail.


Merge is auctioning autographed show posters through the end of the year with all proceeds going to two excellent causes: Oxfam America and the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC.


Pine Magazine interviews Jeff Clark of Stomp and Stammer.

M: Eleven years covering music in Atlanta and Athens... what has really changed in that time, past venues like the Echo coming and going, and younger bands like the Black Lips rising to prominence?

JC: Well, I've lived in Atlanta all my life, so I've seen a lot changes, a lot of ups and downs and trends and whatnot. And, scene-wise, even though Atlanta's getting a lot of attention for its rock bands right now, in many ways it hasn't changed very much. There have always been clubs closing and new ones opening. There have always been great bands, some of whom went on to national prominence, some of whom remained criminally obscure. I think the Atlanta scene right now is tremendously exciting - there is this pocket of incredibly varied bands that are just fantastic, and it's always a thrill to have your local friends see such success outside of the area code.


Singer-songwriter Jose Gonzales talks to the Cleveland Free Times about his songwriting influences.

Nick Drake is a particularly potent touchstone for Gonzalez, as he listened to Pink Moon, the late folk singer's third, last and perhaps best album, repeatedly during the making of Veneer. Gonzalez took sonic as well as stylistic cues from the melancholy troubadour.

"That was a good reference; a short album with only guitar and vocals and some piano. I felt like if he could do it, I can do it too. A song like "Stay in the Shade,' I could not have written that without listening to Nick Drake. But in general, I think I'm cooler," says Gonzalez with a laugh. "I always try to get a tone of positive struggle in my music, not too slow and not too melancholic."


The Guardian offers excerpts from the shortlisted novels for the 2007 edition of the Bad Sex Award.

The Times Online reports that Norman Mailer has won the award posthumously.


Book Covers lists the best bookshelves of 2007.


NPR's Morning Edition interviews Steve Martin about his new autobiography, Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life.

Studying philosophy in college at the time, Martin says he learned you can question anything. "So I turned it on my little comedy act, thinking, 'What could I change, what would be different, what would be original, what would be new?' And I realized that comedians of the day were operating on jokes and punch lines."


Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features an in-studio performance by Over the Rhine.


Bat for Lashes' Natasha Khan talks to Harp about her songwriting imagery.

Not so long ago, Natasha Khan worked as a nursery school teacher. “I just told like hundreds of stories and was very playful and free,” she says. Robert Pollard credited a lot of Guided by Voices’ wacky imagery to his time spent teaching fourth grade. Khan claims, for her, that wasn’t the case. To explain titles like “The Wizard” and “Seal’s Jubilee,” she offers Freudian theory, expounding on the notion that the artist is able to communicate the freedom of childlike imagination through civilized language. “‘The Wizard’ is actually very not to do with children,” she reveals. “It’s about sex, and lust, and the act of making love, so I guess that’s kind of a bit more grown up.”



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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