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December 13, 2007


Video of the day: Pattern Is Movement covers Radiohead's "Everything in its Right Place"

In the Guardian, Said the Gramophone's Sean Michaels previews the album Val Kilmer is shopping to labels.

Actor Val Kilmer is looking for a record deal. He's been handing out a CD of original songs, recorded with the keyboardist Mick Rossi, and according to the New York Observer is "shopping" it to labels.

Slate lists the best books of the year.

Salon asks "writers, filmmakers, and other notable figures" what book, music, and other pop culture ephemera they enjoyed in 2007.

In the Toronto Globe and Mail, Carl Wilson profiles singer-songwriter Christine Fellows.

Between cross-disciplinary commissions, arts grants and the support of her small label, Toronto's Six Shooter Records, Fellows has found a neatly Canadian niche in which, unlike some female singers reaching middle age, she's at no risk of feeling like a music-business spinster. "I didn't even know that I could sing until I was 24. I went to jazz school when I was younger, but I never sang, I just thought [being a musician] would be a kind of cool job - my grandfather had played in a big band. So I feel like I'm still kind of young with it."

Pylon singer Vanessa Briscoe Hay talks to Harp about the band's history and reunion.

Such was the mentality of the Pylon brain trust that, she adds, the band “approached the music in the same way we did our art. With art, things like ‘form follows function.’ The idea that sometimes, with the first line you make, the drawing could be finished. And you know, everything that we’re doing, all the time, is going on in a ‘space.’ You could really get wild with all these artistic ideas in approaching music, in a sense of not coming from a trained musical background but more as artists. So we approached it in the same way with our tools, except instead of brushes and spray paint cans we had drums and the guitars and the microphone.”

The New York Daily News continues a popular meme and has authors name their favorite books of the year.

JUNOT DíAZ (New York City-Dominican Republic)
Author of the literary event of the year "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," which is raking in the awards, including best novel by New York and Time magazines – and Viva. "Hopefully next year I'll actually start writing something else. Something longer than five pages."
PICKS: "A Chance in Hell," Gilbert Hernández: "A terrifying graphic novel. Couldn't put it down, so disturbing and merciless."
• "El Olor de la Memoria," Rhina Espaillat: "Tender, cunning, ravishingly beautiful."

Drowned in Sound readers list their favorite bands for 2008.

An NPR Morning Edition producer chronicles an 18-hour drive soundtracked only by holiday music.

Wikipedia defines "hipster."

The Deadbolt lists the best films of 2007.

Deaf Indie Elephants features mp3s of the five new songs Portishead performed at its All Tomorrows Parties appearance.

New York magazine's The Comics Page excerpts from Eric Powell's graphic novel, The Goon: Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr. Wicker.

MTV's Kurt Loder,, and the Orlando Sentinel list their favorite films of the year.

The List lists five reasons to to see the reunited Scottish band Big Country.

Toronto's Eye Weekly interviews of Chris Baio of Vampire Weekend.

The hype surrounding Vampire Weekend is not just limited to the blogosphere; even The New York Times hailed their CD-R “one of the year’s most impressive debuts.”
“It’s definitely exciting to get that kind of recognition early on,” says Baio. “But in a way … playing shows where in Denton only 25 people came out, it seems pretty separate from [being the subject of] a high-profile piece. I think things will feel more real when we have an album out, when it’s not just a lot of speculative press.”

The A.V. Club interviews singer-songwriter Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes.

AVC: Is being an outspoken folksinger as effective as it used to be? Is it a vehicle for change, or is it just frustrating?

CO: It's totally frustrating. I understand why people get desensitized and roll their eyes when they hear a protest song, or even a politician making some flowery speech. It doesn't really change anything. Maybe you might get into someone's mind, and they might start thinking differently. But just as a country, as a civilization, we are so entrenched in this thing that in order to make any kind of real change—whether it's environmentally, or socially, the way we interact with poor people in America, or the way we interact with other countries around the world—to make those changes, to where I would see an equilibrium where there might be peace and prosperity for all… In order for that to really happen, the changes would be so drastic that no one would want to do it.

The A.V. Club lists 23 songs that should never be covered again. lists children's books blogs.

17 Dots (the eMusic music blog) compares the year-end iTunes and eMusic bestseller lists.

The winners have been announced at Stereogum's Gummy Awards.

The Escapist recommends good comics writers.

The Futurist recaps the Lions Rampant WOXY Lounge Act session.

The Independent offers a music lover's guide to the net.

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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