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January 5, 2008


The Victoria Times Colonist examines the use of an artist's music in advertising.

Oddly, it seems the notion of rock or pop musicians who appear (or have their music) in ads is generally accepted by audiences. Led Zeppelin let Cadillac use their song Rock and Roll. Microsoft used the Rolling Stones' Start Me Up for their Windows 95 campaign. U2 teamed up with iPod to push that gadget. Elvis Costello (one of my favourite musicians) has done Lexus commercials, as has wife Diana Krall, who has also done Chrysler and other ads.

The Brooklyn Paper lists "80 to watch in '08" and includes two novelists.

38. Paul Auster: Another lion from the Brooklyn literary den will publish his new novel “Man in the Dark” in August, just in time to take to the beach.

37. Jonathan Safran Foer, Park Slope: The greatest writer of his generation (“Everything is Illuminated”) is giving the already-privileged undergrads at Yale the opportunity of a lifetime by teaching a writing workshop this semester. We hope a new book is in the offing; Foer is far too young to be jumping into academia, the last bastion of the retired novelist.

The Ottawa Citizen examines Canada's embrace of digital music downloading.

"It's amazing," said Canadian musician Jason Collett, a solo artist and member of indie rock super-group Broken Social Scene. "You can be sitting around at a dinner party talking about a song and five minutes later you're listening to it on iTunes."

The New York Times magazine examines software for writers.

The Guardian has classical music conductor Charles Hazelwood break down what's good about specific pop songs.

Arctic Monkeys - I bet that you look good on the dancefloor

Best bit: Alex Turner brilliant debunking of looking cool with the line "dancing like a robot from 1984".

Autopsy: "What's so clever is it starts with an absolute deluge of F sharp minor. Then finally when Alex Turner comes in it's actually on a C sharp major chord, which is what's known as the dominant chord in music theory. Then you're made to wait to get that big deluge of that tonic chord again until the chorus which is a brilliant way of building your expectation, holding you back like an elastic band and then letting you ping."

IGN lists the best videogame music of 2007.

The Times Online reviews musicians' blogs.

SF Station interviews Au Revoir Simone's Heather D'Angelo.

Forbes interviews Danny Fingeroth, author of Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics and the Creation of the Superhero.

Members of British Sea Power talk to the Irish Independent.

The Daily Mail lists the shortlists for Britain's Costa Book Awards (formerly the Whitbreads).

The Guardian reviews Alan Moore's epic three volume Lost Girls graphic novel, finally available in the UK.

Author Jeffrey Eugenides talks to the Telegraph.

'There is something faintly terrifying about the idea that we are merely animals,' Eugenides says, 'and that everything we do that seems to have higher purpose, or that we invest with a divine or at least noble purpose, is actually just coded into our genes. 'But if that were true it would have to also explain writing novels itself, and why people write novels. Everything in evolutionary biological terms usually has to do with sexual reproduction, so the reason I'm actually writing novels is so I can impregnate more women, is what the premise would have to be.'

Cartoonist Marjane Satrapi talks to the San Francisco Chronicle about her film, Persepolis.

"When people watch this movie, the thing that comes out of it - they understand better Iranians, and suddenly the Iranian is not anymore the 'axis of evil,' " Satrapi said during a promotional visit to San Francisco. "They become human beings. To call the movie 'anti-Islamic'? I'm not against any ideology. I'm against (people) who use something in order to kill other people or repress them."

Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields talks to Drowned in Sound about his musical legacy.

69 Love Songs is really iconic enough to use as a calling card, so if someone asks ‘Who are you?’ I can say, ‘I’m the ‘69 Love Songs guy’”; I’m perfectly happy about that, it doesn’t upset me. If in 50 years I am still primarily known for 69 Love Songs, that’s not going to bother me. I spent a great deal of time on 69 Love Songs and hope that I will never have to spend that much effort on anything ever again in my whole life, so I’m happy to be known by it.”

Mother Jones also interviews Merritt.

Mother Jones: Your new album involves feedback on every instrument. What was the inspiration for all that feedback?

Stephin Merritt: Psychocandy, the Jesus and Mary Chain album, which I've been listening to since it came out 20 years ago, so I feel like I know it pretty well. I wanted to make a record quickly, and I thought by doing a short tribute, an homage to Psychocandy, I could make it quickly. It didn't work out that way.

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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