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January 12, 2008


Former Jason and the Scorchers frontman Jason Ringenberg talks to Flipside about his reincarnation as children's artist Farmer Jason.

"I was around kids all the time and around the music they were listening to and absolutely loved listening to music with them," he said. "It dawned on me that if I could do this with other families, it could be a wonderful experience, and also I wanted to give my kids an album of mine to listen to."

The Daily Telegraph previews Australian bands headed to the SXSW music festival.

The Globe and Mail debates whether author Orham Pamuk is a "prophet or a poseur."

The Advocate interviews Rawson Marshall, director of the forthcoming film adaptation of Michael Chabon's debut novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.

Other directors (such as Alan J. Pakula) have tried to bring this book to the screen. One attempt, staring Jason Schwartzman, almost made it to shooting. How did you get ahold of the project?

I knew that it had been around for a while—I read the book in 1995 and fell in love with it. I wrote Michael Chabon a fan letter, essentially saying, “I love this book, I love your writing, and I’d love to take you to breakfast to talk about it.” He’s represented by the same agency as I am, so I flew up to the Bay Area -- where I’m from -- and we went to this local joint up there, had some eggs, and I expressed my passion for it.

Four Telegraph music critics list 30 essential pop albums each.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune profiles Bon Iver's Justin Vernon.

Like a cross between Thoreau's "Walden" and Nick Drake's "Pink Moon," the record sounds as isolated and icy as the setting where it was made. Also echoing modern-day lonely-hearts-club folkies like Iron & Wine and the late Elliott Smith, Vernon sings most of the songs with a simple, off-tuned acoustic guitar. He repeatedly overdubbed his voice to create layered, often shimmering choruses.

Stereogum reviews the new Drive-By Truckers album, Brighter than Creation's Dark.

We love us some Drive-By Truckers and their southern-fried opera-writing ways, but Brighter Than Creation's Dark is longer than creation's long. Maybe longer. By our estimation, they could've chopped about eight of the 19 tracks and still had themselves a solid, ambitious record (there are songs from Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley and bassist Shonna Tucker, so we're sure they could've whittled from each stash, though Shonna only contributed three). Much of the muck happens in the middle: Brighter opens and closes strong. That said, it's definitely better, grittier than the underwhelming A Blessing And A Curse.

Members of British Sea Power discuss their new album, Do You Like Rock Music?, at Drowned in Sound.

Mother Jones interviews Adrian Tomine, the cartoonist behind he wonderful graphic novel, Shortcomings.

MJ: The comics world has definitely shifted toward graphic novels. Why do you think that is?

AT: A lot of it has to do with the physical mechanics of getting this material into people's hands. There was a long time when comic book publishers, including my own, were trying to set up racks for comic books, but it just was not going to happen. I think that even if it's taking a bunch of issues of a superhero comic and reprinting them with a spine, you're going to sell a lot more copies. That sort of clicked in the minds of the public. The weird made-up marketing term of "graphic novel" suddenly seemed to make more sense, like, "Oh, they're like books, but they're in comic form." As a result, that way of selling comics packaged as books has really taken off, and the old way, selling them as saddle-stitched magazines, has taken a hit. I can't complain too much because I've definitely benefited from that change, so overall it was a positive thing, but I do feel bad for comic book shop owners, and it's sad to see that old format pretty much disappear.

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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