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January 17, 2008

Shorties

Band of Horses frontman Ben Bridwell talks to the Charleston Post and Courier.

Rolling Stone ranked "Is There a Ghost," the anthemic opener from "Cease to Begin," as one of 2007's best songs. The magazine also called the album one of the year's 50 best. Band of Horses checked in at No. 47, one notch behind Fall Out Boy.

"Ah, beaten by Fall Out Boy again," Bridwell says. "We're all competing for the same 12-year-old girls. You've got to tip your hat to them, they've finally gotten more 12-year-old girls than us."


The List lists 5 reasons to see British Sea Power.


The University of Washington's Daily has local musicians weigh the pros and cons of signing to a major record label.


TheDeal.com reports that Wolfgang's Vault is buying Daytrotter.

Online music site Wolfgang's Vault has a reputation as a great place to hear live recordings of bands popular in the 1960s and 1970s -- say, Jefferson Airplane or The Doors -- but not necessarily as a preferred destination for fans of current-day music. But by acquiring Daytrotter, as Wolfgang's Vault is preparing to announce later this week, the company will reach for a younger audience enamored with Architecture in Helsinki, Rogue Wave and scores of other bands operating largely outside the commercial mainstream but beloved on college radio and in the blogosphere.


Singer Bettye LaVette talks to the Hartford Courant about her career renaissance.


Popmatters lists the best tv performances of 2007.


NME's Office blog has video of last night's Radiohead performance.


A songwriter lists "5 lies you'll hear in Nashville" on his blog, ninetymilewind.

We're looking for something really different."

Has anyone noticed how quickly country music assimilates the latest sound into it's sea of sameness? Shania and Mutt put a banjo in a track and now you can't make a record without a banjo in it. I'm not knocking banjos, I'm criticizing producers for their lack of innovation. Most great songs in Nashville never get recorded precisely because they ARE different. Most of the best songwriters that I know have no publisher at the moment. They all write very fresh, wonderful songs. This lie pushes all my buttons.


The Phoenix and the Anderson Independent-Mail interview Tyler Ramsey.

You think you’ll be contributing songs to future Band of Horses efforts?

Yeah, Ben’s open to collaborating for the next one. The first Band of Horses album he kind of did in collaboration with [former BoH guitarist] Mat Brooke; for the second one, Ben pretty much took on the writing himself. [Drummer] Creighton Barrett and [bassist] Rob Hampton helped arrange it and give it some kick, but Ben really did most of it. At least a few of us in the band have stuff that we write, so I think it’d work really well.


Eye Weekly lists the results of its 17th annual cross-Canada music critics poll.


The Telegraph profiles Morrissey.


Synthesis interviews Robert Pollard.

Are you hoping your solo material will reach a broader audience or are you just expecting to appeal to those who are already familiar with your work?

I’m hoping it won’t alienate any of the old fans. And really, the point of the album is just to say “I’m getting older now and it makes more sense for me to just be Robert Pollard, but it’s not drastically different.” Hopefully my fanbase is still there, ‘cause that’s all you really need anyways.


Singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson talks to the Telegraph.

His teenage years were spent at the "posh and progressive" Bedales School in Hampshire, playing "half-arsed white blues" in a school band. "Until I was 16, I don't think I heard a song recorded after 1959. It was only when my dad toured with Crowded House that I realised you could make melodic pop music and be contemporary and still be good."


Willamette Week profiles one of my favorite bands, the Harvey Girls.

While some groups come to Portland to stake their claim in one of indie rock’s fastest-growing frontiers, the Harvey Girls—a band that infuses shoegaze and dark ’80s pop influences with more upbeat electronic experimentation—didn’t move here for music. Lucke lived in Portland more than a decade ago and remembered it fondly. And though he recalls Portland as being a bit funkier during his previous stay, he adds: “It’s still a lot cheaper than New York.”


Cinema Blend discovers the secret to Wilco's success.

I realized that it was Wilco’s lyrics that had sucked me in, not so long before. Not because I thought Jeff Tweedy’s lyrics were overly well written—in fact, they’re frequently a wad of drivel—but because they are filled with basic imagery that anyone could relate to. They suck you in with universal concepts like love and nostalgic reminders of past times. It is these lyrics (coupled with an inert anger that Yankee Hotel Foxtrot could make people feel special without being overly special), upon closer inspection, that became why I, not so subtly, but rather passionately, began to loathe Wilco.


Live Music Blog offers a guide to finding gig posters online.


Whigs guitarist Paker Gispert talks to Creative Loafing.

After the Whigs signed a six-month "development deal" with RCA in 2004 – which called for the band to write and record several songs in the hopes of securing a long-term contract – the group realized it didn't want to suffer through what amounted to an extended audition.

"The whole process is like a slap in the face," Gispert says. "It's like, 'Record these songs, and then we'll think about it.' What is that? If you like us, then put us on the label."


Bookgasm lists the best sci-fi books of 2007.


Dwell magazine interviews book designer and author Chip Kidd (and includes music by his band, Artbreak) (video link).


Marjane Satrapi talks to the Philadelphia City Paper about her film, Persepolis.

As caustic as Satrapi can be, she reveals herself as a bleeding-heart humanist when she discusses the universal understanding she hopes her comics, and her animation, promote. "When you make live action, from the moment you put it in a geographical place, it becomes again this story of this other one that is so far from us, that we don't understand. There's something abstract about the drawing. It is a very international language. Before human beings were writing, they were drawing. When you draw a happy face, you don't have some culture in which they say, 'Oh, this guy is crying.' It doesn't exist. It's something that everyone can identify."

The Philadelphia City Paper also reviews the film.

Comic book adaptations typically go to one of two extremes: either neglecting the unique artistic perspective that made their source special in the first place, or stitching together reenacted panels like a mega-budget flip book. Persepolis falls into neither trap. The charming black-and-white artwork is intact, while myriad situations are imaginatively recast through movement and montage.


Drowned in Sound previews 2008's European music festivals.



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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