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January 26, 2008


NPR's Weekend Edition profiles the Whigs.

With garage-rock that exudes Southern charm, The Whigs' members hail from Athens, Ga. Their first album, Give 'Em All a Big Fat Lip, caught the ear of another Southern rocker: Dave Matthews. Mission Control, The Whigs' second album, has just been released on his label. Singer Parker Gispert and drummer Julian Dorio discuss the state of rock music today, as well as the origin of their band's name.

The San Diego Union-Tribune profiles the new music social networking service,

Almost every major artist, record label and music manufacturer has a profile on MySpace, but its members are limited in conducting e-commerce. MySpace allows a few artists to sell music downloads, decided on a case-by-case basis.

DirtBag, however, is meant to be a marketplace where anyone can sell anything music-related. The hodgepodge of Web functions is meant to keep eyes and wallets on site.

Cartoonist and filmmaker Marjane Satrapi talks to the Boston Globe.

Satrapi bristles at a frequent characterization of her work: "I hate this word 'graphic novel.' It is a term publishing houses have created for the bourgeois so they wouldn't be ashamed of buying comics. . . . I'm not a graphic novelist. I am a cartoonist and I make comics and I am very happy about it. I never wanted to make a graphic novel. As soon as you become a 'writer,' you have to be intelligent all the time. . . . I like the fact that I have the right once in a while to say silly things."

WXPN's World Cafe features the New Pornographers with an interview and in-studio performance.

Black Mountain vocalist Stephen McBean talks to the Times Online about the band's latest album, In the Future.

“People have theories on how we sequenced it to reflect good and evil, but it’s really just chosen sonically. I didn’t notice until people pointed it out,” explains the band’s vocalist and leader, Stephen McBean, a slight, bearded figure sporting a woolly hat. The timeless feel is deliberate. “It’s thicker. It has a sombre density,” says the drummer Joshua Wells. “$20,000 more density,” adds McBean, laughing.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune writes an obituary for the CD as a means of distributing music.

The final cause of death has not been determined, but friends and fans blamed digital-download sites such as iTunes and illegal file-sharing among rich kids. In addition, doctors pointed to the big record companies and mega-selling artists who put out CDs in recent years that featured only a few good songs and lots of filler.

Hanif Kureishi talks to the Guardian about his novel, The Buddha of Suburbia.

Cyril Connolly once said that if a book you've written is still in print 10 years after it was published, it's an achievement, so at least I've managed that. But I guess also that when The Buddha of Suburbia, My Beautiful Laundrette and Midnight's Children appeared, they opened the door for multiculturalism. Writers who in former times were thought to be marginal began to enter the mainstream. Whereas before you only heard English names, you began to hear Rushdie, Kureishi, Mo, Ishiguro - and it became clear that race and its ramifications were to be the central issue of our time.

The Village Voice interviews comedian Michael Showalter.

The Financial Times interviews author Tom Perrotta.

Who is your perfect reader?

The writer Tobias Wolff. I once studied under him, and sometimes I still imagine him reading over my shoulder.

Drowned in Sound interviews Dev Hynes of Lightspeed Champion.

People are quick to assume that writing so many songs, as you do, must mean the quality control filter isn’t always there, and that you maybe don’t take certain songs all that seriously. But that’s just your nature, the productivity?

Yeah. I’m going to record the next album at the start of the summer, and the label are happy with that. They’re not even pissy at the gigs I’ve done where I’ve only played, like, two songs from this album. It’s good – as opposed to some other labels they obviously like what they sign, y’know what I mean. In a sense they’re fans of the bands they sign, so when a band plays new material they’re cool with that – they’re not thinking what songs you ‘should’ be playing. It’s cool. It feels… well, normal.

T-shirt of the day: "rock" (for babies)

Daytrotter's Friday session features the band Frank Smith.

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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