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January 28, 2008


Bradley's Almanac has posted a live mp3 compilation to benefit Callum Robbins, the two year-old son of Jawbox founder J. Robbins. Callum was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (Type 1 SMA), and donations will go toward his ongoing care.

You can also support Callum's care by buying Jawbox on Cello: A Benefit for Cal Robbins or the For Callum compilation.

Prefix and the Newsday review Vampire Weekend's self-titled debut album.

Clickmusic interviews Elizabeth Powell of Land of Talk.

Is it frustrating to be constantly compared to other Canadian bands in reviews?

Not at all! I'm happy to be from Canada. I definitely wouldn't mind being compared to any Italian, Japanese, Australian, Inuit bands either.

The Miami Herald examines the importance of US presidential candidates choosing teh right music for their campaign appearances.

Just like sound bites and photo-ops, a candidate's song playlist can serve as an important campaign-trail tool: pumping up crowds, giving a rock-concert flourish to otherwise rote stump speeches, and conveying a particular theme or idea to voters.

The Boston Globe examines digital music stores that offer high quality lossless downloads.

Online music sellers like Apple Inc. and use digital compression technologies to shrink the sizes of music files, making them easier to store and download. But compression also hollows out the music, eliminating many of the sonic subtleties cherished by hardcore audiophiles. That's why many finicky music lovers won't sully their ears with today's downloadable tunes and are clamoring for something better.

The New Yorker features new short fiction by Tessa Hadley.

Popmatters interviews Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla about his solo album, Field Manual.

Now that brings up two questions: to what standards do you hold the artist that you are producing to in terms of songwriting and, conversely, what standards did you set for yourself with this record?

The standards that I set for myself were that I had to be were that I had to be 100% behind every word that was coming out of my mouth. In terms of performances and presentation with the co-producer [of Field Manual] Warne Livesey, [we] sort of tried to strike a balance between cared for but not careful—if that makes any sense. Like, just to make sure that there was some level of intent to everything that went down. There was never anything, you know … that we didn’t fall prey to the beast of Good-Enough, which is the thing that happens in the digital age, like where it used to be that you would work on a record and people would go, “Is it good enough?” and the answer would be “no” ‘cos you’re on tape and you can’t move anything around and that’s it. So, you do it again. It’s so easy now to just go, “Yeah, that’s good enough,” ‘cos somebody else can tweak it or fix it.

Christopher Knowles, author of Our Gods Wear Spandex: The Secret History of Comic Book Heroes, talks to Comic Book Resources.

Southern Shelter features mp3s of a recent live performance by Lake City.

NPR's All Things Considered offers an excerpt from John Grisham's new novel, The Appeal.

Five Chapters features a serialized short story by Old 97s frontman Rhett Miller.

Fox Sports lists ten things to do on a Sunday without football, including read sports books.

8. Catch up on your sports literature. 2007 was an especially good year for sports books. Rip through one on Sunday. Five worth reading:

Michael Lewis's "The Blind Side"
Will Leitch's "God Save the Fan"
Mark Kriegel's "Pistol"
Tom Callahan's "The GM"
Clay Travis' "Dixieland Delight"

The Santa Barbara Independent interviews Fred Armisen about his comedy duo ThunderAnt (which also features Carrie Brownstein, formerly of Sleater-Kinney).

Well, when I heard that you’d formed a duo with Carrie Brownstein, I just assumed it was a band, but it wasn’t until I went to the website that I found that ThunderAnt was actually more of a comedy duo. How did that come about?

Carrie and I have been friends for a while. And before her band broke up, I would go visit her up in Portland and we’d always have a really good time. One time, I think I had to make a video tape for a Democratic fundraiser. And I asked her if she would help. And we ended up working really well together. She’s a good writer and a good performer. I just find her so funny. So we made this one thing and it made the rounds and people seemed to like it. Then we made more and more of them. Before we knew it, we had all this tape, and we were like “Why don’t we just call it something?” We put up the site for it and see where it goes. It’s something that makes me more happy than anything. I love doing it so much. Literally yesterday we did another one. I flew to Portland and we shot it. Sleater-Kinney, by the way, is my favorite band. So I was happy to become friends with them. But then this other thing just took off for us. Ands we’re not like “Oh, we’re the funniest people in the world.” We just like it and we just have to keep doing it.

Advertising Age examines Colt .45's use of comic strips in its latest advertising campaign.

To appeal to younger drinkers, Cole & Weber tapped graphic novelist Jim Mahfood (author of the volume "Classic 40 Ounce: Tales From the Brown Bag" and a regular contributor to alternative newsweeklies) to create a series of scenes and stories of young adults enjoying themselves with Colt 45. Most of the creative shows 20-somethings flaunting their oversize cans in social settings such as rooftop parties and dance clubs.

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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