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January 29, 2008

Shorties

Popmatters interviews Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers about their new album, Brighter Than Creation's Dark.

Did fatherhood at all influence the making of this record? Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the first Truckers record where you’re both fathers, right?

MC: It’s the second actually. The last one (A Blessing and a Curse) was the first, but I think it actually had a lot to do with this album and really didn’t occur to me until afterward. I’ve always wanted to write shorter songs, just ‘cause I’ve enjoyed those more than the ones I typically write, which are like five minutes or longer. I found myself writing shorter songs because you don’t have all day to get it out of you. If you have two or three kids around you all day, you pretty much got to sit down when the spirit hits you and get it done or you’re not going to do it. So I had a few two, two-and-a-half, and three-minute ditties on this one.


Harp interviews Victoria Legrand of Beach House.

HARP: People try hard to label you, but often miss.

Victoria: I don’t really feel we’re that folksy. I’m not feeling the folk vibe, but I’m also not feeling the squareness of electronic music. We’re not making the beats on a computer. They come from organs or real drums. The only time we use a computer is live, as a way to play the beats from the original tapes on stage. Because of the sedate nature of the vocals, I think we were put into shoegaze category when we really weren’t that at all. Then came the folktronica label, which we did not feel akin to either. I don’t really mind the comparisons, because for the most part we were just having fun with taking bits and pieces of this and that.


Mahalo Daily offers a video interview with comics legend Stan Lee.


Cracked lists six musicians with pasts they hope you'll forget.


Drowned in Sound interviews Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo about his solo album of demos, Alone.

It sounds very autobiographical – especially with the songs in such stripped-down forms. They’re very bare, quite naked in a way.

I don’t think more so, but maybe, because it’s me playing everything – you don’t get the influence of the other guys. And I’m not saying that’s better, it’s just different. And I know from my point of view as a music fan, I would love to have an album like this from an artist I admire. It’s not intended for the general public – it’s for people who are really interested and want a glimpse behind the scenes.


The Bat Segundo Show interviews author Jami Attenberg about her new novel, The Kept Man.

see also: Ryan Walsh's interview Attenberg at Largehearted Boy


In the Guardian, singer-songwriter Dawn Landes lists songs that have inspired her.

Life Line, Harry Nilsson (from The Point! soundtrack)

This song is possibly the dreamiest song in the world. I saw The Point! on TV when I was really young and never learned it was Nilsson, whose compositions I love, until I was contacted about doing a cover version for a compilation last year. Every single song he makes is a new universe. The arrangements are magical. I love the way he's so uninhibited with the vocals; imagine adults doing cartoon voices.


Paste interviews Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla about his solo album, Field Manual and the next DCfC record.

P: You called your forthcoming Death Cab record “creepy and heavy” on your website. Do you still think that’s true?

Walla: I do think that’s true still. It’s kind of…damaged. The demos came in as they always do from Ben [Gibbard] and there were fully 28 or 30 songs this time. Like with anyone’s demos, not all of them are great—not all of them are even good. But there were 15 or 16 that we ended up tracking that were good enough to at least dive into. A few, the ones we all really gravitated toward, were pretty weird even in demo form, but he definitely grew to love them pretty quickly. So did we. There was this theme of trying to figure out how this stuff could work without making a Death Cab cover record, if that makes any sense. It got made a little differently than anything else we’d done. We tracked a lot of the stuff completely live, which we’d never done before. There are a couple songs where we have all four of us; we got a vocal off the floor and everything, which never happens.


The New York Times previews Joanna Newsom's performance of her entire album, Ys, with the Brooklyn Philharmonic on Thursday and Friday of this week.

References to upheavals, betrayals and deaths float through the lyrics on “Ys.” The songs encompass animal fables, visions of war and poetic disquisitions on the differences among a meteorite, a meteor and a meteoroid. When Ms. Newsom wrote the music, “I wanted to start with a bass line that had the same violence, that didn’t seem organic or natural in the shifts that it made,” she said. “There’s a lot of strange chromaticism.” Then, “to lace these weird global shifts together,” she came up with concise melodies rooted in folk songs, which provide some stability atop the turbulence. And to bind the simplicity and the complexity, she decided to use an orchestra.


Locus lists the best science fiction and fantasy books of 2007.


The Hype Machine has aggregated music bloggers year-end lists and lists the consensus bet songs, albums and bands of 2007.

see also: the online list of "best of 2007"music lists


Spinner premiered the first video, "Sax Rohmer #1," from the new Mountain Goats album, Heretic Pride.


T-shirt of the day: "Folk Rock and Roll"



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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