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February 3, 2008


The Schenectady Daily Gazette profiles Muzak.

“If you look at their current branding compared to their branding from 50 years ago, they’ve been working really hard at being perceived as hipper,” said Craig Carman, senior vice president of national sales for Private Label Radio, another competitor. “If you’ve watched the logo evolve and watch terms like ‘audio architecture’ being used, they’ve been trying really hard to rebrand themselves. Unfortunately, as many years have gone by, they’re still known as the elevator channel, which is unfortunate, because it’s not entirely true.”

The Courier-Mail lists the top 20 sites for free music.

In the Philadelphia Inquirer, a high school senior lists indie bands everyone should love.

Authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman support Senator Barack Obama for the US Democratic presidential nomination in the San Francisco Chronicle.

"The test of a first-rate intelligence," F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, "is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." We think of that line every time we hear somebody criticize Obama for lacking experience, for no one could possess a first-rate intelligence without benefit of hard-earned experience of the way darkness and light are forever entwined in a human life. But Obama's life, his work, his candidacy, all imply more than mere recognition, or even acceptance, of the tensions and the ambiguities, of the "opposed ideas" that make up and animate a human life. For Obama the twining of darkness and light is a source of strength, of character, of reason for optimism even in times of hardship and despair.

The Mountain Goats wrote a song about Super Tuesday, "Down to the Ark" (mp3 link), for Weekend America.

The Times Online lists the twenty most influential albums ever.

Deaf Indie Elephants features mp3s of both Radiohead's and Feist's performances on Later with Jools Holland's 20th anniversary show.

The Times Online profiles the McSweeney's publishing empire.

So, what is it that makes Eggers’s empire so influential? The most obvious driving force behind its dramatic rise is the charismatic and indefatigable founder himself, who is not only a beloved author and literary style guru, but has also proved to be a crafty entrepreneur, busily creating a very modern publishing empire. His book-publishing wing features works by Nick Hornby, Lemony Snicket and Robert Coover, a key figure in the American experimental-fiction movement. There is also McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, a frequently visited website that offers a wide range of satirical content – some of its better entries include Some Relatively Recent College Grads Discuss Their Maids and the wonderfully satirical Jenna Bush’s Book-Tour Diary of Hope. In 2003, McSweeney’s launched The Believer magazine, a monthly that includes a variety of cultural essays, interviews and profiles, though its main distinction is its long book reviews, which share a decidedly positive tenor.

The New York Times profiles comedian Michael Showalter.

Whereas stand-up storytellers like Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock tear through tightly scripted bits like comedic machines, Mr. Showalter’s routine is more akin to a college lecture (he does teach graduate screenwriting workshops at N.Y.U.) spliced together with music, pictures and jokes. In the course of a set he may play Train and Sufjan Stevens songs from his iPod’s “guilty pleasures” playlist; sing about mountaineering, erotica or adventure journalism; or even narrate news clippings with the aid of a PowerPoint slide show. After a year and a half on the road he had perfected enough material for his debut album, “Sandwiches and Cats,” released late last year on the JDub label.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features singer-songwriter Ellis with an interview and in-studio performance.

Terrastock 7 will be held from June 19th-22nd in Louisville. Early bird tickets have gone on sale for the music festival that will feature Acid Mothers Temple, MONO, Wooden Shjips and many more bands.

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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