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February 5, 2008


Entertainment Weekly notes the music industry connection of Republican presidential contender John McCain.

The third of seven McCain children, Sid, as she's known to pals, colleagues and rock scribes, most recently held the title of General Manager, V2 Records in Canada, a job she took after many years as a publicist at Capitol Records in New York (she is currently working for EMI and is based in Toronto). Over the span of her two-decade-career, she's represented dozens of hard rock, alternative and left-of-center bands, including the aforementioned Stripes, Grandaddy, Moby, Stereophonics, and Spritualized, whom she described as "an epic stoner band from the UK" in a 2006 Toronto Life profile. She’s even been known to bring her dad along to major music events, like the MTV Video Music Awards.

Dean Wareham of Dean and Britta talks to the Chicago Tribune's Turn It Up blog.

“Anyone who asks if they should do the same thing, I’d tell them, ‘Go get your law degree,’ ” Wareham says with a wry chuckle. “You start a band and it feels glamorous and fun and you really don’t think about the future. Sure, you have to care about money. You need it to live. But, ultimately you just hope the music holds up.”

The Las Vegas Sun interviews Charles Bock, author of the debut novel Beautiful Children.

Why hasn’t a solid, lasting novel come out of Las Vegas?

It’s easy to get Vegas superficially right. It’s hard to get at the nuts and bolts of it ... The material is there. The way it can influence is there. There’s a grandeur and a glitz to Las Vegas and a sadness to it that is epic and that does sing of great art. So the potential is there. A challenge is the fact that some of it is so easy that it doesn’t necessarily result in art. It results in pop.

Popmatters profiles Hot Chip.

The music isn’t the only facet of the band that has moved forward. Lyrically, Taylor and Goddard, the main songwriters, have also matured. Not that their cheeky, hip-hop referencing machismo has been erased completely, but they do sound more sincere, as exemplified by current single, “Ready for the Floor”, which finds Taylor crooning, “You’re my number one guy.” They still throw out cryptic lines ("Are you out at the pictures, or out at sea?"), but for the most part, their lyrics are thoughtful and reflective, indicative of the musical leap they’ve made from album two to album three.

The Boston Globe examines the "coolness factor" of the US presidential candidates.

Pitchfork Media, an influential rock music website, noted that other rockers supporting Obama include Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, and a band called the Cool Kids. "If you've got Wilco and the Arcade Fire calling you cool, that's about as cool as you get," says Michael Colton, 32, a Newton native who is a panelist on VH1's "Best Week Ever."

Moviefone lists the top 25 romance movies.

Dick Hyacinth has aggregated 2007 best comics lists. Here are the top ten:

1. Exit Wounds
2. Shortcomings
3. All-Star Superman
4. I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets
5. Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together
6. Criminal
7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8
8. Perry Bible Fellowship: The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories
9. The Immortal Iron Fist
10. The Arrival

Comics Should Be Good discusses the results.

see also: Largehearted Boy's favorite graphic novels of 2007

The Christian Science Monitor reviews Jonathan Gould's Can't Buy Me Love, calling it possibly the best Beatles book ever.

A nearly 20-year labor of love by a first-time writer, it's a fascinating, witty, and highly original take on Beatles music and mystique, and a worthy addition to "Beatle lit." If you happened to miss any of the 500-plus Beatles books before, not to worry – this will catch you up nicely.

Deeplinking offers a big list of bookish social networks.

Paste profiles Nada Surf.

Nada Surf’s 15-year arc—from unsigned band to MTV mainstay to cred-wielding indie-pop trio—makes for a pretty good parable: Here is how the contemporary music industry fails bands, and here is how to recover, recommit and move on. After the success of “Popular,” Nada Surf returned to the studio to record 2000’s The Proximity Effect, and had to wrestle the record back from Elektra after executives didn’t hear a single. After a couple of unsure years, the band released the much-lauded Let Go, kicking off a symbiotic relationship with Seattle’s Barsuk Records. Using Nada Surf as an example, it’s possible to argue that the contemporary music industry’s fundamental fault isn’t so much its inability to comprehend the wants and desires of its digitally minded consumer base, but its refusal to cultivate, foster and support young artists—pushing bands out of bed the moment they fail to replicate an initial success (or, in Nada Surf’s case, preemptively shelving an entire album). Still, the band is hopeful that things are starting to change. has produced a music video supporting Scrabulous in its legal battles with Hasbro and Mattel.

NPR's All Things Considered profiles Twelve Books, Hachette Group's publishing imprint that will only publish 12 books a year (one every month).

Twelve's first book — Boomsday, by Christopher Buckley — hit the New York Times best-seller list. So did the imprint's second book, Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great, which was also nominated for a National Book Award. Books on subjects ranging from microtrends to the pursuit of happiness soon followed, one a month, as promised.

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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