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February 11, 2008


Popmatters interviews singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock.

8. Of those who’ve come before, the most inspirational are?

Freud, Marx Brothers, Dylan, HG Wells, Goya, Mervyn Peake, Syd Barrett, Shakespeare. They’re all men, because our culture up to now has made women almost invisible. At least the 20th century allowed women to write more than before. Right now I’m reading a great 21st century novel by Hilary Mantel called Beyond Black. Gillian Welch and Tanya Donelly are two of my favorite living singers.

Rabble interviews Dan Bejar of Destroyer and the New Pornographers.

People have said that you are cynical about the music industry and the process of getting your music to the public. What is your place in this process now?

I think the idea that I have really strong beefs with the music industry is a little overblown or a little false because I can't really have problems with it because I can't expect it to be any different than it is. I did write songs for a record called Thief that had vague lyrical hints about music or underground culture. I like the language involved in criticism. It's kind of a strange form of poetics in itself in political rhetoric and also kind of added to the righteousness that was in the songs. It was kind of an ironic record, but not in the way that irony gets used today – there was a certain kind of self-consciousness of what I was writing about. It was kind of the absurdity of it. I wasn’t expecting to sell very much. I think it sold 2,000 – about 1,500 more than I thought it would.

The Guardian's travel blog recommends novels for armchair travelers.

In the Los Angeles Times, Carolyn Kellogg of Pinky's Paperhaus reviews the book Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks from the Wild Web.

"Ultimate Blogs" is presented as a breezy trip through the best of the literate blogosphere. "I gave up trying to tame the wildness of the Web and decided the best order would be alphabetical," Boxer writes of her framework for the book. "That way the blogs can speak to one another more freely." But her selections are less serendipitous than she wants to let on. She mentions that finding a good military blog should be, with 1,500 of them cataloged on a single site, "like shooting fish in a barrel. Wrong." It's clear that, to come up with these 27 gems, Boxer must have combed through thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of blogs.

The Guardian lists the top ten literary blogs.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution covers author Salman Rushdie's recent lecture.

Rushdie said he remains frustrated by the tendency of readers to associate a writer with his work and said he no longer will create characters that share similar personal traits.

"I learned my lesson," Rushdie said. "In my later works, you will find no trace of me."

Cracked lists the most unforgivable Grammy Award snubs of all time.

The US Federal Highway Administration has compiled a list of road songs.

Deaf Indie Elephants offers ten ways to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

rbally is sharing mp3s of Beck's 2000 KCRW in-studio performance, which includes Daniel Johnston and Hank Williams covers.

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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