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February 18, 2008

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MP3.com interviews Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, whose debut album For Emma, Forever Ago is released tomorrow.

Well, okay, so when did you really realize that these songs were not demos, that you had in fact created something really unique and special that needed to be out, and how did you arrive at Jagjaguwar?

Let's see here. I thought they were demos to something special. I was aware that I had made something that was very cathartic and special, special for me, but I didn't have any feedback. I'd barely played the songs for my parents or anyone, and so I left right from there to go down to North Carolina to go tour in Russia with the Rosebuds. And so it was on that trip that, those long flights and stuff like that, where I was having my first distance from it. And I played it for my friend Ivan from the Rosebuds, and he just was like, "Dude, this is a record as-is. Done." And so after I just started playing it for more people, my friends around here... I would get them copies, you know, I maybe made five copies to give to friends. And they would just say, "This is the best thing you've done. This has got to be your direction." And I think things built so quickly that I didn't really have a choice to remake it. I had to just go with what it was.


Southern Shelter is sharing mp3s of a recent Athens performance by Atlas Sound (Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox's side project).


Pitchfork reviews the new Mountain Goats album, Heretic Pride (out tomorrow), giving it an 8.0.

As in most of the post-Tallahassee Mountain Goats material, Darnielle's Heretic Pride writing tends towards themes rather than details, movements rather than moments. But human beings stride through his songs once again; for every broad-stroke metaphor-- "Autoclave" heart-as-surgical-purifier, "Tianchi Lake" swamp-monster-- there's a "Marduk Men's Room Incident" disco-refugee, her head against the sink, trying to cool down.


The Von Pip Musical Express interviews Miki Berenyi of Lush.

VP: When “Lovelife” was released some critics rather predictably started to use the old “sell out” angle. Did this reaction surprise you?

MIKI: Not at all! By the time Lovelife came out we were pretty well used to being treated with contempt and ridicule by most quarters of the music press. HA! I remember the Melody Maker reviewing Split and slagging us off because (apparently) all our songs were light, jangly things about fluffy clouds and fairies. Meanwhile, reviewing the same album, the NME complained that our lyrics were too depressing (covering child abuse and parental death) and didn’t fit the sparkly, light melodies. I guess what I’m saying is that we couldn’t do right for doing wrong. I, of course, don’t agree with the sell-out accusation. I mean, is Ladykillers more commercial than Hypocrite? Is Desire Lines more shadowy than Last Night? Is I’ve Been Here Before a throwaway exercise in jazz lite whereas Lit Up is a trawl through the underbelly of dischordancy rivalling the darkest periods of Miles Davis?

The production on Lovelife is a little zappier and more upfront. Beyond that, I just think we got a bit more attention. When Split came out, the world was grunge and you had to search hard to find a niche in English pop, so I guess we seemed rare and obscure. By the time we released Lovelife, Britpop had lightened the mood a little and radio and TV were receptive to melody-driven pop songs so our version of that felt commercially acceptable. (i.e., if you stick around for long enough, you eventually become fashionable)


Five Chapters, is serializing "Ausbund," a new story by Lauren Groff, whose debut novel The Monsters of Templeton is garnering some great reviews.


The Athens Exchange interviews Jason Simon of Dead Meadow.

AE: I would describe you guys as a blend between 60's or 70's psychedelic and the current indie scene. What influences do you hear come out in your music?

JS: Like Sabbath, Zeppelin, Hendrix, you know? Then of course some of the more modern bands like My Bloody Valentine, it's all in there. We have pretty eclectic tastes, like reggae and hip-hop, you know? It all comes through. You just have to make it your own.


Allison Moorer talks songwriting with the Los Angeles Times.

"I really learned that simplicity is best 97% of the time. These songs are deep while not sounding contrived and overwrought. They're mostly quite plaintive, and it takes a quiet confidence to write like that: to be so honest yet not beat people over the head with it."

Popmatters also interviews Moorer.


The Independent reports that the painting that adorned the cover of Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation album will be auctioned next week.

The photo-painting, Kerze (Candle), is the work of avant-garde German artist Gerhard Richter. The original canvas will be put up for sale at Sotheby's in London next week and is likely to sell for several times its catalogue price of £2.5m.


The Plugg lists 8 graphic nvels you might not know (and should).


T-shirt of the day: "Skulls and Kittens"


Worn Free T-shirts "reproduces vintage tees famously worn by such rock legends as John Lennon, Joey Ramone, The Doors, Frank Zappa, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, Gram Parsons, Johnny Ramone and Joan Jett, among others. We're regularly adding vintage and retro t-shirts so check back often!"



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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