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February 20, 2008


San Diego Citybeat profiles British Sea Power.

Reflecting on the themes of Rock Music, Wilkinson said, “We’re trying to think that rock music should interact with the world outside of the music world—the real world,” he laughed, “foreign countries or stories about geography or ecology or just funny, stupid stories. But it should kind of reach outside your own small personal sphere a little bit and make some effort to interact.”

The San Francisco Bay Guardian profiles the Dodos.

Still, it takes a lot of sly chutzpah to adopt the moniker of the highly uncool, not-so-beautiful loser of the animal kingdom. And though they'd never say so explicitly, Long and Kroeber are hoping, humbly, to do the clumsy waddlers proud by adapting and maybe even flourishing. Exhibit one: the Dodos' compelling second album, Visiter, scheduled to be released March 18 on Frenchkiss. Its 14 songs unfold in three rough parts, beginning with the toy piano invocations of road-weary, lovelorn musicians ("Red and Purple"), then rolling through noise-wracked folk drone ("Joe's Waltz"), wry, Magnetic Fields–style songcraft ("Winter"), and a ragtag country blues scented with the sun and sand of Led Zeppelin and West African drumming ("Paint the Rust"). A significant evolution from Long's time as a solo acoustic act and from the Dodos' self-released debut, Beware of the Maniacs (2006), Visiter is startlingly deep and likely to hold up under repeated plays, catching the listener on the tenterhooks of Long's insinuating melodies.

Singer-songwriter Bill Callahan talks to the Charleston City Paper.

"I don't think I'm a serious musician," Callahan says. "I place a great value on music and respect the creation of it. But I never was or became a serious musician. I just started as a curious kid and hope to end as such."

The Rocky Mountain News interviews Mike Cooley of the Drive-By Truckers.

What's it like working with keyboard legend Spooner Oldham?

It's been life-changing and career highlights for all of us. Spooner was on a couple of songs on (2003's) Decoration Day. We had him in the studio for one day. We had him on the Bettye LaVette record. . . . He's kinda been a member of the band ever since. He's great on every level. . . . He's just one of the most decent human beings I've met. He's had this amazing career and not one ounce of arrogance or pretension. . . . It really keeps you in check. If you start acting like a rock-star (expletive) you look at Spooner and say, 'I need to behave myself.'

San Diego Citybeat profiles Jay Farrar.

Farrar has something to say and—through all his incredibly relevant collaborative and solo incarnations—people still want to listen. Tweedy and Adams may be the ones that grab the alt-country spotlight, but Farrar is the guy doing all the dirty work necessary to keep the team—and the music—together.

Drowned in Sound interviews Stephen Malkmus.

So many people are still getting inspired by your music. Who are you enjoying listening to at the moment? Do you still enjoy listening to and discovering stuff?

Discovering’s hard. It’s more like I’m given things. Archie Bronson Outfit, I like those guys. They’re on Domino. This band Blitzen Trapper we just toured with, that was fun to see them. It’s hard for me to get out, unfortunately, so I don’t get to see as much live music, which is my favourite place to see a band or be committed to a band. Lavender Diamond - that name I can’t stand, but they were pretty cool. The singer was really charismatic. I was into her as a singer. She has a great voice. When we were at Green Man, Vetiver played and they were good, and seeing the Super Furries’ Gruff do his thing by himself. I saw James Yorkston there, and that was my favourite thing I saw during the whole festival. There’s this band called Raccoo-oo-oon from Iowa that’s like this organic noise rock band. My friend gave me their record. That blew me away. There’s always new stuff. My friend’s in Endless Boogie - that’s just a shameless plug. They’ve got this singer who’s an absolute hippy freak. He scares you. And they play a straight-up wall of sound. It’s hard rock, but it’s not really being played this way anymore. Sometimes you’ll see girls dancing to it - it’s kind of cool to see.

Chip Kidd offers the oddest book trailer I've seen yet for his new novel, The Learners:

Kidd talks to Public Radio International's Fair Game about the book.

Synythesis interviews the three members of Au Revoir Simone.

Billboard reports that TVT Records will file for bankruptcy this year.

CNN profiles Vincent Moon, the filmmaker behind La Blogotheque's Take Away Shows.

R.E.M.'s lead singer Michael Stipe spoke of his admiration for the director:

"When I decided to include Vincent in the album I didn't want to just limit ourselves to a couple of Take Away Shows. I was really impressed with his work: he uses such simplicity but brings with it a great knowledge of film.

"He uses a medium from another time and uses technology to make it available to all of us through the Internet."

Exclaim!, the Michigan Daily, SIU Daily Egyptian, Student Life, and UGO review the new Mountain Goats album, Heretic Pride.

Minneapolis Public Radio's The Current features interviews and in-studio performances by Mike Doughty and Super Furry Animals.

Drowned in Sound interviews Deerhunter's Bradford Cox about his other band, Atlas Sound.

Said the Gramophone has announced the 2nd runners-up in their "wonderful video contest" (also known as the most ambitious and best music blog contest ever, by me at least).

Yeti Five comes out March 7th and features an interview with Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel. The publisher is taking preorders now.

NPR is streaming last night's performance by Black Mountain and Bon Iver.

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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