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February 22, 2008


The Chicago Maroon interviews St. Vincent's Annie Clark.

SS: As you mentioned before, there’s kind of a dark streak through your record. I was wondering if one of the reasons you struck out on your own was because of your involvement with particularly happy artists like Sufjan Stevens and the Polyphonic Spree.

AC: Well, I’d been writing the Marry Me record before my involvement with either of those two projects…. I think their messages and music are quite honest. Polyphonic Spree is more sunshiney in general, more like a hope cult sort of thing. But I’ve been writing for a long time, and I did have definite input musically, tech-wise, gear-wise. So it was definitely not a reaction.

The San Francisco Chronicle lists eight comic books to read before you die.

This site collects the torrents of all the mp3s of showcasing bands that SXSW makes available every year (almost 14 GB of free and legal downloadable music).

Drowned in Sound interviews the people behind Moshi Moshi records.

Given that apparently the big record labels are having a hard old time of it, does that mean it’s easier for companies of your size to thrive? Or do the big labels not ultimately affect the output of an indie?

It's tough for us, too. Record sales are definitely down. People consume music differently. Piracy affects indie labels much harder than it does majors as we do not have huge back catalogues or big hits to fall back on. So everything is tough. But we choose to be optimistic. We firmly believe that if we can ride out the next two to five years then there is no reason for us not to be as successful as anyone. The modern world allows David to take on Goliath. If we are patient and can keep our nerve it'll all come good! The big record companies have different ways of working. We are far more nimble and slim-line. We can't cut staff as we operate on such a small staff anyway. We are already operating in the way that the major labels are realising they are going to have to in some ways. So it's not easier for us, it's just that we are perhaps more adapted to the modern world.

The Washington Post's Post Rock blog interviews John Davis of Georgie James.

What are some of the more memorable musical performances you've seen on late-night TV?

Mostly it's stuff I remember from junior high and high school, when I was a little more of an avid late-night TV watcher. "Saturday Night Live" was a show I watched every week in the late '80s, early '90s. For some reason, Teenage Fanclub on "Saturday Night Live" jumps out, probably because it was so bizarre that they were on national television. I remember when Jawbox was on Conan O'Brien in '94 or '95. That seemed so strange, that this band from D.C. was on such a big show. I definitely remember watching that; it was cool. It was strange but memorable whenever a band from DC was on TV when I was that age, whether it was Velocity Girl on MTV or Jawbox on Jon Stewart or Conan. I also remember seeing Neil Young on "Saturday Night Live" when "Freedom" came out and he did "Rockin' in the Free World." That was definitely good.

Billboard interviews Phil Moore of Bowerbirds.

Does your music thematically or lyrically contain any political or social commentary? What about work outside of the band?

We don't feel that the music is overtly political. A lot of the songs feel more like praise songs to me, praising what is still wild in and around us.

I do feel ripped off, sometimes, that I'm alive now instead of having been alive hundreds of years ago. There are a lot of great things about today, especially when it comes to awareness of environmental issues, race, gender, sexuality and things like that, but I could do without most of the ways humans have f*cked things up.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian interviews Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields. See part II of the interview.

The Guardian gives the new Mountain Goats album, Heretic Pride, 4 out of 5 stars.

All the detail missing from Darnielle's vocals is there in his songwriting: he notes the smell of onions in the house of Prince Far I on the day the reggae singer was killed, and the taste of jasmine in the mouth of the narrator in the title track. It gives his tales of mythical beasts, misanthropes and stock-in-trade characters failing in love a humanity that grows more enveloping with every listen.

The Yale Daily News and Punknews also review the album.

The Los Angeles Times' Soundboard blog interviews the members of the comedy group, Human Giant.

So you’ve performed at lots of music festivals. What do you like about getting in front of the music fest crowd?

Paul: It’s cool for the audience because they get more bang for their buck. For us, we typically love all the bands playing, so we get to see all those shows.
Rob: There is this huge amount of crossover between music fans and comedy fans.
Aziz: It works best when there’s a separate comedy tent. During Coachella [the comedians] had our own tent and the crowd was great because they knew what Kings of Comedy were and they were into comedy. The worst-case scenario is when they put us on between bands.
Paul: Rob and I hosted a party at SXSW and they asked us, “Why don’t you guys do something in between?” The audience doesn’t realize you’re filling in the time. You’re not preventing the band from going on. Right before we got onstage, they gave the audience ping pong balls.
Rob: We barely said anything. We were just moving targets the whole time.
Paul: You don’t want to arm the audience with objects right before you go on.

The Los Angeles Times' Extended Play blog wraps up Wilco's Chicago residency.

The message seemed clear. While Wilco may have gone into this residency with a chance to explore its past, it would leave it with a promise to be no less brave in the future. It would have been easy to end the night with concert staples such as "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" and "A Shot in the Arm," but even in a week meant to celebrate its back-catalog, Wilco would find a way to challenge and test its fans.

Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers talks to the Aspen Times.

“We earned, or got stuck with, that Southern rock mantel thing,” said Hood. “But we never saw ourselves like that. It’s like, an actor plays a psychopath — does that make him a psychopath? We were trying to be honest to the subject matter; we even added a third guitarist to fit the role. But we didn’t set out to be this kind of band. It’s method acting without the acting. Method acting with music.

“The upside is it changed our career trajectory. But it hung us with a label that we’re not real comfortable with.” is a fan site dedicated to Nada Surf complete with mp3 downloads, video and a complete discography.

Adam Green talks to Drowned in Sound about his recent appearance on The View.

“That was kind of one of my first daytime television things,” Adam remarks as we meet in a quiet West London pub. “I found it to be very strange. Whoopi was actually pretty lovely, though.” Perhaps not the biggest Moldy Peaches fan before your slot? “Well, she called her ‘Kim-ra’, so maybe not,” he adds, wryly. Still, it’s not exactly unfair on Whoopi – the whole Juno success and newly focused spotlight on Kimya, Adam and the Moldy Peaches took everyone by surprise. Right? “Um, it definitely came out of nowhere,” blinks Adam. “That song’s actually nine years old. And I feel a little bit fazed by it, honestly, but I welcome the interest in music that I recorded.”

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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