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March 2, 2008


In the New York Times, Michael Azzerad (author of my favorite music book of all time, Our Band Could Be Your Life) reviews Dan Kennedy's memoir, Rock On.

The music industry’s decline has been swift, merciless and bloody; perhaps it’s best to broach such a dire story by laughing. A memoir of Dan Kennedy’s 18-month stint in the music business, “Rock On” is a succession of gently mordant vignettes, with hilariously spot-on asides about media image-making, music-biz hierarchies and sensitive singer-songwriters. It’s also a coming-of-age story.

The Chicago Tribune profiles the Austin, Texas live music scene.

The Chicago Tribune offers tips to make your own home music server.

Bob Halloran talks to the Boston Globe about his boxing book, Irish Thunder: The Hard Life and Times of Micky Ward.

Halloran described his self-published 2003 book, "Destiny Derailed" - a look at the Red Sox' failed bid to unseat the Yankees in 2003 - as more or less a "writing workout," a self-test to see if he could bring a book project to completion. It whetted his appetite. "I knew I wanted to tackle something significant," he said.

So he met with a literary agent and threw some ideas at him.

"He told me everyone was looking for the next 'Friday Night Lights,' " said Halloran, referring to the best-selling book about high school football in Odessa, Texas. "I took that to mean a non-fiction sports book with some built-in human drama plus the passion of a community. That got me thinking about boxing in New England, and that led me to Micky."

The Calgary Herald interviews Christopher Nowlin about his novel, To See the Sky.

Q: What inspired you to write "a dark satire about Vancouver's inflated ego"?

A: The original inspiration was ecological.

I'd look across the water from the beach and it seemed that year by year, Hollyburn Mountain became more and more developed.

It was like a line of white freight cars going up the mountain, very dismal . . . Then the Olympics came up and it dovetails with that . . . I've lived in various cities across Canada and I've never witnessed the same sense of affluence, the same self-confidence that you get in Vancouver. I just wanted to question in a fairly satirical way the rational that we need the rest of the world to put Vancouver in the spotlight (with the Olympics).

Kristin Hersh discusses her songwriting technique with the Scotsman.

The songs arrive more or less fully formed, usually at 4am, often complete with upsetting lyrics, and they remain in her head at high volume until she works out how to play them.

“It’s not a calming endeavour,” she says. “It’s intense. When it first began it was considered hallucinations, but no amount of medication would make the songs go away. I disagreed with the doctors’ diagnosis of schizophrenia and talked them down to bipolar which, if nothing else, kept me off of those scary meds that they had put me on.”

Tom Rob Smith talks to the Observer about the surprising success of his debut novel, Child 44.

While the book was selling to publishers, Smith had three film offers on the table within two weeks. Ridley Scott phoned to say he wanted to direct. Scott, who delights in creating new and old worlds (from Blade Runner to Gladiator), was 'passionate about it - he wanted to see Russia done in a big, blockbusterish fashion'. Scott has hired Richard 'Clockers' Price to write the script. Price's take on the policeman protagonist will reflect one of his regular themes: someone struggling to be good in a bad world.

The Observer profiles the Black Cab Sessions videos.

Watching the final product online (, the perfect marriage of medium and message hits home. Whereas a music video or venue gig can look and sound strange viewed on a computer screen, the Black Cab Sessions' single audio track and intimate performances translate well. Without make-up, lights, amplification, post-production, packaging or a large audience, and with their evident joy at the challenge, the varied artists rise to the occasion.

Thom Yorke and the other members of Radiohead talk to the Times Online.

“That was really the most influential period for all of us,” Yorke says. “The Happy Mondays. The Stone Roses. At the end, Nirvana. It was an interesting period of transition: lots of electronic stuff, lots of indie bands, and it was permissible for it to be all mixed up.” Yorke is far less reverent when it comes to classic rock. When asked if he was curious about the Led Zeppelin reunion, he admits: “Not really. My mate wanted to go. I said I was tired. Maybe if they play again. But to be honest, probably not.”

Starpulse lists the top ten alternative rock one-hit wonders of the 90's.

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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