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March 12, 2008


The Globe and Mail profiles Dan Bejar of Destroyer and the New Pornographers.

Unlike most musicians who tour for months each year to promote their albums, Bejar refuses to go on the road for more than a few weeks at a time. ("When they spend half the year going all over the world," he says, "that's when people's lives really start to get a bit weird.") Despite the fact that the band's 2006 album, Destroyer's Rubies, won loud and broad critical acclaim - including kudos from The New York Times, Spin and Entertainment Weekly - and that he penned several favourite New Pornographers songs, Bejar doesn't seem particularly concerned with popular success.

Paste is offering hour-by-hour music suggestions for SXSW attendees.

At WNYC, stream John Darnielle's solo in-studio performance of several songs from the new Mountain Goats album, Heretic Pride.

The Owl & the Bear has added a Wilco Archive to its site, which will feature direct downloads of lossless Wilco performances.

The Kills talk to Sentimentalist Magazine about their new album Midnight Boom (out March 18th).

“With Midnight Boom, we went back to where we started, which was trying to find our feet and not think too much about how it’s going to sound, [and] just make the most honest record we could,” Hince says. “We wanted to make a record that was really not retro. We always talked about how envious we were of Velvet Underground, and how everything always seems to gravitate back to the 60’s, with Captain Beefheart and the Velvets, [and] the Rolling Stones. Velvet and Beefheart were always forward-thinking bands, same thing with punk, they wanted to kill everything that happened before. I wanted to make something really modern and now.”

New York magazine's Chat Room blog interviews author Tony Earley.

You've described your first book as "a children's book for grown-ups," and The Blue Star reads a lot like young-adult fiction. What makes them right for adult readers?

I wouldn't exactly call it postmodern, but I am sort of playing around with the form. If one takes the conventions of young-adult literature but uses them to tell an adult story, that creates a tension. I'm interested in the way that tension plays out, and what the implications of it are. I sort of throw out most of the tools used by contemporary novelists and use a smaller set of tools.

Mother Earth News interviews Isaac Asimov.

PLOWBOY: Can you give me a good definition of science fiction?

ASIMOV: Every science fiction writer defines it differently. For instance, John Campbell—the great, late editor—said that science fiction stories are those that science fiction editors buy.

PLOWBOY: But what is your own definition?

ASIMOV: I think science fiction is the very relevant branch of literature that deals with human response to changes in the level of science and technology. And such writing goes to the heart of matters that trouble us now, because the world is changing at whirlwind speed. Moreover, any person who is, let us say, between 15 and 30 years of age today is likely to live well into the twenty-first century. The world is going to be completely different then!

Now you may think that's a pretty obvious truth, but it isn't at all! Very few people realize that change is inevitable and that it will occur more and more rapidly as time goes on. So it's absolutely essential to consider the future in making our decisions . . . and to face that future with daring and guts.

I believe no amount of reading in any field but science fiction is going to convince anyone of the inevitability of change. When` a person reads science fiction, though, he or she starts out assuming in the story at least—that the future will be different.

The Motley Fool lists five reasons Amazon is buying Audible.

The San Diego Union-Tribune interviews Jason Quever of Papercuts.

What does the word "folk" mean to you? How does it apply to your music?

I don't feel that the word folk applies particularly to my music. I think only in the sense that I used acoustic guitars on the two records I've released thus far.

Folk implies something communal and informational that I don't think describes my music. I used acoustics for a practical reason: it's easy to write on. It's always there; you don't have to plug anything in; you can write with distinct rhythm and melody in mind with one instrument, and you can even play shows alone if you want to.

I was also stuck on the idea of making "natural"-sounding music, because when I started, I used Casios and different keyboards and recording effects, but it made it so hard to perform live. I got inspired by (Belle and Sebastian's) "Boy With the Arab Strap" and how it didn't need much else.

At this point I don't feel stuck on that as much. I'm finding electric guitar way easier to perform with a band, so I'm trying to have the current record reflect that.

Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers talks to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about the band's new album, Brighter Than Creation's Dark.

Patterson Hood talks about the lack of a wall between the band and its audience and how that informs the band's new album, "Brighter Than Creation's Dark."

"It's a combination of growing up loving punk rock and being a Springsteen fan. He really rebelled against the wall. When I first saw him as a teenager in '81, on "The River" tour, the third song of the night, he was out in the audience. I'd never seen a performer at an arena do that before. And only a handful since, and it's not necessarily a good idea. (Fans) will love you, but sometimes they love you too much.

The Guardian offers downloadable booklets featuring great poets of the 20th century.

A Sound Match is a dating service that matches people based on musical taste.

Writer-artist Wilfred Santuago talks to Comic Book Resources about his graphic novel 21, a biography of baseball legend Roberto Clemente.

“The last game, where he hits the 3,000th hit, is a big aspect of ‘21,’” Santiago said, “and the story revolves around it. Clemente lived through a time of big changes in America and had to overcome many hardships to succeed. But he was relentless in his determination. Perhaps to a fault. Also his childhood, family, things that were important to Clemente growing up [in Puerto Rico].”

Harp profiles author George Pelecanos.

His crime novels pop like a 9-millimeter handgun in a meat locker. They read fast, and flow like a Cannonball Adderly solo—cool when cool is called for, intense when necessary. Interestingly, writing wasn’t George Pelecanos’ first career choice. “I wanted to make movies,” he says, from his home in Silver Spring, Maryland. He earned a degree in film production from the University of Maryland, but during his senior year, while taking an elective course on hard-boiled detective fiction for “a quick grade,” the “light bulb went off.”

NPR's Morning Edition excerpts the first chapter from Scott Simon's new novel Windy City, and interviews the author.

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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