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March 20, 2008


Yesterday's addition to the list of 2008 SXSW streaming and downloadable music performances:

MP3 set by Sons and Daughters.

Bittorrent downloads of shows by Vampire Weekend, Dixie Witch and Super Heavy Goat Ass.

Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig talks to the Los Angeles Times about the band's status as a "blog band."

He also seems reluctant to accept the group's status as a "blog band" with a rep fueled primarily by online buzz.

"You'll hear about bands on blogs now," he observes, "because that's just a new form of media. Yeah, some bloggers really got behind us, which is awesome. But I think that before, like, 90% of any blogs wrote about us, we had a piece in the New York Times. So does that make us, like, 'a newspaper band'?"

The Bucks County Courier Times examines the influence of musicians in the race for the US Democratic presidential nomination race.

In the interest of balance, I tried to find a list of prominent musicians who have endorsed John McCain, but came up empty. One Web report did list 79-year-old, multiple Grammy winner Burt Bacharach as a McCain fan, but in a January interview with the Australian newspaper The Age, Bacharach admitted being brought to tears by an Obama speech, adding “it excited me. Here's somebody who's like nobody I ever heard talking.”

New York magazine's Aprapos of Nothing blog lists the top ten movies made by actors (and only thre albums make the list).

The Stranger lists five or six things it knows about Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman.

TIME interviews author Rita Mae Brown.

Your 1973 book Ruby Fruit Jungle was a groundbreaking lesbian novel, and a media phenomenon. How did that change your life?

Well, I didn't know I was going to be famous. All that happens, and I was like, what is all this crap? Excuse me for swearing.

That's okay. What did you expect the reaction to be?

None, because nobody wanted to publish it. I mean, I've got splinters in my nose from the best publishing doors in town. Finally this little tiny company that just started, called Daughters Press, gave me $1,000 and published it. I never had a book review, never had an ad, didn't have a hard cover until I guess one of its anniversaries. It exploded and they couldn't keep up with the sales. They couldn't print them fast enough. So Bantam bought it. [ A million copies were sold.]

The Village Voice reviews the Mountain Goats' recent Webster Hall performance.

Through its 17-year existence—a lifespan that's included numerous albums with drummers—Darnielle's peculiar energy always been the group's undisputed center of gravity. No matter what form the Mountain Goats took on tape, or in what fidelity, one could be reasonably sure that the songs would make ultimate sense rendered by Darnielle and Hughes alone, some unstated contrarian/purist mission about being able to rock harder without drums than with them. Certainly, their incessant touring and rabid live following is a testament to that—their packed appearance at Webster Hall being their biggest Manhattan appearance yet. It is not Wurster's fault that, positioned center stage—Darnielle and Hughes some 25 feet away from one another on either side—he makes the band seem like a parody of themselves, like Nirvana in Ed Sullivan drag a la "Lithium."

The New York Times also reviews the show.

To the delight of his collegiate audience Mr. Darnielle often writes about outsiders, depressives, introverts and failures. Before he played “Autoclave” — which says, “No emotion that’s worth having could call my heart its home” — he announced, “We are a generation that has romanticized self-loathing in the hopes that it will” lead to sex.

Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers talks to the Hartford Courant about the band's new album, Brighter than Creation's Dark.

"We would have been happy with a 12-song or 14-song record, but as we listened back to what we had done, it became apparent that this record was its own thing," Hood says. "And rather than try to tame it or cut it down, it was like every song was a piece of the puzzle. Some of the songs may seem, if taken on their own as a single, almost unfinished, but when taken with the song next to it, it leads into something."

Entertainment Weekly lists its "indie rock 25," their favorite indie rock album for each year since 1984.

Susan Choi talks to NPR's Book Tour about her new novel, A Person of Interest (the first chapter of the book is also excerpted).

"It's still funny for me to think of myself as someone who writes historical fiction because it seems like a really fusty, musty term," Choi says, "and yet it clearly applies."

Author (and Largehearted Boy contributor) Tao Lin is selling some interesting self-promotional t-shirts (designed by Ellen Francis) on his blog.

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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