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March 22, 2008


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

MP3 sets by N.E.R.D., the Whip, Holy F*ck, and Ed Harcourt.

Streaming audio and video of sets by Duffy, Meredith Bragg, and Sons and Daughters.

Bittorrent download of a show by MGMT.

The Wall Street Journal profiles the Black Keys.

The new album, "Attack & Release," finds the Black Keys facing a career-defining question: How can a rock group with just two members and a minimalist approach evolve its sound and expand its commercial appeal? An early answer could lie in the new single "Strange Times." It's built around a pounding kick drum and a buzzing guitar riff -- the band's stock ingredients -- but adorned with hand claps, a whining synthesizer and ghostly moans. In the band's hometown the song has been in heavy rotation on WAPS-FM 91.3, a station that leans toward mellow fare like Sheryl Crow and Jack Johnson.

The Peterborough Examiner reviews Dean Wareham's memoir, Black Postcards: A Rock & Roll Romance.

He offers an unvarnished look at the petty spats that suffocated Galaxie 500 after the beloved indie group released three mesmerizing albums. The New Zealand native then formed the Velvet Underground-steeped guitar band Luna and tried, in between tours, to deliver a radio friendly hit for major label backers during the alternative rock gravy days of the 1990s. The hit - and the big payday - never happened.

see also: the Largehearted Boy review of the book lists the members of the Groupie Hall of Fame.

Music Think Tank offers 9 mistakes to avoid when recording your own album.

Newsday examines the global influences of indie rockers.

Rolf Klausener, leader of the Canadian band The Acorn, found a more direct route to world music: His mother, born Gloria Esperanza Montoya in Honduras, ran away from her abusive father as a young girl and eventually found her way to Montreal in 1972. Only recently did she reveal details about her difficult childhood, Klausener said, inspiring him to dramatize her story and explore the traditional Garifuna music of Honduras on The Acorn's new album, "Glory Hope Mountain" (Paper Bag Records).

Billboard interviews REM frontman Michael Stipe.

The Times Online interviews author Philip Pullman.

He most admires “the great 19th-century novelists”, has little time for the tricksy subversions practised by highbrow modernists and denies there is much nourishment to be gained from exploring “the endless ways of saying things”. But even for one sticking to the traditional tools of the storyteller's trade, it's getting harder. “You can count on one finger the number of people receiving critical acclaim and writing bestsellers at the moment,” he says. The lone ranger he counts on his raised forefinger is, predictably, Ian McEwan. “I've been very lucky,” he adds humbly.

The Wall Street Journal excerpts the first chapter of Laura Lippman's new novel, Another Thing to Fall.

see also: Lippman's Largehearted Boy Book Notes for the book

Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers talks to the Boston Herald about the importance of vinyl albums to the band's sound.

“Everything is so clean on digital,” he said. “There’s so much separation that you can hear each individual thing on a CD. But some music is meant to sound blended, to bleed together. Vinyl has that warm bottom you just can’t digitize.

“We’re a band that cares about presentation,” Hood said. “We care about our artwork and how things look. Even on our new CD we divided the song list up on the package between four sides because that’s the way we think of it.” interviews former Sleater-Kinney (and current Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks) drummer Janet Weiss.

You're a member of Quasi, and recently drummed for Bright Eyes. How solid is your membership with the Jicks?

I am a real Jick. I played on some of the most recent Bright Eyes record, and did one European tour with them, because Steve was having another kid and there was a big hole in my schedule. I enjoy playing. The pace of the Jicks is not breakneck. Steve has a family and is dedicated to it. He wants to be a great dad, not the kind that is gone all the time. So we have to be flexible, and it's worth it. You don't get to play with someone like him just any day.

Talk of the Nation features Tift Merritt with an interview and in-studio performance.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features Ireland's Bell X1 with an in-studio performance and interview.

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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