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March 24, 2008


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

Bittorrent download of shows by Jimmy Lafave and The Pan I Am.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian's Noise blog interviews Jens Lekman.

SFBG: What usually triggers a song for you? Copulating cats, misunderstandings?

JL: Dialogue is very inspiring to me - I've been watching a lot of comedy. I've been very inspired by using comedy and humor in a dialogue and making it flow in a better way. I would really love to do something one day like "Trapped in the Closet" - that R. Kelly opera. I loved that one. He's one of the few that actually use dialogue in a song. I think more music should be more like a play or a film - I want the characters to come alive.

Popmatters interviews singer-songwriter James McMurtry.

1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?

I think the last time I cried while reading was after I’d read a passage in Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men. The narrator, the sheriff, was recounting a dream in which he was on horseback, traveling through cold mountains in the dark. His deceased father rode past him without speaking. The sheriff could see that his father was carrying glowing coals in a horn, and he knew that somewhere out there in the dark the old man would be waiting for him beside a warm fire.

The University of Maryland's Diamondback reviews a recent Mountain Goats performance.

His ease with the audience - evident in this interaction and other stream-of-consciousness soliloquies that resulted in quotes like "My rhythm section ate all other indie-rock rhythm sections for breakfast and said it tasted good" - only helped make good songs great. With his halting, stuttering style of speech and random-yet-brilliant asides, Darnielle is reminiscent to the late, great Mitch Hedberg, but with a musical bent.

Happy birthday to Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers.

Billboard examines the importance of musicians' Wikipedia entries.

"Wikipedia is a fantastic landing page," says Jason Feinberg, owner/president of On Target Media Group, a Web promotions consultancy. "It's so clear, so concise, and it's standardized. That's something I think is a draw over MySpace, where you never quite know the experience you're going to get. Is it going to be a horrible jumble of images and video and text that's difficult to read? Also, (Wikipedia is) rooted in fact. It's not promotional. Especially these days when the Internet is full of artists trying to essentially ram their message down your throat, I think a fan is a lot more receptive to a simple, no-hype approach."

The New Yorker features "Great Experiment,"new short fiction by Jeffrey Eugenides.

Southern Shelter offers a live performance by Dead Confederate singer/guitarist Hardy Morris and bassist Brantley Senn.

REM's Michael Stipe talks to NPR's Morning Edition about the band's new album, Accelerate (out April 1st).

"I've always felt since the early days," Stipe says, "that when I'm writing a vocal part, my job is to make it sound like that's the only vocal part that [could] ever possibly go along to that piece of music."

Pitchfork also interviews Stipe.

Pitchfork: You're having Modest Mouse, the National, and the Foals open for you. What drew you to them?

MS: I like all three of those bands. The National's the only band that I've actually seen perform, so I'm excited to see Modest Mouse and the Foals. Here in Texas, for instance, one of the bands that's playing the same bill as us at this barbecue joint called Stubb's is Paper Cranes out of Gainesville, Florida-- that's Rain Phoenix's band. She's written a bunch of new songs since I last saw the band and I'm really excited to see them. It just speaks to the position that we wound up putting ourselves as a band into that we're able to pick and choose the bands that play on the same bill with us. That's totally fortunate because you wind up with a Foals or a Modest Mouse or a Joseph Arthur or a Paper Cranes instead of same hack band that you don't like that much. So that's really cool.

BBC News reports which books are most likely to be unfinished by Britons.

Some 35% of those who bought or borrowed Vernon God Little, DBC Pierre's story of a US high school massacre, admitted not finishing it.

The figure was 32% for the fourth instalment in the Harry Potter series, while 28% said the same for James Joyce's Ulysses, third on the list.

NPR's Weekend Edition examines the increased use of dogs on book covers.

Two I have noticed this year: Toby Barlow's Sharp Teeth and Matt Haig's The Labrador Pact.

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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