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March 26, 2008


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

MP3 sets by Lightspeed Champion and David Bazan.

Bittorrent downloads of shows by the Jim James, M.Ward, the Black Keys, and Coliseum.

The Chapel Hill News says goodbye to the city's Schoolkids Records.

"Trends have changed to where many, many, many college students are more likely to download than to buy the actual hard goods," said Mike Phillips, who owned this location along with the Raleigh store.

The Baltimore City Paper reviews Dean Wareham's memoir, Black Postcards.

The Galaxie 500 stretch of Black Postcards is both the bitterest and most innocent. As fed-up as his response to Krukowski and Yang's accusations is, Wareham doesn't disguise the fondness of his best memories of the band. (He's also more sympathetic to music journalists and critics than many rock musicians, probably because of the lavish praise, which he quotes heavily, the band received early in its career.) The tone changes with Luna: life is steadier, the band improves step by step, the records get better until 1995's languid, perfect Penthouse, still the peak of Wareham's career. (For the casual reader, the generous reckoning of that album's creation might seem puzzling; for a fan, it's anything but.) And just as Luna's story is about to turn into that of the aforementioned clutch of alt-rock memoirs--peaking in mid-decade, declining by the end of it--its founding bassist quits, the job goes to a not quite believably attractive blonde who'd been the voice of the title character on Jem and the Holograms, and all hell breaks loose behind closed doors.

see also: the review of the book at Largehearted Boy

The Phoenix profiles former Jayhawk Gary Louris.

Gary Louris had no grand designs for the beginning of his solo career. “The Jayhawks just seemed to have run their course,” he says of the long-running Minneapolis-based alt-country band he formed with Mark Olson in 1985. Olson left the group following 1995’s Tomorrow the Green Grass, but Louris continued recording and touring with the Jayhawks for another decade; the band’s last studio disc, Rainy Day Music, came out in 2003. “We were running a bit on fumes,” he admits. “Not in terms of popularity or anything, but in terms of inspiration. It seems like there’s a certain lifespan for a band, and ours was longer than most.” What hadn’t run its course was Louris’s desire to keep making music. “So I just decided to use my own name.”

The Baltimore City Paper recounts its SXSW experience.

Pitchfork previews the next issue of my favorite art/literary/music magazine, Esopus.

Like past issues, this one comes bundled with a themed compilation CD. Last time around we delved into the dreamstuff of ESOPUS readers as musically interpreted by Califone, Dirty Projectors, High Places, Black Moth Super Rainbow, and others. This time we'll celebrate "Good News" with selections from Ryan Adams, Atlas Sound, Man Man, Busdriver, Marnie Stern, Gowns, and the redheaded New Pornographer one-two punch of Neko Case and Carl Newman.

The Minneapolis City Pages Complicated Fun blog lists its top 20 music videos of all time.

The New York Times remembers author Arthur C. Clarke.

The University of Wisconsin's Daily Cardinal examines the process of translating a book to film.

The strangest thing about this trend is some of the best adaptations in film history were taken from mediocre sources. Mario Puzo once said that had he known his book “The Godfather” would be so popular, he would’ve written it better. “Silence of the Lambs” is a decent thriller, but translating it to the big screen made the story iconic. No one remembers Nicholas Pileggi’s book “Wiseguy,” but try finding someone who hasn’t heard of its adaptation, “Goodfellas.”

Southern Shelter features mp3s of a recent Athens performance by the Instruments.

The New York Times Paper Cuts blog lists the seven deadly words of book reviewing.

The Village Voice interviews author John Banville.

Exclaim! examines the new music industry in part one of a series.

Newsweek interviews Brendan Benson of the Raconteurs.

So this new CD was a quick release indeed.

Yes, it's superquick. We did a photo shoot, all the artwork, a video and the mixing it and mastering it all at the same time. It was hectic. Everyone's got their own spin on it. My spin is just that in the old days people would make records and then they would come out the next week. In the '60s they would make a single and it would be on the radio the next week, and that's just kind of cool. I like that. So I'm excited about how fast we could get it out. It's so hard now because of the way things are set up. iTunes has a specific way it wants to deal with things, and of course record companies have their way, so we had to really kind of rail to get it done.

The Minneapolis City Pages examines the shrinking playlist of Minnesota Public Radio's The Current.

In a one-week stretch in mid-March, MGMT's "Electric Feel" was spun 15 times. The previous week, Vampire Weekend's "Mansard Roof" was played 17 times. By contrast, a look at a weekly playlist from late 2005 finds only a handful of songs played more than once a week: LCD Soundsystem's "Give It Up" and John Vanderslice's "Exodus Damage" were each played twice, and Sun Kil Moon's cover of "The Ocean Breathes Salty" saw three plays.

"We're playing newer songs more often to get more people familiar with the songs," says Nelson. "Of course, ratings are just one measure of the health of our organization, but I think we'd be irresponsible not to pay attention to them. Our goal has always been to make this the best radio station for the listeners. It's all about the audience."

Minneapolis Public Radio's The Current features British Sea Power with an interview and in-studio performance.

Make an online mixtape to share at Muxtape.

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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