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April 17, 2008

Shorties

The Duke Chronicle interviews Dan Bejar of Destroyer.

Given the unique nature of all your music and your songwriting especially, can you describe the process you go through when you write a song?

Even if it wasn't 3:43 a.m. in a Days Inn in Bismarck, N.D. right now with Blazing Saddles bubbling in the background, I would have a rough time describing the kind of foggy process from which a Destroyer song is emitted. All I can say is that these days it is generally a words-first scenario, though those words have gotta be vaguely musical from the get-go or I lose interest. At some point, I'll lose a wrestling match with a guitar and end-up strumming it to find some chords.


BBC News interviews Patrick French, author of the V.S. Naipul autobiography The World Is What It Is.

How difficult was it to write the biography of one of the world's most controversial writers, who has also been known to be difficult with interviewers?

The biographer Hilary Spurling said I needed "nerves of iron" to write a book like this, which is probably right. It was never straightforward. Having said that, VS Naipaul was always co-operative about letting me get on with my work and research. He saw the seriousness and the scope of what I was attempting to do.


Daniel Radosh, author of Rapture Ready: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture creates a music playlist for the New York Times' Paper Cuts blog.


The Colorado Springs Independent profiles Kimya Dawson.


The A.V. Club profiles Headlights.

As much as the band had going for it on its 2006 debut, Kill Them With Kindness, Headlights' songwriting is both sharper and fuzzier on Some Racing, a beguiling collection of gooey boy-girl vocals, indelible '60s sunshine melodies, and dreamy shoegaze dynamics that should only sound better as the weather gets warmer.


The New York Times profiles Zoey Deschanel and the actress's indie music project with M. Ward, She & Him.

The music has drawn comparisons to 1970s AM radio staples like Carly Simon and Linda Ronstadt. It is unironically, unapologetically pleasant; feel-good nostalgia in the best sense. “It sort of defied some of the preconceptions and prejudices I would’ve had about an actor rock album,” said Amrit Singh, the executive editor of the music blog stereogum.com. He compared it favorably to another buzzy actress-and-indie collaboration, Scarlett Johansson’s forthcoming album of Tom Waits covers, produced by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek. Mr. Ward and Ms. Deschanel “seemed like a good stylistic fit,” he said.


The A.V. Club interviews Beth Ditto of Gossip.

AVC: It's been a while since you guys were last in the studio, right? Standing In The Way Of Control was recorded three years ago.

BD: Someone told me once that Lucinda Williams takes six years between albums, and that's what stuck to me; it's like, you really are a factory. You don't do things to make them, on your own time. There were three years between Movement and Standing In The Way Of Control, too. It's just our pace, and that's natural for us. I don't feel freaked out about it until people freak out about it. When you get a certain amount of media attention, I think people are like, "Where's your other album?" and I'm like, "Well, this is a new band to you, to a lot of people, and I think that's not what they're used to. I think they're used to major-label bands that set out to be famous and make a lot of money, keeping people happy, and that's just not the way we do things." So it could be another year, it could be another two years.


IGN lists the top 15 Star Wars villains.


The A.V. Club lists "20 respectable rock and rap acts that peaked with debut albums."


22 Books is a website centered on sharing your book lists about any topic.


Planet eBook lists all its free and legal electronic book downloads.


Drowned in Sound interviews Anthony Gonzales of M83 about his new album, Saturdays=Youth.

You’ve also mentioned how the new record is inspired by John Hughes’ films – do you relate to those films personally or is it more just the style that you enjoy?

Again I discovered these movies when I was fourteen or so. It’s such a good snapshot of what teenagers were in the eighties, and I feel close to this kind of atmosphere. One of the most important periods in my life was my teenage years and I had so much fun during that time, so many good memories. Watching those movies reminds me of that, yeah, it makes me feel melancholic and nostalgic about that time. Even if I’m 27 I still behave like I was 14, you know...


NPR's Morning Edition examines J.K. Rowling's lawsuit over the publication of The Harry Potter Lexicon.


This Flickr group contains scanned images of most Mountain Goats albums (as well as compilation albums and Extra Glenns releases).


The Futurist recaps the Big Sleep's WOXY Lounge Act performance with a couple of in-studio tracks.


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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