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April 18, 2008


The Kitsap Sun and Seattle Times interview Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard.

The Roanoke Times interviews bestselling author David Baldacci.

Q: Why do you think you've been so successful as an author?

I feel like I have a very distinctive understanding of how a story should be put together and how to grab the reader's attention right away.

I'm really big into character development. The books I've loved, I can't tell you a lot about plot lines, but I can tell you about the characters. I build great characters and put them into interesting stories.

I paid my dues over the years. And every book I write, I'm scared to death I won't be able to do it again. Fear is a great way to combat complacency. Readers can tell that I'm not a factory. I'm different -- out of the box -- every time. It's hard to pigeonhole what I write about.

John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats talks to Popmatters about his 33 1/3 book on Black Sabbath's Masters of Reality album.

“To me I guess the big dividing line is between the albums that people who love metal would consider essential and the ones that are more genuinely canonical,” explains Darnielle via email while on tour with his band. “So, like, you and I might say Volume 4 is a mindblowing step forward, but you wouldn’t consider a person rock-illiterate if they didn’t know ‘Wheels of Confusion’, unless you were being pretty hardcore exacting in your standards. To my mind there are two Black Sabbath albums that any well-rounded rock listener ought to have a passing familiarity with: Master of Reality and Paranoid.

Popmatters profiles the Jesus and Mary Chain and its "post-masterpiece struggle."

The Jesus and Mary Chain’s first album, Psychocandy, is a classic. Or it will be, depending on how long a record has to exist before it attains “classic” status. There’s little argument about that fact. But to look back on it as the start of the band’s discography makes it an even more interesting album than if it stood alone. And now, with new reissues of the first five Jesus and Mary Chain albums—in affordable, non-DualDisc format—we can revisit the band’s most furtive period and see their strange trajectory.

Advertising Age examines the growing business collaborations between music blogs and record labels and magazines.

Copybloggers lists six ways that bloggers are like rappers.

Ed Peto is a blog covering the Chinese music industry.

SF Station interviews former Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss, who is now playing in the Jicks (Stephen Malkmus's backup band).

SFS: How did you become a Jick?

JW: Stephen and I have been friends for about 10 years and I’ve been friends with Joanna the bass player for maybe 20 years. It just seemed like a logical progression. I like to play rock music, he writes rock music and they needed a drummer. They like to improvise and I really enjoy improvising. It seemed almost tailor-made.

Liam Fray of the Courteneers responds to the Guardian's one star review of the band's album, St. Jude.

Being a "Liam" and from Manchester, no doubt this isn't the last time that this perception will rear its head in regard to me and the band. Being from the north still seems to trigger certain preconceptions among critics, and the first in that line is generally a lack of sophistication. Whether it's the accent or the perceived legacy, northern bands are repeatedly saddled with cliches about birds, footie and fighting, which is just ridiculous.

Tift Merritt talks to LAist about her new album, Another Country.

This sense of liberation is apparent on Another Country in several ways, most obviously in the album’s sound. It is the least beholden to the alt-country sound specialized by Lost Highway, and instead it adopts a more romantic folk sound. Even that, though, is a limiting way to describe the album and Merritt, who bristles at the idea of genres. “My friends say I make it hard for myself by not sticking to one thing, but music doesn’t divide itself into genres, “Merritt explains. My favorite artists--Carole King, Van Morrison, Ray Charles—didn’t think in genres. They played what they thought was good and interesting. As a musician I want to constantly explore and not do just one thing.”

Merritt also discusses the album with the San Diego Tribune.

“I guess this album is my departure from Nashville,” Merritt says. “Which is ironic, given the title and the fact that it's my follow-up to a country Grammy nomination. So what do I do but go off to France during the 'Freedom Fries' period and write this. It's going to confuse people.”

The Walrus chooses 30 of the saddest songs in the world.

The Guardian's film blog offers an exclusive clip from Marjane Satrapi's animated adaptation of her graphic novel Persepolis.

Drowned in Sound interviews Santogold.

At the same time though, you’ve presumably read enough of your press to be wary of – having worked with Diplo – as being typecast as nothing more than an identikit M.I.A.?

No, I don’t at all and I think that the press has got a little ahead of itself considering that they haven’t heard that much music. That’s one of the reasons why I’m so excited for the record to be coming out. Diplo worked on two tracks, y’know, and press are going to be putting their foot in their mouths with the M.I.A. comparison when the record comes out because it is so different. In terms of press I don’t get mad at it because I realise that people need a reference point and I think that on the outside that is a good one.

Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy plays DJ for NPR's All Songs Considered.

Kinks frontman Ray Davies appears live in the studio at Sound Opinions today.

The Brooklyn Rail reviews the Mountain Goats' latest album, Heretic Pride.

This is smart songwriting (lyrically and musically) that feels like a rush of clean air in today’s cluttered music world—think the Decemberists, Colin Meloy, and Bishop Allen as reference points.

The Futurist recaps John Vanderslice's recent WOXY Lounge Act performance with a couple of in-studio mp3s.

A belated congratulations to my favorite podcast on the planet and an online literary treasure, The Bat Segundo Show, which recently posted its 200th episode (an interview with Mark Savas). Recent episodes have featured Jennifer 8. Lee, Will Leitch, and Richard Price.

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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