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April 28, 2008


The 2008 Coachella music downloads page has been updated with several performances, including mp3 performances of Animal Collective and Portishead, and Raconteurs, and bittorrent downloads of the Cold War Kids and the Verve.

Actress Zooey Deschanel talks to the Los Angeles Times about her musical collaboration with M. Ward, She & Him.

The actress concedes that the connection was immediate. "There's something so profound about his music," Deschanel says of Ward. "He has this way of spinning a web in his songs so that you have no idea where or when they were recorded. I feel like he's covering ground that no one else is covering right now."

Oregon Public Broadcasting features a streaming in-studio performance by Laura Gibson.

Singer-songwriter Tift Merritt talks to the Irish Independent about her public radio show and interviewing author Nick Hornby.

Tift is finally making it to the Kilkenny Rhythm'n'Roots Festival this year and has recently undertaken to presenting a public radio show, The Spark, which features artist-to-artist interviews, the first being Nick Hornby.

“I love Nick's writing and, of course, he did include Trouble Over Me from the first record in the 31 Songs book!” laughs Tift. “But the reason for the show was that I was lonely on the road, really disconnected and I wondered if other artists felt the same way. I wondered if I was just a shitty artist and should hang it up, so I wanted to talk to other artists about that and that's how the show came about.

“I've always had a selfish interest in how artists behave. I'm interested in how these people live and maintain their fire and integrity – hence, The Spark. Oh, and I love vanity projects!”

The Guardian's music blog points out Write Me Stories, a blog that solicits handwritten stories from indie bands.

Over a five-year period a lad called Paulo from London has collected 109 such stories from bands and singers he loves, including Arcade Fire, the Flaming Lips and Jens Lekman. He waits around after the gig for the musicians to finish up and then asks them to write a short story or poem or maybe do a drawing on a file-index card. He then posts them on his blog. This beautifully odd request somehow gets the musicians to open up and captures them in a state rarely recorded by most journalists. They write for him something as personal as a letter, and often as funny and rambling as a drunken uncle.

This week Popmatters is previewing the summer movie releases.

Wired examines the influence of games like Guitar Hero on the future of music.

The wildfire success of music games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band is causing a subtle revolution in popular music -- maybe not on the level of the British Invasion of the '60s, but noticeable nonetheless. The games are bringing about renewed interest in the guitar, a music-making machine that's been losing traction lately to turntables and laptops. Guitar Hero is like a gateway drug that's getting a new wave of players hooked on guitar.

In the New Yorker, David Sedaris has an essay about smoking (and not smoking).

Swaptree is a website where you can trade books, CDs, DVDs, and video games.

Singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle talks to NPR's Morning Edition.

The Los Angeles Times interviews McSweeney's editor Eli Horowitz (who edited John Brandon's novel Arkansas, which has had me spellbound since it arrived yesterday).

Question: You just published John Brandon's first novel "Arkansas." With a small-town setting and a cast of Border State ne'er do-wells, it's the kind of book that might be overlooked by a larger, daresay New York-based publisher. Would you say the process of putting this book out was like swimming upstream?

Horowitz: It's been a real lesson in getting people to care about the book. John Brandon actually got an MFA, but it was five or six years ago, and he'd been going around since doing odd jobs, so he's not at all in the web of things. It was hard to get blurbs, for example. People want to know who his professors were, who his friends are. It's been hard to get attention, but he and I went on a tour through the Southeast and he'll be coming out to Los Angeles in July.

Advertising Age examines Starbucks' latest entry into the music business.

Last October, all 10,000 Starbucks coffee shops began a monthlong promotion offering customers free iTunes cards to download specific songs from Apple's iTunes music service. Its purpose was two-fold: First, re-establish Starbucks as the Oprah-like tastemaking force it was when it helped esoteric jazz and rock acts gain prominence several years ago. Second, get customers used to using Starbucks' Wi-Fi network to buy music on iTunes.

Joyce Carol Oates talks to NPR's Weekend Edition about her latest book, the short fiction collection Wild Nights.

Southern Shelter features mp3s of a 2005 solo performance by Mike Cooley of the Drive-By Truckers.

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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