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May 5, 2008


The New Yorker features new short fiction by Yiyun Li, "A Man Like Him."

Aversion interviews Low's Alan Sparhawk about his side project, Retribution Gospel Choir.

After building a pretty specific sound with Low for all those years, was it a little liberating to just be able to plug in and rock out like a more conventional band?

Of course. Low is very much about control and limitations. Any time I step out of that, it can feel freeing, but usually new limitations come no matter what you do, so everything ends up still about restraint. As I said before, this is not the first time I've played outside the low context. The Black-Eyed Snakes have been around for almost 10 years. Every time you feel like you're stretching outside your boundaries, you bring more depth to the inside. Most of any evolution Low has had has been inspired by what we don't do in Low.

Female First interviews singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins.

North By Northwestern offers a "crash course in the Replacements" by reviewing the band's recent reissued albums.

The Los Angeles Times interviews litblogger Mark Sarvas, whose debut novel Harry, Revised has been garnering positive reviews.

What came first for you, the desire to criticize and assess or the urge to create characters and narrative?

The desire to write, to create, came first. Like a lot of others, I came out to Los Angeles originally to write screenplays, and when you spend any amount of time doing that, you quickly find that it's not very satisfying. I would get feedback from my agent and producers that 'There's a novelist in you trying to get out.'

Clubwiki is a new site designed to help musicians share venue information and booking contacts.

Pitchfork interviews Les Savy Fav's Tim Harrington.

Pitchfork: Do you play your records around the house for your kid?

TH: I think I did one or twice, he kind of recognized it...A really awesome thing happened today, he was going through this-- I won't tell you this, I'm sort of telling the other guys in the van-- well, maybe I'll tell you. [Announces to car] Guys, today [my son] found Anna's old passport wallet, and she had leftover money in it from pre-euro days, and he had all these French francs. I was sitting around and he started yelling, "Dada, dada!" And he's holding this little orange slip of paper, and I realized he's holding a five-franc note or whatever it is, that has Cezanne on it, who's got a big beard and [is] bald, and he thought it was me on the money. And it was so exciting. And that's that.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel profiles Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and his success.

The making of a career only starts with the art, the album, the music. The music has to get heard and played, difficult tasks in an industry that has been blown to bits by the Internet and musical downloads. But for up-and-coming acts, the new age brings new opportunities boosted by new media.

Bloggers cut through the noise, post reviews and musical downloads.

Vernon was championed by the likes of Craig "Dodge" Lile, who runs My Old Kentucky Blog.

"He's just a guy, man, a guy who runs a music blog," Vernon says. "He has advertisers. Bloggers have become this force. They have unlimited resources on what they can play. The people come to them."

Popmatters ponders the retirement scenarios of today's hip hop stars.

The New York Times examines the grass roots organic marketing approach by the Fueled By Ramen record label.

The label and its partners “know how to do things on the cheap,” said Bob McLynn, a partner at Crush Management, which represents Panic at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Gym Class Heroes and several other Fueled by Ramen bands. “The music business doesn’t know how to do that.”

CNet's news blog examines the growing importance of music blogs.

Nathan Brackett, Rolling Stone's deputy managing editor, doesn't blink. He says there isn't any blog out there that can rival his magazine's readership or level of journalism.

"I wouldn't call what they do as writing," Brackett said. "The blogs do the really quick 50-word update on what a band's doing. They'll write about (singer) Lilly Allen releasing a new EP or (the band) Man Man is preparing an album. The way Rolling Stone competes is we pick up the phone and bring original reporting. We take advantage of our access. Most blogs don't have the staffs to pick up the phone."

Esquire lists 75 skills every man should master.

6. Know at least one musical group as well as is possible. One guy at your table knows where Cobain was born and who his high school English teacher was. Another guy can argue the elegant extended trope of Liquid Swords with GZA himself. This is how it should be. Music does not demand agreement. Rilo Kiley. Nina Simone. Whitesnake. Fugazi. Otis Redding. Whatever. Choose. Nobody likes a know-it-all, because 1) you can't know it all and 2) music offers distinct and private lessons. So pick one. Except Rilo Kiley. I heard they broke up.

Salon examines the pop culture phenomenon of Che Guevara.

The Independent profiles Nada Surf.

The Scotsman examines the controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling being chosen for this year's commencement speech at Harvard.

"Harvard seniors have every right to demand a Harvard-calibre speaker. Harry Potter – and JK Rowling – is just a flash in the pan. Writing bedtime stories is lame – just ask Tolkien and CS Lewis. The class of 2008 has been royally screwed by Harvard. A petty pop culture personality of questionable permanence will send us on our merry way, while figures of real substance wait in the wings."

The daughter of poet Dylan Thomas talks to the Guardian about her legendary father.

She finds the way her father is now remembered both wonderful and depressing - wonderful that he keeps on finding new readers, and depressing that his drinking is the sum of what many people know about him. "People need to have these legendary bad figures, and he has become an iconic figure, Brendan Behan-style, which is only part of the story. He was very focused in his 39 years. He wasn't interested in anything but literature and writing it. It is very isolating to write, and he did it many hours a day. Then he'd go to the pub to play cards or skittles - he needed that. All the drinking and the womanising, you know, it is more understandable to me now".

The New York Times examines Apple's entry into the new movie download market.

On the surface, it looks like a great deal for the studios. Apple has agreed to sell new releases for $14.99 and rent them for $3.99 while older, “library” movies go for $9.99 and cost $2.99 to rent. It’s a reasonable price to pay the studios for electronic sell-through, especially when you consider Apple is paying more for the releases than it is charging consumers ($16, according to The Wall Street Journal). That follows Wal-Mart’s use of entertainment as a loss leader to get shoppers in the door.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal collects local bloggers posts about the city's Beale Street Music Festival.

Dvice offers tips to build your own Iron Man suit.

The 2008 Coachella music downloads page has been updated with a bittorrent download of the show by Carbon/Silicon.

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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