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May 9, 2008

Shorties

Popmatters examines the music praising US presidential candidate Barack Obama that is popping up around the world.

The puppy dogs of America have aged seven or eight years since the exhaustingly long Democratic primary opened for business, and in that time a niche artform has blossomed in the black diaspora: the Barack Obama Praise Song. The rhythms and melodies range from Jamaican Reggae to Kenyan Benga, but that pulse of a people’s collective hopes racing into the ether is unmistakably familiar: “Yes, We Can” sounds the same in Luo as it does in English. By the time Puerto Rico puts a wrap to this extended season of American Political Theater with its June 3rd primary, some globe-trotting multi-cultural record label—say, Putumayo or Mango—should have the goods for a compilation titled “Obama-mania: World Music Edition.”


Wilco's John Stirratt talks to Lawrence.com.

“It’s been an amazing culmination to have this band appear after so many years and be the best live version of the band,” Stirratt says. “I’d like to make records that we feel are even better than the previous one. The goal is to make the next record really surprising. ... But I’m proud of every record. I’m proud looking back.”


New Music Strategies lists what should (and shouldn't) be on a musician's MySpace page.


Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features Tokyo Police Club with an interview and in-studio performance.


Drowned in Sound interviews Dave Longstreth of the Dirty Projectors.


Doubleday has set up a YouTube channel of videos for Chuck Palahniuk's new novel, Snuff.


The San Francisco Bay Times profiles Heloise and the Savoir Faire.

While drawing comparisons to The B-52s and Blondie, whose Debbie Harry has named the group her favorite new band and lends vocals to two tracks, Heloise & The Savoir Faire are now gaining avid fans across the country.


The Washington Post's Express profiles the Cave Singers.

Pretty Girls Make Graves' fans may be puzzled by the traditional, Dylan- and Guthrie-esque stylings of the project, but The Cave Singers are no hackneyed tribute: The band's organic, coolly wistful Americana is intricate enough to garner broad appeal — and the members' rock pasts suggest a receptive audience far wider than a stale folk niche.


The Oregonian interviews Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie.

Yeah, it's kind of amazing you guys have hit the decade mark. Did you ever think it would last this long?

Absolutely not, in no way. I only really realized that I was in a band and this is what I do like two years ago, I think, maybe three or four years ago. Not that long ago. It always felt like I was supposed to be doing something else, and I'm not (laughs). I guess this is what I do. That's great. I've finally accepted it, it's all cool; this is what I do.


The San Francisco Chronicle reminisces about gonzo author Hunter S. Thompson.


The Guardian examines Krautrock.

"They were breaking down what rock music was meant to be and dismantling it from a West German point of view," says Jim Backhouse, co-presenter of Resonance FM's weekly Kosmische Krautrock show. "But not like Frank Zappa, cynically taking rock music apart just to dismiss it as silly frippery. They did it with a genuine sense of awe and wonder. When they put it back together again, it was with the absolute joy of doing it for its own sake. That's why it still sounds so exciting."


Happy belated birthday, Thomas Pynchon.


Velocity Weekly interviews Sloane Crosley about her essay collection, I Was Told There'd Be Cake.

My favorite piece in the book is one that tells the story of your semi-willing participation in a bridal party. I love the way it blends humor and insight. Do you find that a lot of your insights about life come from observing the absurdity in situations?

Sure. I think what's funny is, which came first, the chicken or the egg? The funny story, or feeling that that story is a source of meaning or insight? Hopefully there's insight or some sort of core of meaning to all of the essays.

see also: Crosley's Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for the collection


The Mental Floss blog lists 4 must-read books for aspiring writers.


Music-map offers visual relationships between musical artists.


Queen guitarist & astrophysicist Brian May talks to NPR's All Things Considered about his book, Bang! The Complete History of the Universe.


NPR's All Things Considered offers a "great unknowns" music showcase this week.


IGN reviews the music in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV.


Publishers Weekly's Notes from the Bookroom blog is looking for book reviewers.


The 2008 Coachella music downloads page has been updated with a lossless download of Justice's performance.


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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