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May 10, 2008


The Wall Street Journal profiles art rockers Cloud Cult.

A Cloud Cult concert doesn't end with the encore; it ends with a bidding war. After every performance by this rising Minneapolis rock band, fans vie in a silent auction for one-of-a-kind souvenirs from the show: pictures painted to the music by the group's two on-stage artists.

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer profiles author Maya Angelou.

"When I started writing 'Caged Bird,' I thought I was writing for young black girls, then I thought, 'Wait a minute, this is hard work. I better make it for young black boys, too,' " Angelou said in her phone interview.

"Then I started thinking about young white girls and white boys. Latinos and Asians. I began to see myself using myself as a human being. This is what we do. This is how we act. If X has happened, it is likely that we will do Y. So I have simply written, I me Maya Angelou as a human being."

The Wall Street Journal interviews Ta-Nehisi Coates about his memoir, The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood.

WSJ: I could never decide whether you felt your father was too strict a disciplinarian, or not enough of one. Which was it?

Mr. Coates: My dad viewed childhood as preparation for adulthood. Period. I have been a little more lax with my son, who is 7 years old. In the book, holidays are banned. I was raised like that, but we celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving and have barbecues on July 4th. I have a lot of his logic within me, but I participate. Christmas is a great example. The ultimate idea is family is important. But it's a constant struggle for me. One of the big things my father was against was the gluttony of Thanksgiving and the commercialism of Christmas. I still go back and forth on that, because I see his point, but I don't want to put that on a kid.

Brand Upon the Brain is a bog that critiques music logos.

Author David Peace talks to the Guardian.

Despite the scale of his literary ambitions, Peace is relaxed about being labelled a crime writer. "Ian Rankin has written a modern history of Edinburgh that has been a huge achievement and a fantastic body of work. If people are put off by him being called a crime writer, that is their loss. But, considering his sales, not many seem to be put off. I suppose I don't really have that great an imagination, and there is so much from the real world that I just don't understand. Some of that involves crime of whatever scale or form, and in that case I don't see the point of making something up. The novel seems the perfect form to examine what has happened in real life, the things that have deeply affected ordinary people and reflected the times they lived in."

Jack White of the White Stripes and Raconteurs talks to the Times Online.

I suggest to White that while there is an artifice about the White Stripes, the Raconteurs are a more raw experience. He replies with a sharp nod. “In the White Stripes we’re hitting ten different angles at once – blues and childishness and the aesthetic centring round the colours. A lot of it coming out of my upholstery-shop days. But this band has a totally different aspect, coming from different grounds.”

The Telegraph profiles Martha Wainwright.

"My first album was a bit more navel-gazing than my new one because I wrote the songs in my late teens and early twenties. But this one feels more like an expression of an artist without as much baggage, which is a great relief." Her new album, I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too, arrives three years after her debut, and her only concern should be whether critics still have enough superlatives left after the last one.

LAist interviews Syd Straw.

LAist: You started your career singing backup for Pat Benatar. How did you get that gig?

Syd Straw: I was singing at comedy clubs. I stopped by to see why a bunch of people were in line once. This was in New York at Catch A Rising Star. So I got in the line. I think I was between Gilbert Gottfried and Jerry Seinfeld. It was great. So I went on and they said, "Hey come back. You don't suck." Pat Benatar was singing there a lot. She was this young, foxy, stiletto, pony-boot-wearing gal. They asked me to come sing shows with her and do backup. That was it. She's a great singer. has launched a video channel, and already has interviews with Santogold, Moby, Spoon and many more artists.

Topless Robot lists the best songs from geek movie soundtracks.

The Raleigh News & Observer profiles Charlie Louvin.

"I'm often asked, 'When you and your brother were recording these songs, did you think they'd still be viable 50 years down the road?' My answer is, absolutely not. We was just trying to make a living. That's all that was on our minds."

New Scientist lists five science fiction movies that "get the science right."

BooksWellRead and Books I Am Reading are an online book journals.

WXPN is streaming an in-studio performance by British Sea Power.

The Futurist recaps Okkervil River's recent WOXY Lounge Act performance by sharing a couple of in-studio mp3s.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features Dr. Dog with an interview and in-studio performance.

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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