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May 29, 2008

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Destroyer frontman Dan Bejar talks songwriting with Metro Vancouver.

“[I don’t think] that ideas and songs are worthless if they aren’t perfect poems accompanied to music,” he said. “The idea of how [the lyric] is sung — I think that’s the most important idea…I don’t think those two worlds should be smooshed together [lyrics and music]. But there hasn’t been a forum to talk about that.”


Time Out Chicago interviews David Sedaris about his new book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames.

TOC: Your writing is absolutely nonfiction?

David Sedaris: I’ve never made up events, but I’ve always been a big exaggerator. It’s written on my humorist license that I’m allowed to do that.


Reuters reports that Disney is starting a graphic novel division, Kingdom Comics.

The creation of Kingdom Comics positions the studio as a player in the scorching comic book scene. Many studios have aligned themselves to the big companies -- Warner Bros. owns DC Comics, Marvel has a distribution deal with Paramount, Universal has a first-look deal with Dark Horse Comics -- leaving very few players up for grabs. It also will put the company in business with established and untapped talent in what essentially will be a R&D division.


The Unofficial Apple Weblog offers a low cost guide to making music with your Mac.


Old 97's guitarist Ken Bethea talks to the Houston Chronicle.

Bethea says flatly he thinks the band's two best records are its debut, 1994's Hitchhike to Rhome, and its third, 1997's Too Far to Care. The latter was made four years after they got together. Bethea's radiant and gritty guitar parts; Miller's smart and smart-alecky lyrics about sex, death and socially awkward oddballs; Hammond's tight harmonies; and Philip Peeples' firecracker drumming, all delivered with a sense of abandon, gelled in a way that prompted change.


Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg talks to the Austin American-Statesman about the band's new album, Rook (out June 3rd).

To his credit, Meiburg keeps the clear-eyed view of the scientist. "Look, the old world is gone and it's not coming back," he says. "I think there's a sense on this album that we need to come to grips with that a little bit more, how we can understand that the world is changing profoundly, things are disappearing which will never come back again and now things are arriving, which we can't know or understand."


The North County Times interviews Matt Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces.

"I think about things a little differently when considering the album and the live versions of songs," Friedberger said. "When you're talking about an album, the important thing is to listen to everything on the album. When you're at a show, it's fun to have the recorded version in mind when you're hearing it, as long as you're not referring back to it in the context of the record. The live version is supposed to be the more dramatic version of the song."


Swervedriver's Adam Franklin talks to the San Francisco Chronicle about the band's reunion.


Bloomberg offers summer reading suggestions for the New York Mets.


Singer-songwriter Samantha Crain talks songwriting with the Nashville Scene.

Then there’s Crain’s meandering lyrics and song structures. Songs like “Beloved, We Have Expired,” a swaying meditation with sporadic bursts of reverb-doused electric guitar, aren’t at all typical story songs—they’re music molded to the irregular shape of short stories. “They start out like that a lot of times—writing a story and deciding to turn it into a song later,” she says. “Sometimes you just have to make weird verses that don’t really fit.”


The New York Times and Forbes review Devil May Care: The New James Bond Novel by Sebastian Faulks.

The National Post examines the origins of the James Bond character.


The Denver Westword profiles White Rabbits.

All six members contributed to the songwriting on the CD, which embraces a frenzied, literary feel, evoking what Tennessee Williams might sound like with an ax in his hand. The album's critical success led to a contract with TBD Records, the current home of Radiohead. The one-album deal allows the members to afford new luxuries, like their own rooms. "We all have our own places now!" Russell imparts jubilantly, adding that they are also filming their first proper video, for the Fort Nightly track "While We Go Dancing."


The Independent has five authors bring an author back to life, complete with an example of their resuscitated prose.


The Associated Press examines the interaction between US presidential candidates and their campaign music.

George H.W. Bush's 1988 co-opting of Bobby McFerrin's ironic smile music — "Don't worry, be happy" — was about as astute as a helmeted Michael Dukakis poking his head out of a tank. His son's re-election theme in 2004, "Still the One," seems nice until you hear the verse, "sometimes I never want to see you again." Same with one of Barack Obama's 2008 choices, U2's "City of Blinding Lights," which features this line: "The more you see the less you know, the less you find out as you go."


The Guardian finds the internet a positive influence on book sales.

Books are one of the oldest industries, yet they have been hardly affected by the digital revolution. Publishers just go on commissioning and editing them in their own sweet time as if nothing had happened. In an age when your blog could be out of date in minutes, publishers seem happy to leave months, even years, between the manuscript being presented and going on sale. The curious thing is that it doesn't seem to be doing them any harm at all. UK book sales have risen in volume every year for the past five years, including a 6% increase last year. No wonder book publishers are not baying about illegal downloads like the film and music industries.


The Dallas Observer profiles Will Johnson of Centro-matic and South San Gabriel.

Johnson's two primary musical projects, Centro-matic and South San Gabriel, are about to release a split double album that even has the word "dual" in its title. Each of his bands represents an opposite pole in dichotomy between loud, sloppy, raw bar rock and quiet, subtle, intricate slow songs. And Johnson even splits his time between two cities: Denton, which his bands identify as home base, and Austin, where he has lived for the past five years.


The New York Press offers its "elitist's summer reading list."


At NPR's All Things Considered author Diana Abu-Jaber lists recommends three books "with blood ... and brains."


George Saunders Land is the "definitive website for fans of George Saunders."


WritersAreReaders.com features authors reviewing books.


Drowned in Sound interviews former Jam frontman Paul Weller.


Soul legend Al Green talks to NPR's All Things Considered about his storied career.


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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