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June 10, 2008

Shorties

The Minneapolis City Pages interviews REM bassist Mike Mills.

CP: You guys use the internet a lot. You released a series of short films online before Accelerate came out, and you streamed Around the Sun on MySpace before its release—which at the time was pretty unique.

Mills: Everybody loves new ways to approach the audience. We have the supernaturalsuperserious.com website, where people can make their own video, using footage that we provided. Or streaming the record on iLike.com the week before it comes out, so people can legally get a chance to listen to it. Technology can be a wonderful thing to break down barriers, and that's what we try to use it for.


MusicRadar lists the most overrated albums of all time.


Finding Dulcinea celebrates what would have been Saul Bellow's 93rd birthday,


Entertainment Weekly offers a selective list of memoirs written since 1995.


The Boston Globe examines the allure of author readings.

"As a species we have an ancient longing for the spoken word," Cohen says. She cites the Globe's chief book critic while noting, "In terms of listening versus reading, Gail Caldwell says, 'It's a different way of taking in the sublime.' I think people go to a reading to get what they can't get from staying at home and reading on their own. There's an auditory experience, and the communal aspect instead of that of the solitary reader."


Drowned in Sound lists five potential successors to My Bloody Valentine.


Muxtape Stumbler is another way to search through Muxtape online mixtapes.


PC Magazine offers a guide to managing your digital music collection.


USA Today excerpts from David Guterson's new novel, The Other.

The San Francisco Chronicle reviews the book.

Guterson's elegant prose is at its best when describing nature. Although neither as resplendent as "Cedars" nor as powerful as "Into the Wild," "The Other" affords those of us who live in sushi world - perhaps even less authentic than "hamburger world" - several hours' escape, time to see our choices a little differently.


Will Johnson of Centro-matic and South San Gabriel talks to the Phoenix.

With the release of DualHawks, Johnson has put out 14 albums between Centro-matic and South San Gabriel, and if you factor in his solo full-lengths and various EPs from all of his projects, he’s dropped nearly 20 discs in the 13 years he’s been writing and recording. Yet as Hawks attests, he’s never sacrificed quality for quantity. “There may come a day when I feel that it’s time for me to shut up, that maybe I’ve sung all that I’ve had to sing about. But right now I don’t feel particularly close to that at all. I still feel very driven to work with characters and stories and imagery and melodies, and I think that so long as all that is rollin’ around in my brain, it feels healthy to commit it to tape somehow, whatever form it takes.”


The Los Angeles Times Jacket Copy blog gathers the reviews for Chuck Palahniuk's latest novel, Snuff.


Sloan's Patrick Pentland talks to Metro Vancouver about the band's new album, Parallel Play (out today in the US).

Not every member likes Spoon- and Shins-style production flourishes — but Pentland sure does. Album-opener Believe in Me features backwards guitar, reverb, eight guitars layered over one another, and a delayed organ. Pentland assembled the song piece by piece over time — the opening guitar riff was actually written last, and then cut and pasted as an intro.

“You can play (the songs) on an acoustic guitar, but there’s all kinds of production on top of that,” he said. “It adds flavours…It’s like making an apple pie and throwing in a little chili, or if your popcorn is too salty, you pour some syrup on it. It tastes good, even if it’s not something you’re supposed to do.”


WHYY's Fresh Air interviews David Sedaris about his latest essay collection, When You Are Engulfed in Flames.


Drowned in Sound interviews Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes.

The phrase ‘buzz band’ is not one that sits well with Pecknold. After this year’s South by Southwest industry jolly in Texas, the words ‘Fleet Foxes’ appeared to be on everyone’s lips, from enthusiast blogger through to record company exec and broadsheet journalist. Treading carefully, he states: “As a band so much of that stuff is out of your hands. There’s nothing we can really do… (pauses) I think the thing we want to avoid is appearing to be like shoved down peoples throats, you know?” But he knows he can hardly be surprised having arrived as the very latest Sub Pop signings. Such a title will undoubtedly attract the attention of the entire music press. “We just don’t want to chase after, like, an over saturation thing,” he reasons.


Pendant of the day: "My book club can beat up your book club."


The Motley Fool examines Wal-Mart's signing of AC/DC to a record contract.

Madonna, McCartney, and The Eagles proved marketable, but when was the last time that AC/DC had a hit? It's been ages since the Australian rockers shook the stateside charts all night long. However, AC/DC is just the latest retro powerhouse to realize that it doesn't really need a major label when it can milk its classics on the touring gravy train, releasing the occasional disc along the way.

The New York Times also examines Wal-Mart's entry into the record label industry.


The Futurist recaps DeVotchKa's recent WOXY Lounge Act session with a couple of in-studio mp3s.


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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