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June 11, 2008


The Hold Steady is streaming its new album, Stay Positive, on the band's MySpace page.

The San Antonio Current profiles North Caroina's Bellafea.

Appearances by John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats and classically trained violinist Daniel Hart, among other talented guests, maintain what McEntire calls a “sense of plurality” that’s convincing, smooth, and highlights her knack for raw immediacy. The perfect instrument accent at crucial moments elevates the songs to new levels, as on the tragically lovely “Thornbird II.” Yoking Hart’s ominous violin to McEntire’s haunting voice suggests clandestine brutality exposed, as she woefully opines, “What is erotic about eradication?” Ben Davis’s accompanying bass and Buchanan’s marching drums lead listeners through those delicately contoured last moments in slow motion, and we feel the pulse of Hart’s shrieking violin convey both urgency and resignation in those final beats.

The Daily Iowan profiles Jennifer Banash, author of the new young adult novel The Elite and one of the people behind Impetus Press.

Challenging the stereotype that "people who read literary fiction don't care about Hollywood," as she put it, Banash's writing is in many ways an attempt to bridge the perceived gap between "high" and "low" culture. It feels appropriate, then, that she would find her most devoted audience in the young-adult community. Old enough for serious fiction, yet still intensely interested in Lindsay Lohan's latest exploits, the mind of the average teenage girl is perfectly suited for Banash's style.

see also: Banash's Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for her debut novel, Hollywoodland

io9 interviews author William Gibson.

Cartoonist Bryan Lee O'Malley (Scott Pilgrim) has a blog at

Bonnaroo has a website set up for mobile access to schedules and other festival activities.

Yahoo Music's List of the Day lists the 25 most notable musical offspring. reminisces on the first anniversary of the final Sopranos episode.

The Minneapolis City Pages profiles singer-songwriter Haley Bonar.

Whatever downfalls she has survived in her past, Big Star is the soundtrack to Haley Bonar coming out on top. She has surrounded herself with an array of highly talented musicians, including high-profile local jazz drummer Dave King (who has played on three of her albums) and indie phenom Andrew Bird, who invited Bonar to sing on his last record. Big Star was mixed by Tchad Blake (who has worked with everyone from Elvis Costello to Tom Waits and is now working on the forthcoming Halloween, Alaska album), an opportunity that Bonar describes as "an honor" and a highlight of her music career. Bonar's CD-release show comes in the middle of a tour opening for Canadian folk rocker Hayden.

The Village Voice interviews Chris Baio of Vampire Weekend.

Is there anything that we as listeners can pick up from the Costello connection? Is there anything about Elvis Costello that directly informs the Vampire Weekend sound?

We’ve talked about it before. We feel like “Oxford Comma” definitely has an Elvis Costello feel. I think there are some ways that you can see an influence in like Ezra’s vocal delivery. I think that he’s sort of like internalized a little bit of Costello in there.

LAist interviews Janelle Brown, quthor of the debut novel, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.

At her NPR Monitor Mix blog, Carrie Brownstein interviews members of We Versus the Shark.

The Village Voice reviews Stasa Stanisic's debut novel, How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone.

How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone is just one of many novels and memoirs that have come out of a war that killed over 100,000 people and displaced almost two million more. But Stanisic's tale will remain exceptional: A gifted storyteller, he's able to translate unspeakably gruesome history into something poignant and hauntingly beautiful.

Columbia OTR lists "cant-miss" and "must-miss" sets from this year's Bonnaroo music festival, prefacing the article with the question, "Is Bonnaroo just SXSW for uncool people?"

The New York Observer reports that Barnes & Noble is classifying David Sedaris's latest book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, as fiction.

Apparently Barnes & Noble doesn't care what Mr. Sedaris thinks: an official chart distributed to publishers that shows sales figures for the week ending 06/23 defiantly has Mr. Sedaris's new book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, listed under "Adult Fiction Hardcover." With 22,279 copies sold, it's number one with a bullet.

The Charlotte Observer profiles Benji Hughes, whose solo debut album A Love Extreme is out in July.

He wrote and recorded the “Got a little Captain in ya?” jingle for Captain Morgan's Rum and penned the track “Let's Duet” for the 2007 John C. Reilly fictional music biopic “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.” He also contributed a track to the 2007 Kate Beckinsale film “Snow Angels.” Los Angeles presented him with opportunities he couldn't find here, but after six years he moved home in February 2007. He divides his time between both cities.

The A. V. Club interviews My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James about the band's new album, Evil Urges.

TV Crunch lists the 25 worst TV sitcoms ever.

Drowned in Sound lists a father's day gift guide consisting of "five records for the (old{) man in your life."

Esquire lists five reasons Metallica will doom Bonnaroo forever.

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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