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June 12, 2008

Shorties

The Montreal Gazette profiles Wolf Parade.


The Knoxville News is again keeping a blog at Bonnaroo this year.


The Crimson White previews this year's City Stages music festival in Birmingham.


Popmatters interviews former Moldy Peach Adam Green.


The Story of the Fall is a music blog devoted to writing about every Fall song.


Nerve lists the 50 worst film sex scenes of all time.


I've been enjoying Out of Picture 2, the second collection of comics by animators in the film business.


Free Geekery lists the top 100 sources for "free (good) downloadable music."


The Washington Post's Express profiles singer-songwriter Jennifer O'Connor.

Her stunning 2006 Matador release, "Over the Mountain, Across the Valley and Back to the Stars," was a rarity — a confessional singer-songwriter record for people who cannot abide confessional singer-songwriters. (Should you normally love them, God, are you a shoo-in.) The trick was a sort of blunt understatement, with lyrics candidly tracing the outlines of loves lost to accident, illness, distance and indifference. Her breathy but deceptively strong alto filled in the emotional contours.


Mission of Burma's Roger Miller talks to the Boston Herald about playing entire albums in sequence at a show.

The whole-album concert is becoming incredibly chic among Burma’s peers. New York’s All Tomorrow’s Parties has sponsored a series of entire-album events called “Don’t Look Back” since 2005; the inaugural show featured Western Massachusetts rockers Dinosaur Jr. doing “You’re Living All Over Me” and Boston’s Lemonheads doing “It’s a Shame About Ray.” When the deluxe CD of “Ray” was released two months ago, the Lemonheads celebrated by playing it in full at the Paradise.

“ATP set the precedent, but now there’s a tradition for doing this,” Miller said. “This summer we’re playing at the Pitchfork festival doing ‘Vs.’ After us comes Sebedoh doing ‘Bubble and Scrape’ and then Public Enemy doing ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions (to Hold Us Back).’ ”


The Guardian's books blog examines the effect of bestselling writers as brands.

Patricia Cornwell, like many of her super-successful rivals, long ago ceased to be a writer and became a brand. As a brand the stakes are higher, and normal literary rules no longer apply. Jobs, salaries, budgets and bonuses depend upon the likes of Cornwell to deliver the goods year in, year out. But just like Nike or Ford, Cornwell's brand needs to be constantly in the public consciousness. To go on leave for two years could allow Kathy Reichs, Karin Slaughter or one of Cornwell's other rivals to nip in and steal her crown. The fact of it is, that despite the pressures, Cornwell still wants to be number one: and to do that you need to keep pumping out the product - how hateful that sounds! - no matter how low the quality.


The New Haven Advocate profiles Cannonball Jane.

And yet, by recording an LP and an EP ('07's Knees Up!, released on another UK label, Gaddycat Records) mostly by herself in her apartment, Hagopian has created music that sounds like the soundtrack to a dance party for grownups ("smart dance music," she offers). It's celebratory and joyous, but sophisticated and urbane. Over samples from records, she plays an armload of live instruments and sings well-crafted melodies with a cool confidence. There are elements of soul, rock, yeh-yeh, Latin jazz and classic pop on the Cannonball Jane records. The music is alive, full of motion.


The New York Times' Paper Cuts blog features a music playlist by author William Gibson.


Jason Isbell talks songwriting with Tiger Weekly.

“If you’re a songwriter, I think in a lot of ways, people pay you for your opinion. They want to hear how you feel about certain things and you have a responsibility to tell ‘em,” said Isbell. “I don’t think people who are just random celebrities necessarily know what they’re talking about, but if you are a writer, and you are someone who focuses on anything current, there’s gonna be social and political overtones to it.”


The Los Angeles Times profiles cartoonist Bryan Lee O'Maooley and his Scott Pilgrim series of books.

But "Scott Pilgrim" is not simply another book for the dating inept written by a dude with a deep music collection. O'Malley's characters aren't just obsessed with pop-culture -- they're pop-culture creations themselves, living even the most mundane moments of their lives as if they are levels in a giant video game.


Gapers Block offers Father's Day gift book suggestions with Chicago connections.


David Louis Edelman recommends introductory science fiction books for literary readers.


Uncrate points out the USB Mix Tape.


Brooklynvegan has started a regular column on indie music by Sound Bites' Bill Pearls.


At NPR, author Anthony Giardina recommends three books about "our affair with movies."


Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features a streaming interview and in-studio performance by Iron & Wine's Sam Beam.


IGN lists ten 2008 albums "you should have purchased by now."


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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