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June 15, 2008

Shorties

The Toronto Star interviews My Morning Jacket drummer Patrick Hallahan.

What do people – specifically journalists like me – always get wrong about you guys?

PH: Well, we don't like being pigeonholed, period. I think we got tired of the southern rock hillbillies from Kentucky thing. All the Lynyrd Skynyrd references and types of things. We just got tired of lazy journalists that assume that we're from Kentucky, so we're not wearing shoes. Or we're hippies.... But how would they know what we're really like? That's why we don't complain about it any more.


The Observer profiles teenage bestselling Chinese author Tang Chao.

He is sullen, brooding, 15 years old and now among China's bestselling authors. Tang Chao's paperback, Give Me Back The Dream, a dark tale of unrequited teenage love, conflict with parents and adolescent suicide, reached the top of the bestseller lists last week, a success confirming the coming of age of what has been dubbed the country's 'Generation Z'.


NPR's Weekend Edition interviews Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo.

But Cuomo admits that with so many changes in the industry, he isn't sure how a band can break through in the current climate.

"It's changed a lot in terms of how a band gets off the ground now," he says. "I think a lot of it is through having a MySpace and getting people to view your page and then convincing a record company that that means you can put out an album. I think it's different from when we started out, which was all about just moving to L.A. and playing in these clubs and hoping that someone is out there in the audience that can sign you to their label. Or passing your demo tape around."


NPR is streaming last night's Washington performance by Shearwater.


Brooklynvegan now features a list of free NYC shows, movies, and other events.


The Observer profiles Fleet Foxes.

It is easy to sneer at young men fetishising old music, but Fleet Foxes handle their antecedents with panache. Even though their song titles occasionally sound as though they've been run through a bucolic cliche generator - I'm thinking of 'Tiger Mountain Peasant Song' here - Fleet Foxes aren't just regurgitating their parents' record collections. They are a far craftier bunch. All this musical experience comes couched in a breezy innocence which never becomes cloying. The Foxes are still green enough to be humbled by the applause. 'I spend most of my time in my parents' basement,' confesses Pecknold sweetly, 'so this is very strange.'


Jhumpa Lahiri talks to the Independent about her latest book, Unaccustomed Earth.

All her stories, Lahiri says, "start in different ways. Sometimes it's just tiny notions that I don't understand. At other times I'll have a sense of a situation, character, place, mood, encounter." She doesn't follow any theory of form. Each one is different. "What was new for me in this book was writing a story with a shared point of view." The Hema and Kaushik sequence is one example. She writes from the male or female angle with equal facility. "Sometimes it's easier to write from a male view because I get out of myself and there's freedom to that. I enjoy being able to enter different lives. It requires a certain androgyny of mind."

I finished Unaccustomed Earth yesterday, it deserves every critical accolade it has received and is easily one of my favorite books of the year.


The Independent profiles Leonard Cohen.


The Village Voice's Sound of the City blog, Entertainment Weekly's Popwatch blog, Billboard, the Metro Pulse, and the Murfreesboro Post recap Friday's music at Bonnaroo.


Film School Rejects list ten movie superheroes that could take on The Hulk.


Ad-Supported Music Central is a music blog covering "the market for free, listener selected, recorded music that is supported by advertisers."


Minnesota Public Radio interviews David Sedaris about his new essay collection, When You Are Engulfed in Flames.


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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