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June 17, 2008

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The 2008 Bonnaroo downloads page has been updated with mp3s of sets by Jack Johnson, Of a Revolution, and Broken Social Scene, and bittorrent lossless downloads of the Drive-By Truckers, Phil Lesh & Friends, Widespread Panic, and many more.


The Sydney Morning Herald reviews Liverpool's Beatles-themed hotel.

The Beatles theme is relatively prominent but unobtrusive. It's feasible that the unobservant wouldn't notice if they didn't know in advance. The classic example is the four statues (no prizes for guessing who) adorning the building's facade but they seem as though they're supposed to be there. Inside, the staircase is lined with limited-edition photos taken throughout the Beatles' career, but that's probably the most in-your-face aspect.


The bestselling author in the Arab world, Alaa al-Aswany, talks to the Globe and Mail about his dentistry practice.

"Both medicine and literature are dealing with the same issue: the human being," the genial 50-year-old said in an interview in the operating theatre of his two-room clinic. He listed other medical professionals, including Anton Chekhov and Émile Zola, who doubled as successful novelists. "If I like, I can quit dentistry, but I will not. My clinic is my window through which I follow Egyptian society."


The New York Times magazine interviews Gore Vidal.


The Boston Globe profiles the Sun City Girls.

Over 27 years, the Sun City Girls mounted a massive catalog of more than 80 music recordings, with entries worthy of legend even if they only earned the group cult nobility status. As musicians who both challenged listeners with avant-garde blowings and rewarded them with gorgeous explorations of global music, the Sun City Girls trio had few equals.


The A.V. Club is hosting a tour diary by the cartoon band Dethklok (from the animated series Metapocalypse).


The Baltimore Sun examines the resurgence in American summer music festivals.

After the horrendous 1999 Woodstock and the subsequent sputtering of Lollapalooza, American music festivals looked all but done for. But now, festivals such as Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, a revitalized Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits Music Festival are grossing in the tens of millions, making them formidable revenue sources.


The A.V. Club interviews Toby Barlow, author of the novel Sharp Teeth.

see also: Barlow's Largehearted Boy Book Notes interview with the author


Moodstream is a tool from getty Images that streams audio and images (both static and video) based on your initial input (happy or sad, calm or lively, etc.).


The Telegraph profiles Martin Mills, founder of Europe's largest independent record label network, Beggars Group.

Not that he ever uses annual budgets, targets, plans or cashflow forecasts, the latter of which are "completely meaningless in the music industry because no one knows what release is going to sell". "This company is run to astonishingly large degree on gut feeling and instinct rather than any kind of formal procedures."


The Montreal Gazette interviews Billy Bragg.

Pigeonholing Bragg on a strictly musical level has been more difficult. "If you go to a record shop - if you can find one - you'll find Billy Bragg records in all sorts of weird sections," he said. "Sometimes, I'm in contemporary rock, sometimes I'm in folk music, sometimes in punk, sometimes in alternative. But I've always wanted to make an album that would fit into the soul section of a record store and, I think, with Mr. Love & Justice, I've finally done that."


New York magazine interviews R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills.

You've talked in other interviews about "revisionist history" about the band's old albums…

There's just this theme that's been adopted by so many lazy writers that the last three records sucked, and now [the band] doesn't suck anymore. That's just very lazy journalism and absolutely incorrect.


The Los Angeles Times' Jacket Copy blog is reviewing Denis Johnson's novel, Nobody's Move (serialized in Playboy) installment by installment.


Josh Ritter talks songwriting with Acoustic Guitar.

Ritter shies away from attempts to overanalyze songs, whether they're his or, say, Bob Dylan's. "Anybody who puts that much thought into writing a song, the song ends up not being very good, because it forces the song into a concept," he says. "I have trouble listening to Bob Dylan and thinking that he's having anything but fun."


Dave Berman of the Silver Jews talks to the New York Sun about his new album, Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea (out today).

"You might look at this album and say there's no real self-pity going on," Mr. Berman said. He was sharing a table with his wife and bass player, Cassie Berman, following a video shoot in Prospect Park, something the once-reclusive performer might never have done a few years ago. "The difference is if there's suffering in the songs, it isn't the narrator suffering in a context that you're being asked to identify with. A lot of them are more persona songs, and that keeps them from being gloomy."

Popmatters also interviews Berman.

“My Pillow Is a Threshhold” is sad and beautiful, but many of the songs on Lookout Mountain are giddy, surreal fun. “Definitely in everything I do, the comic is a part of it,” Berman admitted, when asked about the rollicking “San Francisco BC”. “In a lot of ways, I wouldn’t be an artist in another time. I need to exist in a time where high and low art mix easily. It might have something to do with my relationship with the rest of humanity. Where there’s comedy going on, there’s usually some kind of critique happening.”


Fortune examines the draw of advertisers to mp3 blogs.

Cohen and Stone say Fortune 500 companies are waking up to the fact that young hipsters are congregating on MP3 blogs. This is an extremely desirable demographic for many of these companies. The people who troll for music on MP3 blogs tend to be tastemakers who wield considerable influence over their peers. But they're also difficult to reach through traditional media. Microsoft can't count on getting their attention with a pricey "American Idol" ad.


The Telegraph offers Great Britain's list of 100 books to get boys reading and weighs in on the selections.


The Movie Blog lists the ten best castings in comic book movies.


La Blogotheque's Take-Away Shows features Bon Iver.


David Wroblewski talks to Minnesota Public Radio about his novel, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.

Wroblewski's book, "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle," has been drawing rave reviews. While it grew out of his desire to write about dogs, an important part of the story is that the title character, Edgar, cannot speak.


Jill Sobule talks to EW.com about Katy Perry's hit cover of her song, "I Kissed a Girl."

"Katy Perry's song is a kind of catchy party song, although I will admit that I do smile when a critique mentions my version in a more favorable light. Is that wrong?”


Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features Aimee Mann with an in-studio performance and interview.


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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