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June 19, 2008

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The 2008 Bonnaroo downloads page has been updated with mp3s of sets by Umphrey's McGee and Pearl Jam; bittorrent lossless downloads of Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Les Claypool, the Avett Brothers, Serena Ryder, and Jakob Dylan; and video downloads of performances by Death Cab for Cutie, Fiery Furnaces, and the Raconteurs.

The Nashville Scene and Glide magazine recap their Bonnaroo experience.


In the New York Times Measure for Measure blog, Suzanne Vega explains what it feels like to be a "two-hit wonder."

The way I prefer to see it is that I have had a 20-plus-year career, with a big back catalog of songs that a lot of people know, and want to hear, and yes, two of those songs were big Top 40 hits. What’s to complain about? They are like the cherries on top of the sundae. Why would I not want that? They have been my passport out of a life in an office, to a life on the road where I can go to Korea and the guy who stamps the passport says, “Are you Vega, Suzanne? Everybody knows you here.” And his eyes change with emotion when he reads my name.


The Colorado Springs Independent interviews Richard Thompson.


The Baltimore Sun profiles singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson.


Time Out Chicago interviews Liz Phair.

TOC: A lot of fans and critics have been disappointed in your work since that album. Do you share that sense of disappointment at all?

Liz Phair: Sometimes, but mostly not. Like, the Liz Phair record I feel very happy with. The last record was a bit of—a couple songs I really like, but a couple I don’t. I let people like what they like and don’t like what they don’t like.


The Guardian's Travelog helps choose the best summer European music festival for you.


Popmatters profiles Athens band Dark Meat.

On the surface is a rag-tag, psyched-out rock volcano. Two drummers, costumes, droning freakouts—Dark Meat even cover the songs of legendary free-jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler (the liner notes dedicate Indians to his “Holy Ghost”). Their long-haired, rambling aesthetic echoes Brightblack Morning Light, while their penchant for robes and face paint could inspire connections to psychedelic brethren Polyphonic Spree. Further still, their improvised storms of squealing feedback allows them to comfortably share a bill with Akron/Family or Ariel Pink.


At Salon, Douglas Wolk reviews Jessica Abel and Matt Madden's Drawing Words and Writing Pictures and Lynda Barry's What It Is.

It's hard to imagine two worthwhile books on the same subject more different than Jessica Abel and Matt Madden's "Drawing Words and Writing Pictures" and Lynda Barry's "What It Is," both of which are nominally about how to make marks that turn into stories. (One of them is in comics form, and the other one is focused on how to make comics.) The process of making art is mysterious, though, and it's a mystery that deserves multiple explanations -- even contradictory explanations.


The Unofficial My Morning Jacket Tabs Site helps you lay the band's songs on your guitar.


The Portland Mercury profiles Frightened Rabbit.

The Midnight Organ Fight is one of the most nakedly emotional albums in recent memory, documenting the protracted demise of a relationship amid cathartic major chords and tribal drum thumps. "Is that you, in front of me," howls Scott, "coming back for even more of exactly the same? Are you a masochist?" There are also romantic sentiments like, "You're the shit and I'm knee deep in it," and "It takes more than f*cking someone to keep yourself warm."


The Seattle Post-Intelligencer lists summer reading suggestions for kids.


Independent Weekly interviews Centro-matic's Will Johnson.

What were you early musical touchstones?

It started early. It came from all different directions in the neighborhood. John Denver, Neil Diamond, things like that my mom would listen to, then it gradually evolved into late-'70s hard rock that my brothers would bring home, so I think I was the first kid in the first grade to have a pretty solid knowledge of Ted Nugent. It felt empowering. I'd never heard music like that. And then onwards after that ... definitely a lot of the American independent underground rock bands that slowly started to emerge over the course of the mid '80s. Go back to SST Records and Twin/Tone Records, with the Replacements and Husker Du, definitely. It illustrated that you didn't have to be a zillionaire and be on a tour bus. You didn't have to be Van Halen to make it in music. You could do it another way, and you could really do it in an interesting and positive way. I learned a lot from those bands since that definitely struck a nerve with me and since that time I knew I was ready to throw myself into it without any question.


Pitchfork lists the aftershows during this year's Lollapalooza music festival.


The Independent Weekly does a five word interview with singer-songwriter Thao Nguyen.


BBC News shares the American Film Institutes top 10 film lists over ten different genres.


Slate defends Ang Lee's 2003 Hulk film.

The new Hulk movie took in $54.5 million this weekend, enough to put it at the top of the box office and likely enough to confirm Hollywood's suspicion that the problem wasn't the Hulk, it was Ang Lee. But was Lee's movie really that bad? Or was it just not what audiences were expecting? There's a familiar rhythm to comic-book movies, from the moment the hero embraces his newfound potential to the inevitable confrontation with his arch-enemy. But Lee wasn't interested in going through the motions, and instead of adhering to the usual conventions of the genre, he subverted them. Hulk doesn't really look or feel like a superhero movie. But that's what's great about it.


Drowned in Sound interviews Kevin Snow of the Black Kids.

So did the buzz at the turn of the year come as a surprise?

The thing was that we only had four songs [out at the time, the Wizard Of Ahhhs EP], and when we’ve been playing these shows they’re the ones people know. It’s great to get these new songs out there, to show people exactly what we’re about. We feel like there’s a lot of diversity on the record, and we’d like people to hear that for themselves.


NPR's Book Tour features an interview with author Leif Enger as well as an excerpt from his new novel, So Brave, Young, and Handsome.


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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