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June 28, 2008


The 2008 Bonnaroo music download page has been updated with bittorren downloads of performances by Ladytron, Broken Social Scene, and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings; and another mp3 download of the show by the Yonder Mountain String Band.

NPR is holding a poll for the best albums of 2008 so far:

Quizzes by

mp3hugger has curated Indiecater, a compilation album of unreleased songs by indie bands. All proceeds go to the musicians, get a taste of the album at mp3hugger where the Cymbals Eat Guitars track, "Share" is available as a free download.

The Washington Post reviews my most anticipated novel of the season, Ethan Canin's America America.

America America is Ethan Canin's best novel, but its timing is unnerving. His ruminative story begins with a funeral for the country's greatest liberal senator, whose presidential ambitions were smashed years earlier by the death of a young campaign aide in a drunk-driving accident. The novel really isn't about Sen. Ted Kennedy, but the resemblance is impossible to ignore, and Kennedy's recent announcement that he has a malignant brain tumor has already started, for many of us, the process of reflection that America America records in such sensitive detail.

The Ting Tings talk to the Guardian about pop stardom.

"I thought it would be slightly more glamorous," White says later, speaking of the expectations she had of international pop stardom. "Not that I was in it for the glamour, but I just thought... I'm sure if I had a stylist, it would be a lot easier. But I don't, and I don't want one. We're quite DIY." Still, doing it all yourself can pall; when I bumped into White in the hotel lobby this morning, she was bemoaning the amount of laundry she had to do and the lack of travel wash in the local drugstore. "That's the thing, you know," says De Martino, "that's what we're really surprised about - getting your clothes washed is even more stressful than playing a gig."

At the National Post, Said the Gramophone's Sean Michaels has posted his six free songs for July as part of the monthly Gramophone Radio Hour.

The Los Angeles Times profiles the KLOS radio program Breakfast with the Beatles, which is a 25-year institution.

"The fun thing about the Beatles is that it's just never-ending," said Chris Carter, 48, the show's host since 2002 and only the second person to anchor this exploration of the recorded legacy of the most influential and popular rock band ever. "It's now 38 years after the group broke up, but there's still news every week about what's going on in that world" -- a reference to the "Beatle News" segment of his show that's been airing on classic-rock station KLOS-FM (95.5) since late 2006. (The show is heard Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon.)

The San Francisco Chronicle reviews David Sedaris's latest collection of essays, When You Are Engulfed in Flames.

With his sixth book of daffy personal essays, David Sedaris is starting to seem like the odd, amusing man who, despite his absurdist flourishes, has told you all of his best stories several cocktail parties ago.

The Los Angeles Times interviews Devendra Banhart and one of Banhart's musical idols, Gilberto Gil.

Devendra, can you tell us how Gilberto has influenced and inspired you?

Banhart: When I think of Gil, it's so generous, his music. When one person can make music that turns you on to a plethora of genres and cultures, that's education, man; that's what opens your mind. It's one-stop shopping in this weird way too, where you don't have to go to a bunch of different records. On one record you traverse the globe.

Gil: It's been like that since childhood. I've been always interested in different approaches to music coming from different cultures. It's been a natural thing. We Brazilians are very diverse from the very beginning. Not just me. Maybe I expose it a little more obviously than other musicians, but it's natural in Brazil, influences from all over, from European culture, from African culture, from American culture.

A Telegraph reporter attends a Mexican music festival with Sigur Ros.

"We’re not selling out, we’re just older, happier. Just as honest about our happiness now as our unhappiness then. The Heima tour also changed things – we had to play sometimes without electricity, and that was very exciting: it changed structures, it made songs shorter because the mood changes without reverb. If you cut out those hidden notes, those extensions... well, it was a discovery. So we made this new album more acoustically. We rented a house in the Icelandic countryside to compose it in isolation, and then we had two weeks to record it in New York: a huge city so full of people and life. This album is definitely fun."

Doveman has covered the entire Footloose soundtrack and made it available as mp3s.

The New York Times reviews Frank O'Hara: Selected Poems.

The poet’s genius in these “I do this I do that” poems, as he called them, was to stop trying to have a point — the off-course thinking that was normally the means to a poem became the heady, helter-skelter end. He wrote compulsively about what moved him — his lovers, and avant-garde painting, and ballet and of course the movies (few poets have invoked Googie Withers and meant it). Wilde might have said that such things were too important not to write trivially about them; but O’Hara almost never faces up to the emptiness beneath this high life and low desire — if there’s a subconscious revealed, it’s very hard to detect. The poems describe an urban pastoral where no one has a real job, where martinis flow like nectar and where the days of Elysium are marked by the arrival of a new issue of New World Writing. Whitman’s search for the democracy of the American demotic — what he called slang — had a century later become the hilarious musings of a vain young man about town.

The Guardian lists ten of the best litrerary escapes.

The New York Times reviews Michael Chabon's essay collection, Maps and Legends.

SF Weekly interviews Peter Hook (of New Order and Joy Division).

T-shirt of the day: "Andy Loves Pop Art"

The Los Angeles Times notes 2008's notable new music artists.

Status Ain't Hood, one of my favorite music blogs, lists its favorite posts.

Bam! Kapow! lists ten Marvel characters who need their own movies.

Nextbook's writers and editors offer summer reading suggestions.

Aquarium Drunkard has had some great interviews lately, including the Hold Steady's Craig Finn.

Aviette brings their "Cure meets Sonic Youth" sound to Minnesota Public Radio's The Current for an in-studio performance and interview.

Drowned in Sound lists its tracks of the year (so far).

The Futurist features a couple of in-studio mp3s from Mates of State's recent WOXY Lounge Act session.

At NPR's All Things Considered, author Marc Acito recommends three books with "smart, funny housewives."

Galleycat features a guest essay by Tim W. Brown about the history and future of zines.

also at Largehearted Boy:

daily mp3 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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