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July 7, 2008


Pitchfork interviews Sub Pop Records' Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman.

Pitchfork: Is Sub Pop in a position now where, if it wants to engage in a bidding war over someone, it can?

BP: I don't have access to that information, per se. I would say that they're smart enough that they would not do that. I had a conversation with Jon a few months ago, where he said, "People are asking me if we're gonna put out the Shins record." I said, "I'm not gonna be in a bidding war over the Shins." He couldn't believe I was saying that, but I would certainly put out a solo record by anybody in the band. I think that's a mature take on that; let's put out the quirky, one-off special project by somebody in the Shins, advance them $25,000 or something like that, rather than...fill in the blank, I don't know how much their advance would be, but I'm sure it'd be very high. I think that's a very intelligent, very mature take on how to keep the label going. You look at the history of indie labels, some of the classics from the early 80s, a lot of the British labels, overspent and went out of business. It's hard to keep a record label running for 20 years.

Paste's band of the week is Fleet Foxes.

The band's quick-turn explorations of folk tropes link well with a moniker that evokes animals often resigned to the role of the proverbial trickster. In actuality, to Pecknold the moniker is quite arbitrary. β€œIt sounded like something an English fox hunter would say using fleet as an adjective for speedy,” he says.

Author Richard Ford talks to CBS News about "the work of writing."

The Seattle Times profiles Long Winters frontman John Roderick in its review of the band's recent hometown show.

Because he's in a Seattle band and on independent Seattle label Barsuk Records, he's a local figure as a man of music. To TLW, he contributes megawatt stage personality, catchy, deceptively simple songwriting, and a distinctive singing style: foiling a heathery, jubilant tenor against a rich baritone. But he's also a man of letters, known as a familiar supporter of the Greenwood neighborhood's nonprofit writing center, 826 Seattle, and for his own writing as a regular music columnist for Seattle Weekly. To some, he's a figurehead for a particularly literary sect of NW indie-rock.

Salon examines the books that helped shape US presidential candidate Barack Obama.

If Obama is elected, he'll be one of the most literary presidents in recent memory. Although his boyhood and youth in Hawaii and Indonesia were not especially bookish, Obama the reader blossomed as an undergraduate at Occidental College in California and, especially, during the two monkish years he spent finishing up his degree at Columbia University in New York. "I had tons of books," he told his biographer, David Mendell ("Obama: From Promise to Power"), about this time in his life. "I read everything. I think that was the period when I grew as much as I have ever grown intellectually. But it was a very internal growth." Even after he left New York to work as a community organizer in Chicago, Mendell reports, Obama lived so much like a retiring writer -- spending many hours holed up in a spartan apartment with volumes of "philosophy and literature" -- that some of his colleagues assumed he was gathering material for a novel.

New York magazine profiles MGMT.

The creation of MGMT is a story of ambition taking shape fitfully, with apathy, bong hits, and graduate school looming at every turn. Andrew VanWyngarden from Memphis and Ben Goldwasser from upstate New York met as freshmen at Wesleyan and mucked around in various bands, eventually producing a six-song EP and touring in a pickup truck. Their songs had a strong sixties vibe, groovy numbers that merged glam and psychedelia, driven by keyboard riffs and heavily layered falsetto vocals.

The New York Times examines the growing ties between marketers and musicians.

Procter & Gamble, for example, is joining Island Def Jam in a joint venture called Tag Records, a label that will sign and release albums by new hip-hop acts. It is named after a brand of body spray that P.& G. acquired when it bought Gillette.

Newsday lists online streaming music options.

Popmatters interviews Tara Key and Tim Harris of Antietam.

T-shirt of the day: I "heart" Irony

New York magazine is excerpting twelve pages from the new graphic novel by My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way, The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite.

Publishers Weekly wonders of San Diego Comic-Con has gotten too big.

Some comics professionals and fans attribute the dearth of exhibition and hotel space to the increasing presence of non-comics media at the convention, particularly the film industry, whose free-spending presence seems to grow more extravagant every year. β€œI'm watching [the small press area] Artist's Alley get smaller year by year, and I'm talking to publishers who say their space keeps shrinking to make room for Hollywood,” says comics writer Steve Niles, best known for both his 30 Days of Night graphic series as well as the film.

Chain Reading is another social network built around books.

Wired's Listening Post lists its top 10 hottest music sites.

TasteKid recommends music, movies, and books based on your input.

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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