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July 10, 2008


The Ventura County Star interviews Buzz Osbourne of the Melvins.

Big label, small label — does it matter?

Big labels are better because they give you more money and that makes it easier to operate and do what you're doing. Our experiences with Atlantic were OK — they didn't really (mess) with us, our records sound fine and we did exactly what we wanted to do. If I had it to do over again — sign that exact same contract — I'd do it in a heartbeat. We had a really good contract with 100 percent artistic control. lists punk rock's "mightiest guitar gods."

Salman Rushdie has won the "best of the Booker" prize with his novel, Midnight's Children. The Guardian recounts his life in photos.

In the Independent, Boyd Tonkin wonders if bad financial times will foster a boom in British literature (again).

As a fresh wave of financial fear rolls in, remember that the literary-fiction boom of the early 1980s, which he helped steer, took place against a backdrop of recession, anger and anxiety. Yes, this period also saw the ascent of the serious novelist as media star and the focus of marketing stunts. Still, the talent spike was real: Rushdie, McEwan, Amis junior, Barker, Barnes, Ishiguro and others made high-level British fiction a growth industry - and an export asset. In these years of Thatcherite hard pounding, Tim Waterstone brought his benign revolution to high-street bookselling while innovative new publishers such as Bloomsbury and Serpent's Tail gambled, and won.

Anastasia Suen offers a list of children's & young adult lit bloggers.

At the Morning News, Andrew Womack lists the top ten albums of 1989.

The A.V. Club lists memorable films set during cold snaps.

USA Today interviews author Larry McMurtry.

Q: You write about the digital age and say, "There are still a few of us who'd rather have the book than the click." Have you ever read an e-book?

A: No, and I have no plans to. I don't use a computer. I'm happy with my Hermes portable manual typewriter. But it's not so portable anymore. It's tough to get through airports. They think it's a bomb.

Indy Weekly examines the effect of rising fuel costs on indie bands.

Fuel costs don't figure much for the top tier of touring bands, say, a classic rock juggernaut like Aerosmith or arena alt-rockers R.E.M. It's more like an overhead cost that comes in a little higher, like the backstage caterer raising their salad plate prep costs for the show's rider. But rising fuel costs may slowly start to cut into the ability of mid-sized bands—a renowned indie rock band on a relatively large label, for instance—to tour as well.

Billboard reports that Green River will reunite for the Sub Pop 20th birthday extravaganza.

Green River, an early grunge band that included future members of Pearl Jam and Mudhoney, has gone deep into its back catalog for its first show in nearly 21 years in Seattle on Sunday.

The Chicago Tribune lists its 50 favorite magazines.

The Telegraph explores US presidential candidate John McCaib's Abba fandom.

The 71-year-old first revealed himself to be a fan of exquisite Scandinavian pop when asked about the contents of his iPod. "Dare I say Abba?" he replied. "Everybody says, 'Ugh. Abba.' Why is that? Abba was the largest-selling record act ever. Nobody likes them, but they sold more records than anybody in the history of the world, including the Beatles. But everybody hates them. You're a no-class guy if you like Abba. Why does everybody go see Mamma Mia!? Hypocrisy! Rank hypocrisy! I'm not embarrassed to say I like Abba."

The Utne Reader profiles the Whitburn Project, which aims to achieve the "total documentation of every popular song since the 1890s."

The All Movie Talk contributors list their favorite noir films.

Smile Politely offers a beginner's guide to indie hip hop.

Mashable lists 30+ "awesome" sites for streaming music.

IGN lists songs by the Who it wants to see in the videogame Rock Band.

The Slashdot community recommends science fiction books for pre-teens.

NPR reviews and excerpts from Rivka Galchen's debut novel, Atmospheric Disturbances.

also at Largehearted Boy:

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