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July 12, 2008


The New York Times interviews Patti Smith.

You were writing poems and drawing long before you recorded your debut album, “Horses.” But don’t you consider your music your most original achievement?

I am not really certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur. I know I’m a strong performer. I’m not an evolved musician. I’m an intuitive musician. I have no real technical skills. I can only play six chords on the guitar.

The New York Times profiles former baseball player Bernie Williams and his music career.

The 39-year-old Williams is two seasons removed from his final major league game, but says he is right where he wants to be. He has a music studio in his home in Westchester County and is concentrating on his guitar-playing as he works on a follow-up to his first CD, “The Journey Within,” a well-received Latin jazz production.

The Globe and Mail rounds up the week';s best magazine reads, including the Believer's annual music issue.

Members of the Hold Steady talk with the Wall Street Journal about several tracks from the band's new album, Stay Positive (out Tuesday).

The Independent bemoans the glum music popular these days and recommends positive songs as an antidote.

In the Guardian, Iain Banks shares the inspiration behind his novel, The Wasp Factory.

The Wasp Factory represented me admitting partial defeat, heaving a slightly theatrical sigh, stepping reluctantly away from the gaudy, wall-size canvasses of science/space fiction to lay down my oversize set of Rolf Harris paint rollers, pick up a set of brushes thinner than pencils and - jaw set, brows furrowed - lower myself to using a more restricted palette and to producing what felt like a miniature in comparison.

The Guardian notes lesser known books that have won of the Booker prize.

The Baltimore Sun's Read Street blog profiles LHB sponsor (and my favorite independent bookstore in the world) Atomic Books.

Wired's Listening Post interviews Mike Jollett of Airborne Toxic Event. When did you first read White Noise? Are you a disciple, or did you just like the name?

Mike Jollett: I first read the book about three years ago, and was completely blown away. It's just so funny and sad and absurd and odd. I think the fear-of-death theme hit me. Everything in the book changed when Jack thought he was going to die; he was already obsessed, but it made him think about his life differently. I also dig the random bits of static and advertising; it's the medium through which our stupid lives flow. It's sort of pathetic and funny and sloppy and human.

New York magazine critiques Brooklynvegan's recent concert photography.

AfterEllen profiles the female and female-fronted bands in Sub Pop's history.

Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music and Marketing for EA talks to IGN about the sountrack to Madden 09.

"Quite a lot, if not the majority of the soundtrack is premieres of songs that will be coming out on albums of the artists [featured in the game] in the fall or some even next year," reveals Schnur. Bands like Franz Ferdinand, Trivium, All-American Rejects, Underoath, and Gym Class Heroes will be premiering new music, choosing to release it via Madden first because of the game's serious clout.

The Ask Metafilter community recommends "well-performed" audiobooks.

NPR's Weekend Edition profiles singer-songwriter Karen Dalton.

"Most people they were recording in the late '50s, early '60s were the Weavers and Pete Seeger and Joan Baez," Loop says. "Kind of the Ozzie and Harriet people of the folk-music world. Straight, cleaned up. Karen didn't belong in that world."

The Mental Floss blog offers its summer reading list.

see also: my collection of 2008 summer reading lists

NPR's Monitor Mix blog is polling its readers as to what rock stars our US presidential candidates would be. Take the poll below:

Quizzes by

American Scientist lists the books that shaped a century of science.

Seed magazine uses math to examine the relationship of harmony to melody in music.

WXPN is streaming live performances by Alejandro Escovedo, Beth Orton and others as part of its ongoing XPoNential Music Festival.

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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