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July 20, 2008


NPR's Second Stage profiles Alina Simone and her Yanka Dyagileva covers album, Everyone Is Crying Out to Me, Beware (out August 5th and the most impressive record I have heard all year).

"I wanted to make this album for two main reasons," Simone explains. "One, It was a major challenge for me. I left Russian with my family when I was only one so I had to really fight hard to learn how to sing these songs and improve my pronunciation to a point where I could perform and record them. Two, I wanted to introduce American indie rock lovers to Yanka's music in hopes that they will seek out the original recordings and go on to learn more about Russian music and perhaps even, Russian culture."

Steve Earle talks about his music career with the Lexington Herald-Leader.

”Today, I basically get to take my home on the road with me, see the world and get paid an embarrassing amount of money for a borderline Marxist. Man, I'm one of the luckiest people in the world.“

The Province profiles Kathleen Edwards.

"It's a constant source of frustration to me that I am so often lumped in with country artists. Playing the Grand Ol' Opry was incredibly cool, but that designation is the most alienating thing in the world for me. I sing Toby Keith when I'm with friends and want to embarrass myself at karaoke; otherwise not at all."

Paste's artist of the week is singer-songwriter Samantha Crain.

Embodying ethereal, dusky and deliciously playful subject matter, Crain’s Ramseur Records debut, The Confiscation, runs the gamut between “fairly subdued” and “[just] good old American rock music.” Traditional instrumentation—harmonica, sparse guitars, tambourine and group vocals—melds with stranger fare throughout the EP’s five tracks. “If you listen closely in 'Traipsing Through The Aisles' you’ll hear some unearthly sounds,” Crain explains. “That’s because we have wired up a recording device [using three CB radios and a TV antenna] that can pick up and record sounds from space.”

The Lexington Herald-Leader previews next week's Forecastle music festival.

”We're not putting this together because it's a new cultural trend,“ said ­McKnight, 27. ”We've been doing this for seven years. So when you go to Forecastle, you see environmental groups represented equally from 10 cities in six states. You see groups representing communities that you're coming from. That means something that's a lot different than going to a music festival and just seeing a register-to-vote table."

Mental Floss lists 26 important comic books.

AustLit is the "Australian literature resource home page."

Adult Alternative has started an informal live video series, the latest features These United States.

The Independent offers a timeline of "how indie ate itself, and ponders the meaning of "indie music" today.

The Contra Costa Times reviews the Baseball Project's Vol. 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails album.

Wynn and McCaughey demonstrate their knowledge and love of the game in a different, original way by writing and singing about some of the game's touchier subjects (racism, steroids) and idiosyncratic delights (Oscar Gamble's legendary Afro). It's also very much rock — loud, up-tempo, guitar-driven and frequently edgy. In short, it's not likely on Bud Selig's iPod.

The Times Online profiles Leonard Cohen.

Cohen’s personal reasons for embarking on his first British tour in 15 years give the occasion added poignancy. Emerging from five years in a Buddhist monastery, his plans for retirement had to be revised in 2005 when he alleged that he had been swindled out of $5m (£2.5m) by Kelley Lynch, his former manager and lover. After 30 years of recording and performing, he was left with just $150,000. In 2006 he was awarded $9m in a civil lawsuit but Cohen may never see the cash. “I had to go to work,” he said. “I have no money left.”

Don't Stay Up Too Late has started an ongoing commentary of Entertainment Weekly's top 100 albums of the past 25 years.

The Times Online lists then things you need to know about Haruki Murakami, "the coolest writer you need to know."

The Minneapolis Star Tribune interviews Craig Finn and Tad Kubler of the Hold Steady.

The Neglected Books Page is a litblog focusing on "books that have been neglected, overlooked, forgotten, or stranded by changing tides in critical or popular taste."

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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