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July 22, 2008


Paul Westerberg has a 43 minute mp3 featuring new music for sale at Amazon, "49:00," for only 49 cents. (via)

Billboard offers background for the release.

The Guardian reports that the finalists for Britain's 2008 Mercury Prize have been named.

The nominated albums:

Adele - 19
British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music?
Burial - Untrue
Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
Estelle - Shine
The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age Of The Understatement
Laura Marling - Alas I Cannot Swim
Neon Neon - Stainless Style
Portico Quartet - Knee-Deep In The North Sea
Robert Plant And Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Rachel Unthank And The Winterset - The Bairns

Popmatters interviews Tori Amos.

Fortunately, you’re exploring other things, visually as well as sonically. I want to ask about Comic Book Tattoo, which is different artists interpreting your work visually, including a lot of women artists in there, which I find wonderful. I was wondering if there were any stories in there that made you see your own songs differently.

A lot of them have. When I was sent the storyboards, some of them, the way that they were reading, I kind of cocked my head and said “I wonder how this is going to play out.” However, Rantz [Hoseley] and I discussed the concept and I was not going to interfere. I thought it was really important that the writers and the artists were not going have any kind of middling witness because this can’t be about what the songs are about from my perspective as I know them. They live on in their own way. They’ve spoken how they feel about themselves just by existing sonically. And then anybody and everybody has [their own] right to an interpretation of it. I felt that what was important about this is that it be allowed to take a turn that might be completely the furthest thing from the song’s intention when it was written. I had to allow that to happen.

USA Today excerpts from Marie Brenner's memoir, Apples and Oranges: My Brother and Me, Lost and Found.

The Guardian's books blog calls for renewed interest in the work of Bernard Malamud.

Richard Yates's literary resurrection came through writers' recommendations and a pretty good biography. The image of him drinking himself half to death, still smoking while carrying an oxygen tank around with him, is perhaps the one that we like to see of our hard-living writers. Malamud was never so ostentatious - and neither were his characters. It's this lack of show, this subtlety which marks him apart from Bellow and Roth, the writers he should be considered alongside. Their bombast, their fiery prose and brimming sentences, shout importance, whereas Malamud's whisper, patiently and intently.

The A.V. Club interviews singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton about music and videogames.

AVC: You release your work under a Creative Commons license—freeing people to make their own music videos using clips from World Of Warcraft or other games. More than a few of these get millions of hits.

JC: It's another thing that's been instrumental in getting my word out to people. I understand that the Creative Commons license is a sort of counter-intuitive thing. How can you let just anybody use your music for anything like that? It's true, some of those homemade videos have been viewed millions of times. You can't buy that kind of exposure. I mean, you can buy that kind of exposure, but it's very expensive. For me, that kind of exposure cost me zero dollars.

Forbes profiles Elle Newmark, whose web savvy enabled her to go from self-published author to a rumored seven-figure advance for her novel in less than a year.

In Newmark's case, she spent less than $10,000 of her own money to "bootstrap" her self-publishing effort, she found customers online, and then she recruited William Morris agent Dorian Karchmar as her "investment banker," who then got her Simon & Schuster as a "venture investor." Newmark's deal with Simon & Schuster is widely rumored to include a seven-figure advance. creates and shares an instant mixtape based on your loved songs or Pandora bookmarked songs.

Indie Music Tech interviews C.C. Chapman, co-founder of the PR firm Advance Guard), about indie music marketing.

Spinner is interviewing artists who contributed stories (inspired by Tori Amos Songs) to the graphic novel Comic Book Tattoo.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution remembers Joel Chandler Harris on the centenary of the Uncle Remus author's death.

Publishers Weekly reports that the Los Angeles Times will cease to publish its standalone books section at the end of the month. LA Observed prints a response from the newspaper's book editors.

Boston's Phoenix is keeping track of 2008 summer music festival casualties.

BBC Radio 1 interviews Dandy Warhols frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor about the band's innovative subscription plan.

Variety attempts to explain the ongoing popularity of ABBA.

A theory I have had for a while gets reinforced anytime I see the band's videos. Abba represents a heavenly place. This is milky white music sung by milky white performers in video settings that alternate between extremes, night and day, cold and heat, etc. It is nonthreatening and elusive; the beats are like no other disco-era tunes, the vocals impossible to duplicate. Robotic and humorless, too, but that lack of emotion was a harbinger of dance music; emotion-riddled music was for the confessional singer-songwriters so popular in the early 1970s, and Abba was able to slightly assimilate some of that sensibility in their early years.

The Los Angeles Times, the A.V. Club, New York Sun, and Gapers Block review last weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival.

The Atlantic's annual fiction issue is online, and features new short fiction by Cristina Henriquez, Mark Fabiano, and much more.

The Daily Cross Hatch interviews legendary cartoonist Jules Feiffer.

IGN offers a "sonic FAQ" to the videogame Rock Band 2.

WDUQ lists five songs for a summer grill.

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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