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July 23, 2008

Shorties

Pitchfork reviews Alina Simone's Yanka Dyagileva covers album, Everyone Is Crying Out to Me, Beware.

Yanka's music never got wide distribution, and, sung entirely in Russian, the meaning of her songs (if not the emotions) won't necessarily reach non-Russian speakers. Alina Simone does stick to Russian when singing Yanka, but at the same time she's made it easier for curious outsiders to enter Yanka's world. At the very least, Yanka's spare, rough-hewn songs are fleshed out with the evocative addition of trumpet, strings, slide guitar, and other favorable chamber embellishments.


The Bainbridge Review profiles Jonathan Evison, author of the debut novel, All About Lulu.

Bainbridge, with its present affluence and urbane sheen, is an interesting place for Evison to have grown up. His family moved here from the San Francisco Bay Area in 1976, and he knew he wanted to live a literary life after finishing Kurt Vonnegut’s “Breakfast of Champions,” a gift from his father at the age of eight – yes, eight.

see also: Evison's Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for the book


The Times-Picayune reviews five new books on the fundamentals of reading.


The Nashville Scene interviews Murry Hammond of the Old 97s.

Scene: In terms of your personal songwriting process, do you usually come into the studio already with songs completely written?

MH:Rhett and I do it the same way. We go in with completed songs and the band really does the surgery if there is any surgery to be done. Basically Rhett and I have the finished ideas done. Occasionally I might get inside one of Rhett’s songs and redo something about it—redo the middle or something. “My Two Feet” was one of those. It was already something that Rhett and I had written together, but the middle part needed help and I was able to do that in the studio. For some reason, Rhett is a little more able to let me inside his stuff to rework things than I am able to let him inside my stuff. Maybe it’s because I am only bringing three or four songs to a recording project and he will bring 20. Maybe the stakes aren’t as high, or maybe they’re much higher with me. I just feel, “No, no, no don’t touch it. It’s perfect.”


Tor.com lists free and legal downloadable science fiction and fantasy e-books.


Ploomy lists 10 music sites not owned by Viacom or big business.


ReadWriteWeb lists three online mixtape services that are "remaking the art form."


Sleevage is a blog devoted to album artwork.


Blurbex lists the best superhero movies.


NPR lists 5 songs for a heavy metal road trip.


UWeekly interviews Alina Simone.

UW: You've been getting a lot of attention this year for the Dyagileva album. How has that been?

It just, really in the past couple weeks, really picked up. So it's definitely super strange for me because I'm used to being a really under-the-radar, sleepy little indie rocker. It's been great because I'm really passionate about this music and I'm really excited that it's been getting exposure, not just my covers but Yanka's original music. It's been a little hard with my job because I've had to beg for a lot more time off than I used to.


The Independent lists the opening odds for the Mercury Music Prize (Radiohead and the Last Shadow Puppets are co-leaders at 5-1).


Metromix Detroit interviews singer/actress Zooey Deschanel.

What are the most impassioned responses you’ve had from fans?

It’s hard to think of myself that way. I’m kind of a regular girl. I don’t know. Sometimes people have made me mix CDs. I’m always really excited when I get a mix CD, so I’m like, “Keep ‘em coming, guys!”


A British Olympic boxer shares his inspirational music with the Telegraph.


The Muskogee Phoenix offers recipes taken from Haruki Murakami's novel, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.


BookMovement lists the top book club selections every week.


Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features the Hold Steady with an in-studio performance and interview.

Drowned in Sound interviews Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn.

DiS: Do you think that you’re a throwback to a touring era then, before bands were launched with MySpace and viral marketing and YouTube campaigns?

CF: We’re a little older than most bands. We’re from an era where this kind of touring, this kind of release schedule, was commonplace. If you look at guys like Husker Du, they did an album a year, and toured constantly. Those are the bands who we, as an organisation, want to be.


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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