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July 24, 2008


The Stranger interviews Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn.

What made you decide to put the album out on iTunes a month before the physical CD?

It had to do with the album being leaked: If people can't really wait, let's give them an opportunity to pay for it. We added some extra stuff to the CD. In this day and age, it doesn't seem very smart for artists to concern themselves with the leaks. You can't be distracted by it. When it leaks, people are like, "Let's find out how it leaked." Well, what do we do then? Doesn't that seem like a waste of our time? With all the promo stuff and the shows we're doing, there's enough to be distracted by.

Joan of Arc's Tim Kinsella talks to the Cleveland Free Times about songwriting.

"I really don't know how to say this without it sounding like an affectation, but I honestly have zero idea how to write a song," Kinsella says in a phone interview. "Every [song] that has ever popped out of me has been a surprise. All I can say about it is I am open to the idea of songs happening, and I am aware that I am open to it, but the songs sure don't manifest when I'm in any way aware of wanting them to happen. The one real trick is that I play music a lot, so that helps. But I play music only because that is a default setting of mine and a manner of loving life and being joyous and absorbed, not because I am trying to write a song. If a song happens, that's great, but a song is not an ends I am playing for. I play to play."

The Daily Mirror gets quotes to have popular musicians play a private party.

TechRadar lists 5 ways musicians can flourish in a P2P world.

The 21 longlisted books for the 2008 Man Asia Prize have been announced.

Tiny Mix Tapes gathers a list if recent Silver Jews interviews.

Zooey Deschanel talks to the Philadelphia Inquirer about the next She & Him album.

Deschanel, for her part, says, "We have enough songs for a new record now. I write music all the time. I record it and send it to Matt. And I think he likes exercising a slightly different muscle. I would be honored to sing any of Matt's songs. But I think this project has been working pretty well this way."

Vetiver's Andy Cabic talks to the Hartford Courant.

"I approach music the way I have my whole life," he explains. "It's always search and discovery, flipping through used records. I like some [entire] albums, but usually it's just a number of songs at any given moment that make my world go round." As for valuing the bygone in today's "now" culture, he quips, "The ideas of the past and the present are very fluid to me."

The Chicago Sun-Times profiles Canasta.

“A lot of time goes into making sure all the parts fit together just perfectly. A lot of times, we’ll try Thing A, and then we’ll try Thing B, and then we’ll have a fight, so we’ll be like, ‘O.K, let’s try Thing C!’” But the result on standout tracks such as “Slow Down Chicago,” “Microphone Song” and “Major Tom Coming Home” (a brilliant and funny sequel to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”) is effortless, effervescent pop that doesn’t call undue attention to its carefully constructed layers of intertwining melodies.

The Anchorage Daily News interviews Wilco's John Stirratt.

Q. You joined Uncle Tupelo in 1993, and since then the band has reformed as Wilco, been the subject of a film, produced a book, had a book written about it and won Grammys. Did you ever anticipate this? Do you pinch yourself sometimes?

A. Like daily. ... As time goes on, I'm just eternally grateful for everything. I run into people from the early days all the time, and they ask me the same question. I'm amazed, to be honest. I knew I would always play music, but I didn't expect to do it for a living.

The A.V. Club interviews Hellboy creator Mike Mignola.

Fortune profiles mp3 blog aggregator Hype Machine developer Anthony Volodkin.

What about the threat of lawsuits? Volodkin thinks the record labels have figured out that they can't solve their problem on the Internet with litigation. After all, the RIAA suit against Napster didn't stop illegal file sharing. Even some people in the industry now believe it would have been better to license music to Napster than to wage war against the service. "I think the industry is getting to the point where they understand they need companies like the Hype Machine to reshape their business model," says Kenneth Parks, a former top EMI executive who is now digital media consultant.

Author Iain Banks answers reader questions on his website.

Janis Ian talks to NPR's All Things Considered about her autobiography, Society's Child: My Autobiography.

USA Today's Pop Candy's Whitney Matheson is Twittering live updates from San Diego Comic-Con.

The Washington Post's Comic Riffs blog interviews Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder.

So what's satire's role at the end of the day?

McGRUDER: It's still about imparting a message about the lies a society tells itself. We can all live in collective denial. We can lie to ourselves pretty easily. It's a challenge. Satire is the least commercially viable form of comedy. ... There really is a distaste for being preached at. People have a very low tolerance for it -- newspaper audiences have a way higher tolerance for it than others. But it's tough on TV.

Condemned to Rock 'N Roll compares the purposes behind mp3 blogs and music blogs.

The Underwire interviews Sanford Greene, the artist who drew the Method Man graphic novel. Were you a Wu-Tang Clan fan before the book?

Greene: Oh man, when I got asked to this I did a back flip. I grew up a fan since Day One, so this was a tremendous opportunity. I had an idea about a Wu-Tang comic probably ten years prior to this. I think it came from the video “Triumph” where the members are all portraying these hero-like characters. When I saw that video I thought “These guys need a comic bad.” Plus they make all these comic references in their songs. Even their aliases are from comic book characters. That intrigued me and made me want to work with them as far back as 1997. I wasn’t even near this profession yet but I still drew a lot and it was exciting to me.

Consumerist lists 7 ways your public library can help you during a bad economy.

NPR's Morning Edition interviews Craig Finn and Tad Kubler of the Hold Steady.

"I think that when you're 36, like I am, you look back at people who are 19 and 20," Finn says. "You see this great age of having a car, maybe a little money, but still you're not as smart as you think you are. And that's where a lot of the roots of the behavior that my songs talk about come from."

Stones Throw Records has redesigned its website, and now includes an extensive history of the label.

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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