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July 28, 2008


Pitchfork interviews Bryan Webb of the Constantines.

Pitchfork: The label a band is on can say a lot about that group's identity and image. Is that still the case, or have changes in the ways music is presented-- the rise of such things as mp3s and MySpace-- rendered those days obsolete?

BW: Yeah, I don't think labels are as notable anymore. I know exactly what you're talking about, and when I was younger, I definitely identified certain labels with certain musical styles. There are a few still operating with a really clear mandate, I think: K Records, Drag City, Merge. I believe in those imprints as statements of intent. Labels still carry some weight with me, but I don't know if younger people identify with specific labels. And it's probably because of the technological advancements in getting music out there.

This week, Five Chapters is serializing a new short story, "Sujata," by Preeta Samarasan.

The Los Angeles Times profiles August Kleinzahler, "San Francisco's pugilist poet."

He is, at 58, the bad boy of American poetry, whose public outbursts make academics cringe. He dismisses university writing programs as "multimillion-dollar Ponzi schemes" in which Volvo-driving poet-professors are too fearful of risking prizes or promotions to make waves.

Paste interviews Juliana Hatfield about her new album and memoir.

Paste: This album dovetails nicely with your memoir When I Grow Up. Both works seem to try and reconcile your past experiences with where you are now and where you want to be. Tell me about what readers will get out of your book.

Hatfield: It's hard to know what anyone will get out of it. Maybe I'll dispel some of the mystery. There's a lot of mystery surrounding anyone who makes records for a living because we give people these songs, these little three-minute creations and people have their own ideas about the songs and the person behind the songs. And I've never been comfortable with that. I know there are a lot of artists that sort of cultivate mystery and they have a persona that is...whatever it is… I think with the book I'm just trying to get rid of all the mystery surrounding me and let people see what I'm really thinking, so that they can understand me and stop assuming things about me. Because if you're putting yourself out in the public with making music or whatever you're doing, people are going to make assumptions about you. And I'm just kind of tired of it…

Novelist John Banville discusses writing both literary and crime fiction with the Washington Post.

"I'm proud of the Benjamin Black books in the way that a craftsman would be proud of a nicely finished table," Banville says. "John Banville books I loathe and despise and hate. They're a standing affront to me."

Popmatters interviews singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan.

The New Yorker features a new short story by Robert Bolano, "Clara."

Popmatters lists "the strangest albums by the biggest artists."

The San Diego Union-Tribune profiles cartoonist Aerial Schrag.

Having completed a screenplay, Schrag is also convinced that at some point she'll try to write a novel. But she knows that she could never concentrate solely on writing.

“After a few hours of writing,” she says, “I always need to draw.”

The Toy Zone lists 20 album covers recreated with LEGOs.

Den of Geek lists five books to read before you see the new X-Files film.

WXPN is streaming Friday's performance by Mutlu.

Pop Candy's Whitney Matheson lists her 15 favorite things about this year's Comic-Con.

At the Huffington Post, Kim Morgan recounts her Comic-Con experience day-by-day.

Comic Book Resources notes the buzz books of the convention.

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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