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July 29, 2008


CNET's Digital Noise blog had trouble downloading Paul Westerberg's new track, "49:00" at Amazon, but was pleased with the resulting music in the end.

It was totally worth it, by the way. It sounds like the Replacements thrown into a blender and mixed up like a Guided by Voices record.

Richmond Fontaine frontman Willy Vlautin talks to Popmatters about writing fiction, and in particular his wonderful novel Northline.

“Carver is the first writer who made sense to me,” says Vlautin, whose own prose and story-driven lyrics are deservedly compared to Carver’s. “The pieces didn’t even seem like stories, they seemed like a guy bleeding on the page in the middle of a nervous breakdown. The person writing it could have been my boss or a mechanic or my mom’s boyfriend. The stories weren’t intimidating, they weren’t using words or situations I was unfamiliar with. It was like I was looking into lives I knew something about. I didn’t even notice the artistry behind Carver’s work because I was just floored by the heart and the guts right there on the page. It really changed my life.”

Carl Wilson talks to the CBC about his 33 1/3 book, Celine Dion, Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste.

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

The Wall Street Journal reviews the Pitchfork Festival.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette offers tunes for a summer soundtrack.

Pitchfork gives Haley Bonar's Big Star album a 7.1.

Two years later she's crafting bigger hooks and a much more intricately textured folk-rock sound that swells and fades naturally with her voice, but she still sounds pre-jaded regarding any romantic or music-industry contract, despite the upward trajectory of her career.

Creative Review offers a record sleeves of the month feature.

The Telegraph's music critic explains his day-to-day operations.

So periodically I try to get through huge swathes of music, listening to at least a few tracks of every album in a receptive frame of mind. Because I know that environment affects your response to a record. Dance records and punk rock aren't really made to be played in an attic office while you are also trying to do your VAT receipts. One of the worst moments a rock critic can experience is to hear something on the radio, think ‘that's fantastic, what is it?" only to discover it is something that you have already listened to and dismissed.

Wolf Parade's Spencer Krug talks to Boston's Phoenix about the band's latest album, At Mount Zoomer.

“Wolf Parade’s never ever been good at being quiet,” Krug goes on. “We’ve tried so many times. But it doesn’t work. So the thing just got louder and louder and louder. We recorded it live on the floor, meaning everyone just going at once, and then I took it and edited the hell out of it. I chopped a bunch of parts out and added a bunch of MIDI saxophone sounds and cheesy organ sounds, and then the synth, which is put on top.”

Box Office Prophets pits Michael Chabon's novel Wonder Boys against its film adaptation.

The Chicago Tribune profiles a local "read-walker."

In a nation of read-walkers, Akre represents a high-profile example. She has blogged about her habit on the Olsson's Web site, with a post-modern literary flourish, no less: "At one point I was coming to a major intersection and occasionally glancing up so as not to walk into an oncoming commuter bus. I looked up and a woman was walking towards me with her nose buried in a book, but then she glanced up and gave me a quick 'Hey, I'm not the only freak who walks and reads' smile. Read-walkers unite!" lists "ten biopics we'd pay to see."

The Arizona Republic interviews Steve Wynn about his album with Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck, (together they form The Baseball Project), Vol. 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails.

Question: How'd the project come together?

Answer: "The thing is Scott and I had both been thinking about doing a record about baseball for years. I've been talking with him for about five years. Linda, my wife and drummer in the band, she kept telling me to shut up and stop talking about it or someone would steal the idea. We got together at the R.E.M. party (pre-Hall of Fame induction) about a year ago and . . . it kick-started both of us to get going. Having a partner made it a lot more fun."

CMJ's staff blog interviews Amanda Petrusich, Pitchfork writer and author of It Still Moves: Lost Songs, Lost Highways, and the Search for the Next American Music.

Without having to give away too many details, can you tell me the general focus of the book, and what artists and themes you focus on?

It Still Moves is a travelogue about Americana music, which I loosely define as indigent, rural American music — I follow, literally, in some cases, the notion/sound of Americana from its earliest incarnations (Delta blues/Appalachian folk/country and western) up through more contemporary versions (ie. indie/freak-folk like Iron and Wine, Animal Collective, etc.). As far as specific artists, it talks about everyone from the Carter Family and Charley Patton through Elvis and Willie Nelson and Will Oldham and Wilco.

At Drowned in Sound, XX Teens offer a track-by-track overview of their album, Welcome to Goon Island.

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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