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September 1, 2008


NME reports that the Oxford trio Young Knives is writing a book about the band's touring experiences.

The Boston Globe looks for the literary inspirations in the television series Gossip Girl.

I could say that the CW soap opera has shadings of "The Great Gatsby" in its material excess and moral hollowness, particularly tonight at 8 on Channel 56, when "Gossip Girl" returns amid the pleasure pursuits of summer Hamptons society. Maybe bratty aristocrat Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) is Daisy Buchanan with a PDA, a gay dad, and a history of bulimia? Or wait, perhaps adversary-lovers Blair and Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) are meant to be Beatrice and Benedick of "Much Ado About Nothing," swathed in Prada? Blair tortures Chuck, Chuck tortures Blair, love is in the air.

The Boston Herald lists the bad fads of the summer of 2008.

Ivy League indie rock

Right now, Vampire Weekend and Chester French are taking our hard-earned money with half-hearted indie songs. But you know that when their 15 minutes expire, they’ll become our bosses. Double-whammy bar, indeed.

A Blog for Vintage T-shirt Enthusiasts lists the "1980s vintage rock shirt hall of shame."

Forbes interviews Paul Theroux, whose latest book is Ghost Train to the Eastern Star , where he reprises the journey of his book The Great Railway Bazaar.

You wrote very romantically about traveling by train in the Great Railway Bazaar. Did this trip reaffirm those sentiments?

It not only reaffirmed the sentiment … but if you look at a lot of successful economies, they are investing in trains. It's not just romantic, but it will become a necessity as a mode of transportation. The first thing that happened after the Vietnam War, they rebuilt the railways from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi. They didn't put a four-lane highway up the coast; they rebuilt the railway.

The Guardian's music blog examines punk rock around the world.

Punk is kept alive in places like Cuba where simply criticising the communist regime can get your ass thrown in jail. As has been reported, that's what has happened to Gorki Águila Carrasco, leader singer of Porno para Ricardo, currently facing four years in prison for "peligrosidad" - literally meaning the dangerousness of his music - specifically for dismissing the ruling Castro brothers as "geriatrics". It's hardly GG Allin is it? Maybe it was their vaguely wacky song 'El Comandante' that upset, um, El Comandante.

The Independent profiles the Killers.

The signs that the audience they desire for album three still exists are promising; last weekend The Killers headlined the Reading and Leeds festivals, one notch above Bloc Party, another band who find themselves looking to affirm their place within the scheme of things third time around. Yet, where the London band have sought reinvention with their art-electro infused Intimacy – at the fulcrum of the most hard rock-heavy billing the legendary festival has booked in years (two of the three headline slots went to the resurgent Metallica and a reformed Rage Against The Machine) – the Las Vegas band offered no such deviation from the plot. They continue to fluctuate between the showbiz, synth-heavy Anglophile indie of old, and their more recent forages into Springsteen-indebted blue collar rock. The two make uneasy bedfellows, but in front of an audience evenly comprising both the daytime radio listening casual, and an impressive brethren of predominantly young hardcore fans (you only have to scan the forum entries of the band's official website to understand the wealth of devotion), their performances at Reading and Leeds offered sporadic clues as to why they've made it this far.

The New York Times recaps the three years of indie music shows at Brooklyn's McCarren Pool.

“Welcome to the end of McCarren pool as we know it,” Thurston Moore said from the stage as his band, Sonic Youth, played the final show at what had quickly become an indie-rock mecca. “But next year we’ll all be swimming like little fish in this expanse.”

Gawker profiles writer Tao Lin.

NPR's Day to Day listeners list their favorite California songs.

NPR's All Things Considered excerpts from Siri Hustvedt's latest novel, The Sorrows Of An American.

The Oregonian reviews one of the most moving books I have read all year, the graphic novel American Widow by Alisssa Torrez.

Download Squad lists 35 places to download free, legal mp3s.

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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