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September 7, 2008


The New York Daily News offers its fall books preview.

Aimee Mann talks to the Baltimore Sun about her latest album, @#%&*! Smilers.

"With this record, I was in the mood to take a direction where this is a collection of short stories about different characters," says the artist, who last week was at home in L.A. "Writing about broken or damaged people is more interesting. Being in the music industry, you run into a lot of people like that."

The Memphis Commercial Appeal examines the internet's effect on brick and mortar record stores.

In the Guardian, judges for the Booker Prize dishes gives some behind-the-scenes insight into 40 years of deciding the literary prize.

1994 James Wood

After serving on the 1994 Booker prize committee, I made a pledge never to judge a big fiction prize again, and I have so far honoured it. We were a congenial group, and our chairman was not a former politician or bureaucrat but a distinguished literary critic (John Bayley); our meetings were friendly, and surely no less or more argumentative than those of other years. But the absurdity of the process was soon apparent: it is almost impossible to persuade someone else of the quality or poverty of a selected novel (a useful lesson in the limits of literary criticism). In practice, judge A blathers on about his favourite novel for five minutes, and then judge B blathers on about her favourite novel for five minutes, and nothing changes: no one switches sides. That is when the horse-trading begins. I remember that one of the judges phoned me and said, in effect: "I know that you especially like novel X, and you know that I especially like novel Y. It would be good if both those books got on to the shortlist, yes? So if you vote for my novel, I'll vote for yours, OK?"

Moonglampers Ramble is a music blog that posts live performances by indie bands, including this 2000 show by Beck.

The New York Times profiles TV on the Radio.

Those were the indie days, when TV on the Radio was passing out homemade discs at cafes, and band members squeezed bits of recording time between hours spent at day jobs. Over the past five years TV on the Radio has made its way steadily up the circuit, from independent to major label, from local clubs to international tours, while its music has grown ever more ambitious. Those ambitions are bohemian ones: packing a world of ideas into each song while ignoring both commercial imperatives and ingrown hipster cachet.

Today's Zaman interviews Orham Pamuk about his latest novel, Masumiyet Muzesi.

Are you uncomfortable with some of the comparisons being drawn between your novel and Turkish films?

Definitely not; there are some real comparisons after all. First of all, though, while the novel does take up some of the important themes covered in Turkish films, it does not deal with them in the same way. It deals with these subjects in a more analytic style than in Turkish films, and it actually deals with melodramatic subjects without actually becoming a melodrama. It carries out a detailed and patient analysis which no Turkish film or even any other kind of film would be able to give time to.

Deutsche Welle also interviews Pamuk.

In spite of the beauty of your books there is a lot of intimidation going on against you and others in Turkey from ultra-nationalists or ultra-religious groups. Does that have an effect on your life here and on intellectual life in Turkey at the moment?

Yes, of course. It has an effect on my life, I practically live with bodyguards and living with bodyguards is not a nice thing. So I'm worried that again the ultra-rightwing and sometimes established newspapers still continue to attack me, with campaigns against me that worry me.

Birmingham Weekly interviews singer-songwriter Tift Merritt.

BT: How do you feel about the climate in the age of iTunes, satellite radio, customized ringtones and [website] YouTube? Is technology a great thing or does it create over-saturation and confusion?

TM: I think it’s not a black-and-white thing - technology always has benefits and drawbacks. I think there certainly is a lot of information to weed through right now, but anytime you have a more direct connection with your audience, that’s great. I don’t think the album format is dying - I think that an MP3 is very similar to a 45 [RPM single] from 1955. The consumers have to choose how they want to come to your music and there are more marketing questions to answer. Finding music has always been like a treasure hunt to me and now that treasure hunt isn’t that difficult. Luckily, my job hasn’t changed that much.

Novelist Seth Greenland considers the character of republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin in the Los Angeles Times' Jacket Copy blog.

As a novelist, I am fascinated by the emergence of Sarah Palin as a character. This lively cross between Annie Oakley and Eva Braun seems to have released Republican chakras to a degree that could be matched only by the resurrection of Ronald Reagan.

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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