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September 8, 2008


At the Jacket Lunch Box blog, album covers are replicated in food.

Pitchfork reviews the new Okkervil River album, The Stand Ins (out tomorrow).

In short, the band complements and counterbalances Sheff's cerebral songwriting simply by rocking out. His braininess is perhaps his greatest asset, and he's become one of the best lyric-writers going in indie rock, with a dense and distinctive style that trades on wordplay and internal rhymes. Song for song, he can jerk a tear with a carefully observed detail or turn of phrase ("Blue Tulip" in particular is a backlash tragedy on a human scale), but it's the way those songs talk to one another that makes Okkervil River albums so durable and fascinating.

The Daily Californian also reviews the album.

The New Yorker features new short fiction by Danyal Mueenuddin.

At Popmatters, Chuck Klosterman answers 20 questions, where he lists his favorite album for every year he has been alive.

Paste's band of the week is Wovenhand.

Edwards shares a label, Sounds Familyre Records, with indie hitmaker Sufjan Stevens, but says his sound doesn’t fit in with any of the established genres in America. He’s not, in his words, the “tender bruiser: the big guy with the beard singing sad, sweet songs.” Instead, “it’s kind of a heavy folk music,” he says. This album was recorded to sound as “live as possible,” which for Wovenhand means “quite aggressive.”

Sly Oyster has mp3s and video of Spoon's Britt Daniel playing at last week's MusicFest Northwest, where he played several new songs and was joined onstage by Janet Weiss.

Slate lists the oddest travel guides ever published.

Den of Geek ponders the future of comics in digital form.

Drowned in Sound interviews Mike Skinner of the Streets.

As previously reported on DiS, you had a full new album, good to go a whole year back but decide to scrap 80% of it. What made you take such drastic action?

It ended up being just a collection of parables and it got a bit wordy and clever and I felt like it needed to be brought back down to earth a little bit, bearing in mind there were even songs about donkeys on there. I wanted to do something that was very different, that was also not referencing modern life ‘cos I thought that would challenge me into going in a new direction.

This week, Five Chapters is serializing new short fiction by Allison Amend, whose short story collection Things That Pass for Love will be published in September.

LAist interviews Tim Finn.

Last year, Crowded House played Coachella. You didn't join them, but I'm wondering what you think of bands, such as the Pixies and Smashing Pumpkins and, to a certain extent, Crowded House, getting back together after being broken up.

I think it's up to people if they want to do that. I know with Split Enz the issue of reforming was never an issue, but we have played. We played an Australian tour two years ago and a New Zealand tour earlier this year, because we haven't done it for about 15 years. It was a huge amount of fun and a great thing to do. But in terms of reforming, once you've actually officially broken up I don't know. Once you've actually broken up, something is broken. For it to be truly creative and exciting internally just for the band, that would probably be the hardest thing. I think the fans are going to love it, no question and they do. It is a recent phenomenon, particular in the states now where there's a whole touring circuit. But in terms of how it feels to the guys in the band, I would be skeptical that it feels as exciting as it once did.

Birmingham Weekly interviews Scott McMicken of Dr. Dog.

BT: How do you view the climate today in the age of home recording advancements, iTunes, satellite radio and the Internet?

SM: It’s a double-edged issue for me like any other modern phenomenon that we’re witnessing in changing times. On a very basic level, it is a wonderful thing for people to feel empowered to make their own music. Recordings now can rival what were previously very expensive recordings. There’s a flipside to the flipside that’s positive in that everyone can do it now and everyone can be heard. The industry is falling apart because of this and there is anarchy in the music business. Record companies are scrambling trying to figure out how to make money because people aren’t buying music and it’s leveling the playing field. Having 10,000 hits on your ‘myspace’ site isn’t going to further you - it’s irrelevant in terms of getting support. I feel like it’s placed an emphasis on touring because it’s the only way a band can make money. That’s an organic quality that lies in the true function of being in a band - the live show is becoming an important part of indie rock culture.

AfterElton lists the fifty greatest gay movies.

Kotaku weighs in on "Thank You Mario But Our Princess Is in Another Castle," a song from the Black Pear Tree EP by John Darnielle and Kaki King.

Coming in at a bit more than three minutes, the song sung from Toad's perspective features striking piano and drumming overlaid by The Mountain Goat's John Darnielle singing. The mix kinda sinks its hooks in, and the finale with King's and Darnielle's duet adds just the right amount of sweet to make you want to go back and have a second listen.

Recording Industry vs. The People is a blog tracking "RIAA's attempt to monopolize digital music by redefining copyright law, through the commencement of tens of thousands of extortionate lawsuits against ordinary working people."

Slayage is the online international journal of Buffy (the Vampire Slayer) studies.

The New York Times examines Philadelphia's claim to Edgar Allen Poe's literary legacy (instead of Baltimore).

But last year Edward Pettit, a Poe scholar in Philadelphia, began arguing that Poe’s remains belong in Philadelphia. Poe wrote many of his most noteworthy works there and, according to Mr. Pettit, that city’s rampant crime and violence in the mid-19th century framed Poe’s sinister outlook and inspired his creation of the detective fiction genre.

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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