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September 10, 2008

Shorties

The Las Vegas Sun interviews Billy Idol about the current state of making music.

A lot has been said about the new technology, about how fans get their music. Some musicians like it, some hate it. What’s your opinion?

It is the sort of punk rock ideology that everybody should be able to make music, which is what the Internet has made possible. So it’s very hard for a punk to say that’s not a good thing. But at the same time there is something great about getting on a label that has a name. That’s what people are drawn to. That’s a cool thing. That still needs to happen in music. But homemade music is what punk was all about so I’m totally for it. That’s where it starts, at home. Everybody’s in the garage.


The Times Online reports that Marillion will release its next album as a free and legal download.


Rhett Miller of the Old 97's talks to the San Antonio Current.

“It’s hard to second-guess anything, but I think a lot of the attention I got really early made me waste a couple of years,” he says. “When [the Billboard review ran], I kind of took that to heart a little bit, and I think I spent two or three years in there trying to make music that was going to be commercial. I think I was focusing so much on trying to score a major-label record contract, which is so funny that that’s what you shoot for: ‘I can’t wait to sign a contract. Boy, that’ll be great.’”


In the Guardian, Esther Wolfson lists the top 10 birds "in fact and fiction."


Okkervil River's Will Sheff lists some of his favorite things for Pitchfork.


The Village Voice profiles TK Webb, whose album Ancestor was released last week.

"I found myself lumped in with that whole freak-folk thing," he says. "It's an avenue for a lot of people who don't have any talent. That's pompous, but true. Anything folkie, especially country blues, is such a formative thing for me that it's kind of sacred. People jumping on it is a bummer."


PopMatters interviews Lackthereof drummer Danny Seim (who also drums for Menomena).


CNET's Digital Noise blog follows a popular meme and lists its favorite albums for every year of the writer's life.


Pajiba lists the top 20 television seasons from the past 20 years.


Poll the People offers various music, literature, and pop culture interactive polls.


Gigdoggy is a music blog filled with information and advice for touring bands.


MoreCowbell.dj adds cowbell accompaniment to any mp3 you upload.


Eduk8 lists 100 free online Ivy League courses you should take just for the fun of it.


The Walrus interviews Mary Novik, whose debut novel Conceit which was named one of the Globe and Mail’s best books of the 2007 and nominated for the Giller prize.

In a time when so many first novels are autobiographical, you chose to retreat into the past. What drew you to the historical novel as a form?

When I started to write fiction, about ten years ago, I figured that young writers were much better at getting the contemporary idiom right, so I should try something different. I enjoy reading older literature and came up with the idea for Conceit when reading John Donne’s poems and wondering what his kids would have thought of Dad’s erotica.


Matthew Sweet talks to JamBase about his music career.

"It's a natural curve. If you're lucky, you have some sort of commercial success and all that, then afterwards you're just an artist and it's up to you," says Sweet. "In some sense, given how the recording industry has turned out, it's worked out better for someone like me because I have a history. It's so hard to get a foothold now. At least I kinda have that thing. Now, I'm doing things the way I wish I'd always done them. Success was hard for me. It wasn't that I changed anything because of it but it didn't feel good inside. For me, this is a good time in my life. I still feel the same things but it's a little more balanced. The time I made Girlfriend is probably closest to now, in that I have nothing to lose and a label wasn't involved very much. And it's easier now because we have better technology and I've learned a little more. This is probably happening for a lot of artists fortunate enough to get their heads around gear and studios."


In the Guardian, Elbow's Guy Garvey shares what it's like to win the Mercury music prize.


Word Magazine is charting where iconic album cover photographs were taken, often adding notes from the photographers.


The Village Voice and Brooklyn daily Eagle preview this weekend's Brooklyn Book Festival.


Daytrotter features an Alina Simone session with four in-studio tracks.

In honor of the Daytrotter session, Gotham Acme has named today "Alina Simone Day" (Howard Wolfson and I co-chair Ms. Simone's unofficial fan club).


At NPR, author Curtis Sittenfield lists three books that feature heroines, not high heels.


Pop Candy continues its "back to high school" week with the 25 best high school movies.


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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