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September 22, 2008


The Barack Obama campaign has announced a compilation album, Yes We Can: Voices of a Grassroots Movement, with proceeds going toward the Democratic US presidential nominee's election coffers.

The tracklist:

1. Eternity - Lionel Richie
2. Signed Sealed Delivered - Stevie Wonder
3. Waiting On The World To Change - John Mayer
4. American Prayer - Dave Stewart
5. Battle Cry - Shontelle
6. Make It Better - Los Lonely Boys
7. Pride In The Name Of Love - John Legend
8. I Have A Dream - BeBe Winans
9. Am I All Alone - Suai
10. One Is The Magic # - Jill Scott
11. Love & Hope - Ozomatli
12. Looking East - Jackson Browne
13. Out of Our heads - Sheryl Crow
14. Promised Land - Malik Yusef with Kanye West and Adam Levine of Maroon 5
15. Hold On - Yolanda Adams
16. America The Beautiful - Keb' Mo'
17. America - Ken Stacey
18. Wide River - Buddy Miller

see also: the Largehearted Boy Why Obama series, a collection of essays by musicians and authors explaining their support of his campaign

The Tulsa World profiles Conor Oberst.

Laurie Lindeen answers 20 questions at Popmatters.

20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?

A novel. Two collections of narrative essays. More than anything in the world I would like to pull a “how to talk to your hairdresser” type book out of my butt to support my prose habit. Cleaning my office, it looks like a crazy hoarder inhabits it, which is probably the case.

Pitchfork interviews David Byrne.

Popmatters interviews Chuck Klosterman.

For being one of the world’s most noted pop-culture columnists, what was the biggest challenge that you faced in writing a work of total fiction?
People keep asking me about the difference between writing nonfiction and writing fiction. I never know how to respond to this. I suppose I would have gotten the same question if I had written four novels and then a nonfiction book.

It was harder to write fiction, but maybe that was only because I’d never done it before. I can’t remember if writing Fargo Rock City was hard or easy.

Steve Earle talks to amNewYork about living in New York city.

"I know more people in my neighborhood after living in the Village for three years then I did in Fairview, Tenn., in 20 years," he says. "It's just the way the city is. You're not hermetically sealed in a car. I know the butcher and the baker and the candlestick maker. I might be able to improve my waiting time on line at some of the restaurants downtown too, in the process of working this guest list."

Wired's Listening Post interviews Autolux drummer Carla Azar.

AfterEllen interviews Tegan Quin of Tegan and Sara.

AE: So while working on this song for Augusten Burroughs, was it difficult for you to write about something that was so specific?

TQ: It was different and fun because it wasn't about me. I never, ever, ever approach writing from someone else’s' perspective. I found it really difficult. I wanted to do justice to Augusten but I was also feeling a ton of pressure because I had never done it before, so the combination of the two basically paralyzed me, and I didn't know where to start. So I read the book and started like I was writing him a letter. "Dear Augusten, how and the hell did you make it through your life?" And I felt inspired.

see also: Tegan's contribution to the Largehearted Boy Book Notes series about that song (and Augusten Burroughs' reaction to the track)

At New York Magazine, Elizabeth Wurtzel remembers David Foster wallace.

The San Francisco Chronicle interviews Juliana Hatfield.

Q: Books have a lot of words in them. What made you want to write one in the first place?

A: A vague, general desire to write a book. I tried 10 years ago. I rented a house in Martha's Vineyard in the winter, and I didn't write a page. I just couldn't think of an idea for a novel. So I wrote about myself for lack of any other ideas.

Popdose offers a guide to Hatfield's career.

Look for Hatfield's Book Notes essay for her memoir, When I Grow Up, tomorrow at Largehearted Boy

The Los Angeles Times profiles the Cold War Kids.

But the likely reasons that Cold War Kids have vaulted to the forefront of the L.A. rock world are often the most prickly elements of their sound. Instead of full chords or verse-chorus-verse structures, Willett's vocals are usually supported by distant guitar effects, crunchy bass grooves and smatterings of percussion. Open space is as important as any instrument, and Willett's lyrics tend to the macabre and stream-of-consciousness, like on "Dreams Old Men Dream": "Thought I was laying in the gutter in milk cartons and bones. . . . Thought I was on an island shooting flares at your boat."

LAist reviews the band's new album, Loyalty to Loyalty.

The Los Angeles Times and New York Times Bits blog both examine the latest format for music sales: slotMusic mini flash memory cards.

Politico finds the Drive-By Truckers' song "The Righteous Path" to be the perfect soundtrack for anxious economic times.

And for my money, the song that best captures the economic anxieties and aspirations voters are feeling now — and the song of the 2008 cycle — is "The Righteous Path" by the Drive-By Truckers. Take a look at the pitch-perfect opening lyrics:

I got a brand-new car that drinks a bunch of gas
I got a house in a neighborhood that's fading fast…
I got a beautiful wife and three tow-headed kids
I got a couple of big secrets I'd kill to keep hid
I don't know God but I fear his wrath
I'm trying to keep focused on the righteous path

In just the first two lines, the song seems to anticipate $4 gasoline and the subprime housing crisis, even though it was recorded in 2007 and released on the album "Brighter Than Creation's Dark," this January. With accurate artistic forecasting like this, I'd trade these drunken country punks for a boatload of bickering economists.

Discover lists the best science fiction planets.

WEbook is a social publishing company, part book publisher and part social network for writers.

Loudersoft is running a "Design Your Drugs" contest and giving away limited edition vinyl copies of the new Jenny Lewis album, Acid Tongue.

The Lumberjack Thief interviews political commentator, strategist, and music blogger Howard Wolfson.

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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