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September 26, 2008

Shorties (Western States Motel, Replacements reissues, and more)

TIME examines the history of Oprah's Book Club.

In the Guardian, Tana French lists his top 10 maverick mystery novels.

LAist profiles Western States Motel.

Imagine yourself gliding down the PCH with the warm summer breeze blowing through your hair in a red convertible (preferably with fins). This is the vibe that emanates from the Western States Motel's classic Californian sound. Originally a one man band, Carl Jordan formed, wrote, and produced this first album himself in his home in Los Angeles. With his new work hailed by critics as an intelligent, poppy disk Jordan was compared to Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.

Zeenium lists the 10 most artistic album covers.

PopMatters and Pitchfork review the latest batch of Replacements reissues.

Audiotuts lists the most pointless solo albums of all time.

Geeks of Doom interviews author Rebecca Donner about her graphic novel, Burnout.

GoD: What books did you read and was there anything that stood out in particular that you liked?

RD: I loved this graphic novel called Mother, Come Home, by Paul Hornschemeier. The prose is very spare, deceptively simple, but it’s so powerfully invested with this palpable sense of longing and loss. That sense of longing and loss is what I wanted to anchor Burnout, even as there was this surface play of teenagers’ games and foibles. Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home also inspired me — there’s another example of a character who’s mourning a loss, although, tonally speaking, her narrator is much more erudite than Danni in Burnout. Also, Daniel Clowes, Lynda Barry, and Brian Vaughan were big inspirations.

The Mobtown Shank shares a presidential debates drinking game.

IFC Film News interviews Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne about the band's animated film, Christmas on Mars.

Creative Loafing Sarasota lists the 10 best protest songs inspired by the Bush administration.

The Twin Cities Daily Planet interviews Minnesota senatorial candidate Al Franken about his musical tastes.

I’ve heard that you’re a Grateful Dead fan. How has the Dead impacted your life? Or how has music in general impacted your life?

Yes, I’m a big Deadhead. I remember when I started my radio show I told everybody I was going to use only the Grateful Dead for bumpers, and my co-host Katherine Lampher said, “why would you do that—it just pegs us as 60s liberals.” And I said, “I just like the music.” It brings me tremendous pleasure and inspiration, and I’ve now gotten Sirius radio in the campaign car, which has a station that just plays Dead music. I think my staff wishes Sirius didn’t have a Grateful Dead station, but it does.

The Washington Post profiles Theresa Andersson, who submitted a Largehearted Boy Why Obama essay yesterday.

Andersson spent half her life in New Orleans and half in Sweden, and influences from both can be heard in her music. "I'm still inspired by New Orleans music -- you can hear it in the rhythms on this record -- but I feel the record also ties back into Sweden, where I was born and raised. New Orleans music is sunny and happy, but Swedish music is more cloudy, more sad and floating. Combining the two is the perfect meltdown; it's all very much me."

NYU Local interviews author Tao Lin.

JESSICA: You seem to be the archetype for a “Millennial,” incorporating IM transcripts and energy drinks into your poems. Do you consciously attempt to speak for a generation of kids swigging Red Bull and cybering, or is it less calculated?

TAO: I think it is completely not calculated when I incorporate the internet or energy drinks, I feel natural when I type about the internet and energy drinks, like I am in nature petting a frog or touching a tree or something, it feels natural. When I do the opposite, when I block out the internet and energy drinks, I think, is when I am consciously attempting something. I did that for a long time but The New Yorker and The Paris Review didn’t accept me. Then at some point I had feelings like “I don’t care anymore,” “I’m alone all the time anyway,” and “What difference does it make?” and started writing what was really in my brain, which at the time was mostly “the internet” and “feeling alienated.” I think one of the first things I wrote with that “mindset” was the poem “some of my happiest moments in life occur on AOL instant messenger.”

Trade your t-shirts at

At CNET's Webware blog, Muxtape's founder describes the new version of the online mixtape website.

He spelled out his vision: "The new Muxtape will allow bands to upload their own music and offer an embeddable player that works anywhere on the web, in addition to the original Muxtape format. Bands will be able to assemble an attractive profile with simple modules that enable optional functionality such as a calendar, photos, comments, downloads and sales, or anything else they need."

Down the Oubliette is an Okkervil River fansite, complete with live audio and video, including solo performances by Will Sheff and Jonathan Meiburg.

IGN lists the best bands to play on the original 90210 series.

Jonathan Ames and Dean Haspiel talk to the Brooklyn Paper about their graphic novel, The Alcoholic.

“But my favorite thing,” continued Ames, “was when the character does heroin and golden light shoots out of his eyes and head. I thought that was a real comic book moment — because that’s Dean’s forte.”

NPR lists its favorite wakeup songs, but missed mine (Exploding Hearts cover of the Undertones' "Teenage Kicks").

Sound Opinions features Joan as Police Woman today with an interview and in-studio performance.

AT&T's Blue Room is streaming live video of performances from the Austin City Limits music festival through Sunday.

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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