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September 17, 2008

Shorties (The Fall, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy new book, and more)

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat interviews Chris Baio of Vampire Weekend.

Q. If I’m sick of hearing the Paul Simon references, I know you are. To me, it really only applies to one song.

A. I agree with you, I think there are some things we share in common with “Graceland,” but if you look at our album from track to track and that album track to track, it would be kind of ridiculous to say our album is like a rip-off, which I think some people have said. I think the connections between our album and that album have definitely been overstated.

Bandcamp is an alternative to MySpace to feature your music.

Bandstocks allows you to invest directly in bands, or compete for funding as an artist.

In the Guardian, Dave Simpson explains his quest to track down all 43 members of the Fall, chronicled in his new book The Fallen.

Smith's mantra is "creative tension". Members could be given wads of cash one minute, then thrown out of a van in Sweden the next. I was told of drummers being told to play standing on stools, of recording sessions where carving knives were drawn. To keep the Fall relevant, Smith believes he has to destroy each lineup whenever the band edges towards the mainstream. But the discarded members can take years to recover, turning to acupuncture, meditation - and even, in extreme cases, free jazz.

Maximo Park guitarist Duncan Lloyd creates a mixtape for Drowned in Sound.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian profiles cartoonist Dash Shaw and his webcomic, Bodyworld.

A digital space-child out of financial necessity, I read what's available of BodyWorld before checking out any of Shaw's earlier, off-line work. I wish I'd read it all in order. BodyWorld is a little disorienting without some wider frame of reference. Its noirish coyness seemed possibly rushed and incommunicative, and the sudden spikes of concentrated empathy came off as conciliatory attempts at cohesion. But it's easier to trust that the comic's erratic emotional register isn't just a broken valve when considered alongside such tonally assured creations as 2006's The Mother's Mouth (Alternative Comics, 128 pages, $12.95) and Bottomless Belly Button (Fantagraphics Books, 720 pages, $29.99).

see also: Shaw's Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for Bodyworld

WXPN's World Cafe features an interview with Conor Oberst.

The Guardian interviews Juliette Lewis about her two loves: music and acting.

USA Today profiles the National.

The Guardian reports that Eoin Colfer will write the sixth book in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.

Colfer, who has been a fan of Hitchhiker since his schooldays, said being given the opportunity to continue the series was "like suddenly being offered the superpower of your choice". "For years I have been finishing this incredible story in my head and now I have the opportunity to do it in the real world," he added. "It is a gift from the gods. So, thank you Thor and Odin."

The New York Sun previews fall's fiction releases.

Desk Space is a blog dedicated to Canadian authors' home writing accommodations.

Gawker ponders the future of several bog-to-book projects.

Jewish Woman Magazine interviews Julie Greenwald, president of Atlantic Records.

Are there elements of the music business that you don’t like or wish you could change?

Yes, I wish we could turn back the hands of time and figure out how to just sell albums online, as opposed to selling singles. I think the concept of an album is a magnificent ride and I love when artists take us on a journey. Now, when people pick it apart, it’s like selling just chapters of a novel. I wish someone back then had the foresight to say, “We shouldn’t allow albums to be broken up.” It’s hard to explain to artists why that happens. They want to make albums, they have a point of view and a reason why one song follows another – a beginning, middle and end.

Washington Post readers ask questions of Chelsea Handler, author of Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea.

The Guardian searches for the definitive cover versions of songs.

Christianity Today examines the lyrics of Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn.

Springsteen, to whom Finn is often compared, wrote "Born to Run" as the archetypal paean to romantic love, a beat-up car, and the appeal of the open road. Finn's characters are too drunk to drive, but they're still running as fast as they can, unable to escape the Hound of Heaven. Finn is a barstool poet of the highest order, a rock 'n roll Jack Kerouac. And Stay Positive is a gritty, supremely uncomfortable masterpiece, a Christ-haunted work that finds glimmers of glory even in the gutter.

Hope Larson talks to Comic Book Resources about her new graphic novel, Chiggers.

"Chiggers" is your first big graphic novel that was published by a big publisher. How much did the story change through the process of working on it, and how did you change as a creator? Did you learn a lot on this book?

I definitely learned a lot from doing this book. Well, I learned a lot about the kinds of stories I want to write; the kinds of things I enjoy writing. I think I really learned how to be a writer with this book, which is something I didn't know at all before. This is my first time working with editors and really getting feedback on story. And this is the first time that I really thought about plot and character development and things like that.

NPR is streaming Sam Phillips' recent Annapolis concert.

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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