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October 16, 2008

Shorties (Joker, John Darnielle, and more)

New York magazine's Vulture blog excerpts from Brian Azzarello's graphic novel, Joker. I read the book this past weekend, and found it a wonderfully dark story about the Batman villain.

Time Out Chicago interviews Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio.

OC: How’ve things been since the band left [local indie] Touch and Go Records for Interscope?

Tunde Adebimpe: I feel like Interscope, just by being a larger label, are a larger megaphone. The remarkable thing has been that they’ve been, to their credit, so cool with absolutely everything. They’ve been superaccommodating. But that might be because, as far as the music industry goes, the ship is sinking.

The Ithaca Journal interviews Billy Bragg about social change.

Q: Even a little more generally, I was wondering because you've said that the real enemy to those who want to effect social change is not Conservatism or even capitalism but rather cynicism. And you are one of the artists that have really connected not only in singing about change but actually have effected political and social change.

Bragg: You know, I could sum it up in one word: engage.

As an artist, I strive to find opportunities to engage with the debate, to make the world a better place. Sometimes I struggle to do that, because it's elusive. But every day something comes across my desk that is an opportunity to make a difference. And I try to do that. For instance, I have been running a project for the last 18 months where we buy guitars for prisoners in Britain. And those sort of small-scale initiatives can make a difference.

Alison Moyet talks to PopMatters about the recent Yaz reunion.

“I absolutely loved it!” she enthuses. “It’s easy in lots of ways to do very up material on stage because you don’t have to kind of get your audience in a particular mood. You don’t have to create that. It’s almost like they create it for you. And the idea of playing a whole set of songs where the majority of the audience know every single song is a complete blessing. Normally you’re showcasing new material, so there’s always some areas of trying explain yourself. But when it comes to doing songs everybody knows, there’s no explanation; everyone kind of knows where it’s coming from."

he Ithaca Journal interviews Leigh Watson of the Watson Twins.

The Denver Post interviews John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats about his favorite musicians.

Q: It's great that you're such an active listener. A lot of musicians, when asked about contemporary artists they admire, don't really have an answer. But you dig Kaki, KT, Missy and others. How do you most often hear about new artists? Blogs? Mags? MySpace? Something else?

A: I don't really have a good single answer for this. It varies. I write for a lot of places, so I'm on a lot of promo lists. Like, last week I got a promo of a record by this sort of pastoral doom band from Toronto called Blood Ceremony, and I'm totally into that right now, listening to it a couple of times a day. But just as often . . . I'll be listening to something I like and trying to find out as much as I can about it, and then I'll see something else mentioned and get obsessed by that. Last year I went on this huge Amy Grant kick, and that led me to learn about Rich Mullins, who wrote a couple of her biggest hits but who people outside of the Christian Contemporary scene probably haven't heard of. So, the short answer is, I'm always thinking about music and trying to learn new stuff about it, so that leads me to more good stuff.

In the Atlantic, Andrew Sullivan explains why he blogs.

Independent Weekly profiles No Depression, which has relaunched as both a website and semiannual book.

Now Magazine offers tips on how to impress an indie boy.

The Telegraph lists the six best digital download sites.

NPR's Day to Day lists the best foreign books you have never read.

Blender lists the 10 greatest American albums.

Inked is a comic book review blog.

Stuck in the 80's counts down the 20 top movie songs of the 80's.

The Cleveland Free Times excerpts fro Derf's new graphic novel, Punk Rock and Trailer Parks.

Scripps News lists Halloween books for youngsters.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current has Alejandro Escovedo in the studio for an interview and performance.

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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