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November 6, 2008

Shorties (Uh Huh Her, Patterson Hood)

The Georgia Strait profiles Uh Huh Her.

On the topic of music as art, the ladies of Uh Huh Her couldn't be happier with Common Reaction, a stunning affair of slinky synthesizer-laden pop released on Vancouver's Nettwerk Records. Building on the moody sensibilities of last year's I See Red EP, the act's debut full-length refines what was a stormy, retro-inspired sound, offering slick '80s-influenced melodies like "Explode" and "Not a Love Song".

JamBase profiles singer-songwriter Ben Sollee.

Learning to Bend begins with the sparse "A Few Honest Words," an open letter to political leaders in the U.S. that perfectly captures what we've all been pleading for in a year of national turmoil: the truth. He cites Bob Dylan as a lyrical influence with the legend's ability to make his words ambiguous enough to resonate with a variety of people. "I try to never be too specific," Sollee says. "I'm trying to agitate the idea of what is happening. ["A Few Honest Words"] is not directed at one politician, but the culture of politics."

Gotham Acme interviews Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers.

The Star Phoenix interviews Jason Collett.

SP: Which is nice because the U.S. gets mythologized a lot through songs and Canada doesn't really have an equivalent.

JC: That's exactly what I'm trying to investigate in my own small way, to rediscover our own mythology. American mythology looms so large on the cultural landscape for the world. American songs are just littered with geographical references and that has strong ramifications in a song. I've been trying to discover what kind of ramifications that has about Canada if you make those references.

The Wall Street Journal examines the rush to deliver books about the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

The Associated Press gets writers' responses to Barack Obama's electoral victory.

"Until now, my identity as a writer has never overlapped with my identity as an American — in the past eight years, my writing has often felt like an antidote or correction to my Americanism," says "Everything Is Illuminated" novelist Jonathan Safran Foer.

"But finally having a writer-president — and I don't mean a published author, but someone who knows the full value of the carefully chosen word — I suddenly feel, for the first time, not only like a writer who happens to be American, but an American writer."

This wiki page is dedicated to Neal Stephenson's new novel, Anathem.

The Guardian explains why zombies should not have the ability to run.

I know it is absurd to debate the rules of a reality that does not exist, but this genuinely irks me. You cannot kill a vampire with an MDF stake; werewolves can't fly; zombies do not run. It's a misconception, a bastardisation that diminishes a classic movie monster. The best phantasmagoria uses reality to render the inconceivable conceivable. The speedy zombie seems implausible to me, even within the fantastic realm it inhabits. A biological agent, I'll buy. Some sort of super-virus? Sure, why not. But death? Death is a disability, not a superpower. It's hard to run with a cold, let alone the most debilitating malady of them all.

Daytrotter features a session with The Lonely H.

The Lonely H takes us back to a time when all facial hair was becoming and charming, when a mustache demanded respect, when the musk of unshowered-brand body odor was heroic, when bell-bottomed jeans were not the exception, when a guy could get some peyote whenever it was called for and when moonshine went down the hatch like lemonade.

fake TV links to several streaming Obama victory mixtapes.

Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne talks to the Times Online about his film, Christmas on Mars.

Paris Hilton talks to Moviehole about working political activism into her music.

Question: I guess a perfect example of that was the way that you responded to the Republican ads that seemed to imply that you were this vacuous celebrity. I mean, how genuinely pissed off were you about that, to begin with?

Hilton: I just thought it was silly for me to be involved in the first place but I think that everything happens for a reason, and I think with me doing all these political videos, it definitely has encouraged a lot of young voter to get involved in this election. This is the most important election in our history. For my new album, I did a song called "Paris for President." And I did a music video on this new website called where I sing a song about what it'll be like if I was President.

The Indianapolis Star interviews Eric Earley of Blitzen Trapper.

RIP, author Michael Crichton

In honor of Barack Obama's electoral victory, McSweeney's is giving away free copies of The Future Dictionary of America (you pay shipping).

Try Some Buy Some Fee Fi Fo Fum shares bizarre music PR e-mails.

My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden talks to the Indianapolis Star.

The Washingtonian interviews music blogger Jon Meyers (The Vinyl District).

The Telegraph credits Barack Obama's musical taste (and supporters) with helping him win the White House.

While McCain lamely cited Abba as his personal favourites (it's hard to picture the Vietnam veteran as a dancing queen), Obama featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, discussing the contents of his iPod. His was a persuasively eclectic selection spanning rap (Jay-Z), rock (Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones), blues (Howlin' Wolf), singer-songwriters (Bob Dylan, Elton John), old-school soul (Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind and Fire are his all time favourites), classical (Yo-Yo Ma) and jazz (Miles Davis, John Coltrane).

Art Spiegelman talks to Express Night Out about his new book, Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*!.

The Windy City Times interviews cartoonist Alison Bechdel.

WCT: Does the mainstream success of Fun Home show a cultural shift in how people perceive comics and graphic novels?

AB: The great thing about Fun Home is it just caught that graphic novel wave at that great moment. If it had been a conventional novel, it would not have had any of that impact. I was very lucky.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current has KaiserCartel in the studio for a performance and interview.

Old Book Art features scanned illustrations from public domain books.

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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