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November 20, 2008

Shorties (Deerhunter, National Book Awards, and more)

The Georgia Straight profiles Times New Viking.

Since forming in 2005, Times New Viking has been at the forefront of the recent lo-fi resurgence in indie music. With its clamorous blend of snarling feedback and piercing tape-hiss-laden pop, the act has helped to forge a scene that includes other reverb-heavy bands like No Age, Sic Alps, and Vivian Girls.

Manchester Confidential examines the state of the British city's indie record labels.

Deerhunter drummer Moses Archuleta talks to the Georgia Straight about the band's sound.

“You could probably say that the way people play their instruments is reflective of their personalities,” says the low-key drummer, who also acts as the band’s manager. “I tend to like things to be uncluttered. I’ve always been wary of cluttering songs with a bunch of needless fills. With a band like ours, there’s a lot of layering of sounds going on. If the drums were played that way too, there’d be a danger of it all becoming a bit aimless.”

The National Book Awards were presented last night. The winners:

fiction: Peter Matthiessen, Shadow Country
non-fiction: Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family
poetry: Mark Doty, Fire to Fire: New and Collected Poems
young people's literature: Judy Blundell, What I Saw and How I Lied

Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy album is streaming on MySpace.

Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg breaks down the band's latest album, Rook, track-by-track at Drowned in Sound.

'Home Life'

This song owes a musical debt to Van Morrison's 'You Don't Pull No Punches, But You Don't Push the River', which I've always loved. I took some of the imagery in the beginning from my memories of growing up in Baltimore, and some of the end from Peter Matthiessen's 'Tigers in the Snow', about the decline (and probable fall) of tigers in the wild.

Daytrotter features mp3s from the Uglysuit's recent in-studio performance.

Sister Souljah talks to USA Today about the labels put on her novels.

Sister Souljah, activist, novelist, former hip-hop performer and cultural lightning rod, has been hailed as a star of "urban lit." She likes the "lit" part — as in literature. But she isn't comfortable with the "urban" label: "I don't want to be limited or ghettoized in any way."

Salon names Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig one of the "sexiest men living."Also on their list, Man Booker Prize-winner Aravind Adiga.

Seattle Weekly explains how to hype your band like Deerhunter.

Put the band on hiatus, for about five seconds. After your band breaks out with a sweet review from Pitchfork and you play the UK for the first time, announce on your blog—as Cox did last November—that you're going on hiatus. But still record tons of music in the meantime and release your group's new record soon afterward.

The Arizona Star examines the increasing number of female singer-songwriters.

KCRW's Bookworm today features Sarah Vowell.

Author Amy Guth has a wonderful fitness blog, Bonkless.

At Slate, Carrie Brownstein reviews the videogame Wii Music.

Another difference between Wii Music and other games of its ilk is that the most interesting stuff happens on-screen. Look down, and you don't appear to be playing the banjo—all you're doing is waving your hand back and forth a few inches from your stomach. Look at the screen, though, and you're changing notes, and they all seem to be the right ones. The tactile experience gives way to the virtual—with Wii Music, watching might even be more fun than doing.

Spike lists the dumbest band names of all time,.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current has singer-songwriter (and cellist) Ben Sollee in the studio for an performance and an interview.

also at Largehearted Boy:

Online "best of 2008" music lists
Online "best of 2008" book lists
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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