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January 19, 2009

Shorties (Bruce Springsteen, Andrew Bird, and more)

NPR is streaming Bruce Springsteen's new album, Working on a Dream (out January 27th), in its entirety.

PopMatters reviews Andrew Bird's new album, Noble Beast (out tomorrow).

If Armchair Apocrypha was Bird’s reaction against his previous albums’ string-heavy bent, then his latest full-length, Noble Beast, in turn serves as a reaction against Armchair Apocrypha. Gone are the sonically generous compositions, as well as much of the apocalyptic subject matter and black humor of that record. In their place you’ll find breezy melodies, acoustic instrumentation, and songs that easily stretch out to six or seven minutes in length. On Noble Beast, you hear the sound of the maestro at his most relaxed, as he loosens his grip on the reins, allowing melodies to blossom at their own pace.

Pitchfork interviews the members of Animal Collective.

The San Diego Union-Tribune profiles singer-songwriter Anya Marina.

Pitchfork interviews Matt Johnson of Matt & Kim.

Pitchfork: Speaking of stuff going your way, I wanted to ask about the corporate sponsorships you guys are involved with, like Converse and Mountain Dew's Green Label Sound. Do you guys worry about credibility when you're asked to do those kinds of things?

MJ: We thought a hell of a lot about it, especially since we came from the DIY circuit where a lot of the people are opinionated about that sort of thing. We did a Virgin Mobile campaign in Canada and people came up to us and said, "I used to DJ your song but I'll never put it on again." When you take something that people think is theirs and connect it to some big corporation...that type of negative reaction makes sense to me. When I was a teenager and really into political punk I would definitely turn my back on a band that connected with some corporation.

But, on the other hand, we're really making an effort not to bring up ticket prices even as touring becomes more expensive. With the Green Label Sound thing, they were willing to do a marketing campaign and pay for us to do all these five-dollar shows with the Cool Kids, who we really like. We couldn't see how that was hurting anybody.

The Minneapolis City Pages interviews Vampire Hands' Colin Johnson.

It seems that there is a great renaissance of Twin Cities music in the last 3 years. What's it like to be a prominent participant in what may prove to be a golden age of Twin Cities music? Why here and now?

It feels pretty great to be friends with all of the bands you love and be able to see or hang out with them on a regular basis. If this turns out to be another "golden era" I know we'd be pretty damn honored to be a part of it. Not to toot this generation's horn, but I think there are bands that haven't even begun to prove themselves yet and their best stuff is still on the way and hopefully they will be as lauded as the Replacements or Husker Du.

While searching for USB hubs yesterday I found this Doctor Who Tardis 4-Port USB Hub.

The New Yorker features a new short story, "The Elephant," by Aravind Adiga.

The A.V. Club lists 70 songs about American presidents.

Drowned in Sound glowingly reviews Emmy the Great's First Love album.

Happy 200th birthday, Edgar Allen Poe.

NPR's Take 5 offers a playlist of songs of the civil rights movement.

Five Chapters is serializing a new short story by Caitlin Macy, whose new short fiction collection Spoiled is due this March.

T-shirt of the day: "Rebel Rock 70s Rockers"

The Pop Cop's Music Alliance Pact is a monthly music blog posts that has music bloggers from all over the world promote acts from their home countries.

IGN lists 10 of the greatest live albums from the rock era.

Daytrotter's Saturday session features in-studio mp3s from Minipop. The Sunday session features TK Webb & the Visions.

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)
weekly music & DVD release lists


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