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February 25, 2009

Shorties (Nels & Alex Cline, Free Amazon MP3 Albums, and more)

PopMatters profiles brothers Nels and Alex Cline.

Today both are well-regarded composers, pushing their respective instruments—guitar for Nels and drums for Alex—into genre-crossing experiments that touch on rock, jazz, classical, and ethnic music. But with both releasing new albums in February on the Cryptogramophone label, there is no mistaking one’s work for the other. Nels Cline’s Coward layers electric and acoustic guitars over one another, in an entirely one-man exploration of the instrument’s potential. Alex Cline’s Continuation showcases an acoustic ensemble’s interplay, his compositions interpreted by pianist/harmonium player Myra Melford, bassist Scott Walton, cellist Peggy Lee, and violinist Jeff Gautier, as well as himself.

Daytrotter's Wednesday session features in-studio mp3s from Ezra Furman and the Harpoons.

McSweeney' Voice of Witness oral history series is seeking donations.

Free and legal album downloads at Amazon MP3:

Mieka Pauley: Elijah Drop Your Gun
Various Artists: Alive Records Natural Sound Free Digital Sampler
Various Artists: Amazon Presents Green Hill Music Digital Sampler
Various Artists: Badman, Has It Really Been 10 Years?
Various Artists: Best of Nuclear Blast: 20th Anniversary Compilation
Various Artists: The More You Listen The More You Hear: A Koch Records Jazz Sampler
Various Artists: One Little Indian Presents (2009 sampler)
Various Artists: Open Remix
Various Artists: Stax Sampler
Various Artists: This Is Daptone Records
Various Artists: This Is How I Roc: 2008 Yep Roc Label Sampler
Various Artists: Worn & Grazed: A Park the Van Sampler

Wired's Epicenter blog interviews Pitchfork editor-in-chief Scott Plagenhoef.

Nick Crocker: As the rest of the music world moves online, how do you see Pitchfork's role changing?

Scott Plagenhoef, editor-in-chief, Pitchfork Media: I think we've become a more central critical voice, and although we are consistently used as a lazy stand-in for anything that's "right" or "wrong" with "the internet" or "indie" music, I'm glad we've still been able to provide an outlet for long-form reviews and ideas. I'm dismayed when I read that people think we are subjecting them to our opinions, shouting them at them, and expecting our opinions to be considered gospel.

In the Guardian, Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn examines the importance of the Zero Boys. (via)

The Zero Boys records are not just incredible punk records, but fascinating artifacts from four midwesterners who created a mighty racket to be heard above the stifling boredom of young adulthood in America's heartland. However punk has changed in the intervening years, frustrated kids will continue to relate to punk rock, and Zero Boys give them a great example of how exciting punk rock can be.

The New Yorker features a new poem, "A Street," by Leonard Cohen.

The New York Times interviews Cohen about his practical and spiritual reasons for touring.

CNET's Digital Noise blog: "Spotify could become the best music service ever."

CMJ's Relay blog interviews singer-songwriter Beth Orton.

KING-Mag lists the worst comic book films ever.

The Times Online interviews Dave Gibbons, the artist of the original Watchmen comics.

100 BANDS in 100 DAYS chronicles a New Yorker's concert quest (via).

NPR's Book Tour features an excerpt from Ronald C. White, Jr.'s book A. Lincoln and the Promise of America.

LaundroMatinee features in-studio video and mp3s from O'Death.

Follow me on Twitter for links that don't make the daily "Shorties" posts.

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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