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April 28, 2009

Shorties (William Elliott Whitmore, James Kennedy, and more)

The Phoenix New Times profiles singer-songwriter William Elliott Whitmore.

It’s impossible to mention William Elliott Whitmore without talking about his voice. Its deep, weathered ache sounds as though it were rescued from a well four score ago, only to wander the earth in muddy boots with a banjo strapped to its back. Raised on gospel and schooled in the blues, his limber basso wends through dark emotional alleys like a spiritualist seeking to enlighten. Indeed, the first soul it saved was Whitmore’s own.

Decider Chicago interviews author James Kennedy about the state of fantasy fiction post-Harry Potter.

D: Is fantasy a sophisticated person’s genre?

JK: No. Number one, there’s more room for everybody nowadays. You can do something that’s weirder and more complicated simply because there’s going to be an audience for it. There’s not like a broad audience. Like, Saul Bellow would put out a book in the 1960s, and it would be on the best-seller list for months and months. That kind of broad, highbrow-middlebrow culture doesn’t really exist anymore. All these tiny little subcultures do exist and thrive.

BBC News interviews the members of Hockey.

Metromix Connecticut interviews singer-songwriter Sara Watkins.

This is your solo debut, but you're pretty well surrounded by people you've worked with in the past. How essential was that support in your decision to finally move this project to the front burner?

Even before talking to John Paul Jones about making this record I had spent a good deal of time in the studio, sort of trying out songs. I had thought of putting out a six-song EP while on tour with Nickel Creek, but when the band decided to wind down, I realized that the this was the time to focus all my energy on my own record. And you're right, I was able to have quite a crew of supportive friends play on it. So many of these musicians have played a critical roll in my life over the past five-seven years, and for them to make the time to come down and record these songs for me felt like they were proud of me and believe in me. It was a delight.

Decider Denver interviews Pansy Division's Jon Ginoli.

The Austin City Limits Music Festival has announced its 2009 lineup.

PopMatters asks its 20 questions of Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls.

Decider Bay Area interviews comics artist Ariel Schrag.

D: The series’ third book, Potential, is being made into a film directed by Rose Troche from The L Word, Go Fish, and The Safety Of Objects. How true will the film be to the comic?

AS: We met doing The L Word, and she’s really perfect for this. She completely gets this stuff, and I think she’ll be really great at having those elements come out in the story. But we also want teenagers to be able to see the movie. So there’s an issue about what you can include and still get a PG-13 rating.

PopMatters examines how female singer-songwriters have reclaimed the murder ballad as their own.

The Age lists the 10 best traveling songs.

NPR's Books We Like excerpts from Denis Johnson's new novel, Nobody Move.

The Pretty Much Amazing! master list of music blogs is, well, amazing.

The Midnight Cafe shares mp3s of live recordings from a variety of music genres, included are shows by Liz Phair, Fleet Foxes, and much more.

The Art of Penguin Science Fiction shares some beautiful book covers.

M. Ward visits The Current studios for an interview and live performance.

Daytrotter features in-studio mp3s from Cut Off Your Hands.

This week's Largehearted Boy contest gives away the 3-disc deluxe edition of Bob Dylan's new album, Together Through Life, along with two of my favorite Dylan books, his autobiography Chronicles, Volume 1 and The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia.

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

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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