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May 29, 2009

Shorties (Black Moth Super Rainbow, Mirah, and more)

O.C. Weekly profiles Black Moth Super Rainbow.

Black Moth Super Rainbow’s bucolic lo-fi electric meditations evoke visions of a hippie tribe on their own Spahn Ranch, like fellow cult rockers Indian Jewelry, only trading in their fuzzy guitars for fuzzier synthesizers, Ween pushing up a little Kraftwerk with their little daisies, the Polyphonic Spree in all their robed, harmonic glory taking the brown acid and turning into Butthole Surfers, circa Another Man’s Sac—that is to say, before the tuba.

American Songwriter interviews singer-songwriter Mirah.

To get back on track, it seems like you’re most comfortable in that space between hummable hooks and something a little more chaotic.

If I look over the catalog of my songs, there are a few that have a chorus, but they’re few and far between. I don’t know why, but I feel most of my songs end up being, “There’s the A section, then there’s the B section, and then there’s the C section. Then the song’s over!” The song “Jerusalem” from C’mon Miracle is such a pop song structure, but it’s a very meaningful song, so I like that it came out that way. I’m glad that the poppiest song I’ve ever written is about things that I really want people to think about.

The Guardian's books blog examiners science fiction's impact on the English language.

Den of Geek lists the top 10 upcoming book-to-film adaptations.

The Wall Street Journal interviews Elvis Costello.

WSJ: The new album was recorded in three days, and your previous album, “Momofuku,” was also cut quickly, then released with little fanfare. What did you learn about that approach, either from the way it was received or how it sold?

Mr. Costello: I wasn’t concerned with how it sold. That record was made completely accidentally. I’m not concerned with how any of the records sell any more. Otherwise, you’re just destined for disappointment.

I’m mostly concerned with adding to my repertoire of songs. They can be part of a show, and the show is different every night. The story of the concert is made out of all these component pieces from over the years. I’m not doing that old showbiz cliché of ‘Now here’s my little retrospective 20 minutes. Remember when I wrote this?’

Comics Should Be Good lists its top 10 Grant Morrison comics.

NPR's Morning Edition examines the recession's effects on poets. interviews author Sherman Alexie.

Your next young adult novel, Radioactive Love Song, was originally scheduled to be published this spring, but it’s been delayed. What’s happening with it?

We’ve tabled it because I’m working on the sequel to True Diary immediately. We decided to hold off on that because nobody wants something else—everybody wants the story of Arnold’s sophomore year!

NPR streams a live set by Uncle Earl.

Decider DC interviews comics artist Ariel Schrag.

D: The styles in Likewise change abruptly throughout the book. Some are very shaded and detailed, some just sketched roughly.

AS: Each style matches a different form of storytelling. The first half of the book is told in this sort of stream-of-consciousness of what the character is thinking. As it continues, she gets obsessed with recording everything. It becomes a sort of escape. I didn’t have to think about what was actually happening. What was important was how I was going to record it. The only thing that mattered was how I was going to turn it into a comic. In the book’s second half, you have the story being told through what was recorded, in my diary, or with my mini tape recorder.

Read Schrag's Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for her graphic novel, Likewise.

Doves visit The Current studios for an interview and in-studio performance.

Inside Movies lists the best movie soundtracks. (via)

Culture Bully examines the sexism in indie hip hop.

CNET's Digital Media blog interviews U2's manager.

Do you appreciate what Radiohead and Trent Reznor are doing, trying to find a new paradigm?

I admire what Radiohead have done tremendously in seeking a new model. They would take the view, and I would share it, that perhaps price has been a big problem for the music business. The music business has tried to hold onto a price that was unrealistic for a long time now. I think wider distribution of lower priced things is probably the future.

The New York Times notes the turnaround at Warner Music.

But Warner itself has some other things going for it. The group has increased its market share by more than a percentage point over the past year to 21.8 percent. And while not immune to the troubling trends in the music business, Warner has performed relatively well. In its most recent quarter, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization fell 14 percent compared with a 34 percent decline for the segment.

NPR is streaming the May 3rd Dark Was the Night live performance featuring Bon Iver, David Byrne, Feist, and others.

Pop & Hiss interviews Aquarium Drunkard's Justin Gage about his new book, Memphis and the Delta Blues Trail.

This week's Largehearted Boy contest gives away six new classic short story collections, including books by Herman Melville, Dostoyevsky, Willa Cather, Stephen Crane, Oscar Wilde, and Leo Tolstoy.

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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