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March 2, 2007


The Broken West's Ross Flournoy talks to the Boston Globe about being labeled as a powerpop band.

"I don't think there's been a single review that hasn't mentioned the phrase 'power pop' in the first sentence or two," Flournoy says over the phone from LA's Silver Lake neighborhood, as he prepares for a two-month tour in support of the Broken West's debut album, "I Can't Go On, I'll Go On," out now on Merge Records. (The band is at T.T. the Bear's Place Wednesday and returns March 29 with a show at Great Scott.) "I have such a weird reaction to it, because part of me thinks that's exactly what we do, and part of me bristles because there's this notion that power pop is the kiss of death. It's a term that's so loaded with bad implications that when it gets applied to a band it's not always the best thing. For me, power pop connotes guys in skinny ties, and we couldn't be further from that aesthetically."

The UCLA Daily Bruin profiles Bad Religion frontman (and professor) Greg Gaffin.

“I was surprised when they told me that our professor was also the lead singer of Bad Religion,” said Sophia Xie, a first-year cognitive science student. “I did some research on him and found out that he had very prominent degrees. It was surprising such an academically accomplished person was also the lead singer of a rock band.”

Minnesota Public Radio features in-studio performances from Six Parts Seven and singer-songwriter Richard Buckner.

NPR's Morning Edition celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Cat in the Hat.

Singe-songwriter Richard Swift talks to Ireland's Event Guide.

The Daily Californian interviews Noise Pop co-founder Kevin Arnold.

The Guardian reviews the Arcade Fire's new album, Neon Bible.

Intervention is perhaps the prime example of Neon Bible's masterstroke, which is to set all this doom-mongering to joyously uplifting music. There are soaring string arrangements, beautiful backing vocal harmonies, harps and French horns, great welling choruses and, perhaps more surprisingly, thwacking, propulsive rhythms. It's hard to think of another album that rocks in such an epic manner without sounding completely ridiculous.

Colimbus Alive! interviews cartoonist Jeff Smith.

I just read that you're going to be designing Fantagraphics' reissue of Walt Kelly's Pogo strips. That sounds like a dream job for you.

It really is. I collected Pogo books and they were kind of hard to get because they'd been coming out since the 1950s, but you could get them in those old used book stores. I was so into it when I was a kid that I dreamed that I would find Pogo books that didn't exist. One of them was the complete series, every Pogo strip, which is what we're actually making right now, so this is literally a dream job.

Eoin's Purcell's Blog lists the op ten blogs on the future of books, media and publishing

Grinderman's Jim Sclavunos talks to Drowned in Sound about the band's sound.

Says Sclavunos, in London alongside Ellis and Casey a good month prior to their album’s release: “Grinderman is neither blues nor punk. The punk thing doesn’t have anything to do with it. Punk-rock as a freedom? Can’t that freedom be an aspect of a lot of musical movements? Like free jazz, and early rock and roll, psychedelic rock, you know… you name it. To say ‘punk-rock’ implies a certain style, and certain connotations come into play. And we’re not a blues group, although we have a deep, abiding love for the blues. We love and respect it, so it probably did inspire many aspects of the record… but it’s not a blues album.”

At USA Today, Whitney Matheson reviews new young adult books.

Three Imaginary Girls interviews the Faintest Ideas.

Would you call The Faintest Ideas a twee band?

Martin: Well, no I wouldn't say that today as the term twee has kind of taken the same bizarre twist as the genre hardcore; it means nothing or everything today, depending who you ask. Today, metal is called hardcore and stupid major label pop is called twee. Besides that, we're not pretty enough...

see also:

this week's CD & DVD releases