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January 23, 2008


Reuters interviews author Russell Banks about his new novel, The Reserve.

Q: You've written a movie adaptation of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" for Francis Ford Coppola. What's happening with it?

A: "It's supposed to be going ahead but I just hear gossip and rumors. It probably won't happen until next summer. It is not an easy book to adapt as it is so internal and subjective and depends upon the prose. It was fun and challenging but also took me back to that era in my own life as well. I used it to justify going on the road myself. I thought maybe if Kerouac can invent himself as an artist and bohemian coming from a middle class background then maybe I can as well."

Computerworld lists the best places to find free television online.

Atlanta's Creative Loafing profiles a University of Georgia course that teaches the business of the music industry.

There's nothing like a big-name band sitting in front of them to grab the students' attention. Only about a third of the kids are musicians; most hope to be behind-the-scenes players in the industry. And when the floor is opened up to questions, there are few inquiries about the new album or the tour or who plays what guitar. These students want to know about the band's management, how they work with their booking agent, how they interact with their producer.

The 2008 Coachella music festival lineup has been announced, and the San Jose Mercury News wonders if the headliners are a bit too "classic rock."

Dead Harvey is a blog that bills itself as a "resource for independent horror filmmakers and fans."

Southern Shelter has mp3s of a hometown performance by Athens' Wydelles.

The Queen's Journal profiles the Barmitzvah Brothers.

The Brothers’ latest album Let’s Express Our Motives: An Album of Under-Appreciated Job Songs features 19 tracks that play out like pages from the secret lives of projectionists, sign erectors and dental technicians with a whimsical clunky piano- and banjo-inspired background. Ode-like in execution, the album emphasizes the nonchalance of the everyday while drawing upon life’s oddities in the form of these often-unnoticed people. Weaving stories with insight into the workers’ personalities and thoughts, the Brothers take their songwriting to new heights.

Members of White Rabbits talk to JamBase.

"We try to pull from both ends of the spectrum," says Roberts. "We really like minimal bands like Spoon, and at the same time we like a lot of Phil Spector stuff [with] strings and timpani drums and grand stuff like that. I think we just try to marry those things and find a happy medium." Pianist-singer Steve Patterson adds, "We have a nice dark element to it that shows an aloofness in the songs."

phillyBurbs interviews author Christopher Moore.

Any thoughts of taking your blog and slapping it together as a book?

I haven't thought about it, really. I look at the blog as a sort of bonus feature for people who follow my work. I don't write a "journal" blog, so if I don't have anything to say, or some interesting images to post, I won't write, "Got up. Had breakfast. Wrote some stuff." Often I've sort of burned what I have to say in the book I'm working on, so the blog tends to be sporadic. And I've stopped blogging about politics because I'm too frustrated with the way things have gone on in the country for the last six years or so -- I’m suffering from outrage fatigue. I just don't have the energy to stay that pissed off, so I wait for some real news about my books or when something strikes me funny that won't fit into a book. I just don't know if someone would want to pay money to read something like that.

Singer-songwriter John Vanderslice talks to Spinner about teh similarities between music and comedy.

"I think comedians are the new rock stars," Vanderslice tells Spinner. "What's amazing and what's really beautiful is that the two worlds intercept perfectly. Those guys pay attention to indie rock and we pay attention to comedians. The sensibilities are the same. I certainly would love to be somewhat shocking in the music that I do and I know that comedians would love to be somewhat shocking with the material that they do."

Smashing Magazine lists 29 brilliant music videos.

Esquire's latest "napkin fiction" short story is by Tao Lin.

Drowned in Sound interviews singe-songwriter Kelley Stoltz.

How has signing to Sub Pop improved your fortunes? Would you be were you are – able to tour abroad, release your fifth studio LP – if it wasn’t for their interest and, presumably, investment? Are you pleased with being associated with the label’s roster – not just famous faces past, but recent additions like The Helio Sequence and No Age?

It’s been nice having a team of people helping with big and small details. I've made some good friends there, too. It’s also given me a bit of a budget to buy better microphones and be able to afford to go on tours in other countries, where even if the crowds are small I'm not pawning guitars when I get home to make the rent. I’m happy to be on the roster - I really dig Jennifer Gentle, Comets on Fire and I have heard some new acts they've signed who are cool, too.

T-shirt of the day: "This Machine Kills Fascists"

At NPR's Morning Edition, Seattle Librarian lists several "under the radar" books worth reading.

NPR's All Things Considered examines what's new in Finnish rock music.

also at Largehearted Boy:

2007 online music lists
Daily Downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
this week's CD releases