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August 20, 2008


The A.V. Club interviews Woody Allen.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune profiles author Bill Loehfelm, who won the first Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

Prefix calls Vampire Weekend "the most punk band of 2008."

The Waterloo Record experiences a trip to the "Seinfeld bus."

How did it come to this? How did the most successful sitcom of the past two decades -- a show so groundbreaking it changed the face of TV sitcoms -- fall so far off the cultural radar in the decade since its demise its financial backers have to lure young people on to a bus with Snickers bars and Snapple?

Comic of the day: "The Music Nerd's Burden"

The San Francisco Bay Guardian has local musicians list their favorite singer-songwriters.

43 Folders lists what makes a good blog.

Lou Barlow of Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr. puts his iPod on shuffle for the A.V. Club.

The Village Voice profiles the former members of Rainer Maria.

The Village Voice reviews Amanda Petrusich's new book, It Still Moves: Lost Songs, Lost Highways, and the Search for the Next American Music.

see also: Petrusich's Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for the book

San Diego CityBeat profiles the Beachwood Sparks.

Beachwood Sparks was one of the most intriguing members of this lost generation of Sub Pop bands—alongside acts like Zumpano and Arlo—but the band also had the misfortune of releasing both of its full-length albums, Beachwood Sparks (2000) and Once We Were Trees (2001), during the height of boy-band/rap-rock mania. The albums were well-received by critics, but the band was a little too far ahead of the indie-rock curve.

Neal Stephenson talks to Wired about his new novel, Anathem.

Stephenson measures his novels not by word count but by visually assessing the printout. "You've got manuscripts that are relatively short, and then you've got manuscripts that are taller than they are wide, and then you've got ones that are taller than they are long." Anathem falls into category three. "I was thinking shorter, but once you've done all the work to build the project and get the reader into it, there's the temptation to keep it going," he says.

Peter Holmström and Courtney Taylor-Taylor of the Dandy Warhols discuss their new album, Earth to the Dandy Warhols, with the Santa Barbara Independent.

“This record is a strange one,” Holmström continued. “It was supposed to be our last with Capitol [Records] and didn’t end up being on it. We didn’t plan on it being a fresh start.” The band’s long battle with Capitol ended without a war when management changed hands at the label and the band was lifted of their contractual agreement. “Amazing,” Taylor proclaimed of the circumstances. “No fight, no bad feelings, just ‘Ok bye.’ Then I went on vacation for two months in Europe — my first vacation ever. The dark cloud had lifted.”

Esquire moderates a discussion between film director Werner Herzog and tightrope walker Phillipe Petit.

ESQ: Philippe, you were 18 when you decided to walk between the then-unbuilt Twin Towers, and 24 when you actually did it. Isn't that kind of young?

PP: If I had been born in the circus, my parents would have pushed me on that little high wire at four years old. That's when the body is most limber to learn those acrobatics. But I was very late. I learned by myself when I was 14, 15, 16 years old.

WH: Every great achievement in mathematics was done by men between 14 and 24. Hardly ever beyond. I was very late with cinema. I never saw a film until I was 11. I didn't even know that cinema existed. I made my first phone call when I was 17. And I made my first film when I was 19.

GOOD magazine's Wanderlust traces famous trips in history, from Columbus to Kerouac.

8tracks is a streaming mixtape service similar to Muxtape.

Zen Habits lists 50 amazing novels to enrich your library.

also at Largehearted Boy:

daily mp3 downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
this week's CD releases