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February 5, 2009

Shorties (Scott Pilgrim, St. Etienne, and more)

Comic Book Resources reviews Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim Vs. the Universe.

For the first time, the battle scenes are not major aspects of the comic, or rather, they are major aspects, but more for how they affect OTHER characters as opposed to how they affect Scott himself. This was a brilliant idea on O’Malley’s part, as by the fifth volume of the series, we get the idea that Scott is going to fight some of Ramona’s evil ex-boyfriends and he is going to win, so while it is certainly awesome for Scott to be fighting killer robots, it is equally awesome to see how the people around him react to Scott’s standard brawls.

Pitchfork interviews St. Etienne's Bob Stanley.

Pitchfork: What sort of effects does this digitizing of music has had on listeners and the industry as a whole in the past decade?

BS: Well, the industry is screwed, I think. Sticking its head in the sand. Obviously there's enough reason for putting these CDs out now, because if we waste another three years there might be no chance of doing it, and it's something we always wanted to do. In that way we were being conceptual. Even when we were making the records, we thought, "In 15, 20 years, we'll be doing these CDs with bonus tracks!" [laughs]. The way that people listen to music now is just a really fundamental change-- everything is available. We're living in a constant present tense, you can't really say what the future of music is going to be. Nobody talks about how music is gonna sound in the future. Everything being available has made that happen. There are obviously loads of good things out this year, but nothing sounds like the future to me.

LA Weekly examines Google's deletion of mp3 blog posts on its Blogger hosting service, as well as the current legal issues facing mp3 bloggers.

Drowned in Sound offers a guide to musicians on Twitter.

Daytrotter's Thursday session features in-studio mp3s from the Little Ones.

NPR's All Things Considered profiles the banjo-playing side of actor Steve Martin.

After a collaboration with bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs in 2001, Martin rediscovered the instrument and wrote the song "The Crow," which appeared on Tony Trischka's 2007 album Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular. That song became Martin's first hit single since 1978's "King Tut." He has since written many more songs that appear on his new album, The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo.

Rolling Stone profiles Bishop Allen.

Sounds Like: A blend of Los Campesinos! and Yo La Tengo with a twee-folk vibe. The band’s literary influences, like Jorge Luis Borges and G.K. Chesterton, is evident on songs like Grrr …’s “The Ancient Common Sense of Things.” “There’s something cool about writing songs. You think, ‘Yesterday, this song didn’t exist but now it does,’ ” Rice says of the songwriting process. “But there’s something gratifying about playing shows because that you think ‘That thing I made in my room, these people appreciate it and they’ll give me a high-five.’ “

The Nashville Scene profiles singer-songwriter Jennifer O'Connor.

Even in her latest album's more somber moments, there's a bit of a spring in O'Connor's voice. She's been compared to early Liz Phair, more for the timbre of her singing than her songwriting outlook, but on With Me she asks more of her voice than Phair's flattened, weary-sounding delivery ever did; here and there, O'Connor tries out vocal flourishes—soul-searching, vulnerable—of the sort you don't often find on indie rock records.

Gothamist interviews Davy Rothbart, creator of FOUND magazine.

The Santa Barbara Independent interviews Inara George and Greg Kurstin of The Bird and the Bee.

Amazon is offering Paul Westerberg's 3-track D.G.T. release for only 79 cents.

IGN interviews comics writer Grant Morrison.

Reading Radar offers interactive New York Times bestselling books lists.

In Popular Science, singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton explains how to become an internet rock star on the cheap.

Promote yourself on Twitter, broadcast live shows on Ustream, use Creative Commons licensing to encourage folks to make new content, like music videos, with your music. Send out a million pieces of yourself to interact with potential fans. If they're out there, they'll find you -- and hopefully sometime after that, give you money. Above all else, keep it simple and honest. Leave the 24-piece orchestra out of it (unless you're a 24-piece orchestra).

LaundroMatinee features streaming video and mp3 downloads from Greg Laswell's in-studio session.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features singer-songwriter Anya Marina with an in-studio performance and interview.

Esotouric is offering a tour of Tom Waits' LA, led by Kim Cooper and David Smay (author of the 33 1/3 series book on Swordfishtrombones).

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