NY Times was at the Bruce Springsteen tribute
An account of Modest Mouse. Includes this helpful guide to the Portland Scene:
THE PORTLAND SCENE
The patron saint: Elliot Smith This hugely influential singer-songwriter casts a long shadow over Portland’s musical landscape with acclaimed albums such as Either/Or and XO. He died in 2003 from stab wounds after a fight with his girlfriend.
The intellectuals: the Decemberists They claim to have met in a Turkish bath but it’s more likely that this literate bunch with a penchant for picaresque songs met via the local music scene.
The indie-pop stars: the Shins Formed in New Mexico in 1997, this four-piece relocated to Portland in 2002 and had huge success this year with their third album, Wincing the Night Away.
The singer-songwriter: M. Ward Although he moved to New Hampshire in 2006, Matthew Ward is very much a product of Portland’s open-minded musical climate. His last album, PostWar, is a reflection on the Iraq conflict.
The scene stalwarts/sell-outs: the Dandy Warhols Prepared to be lampooned in the music documentary Dig!, the Dandy Warhols are one of Portland’s most successful exports, selling a palatable idea of bohemian debauchery. The band has built a recording studio in the city called the Odditorium.
Here's another Robyn Hitchcock article
He does think that Americans in general, his fans obviously excepted, have "trouble looking at their own dark side," mostly because the United States is a country more interested in looking forward than back, since it's "a relatively recent country, one that is not based on memory but on erasing the indigenous culture, so it does not want to remember things. You can see that in the way those great old buildings from the '20s and '30s are being knocked down. It's like a cancer of memory being erased.
"Britain, on the other hand, is older and much more fatalistic. You assume that things mess up, that you won't succeed, that if you're waiting for a bus it doesn't come, your relationship will go wrong, you'll get fired from your job. Everything is ultimately for the worst and futile. But with that mind-set you can almost sit back and laugh and go, 'Well, it's not going to work anyway, so let's take it easy.' You're actually very protected from what life throws at you. Whereas the Americans would say, 'Why not? We can do something. Sue the bastard who threw you out of your job.' "
Here's the NY Review of Books on Roald Dahl's stories for adults
Here's an article about Yo La Tengo, in which Ira Kaplan claims to have figured out a way to carry a sandwich board without holding it.
Here's a critical review by the NY Times on the state of Colonial Williamsburg.