Like half the other film writers in the northern hemisphere, I'm headed off to Toronto Film Festival this afternoon, so posting will be light for the next week. (If you care to follow my adventures in the world of TIFF, may I suggest my Twitter feed.) Before I go, though, I'll point to a handful of articles I've neglected in recent days, and week. First up, my interview with songwriter Jimmy Webb for the A.V. Club, which ranges from his recent album Just Across the River to the days when he was growing up in Cheyenne, Oklahoma as the son of a Baptist preacher, sneaking out of the house to play gigs at night. Among the most fascinating finds for me is that the man behind "Wichita Lineman" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" (not to mention "Up, Up and Away" and "Worst That Could Happen") was a teenage science fiction fan, which explains why he nicked the title of a novel by Stranger in a Strange Land's Robert Heinlein for his song "The Moon's a Harsh Mistress." (If you ever need to connect the author of Starship Troopers and Judy Collins in two steps, that's how to do it.) Despite being one of the most lauded and commercial successful songwriters of his generation, it's obvious Webb is still stung by the accusations of critics, particularly with regard to his landmark production "MacArthur Park," a seven-minute baroque suite that became an unlikely single and even more so hit when recorded by the outsize actor Richard Harris. Webb took a shellacking for the song's lyrical overkill and purported obscurity, and when he's in defensive mode, he claims it was about nothing at all, but when you know the title comes from the place where he used to wait for his girlfriend to get off work, the imagery falls neatly into line. Also in the A.V. Club interview, he talks about scoring Frank Perry's overlooked anti-Western "Doc" and his relationship with fellow songwriter P.F. Sloan, who he turned into a flesh-and-blood metaphor for the transience of pop stardom.