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April 17, 2014

Book Notes - Christopher Brookmyre "Bred in the Bone"

Bred in the Bone

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Christopher Brookmyre's novel Bred in the Bone impresses with its depiction of Glasgow as well as its well-drawn characters on both sides of the law.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"Peppered with choice Glaswegian slang and oozing with just the right combination of black humor and sobering commentary on the city’s dark underbelly, this entry should cement Brookmyre’s reputation as one of today’s top Scottish crime writers."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.

In his own words, here is Christopher Brookmyre's Book Notes music playlist for his novel, Bred in the Bone:


The advance posters for John Singleton's landmark 1991 debut Boyz n the Hood memorably featured the tag line: "It ain't no fairytale." This was a subtle barb aimed at the Steve Martin-penned comedy LA Story, released earlier the same year, which had offered viewers a pastel-shaded (and all-white) fantasy version of Los Angeles as a dream factory, pretending that neighbourhoods and communities such as Singleton's didn't exist. Singleton's exasperation was not the result of one movie, but rather with the fact that whenever Hollywood turned its attention to LA, it tended to trade in love letters rather than home truths, and always offered the same fairytale version to the world.

I have long harboured a similar frustration with regard to depictions of my native Glasgow, but my complaint is essentially the opposite. The Glasgow of film, TV and literature is always one of violence, poverty, deprivation, drugs and alcohol, and while the city's problems with all of the above are chronic and undeniable, there must be few cities subject to such a consistently one-sided portrayal. To my mind, this gangland theme-park Glasgow of mainstream popular culture is as idealised and unrealistic as Steve Martin's LA, and I have long made it a mission of my writing to show the world all of my city's many faces.

When I conceived of the novels that ultimately comprised the Jasmine Sharp trilogy, I was extremely wary of adding to the negative stereotype. Where the Bodies are Buried, When the Devil Drives and Bred in the Bone are about thirty years of secrets buried amidst the complex relationships between the police and the city's crime lords, where neither law nor morality is denoted by a clear border, but rather a mist-shrouded hinterland.

I was determined to reflect the fact that Glasgow is also a thriving, energetic and culturally vibrant city. To me, one of the most rewarding ways of doing this was to showcase the songs emerging from the city's enduringly fertile and ceaselessly surprising music scene. I wanted not merely to create a silent soundtrack to the books, but to depict the role this music has in my characters' lives, as well as to acknowledge the debt of inspiration I owed to these songs in conceiving of and writing this trilogy.

Some of these are songs I refer to specifically in my novels, others are songs I was listening to at the time, but the bottom line is that Jasmine Sharp, Catherine McLeod and Glen Fallan would not have been the same without them.

Frightened Rabbit – The Loneliness and the Scream
This is kind of where it all began with these novels. Late Summer 2009, my family dealing with the sudden death of my wife's father. Around about this time I fell in love with Frightened Rabbit's music, and was awe-struck by Scott Hutchison's candour and unflinching honesty in analysing his own life. It was much more than that, though: what truly grabbed me was his gift for making the personal universal. Here was music about vulnerability, self-doubt, melancholy and the precipice of despair, but ultimately celebrating our enduring hope and the unlikely places we find redemption. By way of acknowledgment, I chose to open Where the Bodies are Buried by naming its first chapter after this song, whose title particularly chimed with the mood and the events that begin the story.

The Twilight Sad – Cold Days from the Birdhouse
I named a chapter in Where the Bodies are Buried after a more appropriately titled Twilight Sad track (And She Would Darken the Memory), but it was the opening song from the album Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters that really haunted my mind in the months before I sat down to write the book. It is sparse, admitting of no self-pity, and yet remains strangely comforting: a soundtrack for contemplating the hardest things we must face. As mentioned above, I was dealing with bereavement and channelled my feelings into the process by which Jasmine must cope with the loss of her mother, and no song better reminds me of that mood. Once you've heard it a couple of times, it will stay with you always.

Glasvegas – Go Square Go
Glasvegas' debut album was one of the most emotionally raw and draining collections of songs I had ever heard, so much so that I had to ration my exposure to it at first, as certain of the tracks were frequently causing me to fill up: not ideal if you're listening in the car and driving on the motorway. In common with both of the bands mentioned above, James Allan eschewed the mid-Atlantic register often preferred by Scottish vocalists, choosing instead to sing in his own Glasgow accent: something that adds to the immediacy and frankness of the songs. One of the most toxic sources of misery in the west of Scotland is its enduring cult of the hard man, a theme I sought to explore through the character of Glen Fallan: a former gangland hitman and enforcer searching for redemption. This song cuts open the issue at the root, exposing how a corrupt and yet seductive code equating masculinity with violence is irrevocably inculcated in childhood.

Biffy Clyro – A Whole Child Ago
Biffy Clyro are a hard act to pigeonhole: constantly evolving their sound, beguiling the listener with strange and shifting time signatures, and generally hitting the accelerator whenever they are approaching any kind of comfort zone. Simon Neil's lyrics tend to be just as perplexing, though even when their meaning remains elusive, their use of language can be arresting. I chose A Whole Child Ago as the name for a chapter describing Jasmine Sharp's recollection of the first time she lost her mother – just for a while, in a supermarket, as a little girl – and how that feeling returned permanently when her mother died.

Balaam & the Angel - Day and Night
In When the Devil Drives, the latest West End stage hit (and best-selling soundtrack album) for theatre impresario Hamish Queen is a musical based on Grange Hill, an Eighties TV show about an ordinary British school. Hamish reflects that the songs in his show evoke nostalgia precisely because he chooses largely forgotten numbers that weren't quite hits. His reasoning is that the classic Eighties standards don't specifically remind anyone of that decade, because we've been hearing them throughout every decade since. Among the tracks Hamish used was this goth-pop gem by one of my favourite bands of the era, Balaam & the Angel: probably best known in the US for I'll Show You Something Special, which was the song playing in the demonic late-night cab ride taken by Steve Martin and John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Twin Atlantic – Yes I Was Drunk
In making reference to an emerging new band in a book, you can be hostage to fortune in that they might soon disappear without trace, or evolve into something you really didn't anticipate. If you're lucky, though, they can go from strength to strength, and your character's relationship with their music can seem more authentic for that. In Where the Bodies are Buried, I referred to Jasmine as having seen Twin Atlantic play just before her mother became ill, which set things up nicely for two books later with Bred in the Bone, in which I describe Jasmine's first time seeing them since. It is a painful but ultimately cathartic and galvanising experience for her, and provided me with an excuse to re-live an exhilarating show at the Dunfermline Alhambra. In the book and in reality, Twin Atlantic opened their set with this song.

Admiral Fallow – Tree Bursts
There can be few bands boasting as lushly textured a sound as Admiral Fallow's orchestral folk arrangements, and consequently the emotional impact of their music can be both soaring and desolate. In Bred in the Bone, I wanted to convey a character's recurring torment and self-recrimination over the moment a relationship went wrong due to an innocent misstep between two emotionally vulnerable people. This poor guy can no longer listen to the album that was playing at the time because it brings him right back into that moment. I chose this song (and this album) for that moment because I loved it so much that it would be all the more painful to have to go without hearing it.

Chvrches – The Mother We Share
When it comes to music, TV, books, pretty much all of popular culture, I am usually so far behind the curve that I couldn't even see the curve with a telescope and Google maps. This was the one time I snuck in front. I heard this track in Autumn 2012, around the time I was writing Bred in the Bone, and found it utterly joyous: sweeping synth-pop reminiscent of the early Eighties, except good this time. It struck me as the kind of thing Jasmine would listen to (and singer Lauren Mayberry looked rather unnervingly like my mental picture of Jasmine) so I described her singing along to this song in her kitchen. I am laying down a claim for it to be the first reference to the band in a published work of fiction, and any cool points that may consequently accrue (believe me: I need them).

The Big Dish – Swimmer
This trilogy has its roots in the Eighties: deeds done and secrets not quite buried that continue to haunt their victims and perpetrators alike. The music of that time continues to resonate for these characters, bringing back memories of things lost and things they wish they could forget. At the heart of all this is Detective Superintendent Catherine McLeod, whose bittersweet recollections of the decade are key to the interlinking stories. In When the Devil Drives, one of her happier moments is getting to see the reformed Big Dish play for the first time since she was a teenager. This was the title track of their debut album, which still sounds pretty fresh to me almost three decades on.

Mogwai – Mogwai Fear Satan
Although I've only made specific mention of them twice, Mogwai are lurking somewhere within every novel I've written this century. The reason is that they have become an indispensable part of my creative process. When I'm trying to work out where a story is going, I go out running and listen to Mogwai on my mp3 player, and this gives me access to a place in my mind devoid of distraction. Their music is both meditative and inspirational, playing in the background of my thoughts as I construct narrative and dialogue. If I ever can't get past an obstacle in the plot after 10 kilometres' worth of Mogwai, I'll know I'm in trouble.

Frightened Rabbit – Backyard Skulls
Here's where it all comes full circle. Having acknowledged the contribution Frightened Rabbit made to Where the Bodies are Buried, in February 2013 Scott Hutchison gave me an advance copy of the new album, Pedestrian Verse, and thanked me for my novel having in turn inspired the second track: Backyard Skulls. This story of deadly secrets emerging from the past prompted him to imagine the sins and betrayals that lie concealed within everyday relationships, just waiting to arise at the worst possible juncture. There's a wee bit of me glows inside every time I listen to it.

Foreign ambassadors or honorary Glaswegians: In the interests of full disclosure, I need to throw in a couple of tracks by two artists who hail from quite some distance outside the city limits, but whose shadows hang over the trilogy.

The Twilight Singers – Bonnie Brae
I dedicated When the Devil Drives to Greg Dulli, whose music in first the Afghan Whigs and then the Twilight Singers has been intriguing, bewitching and inspiring me for twenty years. Few artists can speak to the dark side of human nature like Greg does, and fewer still can do it while remaining sympathetic and compassionate. In his songs, as in my novels, there are temptations, there are demons, even devils, but there are no monsters: only human beings. Bonnie Brae should have been number one in twenty-five countries. It is utter fucking genius.

Jimmy Eat World – Heart is Hard to Find
It's a good thing I have a wife and son to keep me anchored and responsible, or I'd end up following these guys around on tour so I could watch them night after night. In an act of both acknowledgment and self-indulgence, I refer to Jasmine Sharp as being a Jimmy Eat World fan, and I have name-checked their songs in several other novels before and since this trilogy. I'm rounding off my playlist with Heart is Hard to Find, as it was released the day after I finished the first draft of Where the Bodies are Buried, and I just kept playing it throughout the writing of my next four novels.


Christopher Brookmyre and Where the Bodies Are Buried links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry
excerpt from the book

Kirkus review
Publishers Weekly review

Clash interview with the author
Daily Record profile of the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2012 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


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April 17, 2014

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week - April 17, 2014

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly


In the weekly Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week, the Montreal bookstore recommends several new works of fiction, art books, and comics.

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly is one of Montreal's premiere independent bookstores.

Every week, Montreal's Librairie Drawn & Quarterly bookstore recommends a selection of new books, including fiction, art books, magazines, and comics.


Over Easy

Over Easy
by Mimi Pond

Lovers of the graphic memoir rejoice! Mimi Pond has described Over Easy as her magnum opus, and it's easy to see why; Over Easy is a sprawling, jaunty fictionalized memoir about the fast-paced, diner-working life of art student turned dishwasher turned waitress Madge Pond in 1970s California. Mimi Pond has been around forever, and is responsible for writing the very first episode of The Simpsons, among other beloved pop-culture institutions. She's a legend, and it's about time she gets her very own epic memoir. Pick it up. You will love it. That's the D&Q guarantee.


This One Summer

This One Summer
by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki

Cousins Jillian and Mariko Tamaki are beloved for their prize-winning, collaborative 2008 young-adult graphic novel Skim. Jillian has beeen active as an illustrator and comic artist since then, as has Mariko as a writer, but This One Summer is their first collaborative graphic novel since Skim. It tells the story of Rose and Windy, summer friends whose families have visited Awago Beach for as long as they can remember. But this year is different, and they soon find themselves tangled in teen love and family crisis. The two Tamakis are particularly adept at capturing the tumultuousness of teenhood, full of secrets and scary new knowledge.


Bourbon and Eventide

Bourbon and Eventide
by Mike Spry

The rest of this week's picks are all Montreal authors who are launching their new books at our store over the next week. First up is Mike Spry, whose new book of poetry, Bourbon and Eventide, confronts the history and mythology of a failed couple with biting humour and raw honesty. Spry's verse is relatable and refreshingly straightforward as it deals in some of literature's most timeless tropes: booze and heartbreak. Spry has written for The Toronto Star, The National Post, and Maisonneuve and is also the author of JACK and Distillery Songs, which were nominated for the AM Klein Poetry Prize and shortlisted for the Journey Prize, respectively.


Sweet Affliction

Sweet Affliction
by Anna Leventhal

Anna Leventhal has been an important figure in Montreal's literary-punk scene for years, having worked on the local Bookmobile project and co-founded the Bibliograph/e Zine Library, among other things. Leventhal has also performed experimental collaborative theatre pieces in New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Montreal. She also served as editor of the hit short fiction anthology The Art of Trespassing (2008). Sweet Affliction is her first solo book, and it's a collection of fifteen short stories that are by turns caustic, tender, and darkly funny. In it, A pregnancy test is taken at a wedding, a bad diagnosis leads a patient to a surprising outlook, and a civic holiday becomes a dystopian nightmare. It's a book suffused with frailty and perversion, but also resistance and resilience. Praise from lauded Canadian authors like Tamara Faith Berger and Lee Henderson marks Leventhal as a name to watch!


New Tab

New Tab
by Guillaume Morissette

Having appeared on HTMLGIANT and Thought Catalog ("Liveblog of Getting My Cat Spayed," "Breakdown of Montreal's Personal Brand"), Guillaume Morissette's credentials as an Alt Lit author are in good order. In 2012's I Am My Own Betrayal, his first collection of short stories and poems, he explored anxiety, email relationships, owl people, awkwardness, social networks, humiliations, shortcomings, and other such depressing topics and happy/sad moods. New Tab is his first novel, it's set in Montreal, and it spans a year in the life of a twenty-six year old videogame designer as he attempts to reset his life, with all the sordid details that entails: Facebook chats, Concordia University, bilingualism, good parties, bad parties, a backyard cinema, social anxiety and running a possibly illegal DIY venue. He'd probably prefer we not mention it, but it can't really be avoided: if you like Tao Lin, you'll probably like Guillaume.


Librairie Drawn & Quarterly links:

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly's blog
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Facebook page
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Tumblr
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly on Twitter


also at Largehearted Boy:

other Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week

52 Books, 52 Weeks
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly new comics and graphic novel highlights)
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
guest book reviews
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)


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Shorties (Virginia Woolf on George Eliot, A List of the Music mentioned in Haruki Murakami's Books, and more)

Berfrois shared a 1925 Virginia Woolf essay on the writing of George Eliot.


The website Haruki Murakami's Music lists the music mentioned in each of the author's books.


The Telegraph listed the 10 best novels about Africa.


The Denver Westword interviewed Tom Berninger about his documentary of the band the National, Mistaken for Strangers.


Bookworm interviewed Dustin Long about his novel, Bad Teeth.


Morning Edition interviewed Ramachandra Guha about his new book, Gandhi Before India.


Drowned in Sound interviewed Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura.


The Guardian recommended books for men who never read.


The Both (Aimee Mann and Ted Leo's new band) visited The Current studio for an interview and live performance.


At Fast Company, a Harvard Business School professor preaches the need for his students to read more literature.


Paste is streaming Margot and The Nuclear So and So's new album Sling Shot To Heaven.


Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, and Stumbleupon for links (updated throughout the day) that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.


also at Largehearted Boy:

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (the week's best new books)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)s


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Daily Downloads (Crazy Pills, Morning Parade, and more)

Every day, Daily Downloads offers 10 free and legal mp3 downloads.


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

1,2,3: "Porch Swing Song" [mp3]

Aaron Hale: Names album [mp3]

Dolly Spectra: "Preservation Methods" [mp3]

Frances Luke Accord: A Queen and Her Pearl (NoiseTrade Sampler) EP [mp3]

June Cat: June Cat EP [mp3]

LEAGUES: You Belong Here album [mp3]

Morning Parade: The WFUZ Acoustic Session EP [mp3]

Rabitsss: "Incdntlly" [mp3] from Penguins (out May 27th)

Various Artists: The Cover Up: Sneak Peek EP [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Crazy Pills: 2014-04-08, Brooklyn [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily free and legal mp3 downloads
covers collections
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads

Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, books, and pop culture news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtrack)
weekly new album lists


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April 16, 2014

Book Notes - Jaime Clarke "Vernon Downs"

Vernon Downs

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Obsession and celebrity are the themes of Jaime Clarke's impressive and fascinating novel Vernon Downs.

Matthew Specktor wrote of the book:

"All strong literature stems from obsession. Vernon Downs belongs to a tradition that includes Nicholson Baker's U and I, Geoff Dyer's Out of Sheer Rage, and—for that matter—Pale Fire. What makes Clarke's excellent novel stand out isn't just its rueful intelligence, or its playful semi-veiling of certain notorious literary figures, but its startling sadness. Vernon Downs is first rate."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.

In his own words, here is Jaime Clarke's Book Notes music playlist for his novel, Vernon Downs:


Most people assume Vernon Downs is about the writer Bret Easton Ellis, but in truth the main character is Charlie Martens, whose girlfriend abandons him. He clings to the knowledge that Vernon Downs (based on Ellis) was his girlfriend Olivia's favorite writer and contrives to meet Downs in the hopes of winning Olivia back, or so he tells himself. In order to evoke the sad state of affairs Charlie finds himself in—and the sad, doomed journey he undertakes—I created a playlist on my computer called the Sadness Suite, which features songs that, in one way or another, fetishize sadness. A couple of albums fit the definition and I listened to them on rotation so many times that they're a permanent fixture of my subconscious: Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons, So Tonight That I Might See by Mazzy Star, Ophelia by Natalie Merchant, everything by Evanescence and Florence and the Machine. But here are the individual tracks (with some annotation) that put me in the right sad, ruminative state needed to create Vernon Downs:

"Verdi Cries" by 10,000 Maniacs
A lot of the songs on this list are piano songs. I learned to play the piano when I was a child. I don't play anymore. You get the idea.

"Here Without You" by 3 Doors Down
Absence and longing perfectly limned.

"The One That Got Away" by The Civil Wars
First thought when this song comes on: the dude in this band looks like Johnny Depp. Second thought: great kiss off song along the lines of "The One I Love" by R.E.M. But what I'm left with is the sense that even though we know we shouldn't, we do. Over and over.

"Fix You" by Coldplay
Everyone loves to knock Coldplay, but as my wife and I say about The Beatles, "They know what they're doing." The point of view in this song, particularly, was useful in creating mood.

"St. Robinson and His Cadillac Dream" by Counting Crows
The Counting Crows put me in mind of my youth in Arizona—I once walked by a house in Tucson, where I attended the University of Arizona, and "Mr. Jones" blasted from the windows concert loud—but also the narrative in this particular song was relatable viz Charlie and his life. Also, the lyric "In a house where regret is a carousel ride/We are spinning and spinning and spinning" is illustrative.

"Pictures of You" by The Cure
Also the "Untitled" track from this album, which is a song that once meant a great deal to me.

"Precious" by Depeche Mode
The lyric "Things get damaged/Things get broken" perfectly describes the principle theme in Vernon Downs. And possibly in all books.

"When I Needed You" by Erasure
A sad song about childhood. In truth, it's too sad and I eventually removed it from the playlist because the sadness was distracting.

"You Found Me" by The Fray
Another piano song.

"No Son of Mine" by Genesis
This song about leaving home would probably be one of Charlie's anthems.

"Hey Jealousy" by Gin Blossoms
The Gin Blossoms became a national band while I was in college in Arizona, local boys made good. The helplessness of the narrator in this song, along with his wistfulness, always puts me in mind of that divide between adolescence and the imminent mistakes of adulthood.

"Here is Gone" by The Goo Goo Dolls
Great song about the fleeting nature of the moments in our lives. "I thought I lost you somewhere/But you were never really there at all" is a sentiment Charlie comes to know too well.

"Young and Beautiful" by Lana Del Rey
Another piano song. A haunting meditation on youth. With the added bonus of being on the Gatsby soundtrack, a film based on the book that brings its own truckload of influence.

"How Far We've Come" by Matchbox Twenty
Just love the hook of "Let's see how far we've come." The depth of emotion is in your personal answer to this call and response.

"Nightswimming" by R.E.M.
The ultimate piano song. It's one of those rare songs that make you believe the moments described are actually memories from your own life.

"Run" by Snow Patrol
Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn" put to music. And one of the saddest musical goodbyes I know.


Jaime Clarke and Vernon Downs links:

the author's website
video trailer for the book

Harvard Crimson review
PopMatters review
Three Guys One Book review
Tweed's review

ArtSake interview with the author
GrubStreet interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2012 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


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WORD Bookstores Books of the Week - April 16, 2014

In the Largehearted Word series, the staff of Brooklyn's WORD bookstore highlights several new books released this week.

WORD Bookstores are independent neighborhood bookstores in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Jersey City, New Jersey. Our primary goal is to be whatever our communities needs us to be, which currently means carrying everything from fiction to nonfiction to absurdly cute cards and stationery. In addition, we're fiends for a good event, from the classic author reading and Q&A to potlucks and a basketball league (and anything set in a bar). If a weekly dose of WORD here isn't enough for you, follow us on Twitter: @wordbookstores.


A Bintel Brief: Love and Longing in Old New York

A Bintel Brief: Love and Longing in Old New York
by Liana Finck

Artist Liana Finck tells the story of the famous, often life-saving advice column "The Bintel Brief," a backpage feature of the Yiddish newspaper The Forward that was the staple of many immigrant Jewish households in early 20th century New York. Imaginative and moving, it reads like a fable as much as a history lesson.


The Good Inn

The Good Inn
by Black Francis and Josh Frank

Pixies frontman Black Francis joins writer Josh Frank and illustrator Steven Appleby to resuscitate and retell two obscure but significant events in early 1900s France: the demise of the battleship Iena and the filming of Le Bonne Auberge, thought to be the first pornographic film.


All the Birds, Singing

All the Birds, Singing
by Evie Wyld

Molly says: This novel is impossibly balanced -- gorgeous and graceful, dark and taut, it tells the story of Jake, a young woman who's chosen a solitary life on a cold English island. Wyld is as good at Jake's reluctant, slow-moving connection to other people as she is at depicting the kind of solitude that's sometimes necessary to process, to rebuild, and to heal.


Outside the Box: Interviews with Contemporary Cartoonists

Outside the Box: Interviews with Contemporary Cartoonists
by Hillary L. Chute

Emily says: In addition to its stunning full-color production and french flaps, this book contains interviews with Scott McCloud, Charles Burns, Lynda Barry, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Daniel Clowes, Phoebe Gloeckner, Joe Sacco, Alison Bechdel, Francoise Mouly, Adrian Tomine, Art Spiegelman, and Chris Ware. Do I really need to say anything else?


WORD Brooklyn links:

WORD website
WORD Tumblr
WORD on Twitter
WORD's Facebook page
WORD's Flickr photos


also at Largehearted Boy:

other Word Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)

Online "Best of 2013" Book Lists

52 Books, 52 Weeks (my yearly reading project)
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics & graphic novel highlights)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)


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Shorties (A New Zadie Smith Story at The Paris Review, An Interview with Courtney Love, and more)

Read a new Zadie Smith short story at the Paris Review.


The Quietus interviewed Courtney Love.


USA Today and Flavorwire interviewed Mimi Pond about her new graphic novel memoir, Over Easy.

Pond also talked to the Hollywood Reporter about the book.


Stereogum listed the best Galaxie 500 songs.


The Guardian listed the top 10 novels of desert war.


Walter Martin of the Walkmen celebrated the novelty song at the Guardian.


The A.V. Club shared an excerpt from Black Francis's new illustrated novel, The Good Inn.


The Guardian shared a playlist of new Middle Eastern and north African music.


SPIN interviewed Murph of Dinosaur Jr.


The finalists for the 2014 Best Translated Book Awards have been named.


The A.V. Club listed the best Nickel Creek songs.


Dinah Fried's Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature's Most Memorable Meals is a book filled with photos of meals from literature.


Musician Scott McCaughey talked baseball, Uncle Tupelo, and more with the Riverfront Times.


James Salter remembered author Peter Mathiessen at the New Yorker.


At The Record, Carl Wilson and Ann Powers discuss why other people's tastes in music matter so much to us.


Wired broke down Amazon's purchase of digital comics app Comixology.


The A.V. Club is streaming the new album by Black Prairie, a band that features all members of the Decemberists except Colin Meloy.


Time recommended female authors you should be reading.


Record Store Day is Saturday. LA Music Blog listed the top limited edition releases.


Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, and Stumbleupon for links (updated throughout the day) that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.


also at Largehearted Boy:

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (the week's best new books)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)s


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Daily Downloads (A Kill Rock Stars Compilation, Dean Wareham, and more)

Every day, Daily Downloads offers 10 free and legal mp3 downloads.


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Faux Fur: "Rough Palms" [mp3] from Faux Fur (out April 28th)

The Fox and the Feather: The Fox and the Feather album [mp3]

Gia Margaret: Dark Joy EP [mp3]

Kairos: "Street Lights (Kanye West cover)" [mp3] from Kairos EP (out May 20th)

Pontiacs: Atacama Dreaming album [mp3]

So Many Animal Calls: "My Blood's Not Mine" [mp3] from Burden EP (out May 26th)

The Sad Bastard Book Club: The Crow Nose Quartet's "Carrion, My Wayward Son" EP [mp3]

Soundstatues: NoiseTrade Sampler EP [mp3]

Various Artists: Crazed MP3 Fans Vol. 1 Kill Rock Stars album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Dean Wareham: 2014-04-05, New York [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily free and legal mp3 downloads
covers collections
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads

Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, books, and pop culture news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtrack)
weekly new album lists


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

April 15, 2014

Book Notes - Alena Graedon "The Word Exchange"

The Word Exchange

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Alena Graedon's The Word Exchange is a wildly imaginative and ambitious debut novel about the future intersection of language and technology.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"A wildly ambitious, darkly intellectual and inventive thriller about the intersection of language, technology and meaning."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.

In her own words, here is Alena Graedon's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel, The Word Exchange:


In The Word Exchange, I try to evoke that elusive, lucid moment when we start to notice that something's been lost. It begins with a dim awareness. Something that should be there, that we view as natural and immutable, is gone. A childhood memory. A word we thought we knew. A very deep love. A parent we view as a constant who suddenly disappears.

In my own life, music is one of those stays that drifted away without my notice. When I was young, it was so close to the locus of my identity that they couldn't be separated. But at some point, things changed. What happened, I think, is that I slowly started letting the devices in my life decide what I should listen to, and in the process, I became sort of estranged from something that had once been central to me. (Part of the pleasure of putting together this playlist has been in reconnecting with a kind of creativity I'd nearly forgotten.)

A lot of good has come from our new culture of not owning things. But when everything is free, and we let machines choose our music for us, some of the thrill of discovery is lost. We also lose what can come not from buying a record, but owning it in a deeper sense—integrating it into our consciousnesses.

The Word Exchange takes place a few years in the future, at a time when bound books have become more obscure than records are now, and our dependence on devices has increased. That gave me a chance to imagine what might happen if we yielded even more to machines—not just decisions about what to listen to or read or wear or eat, but about how to behave, even what to think and say.

These are all songs that have seeped into the book in various ways, or that capture something essential about it.


Don Giovanni — Act II, Scene 5, Finale

Bart, one of the novel's narrators, explains early on that beginnings and endings can be problematic. In some ways, they get inverted in the book, so starting this list with a finale seemed to make a kind of sense. Doug, the disappeared father at the center of the story, is a man who appreciates drama and pathos, and he used to sing this piece to entertain his wife, Vera, before they separated.

Creedence Clearwater Revival — Suzie Q

Vera is a sort of Suzie Q—very easy to fall in love with. Doug still loves her on the day he disappears, more than a year after she's left him. And she has her own style of drama and glamour. She's the kind of woman who went to Woodstock as a teenager, and ended up singing this song with Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Jefferson Airplane — White Rabbit

Doug's disappearance is discovered by his daughter, Anana, who narrates the novel along with Bart. She's alerted to her father's absence by a code word Doug seems to have left behind: Alice. Shortly before he vanished, he told Anana that if anything were to happen to him, he wanted to use this name to communicate. He also gave her a vile of pills, which she eventually takes, like the Alice in this song. Anana's search for her father soon becomes Alice-like in other ways. As she tries to piece together clues in a world that's not quite the one she thought she knew, less and less makes sense. In fact, as in Alice's looking-glass world, even words and language start losing meaning.

Fela Kuti — Mr. Grammarticologylisationalism Is the Boss

Bart claims that listening to records was how he survived high school. But he also got by thanks to a friend who loved music as much as he did, and who introduced him to things he'd never heard, including Fela Kuti. This song explores the ways language and colonialism intertwine, asking who has ownership over a language, and what it means to be master of it. Those are also questions at the center of The Word Exchange.

The Grateful Dead — Friend of the Devil

Anana's ex-boyfriend, Max, is a big fan of The Dead. He likes live recordings that last at least 20 minutes. Not everyone does, though, so this is much shorter. But it's still pretty relevant to Max; he's befriended some shady characters.

The Avengers — Paint It Black

The first time Bart visits Anana's apartment, he discovers a side of her that he didn't know existed, and that she's lost track of in some ways. He's really surprised by her music collection, and that they seem to share a lot of affinities. This is a song she listened to over and over in high school, at a time when she was realizing that she wanted to be an artist. She especially liked playing it while she was painting, for probably obvious reasons.

Sylvie Vartan — M'amuser

Anana's best friend, Coco, is also an artist. Their studios are side by side, and because their shared wall doesn't go all the way to the ceiling, they can hear each other while they work. When the novel starts, Anana's heart is broken—Max has just moved out. And Coco, whose mother is French, sings her this song from the other side of the wall to bring her spirits up.

Arvo Pärt — Spiegel im Spiegel

This piece is pivotal to the book. Anana hears it when she's very sick, in the throes of a virus known as word flu. She's using a device that gives her fleeting access to someone else's memories, and this song is one of his. But hearing it triggers her own reminiscences—her mother listened to it many times when Anana was child. And that unlocks the door to other past experiences, some of which are her own, and some that she thinks may be the machine's inventions.

Donny Hathaway — A Song for You

One of the memories Anana has while using the device is from very early in her relationship with Max, and a trip they took together. One afternoon, when Anana returned to their hotel room, Max, not knowing she was there, was singing this song in the shower. Overhearing him helps convince her he's really in love, and makes her fall in love with him more deeply.

The Bulgarian Voices Angelite — Dve Pesni Ot Tchepinsko

This song is from one of the records that Bart listened to in his disaffected youth. (It's a record that I also listened to throughout high school and college. It was a gift from my coworker, Pete, at the incredible used book and record store where I used to work.) Unlike me, Bart knows lots of languages, and part of what appeals to him about this song is that he doesn't understand the words, only the feelings they engender, and not even all of those.

Neil Young — My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)

Bart can sometimes seem craven and insecure, but his soul is rock and roll. That's partly why he responds so strongly to anachronisms, like books, and music from before he was born. Neil Young is probably closest to his heart. The energy and temerity and aberrance that the music of this era evokes can sometimes seem as obsolete as the songs. But Bart is a covert optimist, and he believes that if we keep listening, they're still there.

Stravinsky: Rite of Spring Part II, The Sacrifice

This piece arrives at a climactic scene in the book. It serves as a sort of sound armor for Dr. Thwaite, a character who believes that his conversations are being recorded, and who tries to drown them out with music. And as the title suggests, he also offers himself up as a sacrifice in some ways.

John Cage — 4'33”

There comes a time in the book when silence intrudes. Silence is a complicated thing in the novel: for some people, it's an omen of death—a symptom that marks a fatal case of word flu. But it can also be part of a course of therapy for survival. In either case, it's very significant. This piece is four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence.

The Only Ones — Another Girl, Another Planet

Late in the book, Bart becomes very concerned that something has happened to Anana, and he goes looking for her. His anxiety makes it hard for him to sleep, but he finally manages to drift off while listening to this song.


Alena Graedon and The Word Exchange links:

the author's Facebook page

Kirkus review
Publishers Weekly review
Slate review
Toronto Star review

The Center for Fiction interview with the author
Publishers Weekly interview with the author
Word and Film interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2012 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Book Notes - Damian Barr "Maggie & Me"

Maggie & Me: Coming Out and Coming of Age in 1980s Scotland

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Damian Barr's Maggie & Me is an eloquently told and moving coming-of-age story, one of the most entertaining memoirs I have read in years.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"While it should be heartbreaking, Barr tells a wonderful story, demonstrating the remarkable resilience of a child not only surviving, but succeeding in such a grand way."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.

In his own words, here is Damian Barr's Book Notes music playlist for his memoir, Maggie & Me: Coming Out and Coming of Age in 1980s Scotland:


Ours was not a house of books, unless you count my mum's Mills & Boon paperbacks glorying in titles like A Debt Paid in Passion and She Is His. She taught me to read with these so I am perhaps unrealistically romantic. I was heartbroken when my Mum and Dad divorced. Worse, much worse, was to come with their new loves: the creepily glamorous Mary the Canary and the murderously heavy-handed Logan. My family fractured as our community was torn apart—the closing of the last coal mines, the darkening of the vast glowing steelworks where my Dad made the sun set twice every night, the end of a way of life. Everybody bonded over their hatred of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: Maggie. She got the blame for everything and when the IRA bombed her and she dared to survive they couldn't believe it—neither could I. But I was impressed by her, not a hair out of place as she rose from the smoking ruins of the Grand Hotel. We watched her on the telly—one of the few forces bringing my sprawling, brawling family together. We sat on bare floorboards ooohing and ahhing at Carrington mansions hoping for a bitch fight between Alexis and Krystle before our electricity meter ran out of money and the lights went out. I longed for the camera to linger on the square-jawed men with their oh-so-white teeth. My soundtrack reflects Scotland's affair with American culture generally especially the telly and my 1980s childhood.

Theme from Superman The Movie
The first film I remember seeing. My Dad took me leaving my wee sister at home so it was an extra treat having him all to myself. Six foot everything, with Clark Kent curls and Superman's muscles from his job at the steelworks, he lifted me up and flew me in the air as the credits rolled. I swooped through clouds of blue cigarette smoke curling in the light from the projector.

D.I.V.O.R.C.E by Dolly Parton
Mary the Canary, my Dad's new woman, was a nurse by day and country and western singer by night. We were trained to hate her but she seemed so lovely – all dolled up with big blonde hair and bubbly friendly and wanting to be liked. She sang this the first time she met us and I still don't know if she meant it or not. My Dad knocked the record off when she got to the chorus. I persist in seeing the best in people.

The Ink is Black, The Paper is White (*available on an album called Call of Freedom)
The west of Scotland is like Northern Ireland without the bombs—historically there's no love lost between Catholics and Protestants. Catholics supports Celtic Footballs Club and the Pope and Protestants Support Ranger Footballs Club and the Queen. Simple. Except my Mum is Catholic and my Dad is Protestant. A critical factor in my outsiderness and just another reason to hate football. Caught in the middle, I went to technically non-denominational schools where we learnt hymns like this.

Chronicles of Narnia Theme by Geoffrey Burgon
Every time we moved house—and we moved a lot—I would run into the big bedroom and climb in the wardrobe hoping to find Narnia. I haven't found it—yet. These books gave me an escape into a world where good would always triumph over evil. I really thought I was the only child to work out that Aslan was supposed to be Jesus which didn't help my early evangelical tendencies. The BBC TV adaption was brilliant.

Dynasty Theme
The trilling flutes, the swooping strings, the helicopter flying in over Denver, Colorado (the most glamorous place in the world to me then). The good blonde, the bad brunette, the shoulder-pads. The limousines with some of the very first mobile phones—bullion-sized handsets for billionaires. The affairs, divorces and fights all seemed familiar but overlaid with sequins. The Colbys was never as good and Falcon Crest was almost laughable but still we watched. Even in this corner of Thatcher's Britain we were learning to want more.

I've Had the Time of My Life
Dirty Dancing was a major obsession. My best/boy friend Mark and I traded roles as Johnny and Baby and we even found a place to re-enact the famous river. This song has always made me think that everything will be alright, not just alright but amazing.

Smalltown Boy by Bronski Beat
"Pushed around and kicked around I was a lonely boy…” It was years before I realised the singer was a man. Anyway, I remember hearing it on the radio when we still huddled round on a Sunday to listen to the charts. I tried taping it but didn't rewind fast enough so only caught a bit. In 1984 me and Mark wanted to run away from our small town—this became our secret anthem.

I Should Be So Lucky by Kylie Minogue
Stock, Aitken and Waterman made all the records that made our 1980s: Kyle Minogue, Jason Donovan and even Stefan Dennis. Basically, anyone who appeared on the Australian soap Neighbours, which we all watched after school, released an album. As bouncy as the spiral perm favoured by all girls and some boys. Despite everything, I have always felt lucky. This song works a charm. Only Kylie survives.

Shipbuilding by Elvis Costello
Even if, like me, you viewed some of Thatcher's evil as necessary, you couldn't ignore the impact. My Dad lost his job at the Ravenscraig Steelworks despite doing everything Maggie demanded. Hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost across the country—whole communities were destroyed. Some have never recovered. Some will never forgive.

The Rhythm of the Night by Corona
Seguing smoothly from 1980s to 1990s, when me and my friend Mark and our best pal Heather found Glasgow's only gay club and danced and danced and danced. We were too young to drive so we caught the train in and got changed in the toilets. Nobody knew where we were going or what we were up to and we loved imagining their faces IF ONLY THEY KNEW.

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead
Maggie united my community and divided the nation like no leader before or since. My own feelings are complex and often contradictory—she was strong, yes, but that strength became weakness. She was different, like me, and glamorous, like I wanted to be. She inspired me to become an individual. Yet I wouldn't be the man I am without all the other individuals who helped me on the way: Mark, Heather, my Mum, my Dad, my beloved teachers, Kylie even. A campaign to get this song to number one in the week after Thatcher's death—almost exactly a year ago—failed. Which just about says it all.


Damian Barr and Maggie & Me: Coming Out and Coming of Age in 1980s Scotland links:

the author's Wikipedia entry
excerpt from the book

GQ UK review
Guardian review
Independent review
Kirkus review
Sunday Times review

Public Radio International's The World interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2012 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

This Week's Interesting Music Releases - April 15, 2014

Afghan Whigs

The Afghan Whigs' first new album in 16 years, Do to the Beast, is out today.

I can also recommend the following new releases: Cloud Cult's Unplug, Courtney Barnett's The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas, Woods' With Light and With Love, and Zee Avi's children's album Zee Avi's Nightlight.

Reissues include two box sets, the 5-disc Bee Gees' The Warner Bros. Years 1987-1991 and the 8-CD Black Sabbath: The Complete Albums 1970-1978.


What new releases are you picking up this week? What can you recommend? Have I left anything noteworthy off the list?


This week's interesting music releases:

AC/DC: Ballbreaker (reissue) [vinyl]
AC/DC: Stiff Upper Lip (reissue) [vinyl]
Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell: Check 'Em Before You Wreck 'Em
Afghan Whigs: Do to the Beast
AJ and the Jiggawatts: AJ and the Jiggawatts
The Alchemist and Budgie: The Good Book
Alpha Consumer: Meat
Amps for Christ: Canyons Cars and Crows
Andrew Liles: Fast Forward Through Time [vinyl]
August Alsina: Testimony
Banner Pilot: Souvenir
Battle Lines: Colonies
Bee Gees: The Warner Bros. Years 1987-1991 (5-CD box set)
Ben Roy: No Enlightenment in Sobriety
Bikini Kill: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah EP [vinyl]
Bill Pritchard: A Trip to the Coast
The Black Keys: Fever
Black Sabbath: The Complete Albums 1970-1978 (8-CD box set)
Black Tape For a Blue Girl: Remnants of a Deeper Purity (reissue) [vinyl]
Bobby Bare, Jr.: Undefeated
The Both (Aimee Mann and Ted Leo): The Both
Burnt Hills: Non Compos Mentis [vinyl]
Cannonball Adderley: Somethin' Else (reissue) [vinyl]
Chet Faker: Built On Glass
Chuck E. Weiss: Red Beans and Weiss
Cloud Cult: Unplug
Courtney Barnett: The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
The Crookes: Soapbox
Cult Leader: Nothing For Us Here
CV313: Altering Illusions 1/3
Dalhous: Visibility Is a Trap
Dan Wilson: Love Without Fear
Danny Brown: Hot Soup
Dead Kennedys: Original Singles Collection (7-disc box set) [vinyl]
Del Barber: Prairieography
Deleted Scenes: Lithium Burn
Dexter Gordon: Our Man In Paris (reissue) [vinyl]
DJ Center: DEM SAY AH
Dorian Pimpernel: Allombon
The Drip: A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics
Duck Sauce: Quack
Dylan Shearer: Garagearray
Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Trilogy (reissue) [vinyl]
Emmylou Harris: Cowboy Angels
Esme Patterson: Woman to Woman
Gezan: It Was Once Said to Be a Song
Gord Downie, The Sadies, and the Conquering Sun: Gord Downie, The Sadies, and the Conquering Sun
Hecker: Articulação
Hot Jam Factory: Introducing Hot Jam Factory
Ingrid Michaelson: Lights Out
Impetuous Ritual: Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivalence
Jessica Lea Mayfield: Make My Head Sing...
Justin Nozuka: Ulysees
Kyng: Burn the Serum
Loops Haunt: Exits
Marshall Crenshaw: Red Wine
Maxwell August Croy and Sean McCann: I
Meyhem Lauren: Mandatory Brunch Meetings
Nas: Illmatic XX
Needtobreathe: Rivers In the Wasteland
The Oath: The Oath
Orcas: Yearling
Pharoahe Monch: P.T.S.D. - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Plague Vendor: Free to Eat
Polar: Shadowed by Vultures
Polock: Rising Up
Rodney Crowell: Tarpaper Sky
Se Delan: The Fall
The Secret Sisters: Put Your Needle Down
Slint: Spiderland (reissue) [vinyl] (6-disc box set)
Steve Gunn and Mike Gangloff: Melodies for a Savage Fix
Strung Out: Another Day In Paradise (reissue)
Strung Out: Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues (reissue)
Strung Out: Twisted by Design (reissue) [vinyl]
Strung Out: Volume One (reissue)
T.O.M.B.: Pennhurst / Xesse
The UN: UN Or U Out
Toxic Holocaust: An Overdose of Death (reissue)
Toxic Holocaust: Evil Never Dies (reissue) [vinyl]
Toxic Holocaust: Hell on Earth (reissue)
Triptykon: Melena Chasmata
Various Artists: Petty's Peculiar Picks
Various Artists: Shameless (soundtrack)
Various Artists: The Walking Dead - AMC Original Soundtrack, Vol. 2
Willie Nelson: The Storm Has Just Begun (reissue0 [vinyl]
Woods: With Light and With Love
Zee Avi: Zee Avi's Nightlight
Ziggy Marley: Fly Rasta


also at Largehearted Boy:

weekly music release lists

2013 Year-End Online Music Lists

100 online sources for free and legal music downloads
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Shorties (Stephen King's Books Ranked, Greg Dulli on the Afghan Whigs Reunion, and more)

Vulture ranked all 64 of Stephen King's books.


Drowned in Sound and Flavorwire interviewed Greg Dulli about the Afghan Whigs reunion.


Wondering Sound interviewed Aimee Mann and Ted Leo about their new duo, The Both.


Roxane Gay explored the reasons we read war fiction at BuzzFeed.


Stereogum ranked Van Morrison's albums from worst to best.


The Quietus interviewed Juliet Escoria about her new book, Black Cloud.


The Boston Globe interviewed John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats.


Photographer Roberta Bayley talked to Texas Monthly about photographing the Sex Pistols' 1978 swing through Texas.


The Two-Way interviewed poet Vijay Seshadri about being awarded the Pulitzer for his collection 3 Sections.


OUPblog recommended recently released jazz albums you should hear.


Morning Edition interviewed Leslie Jamison about her new essay collection The Empathy Exams.


Flavorwire interviewed Mad Men's music supervisor about her favorite musical moments in the show.


The Airship listed authors' made-up words.


Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett played a Tiny Desk Concert.


Winners of 2014 Pulitzer prizes were named yesterday.


Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, and Stumbleupon for links (updated throughout the day) that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.


also at Largehearted Boy:

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (the week's best new books)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)s


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

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