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November 24, 2014

Book Notes - Joshua Harmon "The Annotated Mixtape"

The Annotated Mixtape

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, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Joshua Harmon connects music to his life and our culture in his book The Annotated Mixtape.

Will Hermes wrote of the book:

"Can all this -- mapping one's life around LP shopping, the exquisite playback rituals, and above all, the passionately empathic art of mixtape-making -- really be ancient history? Josh Harmon brings it all back home, joining Greil Marcus, Rob Sheffield, Geoff Dyer, and other great alchemists who use songs as magic portals to memory, history, and literary spelunking. Like a great mixtape, it connects music to how we live."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Joshua Harmon's Book Notes music playlist for his book The Annotated Mixtape:


"The Records," the first essay I wrote for The Annotated Mixtape, once included a brief section headed with the abbreviation "np:"—shorthand for "now playing:"—which was made up of a list of records I was listening to at the time, or at least records I wanted people to know I was listening to at the time. Now that Spotify, etc., immediately broadcast to your friends' newsfeeds what you're listening to so that they can mock you, "np:"—an addendum used by many correspondents to the music listservs I subscribed to in the late '90s and early '00s—is pointless. Does anyone except old-timers like me still even write emails more than a sentence or two long? In any case, I revised the "np:" list in that essay multiple times during the writing and revising of the essay, and then again when it appeared in New England Review, and then again when I revised the essay for the book—well over a dozen different versions (I just counted) over a dozen years, until eventually I revised that passage right out of the book. But since The Annotated Mixtape is essentially already a list of songs accompanied by explanations about their intersections with my life, I'll skip all of those and return to some of the tracks I included in various iterations of the "np:" list over the years, some of the songs that didn't make it into the book:


Acetate Zero, "Contemplating the Existence of the Leaves"

Releasing an LP in an edition of 200 copies and filling it with songs titled, e.g., "Zealous Atom's Rage," "Departure," "Metropolitan Fatal Dawn," and "Variant Critiques to Conclude There's Nothing" was potentially an end-days gesture c. Y2K. A lot of things felt long since exhausted at that point, including the descriptor "post-rock," and in any case Acetate Zero's music has always been much more intriguing than most that gets tagged with that term. This mysterious French band—their records credit the band members only with initials—has quietly released a bunch of records since then, though this beautiful downer of an LP from 1999 remains the one I return to most in their catalog.


Little Ann, "Deep Shadows"

Speaking of Y2K, it's amazing to see what's happened to the LP since then, when many labels, even indies, were only putting out new albums on CD, and a lot of the new LPs you could find were pressed pretty badly: off-center spindle holes, visible warps, etc. Now everyone's buying LPs again, and labels are making way too many really nice ones to keep up with. There are also tons of vinyl reissues and rediscoveries, some of dubious quality, but many others, like the ones put out by Numero and Light in the Attic, beautifully assembled. Thank god someone saw fit to gather Little Ann's long-forgotten tracks and reissue them on LP a few years back.


Verlaines, "Baud to Tears"

"And that guy reads and tries to write / And talks until he bores you / He wants to know all the secrets of soul / He hasn't got a shit show / And he jumps the bandwagon before it's too late / With a head full of crap / And he never loves, he never hates / He doesn't write, he imitates: he's a clown / The artist in the idiot's clothes / You know the way they go: / They go down, they drown…" Or, in more condensed form: "You'll never spend a season in hell / If you lie in bed all day." The Verlaines' Juvenilia compilation LP is a foundational text. I'm pretty sure no rock band in the '80s was remotely as cool as they were.


Popol Vuh, "Wo Bist Du, der Du Überwunden Hast?"

There are so many songs I would've loved to have written about in the book (instead of songs by, say, Def Leppard and Raccoo - oo - oon), if only I'd had something specific and interesting to write about them. For example, this staggering beauty from Popol Vuh. I don't know what to say about it other than this: please listen.


Amerie, "1 Thing"

I've never really kept up much with pop music (as is probably evident by including a nine-year-old pop song here), because often it bores me. This song is anything but boring: in its combination of Amerie's insanely compelling voice and the alchemical transformation of a brief drum break in the Meters' "Oh, Calcutta!" to this monstrous backing track, it's perfect. I'm pretty sure someone called this song "‘Crazy in Love,' Junior" back in 2005, maybe not undeservedly, but to my ears it's way more exhilarating than Beyoncé's early masterpiece.


Broken Dog, "You Should Go Home"

John Peel declared Broken Dog among his favorite bands, which ought to have been enough to raise them out of obscurity. Their 1999 LP, Sleeve with Hearts—the last copies of which can still be purchased via Broken Dog's decidedly 1990s-looking website—has been a persistent favorite during the entire time I took to write The Annotated Mixtape: even now, listening to these languid, sad, British-via-Americana songs, I might as well be sitting on the hardwood floor of my long-ago rented house on the Rhode Island shore, late at night, gradually getting colder as the fire dies inside the woodstove, listening to records on headphones and thinking I should go to bed, but not just yet. The heartbroken "Your Name" isn't on YouTube, so "You Should Go Home," another lovely track from this record, will have to do.


Congos, "Open Up the Gate"

When I was a teenager, reggae didn't make much sense to me, either because the diluted, appropriated versions of it I heard in songs by, say, Elvis Costello and the Police weren't that exciting, or because the overplayed Bob Marley and the Wailers greatest hits that the stoner white kids wearing Baja pullovers listened to turned me against the genre by association. I've spent a lot of my adult years rectifying this blunder, and thankfully I encountered the Congos' 1977 masterpiece, Heart of the Congos, before wasting any more time.


Ean Eraser, "Illegitimate Love"

I bought this 7" during the 2008 recession, and it seemed a perfect throwback to the late '70s/early '80s recession that marked my childhood. The style is power-pop from that era, when a band with a slight sneer might be considered punk or new wave, since those terms were applied at least as indiscriminately as they are now (didn't someone in those years say "new wavers are punks who still take out the garbage for their moms" or something like that?). The guitar riffing here recalls Greg Sage's playing on the first Wipers LP, maybe, but the rest of the song could be any anonymous garage band who'd heard the Only Ones and the Cars and the Sex Pistols. The record itself had no artwork, no label, no real identifiers beyond band and song names—perhaps a reaction to the hype cycle in indie music circles c. 2008, perhaps because someone wanted the anonymity to be the hype. Regardless, this song is wonderful.


Simple Minds, "Theme for Great Cities"

If you were a teenager in the early to mid-1980s, Simple Minds occupied a continuum of new wave cool somewhere between U2 and Echo and the Bunnymen, maybe: cooler than the former, not as cool as the latter: which is to say, not very cool. Jim Kerr had much of Bono's hamminess and a wardrobe filled with sparkly, too-big suit jackets, and by the time "Don't You (Forget About Me)" was being played on the radio and MTV every five minutes, every teenybopper knew his soft voice, sleepy eyes, and goofy dance moves. (My first girlfriend, c. September 1985, told me that she thought "Alive and Kicking" was "our song.") "Theme for Great Cities" has all the moody Simple Minds melodrama you may remember if you're my age, and none of the Jim Kerr. (Note: I don't mind Jim Kerr, really.)


Chrome, "Chromosome Damage"

The year 1977 has figured pretty large in my memory and imagination lately, since I'm working on a nonfiction book about cultural iterations of fantasy from that year. Despite its references to aliens and pigmies [sic] and magnetic dwarf reptiles (look, just get the LP), Chrome's scared, scary 1977 LP, Alien Soundtracks, is utterly realistic. Distorted, freaked-out, noisy, and interrupted, "Chromosome Damage" sounds more like 1977 to me than, say, Arrival, Rumours, Never Mind the Bollocks, or pretty much anything else.


Secret Stars, "N29, It's Alright"

An ode to a late-night bus ride played by one of the quieter duos of the mid- to late-'90s. I thought of their then-recent song "Wait" every time I met someone at the State Street Diner in Ithaca, NY, during grad school, but this whispered track, from the Genealogies LP, is the one that's haunted me longest.


Mittens on Strings, "Party"

Urged mostly by a couple of students and a friend who came up with the terrific name "Unpacking My Milk Crates," I briefly hosted a college radio show in summer and fall 2005. I mail-ordered this unassuming EP that summer, and it ended up being broadcast by WVKR at least once. "It was a party / just a block and a half away / Oh well, it probably / would've sucked anyway" pretty much sums up Poughkeepsie, NY, in the mid-Aughts for me.


Joshua Harmon and The Annotated Mixtape links:

the author's blog
the author's Wikipedia entry

LitReactor review

The Rumpus contributions by 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

List of Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists

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)





November 24, 2014

Online "Best Books of 2014" Lists Updates - November 24th

For the seventh straight year, I am aggregating every online "best of 2014" book list I find.

Please feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me with a blog, magazine, newspaper, or other online media list I have missed.

The master list of online "best books of 2014" lists.
Daily updates to the list.

Revisit previous years' lists from 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2000-2009 (best of the decade) online year-end book list collections.

Today's updates to the master list of online "best of 2014" book lists:

Books and Beyond (best books)
Brain Pickings (best science books)
Dymocks (best books)
Kirkus (best children's books)
Marginal Revolution (best fiction)
Marginal Revolution (best non-fiction books)
Note and Query (books)
Penguin Random House (best "best books of 2014" lists)
Readings - Jason Austin (books)
Telegraph (best cookbooks)
Tor.com (readers' favorite books)
Woman's Day (best books)


also at Largehearted Boy:

Online "Best Books of 2014" Lists
daily updates to the master list of online 2014 year-end book lists

Online "Best Books of 2013" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2012" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2010" Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Book Lists
Online "Best Books of 2009" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2008" Lists

2013 Online Year-end Music Lists
2012 Online Year-end Music Lists
2011 Online Year-end Music Lists
2010 Online Year-end Music Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Music Lists
2009 Online Year-end Music Lists
2008 Online Year-end Music Lists
2007 Online Year-end Music Lists
2006 Online Year-end Music Lists
other lists at Largehearted Boy

Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics and graphic novel picks)
Anitiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Largehearted WORD (weekly new book picks)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Book Notes - Mandy Aftel "Fragrant"

Fragrant

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, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Mandy Aftel's Fragrant is a fascinating mixture of history and personal anecdotes about perfume and the role scent plays in our lives.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"In this sensuous and profound exploration of the history, science, and art of perfume, expert perfumer Aftel (Essence and Alchemy) seduces readers with an sensualism that only intensifies as her stories unfold."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Mandy Aftel's Book Notes music playlist for her book Fragrant:


For the twenty years that I've been creating perfume, I have always without fail done it listening to loud music. I do the same when I write. As counter-intuitive as it sounds, loud music helps me to go deeper inside myself.

Perfume has a lot in common with music: perfume follows a musical metaphor, in which individual "notes" of scents are arranged into "chords" of fragrance.

Also, like many musicians, I create perfume to try to capture a memory or experience. My hope is that the person who buys it has a similar experience smelling it. And as with music, perfume (at least perfume made from the complex, ephemeral natural essences, which are all I work with) plays through and then is gone, is by its very nature here and not here.

The songs that I chose here, as a kind of soundtrack for my latest book, Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent, are all about desire and loss. I was living in a lost world while I wrote Fragrant—a world of beauty and mystery and longing. The deep wells of passion in the music I listened to spoke to me of those lost world that were still so alive to me.


"New Danville Girl," Bob Dylan, Genuine Bootleg Series Vol 1 Disc 3
This is a "take to a desert island" kind of song -- eleven and a half minutes of longing, regret and broken-heartedness. Although I find it almost impossible to believe that Bob Dylan has been dumped by anyone, he certainly knows how to draw a scale map of that territory. There are two versions of this song: The later and better-known is "Brownsville Girl (Knocked Out Loaded)." This very raw earlier version is a rambling epic in which the singer mourns the lost love of a woman of the old West: "You know I can't believe we've lived so long and are still so far apart."


"The Window," Leonard Cohen, Field Commander Cohen
This quietly beautiful song is like a religious vision. I don't totally understand it, but it is one of those songs that enters you like a fragrance, the phrases like "the rose on its ladder of thorns" and "lost in the rages of fragrance."

"Born in Time," Bob Dylan, Genuine Bootleg Series Vol 2 (Disc 3)
Dylan sings of the intensity and volatility of love, "Where the ways of nature will test every nerve, you don't get anything you deserve." Writing this book was like having simultaneous love affairs with the five scents I was writing about – cinnamon, mint, frankincense, ambergris, and jasmine. I thought about them all the time, the way you obsessively think of a lover. But this song also reminds me of how scent, like love, exists in time, comes and goes like a whisper.

"Can't Wait," Bob Dylan, Time Out of Mind
This is the ultimate song about the frailty of reason in the face of emotion, particularly when your heart is broken: "If I ever saw you coming, I don't know what I would to/I'd like to think I could control myself, but it isn't true/That's how it is when things disintegrate." I don't know who has delineated more achingly the thin veneer that overlies our most intense feelings.

"San Andreas Fault," Natalie Merchant, Live in Concert
I have had a long love affair with Northern California, and this song nails for me its beauty and inherent fragility. As Natalie Merchant sings, "Go west, Paradise is there, You'll have all that you can eat, The milk an' honey over there." And then the fault that runs through the center of things: "Build a dream, An' watch it all fall down."

"River Man," Nick Drake, Five Leaves Left
Not even sure what it's about, just has this broody vibe about things that take place on the edges of life. Just like perfume, it creates his rich atmosphere you can sink right down into, with a sweet, lilting undercurrent. It's timeless, as fresh now as it was over forty years ago.

"Lake Charles," Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels on Gravel Road
A great song about loss, infused with the languid richness and decay of the bayou country. The deep sense of place that goes with knowing someone or something intimately reminds me of the deep way I know my essences. And the head-on sensuality of Lucinda's voice and words—the fierce sense of looking what is in the face--counterbalances the pain of losing someone who has given up.

"Up to Me," Bob Dylan, Biograph
This song is like a world in a bottle and is redolent of fragrance itself: "I've only got one good shirt left and it smells of stale perfume," and "Orchids are in bloom." With deceptive simplicity, the song turns around the three little two-letter words of the title like a prism held up to the light, making rainbows from different angles: "And the harmonica around my neck, I blew it for you, free/No one else could play that tune, you know it was up to me."
That last line inspired me through the writing of Fragrant, reminding me how no one but me could write what I had to say.

"Most of the Time," Bob Dylan, The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs [Disc 1]
A song about pretending you've gotten over a wounding loss, acting like you're not broken. It's about the way things disappear and how you cope with that knowledge: "I don't cheat on myself, I don't run and hide/
Hide from the feelings that are busied inside/I don't compromise and I don't pretend/I don't even care if I see her again/Most of the time."

"A Thousand Kisses Deep," Leonard Cohen, Ten New Songs
A song about things that don't last, but are unforgettable. This is so inspiring to me about what beautiful fragrance can do: it's profound, and then it melts and disappears. "The ponies run, the girls are young, the odds are there to beat": this is what life is—the moment of youth, the betting, the loving—and then it's over. It feels like it will last, but it doesn't.

"My Band," Eminem and D12 (explicit) D12 World
I just love this song and the way it makes fun of everything. Its funny, unbridled, in-your-face energy is a shot in the arm about being free and expressing yourself, without taking yourself too seriously.


Mandy Aftel and Fragrant links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry

Bookforum review
Columbus Dispatch review
Kirkus review
Publishers Weekly review

Birschbox interview with the author
Dinner Party Download interview with the author
Huffington Post profile of the author
Los Angeles Times profile of the author
San Francisco Chronicle 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

List of Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists

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)

Shorties (The Reading Habits of Writers, Stream the New She and Him Covers Album, and more)

The Believer asked writers about their reading habits.


NPR Music is streaming She and Him's new covers album, Classics.


23 online "best books of 2014" lists were added to the master aggregation at Largehearted Boy yesterday (bringing the total number of lists up to 216), including the Globe and Mail's best books of the year, the Telegraph's best biographies, and several from the Wall Street Journal.


Biographile listed essential books about Berlin.


Turntable Kitchen shared a mid-Autumn mix perfect for soundtracking your Thanksgiving meal.


The Slashdot community interviewed author Warren Ellis.


The Atlantic examines the rise in first-person narrative online.


The band Stars visited The Current studio for an interview and live performance.


Flavorwire listed the short stories behind famous films.


The Fader explored Red Bull's patronage of independent music and its effects on the industry.


Carolyn Chute talked to Weekend Edition about her new novel Treat Us Like Dogs and We Will Become Wolves.


Drowned in Sound interviewed rising singer-songwriter Hannah Lou Clark.


Bon Appetit shared a menu to pair with Beyonce music.


Dick Cavett discussed his favorite books at The Week.


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


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

List of Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists

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
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)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Daily Downloads (Sleeping At Last, The Oh Hellos, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Angel Snow: "Secret" [mp3]

Dana and Kirstie: "Stars Grow Cold" [mp3]

Heath McNease: Among Thieves album [mp3]

The Oh Hellos: The Oh Hellos' Family Christmas Album [mp3]

Quill and Inc.: Christmas Then and Now EP [mp3]

The Silent War: "Setting Sun" [mp3]

Sleeping at Last: Christmas Collection 2014 album [mp3]

Various Artists: A Very Ohio Christmas album [mp3]

Velcro Mary: Velcro Mary Christmas 2013 single [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

New Wives: 2014-11-14, Athens [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)

November 23, 2014

Largehearted Boy Weekly Wrap-Up - November 23, 2014

A list of the past week's Largehearted Boy features:


Book Notes: (authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates to their book)

Ben Marcus for his short story collection Leaving the Sea
Cassandra Troyan for her poetry collections Blacken Me, Blacken Me, Growled and Kill Manual
Jeff VanderMeer for Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy
MB Caschetta for her novel Miracle Girls
Sean Manning, Jack Pendarvis, Heather Havrilesky, Phil Hanrahan, Laura Lippman, and Emily Chenoweth for the anthology Come Here Often?


Lists

Online "Best Books of 2014" Lists
Daily updates to the online "best books of 2014" lists


Weekly New Book Recommendations:

Atomic Books Comics Preview (recommended new comics and graphic novels)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)


New Music Recommendations:

The Week's Interesting Music Releases


And of course, the daily music and news posts:

Daily Downloads (10 free and legal mp3 downloads every day, plus links to free live recordings online)
Shorties (news & links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)


also at Largehearted Boy:

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines
Atomic Books Comics Preview
Book Notes
Contests / Giveaways
Cover Song Collections
Daily Downloads
Lists
weekly music release lists
musician/author Interviews
Note Books
Soundtracked
Try It Before You Buy It
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Online "Best Books of 2014" Lists Updates - November 23rd

For the seventh straight year, I am aggregating every online "best of 2014" book list I find.

Please feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me with a blog, magazine, newspaper, or other online media list I have missed.

The master list of online "best books of 2014" lists.
Daily updates to the list.

Revisit previous years' lists from 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2000-2009 (best of the decade) online year-end book list collections.

Today's updates to the master list of online "best of 2014" book lists:

BlogHer (best book club books)
By Common Consent (books)
Flavorwire (best independent fiction and poetry books)
Globe and Mail (best books)
Just Another Girl and Her Books (best books)
Livre It to Me (best books)
National Outdoor Book Awards (books about the outdoors)
Our Man in Boston (best books)
Telegraph (best biographies)
Time Out New York (best books)
Tony Reinke (best books)
Wall Street Journal (art books)
Wall Street Journal (biographies)
Wall Street Journal (children's books)
Wall Street Journal (civil war books)
Wall Street Journal (design books)
Wall Street Journal (fashion books)
Wall Street Journal (food books)
Wall Street Journal (leadership books)
Wall Street Journal (nature books)
Wall Street Journal (photography books)
Wall Street Journal (reference books)
Wall Street Journal (science books)


also at Largehearted Boy:

Online "Best Books of 2014" Lists
daily updates to the master list of online 2014 year-end book lists

Online "Best Books of 2013" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2012" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2010" Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Book Lists
Online "Best Books of 2009" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2008" Lists

2013 Online Year-end Music Lists
2012 Online Year-end Music Lists
2011 Online Year-end Music Lists
2010 Online Year-end Music Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Music Lists
2009 Online Year-end Music Lists
2008 Online Year-end Music Lists
2007 Online Year-end Music Lists
2006 Online Year-end Music Lists
other lists at Largehearted Boy

Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics and graphic novel picks)
Anitiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Largehearted WORD (weekly new book picks)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Daily Downloads (The Week's Best Free and Legal Music Including JD McPherson, Canaries in the Coal Mine, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

The 14ers: Get Some EP [mp3]

The Banner Days: The Banner Days Sampler EP [mp3]

Brian Lopez: "Be My Baby (Ronettes cover)" [mp3]

Canaries in the Coal Mine: Scarf Weather EP [mp3]

The Dollyrots: "Let's Turkey Trot (Little Eva cover)" [mp3]

Hey, Sleeper: "This Doubt" [mp3]

JD McPherson: The Rounder Records Collection EP [mp3]

The Lonely Ones: The Lonely Ones Sampler EP [mp3]

Michael Hearst: "No One Likes a Surprise" [mp3] from Songs for Fearful Flyers

Various Artists: Asthmatic Kitty Digital Sampler, Autumn 2014 album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Riley Walker: 2014-10-24, 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


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

November 21, 2014

Book Notes - Sean Manning, Jack Pendarvis, Heather Havrilesky, Phil Hanrahan, Laura Lippman, Emily Chenoweth "Come Here Often?"

Come Here Often?: 53 Writers Raise a Glass to Their Favorite Bar

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, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Come Here Often?: 53 Writers Raise a Glass to Their Favorite Bar is a magnificent celebration of local bars.

Forbes wrote of the book:

"Perfect holiday gift book. . . Between the bars, locales, themes and the writers themselves, there is something here for pretty much everyone."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In their own words, here is Sean Manning and several contributors' Book Notes music playlist for the anthology Come Here Often?: 53 Writers Raise a Glass to Their Favorite Bar:


Jack Pendarvis - "Sunday Morning Coming Down” by Johnny Cash

I'd say that if you're alone at a back table "Sunday Morning Coming Down," written by Kris Kristofferson and sung by Johnny Cash, is the perfect bar jukebox song to accompany self-pity, an all-time fave barroom emotion.

Heather Havrilesky - "Hot in Herre" by Nelly

I know I'm outing myself as a aging frat boy with this one, but "Hot in Herre" by Nelly is the first song I look for on a jukebox. It's catchy but still soulful, upbeat but still menacing, and sexy, but in that old-school, goofy way that doesn't take itself too seriously ("I think my butt can bend!"). The bottom line is that most people are disappointingly hesitant to "take off all their clothes" in public, even when it's very hot and they're drinking tequila. This song makes up for that just a little bit.

Phil Hanrahan - "The Have Nots” by X

For a few years now I've had this fantasy of opening a small New York City bar that plays only Husker Du songs (with exceptions made for tunes by Bob Mould's post-Husker band Sugar and his solo work). Seven days and nights a week, this magnificent music, yours to hear by just stepping through the door into a place where you'll share at least one instant, guaranteed bond with everyone in there. "Celebrated Summer.” "Flexible Flyer.” "Brasilia Crossed With Trenton.” One night, all of Zen Arcade. Another night, Copper Blue. Paradise.

But given just one jukebox credit, it turns out I wouldn't turn to Husker Du. Nor to my favorite song in the world, Mark Lanegan's weary, whisky-voiced love ballad "Strange Religion” (with dark-angel backing vocals by Come Here Often? contributor Duff McKagan). The Lanegan song—about a scarred, regret-filled soul who finds transformative love—is too stately of tempo, too interiority-triggering, too grained with ache, to play in a bar, unless you want to see a roomful of patrons staring into their drinks, remembering their sharpest losses and the way love both redeems and paves the way for grief.

I'd go with my second favorite song, "The Have Nots” by X. Closing track on their epochal 1982 album Under the Big Black Sun, this song, too, has some ache in its gritty sketch of factory lifers, barflies, lonely souls gathered in Bukowski-ready dive bars and Rust Belt taverns, nursing a shot and a beer after another "hard-earned day,” playing cards with "barmaids while they work.” A lifetime of grinding and these workers have barely risen up the economic ladder since, system-wise, "this is the game that moves as you play.” (Bret Easton Ellis used the lyric, with irony, as a Less Than Zero epigraph). But the song's tempo is fast: Billy Zoom plays snappy, surging rockabilly licks; DJ Bonebreak drums with whip-cracking crispness; and as ever with X, John Doe and Exene Cervenka deliver distinctive, sometimes soaring, slightly cracked vocal harmonies—Cervenka's voice sliding up and around her then-husband's, unpredictably, wonderfully weirdly, even darting into brief, droning atonality. A harmonizing that in its knowing spikiness seems to capture the complexity of love. I've played this song more than any other song in my life. And it's never better than when pounding out of a bar jukebox. Like they're driving down one of the factory neighborhood streets in my hometown of Milwaukee (the lyrics reportedly came to Cervenka while touring the Upper Midwest) and reading aloud what they see on neon tavern signs, Doe and Cervenka chant together the names of seventeen blue-collar bars all told, including my favorites The Hula Gal, Jocko's Rocket Ship, Dexter's New Approach, GG's Cozy Corner and the Get Down Lounge. I would have loved to have been in LA's Roxy Theatre on July 12 this past summer when X played the third of four full-album shows devoted to their first four albums. That night, a Saturday, they played all of Under the Big Black Sun.

Laura Lippman - "Everything Happens to Me” by Chet Baker

There's a Steve Earle-Emmylou Harris duet that I love, "I Remember You,” from the Jerusalem album, but I've never found it on any jukebox. And I can't listen to it without crying, so maybe that's for the best. I have found Chet Baker on various jukeboxes, although it's almost always "My Funny Valentine,” which is fine, but I'd love to find his version of "Everything Happens to Me.” The thing about playing Baker for people who have never listened to him is that people start off saying, "That sounds like my drunk uncle at a wedding," but after a while, they get it. Oh, and want to win a bar bet? Bet someone who's sure they know everything about music they don't know the verse to "My Funny Valentine.”

Sean Manning - "Roll With It” by Steve Winwood

Trying to pick just one jukebox song is tough. Usually you get at least three songs, and you don't pick them independent of one another. You weave them together to tell a story or evoke a mood. Picking jukebox songs is like boxing: your combinations should vary and surprise. Picking just one song, then, is like coming out of your corner and instantly throwing a haymaker. In which case, I'd have to choose "Roll With It” by Steve Winwood. There's a reason the sax solo in rock and roll died out shortly after this song's release in 1988: you can't do it any better. Put it on and just watch the nods of appreciation from your fellow drinkers.

Emily Chenoweth - "Return of the Grievous Angel” by Gram Parsons

I've never been that person who goes to the jukebox clutching a fistful of ones. This is partly because I'd rather spend the money on a cocktail—but it's also because I don't want to choose everyone's night-out soundtrack. That seems…well, kind of bossy, honestly. And, as if these reasons aren't already enough to keep me away from the jukebox, I'm also totally indecisive. Sure, if ever forced to impose my taste on fellow bar patrons, I'd probably pick a Gram Parsons song, because I love him and because that is some down-home all-American drinking music, albeit sung by an androgynously gorgeous drug addict named Cecil wearing a bespoke sequined suit. You can hear beer bottles shattering during Parsons's live numbers, and his so-called Cosmic American Music is anthemically perfect for all the beautiful, regrettable promises a night of drinking with friends and strangers seems to hold: bad romance, psychedelic visions, satanic bargains, murder and heartbreak. But which song to pick? "Still Feeling Blue"? Too honky-tonk. "$1000 Wedding"? Too depressing. "Hickory Wind"? Waaay too slow. (See what I mean?) So I'd dither around in front of the blinking machine for ten minutes and then end up with "Return of the Grievous Angel," which, as much as I love it, would somehow feel anticlimactic and unsatisfying. Better to just stay at the bar and talk shit about the guy who picked "Take the Money and Run.”


Sean Manning and Come Here Often?: 53 Writers Raise a Glass to Their Favorite Bar links:

the editor's website
excerpt from the book (Andrew WK's essay)
excerpt from the book (Elissa Schappell's essay)
excerpt from the book (Hunter R. Slaton's essay)

Biographile review
Forbes review
Kirkus review
San Francisco Book Review review

Reddit interview with the author
Shelf Awareness profile of the author
Soundcheck 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

List of Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists

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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Online "Best Books of 2014" Lists Updates - November 21st

For the seventh straight year, I am aggregating every online "best of 2014" book list I find.

Please feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me with a blog, magazine, newspaper, or other online media list I have missed.

Daily updates to this list.

Revisit previous years' lists from 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2000-2009 (best of the decade) online year-end book list collections.

Today's updates to the master list of online "best of 2014" book lists:

Bacon Is Magic (best cookbooks)
London Evening Standard (books of the year)
New Statesman (favourite books)
Readings (best art and design books)
Readings (best crime books)
Readings (best fiction books)
Readings (best food and garden books)
Readings (best junior fiction books)
Readings (best middle fiction books)
Readings (best non-fiction books)
Readings (best young adult books)
School Library Journal (best books)
School Library Journal (best children's nonfiction books)
School Library Journal (best middle school books)
School Library Journal (best picture books)
School Library Journal (best young adult books)
School Library Journal (wildest children's books)
Washington Post (best audiobooks)
Washington Post (best books)
Washington Post (best romance novels)
Washington Post (best science fiction and fantasy books)
Washington Post (best thrillers)
Washington Post (literary news)
Washington Post (notable nonfiction books)
Washington Post (top fiction)
Washington Post (top graphic novels)


also at Largehearted Boy:

Online "Best Books of 2014" Lists
daily updates to the master list of online 2014 year-end book lists

Online "Best Books of 2013" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2012" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2010" Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Book Lists
Online "Best Books of 2009" Lists
Online "Best Books of 2008" Lists

2013 Online Year-end Music Lists
2012 Online Year-end Music Lists
2011 Online Year-end Music Lists
2010 Online Year-end Music Lists
Best of the Decade (2000-2009) Online Music Lists
2009 Online Year-end Music Lists
2008 Online Year-end Music Lists
2007 Online Year-end Music Lists
2006 Online Year-end Music Lists
other lists at Largehearted Boy

Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics and graphic novel picks)
Anitiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Largehearted WORD (weekly new book picks)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)


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Book Notes - Cassandra Troyan "Blacken Me, Blacken Me, Growled" and "Kill Manual"

Kill Manual

Blacken Me, Blacken Me, Growled

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, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Cassandra Troyan's latest poetry collections Blacken Me, Blacken Me, Growled and Kill Manual are bold and brilliant.

Dennis Cooper wrote of Blacken Me, Blacken Me, Growled:

"Cassandra Troyan's writing, here in these non-stop great, coruscating poems and everywhere else, is one of the total wonders of contemporary lit. It can make every form it wears seem at once perfected and helplessly corrupted. So, it’s like an ongoing R.I.P. to the historical models. But she’s not just a writers' writer. She seems to know so much so unusually and feel everything so complicatedly and yet concisely that reading her is something new and gigantic."


In her own words, here is Cassandra Troyan's Book Notes music playlist for her poetry collections Blacken Me, Blacken Me, Growled and Kill Manual:


BLACKEN ME BLACKEN ME, KILLED
BLACKEN ME BLACKEN ME, GROWLED + KILL MANUAL (remix)

This playlist spans an early to late development of teenage longing circa 1999-2006, and more recent developments from 2012-2014, and also remixes in a sense my two most recent books from this year, Blacken Me, Blacken Me, Growled (Tiny Hardcore Press) and Kill Manual (Artifice Books) I'm trying to remain true to influences of these periods and at times where a specific affective experience illuminates itself in dazzling clarity I try to also recount its import. Despite the difference in time, these periods reflect each other in the ways limits were being tested, the edges of feeling, experience, pain, time, and devotion as related to the difficulty of being alive in smoldering times.

Continue reading "Book Notes - Cassandra Troyan "Blacken Me, Blacken Me, Growled" and "Kill Manual""


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Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week - November 21, 2014

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

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


Myopia

Myopia
by Mark Mothersbaugh

Most will likely know Mark Mothersbaugh for his role in founding New Wave band DEVO, but the artistic polymath has, in the last four decades, dabbled in every medium from postcards to sculpture. Myopia acts as a retrospective of his strange and wonderful creations, and places Mothersbaugh as a "pivotal figure in the history of contemporary art and indie culture," according to editor (and director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver) Adam Lerner.


The Unspeakable

The Unspeakable
by Meghan Daum

Meghan Daum's much-anticipated return to the personal essay features ten new works that look unflinchingly at such topics as dying parents and the decision to have children. In her signature comic style, Daum tackles everything we find "unspeakable," the taboos and illusions we've created, and takes us along for the ride.


Lucky Peach 13

Lucky Peach 13

Just in time for early bird stocking stuffer shoppers everywhere, Lucky Peach has come out with their holiday issue. Filled with the usual art, recipes, and stories, the issue takes us as far away as Rome, only to have us back again in time for a big Christmas feast.


The Travel Almanac 8

The Travel Almanac 8

With a cover model like musical great Bryan Ferry, you know the new issue of the Travel Almanac is going to be special. Donkey rides in Turkey, towering termite mounds in Namibia, and lonely, empty spaces in Iceland are all equally featured in this sophisticated publication, while reviews of chichi hotels and interviews with the brutally hip round out the travel journal.


Put A Egg On It 9

Put A Egg On It 9

Put A Egg On It is a self-proclaimed "irreverent digest-sized art and literary magazine printed on green paper out of New York City," but that on its own won't tell you the half of it. The zine showcases the joy of sharing food with friends and family and, full of recipes and personal essays, beatifully represents the importance we attach to the meals we eat.


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

List of Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists

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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