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October 21, 2014

Book Notes - Jack Livings "The Dog"

The Dunning Man

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.

Jack Livings' impressive debut story collection The Dog brings to life post-Mao China.

The New York Times wrote of the book:

"Together, his tales open a prismatic window on China, showing us how part of the country is rushing to embrace the 21st century, even as its history continues to exert a magnetic hold over people’s thinking and expectations . . . With The Dog, Mr. Livings has made an incisive—and highly impressive—debut."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Jack Livings' Book Notes music playlist for his short story collection The Dog:


A few of the stories in The Dog are set in Beijing in the mid-90s. That's when I was there as a college student, and although music was everywhere, I don't know if I want to subject you to it. On the trains, blown out speakers mounted over the doors played patriotic pop songs at volumes high enough to drown out a rocket launch. I'd picked up a souvenir butane lighter with Mao's image glued to the side that chirped "The East Is Red" when I flipped open the top. Every morning the elementary school next door to my dorm played Disney tunes through loudspeakers for the kids' calisthenics routines. There were old folks in the park singing Chinese opera at all hours of the day. Rage Against the Machine and Nirvana were on repeat at all the clubs. The thing is, these are all important atmospheric details that might help a reader slip into a fictional Beijing, but to get myself back there, I have to use a different soundtrack.

Certain songs have the ability to draw me heart and soul back to a specific place and time; it's like a dream, full immersion. I'm guessing this is true for most people. "Beat It": my 10th birthday party, Thriller on a silver boom box by the pool. Parts of The Messiah take me to a New York apartment where I am 3 and my dad, an operatic tenor, is running through the "Ev'ry valley shall be exalted" section behind the closed bedroom door. To access deep sense memories of China, I sometimes had to jolt my heart, and the songs I relied on weren't Chinese pop, but the music my roommate and I had brought from home.

Twenty years later, cueing up these songs could be a dangerous procedure because I can't concentrate on my work if I'm listening to music, but what I can do is listen to one song after another while absently looking at the page of words I'm supposed to be working on, letting my memory drift back on the current, while getting absolutely no writing done. It took real force of will to listen to just one or two, take off the headphones, and get to work.

So, this is less a playlist for the book itself than a soundtrack for its bumpy, distracted creation.

Foolish – Superchunk

One afternoon ten years ago I passed Mac McCaughan in the hallway of my apartment building. I was thirty years old. I was married, and I had a baby daughter. I was what is known as a grownass man. But I was too star struck to say anything, which, in retrospect, was good because I wouldn't have done much better than "You rock," and a too-toothy, stalkerish smile coupled with severe hand wringing. When I got to Beijing in 1994 and my roommate, who had been a DJ at WXYC in Chapel Hill, pulled out a tape with some raw studio takes from Foolish, I liberated it from him with thanks and proceeded to wear it out on my Walkman. Yes, my dinosaur-powered Walkman.

"Over the Neptune / Mesh Gear Fox" – GBV

I should mention that in the fall 1994 I had just turned 20 and was in the vortex of a drawn-out breakup, and a few of these songs were in heavy rotation because I was moping around feeling sorry for myself. This one, a beautiful aural buildup to lyrical devastation, on par with the cascading repetition of "You are forgiven!" at the end of The Who's "A Quick One, While He's Away," never failed to make me feel rotten, which is really what I wanted. I listened to this one anytime I felt I might be pulling out of the nosedive. "It's the things you say, it's the things you do, go right through me."

"You and Me" + "Might" – The Archers of Loaf

These two are a prickly pair on Icky Mettle, another album I wore out, along with just about everything the Archers ever recorded. "You and Me" is a sad, sad song, but wait! There's recovery on the horizon: Might! So what if it's passive aggressive recovery?

"Elixir Is Zog" + "Emma Get Wild" – Sebadoh

About midway through the semester, a package arrived from the U.S. My friend Chris, who could have run a record store out of his dorm room, had sent over a couple of mix tapes. He'd included these two songs back to back, as they are on Bubble and Scrape. I have no idea what they're about and I don't care because they're amazing. They're sonic wonders. Things were starting to look up.

"Gladiator" – The Jesus Lizard

The bands I was into could get heavy, but this was something else. This was heavy the way Sonny Rollins gets heavy. It was loud, even when played at a whisper, dynamic, melodic, and psychologically dangerous. I loved this band from the moment I first heard "Gladiator," lying on my narrow bed in Dormitory #3 at Capital Normal University School of Foreign Languages, listening to a live recording from the Jesus Lizard Show, which was on one of my roommate's mix tapes. As soon as I got back to the U.S., I bought the album, which includes David Yow engaging in some colorful banter with the audience.

"Gold Soundz" – Pavement

I'd listen to "Gold Soundz" over and over while I was practicing writing characters for Teacher Rao's class, stopping the tape, spinning it back, click click, doing it so many times I could land on the blank tape ahead of the opening chord by feel. Hearing that elegiac tone, Malkmus' voice close and clear, the band's resistance to rush, the soothing guitars, and I'm back there at my desk. It's a gentle delivery system for some heavy science: You can never quarantine the past.

"New York, New York" – The Last Poets

This was on one of the glorious mix tapes my roommate brought with him. It's angry, it's honest. It's off the 1970 album The Last Poets, and all I can say is, give it a listen and then, if you don't know who The Last Poets are, read a little about them. Oddly enough, this is one that takes me directly to Beijing, probably because after I left China, I didn't hear it again for about 15 years.

"Promises" – Fugazi

Where would we be without 13 Songs? I'd made sure to take plenty of Fugazi with me, but "Promises" puts me on a train creeping through the Chinese countryside, looking over walls into people's house compounds.

I did actually manage to speak when I met Ian MacKaye after a show once. Of course, all I could say was, "You guys rock." Ian, being Ian, was gracious about it, as I'm sure he was to every kid who said that to him. And their number was legion.

"Deep Seat" – Swervedriver

You talk to people who went to Swervedriver concerts in the 90s and they all at some point wind up making this sound to describe the experience—a fuzzy, drawn out whooshing pulse. Some people throw in hand motions, an oscillating push, as if they're trying to hold back a wall of air. I've never seen Swervedriver live, but for years—please trust me here, I'm not exaggerating—probably from 1993 until about 2005, there were only a handful of days I didn't listen to this song, usually at Chinese train loudspeaker volume. I listened to this song in the Stone Forest in Yunnan province, and at the monastery in Xiahe, and on a hill outside Dali. London, Boston, Inishbofin, Zurich, Iowa City, San Francisco, Winnsboro. It's been everywhere with me. I'm about to listen to it again.


Jack Livings and The Dog links:

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

Kirkus review
Minneapolis Star Tribune review
New York Times review
Open Letters Monthly review
Publishers Weekly review

Los Angeles Review of Books interview with the author
Tweed's interview with the author
Wall Street Journal interview with the author
Washington Independent Review of Books 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)





October 21, 2014

Book Notes - Kevin Fortuna "The Dunning Man"

The Dunning Man

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.

Kevin Fortuna's short story collection The Dunning Man is dark and compelling, a book filled with unlikable characters so keenly drawn the reader cannot help but empathize with them.

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Kevin Fortuna's Book Notes music playlist for his short story collection The Dunning Man:


Growing up in an Irish-Italian household in a few cities that included New Orleans, with a musical genius for a brother (bias acknowledged), music was a constant for me. Now I'm a writer at night and a tech entrepreneur by day, but I never lost my obsession with music. A few years back I founded a destination website, popdust.com, which focuses on pop music. One of my friends and co-founders is a career music guy, and we used to jawbone a lot about the industry and what makes great music. He believes that members of every generation think their music is the "best" music. His thinking is that the music you listen to while coming of age creates a kind of "soundtrack" to your life, the melodies enhance your formative experiences and lodge them in memory. Makes sense to me. But I argued with him over the nuances of the theory and over whether some genres of popular music (disco, electronica) might be fly by night, just like some of the one-hit wonder acts that have created some of the most durable and memorable songs ("Come On Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners or "Spirit in the Sky" by Norman Greenbaum). Still, my friend is right—popular music is the soundtrack of our youth. And some people—like many of the characters in my book—don't ever really grow up. They keep striving for meaning, keep picking up new anthems and new formative experiences. My short story collection, The Dunning Man is about characters who reject society's rules and go far away from the beaten path. The below songs are the soundtrack for my book and for for my characters' lives.


"Be My Baby" – The Ronettes

Veronica Bennett's haunting, gorgeous voice, the wall of sound, the solemn, on-a-mission backbeat, and the explosive chorus make this love song a classic. Connor Ryan ("Dead" and "The Dunning Man") knows this song and it informs and inspires his love for Ursula—and, later, for Alice. Doesn't matter that its sung by a woman—the words and mood fit his all-in approach to love and relationships, and the timelessness fits his desire to do something that matters.


"Fairytale of New York" – the Pogues

Shane MacGowan's classic Christmas tune, which still charts to #1 or #2 in the UK every Christmas, is a fitting anthem for Maggie Dunne ("Flogging Maggie"). Like Shane, she lives by her own rules. She's got a poet's heart and an angel's voice, and, also like Shane, she doesn't give a fuck what society thinks of her. Hell, Shane even asked Maggie to take Kirsty's place at a Christmas Eve show in Dublin one year.


"Almost Home" – Joey Fortuna

To me, this song is an instant classic (and yes, it is written and sung by my brother, who is one of the best singer-songwriters I've ever heard (no irony here)). With a melody and hooky chorus that compare with the best songs of John Lennon and Paul Simon, this song captures what Connor is feeling as he gets closer to Alice and starts to realize that they might be something more than just friends. He's almost home. (shameless plug: www.joeyfortuna.com).


"Come On Eileen" – Dexys Midnight Runners

This tune actually makes a cameo in "Sullapalooza" and touches off a fateful car chase. Our hero is stuck in the past and what could have been, so it makes sense that he's listening to this song from his high school days. He lives for the moment and he loves this song for one of its best lines: "In this moment, you mean everything…"


"Rocks Off" – by The Rolling Stones

I imagine Jimmy Dolan ("Poor Jimmy") blasting this song on his headphones when he's going to rescue his Afghani sweetheart. It has a 'fuck you' vibe to it that suits Jimmy perfectly. He can't stand authority, sunshine bores the daylights out of him, and he's always trying to get his rocks off.


"Running to Stand Still" – U2

In this song I see Alice ("The Dunning Man"). It has a profundity and dignity and hidden passion to it that suits her. She's a noble person, and life has been bad to her. She's got a no-good boyfriend, and her upstairs neighbor has made her living situation unbearable. But she also has Connor. He can see that she's running but standing still and tall. He feels her, wants to help her.


"Madame George" – Van Morrison

Though it's not actually in the story, I can imagine this song playing in the background at the Fahey wedding while Rose Casey ("Weddings and Burials") is talking to the club's caretaker, Rodney Meeks. She's outside of the main ballroom but can hear Van crooning this slow dance song for the wedding party. The wistfulness of words and melody echo her mood and the bitter homecoming to the Natchez Club, the scene of her husband's undoing.


"Maggie May" - Rod Stewart

Maggie Dunne ("Flogging Maggie") was named after Maggie May from this song, which probably had some impact on how her life turned out from there. Maggie is a good girl, but she doesn't want to be. She knows too much about the meanness of the world, and she can't pretend otherwise.


"We Are Alive" – Bruce Springsteen

In the movie version of the story, Connor ("The Dunning Man") plays this tune on his car stereo when he's leaving NYC and Ursula behind and heading for Atlantic City. It has a rousing, solemn energy to it, and a soulfulness. It's about dying and being reborn, becoming "alive." That's what Connor wants.

"Bastard Landlord" – The Pogues

Connor ("The Dunning Man") plays this song as he approaches the Beachgarden complex in Atlantic City. Connor doesn't want to be the bad guy, 'the Man,' but that's who he is to his favorite tenant—at least on some level. He wants to change that dynamic.


"Empire State of Mind" – Jay-Z and Alicia Keys

Stryker Jones respects this song, in spite of his long-time rivalry with Jay-Z. He knows that it was Alicia who made it work by writing one of the year's best hooks. But he also appreciates the wit and sense of history in Jay-Z's words. Sure he brags like all rap stars must, but he also talks about the girl on the bus getting caught up in drugs and promiscuity. He talks about how the city can chew you up. Connor knows this. Stryker knows this. They're both survivors of the Empire State of Mind.


"Memories are Made of This" – Dean Martin

I've always been more of a Dino guy than a Frank guy, and this might be my favorite Dean Martin song. Perfect vehicle for his smooth, warbling baritone. Tells a story, too, and works as background music for Connor's encounter with the "Fat Italian" on the train to Atlantic City. Good irony here, with a sentimental tune playing during this existential and tense conversation. Memories are what make the Fat Italian want to find the exit.

"Do Whatcha Wanna Pt. 3" – Rebirth Brass Band

In the movie of "The Dunning Man," this classic Mardis Gras track is playing when Connor walks into Stryker's apartment. It's a chaos of trumpets and trombones and sax and guttural vocals—and one of the happiest melodies you'll ever here. Makes sense for this Stryker scene for two reasons: First, as the title suggests, Stryker does what he wants. Second, the man knows music and his own stuff is influenced by the tribal, quasi-religious homegrown music of New Orleans.


"Feel the Tide" – Mumford and Sons

"You and I, now, we can be alright if we just hold on to what we know is true." I think this song belongs to the narrator of "Sullapalooza." It's a tribute and a serenade to his wife, Anne—whom he loves, whom he is finding his way back to at the end of the story. He feels the tide turning. He's growing up during the course of the story. He's figuring himself out.


"Maybe I Believe" – Joey Fortuna

Every year my two brothers and I do this thing called "Brothers Weekend." You can fill in the blanks. We go somewhere, without women, and we blow off steam and catch up with each other. We kicked this off about five years ago, and the destination was Jazz Fest in New Orleans. This song by my brother Joey came out of that weekend. It's a life-affirming song and it belongs to all the characters in my book. They all believe, they all have something to live for. They're finding it.


Kevin Fortuna and The Dunning Man links:

the book's website

AskMen review
Esquire review
Kirkus review
Parade review
Popdust review


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 - Johanna Skibsrud "Quartet for the End of Time"

Quartet for the End of Time

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.

Johanna Skibsrud's masterfully original and epic novel Quartet for the End of Time is a haunting meditation on war and memory.

The Globe and Mail wrote of the book:

"Quartet is a strange, deeply compassionate, and beautiful work. Skibsrud's prose, full of parenthetical asides and subordinate clauses, suitably slows us into contemplation of an eternally recurring moment."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Johanna Skibsrud's Book Notes music playlist for her novel Quartet for the End of Time:


I conceived of my new novel, Quartet for the End of Time (W.W. Norton 2014) as a loose transcription—or reflection upon, or conversation with—Olivier Messiaen's composition of the same name. Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time was first performed in a German prison camp in 1941, and the rare combination of instruments: piano, violin, cello and clarinet was dictated by what—and who—the composer had available to him. I first heard the Quartet performed in 2007. I was immediately struck not only by its strange beauty, but also by the remarkable story of its creation. Where Messiaen had struggled to transcribe the sounds of the world around him—birdsong, the rattle of military trucks on the road—I began my struggle to transcribe the musical and ideational complexities of Messaien's Quartet into words.

The most obvious soundtrack to my novel is, therefore, the quartet itself. But there are other sounds, songs, and ideas that either act as influences upon, or are represented within the pages of my novel. Try to imagine the following songs or recordings playing alongside, or interrupting, Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time – creating the sort of dissonance that so inspired the composer … and me.

"La Mémoire" from Gil Wolman's Mégapneumes

Gil Wolman, a French artist, poet and filmmaker, joined the Lettrist movement in 1950 and went on to develop what he called "Mégapneumes." Rather than paying minute attention to the letter, megapneumes were based upon breath units. In its broadest sense, I consider my novel—like Wolman's "La Mémoire"—a meditation on—and exploration of—time, rhythm and breath.


"British Troops – Gas Shell Bombardment" (Will Gaisberg)

On October 19, 1918, the British sound engineer, Will Gaisberg, recorded a British gas-shell bombardment just prior to the troops' entry into Lille, France. He set up his recording equipment immediately behind a battery of 4.5' guns 6' howitzers. "Here the machine could well catch the finer sounds of the "singing," the "whine," and the "scream" of the shells," wrote Gaisberg of the experience, "as well as the terrific reports when they left the guns."

One of the key historical events in my novel is the Bonus Army March of 1932, when over 20,000 veterans camped (almost literally) on the doorstep of the White House in order to demand the instant cash payment of the "Bonus" they'd been promised for serving in the widely unpopular First World War. For many of my characters, the sounds recorded by Will Gaisberg in 1918 would have still been ringing in their ears.


"My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" (traditional) and "Gods tomorrow" (A.H. Ackley)

In the Bonus Army camps, where my novel begins: "There was always somebody singing and stomping along to ‘My Bonus Lies Over the Ocean" or "God's Tomorrow Will Be Brighter than Today." (Skibsrud, Quartet for the End of Time.)


"America" (Rev. Samuel F. Smith), "Hail Hail the gang's all here" (Theodora Morse) and "The Old Gray Mare" (unknown)

On the sixteenth of July, 1932—the day before Congress was set to adjourn for the summer—Walter Waters, the leader of the Bonus Army, headed a march of 17,000 veterans and their supporters. When Waters was arrested at the White House gates, a riot seemed inevitable until a young nurse—who had travelled down from New York in order to offer her support—grabbed a megaphone and led the crowd in singing "America!" This was followed by a rousing rendition of "Hail, Hail the Gang's All Here," the tried and true, "My Bonus Lies Over the Ocean," and for some inexplicable reason a few disjointed rounds of "The Old Gray Mare."


"Roses of Picardy" (lyrics: Frederick Weatherly, music: Haydn Wood)

Two of my main characters are Arthur Sinclair—a World War One veteran and a poor sharecropper from rural Kansas—and his son, Douglas. Arthur joins the Bonus March and takes Douglas along with him, but during the Bonus Army riot of July 29th, 1932, Arthur is arrested and falsely accused of conspiracy. He subsequently disappears. Douglas spends the rest of the novel searching for his father.

One particularly vivid memory Douglas has of Arthur is of Arthur singing this song. Recorded in 1917, it was one of the most popular songs of the First World War.


"Bourgeois Blues" (Lead Belly)

The other two main characters in the novel are a brother and sister duo, Alden and Sutton Kelly—the children of a powerful US judge, turned congressman. In defiance of his father, Alden (the eldest of the two siblings) becomes involved with the Communist Party.

Huddie Ledbetter (aka Lead Belly) wrote "Bourgeois Blues," which later became an anthem for the Communist Party, after a trip to Washington D.C. Lead Belly had been invited to the city by Alan Lomax, and after a recording session for the Library of Congress, the two went out with their wives to celebrate. Because they were an interracial party, finding a place to do so was difficult, however. They were repeatedly thrown out of the restaurants and clubs they tried. "Home of the brave, land of the free, I don't wanna be mistreated by no bourgeoisie," Lead Belly sings.


"There's a Long Long Trail a Winding" (lyrics: Stoddard King, music: Alonzo "Zo" Elliott)

Even after the Bonus riot of 1932, when tens of thousands of veterans were forcibly expelled from the Capitol, many veterans continued to return to Washington every spring in order to demand their Bonus. When FDR came into power in early 1933, he set up camps for the veterans outside the city and encouraged them to give up on the Bonus – and sign up for WPA projects instead. Douglas Sinclair and his friend, "the bandit," find themselves in one of FDR's camps on a day when Eleanor Roosevelt has come for a visit. She "led them in singing ‘There's a Long, Long, Trail a-Winding," and sure enough all of them, the bandit included, sang along. It made the bandit sick to think of it later—to recall how all those men had waggled their heads and said, Why, yes, ma'am, when the President's wife had asked if they were all just as happy as could be—and Douglas always wondered if that was because the bandit had waggled his head right along with them: Douglas had seen it with his own eyes." (Skibsrud, Quartet for the End of Time)


The Seven Tone Scale

Years after the Bonus March, Sutton Kelly struggles to make a career for herself in journalism. When the Second World War arrives, she is eager to be posted overseas, but for years she is denied—offered the flimsy excuse that there are no "women's facilities" at the front. While she remain in New York, her boyfriend, Louis, is sent to London to cover the Blitz. There, he falls in with the esotericist P.D. Ouspensky and writes rapturously to Sutton of his experiences. Ultimately, Louis's connection with Ouspensky and his followers ends their relationship.

In Ouspensky's "In Search of the Miraculous" he describes the seven-tone scale as the formula of a cosmic law, "the law of octaves." This law explains, as Ouspensky writes, "many phenomena in our lives:

- The principle of the deviation of forces.
- The fact that everything in the world is moving and changing.

"The consistent development of an octave is based on what looks like an accident. If octaves are going parallel to a given octave and intersect its ‘interval,' they can ‘fill up' the ‘interval.' This ‘additional shock' must correspond in force and character to the interval it is filling." (Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous)


"Love and Kisses" (Paul Whiteman) and "Take the A-Train" (Duke Ellington)

Sutton is finally sent overseas—first to the South Pacific, then to Italy, and finally to Berlin just as it is being liberated by the Russians.

"When they returned to the command post there was a party in full swing, though it was barely noon. Once again, they were served cheese and fish on fine dark bread, and the vodka flowed. They danced, the guards-major and his handpicked staff of bereaved officers swinging Frieda and Sutton effortlessly around the room. ‘Love and Kisses' by Paul Whiteman played. Then Duke Ellington's ‘Take the "A" train.'" (Skibsrud, Quartet for the End of Time)


Saint-Saëns's "The Swan" from The Carnival of Animals, Bach's suites for solo cello, and Schubert's Ave Maria

Alden Kelly becomes so badly entangled with the Communist Party and their "underground" affairs that he ends up fleeing the country. He ends up in Paris where, during the Second World War, he learns the extraordinary story of Olivier Messiaen's creation of the Quartet for the End of Time.

It was thanks to a friendly German guard, Brüll, that Messiaen and his friends were able to acquire the instruments they needed to perform the quartet. When the cellist, Etienne Pasquier, returned from town one day with a cello purchased by Brüll: "a chair was dragged out of the mess hall and placed in the middle of the exercise yard, where Pasquier was invited to play. He played for nearly an hour: Saint-Saëns's "The Swan" from The Carnival of Animals, Bach's suites for solo cello, and Schubert's Ave Maria." (Skibsrud, Quartet for the End of Time)


Benny Goodman's "Oomph Fa Fa" (recorded 1944)

In the hours immediately following the liberation of Paris in 1944, Alden finds himself in a bar listening to a blind French soldier recount the story of how, during his first hours of blindness, he had heard that Benny Goodman was dead:

"Of course, later, the blind man said, they would learn that Benny Goodman was alive and well, living in New York. His death had been only a rumor—its source unknown. He should have been suspicious, of course. It was not uncommon for such rumors to spread, and indeed, it would have been impossible to count the number of celebrities who had died and been resurrected again during the war. It was almost as though the rumors generated themselves for the sake of the comfort and relief of learning, eventually, that Benny Goodman, or Ingrid Bergman, or Bing Crosby, or Vera Lynn, were indeed alive and well—untouched by war." (Skibsrud, Quartet for the End of Time)

With Benny Goodman's "Oomph Fa Fa," we arrive back at our starting place: a wordless exploration of time, rhythm, breath.


Johanna Skibsrud and Quartet for the End of Time links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry

Globe and Mail review
Kirkus review
Macleans.ca review
Publishers Weekly review

Ottawa Citizen profile of the author
The Toronto Quarterly 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 - October 21, 2014

Thurston Moore

Elliott Brood's Work And Love, Mark Lanegan Band's Phantom Radio, Scott Walker and Sunn O)))'s collaboration Soused, and Thurston Moore's The Best Day are all new albums I can recommend this week.

Six Sleater-Kinney albums are reissued on vinyl (All Hands On The Bad One, Call the Doctor, Dig Me Out, The Hot Rock, One Beat, Sleater-Kinney, The Woods) and are also collected in Start Together, a seven-LP box set.

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:

Allo Darlin: We Come From The Same Place
Andrew St. James: The Shakes
Annie Lennox: Nostalgia
Aretha Franklin: Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics
Bear's Den: Island
Ben Howard: I Forget Where We Were
Billy Idol: Kings & Queens Of The Underground
The Budos Band: Burnt Offering
Cold War Kids: Hold My Home
Doomsday Student: A Walk Through Hysteria Park
Eliot Bronson: Eliot Bronson
Elliott Brood: Work And Love
Horse Feathers: So It Is with Us
Iron Maiden: The Complete Albums Collection 1980 - 1988 LP Box Set [vinyl]
Jeff the Brotherhood: Dig The Classics EP [vinyl]
Jerry Garcia Band: GarciaLive Volume 5: December 31st 1975 Keystone Berkeley
Jessie Ware: Tough Love
Little Big Town: Pain Killer
Mark Lanegan Band: Phantom Radio
Neil Diamond: Melody Road
Primus: Primus & The Chocolate Factory
Scott Walker and Sunn O))): Soused
Sleater-Kinney: All Hands On The Bad One (reissue) [vinyl]
Sleater-Kinney: Call the Doctor (reissue) [vinyl]
Sleater-Kinney: Dig Me Out (reissue) [vinyl]
Sleater-Kinney: The Hot Rock (reissue) [vinyl]
Sleater-Kinney: One Beat (reissue) [vinyl]
Sleater-Kinney: Sleater-Kinney (reissue) [vinyl]
Sleater-Kinney: Start Together (Limited Edition 7-LP Box Set) [vinyl]
Sleater-Kinney: The Woods (reissue) [vinyl]
Slipknot: .5: The Gray Chapter
T.I.: Paperwork
Thurston Moore: The Best Day
Transit: Joyride
The Who: The Who Hits 50!


also at Largehearted Boy:

weekly music release 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 (A Short Story by Tom Hanks, Murakami Music, and more)

A short story by actor Tom Hanks is featured in the New Yorker.


The Houston Chronicle profiled the composer of "Murakami Music."


The Quietus reconsidered Roxy Music's Country Life album forty years after its release.


The Nervous Breakdown shared an excerpt of Gina B. Nahai's novel The Luminous Heart of Jonah S.


NPR Music is streaming the new Daniel Lanois album Flesh and Machine.


SPIN interviewed Twin Peaks frontman Cadien James about the band's namesake television series and new album.


Comic Book Resources interviewed cartoonist Ed Piskor about his Hip Hop Family Tree series of books.


Flavorwire listed the 50 scariest short stories of all time.


NPR Music is streaming the Flaming Lips Beatles tribute album With A Little Help From My Fwends.


The Telegraph profiled author Marilynne Robinson.


The A.V. Club offered a primer to Fleetwood Mac's discography,


Harry L. Katz, author of Mark Twain's America, listed 10 of the literary icon's best books at Publishers Weekly.


The Rural Alberta Advantage visited The Current studio for a live performance and interview.


Filmmaker Jason Reitman discussed his relationship with books at Co.Create.


Drowned in Sound listed its favorite one-hit wonders.


Actor and comedian Bob Odenkirk 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)

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 (Minus the Bear, White Fence, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Broken Stems: We Are Home EP [mp3]

Hamartia: The Joy of Rebellion pt. II & I + Singles album [mp3]

Joshua Worth: The Hours of the Day album [mp3]

Minus the Bear: NoiseTrade Sampler EP [mp3]

The Native Sibling: EP EP [mp3]

Sunbears!: "Laughing Girl" [mp3] from Future Sounds (out November 11th)

UMA: "Calm/Easy" [mp3]

Various Artists: The SerialBox Collection album [mp3]

Verite: Echo EP [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

White Fence: 2014-10-13, 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)

October 17, 2014

Book Notes - Anne Valente "By Light We Knew Our Names"

By Light We Knew Our Names

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.

Anne Valente's magnificent debut collection By Light We Knew Our Names is filled with lyrical stories of family and coming of age.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the collection:

"Family looms large in the 13 stories in Valente's debut…the warmth and fluidity of Valente's prose and her eye for the detail have genuine resonance."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Anne Valente's Book Notes music playlist for her short story collection By Light We Knew Our Names:


As my first collection, By Light We Knew Our Names represents for me a period of four years in which the stories were written but also an entire childhood and lifetime behind them. There's a lot of childhood wonder in these stories, and interest in the world's magic: a girl becomes transfixed by a pink dolphin, a baby discovers an entire world on a flower, a scientist steals a laboratory octopus for himself, a group of girls become black bears. These are also stories interested in sentences, and in what language can do on the page. The music that became important to me while writing these stories were songs that captured something lush and lyrical and rhythmic, as well as songs that captured magic or wonder in some way.

I can't listen to music when I write – I need either silence or ambient noise – but I always listen to music immediately afterward. I'm a creature of habit. I write for several hours in the morning and then I run. My running playlists have grown essential to my writing, both in terms of processing the content of what I've written and also the rhythm of the language itself. I run outside. Being in nature, with music and movement, is a symbiotic part of process for me. The stories of By Light We Knew Our Names were written between 2008 and 2012, a time marked for me by specific albums, songs and looped tracks, but also by a deliberate re-listening of songs and albums that were important to me when I was growing up, and songs that in some way reinforced rhythm.


"Cold Blows the Wind" – Ween

Ween was an important band for me in high school, and the car was one of my spaces of solitude. I drove the back roads at night listening to many albums, and Ween's The Mollusk was one that I replayed in the car as an adult while writing these stories. The soundscape of these songs is the ocean, essentially, and this song creates not only the rhythm of the sea but also what I imagine Alvin Schwartz's scary stories or Edward Gorey's images would look like in song. It captures a distinct tone, one I wanted to understand for my own work. It also evokes the immediacy of adolescence for me.

"All Tomorrow's Parties" – The Velvet Underground

My parents' albums were essential to my childhood, and my parents played so many records for my sister and me – The Moody Blues, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Chambers Brothers – to help us understand music. My father introduced me to Phil Spector's wall of sound, and I've valued that kind of density and dreamscape in language ever since. The Velvet Underground's entire collaboration with Nico fills the speakers, and this song is one of my favorites for its expansive sound and repetition.

"I Luv the Valley OH!" – Xiu Xiu

This song was one of my top played songs while I wrote these stories. Again, there's a density and expansiveness, and a repetition that was important to my own language. But there's also a lot of pain and urgency in Jamie Stewart's voice. This song rips me apart.

"Foreground" – Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear's entire album, Veckatimist, was on rotation while I wrote this collection but this song in particular got my attention. For me, it's cinematic. I was a film major in college and still think in images when writing. This song lends itself easily to image.

"You Ain't Got Nuthin" – Lil Wayne

Given rhythm and repetition's importance to me, hip-hop and rap make up nearly all of my running playlists. I rarely take direct inspiration from music for a single story, but this track helped me access the anger needed for the book's title story, "By Light We Knew Our Names." I ran with this for weeks. The beat is moody, and the loop almost menacing.

"Dust Design" – Bobby Birdman

In my brain, there's a connection between odd time signatures and experiments in fiction. This song's beat is contrapuntal and mysterious. Its rhythm helped me think about extreme points of view, strange plot lines, and playing with form.

"Car" – Built to Spill

Built to Spill's entire album, There's Nothing Wrong With Love, is distilled adolescence, and this song is quintessential teen angst. Who didn't want to just grab someone and drive all night in high school? Beyond that immediacy of emotion, however, there's also a lot of wonder and questioning and want in this song. There's a desire to know, and to break free. There's also a want to share that with someone else.

"Nantes" – Beirut

The lightness of Beirut's music reminds me of childhood and wonder, and this song in particular helped me imagine the points of view of children in these stories.

"Silver Soul" – Beach House

I listened to a lot of Beach House while writing By Light's stories, and this song especially is one that makes me want to cry. There's a lot of longing here, and a lot of hurt. This sound infused the mood and sense of grief within many of these stories.

"Bridges and Balloons" – Joanna Newsom

This song also got heavy air time. There's so much magic and whimsy in its composition – a harp! Canaries and beetle shells! Ships and thimbles! There's something almost lunar in its sound. It reminds me of stargazing, and of letting the universe quietly amaze.


Anne Valente and By Light We Knew Our Names links:

the author's website

Heavy Feather Review review
Publishers Weekly review


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 - Isabel Quintero "Gabi, a Girl in Pieces"

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces

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.

Freshly told in a diary format, Isabel Quintero's Gabi, a Girl in Pieces is one of the year's finest young adult novels.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"Readers won't soon forget Gabi, a young woman coming into her own in the face of intense pressure from her family, culture and society to fit someone else's idea of what it means to be a 'good' girl. A fresh, authentic and honest exploration of contemporary Latina identity."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Isabel Quintero's Book Notes music playlist for her novel Gabi, a Girl in Pieces:


Freckle face and Casper (as in Casper the Friendly Ghost) are two nicknames. I was called growing up. They were intended as more of insults than anything else; cast at me by friends and non-friends who were dealing with their own body and identity issues. That's the thing about being a teenager; you go through so many crisis' that you feel as though your world is ending, and that you are its only inhabitant and its only potential savior. But more often than not we go down with the ship and let the impending apocalypse wash over us never realizing that we are not alone. In my book Gabi, A Girl in Pieces I write about a young Latina girl on the brink of adulthood. It is her senior year of high school and she has a lot of things going on: her best friend Cindy is pregnant, her other best friend Sebastian just came out, and her father's drug addiction is slowly (or rapidly) reaching its peak.

I wrote this book because some of it is my story. In a lot of ways Gabi and I share the same issues; we both had (have) body image problems, a bicultural experience, a natural distaste for imposed gender roles, and confusion about sex and its role in our life. As I grew older, I realized I wasn't alone, and that the women who had had similar experiences, also felt alone throughout their teenage years.

In writing Gabi, A Girl in Pieces, I felt that music was important to the narrator because she is a poet, and poetry and music go hand in hand. Along with the artists mentioned in the story there are other great musicians that are not specifically mentioned but whose music helped me create a foundation for the characters in the book.

In no particular order (and yes, some are Spanish language artists):

"Dumb It Down" by Lupe Fiasco

Food & Liquor as a whole is an intense album. I will not pretend to be a rap or hip hop scholar–I like some and I hate some–but I love Lupe Fiasco, especially this song. The idea of dumbing things down for, in this case, young people and people of color, is insane, and sadly prevalent. I like this song because it brings attention to the mainstream music industry's perception of certain groups of people, and what they are able to understand. I watched an interview that a certain television personality did with Lupe Fiasco. It was evident that this person believed that individuals who listened to rap/hip hop were stupid, (I think he actually used the word stupid in his interview) and it was a bit upsetting, more so because this particular television personality has a wide viewership and an almost cult following. Gabi, obviously feels the same way I do, and sees rap and hip-hop as another avenue by which words can be used to create art that can change society, and that's why she likes Lupe Fiasco.

"Me Cai De La Nube" by Cornelio Reyna

Gabi mentions this song in a poem she writes about her grandfather dying. I was raised by two older people, Victor and Lucia Mejia, both now looking down on us. When I say older I mean that Victor was born in 1900 and Lucia in 1915–that's the kind of older I am talking about. Because I grew up in their house they became my abuelitos. When I was a little girl, my Abuelito Victor would sing "Me Cai De La Nube" to me. All I would have to say was, "Cántame la canción, abuelito (Sing me the song, grandpa)" and he would know what I was talking about. I still cry when I hear it.

"Hey Mr. Tambourine Man" by Bob Dylan

This is probably the first Bob Dylan song I ever heard and it had such an impact on me that I have been a fan ever since. I was that weird kid in school, who thought she was born in a different decade; who showed up to school in bell bottoms, a peace sign choker, bright top, and platforms in sixth grade three years before bell bottoms tried to make a come back in 199?. You know, that kid. No? You didn't have a kid like that in your school? Well, that was me. And I truly felt that I connected with Bob Dylan. Like I was there in the 1960's and I had died and been transported to the 1990's where I felt so out of place. So it made sense to me, that Gabi would also be a fan of Bob Dylan and at one point she describes happiness in terms of his music. Then there is that time she faces a major tragedy, and the words, "My senses have been stripped, my hands can't feel to grip" are, sadly, fitting for the occasion. How could Gabi not find solace in the words of such a poet?

"Alma Enamorada" by Chalino Sanchez

While she is an American, Gabi's parents are Mexican. The kind of Mexicans who listen to rancheras and corridos. In my household, the corrido belonged to Chalino Sanchez, and as a child I learned to love his music because of my dad. Sure, Gabi listens to rap, folk, bluegrass, rock, even oldies, but since her inception, she's been bred on traditional Mexican corridos and banda music. "Alma Enarmorada" would have been a song her dad would whistle while he worked or played loudly outside to annoy her mother. And she would have loved him for it, and gained a better appreciation for music as well.

"Big Parade" by The Lumineers

This is a foot stomping good time of a song. It is a song that has a nostalgic feel to it, and like Food & Liquor, The Lumineers is just a great album. "Big Parade" is a song that questions the roles we take and put on ourselves, and the facades that are created because of this. Throughout the entire book, Gabi is trying to figure out who she is and whether she's being true to herself, or trying to be what others (her family, friends, and society) expect her to be. She, by her own admission, couldn't live without "worldly music" as her Tía Bertha calls it, especially not without The Lumineers, and this would be her favorite song off that album.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky would often be in the background, propelling my proofing and editing. I like classical music, though I cannot distinguish one composer from another (hey, I keep it real) but I love Tchaikovsky. Him I know. I think. Probably not if my life depended on it, though.

"Latinoamerica" by Calle 13

Gabi struggles to carve an "acceptable" identity (for her mom especially) because she lives in two cultures. However, there is no doubt in her mind that she is proud of her Mexicaness. She feels at once empowered and critical of her heritage, but she wouldn't change it for anything in the world–that's what makes her who she is. The song "Latinoamerica" by, the Puerto Rican group Calle 13, would definitely be part of Gabi's eclectic musical collection. In the original version of the book she writes a poem that goes with the first few lines of the song, "Soy, soy lo que dejaron, soy toda la sobra de lo que se robaron." This idea that she is what's left of conquest, colonization, Americanization, and America, and how there is no fighting that because it's who she is, is an ultimate (and critical) realization for her. In the end, the poem didn't do what I wanted it to do and I opted for taking it out, but this song really speaks to all of those feelings that Gabi has.

"P*to" by Molotov

Now Gabi is no delicate flower. She's blunt, forward, and sometimes crass. She also has a temper as made evident when she slaps her best friend Cindy's jerk of an ex-boyfriend, German, silly and gets herself suspended. I imagine that when she gets angry, like any rational person, she has a go to playlist of musicians, if not songs that make her feel better. The high energy, and profane, "P*to," by Mexican rock group Molotov, would definitely be on that list because it would have made her mother really angry and her Tía Bertha lose her mind. Though, most likely, she would listen to it on headphones or really loud if she was by herself. The song itself is not an angry song, but one that because of the very nature of the foul language used, would help make a person feel better.

"When I'm Sixty-Four" by The Beatles

Though our protagonist has an affinity for foul language, she also has a romantic side to her. She likes love poems (though she thinks their a little too mushy sometimes) and she loves her boyfriend Martin. So it makes sense that she would like stupid love songs (eh, Paul Mcartney?), like "When I'm Sixty-Four." Obviously it is not a stupid love song. It is a sweet song, that Gabi would surely gravitate to, even though she would pretend to think it was stupid in front of her friends for fear of being teased–she's complicated like that.

"Bad Girls" by M.I.A.

With lyrics like, "Live fast, die young/Bad girls do it well" and "Damned if I do/Who is gonna stop me/When I'm coming through," this would be a song that Gabi would play over and over. Though she's not the bad ass M.I.A. is singing about in the song, (obviously she wouldn't like to die young because that would mean she wouldn't go to college) she's in a place where she is trying to figure out what a "good girl" is and a "bad girl" is, and more importantly, which she wants to be. Can she be both? Does it matter? Who gets to decide? This song touches on these questions, while taking on car culture and bling, traditionally male-centric themes in rap and hip-hop, and makes being a bad girl sound mighty fun. Plus, you can't help to get down with your bad self when you hear it.


Isabel Quintero and Gabi, a Girl in Pieces links:

the author's website

Booklist review
Kirkus review
Publishers Weekly review

School Library Journal 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)

Shorties (Peter Mendelsund on Book Design, An Interview with Lucinda Williams, and more)

Fresh Air interviewed author and book designer Peter Mendelsund.


PopMatters interviewed singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams.


Nick Hornby listed the top 10 unfinishable novels at the Guardian.


The band BrooklynVegan interviewed Ariel Pink.


All Things Considered examines Macon, Georgia's endangered musical history.


Author Jac Jemc interviewed herself at The Nervous Breakdown.


Delta Spirit visited The Current studio for an interview and live performance.


Librarians chose the best teacher characters in children's literature.


The duo Royal Blood broke down their debut album track-by-track at Drowned in Sound.


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)

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 (Young Tongue, Ought, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

The Hello Strangers: The Hello Strangers album [mp3]

Las Animas: "Like Honey" [mp3]

Little Cinema: "When You Think of Me" [mp3] from Adventure

Miracle Sweepstakes: "Maker's Script" [mp3]

Robbie Santis: Seasons EP [mp3]

Selja Sini: Back Home EP [mp3]

Various Artists: A​-​F Records & Commonwealth Press 2014 Free Sampler album [mp3]

Victoria Bouton: Howling with Wolves album [mp3]

Young Tongue: "Heavy Metal Thunder" [mp3] from Death Rattle (out November 11th)


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Ought: 2014-10-14, 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)

October 16, 2014

Shorties (David Mitchell Interviewed, Stuart Murdoch on Every Belle and Sebastian Album, and more)

Bookworm interviewed author David Mitchell.


Flavorwire interviewed Stuart Murdoch about every Belle and Sebastian album.


The Story Prize blog interviewed author Justin Taylor.


The band Rainer Maria is reuniting for an NYC New Year's Eve show.


The Almost Live at Mellowpages podcast interviewed NY Tyrant publisher Giancarlo Di Trapano.


Stereogum listed the best Mekons songs.


Biographile recommended biographies of American "upstarts, rebels and renegades."


The Quietus interviewed singer Candi Staton.


Flavorwire listed the best 50 movies about writers.


The A.V. Club recommended entry points into the Beach Boys discography.


Read an excerpt from Lynn Lurie's new novel Quick Kills at Midnight Breakfast.


Field Report visited The Current studio for a live performance and interview.


Flavorwire listed 50 of the greatest debut novels since 1950.


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)

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 (Crooked Fingers, High Hazels, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Chris Topher: "Silent Film" [mp3] from Glasshouse EP

Happy Lives: "Marry Me" [mp3]

High Hazels: "The Promenade" [mp3]

Jonny Kaplan and The Lazy Stars: Stumble and Shine album [mp3]

Milk People: Invisible Ink EP [mp3]

Tyler Sjostrom: Tyler Sjostrom Sampler EP [mp3]

Various Artists: Deer Head Music Presents: Indie Mixtape Nashville album [mp3]

Various Artists: Relapse Records Fall Sampler album [mp3]

The Weekend People: Stolen Cars EP [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Crooked Fingers: 2014-10-10, 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)

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