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April 23, 2016

Book Notes - Holly George-Warren "A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man"

A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor 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.

Holly George-Warren's A Man Called Destruction is an impressively researched and definitive biography of Alex Chilton, both the man and his work.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"A thoroughly reported biography illuminating the life and work of one of the more mystifying and influential cult figures in rock.... Chilton receives the biography he deserves."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.

In her own words, here is Holly George-Warren's Book Notes music playlist for her book, A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man:


Probably the best part of writing A Man Called Destruction, my biography of Alex Chilton, was filling my days and nights with his music: on the computer, on the stereo (CD player, boombox, and turntable), and in the car. I had so much music to listen to, including his albums and singles with the Box Tops, his work with Big Star, his solo recordings dating back to 1969, and lots of one-off things, albums he produced, and recordings where he played guitar. Much of it I'd been collecting since the late 1970s, including 45s, EPs, LPs, audiocassettes, and CDs. Collectors sent me lots of fantastic bootlegs of live performances, outtakes, and never-before-released songs. Not to mention all the stuff I found on YouTube…

So it's impossible to list and discuss all the songs I listened to while researching and writing the book. But I can point out a few treasures that kept me company along the way:

Box Tops Coca-Cola commercials – These three ditties were such a great find and lots of fun: Alex is using his "Letter" voice and the lyrics describe a band of teens on the road, on the prowl for cute girls and a certain refreshing beverage.


"I Shall Be Released" : Alex does a great interpretation of the Dylan song on this Box Tops single (inspired by the version by the Band). It was one of the first songs that Alex got to choose to record; usually his producer Dan Penn called the shots. By the time of the fourth album, Dimensions, which included this track, the Box Tops were produced by Chips Moman, who gave them more leeway.

"All We Ever Got From Them Was Pain" : This is Alex at his most vulnerable; the track was never released during his lifetime, but came out on Free Again: The 1970 Sessions (Omnivore) in 2011; after what I'd learned about the tragedies in Alex's young life, the song brought me to tears.

"Thirteen" : From Big Star's #1 Record, this is another sensitive Alex song, which I discovered my son and his friends playing on guitar and singing at his sixteenth birthday party - proving what a timeless classic it is.

"The Ballad of El Goodo" : I never knew what this song – a longtime favorite from #1 Record – was about until researching the book and discovering that Alex's brother Howard was charged with resisting the draft. "El Goodo," honed during Alex's early-seventies NYC troubadour days, alludes to that. Big Star shot a little music video for the song, with Alex at the Draft Board building in Memphis.

"September Gurls" : Another timeless song that's a highlight of Big Star's Radio City. It's a crime this song wasn't a hit in 1974!

"Motel Blues" : Alex started covering this Loudon Wainwright III song when he lived in New York in 1970, playing open mic nights at Village coffeehouses. I first heard him do it on the 1992 CD, Big Star Live, a document of a 1974 radio performance at WLIR in New York. He really makes the song his own.

"Nighttime" is a portrait of love and pain on Big Star Third, also known as Sister Lovers. When that album was reissued with more tracks, another one that really got to me is Alex's haunted version of "Nature Boy." The whole album takes me to a dark but beautiful place – perfect for 3 a.m. alone at my computer.

"Can't Seem to Make You Mine" : The flip side to his 1978 single, "Bangkok," is Alex's uber-angsty version of the great Sky Saxon's Seeds classic. I can play this one over and over about a dozen times.

"Alligator Man" : Likes Flies on Sherbert, maligned by many, is the Alex Chilton album that turned me on to all kinds of roots music and honky-tonk, from the Carter Family to Ernest Tubb. I love Alex's version of this Cajun tune, originally a hit for Jimmy C. Newman.

"Thing for You": Alex used to say that this pretty song (from High Priest) was the best one he ever wrote; I wouldn't go that far, but its melody does stay with you.

"Dark End of the Street" : This collaboration with Scottish band Teenage Fanclub is an amazing cover of the Dan Penn/Chips Moman song that Alex started singing back in his Memphis days; here, Alex and his pals performed it on the BBC in the ‘90s.

"Rubber Room" : The Porter Wagoner psycho classic… as only Alex could have interpreted it; he started doing this song live right before he quit drinking in the early 80s.

"You Can Bet Your Heart on Me" – Alex recorded this Johnny Lee country song for a cool, extremely hard-to-find compilation LP called Love Is My Only Crime. For years, I only had an audiocassette dub of it from a friend's record. It came out last year as a bonus track on Electricity by Candlelight.

"Devil Girl" : A song that really shows Alex's sense of humor and fun on his '95 album, A Man Called Destruction – his last solo LP including several of his originals (half of the tracks).

"Look for the Silver Lining" : This was one of Alex's favorite Chet Baker songs (written by Jerome Kern and B.G. Desylva) and he does a beautiful version of it on a Chet Baker tribute LP called Imagination. The NYC session is where he met his future longtime drummer Richard Dworkin.

"Step Right This Way" : An obscure Glen Sherley song that Alex sang live at the Knitting Factory in February 1997, the night the power went out, and he kept playing when someone handed him an acoustic guitar. I was there and can hear myself in the audience calling out for "Alligator Man." The recording was a bootleg for years and finally came out on CD – as Electricity by Candlelight – just as I was finishing the book. It was quite cathartic to hear it again, right then at the point where exhaustion meets exhilaration.


Holly George-Warren and A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man links:

Bookforum review
BookPage review
Flavorwire review
Kirkus review
New York Times review
NPR Books review
Paste review
Philadelphia City Paper review

Memphis Flyer interview with the author
Rolling Stone interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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


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April 23, 2014

WORD Bookstores Books of the Week - April 23, 2014

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

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


The Color Master

The Color Master
by Aimee Bender

Molly says, "If I had my way, there would be a new Aimee Bender book every year (if not even more often). The details of her gorgeously written stories are often surreal -- in one, a girl travels with her sister to learn how to mend a wounded tiger; in the title story, an apprentice works to dye cloth the precise color of the moon -- but the feelings they evoke are bittersweet and familiar."


Assholes: A Theory

Assholes: A Theory
by Aaron James

Like the saying goes, everyone's got one, or has to deal with one at least, in the various checkout lines, expressways, and dinner parties of life. But there is more to the morose than meets the eye, and ethicist/philosopher/professor Aaron James applies his Harvard PhD to the subject.


Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932
by Francine Prose

Francine Prose's exploration of Europe between the wars recalls the Leonard Cohen song, "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye," with its intimation that, while love is old, we are always new to it: "There are many loves before us / I know that we are not new / in city and forests / they smile like me and you." This novel renders Cohen's sentiment in the past tense, and adds the pathos and intense uncertainty of the days of Hitler's initial ascent to power.


Over Easy

Over Easy
by Mimi Pond

Illustrator and cartoonist Mimi Pond uses muted colors to tell a decisively unquiet tale about life in California in the 1970s, on the cusps of hippie and punk cultures and youth and adulthood.


WORD Brooklyn links:

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


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

Online "Best of 2013" Book Lists

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


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Shorties (Essential Biographies of Literary Women, A New Courtney Love Song, and more)

Elle listed the best biographies of literary women.


Stream Courtney Love's new single, "Know My Name."


Tor.com shared a new short story by Nicola Griffith.


Bookish recommended 2014 small press poetry books.


The Arizona Republic interviewed Mike Cooley of the Drive-By Truckers.


Stereogum shared an excerpt from Alex Niven's 33 1/3 book on Oasis's album Definitely Maybe.


The Quietus interviewed the legendary New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint.


Three Guys One Book shared an excerpt of Maxwell Neely-Cohen's novel Echo of the Boom.


Stereogum interviewed musician Owen Pallett.


B.J. Novak talked to Mashable about social media's effects on writing.


Bookforum interviewed Carl Wilson about the new edition of his book Let's Talk About Love.


Off-Ramp profiles a manufacturer that still produces music on cassette tapes.


Author Sloane Crosley listed five underrated books at Entertainment Weekly.


Flavorwire pointed out pop star profiles written by famous literary authors.


Bookish lists classic rock songs inspired by works of literature.


The Telegraph listed the 15 best North American novels of all time.


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


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Daily Downloads (Astrid Swan, William Tyler, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Astrid Swan: "Black Bear and a Hoofer" [mp3] from Astrid 4

Bastard Mountain: "Meadow Ghosts" [mp3] from Farewell, Bastard Mountain (out May 12th)

Grace Joyner: "Be Good" [mp3] from Young Fools (out May 13th)

Mock Suns: "Last Time" [mp3] from Here Nor There EP

Pamina: "Blue Mountain" [mp3]

The Penelopes: "Time to Shine" [mp3]

Ryan Hobler: "Got a Ways to Go" [mp3]

Thrift: In Transit EP [mp3]

Trophy Scars: "Gutted" [mp3] from Holy Vacants

Various Artists: The Boondocks Mixtape album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

William Tyler: 2014-04-16, 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)

April 22, 2014

Book Notes - Mimi Pond "Over Easy"

Over Easy

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.

Mimi Pond's graphic novel Over Easy is an impressive semi-autobiographical coming of age story set in the late 1970s. Pond impressively paints the era with her pen and ink drawings and an unforgettable cast of characters.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"Her detailed portrait of thee Imperial Cafe's small community, as it remains unaware of its own directionlessness, offers a warm take on universal themes of seeking and belonging."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.

In his own words, here is Mimi Pond's Book Notes music playlist for his novel, Over Easy:


My graphic novel, Over Easy, is a fictionalized memoir of my post-art school waitressing career in Oakland, Ca in the late 1970s in a restaurant that was an anarchic opera of sex, drugs, and eggs in the time of punk rock. From a musical perspective, the burgeoning punk music scene was a welcome relief to what had become the dregs of draggy, druggy 70s pop and rock. This was the pre-AIDS, pre-"Just Say No" era. This was the "Just Say Yes" era. To everything. Until, eventually, the consequences caught up with us.

When I worked at Mama's Royal Cafe - 1978-1982 - there were no playlists, no ipods, no spotify. The radio's nonstop blare was the scratch track to the movie unspooling before our eyes. Sometimes, depending on which speed-fried line cook was feeling especially aggressive, it could either be arena rock like Queen, Journey, Foreigner, Styx, and Toto, or the moldy bong-water of leftover 60's rock like Pink Floyd, the Moody Blues, and Jefferson Starship. A waitress in a bad mood after a breakup might dial the station that played the cocaine-fueled country rock of the Eagles, Lynda Ronstadt, and the Rolling Stones at their most dystopian, or the R&B one that played funk like Hot Chocolate, Donna Summer, Chic, Michael Jackson and the Manhattans. Yes, as much as the collision of punk and hippie had resulted in the collusion that disco really did suck, it had that undeniable beat. It could creep in when you least expected and if you liked it, back then you certainly couldn't admit it to anyone because disco was mainstream and middle class and the enemy and extremely qiana and although that seems amusing and ironic now, then, it was NOT ironic, and it was almost 100% not a good thing. This is not to say that 70s funk was bad. 70s funk was awesome.

Because FM radio in the 70s still had a renegade edge, stations like KSAN would play Jonathan RIchman and the Modern Lovers, the Ramones, Chrissy Hynde and the Pretenders, Nick Lowe, Iggy Pop,the Tubes, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, X-Ray Specs, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, the B-52s, Blondie,Talking Heads, even our local boys the Dead Kennedys. All of this was cool water in the 8-year desert of music like Seals and Crofts, the Captain and Tenille, Peaches and Herb. Can I make you understand how much we had suffered in a decade of orange, brown, and harvest gold? Now we were stepping into a world of black and white and red!

More and more, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello were getting lots of airtime, which was a good thing because both of them saved me from waitressing. Elvis was my imaginary Bad Boyfriend, Bruce my imaginary Good one. Elvis' brilliant wordplay was that of a nihilistic Noel Coward: I don't want to touch you, how come everybody wants to be your friend, everything means less than zero. To me, somehow, this was catnip. Bruce's call to arms was: this town is a deathtrap, strap your hands ‘cross my engines, we can MAKE IT TO THE PROMISED LAND! ( Plus my name ended in a "y" sound so potentially I COULD have a song written about me.)I wanted to be dark and negative but underneath it all I really was my own Pollyanna. No one can ever make me embarrassed to love the Boss.

At home it was a different story. Already a seasoned thrift store shopper, I trolled the record bins there to discover things I was never going to hear on the radio. For a dime or a quarter you could take chances on old records with funny album covers. I was a jazz fan, and by that I do NOT mean 70s fusion jazz. I loved jazz vocalists like Bob Dorough, June Christy, Blossom Dearie. Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" filled me with a profound melancholy I didn't know was even in me. Ditto Coltrane and Stan Getz. Also my friend and customer, musical savant/record store clerk Gary Lambert, would steal records for me so that I could discover for the first time, Ella Fitzgerald's Gershwin Songbook, all of Frank Sinatra's Capitol stuff, and everything Aretha. Aretha, I decided, was the Patron Saint of Single Girls. I had already been Tom Waits fan #1 since 1974, having discovered him while still a teenager in San Diego, our shared hometown. His observational and storytelling style of songwriting made him the antithesis of the bland pablum of mid-70s pop. He was just what I was looking for, the Harriet the Spy of the music world! The fact that he, like I, was from San Diego, a blank slate of a place, gave me hope. I cannot overstate his influence on my life.

Over Easy

"Beast of Burden" - Rolling Stones
This is the song that you would hear cranked up as loud as it would go the minute the restaurant closed at 3 pm and the "open" sign got turned around. For me it was less about bad relationships and more about being more than just a waitress. I've walked for miles! My feet are hurting!

"Thunder Road" - Bruce Springsteen
If ever there was a heralding cry to get the fuck out of Dodge, it's this song. I spent my entire waitressing career knowing that it was going to take a lot of effort and discipline force of will to save my money and quit and move to New York. Plus the opening lines "The screen door slams/Mary's dress waves/like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays" sound like this painting by a personal hero, Edward Hopper.

"Half a Boy and Half a Man" - Nick Lowe
I spent about 18 years knowing that I had to craft my waitress experience in Oakland into a cohesive story and trying to figure out exactly what that story was. After my first child was born, I finally realized that the main character in the story, Lazlo, was who Nick Lowe was singing about, a boy-man caught up in a carnival ride of lowlifes and bars and riding around in cars.

"Surrender" - Cheap Trick
I have the most vivid memory of our restaurant manager ( named Lazlo in my story) singing along with this song. Cheap Trick was an anomaly, identifying neither as hippie or punk or glam or anything else. Like Lazlo, they were just delightfully subversive, making reference to the band Kiss, lesbians in the military, mom and dad smoking pot. And the message seemed to me to be that you can work (at least for a time) for THE MAN and still keep the best part of yourself whole.

"You Sexy Thing" - Hot Chocolate
Every time I try to express what this song means I wind up sounding like Miss Jane Hathaway from The Beverly Hillbillies. It's funk, dammit!

"Love and Happiness" - Al Green
This is a great song about the miseries of love, about those 3 a.m. naked lightbulb moments of complete despair and abandonment and panic, where think if you are betrayed now it means you are betrayed forever.

"I Wanna Be Sedated" - Ramones
You haven't lived until you've been asked by the doctor attending your abortion what kind of music you'd prefer to listen to and you say, "I Wanna Be Sedated" and he says, "Huh. I don't know them. How about classical?"

"Brass in Pocket" - Pretenders
I never saw the video for this song while I was a waitress. It featured Chrissie Hynde as a waitress flirting with her male customers, but all I knew was it was about trying to get someone's attention. Except I misheard the lyric, "Gonna make you notice." I thought it was "gonna make you more tense," which I actually liked better, because when flirting with male customers, I really did enjoy making them nervous. Before I worked in the restaurant I was a nerdy lump. The other waitresses were my feminine role models. The restaurant was where I learned how to be a woman.

"What's So Funny ‘Bout Peace Love and Understanding" - Elvis Costello
Written by Nick Lowe but really put over the top by Elvis Costello, is one of the great rock anthems of all time, if for no other reason, because he betrays the soft, humanist core hidden inside his hard nihilist shell. If a hard-bitten cynic like him is forced to beg hippies and punks to just get along, for god's sake, listen to the man.

"Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll" - Ian Dury
If ever there was a rallying cry for what was going on in the restaurant I was working in, it's this cheeky ditty.

"Roadrunner" - the Modern Lovers
This is another great rock anthem of all time. Jonathan Richman was the boy every female art student in the country wanted to sleep with in 1975 when this album came out. And why not? You heard this song and suddenly you understood what was wrong with every other song on the radio. It's just a song about driving, but in a way it's like waking up in the back seat of a car in the middle of the night and not knowing where you're going, and that's a good thing.

"Deadbeat Club" - B-52s
Although the earliest B-52 songs were a part of the aural tapestry of my waitressing career, this song, when it came out in 1990, inspired the writing of Over Easy because it really did express that languid ennui of youth. Although I was no deadbeat, working to support myself as I did, it conveyed that sense that we would always have all the time in the world to hang around in diners and drink too much coffee, and dance in the garden in torn sheets in the rain. In the rain!

"Eggs and Sausage" - Tom Waits
As an art student, I kept constant sketchbooks while drawing in diners, in buses, on bus benches and in bus depots. Imagine my thrill upon stumbling upon this aural sketchbook, the perfect version of what I was trying to do visually. Of course his version had a far more expert, noir/30s B movie, Reginald Marsh overlay.

"Young Americans" - David Bowie
This song is seared in my memory because a young gay dishwasher, jacked up on speed was busy singing and dancing along with this song one particularly difficult shift when he was supposed to be busing tables. When I asked him to get to get me some more coffee cups, he snapped, "Get ‘em yourself, bitch." I hurled a cup at him. Allllllll right!


Mimi Pond and Over Easy links:

the author's website

NPR Books review
PopMatters review
Publishers Weekly review
San Francisco Chronicle review

Comics Reporter interview with the author
Flavorwire interview with the author
Hollywood Reporter profile of the author
Los Angeles Times profile of the author
Paris Review essay by the author
Paste interview with the author
Pop Candy interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

This Week's Interesting Music Releases - April 22, 2014

Black Prairie

Fortune by Black Prairie (the Decemberists minus Colin M, Clint Mansell's soundtrack for the film Filth, and especially TEEN's The Way and Color are the new albums I can recommend this week.

Farewell Transmission (Music of Jason Molina) is a tribute album to the Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. frontman which includes contributions from My Morning Jacket, Sarah Jaffe, and others.

Reissues include XTC's Skylarking: Corrected Polarity Edition, a remastered and expanded edition of the band's 1986 album.

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:

The Apache Relay: Apache Relay
Army Of The Pharaohs: In Death Reborn
Augustana: Life Imitating Life
Bastille: All This Bad Blood
Black Bananas: Physical Emotions
Black Prairie: Fortune
Clint Mansell: Filth (soundtrack)
Death: Death III
DJ Diamond: Flight Muzik Reloaded
Dust Moth: Dragon Mouth
Ed Schrader's Music Beat: Party Jail
Eels: The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett</a>
Future: Honest
G. Love and Special Sauce: Sugar
Herbie Hancock: Maiden Voyage (reissue) [vinyl]
Heterotic: Weird Drift
Iggy Azalea: The New Classic
Illum Sphere: Spectre Vex [vinyl]
Jeff McIlwain and David Wingo: Joe (soundtrack)
Keb Mo: Bluesamerica
Keir Neuringer: Ceremonies Out of the Air
Kelis: Food
Luxembourg Signal: Distant Drive
Magic Drum Orchestra: MDO
Margot and the Nuclear So and So's: Sling Shot to Heaven
The Menzingers: Rented World
Microwaves: Regurgitant Phenomena
Neon Trees: Pop Psychology
Origamibiro: Odham's Standard
Peter Stampfel: Better Than Expected
Pulse Emitter: Planetary Scale Synth Hypnosis
Purling Hiss: Dizzy Polizzy
Ramases: Complete Discography (6-CD box set)
Semi Precious Weapons: Aviation
The Shackeltons: Records
TEEN: The Way and Color
Thought Forms / Ebsen and the Witch: Split [vinyl]
To Kill A King: Cannibals with Cutlery
Various Artists: Farewell Transmission (Music of Jason Molina)
Various Artists: Soul Jazz Records Presents: Gipsy Rhumba
Various Artists: The Amazing Spiderman 2 (soundtrack)
The Whigs: Modern Creation
Wood Ear: Electric Alone
XTC: Skylarking: Corrected Polarity Edition (remastered and expanded)


also at Largehearted Boy:

weekly music release lists

2013 Year-End Online Music Lists

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


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Shorties (The Best Books of the Summer, An Interview with Stephen Malkmus, and more)

Publishers Weekly previewed the best books of the summer.


The Rumpus interviewed musician Stephen Malkmus.


NPR shared an excerpt from Colson Whitehead's new novel The Noble Hustle.


The Quietus reconsidered Pulp's His 'N' Hers album 20 years after its release.


NPR Music is streaming the new Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger album Midnight Sun.


Author Craig Nova recommended three coming of age novels.


Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn talked to Speakeasy about the band's latest album.


Huffington Post recommended essential books on writing.


NPR Music is streaming the new Brody Dalle album Diploid Love.


The Independent interviewed author Jhumpa Lahiri.


The 2014 Austin City Limits Music Festival lineup has been released.


Salman Rushdie remembered Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the New York Times.


NPR Music is streaming the new Pixies album Indie Cindy.


Flavorwire listed books every writer should read.


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


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Daily Downloads (The Felice Brothers, Wild Moccasins, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Cory Kilgannon: The Hollow EP [mp3]

The Felice Brothers: Cherry Licorice + Four Amigos EP [mp3]

Lindsey Cohen: "Speechless" [mp3] from Grace Under Pressure

Lucy Schwartz: Timekeeper album [mp3]

Nothing: "In Metal (Low cover)" [mp3]

Pollen: "Not a Test" [mp3]

Twin Library: Historical Tumblers album [mp3]

Two Harbors: "There Is Love" [mp3] from The Natural Order of Things (out May 11th)

Wild Moccasins / The Eastern Sea: Summer Tour Sampler EP [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Parlor Walls: 2014-04-15, 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)

April 21, 2014

Book Notes - Simon Wroe "Chop Chop"

Chop Chop

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.

Simon Wroe's debut novel Chop Chop is a dark, funny, and original look at life in a restaurant kitchen.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"Wroe's imaginative metaphors and gritty kitchen colloquialisms are the key ingredients in a story that will appeal to anyone with a taste for the morbid and the whimsical."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.

In his own words, here is Simon Wroe's Book Notes music playlist for his novel, Chop Chop:


Music is a big part of kitchen life: there's always a radio burbling in the background or some poor pot wash singing of lament and longing. The isle is full of noises, and the first draft of the novel was thronged with songs and sounds to echo that. It was a joyous, wonderful thing. But my publisher pointed out that sample rights were expensive and my kneecaps were easily breakable, so I had to kill my darlings. I thank Largehearted Boy for letting them live again.

Kate Bush, "Eat The Music"
An apt song for the exercise. Also a good example, I think, of the sort of merry sadism kitchens revel in. At first glance it seems happy, but the lyrics are all ripping out hearts and splitting people open.

The Animals, "We Gotta Get Out of This Place"
We used to sing this during clean down. Eight chefs screaming along at the top of their lungs. Extraordinary rendition. I don't know if any of The Animals ever worked in the service industry, but they nailed its effect on the soul.

Snoop Doggy Dogg, "Gin and Juice"
Gangsta rap and kitchens have so much in common. Barefaced attitude. Ludicrous bragging. Ingenious threats. A questionable, medieval outlook on women. Chefs are forever seeking fresh ways to offend. We need new insults, to misquote another writer.

The Stranglers, "Nice n Sleazy"
Since the book is set in a gastropub in Camden Town, we've got to have something punkish and swaggering. I'm a big fan of the insane synth solo halfway through.

Pigbag, "Papa's Got a Brand New Pigbag"
More post-punk! More wild solos! More madness!

Wicked, "Defying Gravity"
This was the favorite song of the sous chef at the last place I worked. He was a massive Northern guy with a big Smokey and the Bandit Burt Reynolds moustache. He used to bellow this song out with great sincerity, and tuneful he was not. "Something has changed within me / Something is not the same / I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game."

Tempa T, "Next Hype"
In my selection, I've tried to do justice to the diversity – and downright schizophrenia – of chefs' listening habits. After the Wicked soundtrack, the logical step would be some filthy grime. It's the sort of drastic switch which has left some chefs permanently stuck somewhere between Mary Poppins and Dizzee Rascal. This particular delicacy is five years old and remains the angriest song in the world. For evidence of rap's Sphinx-like presence in modern English, I ask you to consider the phrase "boy off da ting". It is used in six different sentences in the space of 12 seconds, and I still couldn't really tell you what it means.

Acid Pauli, "Den Mahlstrom rauf"
Because chefs love drugs.

Harry Nilsson, "Jump into the Fire"
Though less psychedelic than the previous offering, Nilsson's song is also all about the monumental build. This is how service feels in the kitchen: the slow gathering of elements as one by one each section joins the fray; the momentum swelling, insisting, dragging you along; every onslaught wilder and fiercer than the last. At two minutes in to this song your knee is trembling. At four minutes your whole body is shaking. At six minutes you've lost your shirt, shoes and house keys. And that lyric: "You can jump into the fire / But you'll never be free." Is there a chef alive who wouldn't appreciate that sentiment?

Sly and the Family Stone, "If You Want Me To Stay"
… And relax.


Simon Wroe and Chop Chop links:

video trailer for the book

BookPage review
Fiction Writers Review review
Flavorwire review
Independent review
Publishers Weekly review
St. Louis Post-Dispatch review

Telegraph essay 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

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 - Joseph Riippi "Because"

Because

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.

Joseph Riippi's incantory novel Because is startlingly raw and beautiful, a powerful book from a talented writer.

HTMLGIANT wrote of the book:

"It hurts, a lot, to read something so raw, composed with few tools besides human desire. But once you have finished—once the proverbial nail is in the tree—it is even more difficult to get it back out, to forget a book as open and rending as this."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.

In his own words, here is Joseph Riippi's Book Notes music playlist for his novel, Because:


I tried to empty myself out with this book. The entire idea and process was to write as much "wanting" as I could until I'd hollowed out. That's when it was done. Then I tried to shape it into some larger "want" I didn't know I had. Thus the music that accompanied this was that for which I had the most heart. Through my whole life. The stuff that beat the memories out of me best, the songs and records I remember louder than the rest.


Sigur Ros "Untitled 1 (aka Vaka)"

First time I heard this song I was stuck in a rainstorm. I missed the bus and it was a long walk back to my dorm from the local record store. It was the Tuesday Sigur Ros' ( ) record came out. I was going through a rough patch in terms of mental health, my medications were growing, and I was writing more and more in these little notebooks I got at the convenience store. Really bad poems. So I was walking, sneakers soaking up puddles, and listening to this first track for the first time. I remember wanting so very, very, very badly to make something as beautiful as this song. It was all I wanted. I think I've heard more objectively beautiful songs since then, but in the memory of walking through the rain, with the heat lightning, the dark sky, a deep, deep depression, this remains perhaps the most beautiful listening experience of my life. Now I put this record on whenever I feel like writing isn't going well. Whenever life isn't going well. I remember wanting. I remembered and listened a lot while writing Because. I'm listening to this right now.


Miles Davis "All Blues"

I have a hard time writing to anything with vocals. At least vocals in English that might distract from whatever I'm working on. It's fine while editing, but when it's the digging up of raw stuff I'm too easily distracted by someone else's languages. "All Blues" provides the best kind of non-words to write to. Rhythmic and meandering and over eleven minutes long. Always makes me wish I could play something brass.


Brian Eno Music for Airports

Another "while writing" record. Only on vinyl. That's a must. The flaws in the copy I have make it a necessity. There's a bit of a scratch midway through "2/2" on the B-side; it's like a little reminder that the record's about to finish and I'll need to flip it back to the start soon. I love that it's unique to my Music for Airports, too. I remember I bought the copy during college at Plan 9 records in Richmond, Virginia, with a best friend who worked at a different record store. I remember he said upon seeing this seemingly pristine copy, "Don't let me touch it. If I touch it I'll buy it." I think it was the first record on which I paid more then ten dollars; I think it was twenty-five or thereabouts. This same friend and I had a rule that we wouldn't allow ourselves to purchase a record unless we were absolutely sure we'd listen to it all the way through for each dollar it cost. Twenty-five was a lot of spins, especially on an ambient record. There are still five dollar records I bought back then that I haven't gotten through five times yet. But my Music for Airports is the vinyl I listen to more than any other. Probably worth a couple hundred.


Dismemberment Plan "The City"

So much of Because was born out of my relationship with my wife. It's a crazy deep, deep, deep kind of love I never thought I'd have, and the "wants" of Because are often centered on wants for us both in the future—concepts of family and home and happiness, etcetera. She's a year older than me, we met in college. For a year she was in New York City and I was still in Virginia, buying records. Our early relationship was sound-tracked to the Dismemberment Plan's Emergency & I, and I visited New York often in that year we were apart. But more visits means more goodbyes, and I remember taking a departing bus from Port Authority and waving through a stinky window and feeling that sick love-nausea of falling. That early love, before it's been wrapped around you and worn comfortable like a sweater, I had to get it into the book. "The city's been dead since you've been gone," Travis Morrison sings at the top of his lungs. I listened to "The City" a lot to feel that nausea harder. The whole record, really. Love.


Phosphorescent "Wolves"

My wife and I have been to Berlin together three times. The first time, Phosphorescent's Pride album had just come out and I was listening to it a lot. My wife was in Berlin for a grad school trip at the art biennale and I'd tagged along. One day while she was at an exhibition I got a little lost in Prenzlauer Berg. I'd been looking around the city and just walking, walking, walking, really loving what my life had become, was becoming. I listened to the song over and over, trying to attach sentiment to the moment through "Wolves," a kind of counterweighted sentiment to what I already had with Sigur Ros. Even though "Wolves" is full of blood and claws and "tearing holes in the ground," it still makes me so happy whenever I hear it.


David Bowie Hunky Dory

I finished Because on the third Berlin trip. Spent a few long days on a rooftop in Prenzlauer Berg reading it aloud to myself in a couched corner. The ambient music on the roof was out of my control, run by the bartender. The Berliners love their beer and Bowie, and these were a few great days. I remember Hunky Dory coming on and it reminding me of my father, when I was six or seven years old and he had a CD player put in the car where the tape deck had been. He would drive me home from little league or basketball practice and we always listened to one of the only two CDs he had, Sgt Peppers or Changesbowie. I didn't really care for the Bowie back then but I remember him singing along to the "Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes" at the start. When Hunky Dory came on over the rooftop speakers just as I was finishing Because, the "ch-ch-ch-ch-ch" took me right back to being in that car, being carried home, when my world was so small and yet felt so impossibly huge and I was afraid of everything. I remember wishing I could have told that six or seven year old boy that twenty-five years later he'd be sitting on a rooftop in a different country, married and impossibly happy with no medication, finishing a book and feeling damned good about the book that it became. I wonder what difference that would have made. I wonder what difference those two CDs in my father's car made. I wonder what Bowie was reading while recording in Berlin.


Joseph Riippi and Because links:

the author's website
excerpts from the book (at Atticus Review)
excerpt from the book (at The Collagist)
excerpt from the book (at Recommended Reading)
excerpt from the book (at Vol. 1 Brooklyn)

HTMLGIANT review
LunaLuna review

Extract(s) interview with the author
Vol. 1 Brooklyn 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 (George Saunders on His Favorite Books, Stream the New Wye Oak Album, and more)

George Saunders discussed his favorite books at The Week.


NPR Music is streaming Wye Oak's new album Shriek.


The New Statesman profiles author Hilary Mantel.


The Quietus interviewed multi-talented musician and artist Billy Childish.


Celebrate the Dylan Thomas centenary.


Biographile recommended biographies of Charlotte Bronte and her family.


The Oregonian interviewed Mike Cooley of the Drive-By Truckers.


Huffington Post interviewed James Iha about scoring Hulu's new Deadbeat comedy series.


PopMatters interviewed EELS frontman Mark Oliver Everett.


The Telegraph listed the 15 best poetry books of all time.


NPR Music is streaming Rodrigo y Gabriela's new album 9 Dead Alive.


At Mental Floss, Andrew Shaffer explained how paperbacks changed the way Americans read.


The A.V. Club listed 15 movies that feature indie rocker cameos.


Tablet profiled Donald Lev, the "cab-driving poet."


NPR Music is streaming the Nels Cline Singers' new album Macroscope.


The Irish Times interviewed author Sinan Antoon.


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


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Daily Downloads (Sweet Talking Liars, A Rolling Stones Tribute, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

California Wives: Art History single [mp3]

Cassettes on Tape: Cathedrals EP [mp3]

Electric Saint: The Mix and Match EP [mp3]

Eveline: And By Nail I Mean Head EP [mp3]

Frances England: "Fall Out of the Sky" [mp3] from Paths We Have Worn (out May 6th)

Futurecop!: "Lost Love" [mp3]

Kypie: "Caught" [mp3]

Sweet Talking Liars: Walk On, Out of My Heart single [mp3]

Various Artists: Limited Fanfare Records 2014 Spring/Summer Sampler album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Rolling Stones Tribute Show (Various Artists): 2014-04-08, 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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