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July 26, 2014

Daily Downloads (The Week's Best Free and Legal Music Downloads, Including Raveonettes, Sea Wolf, Shovels and Rope, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

The Bright Road: Norway album [mp3]

Mandolin Orange: Live Tapes EP [mp3]

Raveonettes: "Sisters" [mp3] from Pe'ahi

Rose-Erin Stokes: Not Alone EP Sampler [mp3]

Sea Wolf: Song Spells, No. 1: Cedarsmoke album [mp3]

Shovels and Rope: Swimmin' Time Primer EP [mp3]

Strand of Oaks: World Cafe Session EP [mp3]

Various Artists: 2014 Great River Folk Fest Mix album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Night School: 2014-07-10, 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)





July 25, 2014

Book Notes - Lance Olsen "[[ there. ]]"

[[ there. ]]

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.

Lance Olsen's [[ there. ]] is a stream-of-consciousness masterpiece, a book that acutely touches on how we think, remember, and learn.

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Lance Olsen's Book Notes music playlist for his novel, [[ there. ]]:


wrote [[ there. ]]—part critifictional meditation and part trash diary about what happens at the confluence of curiosity, travel, and innovative writing—during my five-month residency last year at the American Academy in Berlin. The book performs what it is thinking about, collaging together observations, facts, quotations, recollections, and theoretical reflections touching on various authors, genres, and places, from Beckett and Ben Marcus to David Bowie and Wayne Koestenbaum, film and architecture to avant-garde music and hypermedia, the Venezuelan jungle and Bhutanese mountains to New Jersey mall culture and Berlin itself.

Maybe 35 years ago, when I first started writing seriously, I listened to music all the time at the (then) typewriter: to get into the mood, to conjure a character's obsessions, to distract me from the world making noise on the other side of my imagination. But about half a decade into the process, I gave up. I noticed the music had a tendency to impose its own rhythms on my sentences—which is to say it became one more distraction.

Nowadays I'm pathetic. I write in a second-floor room with the shades pulled, the door closed, my cell phone off. Still, music continues to play a huge roll in my writing, both in form and content. I don't know where my language would be without it.

"Where Are We Now?" by David Bowie

Released 8 January, 2013—Bowie's 66th birthday and five days after I arrived in Berlin—"Where Are We Now?" became my anthem during my residency at The American Academy. It had been 10 years since we'd last heard new music from Bowie. The video, you may remember, features experimental filmmaker Tony Oursler's wife Jacqueline Humphries and Bowie as conjoined homunculi perched atop a pommel horse in Ourselr's junk-filled New York studio. Behind them runs grainy black-and-white footage from pre-Wende Berlin.

But here's the thing: that song isn't about a rock'n'roll suicide or a suffragette city. It's all about changes. Which is to say all about the thematics I was obsessed with while composing [[ there. ]]. Listen, and you hear a voice washed through with time—frailer, more spectral, yearning, candid than its earlier iterations. You hear Bowie hanging out with Iggy Pop and Lou Reed at the club Dschungel in the late seventies, throngs of East Germans passing across the Bösebrücke, the first border crossing that opened as the Wall fell on 9 November 1989—20,000 in the first hour, each unsure whether he or she was allowed to do what he or she was doing. You hear Bowie's heart attack back stage during a 2004 performance in Germany, his rush into emergency surgery for an acutely blocked artery.

What moves me most, then, is how shot through it is with that blue-eyed boy Mr. Death, how it could never have been written by a musician in his forties or thirties, let alone his twenties. After sixty, it says, your face becomes an accomplishment.

"Xenos III" by Beat Furrer

Emblem for the innovative gritty restlessness called Berlin. In this amazing sound experiment, a percussionist recites haunted language particles by the Austrian author Händl Klaus (who was born, inverted, as Klaus Händl) into the timpani while the orchestra presents itself as a miscellany of instrumental tremors, scratching sounds, long tones, and mini-gestures all designed to make you contemplate what we mean when we say the words instrument, hearing, and even music itself.

"Looking for Freedom" by David Hasselhof

The song The Hoff sang on stage in front of the Brandenberg Gate while sporting a jacket bedecked with myriad miniature light bulbs on New Year's Eve 1989, a month after the Wall fell. Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio philosophized that this piece's presence in the cosmos testifies to nothing less than the power of music—horrible, horrible music—to unite and uplift us all. Another way of saying this: "Looking for Freedom" is emblematic of the opposite of Bowie's and Beat Furrer's music, different as those are from each other. It's an example of what the Germans call Schlager, the word (literally meaning hit—in the musical sense—as well as wooden club) for the overly sweet ballads with catchy melodies and love lyrics that were especially popular in the country during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and that saw a kitsch comeback in the 1990s and early 2000s. Schlager is the sonic lint Krautrock groups like Kraftwerk, Popol Vuh, and Tangerine Dream tried to sweep out the door. Schlager isn't political. That's exactly what makes it so political.

"Helden" by David Bowie

The German version of "Heroes" from Bowie's second album in his Berlin trilogy. Rich with Brian Eno's ambient sounds, replete with white noise generators, synthesisers and koto, "Helden" is the song The Hoff, if he had been someone else (a talented musician, for instance), would have sung in front of the Brandenburg Gate. I don't know why, exactly, but the German version about the divided city strikes me as tremendously more powerful and textured than the English. By the way, there's an awesome and awesomely sad cover of it by Andrea Schroeder, a Berlin-based young singer whose voice is inhabited by the ghosts of Marlene Dietrich and Nico, that you should check out here: http://vimeo.com/61810245.

"Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß auf Liebe eingestellt" by Friedrich Hollaender & Robert Liebmann

Speaking of Marlene Dietrich. As femme fatale Lola singing this stunningness in a seedy cabaret at the end of what the Germans refer to as The Goldern Twenties in Josef von Sternberg's The Blue Angel (Die Blaue Engel)—written, by the way, by the magnificent Thomas Mann's brother, Heinrich—this song embodies what Germany could have been had it not committed cultural/ethical suicide in 1933. The Golden Twenties begat the Bauhaus's unadorned functional cubism; Döblin's textual montage, Berlin Alexanderplatz; Lang's Art-Deco-gone-darkly-crazy Metropolis; Grosz's exquisitely demented caricatures; Brecht and Weill's socialist revision of John Gay's Beggar's Opera; Benjamin's hyperactive cortex. At the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics, the director's name was Albert Einstein.

"Berlin" by Lou Reed

The title track off Reed's follow-up to Transformer, this one forms part of the dark, hallucinogenic concept album about a doomed druggy couple named Jim and Caroline, and captures beautifully the same vibe The Blue Angel did 43 years before. A wonderful joke about "Berlin" is that Reed hadn't set foot in the actual when he wrote it. The song first appeared 1973. He first traveled to Germany in 1975 to visit—who else—Bowie and Iggy Pop, with whom he crashed for a short time in a then-crapped-out flat at Hauptstraße 155 in Schöneberg.

Kind of Blue by Miles Davis

Almost every week I visited one of Berlin's best jazz clubs, the A-Trane, at Bleibtreustraße 1 in leafy Charlottenburg. The club's name is an amalgam of John Coltrane's nickname, Trane, and the title of Duke Ellington's "Take the A-Train." I would go there to be reminded to be more extreme. Structured as a series of modal sketches, a form of constraint writing, in which each performer is given a set of scales that defines the boundaries of his improvisation and style, Kind of Blue is art as possibility space. Play. Feel. Think. Repeat.

"Depuis le Jour" by Isabel Mundry

I first heard this at the famous Berlin Maerzmusick Festival last year and it utterly blew me away. Fifteen strings and two percussionists allow the contrapuntal music of Late-Renaissance Dutch composer Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck to swell among an atonal mulligan that's all about making difficult the idea of spatial and temporal locality, how the memory of art's past remains detectable in art's present, the concept of the truly unique, the new, invariably amounting to defective back-fence talk.

"Brandenburg Concertos" by Johann Sebastian Bach

Well, of course: the first classical music I ever fell head over heels for, this back as an undergrad, although I can't remember how I bumped into it. I must have been 18. In any case, it's followed me through the years as an aesthetic challenge: how does one create a piece of prose structured, not in the way conventional narrative is, but in the way a perfect piece of crystalline music can be? One of my attempts at an answer is [[ there. ]].

[[ Anything ]] by John Coltrane

"Sometimes I wish I could walk up to my music for the first time, as if I had never heard it before. Being so inescapably a part of it, I'll never know what the listener gets, what the listener feels, and that's too bad."

"Polis" by Oliver Schneller

And speaking of art as possibility space: "Polis" is a sound installation I stumbled across in a hallway at Das Haus der Berliner Festspiele on my way to see a play I've completely forgotten. "Polis" generates the aural illusion of being in four places at once by producing ambient noise from a quartet of geographically separate locations through a quartet of speakers: 11:00 a.m. in Cairo, 11:00 a.m. in Beirut, 11:00 a.m. in Jerusalem, 11:00 a.m. in Istanbul. What, it asks us to ask, does sonic identity sound like, if it sounds like anything at all?

[[ there. ]] asks us to ask the same question, only in reference to written, historical, and existential identity.

"These Days" by Nico

Please don't confront me with my failures / I had not forgotten them.

"The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" by David Bowie

If you start with Bowie, you must end with Bowie, and so: this is the second video released from his The Next Day last year, and it takes the form of a captivating Lynchian strangeness. Tilda Swinton and Ziggy Stardust's father play an older bourgeois couple whose comfortable existence dislocates when a pair of rockers (one a version of the earlier androgynous Bowie himself) follows them home from the neighborhood grocery store and commences haunting their physical and emotional space. Yet the predictable erotic/demonic alien invasion narrative perverts by the video's conclusion: the older bourgeois couple turns out to be the opposite of what we anticipate. They begin haunting the younger couple even as they are haunted. Interpretive dissonance erupts, unmooring the comment Bowie and Swinton exchange at the video's outset: We have a nice life.

The existence that the older couple performs/deforms disarranges their younger disruptors even as the heavy-energy vintage-Bowie soundtrack complicates any simple reading of "Where Are We Now?"—including the one with which I began this semi-essay.

Which is to say, for me "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" forms a parable that goes like this. Almost directly across the lake from The American Academy, where I lived and wrote for those five and a half months, sits a villa that looks more like a modest palace than someone's residence. Something called the Wannsee Conference took place in it on 20 January 1942. Reinhard Heydrich, whom Hitler referred to admiringly as the man with the iron heart, presided. The topic of the conference, which lasted 85 minutes, and was attended by 15 senior officials of the Nazi regime, was The Final Solution.

My wife Andi, an artist and videographer raised Jewish, took a photograph of that building from our balcony between 7:40 and 7:50 every morning. She is currently in the process of linking them together to make a fast-forward short experimental film because for her every click of her camera represents an affirmation in the face of what went on in that place.

I'm still alive, each photograph says. You're still dead. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.


Lance Olsen and [[ there. ]] links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry

By the Book Reviews review

Bookslut interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Book Notes - Lance Olsen "Theories of Forgetting"

Dust

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.

Lance Olsen's novel Theories of Forgetting is as challenging as it is rewarding, successfully weaving together three narratives told in distinctly different forms.

Brian Evenson wrote of the book:

"Lance Olsen's Theories of Forgetting is a remarkably fugue-like ode to the intricacies of memory. Offering two intersecting stories about illness, loss and forgetting, with annotations, this is an extremely smart and moving book about how our lives wind snail-like around one another as they risk flindering away into absence or death."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Lance Olsen's Book Notes music playlist for his novel, Theories of Forgetting:


Three narrative strands braid into my latest novel Theories of Forgetting.

The first involves the story of Alana, a filmmaker working on a short documentary about Robert Smithson's famous earthwork, The Spiral Jetty. She falls prey to a pandemic called The Frost, whose symptoms include an increasing sensation of coldness and growing amnesia.

The second involves Alana's husband, Hugh, owner of a bookstore in Salt Lake City, and his slow disappearance across Europe and Jordan on a trip both to remember and forget Alana's death. He gets drawn into the Sleeping Beauties, a rising global religious cult that worships barbiturates.

The third narrative strand involves marginalia added to Hugh's text (which may be a novel, and may be a warped autobiography) by his daughter, Aila, an art critic living in Berlin. Aila discovers her father's manuscript after his disappearance and tries to make sense of it by means of a one-sided conversation with her estranged brother, Lance.

So, depending on your tastes, it's a pretty weird novel, which calls for a pretty weird playlist, which what follows may or may not be, depending on your tastes. Each song registers, not what I was listening to while I wrote it (I don't listen to music while I write), but some large-ish aspect of it: mood, character, theme, structure, vision.

"Singing Color," by Pocahaunted

If there existed a soundtrack you should listen to while reading Theories of Forgetting, this would be it: a sample of P-haunt's gorgeous psychedelic drone sonics that, like my novel, take a certain amount of unhinged reality for granted. This song is what dreams sound like.

"Blessed is the Burning Room," by Controlled Bleeding

Because maybe of crossed phone wires, maybe something odder, down-and-nearly-out strangers begin leaving messages on Alana's voicemail asking her for existential advice. When she calls the phone company to complain, the tech on the other end puts her on hold. A muzak version of a Controlled Bleeding song—possibly this one—drifts in while Alana daydreams about the nerve gas testing accident that in 1968 left thousands of Skull Valley sheep dead near Salt Lake City. This song is for Alana.

"Haunted" by Poe

Poe—Mark Z. Danielewski's sister—composed the album (inspired by her discovery of a box of audio tapes of her late father's voice) on which this eponymous song appears in harmony with her brother's wildly important novel (at least for me) House of Leaves. Most readers think that novel is a riff on the horror film, but the real horror in both album and book has to do with the fact that the world is absences all the way down. The same is the case in Theories of Forgetting. You can feel Hugh's lack in every word of Aila's marginalia, hear his AWOL voice. Alana is nothing if not a growing gap as The Frost colonizes her body and prose. And the novel itself is a text of voids, silences, acoustic deserts, from crossed-out words to large swaths of white space. This song is for Hugh.

Anything by Laurie Anderson

"I'm not usually where I think I am. It's kind of spooky."

"The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet," by Frank Zappa

My cousin John Dasilva, who became a jazz trumpter later in life, called me down into his basement to listen to Freak Out!, the album on which this appears, sometime during the summer of 1966, a month or two after Zappa and The Mothers of Invention's released it. John was maybe seventeen, I was nine, and suddenly everything was possible. According to Zappa, this aural exploration began as a rhythm track that he never finished as intended. None of that mattered to me. What mattered was its complete auditory alterity, what Derrida once called monstrous thinking-otherwise.

It was also the first mention on a Mothers album of the mysterious Suzy Creamcheese. She was widely thought to be a fictional creation, but it turns out she is really a musician named Suzy Zeiger.

This song is for another real fictional creation, Aila, who in my mind embodies it.

"I've never worn fake eyelashes in my whole life," Suzy says in another Mothers song, "Uncle Meat." "And I never made it in the surfing set and I never made it in the beatnik set / and I couldn't cut the groupie set either."

"4'33''" by John Cage

Speaking of present absences, for this infamous three-movement composition the muscians are instructed not to play their instruments for precisely four minutes and thirty-three seconds. Initially then, the piece seems to be about silence. In fact, though, it's about the opposite—about how there's no such thing as real silence, about how the world is always alive with beautiful music we've been taught to think of as noise. Hugh, you may remember, disappears in the Jordanian desert on a trip there both to remember and to forget Alana's death. The desert is a space that always appears to be about the visual equivalent of silence: emptiness. But deserts are, again, just the opposite: spaces alive with color, movement, possibility to those willing to remain curious and pay attention. Aila has a running argument in her marginalia with her absent and apparently silent brother, Lance, who turns out, if you look at the opening pages of Theories of Forgetting, is the book's editor. In other words, in a sense his is the loudest voice there, not there, and not not there. This song is for him.

"The Suburbs" by Arcade Fire

Much of the plot of Theories of Forgetting takes place in the scariest place on earth: the American suburbs. In this case Salt Lake City, to be specific. And hence Win Butler sings: "So can you understand / Why I want a daughter while I'm still young? / I wanna hold her hand / And show her some beauty / Before this damage is done."

"The Future" by Leonard Cohen

Theories of Forgetting is set a handful of tomorrows in the future. Given its apocalyptic pandemic, its general investigation of entropology (a neologism Robert Smithson borrowed from Claude Lévi-Strauss that combines the concepts of entropy and anthropology within it, and denotes the study of things running down, running out, unraveling), I can't think of a better thematic audio-apotheosis than this by one of my favorite singers, whose voice personifies abraded loss: "I've seen the future, baby: / it is murder."

"Spiral Network" by Gene Coleman

A richly innovative piece influenced by the ideas of Buckminster Fuller that employs film clips of images from Japan and a mixture of voice, traditional Japanese and Western instruments, and electronica, "Spiral Network" uses the spiral shape as a shorthand for the vortex called complicated human thought. For me, it also serves as an emblem for my interest in Theories of Forgetting in how words matter—that is, my interest in the materiality of the page, and in how a literary work might react against mass reproduction and textual disembodiment in the digital age.

This interest manifests as soon as you pick up the book, which possesses two back covers (one "upside down" and one "right-side up"), but no front. Open the book, and you will discover each page is divided in half. Alana's narrative runs across the "top" of the page, from "back" to "front," while Hugh's and Aila's tale runs "upside down" across the "bottom" of the "page," from "front" to "back." How a reader initially happens to pick up Theories of Forgetting determines which narrative s/he reads first, thereby establishing the reader's meaning-making orientation with respect to the novel.

Some of the information in Hugh's narrative is incompatable with that in Alana's. Ditto vice versa, and with Aila's narrative. Whose narrative you engage with first colors your reading of the others.

Tour of Homes by Spiral Jetty

When Alana and Hugh first arrived in Salt Lake City from their university days in the Northwest, Robert Smithson's The Spiral Jetty had already forgotten itself. During its construction, Smithson believed the lake was receding. In fact, the water level was low due to a short-term drought. By the time the Hoboken band named in the sculpture's honor released its debut album, Tour of Homes (1985), whose sound combines those from another Hoboken band, The Feelies, and Sonic Youth, Smithson's Spiral Jetty had been submerged for nearly fifteen years. It would remain that way for fifteen more, specter of the original quivering just a few feet below the lake's surface. This song is dedicated to forgetting that can't be forgotten.

Anything by Laurie Anderson, redux (side a)

"People only stutter at the beginning of the word. They're not afraid when they get to the end of the word. There's just regret."

"Itchin' on a Photograph" by Grouplove

Interest in the materiality of the page, continued. Theories of Forgetting is laced with photographs, diagrams, and other visual addenda. What I love about photographs (many here of The Spiral Jetty itself) is that they are always about what isn't there, what is already gone, yet can't go away.

"Fade into You" by Mazzy Star

"You'll come apart and you'll go blind," Mazzy Star sings, and, in a sense, that's what Alana's narrative soon begins to do as The Frost reaches its hands inside her. Alana begins misspelling words, dropping phrases, falling off in mid-sentence. Her language undergoes slow erasure, a form of linguistic entropology. There is a link in a footnote in Theories of Forgetting to a video my partner Andi made that she didn't make. It's all about Smithson's Spiral Jetty and the idea of undoing, but it's by Alana. It's part of the film she's been working on, and you can find it here: http://lanceolsen.com/tof.html.

"Revolution #9" by the Beatles

Two years after Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention released Freak Out!, the Beatles released The White Album. Side four, track five: "Revolution 9," one of their most experimental works—part Yoko Ono's influence, part Karl Stockhausen's, and part Paul McCartney's ghost from his unreleased 1967 sound exploration, "Carnival of Light." But it was mostly John Lennon's work that fused and confused overdubbed vocals, track-looping, reversed musical performances, echoes, distortions, and strange fading.

The music critic Ian MacDonald once called the piece "a sensory attack on the citadel of the intellect: a revolution in the head." In retrospect I like that, but at the time I first heard it I had no idea what to make of the thing. That's exactly why I felt thrilled and curious in its presence. And that's exactly the feeling all innovative writing practices should engender, I think—a sense of language loss, a sense of wanting to develop a new way of speaking to capture what it is you're listening to, or reading, or seeing, because you've never experienced anything quite like it before. That's the feeling I'd like to engender in readers of Theories of Forgetting.

But like John Coltrane says: "Sometimes I wish I could walk up to my music for the first time, as if I had never heard it before. Being so inescapably a part of it, I'll never know what the listener gets, what the listener feels, and that's too bad."

Anything by Laurie Anderson, redux (side b)

"I hate zoos."

Audio Files of Arrhythmic Heartbeats by the American Medical Association

If there existed a second soundtrack you should listen to while reading Theories of Forgetting, this should be it. My partner Andi's father was a physician. He used to receive professional journals in the mail. One included one of those old-time floppy 45's packed with thirty-second audio clips of various sorts of arrythmic heartbeats for diagnostic purposes. When she was seven or eight, Andi used to put that record on her stereo up in her bedroom somewhere in the Des Moines, Iowa, suburbs and dance freeform to that not-quite-normal percussion track on her bed.

The images I have in my head of her footing it are the best album I've ever owned.


Lance Olsen and Theories of Forgetting links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry

Heavy Feather Review review
The Small Press Book Review review
Word Riot review

Bookslut interview with the author
Brooklyn Rail 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)

Shorties (An Excerpt from Emily Mandel's New Novel, Merge Records' 25th Anniversary, and more)

Read the first chapter of Emily Mandel's forthcoming novel Station Eleven.


Paste listed the best album released by Merge Records for every year of the label's 25-year history.

Co-founder Laura Ballance shared a label playlist at the A.V. Club.

SPIN shared a timeline of the label's highlights.


BoingBoing shared a graphic novel summer reading list.


Hole is not reuniting.


Tommy darker points out why musicians cannot thrive in the modern music industry ecosystem at Medium.


The Economist broke down the 2014 Man Booker Prize longlist.


The London Evening Standard profiled Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard.


New York Magazine listed classic stories by women in the New Yorker.


Stream tracks from the forthcoming Aislers Set reissues.


Art Attack listed the 10 best novels set in Houston.


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 (Emily and the Complexes, Sleeves, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

The Cordial Sins: "Before the Bend" [mp3]

Emily and the Complexes: "You Won't" [mp3] from Dirty Southern Love

Rose-Erin Stokes: Not Alone EP Sampler [mp3]

Sleeves: Arcadia EP [mp3]
Sleeves: The Sky Ghost 1 album [mp3]
Sleeves: The Sky Ghost 2 album [mp3]

Son Luv: "Speak Softly" [mp3]

Sweet Talking Liars: On My Way Out EP [mp3]

The Zoo Incident: Lovely album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Daytona: 2014-07-16, 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)

July 24, 2014

Book Notes - Maya Lang "The Sixteenth of June"

The Sixteenth of June

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.

Maya Lang's debut novel The Sixteenth of June is a clever reworking of James Joyce's Ulysses set in modern Philadelphia.

Booklist wrote of the book:

"Lang’s clever first novel tracks three twenty-somethings… They all find some resolution by the end of the day, although it isn’t necessarily the one they expected or hoped for… What matters more is the family dynamic and its currents of longing, loss, and love."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Maya Lang's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel, The Sixteenth of June:


The Sixteenth of June features three twentysomethings grappling with that post-college, pre-thirties stage of life, a sort of second adolescence as they negotiate adulthood. It also involves quite a bit of music, as one of the characters is a singer.

"Damage" by Yo La Tengo

I love this song's lyrics and haunting vocals. I had this in mind for Nora, grieving over her mother and feeling generally lost. Nora finds that time isn't helping; she thinks about her mother (dead for nearly a year) now more than ever. This melancholic, moody song captures her mindset.

"Mr. Brightside" by The Killers

The novel opens with Leo turning the volume up on an unnamed song. This is the song I had in mind, not only because it played incessantly in 2004 (when the novel is set), but also because it's perfect for Leo, a frat boy, doggedly optimistic by nature, a populist in his tastes. I imagine him blasting it on his commute to work.

"I Am A Rock" by Simon & Garfunkel

I have my books/ And my poetry to protect me;/ I am shielded in my armor,/ Hiding in my room, Safe within my womb / I touch no one and no one touches me. These lines describe Stephen, the brooding intellectual, perfectly. He would wince and protest that it's too folksy and be annoyed with me for choosing it.

"The Very Thought of You" by Ella Fitzgerald

Nora performs at a jazz club on Saturdays. The novel takes place on a Friday, so it made sense to me that she would be going over the notes in her head. I wanted to find a song cheerful on its surface that Nora would turn into something darker. This is a love song, springy and bright and brassy, but Nora ends up changing the key. I imagine her arrangement sounding more like the Etta James version.

"The Flower Duet" from Lakmé

The fact that I first heard this on a British Airways commercial tells you just how familiar I am with opera. I needed an aria for Nora to be rehearsing when Stephen first hears her, practicing in her college dorm room. I wanted that moment to be arresting, Nora's voice startling in its beauty. It had to be a piece I genuinely loved in order to connect with it.

"Golden" by My Morning Jacket

I wrote much of the novel at a coffee shop in Seattle where the tables are just barely bigger than the laptops and you're at constant risk of brushing elbows with the person next to you. (I should note that I had a colicky newborn at the time and needed to get out of the house to write.) The acoustic quality of the song made me feel like I was in a bigger space; it has a cavernous, echo-y quality that's quite mesmerizing. The song also has a feeling of forward momentum that I found encouraging.

"Weird Fishes" by Radiohead

I'm a huge Radiohead fan, and this is one of my favorite songs of theirs. I listened to it on loop while writing The Sixteenth; its play count is absurdly high on my computer.

"Hearts on Fire" by John Cafferty

This is where I lose all music credibility and reveal myself to be the absurd creature I am. I listened to this song (from the Rocky IV soundtrack) when it was time to query agents. I listened to it before my book tour events, before my first big interview, and I still listen to it when I need a boost. I don't know why I identify with a boxer doing calisthenics in the middle of Siberia, but there you have it. No pain.


Maya Lang and The Sixteenth of June links:

the author's website

Bookreporter review
Kirkus review

CarolineLeavittville interview with the author
Monkeybicycle interview with the author
Philadelphia Inquirer profile of the author
Washington Post 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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Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week - July 24, 2014

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

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


Motor City Burning

Motor City Burning
by Bill Morris

Set in the chaos of the Detroit race riots, this searing novel follows disillusioned young civil rights activist Willie Bledsoe, who finds himself in the crosshairs of a driven white cop who suspects him of murder. A rich and thrilling read from an acclaimed author.


Pure Green Magazine #8

Pure Green Magazine #8

This latest issue of the Ontario-based magazine is focused on the concept of home. There are eco-tips for home maintenance, there is a feature on a couple who lives in a vintage Airstream camper, plus features on two other unique living spaces. There are even some tasty-looking organic recipes at the end!


Comics Squad

Comics Squad
by Various

What a dream! Comics Squad collects work by a large list of kid-focused cartoonists, including Raina Telgemaier of Drama and Smile fame, Gene Yang (Boxers & Saints, Level Up, American Born Chinese), Dave Pilkey, creator of Captain Underpants, and so many more! Pizza monsters, aliens, bullies, heroes, jokes, and terrible puns abound!


The Walk Home

The Walk Home
by Rachel Seiffert

An unsparing novel that explores national dramas as they are played out on an intimate scale. Seiffert illuminates the intricacies and emotions of Scottish sectarianism, and contrasts them against the experiences of contemporary Polish immigrants in Glasgow. The Walk Home is being hailed as brave and perceptive – Seiffert clearly continues to be a writer to watch!


The Symmetry Teacher

The Symmetry Teacher
by Andrei Bitov

This metaphysical mystery by the contemporary Russian master attempts to recall a long-forgotten and now untraceable English novel via his own long-ago hurried translation of the text. The result as a sort of literary palimpsest that lovers of Calvino, Borges and Nabokov will surely enjoy.


Librairie Drawn & Quarterly links:

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


also at Largehearted Boy:

other Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week

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


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Shorties (Curtis Sittenfeld on Alice Munro, Underrated Pop Albums, and more)

Author Curtis Sittenfeld discussed the works of Alice Munro at the Wall Street Journal.


Flavorwire listed underrated pop albums of the past 20 years.


The Guardian listed the top child narrators in literature.


The Quietus interviewed Luke Turner of Mogwai.


The Almost Live at Mellow Pages podcast interviewed author D. Foy.


Pitchfork is streaming the new Hooray for Earth album, Racy.


Emma Straub listed the top 10 vacations in history at the Guardian.


The Quietus profiled singer-songwriter Kiran Leonard.


Author Sean Michaels discussed theremins and music blogging with the Los Angeles Times.


Singer-songwriter Bob Mould visited World Cafe for an interview and live performance.


Temporary literary tattoos.


The Memphis Commercial-Appeal is counting down the 100 best songs about the city.


Motherboard offered a feminist science fiction primer.


Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show listed his top five songs about prison at The A.V. Club.


Mother Jones interviewed author Roxane Gay.


NPR Music is streaming live performances from the Newport Folk Festival this weekend.


Tom Bissell interviewed William T. Vollmann at the New Republic.


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)


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Daily Downloads (Strand of Oaks, Marah, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Edwards Crossing: Edwards Crossing EP [mp3]

Go Life: "I'm Not Really Here" [mp3]

The Gromble: "Don't Stand a Chance" [mp3] from

Jamie Lono and Noble Heart: Jamie Lono and Noble Heart EP [mp3]

Mandolin Orange: Live Tapes EP [mp3]

Manican Party: "Rakim (Dead Can Dance cover)" [mp3]

Melt Like Clouds: Sun Drip album [mp3]

The Pharmacy: "Strange" [mp3] from Spells (out August 12th)

Strand of Oaks: World Cafe Session EP [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Marah: 2014-07-12, 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


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July 23, 2014

Book Notes - Susan Scarf Merrell "Shirley"

Shirley

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.

Susan Scarf Merrell's Shirley is a brilliant homage to both the life and works of author Shirley Jackson, a psychological literary thriller as captivating as it is fascinating.

Booklist wrote of the book:

"Jackson has always been one of the more intriguing and misunderstood writers of her generation, a woman writer at the cusp of feminism's second wave who nevertheless was erroneously dismissed for writing mere 'domestic fiction.' Merrell brings this complicated and compelling woman to life through the kind of taut and intimate thriller Jackson herself would have been proud to call her own."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Susan Scarf Merrell's Book Notes music playlist for her novel, Shirley:


Shirley Jackson was very musical, and loved just about all of it—from classical to piano jazz to bullfighting music. Her husband Stanley Edgar Hyman was a fan of jazz and blues and folk, and the record player in their house was in constant use. I myself have the kind of singing voice that sounds like a sick cat, and an appropriately tin ear (I sound okay to ME). But ever since I was a child, I've loved the music of poetry as much as I love prose—one of the first "songs" I remember hearing was my mother reading Poe's Annabel Lee out loud. So the pieces here are selected on the basis of story for the most part. If the music pleases you, it's because I'm lucky enough to live in a household of musical people, who mostly prevent me from ever hearing the bad stuff.

Shirley is Rose Nemser's book. It's driven by her vision and what her past brings to the world of the story: the impoverished nature of her childhood, her yearning for love without really understanding what it is, her need for someone to care for and to care for her, her need for a maternal figure on which to model herself. So when I think about music to enhance the way one reads Shirley it's in terms of Rose. Romantic and sentimental, but a little bit cursed at the same time.

1. There's only one song that matters within the novel, a folk song called "The House Carpenter" (sometimes "The Demon Lover"). "Well met, well met, my own true love/Long time I have been seeking thee/ I am lately come from the salt sea/And all for the sake, love, of thee." The version here, from the Library of Congress' Archive of Folk Culture (Anglo-American Ballads, Vol. 1), is hoarsely beautiful, so scratchy and idiosyncratic that the listener's brain immediately provides a whole life story for the distinctly unpolished singer.

2. A poetry anthology my English class studied in the 8th grade included the text of Paul Simon's song "Dangling Conversation." It was the first time I intellectually understood the link between musical lyric and poetry, and I often think about the pure simplicity of these verses and the haunting ambivalence of Simon's storytelling.

3. Elvis' "Can't Help Falling in Love," because how could you be 19-year-old Rose in 1964 and not love this song?

4. And Edith Piaf's "La Vie en Rose," because not only would Rose adore the song for its wistful yearning, but she'd also adore its Gallic sophistication.

5. There's one spontaneous after-dinner dancing scene in the novel, and it's most definitely NOT to The Magnetic Fields' "Nothing Matters When We're Dancing," but the movie romance of the dance floor is so inherent to this song, and movie romance so much a part of learning what one believes love is, that it begs to be here.

6. Vetiver's "Houses." Because houses. Jackson. You know. "I could never make it in your house/You could never make it in mine."

7. Wilco's dreamy, haunting "Reservations" saturates your ears, so that you almost don't realize how creepy and sad it is. It's the same way Shirley Jackson's writing prickles the reader—you are amused and entertained but creeped out as well, in a most delicious way.

8. I had to add Lena Horne's version of "Someone to Watch Over Me." Rose would find Horne's version mesmerizing, and the song itself is the essence of what Rose wants for her own life.

9. Hearing Bombadil's "Honeymoon" for the first time, my initial thoughts were about how nothing ever really changes—"honey if you took back all the promises and rings/and little things and when he sings/ would you still know/what lies behind that honeymoon."

Relationship IS danger, as much as it is safety and home. The other is never completely known…There's something so eternal about this song; I would have wanted to hear it decades ago as much as I like to listen to it now.

10. The Traveling Wilburys' "End of the Line": Shirley has been called brooding and dark, but I don't think it is. Accepting that love is complicated—that there's romance in surviving and compromising and living with and next to the other—is, to me, perhaps the most ridiculously wonderful notion there is. "Well it's all right/ the best you can do is forgive."

11. Porches' "Good Book." Maybe it's not about love, and yet of course it is. Like every song ever written. "baby I'm just a good book/that you pick up when you want to/and put it down when you are tired/but fold the page when I knew you/and you knew me/it's a good one"


Susan Scarf Merrell and Shirley links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry

Independent review
Kirkus review
LitReactor review
Washington Post review

The Daily Beast profile of the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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


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Book Notes - Phil Elverum "Dust"

Dust

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.

I have long been a fan of Phil Elverum's music, his bands the Microphones and Mount Eerie have been staples of my playlists for years. His new photobook Dust exposes his talent for storytelling through photography, each spread of photos is hauntingly balanced in this beautifully designed volume.

Exclaim wrote of the book:

"Like Mount Eerie, there's a certain otherworldly quality to Dust that's easy to get lost in, with each page flip bringing you deeper into Elverum's faraway and often ghostly world. No, there's no actual record hidden within the pages, but there doesn't need to be; Dust is a beautiful statement in its own right."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Phil Elverum's Book Notes music playlist for his novel, Dust:

This is a wordless book of photographs that has no story and no point. Honestly, it is very difficult to come up with music that relates to the book because for the most part my aim in assembling these images was to convey some kind of statement about impermanence and void. I guess most people would try to relate these ideas with something more visually bleak, but I think it's very interesting to consider these ideas while walking around in beautiful places, in the midst of the realistic sensory overload that is everyday life. To me, a picture of a new red car parked in front of a dilapidated karate building says "emptiness" because I notice the bushes growing through the window and the many layers of history erasing and replacing each other. Many layers on every page, in every view, all the time every moment, physical matter churning around so constantly that nothing is really solid. Appropriate music for this book would really be non-music, just the sound of a breeze, a trickle of water, traffic, etc. But here are some of my favorite songs anyway and some ideas about how they might relate:

(NOTE: I designed the book as pairs of images meant to be viewed as spreads. That's why they are listed that way here.)

pages 5 & 6
"The Piano Drop" by Tim Hecker (from Ravedeath, 1972)
The whole album is amazing and deserves to be heard as one piece of music, but for the purposes here this song will do. The glimmer on empty water, the moon in an empty sky, sharp symmetry, a razor horizontal line, a circle. The real wild world occasionally makes straight lines and points, poking our minds open. This music is an excellent interweaving of the wild and the precise.

pages 9 & 10
"Open Field" by Maher Shalal Hash Baz (from "Blues du Jour")
The photo on page 9 is literally of the man who made this music, Tori Kudo. On tour in Matsuyama, Japan I had the good luck to spend a morning hanging out with him. I can't summarize his work here, but the way the figures seem to accidentally pass and miss each other (on both pages) and the disorienting skew of page 10, plus the piercing moon, pretty much capture the sensation of Maher Shalal Hash Baz. Moments of accidental brilliance, constantly.

pages 11 & 12
"Some Lightning" by Thanksgiving (from "Nothing")
Specifically the words "the shape of those rocks coming out of the ocean, that is my shape". These rocks seem to jut out so strikingly that they become charismatic personalities. Mirrored by the mid-summer toasted wild grass on a sloping hill, the atmosphere here is of a young poet hanging out under a tree by the water saying sayings to the inanimate surroundings. This early Thanksgiving song was made by a very young brilliant Adrian Orange, an actual real-life lounging grass-grove poet who went on to write the best songs in human history. I picture him in that grass.

pages 33 & 34
"Generous Palmstroke" by Björk (from Vespertine singles)
The house on page 34 is a couple blocks from my house. I walk past it daily, listening to music in my headphones. Frequently I listen to this specific Björk song, trying to figure out how she made that close humming texture, while I walk to the studio to work on my own music. Close and spooky and dynamic. I haven't been able to figure it out but I've been listening to it for many years. Many nights I walk past this house's roses lit like that, dramatically. Both of these images have a similar close and spooky feeling. Unusually intimate.

pages 41 & 42
"Hello Earth" by Kate Bush (from "Hounds of Love")
Even though Kate Bush doesn't always sound so detached from earth (usually persistent and prominent snare hits), this song is totally loosed and floating. These images are from a morning drive through Somerset in southern England. I don't know where in England Kate Bush is from, but it's close enough. Wandering through unearthly trees in a British fog, thinking of generations past, diverting frequently into spooky eastern European mens' choirs, voices from behind trunks. These trees almost look like a set from a movie, but it was really like that.

pages 49 & 50
"Over Dark Water" by Mount Eerie (from "Clear Moon")
OK, yeah, I know, it's taboo for me to put my own song on this list, but it is very appropriate. This image on page 50 is exactly of what the song is about. This photo was taken on Deception Pass bridge late into a sunset, looking west. You can see the strip of orange sky through a slit in the clouds, out past beyond the dark water and the blinking green light of a lighthouse. Geneviève, the singer in the song, appears at an unnatural elevation, lit from the side by distant headlights. The song is about mentally riding on those high winds, like valkyries or witches, westward over these exact waters towards the ocean, illuminated orange and wild. The murk on page 49 is the tumult of the water below, the distorted bass.

pages 83 & 84, plus 91 & 92
"Wanderer Above The Sea Of Fog" by Wolves In The Throne Room (from "Black Cascade")
Pages 83 & 84 are meant to basically scream "Pacific Northwest". The image of Snoqualmie Falls is hopefully immediately recognizable from the opening credits of Twin Peaks, appearing here as a lazy visual shortcut, but foggier. The shredded massive cedar trunk feels like a scream to me. I don't know what could do this to a tree. Epic forces exist here. Wolves In The Throne Room is definitely the music for these images. Their whole project is to give voice to this epic force, specifically Pacific Northwestern, in an exaggerated and sacred way. This song in particular starts with a pretty amazing primal scream, something definitely coming up from beneath. The title is a reference to a painting I love by Caspar David Friedrich of a lone wanderer looking out over an "other world" type of landscape, back to the viewer, weird and alien and symmetrical. The image on page 92 is a nod to that painting: 3 figures watching an indistinguishable orb in a copper night fog. The vivid sharpness of the stars on page 91 is also found in the music, chiming in the overtones (if you listen to it loud enough).

pages 107 & 108
"Renihiliation" by Liturgy (from "Renihiliation")
Two thick black metal songs in a row, sorry. I think it is necessary to do it all the way if you're going to do it at all. Liturgy makes music like a very sharp blade. It is precise and enveloping. It brings me immediately to another place, cold and clear. These 2 images, blasting through piercing snow in a car and arriving in the thickest of white walls of snow, so thick that everything goes dark, this is the feeling of Liturgy's music. They call it "transcendental black metal" and I agree. It is a movement to a brighter place, not darker, but somehow so blindingly brighter that it feels like a wall of white noise. It might as well be black. That wall of trees might as well be solid.

pages 131 & 132
"Tirili Tovann" by Kirsten Bråten Berg (from "Nordisk Sang" compilation)
Page 131 was taken in western Norway, traveling up the fjord, up the river, into the mountains. This is a traditional Norwegian song. I'm not sure what it's about exactly but I made out the word "skogen" (forest). It is easy to picture Kirsten Bråten Berg on that ridge in the background, singing out to a neighbor 2 fjords over, like Swiss yodeling but much more beautiful, like a bird that can fly super high and loves getting whipped around on the high atmospheres, or like a wild river that gracefully consumes tree groves. The placid river scene on page 132 is at home in the Skagit Valley and is also a component of that music, the omnipresent low drone note on the fiddle.

pages 57, 58, 59 & 60
"Aavehuminaa (Katjalle)" by Es (from "Kaikkeuden kauneus ja käsittämättömyys")
This is the sound of my imagined version of Finland, made by actual Finnish people. These first 3 images are in Helsinki. There is no picture of a sauna here, but the feeling is there. Inside those ordered buildings on 57 & 58 (taken a year apart incidentally) there is clearly some coziness happening, behind an iconic birch trunk and a grid of walls and window coverings. On 59, a power plant and the setting sun's glow stand in for the transforming otherworldly sauna feeling. Out of nowhere a stack of trucks blasts across west Texas, into a new thing, like the ice plunge wakeup. This song by Es is one of my favorites ever and brings me immediately to a snowy tundra in my mind, high winds whistling and squealing, opening the door to a tiny hot room where everything transforms.


Phil Elverum and Dust links:

the author's website
excerpts from the book

Exclaim review

Exclaim profile of the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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


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WORD Bookstores Books of the Week - July 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.


How a Mother Weaned Her Girl From Fairy Tales

How a Mother Weaned Her Girl From Fairy Tales
by Kate Bernheimer

The tale is in the telling, and this new collection of lyrical, exhilarating fairy tales makes use of the moribund, ruthless aspects of the Brothers Grimm and the lilting, calmative qualities of Mother Goose.


Levels of Life

Levels of Life
by Julian Barnes

Master storyteller Julian Barnes applies his erudite, unsparing hand to the wrenching experiences of growing older and losing what one loves and cherishes to passing time and to death.


Hunted Down

Hunted Down
by Charles Dickens

"What young men will do, sometimes, to ruin themselves and break their friends" ... Charles Dickens, of course! But this time it's in the setting of the classic detective tales, "stories in which the men of the law make their mark."


Doug Unplugs on the Farm

Doug Unplugs on the Farm
by Dan Yaccarino

Doug Unplugs on the Farm is the perfect fable to inspire the Minecraft generation to reacquaint themselves -- or acquaint themselves -- with the world beyond the Apple product.


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)

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)

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