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February 1, 2007

January Largehearted Boy Wrapup

The first month of Largehearted Boy's sixth year was highlighted by a "50 for 5" fifth anniversary contest, as well as an anniversary auction to benefit Farm Sanctuary.

January's Book Notes contributions (along with short excerpts from the authors' essays):

Neal Pollack for his parenting memoir, Alternadad:

While our car soundtrack somewhat resembles singer-songwriter night at the Bluebird Cafe, Music Hour at home has more of a Cavestomp edge. I initiate Music Hour when Elijah needs to get his ya-yas out, and therefore the songs tend to rock a little harder, and run a little shorter. So I’ve put together a program of Garage Rock For Kids. I try to choose songs from Elijah that will be about stuff he likes: Animals, monsters, superheroes, and outer space. Fortunately, the annals of garage rock are full of such songs.

Molly Crabapple and John Leavitt for their burlesque book of delights, Dr. Sketchy's Rainy Day Colouring Book:

1. Don't Rain on My Parade. Bobby Darin.

What is book publishing by psychotic optimism? Bobby Darrin's clench-jawed sunniness sums it up so nicely. Don't rain on my parade, Mister. Don't tell me that when my book comes out I won't be showered in lucre and fanned by Circassian slaves! Else I'll gut you.

Dana Spiotta for her novel (and National Book Award finalist), Eat the Document:

9) “The Bridge”
Neil Young, from Time Fades Away

Neil Young sort of belongs in my novel even though he isn’t there. I could pick any of a dozen Neil Young songs, but I thought I should pick an “unreleased” song. A ballad, because I’m not a rock anthem fan. I do love Young’s songs about lonely love—or being lonely inside your life—much more than the ones about the culture at large.

LD Beghtol's contribution to the 33 1/3 series on seminal albums, 69 Love Songs:

I usually wear headphones (even when alone) while listening to music, because of the delicious sense of isolation and focus they help create for me. I find this very useful for "getting lost"—as I like to do—in a design project. And somehow the rhythms and textures suggested by songs, old favorites and new tunes alike, seem to influence in some inexplicable way what goes where, and how. I don't understand it, actually.

Jennifer McCann for her cookbook, Vegan Lunch Box:

2. Pure Imagination, Michael Feinstein.

Here's a song from my all-time favorite food fantasy movie scene as a child. As Willie Wonka said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Chocolate Room." I am so there. It was only just now as I listened to the song I noticed the lyrics, "Want to change the world/There's nothing to it". That makes it even sweeter to me. I like to think that I've helped in my own tiny way, sharing cruelty-free lunch ideas using lots of pure imagination. And chocolate.

Derek McCulloch for his graphic novel, Stagger Lee:

When setting out to write this story, the logical thing for me to do was to collect as many different versions of the song as I could lay hands on. I’m still collecting versions today, but by the time I was ready to write my book, I had 36 versions, filling up two full hours on a pair of CDs. I listened to these two discs continuously as I wrote. When I was finished, I passed the script and the discs on to my collaborator, Shepherd Hendrix, who listened to them as he drew. These are the songs from Disc One of the literal soundtrack for our work on this book.

Corrina Wycoff for her debut collection of short fiction, O Street:

So, this assignment is daunting. Sure, I like music. I listen to it. I’m interested in it, but I’ve never been asked to write about it. I’ve never even been asked to bring CDs with me to a party. In fact, when I was an awkward late-1980s teenager with a penchant for 60s folk music and Sondheim showtunes, I was so notoriously bad at making mix tapes that, many years later, my high school best friend inquired whether my adult love interest had yet “survived the mix”. Still, when I was invited to imagine a playlist that would hypothetically accompany my first book, I imagined one (sans Sondheim) cool or not.

Dash Shaw for his graphic novel, The Mother's Mouth:

I have an affinity for some music done by other cartoonists. Zak Sally, Low’s former bassist, did a book called “The Recidivist.” He told me it was originally going to be packaged with an album but it didn’t work out as well. My favorite young cartoonist, C.F., does a comic called “Low Tide” and performs as Kites. Brian Chippendale is another Fort Thunder cartoonist (he did a book called “Ninja”) and is the insane genius drummer of Lightning Bolt. I buy Kites and Lightning Bolt albums mostly for the album art, since the recording is pretty crappy and does no justice to the live performances. If you ever have an opportunity to see Kites or Lightning Bolt perform live, do so. They’re the best live shows I’ve ever seen.

see also:

Largehearted Boy's favorite albums of 2006
2006 Year-end Music List Compilation
this week's CD & DVD releases

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