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September 10, 2007

August 2007 Largehearted Boy Wrapup

August was a busy month at the Largehearted headquarters, here is a list of the month's features (including short excerpts) in case you were out enjoying the sun, on vacation, or away from your computer:


Book Notes (authors create and discuss a music playlist based on their book)

Jeffrey Frank for Trudy Hopedale

8. “All the Roadrunning,” Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris

“Trudy Hopedale” ended before this album was released, but I can imagine Trudy and Donald hearing it today and thinking about the year ahead. “The show's packing up,/I sit and watch the convoy leaving town,/ There's no pretending I'm not a fool..”


Richard Lange for Dead Boys

"Bank of America": "Sin City," The Flying Burrito Brothers

My buddy George Edmondson turned me on to this classic many years ago. Financial ruin, sin and redemption, apocalyptic visions and a stern warning to the rich and powerful - this one's loaded for bear.


Cathy Malkasian for Percy Gloom

Giving Percy Gloom a song list has been a challenge. The story just doesn't seem to take well to lyrics, (with one exception: see Debussy below) and so I've been rooting through the rest of my collection. There are two songs, however, that speak to some of the themes running throughout the story: Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" ( the remastered LP version) and Shirley Horn's "Here's to Life". Both of these pieces have gorgeous arrangements that serve vocals of subtlety and lifetimes worth of wisdom.


Brock Clarke for An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England

“Canadian Lover/Falcon’s Escape,” by Destroyer

Dan Bejar (Destroyer’s lead singer and songwriter) is a genius, even if the same people who tell me I shouldn’t love “Hello, It’s Me” tell me he’s arch and pretentious (why are these people allowed to even listen to music?), and even if, half the time, I have no idea what he’s talking about. In this song, for instance, he sings, “Canadian lover/Don’t demean yourself.” This has nothing to do a falcon escaping or with anything else in the song, I don’t think, but I love it. I played this song over and over and over again while writing An Arsonist’s Guide.


Joshua Furst for The Sabotage Cafe

While putting this list together, I’ve tried to build an arc that mirrors the storyline. If you were to make a mixed tape of the songs below and listen to it straight through, you’d experience the same disturbances and heartaches and killer hangovers that the book depicts.


Andrew Bomback for You're Too Wonderful to Die

Song Against Sex by Neutral Milk Hotel

One of two songs that are crucial to the book (if I had my druthers, I’d attach this song and Petra Haden’s song, discussed below, along with a reprint of J.D. Salinger’s “For Esme with Love and Squalor” to each copy of the novel). In the scene that inspired all that comes before and after it – the scene I had in mind when I first set out to write this book – Esme interprets a lyric from this song as a message to her from god. Haven’t we all done the same at some point?


Note Books (musicians discuss books)

Mike Grimes (of Mancino)

"Drop City" by T.C. Boyle
Recommended by: Nadim's (Mancino keyboard player's) girlfriend

This was a perfect subway read. Every time I picked it up, it immediately transported me into the deep deep wilderness of Alaska. It's essentially a story about a hippie commune that moves from Northern California to the woods outside of Boynton, Alaska in the 1970s. Perhaps my favorite thing about this book was Boyle's ability to adopt various voices and take multiple points of view, so that one chapter would be told from one point of view and the next from a competing POV, all the while pushing the narrative forward. It just lent a richness and texture to the whole story that I really enjoyed. Plus, I can't seem to get enough of hippies. There should be an exhibit in the Museum of Natural History devoted to them.


Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Scott Tournet -- Guitar

Wow...I got into rock & roll so I wouldn't have to work a regular job or continue doing homework. Oddly enough, the more successful we get, the more of I do of both!!! Reading books has always been a big part of my life though, so it's cool to be able to pass on some of my favorites. A great author can be like a great singer-songwriter or a virtuoso musician. They can make you re-think what you thought you knew, make you laugh until you cry, cry until you laugh, or just provide an escape from your boring day to day routine. As with musicians, I tend to gravitate to the rebels...


Interviews

Comedian Eugene Mirman interviews singer-songwriter Alina Simone

How long did you shop your album around and did anything weird happen?

About a year. Many weird things happened. The weirdest one was that I got signed to a new label and everything was all ready to go into production when I got this e-mail while on tour in Europe:

"I don't quite know how to put this so ill (sic) just say it, all of our capital was in cash and our partner has stolen it all…I can't be specific but …for obvious reasons this money was not in a bank but stored in what I believed to be a safe location, now the money and our partner is gone…"

So, I guess the take-home lesson here is: Don't sign to a label that keeps all of its money in a bag under the bed.

I think you just saved a lot of struggling bands years of signing to "money-in-bags" labels. My favorite part is the "for obvious reasons this money was not in a bank." I think that would be a very reasonable thing to say before 1860, but things have really changed in the last century.


Music Festival Downloads

Lollapalooza 2007 Downloads

downloads include performances by Amy Winehouse, Interpol, Pearl Jam, Regina Spektor and others


52 Books, 52 Weeks reviews

Exit Wounds, by Rutu Modan

Modan's watercolors are as much of the storyline as the dialog, this is a beautifully drawn book by one of Israel's most lauded cartoonists.


No One Belongs Here More Than You, by Miranda July

The stories show remarkable insight into the human condition. These often too short stories charm with July's talent for easy dialog.


Dishwasher, by Pete Jordan

This is a book that begs to be read in one sitting, as we watch the boy become a man, usually leaving clean pots and pans in his wake.


McSweeney's Issue #23

The book is filled with great stories by authors Roddy Doyle, April Wilder, Anne Beattie, and others, not one piece let me down.


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes
Note Books
Lists
Interviews
Book Reviews
52 Books, 52 Weeks
music festival downloads
CD & DVD release lists


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