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October 27, 2007


Elia Einhorn of Scotland Yard Gospel Choir talks to the Chicago Tribune.

The Washington Post reviews Oliver sacks' new book, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain.

What makes Musicophilia cohere is Sacks himself. He is the book's moral argument. Curious, cultured, caring, in his person Sacks justifies the medical profession and, one is tempted to say, the human race. Nothing is alien to him. If he has been saved by music, he also has been briefly afflicted by amusia, an inability to hear music as music, rather than "toneless banging." In his daily consciousness, Sacks embraces music at an extraordinary level.

Don't forget to enter the Largehearted Boy Funeral Song Contest, the deadline is Monday at noon.

The Louisville Courier-Journal and Entertainment Weekly review Ha Jin's new novel, A Free Life.

The New York Times reviews Michael Chabon's new novel, Gentlemen of the Road.

The plot and voice of “Gentlemen of the Road” recall the stories found in 19th-century dime novels and the fantastic escapades invented by Edgar Rice Burroughs and H. Rider Haggard. Gary Gianni’s drawings highlight particularly thrilling moments, and with chapter titles like “On the Observance of the Fourth Commandment Among Horse Thieves” and “On Swimming to the Library at the Heart of the World,” Chabon works old-fashioned niceties into a postmodern pastiche.

Entertainment Weekly also reviews the book.

Chabon discusses the book in the Telegraph.

I'm not turning my back on the stuff I wrote there, late in the 20th century, and I hope that readers won't either. It's just that in Gentlemen of the Road, as in some of its recent predecessors, you catch me in the act of trying, as a writer, to do what many of the characters in my earlier stories — Art Bechstein, Grady Tripp, Ira Wiseman — were trying, longing, ready to do: I have gone off in search of a little adventure.

LiveDaily interviews singer-songwriter Josh Ritter.

What’s the last book you read?

I just read The Most Famous Man in America which is the biography of Henry Ward Beecher (a 19th century preacher). It just won the Pulitzer Prize and it’s about one of America’s great entertainment industries, which are preachers (laughs). And it's basically about the roots of Evangelical Christianity and the real, kind of, rock 'n' roll preachers from (Beecher) all the way down the line to Billy Graham and some of those new guys who are coming. It's kind of the melding of the Bible and the dollar. It's pretty interesting. He was a major force in the abolition of slavery. Really interesting guy. interviews MF Grimm. Jay-Z named his album Kingdom Come, after the DC graphic novel. You got Ghostface as Tony Starks the Iron Man. Comic books are intertwined in a lot of lyrical content. Do you draw inspiration for the books themselves? Rather than having your life be in the books, does it work the other way around?

MF Grimm: Good Question. Now that I am behind the scenes as a writer, for the majority of the things you just mentioned, it influenced me, more so on the imagination side. I have a lot of characters that I’m trying ot bring to the DC universe and to Vertigo so it just opened up another door. A side of me. Like yeah back in the days, I’d be more influenced by a comic book or a character in a comic book, but now I know how to create characters to comic books. So my influence is more internal. Comics still have influence you know? But more so I’ve gotten to the point of being a creator.

Some Flickr photos from the Mountain Goats' Brooklyn show earlier this month

Marathonpacks offers some smart words on the extinction of Oink. now features an mp3 blog ranking list, which factors in clicks from the mp3 blog aggregator and % of posts with mp3s.

WXPN's World Cafe is streaming last night's performance by singer-songwriter Nellie McKay.

also at Largehearted Boy:

Daily Downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
this week's CD releases


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